Imagine an industrial warehouse pulsating with sound as bolts of colorful neon lighting dance across the dimly lit room at a music-themed yoga class.
On a typical Monday or Tuesday evening, you will find this lively new tradition at a warehouse on N. 11th Street in Brooklyn’s trendy Williamsburg hosted by Verboten Nightclub’s Deep House Yoga.
Around twenty people, of various ages and levels of yoga, began rolling out their mats, on a recent Monday night, to face a large stage positioned at the front of the room.
The combination of incense and fresh wood tickled the senses, bringing us all into the present. As we found seated positions on our mats, Kundalini-trained yoga teacher, Matt Wallace stepped onto center stage and DJ George Faya went to the turntables.
For the next 60 minutes, these guides led us through a spirited and sensual yoga flow consisting of deep breath work and energy-balancing exercises, coordinated to a mixed dance playlist. Pranayama remained the heart of Matt’s sequencing complimented by DJ George Faya’s musical pulse of cultivating awareness.
After an opening warm up, a few variations of warrior 2 brought us to our feet. Matt circled the room, but mostly remained on stage guiding us through a series of vigorous postures I’d never explored before. The breath work we practiced led us to the bandhas, releasing and directing the control of energy from the lower centers of the diaphragm upward. Throughout the class, I not only felt my lungs expand but found myself feeling more centered and clear.
As we made our way into a closing mediation, I waited for a simple cool down, instead we were asked to try something rather untraditional: dance. It began with wiggling our limbs then finding a soft sway of the hips at the center of our mats. As you can imagine, many people held stiff hesitation in their bodies. But as the music started to pulse at a deeper beat, everyone began to let go and allow the rhythmic flow of union move us around the room.
We danced. We twirled. We laughed. And then, we found savasana.
Allowing the heart rate to drop, the music quickly switched gears to a talking meditation track, "The Independent System/No New Wave” from an album called A Series of Waves, remixing a speech from philosopher and writer Alan Watts.
With our last few deep inhalations, and exhalations, the inspiring voice of Watts reminded us, “That what I am involves what you are. I don’t know who I am unless I know who you are. And you don’t know who you are unless you know who I am. In other words: we are not separate.”
--Ashley Rose Howard
For more information about this unusual yoga class: click here.