In the midst of the chaos that was the year 2020, quietly and without any fuss, a yoga teacher who has graced the stage of Wanderlust festivals across the nation put down roots in the beautiful mountain town of Evergreen.
I can already sense her blushing at the mention of her time on the festival circuit. Though she has landed in Colorado from the starlit city of Los Angeles, Mary Beth LaRue is humble — perhaps that can be accredited to the fact that she was born and raised in Iowa. She is a self-proclaimed introvert, and shares how moving to Colorado feels like coming home because she spent so much time here as a child. LaRue’s father had once played rugby for the Denver Barbarians and her mother went to graduate school in Fort Collins, so they spent a lot of family vacations visiting their home away from home. In fact, her parents recently put down roots here as well.
Colorado had been on LaRue’s and her husband, Matt Aporta’s bucket list for a while. And so, after many delays, some due in part to the pandemic, and once they were officially the adoptive parents of their toddler, Angel (whom they had been fostering since they picked him up from the hospital when he was born), they were able to head for the Colorado mountains (with their English bulldog Rosy in tow) to begin their new life as a forever family.
So far they are all in love with the weather and the seasons.
“The people here feel very grounded and have all been very welcoming,” she shares.
They all have been looking forward to further growing their relationship with the earth, she adds. One way they’ve been doing this is by trying on new mountain hobbies like snowshoeing.
LaRue also looks forward to going on many local road trips — Telluride and Salida are both on her bucket list. She also envisions the day where she can host yoga retreats in Buena Vista or Frisco and teach one of her greatest values: practicing and living a life that is fully embodied, an act that she gets to witness daily through her son. She says he moves through the world with such wonder, curiosity and playfulness; he is completely present, which is something we all should try to practice being.
In the meantime, she is also very excited to learn from local teachers; she knows that Colorado already has such a vibrant yoga community, and she’s excited to engage with it.
LaRue took her first yoga class in the early 2000s when she was in Washington D.C. putting her journalism degree to good use at National Geographic Traveler magazine. With yoga, she found her second great passion, and over the years she has learned to marry her first passion of writing with her passion for yoga. She does this with intentionality in every word she chooses. She loves words, especially when they weave together and come from a sincere place inside.
“Everything I teach, offer, do is born out of my own life and practice. I have found that slow flow yoga and embodiment practices are the medicine I need in a culture that’s constantly telling me to hustle, hurry up, do more,” LaRue answers when asked what makes her voice, offerings and style stand out, “they are authentic to me and deeply needed in my own life. As the saying goes — we teach what we most need to learn. Oh, and fourteen years later I still absolutely loooove what I do.”
These past 14 years have allowed LaRue to stay authentic in her growth and her following, she says, “I have taken it really slow. I remember when I started teaching Ally Hamilton of Yogis Anonymous told me that communities are built one person at a time. True connection is what I value most so, when in person, making eye contact, giving full attention and showing up with sincerity are what have created the relationships and communities I value. I’ve known many of my students for ten years, which is so beautiful. As far as online, same things apply. Show up authentically, sincerely and in the way you want to. An algorithm will never ever replace a relationship. I’d rather have quality over quantity, in all areas of my life.”
On the word, “vitality,” LaRue says that the “recipe for vitality is different for everyone. Sometimes it looks like reading and eating Pirate’s Booty, and sometimes it looks like green juice and hiking. Vitality is whatever awakens soulfulness and sustenance within you.”
LaRue was teaching live virtual yoga before the pandemic, and she continues to do so as she says it suits her introverted ways perfectly. LaRue also recently released her first set of pre-recorded classes that you can purchase from her site.
You can find more about LaRue and all of her offerings, including a 200-hour yoga teacher training this upcoming fall, by checking out her website: marybethlarue.com or by following her on Instagram: @marybethlarue
Photos by Martha Kirby.
Originally published in the Summer + Fall 2021 issue.