Eyes gazing over the water, watching the Hong Kong skyline come to life, I felt completely at peace. Laying on my yoga mat at the edge of the pier, the night sky slowly washing over me. A steady beat of a drum flowing into my ear; my breath following the rhythm. I didn’t want the moment to end. As the class came to a close, I placed my hands together bowing my head in gratitude. It’s not often that I fully surrender, losing myself in the moment, yet something magical transpired on my mat. Most other times, it’s the mantras or calming setting that sets my focus. However, this time it was one tiny headset that changed my spirit, completely amplifying my yoga practice. Silent disco yoga, I am hearing and feeling you loud and clear.
Silent disco yoga is a new crossover form of yoga, combining the ancient practice with a 21st century influence. A silent disco is a unique musical experience where individuals wear wireless headphones, tuning into a DJ or multiple music channels. Popular with the music festival scene, the audience has the power to create a set list to match their fancy footwork. Now add a yoga mat, a powerful flow, and a headset; expect one dynamic workout.
Silent disco yoga is still pretty new to the scene, creeping up in international cities such as Hong Kong, London, and San Francisco. Not one to shy away from the unusual, I was deeply curious when I saw a class for silent disco yoga. Being a music lover and yogi, I felt as if this was a match made in heaven. Hosted by The Yoga Room in Hong Kong, the class was held at the end of pier 10 in Central overlooking the Victoria Harbor; a picturesque backdrop for a relaxing sunset Yin/Restorative Yoga session. Upon arriving to the pier, I was greeted by a friendly member of the Yoga Room and was handed a glowing headset. Welcome to the new age of yoga.
As I waited for the class to begin, I began to wonder how they were going to combine the concept of a silent disco with Yin Yoga. Traditionally, Yin Yoga is a more meditative style of yoga, cultivating inner peace and silence. The Yin approach is to regain balance and relaxation through a slower practice with deep stretching and longer poses. The Yin style poses are great heart and hip openers, bringing restoration back to the connective tissue. For me, Yin Yoga is one of my favorite practices to do after a long week. It helps clear my mind and allows me to regain focus on my body and its needs.
The yogis were finally signaled to put on the headset to begin the class. Transmitting through the headset, a soft voice welcomed us to the class, giving a brief introduction to this style of yoga and expectations for the evening. Beginning in child’s pose, the DJ began to play a soft beat, setting the ambiance and pace. Layered over the music, the instructor then guided the class into various poses, offering variations to cater everyone’s needs. As the music began to pick up, I felt my senses heighten. In other yoga classes, I often get distracted by the environment around me; however, the headset helped me stay present. Additionally, I could hear the instructor clearly, making me feel more connected to her words. Slowly moving through various floor poses, we found our way to savasana. Feeling the peace and the stillness, the music slowing down, it was hard to believe the class was already over.
The whole experience left me pleasantly surprised. I presumed that the headset would get in the way of my practice, however, that was not the case. In fact, it helped it. During the class, a concert was going on in a venue near by, blasting terrible renditions of Bon Jovi. I immediately wrote the class off, assuming I wouldn’t be able to relax and fully focus due to the noise pollution. Yet, the headset helped cancel out the noise, bringing my awareness back to the practice. Additionally, I felt completely connected with the music, putting me fully in the Zen zone.
In recent years yoga has begun to make a transformation, taking on new identities, with some classes more alternative than others. However, silent disco yoga seems to be the perfect companionship. With a beautiful backdrop and soundtrack, a standard yoga class is completely enhanced. Believe it or not, silent disco yoga might just be a new norm for yoga. I’m looking forward to seeing where silent disco yoga will take me next.
Photo: Jess Davis