As roughly 20 yoga students contort themselves into various poses in the spacious, purple-walled "Sky Room" at the Vital Yoga studio in Highland, a neighborhood in northwest Denver, their teacher for this session, John Friend, pads about the wooden floor, adjusting spandexed hips and poking at protruding butts while talking about opening the belly and raising the solar plexus. He speaks with the warm yet energetic confidence of a TED speaker or a feel-good evangelist rather than the serene tones of a stereotypical wizened yogi. And as the students breathe deeply, working through the strain of the poses, Friend lightens the mood by cracking jokes and shifting into funny voices. "Yeah, that's it — cool!" he exclaims in a slightly California-like drawl as he guides them through a particularly... More >>>