The atmosphere in the Rex is electric. A mosaic of light bounces off the surrounding walls. Trance music and percussion mix with the yoga teacher’s voice. She reminds us to breathe and listen to our bodies. A mix of men and women take a forward fold, flow through vinyasa and settle into downward dog.
Kamloops’ first yoga rave took place Friday, Oct. 2. A blend of exterior stimulation and mindfulness, yoga raves promote fun, healthy lifestyles in an alcohol- and drug-free environment. The yoga teacher of the “Calm” session of the event, Natalie Saari, began incorporating sound into her yoga classes as a fundraiser for teen yoga.
“For those who love yoga, this is a unique, exciting way to explore your practice,” she said. “The relaxed pace is perfect for newcomers as well. Yoga and sound events are all about inviting the music’s vibrations and letting your body move freely.”
Even though it was an all-ages event, the participants were mostly over 18. Those in attendance seemed to have at least a basic familiarity with yoga and a desire to deepen their practice. Yogi Danielle Bertoia led the “Primal” session, a mix of yoga and martial arts that she typically teaches through one-on-one Skype sessions.
“Everyone seemed really engaged, really positive. I was nervous because I’d never worked with sound before, but DJ HyFi is amazing,” she said.
The crowd clearly felt the same – the packed theatre responded eagerly to the change in pace as he spun progressive tech house. The entire event lasted well over three hours, including raffle draws and an incredible dance performance by Bronwen Kettleson. It was definitely worth experiencing as a whole.
BC Living Arts has always been interested in promoting health and wellbeing, as well as hosting art events. Coordinator Alan Corbishley said that the yoga rave was the perfect mix of the two.
“Yoga exercise is one of those activities that people are passionate about and therefore, we are excited to turn up the artistic elements of a typical yoga practice to help bring the arts into this stimulating practice. That will include live music, performances, a live DJ and of course lights and large scale animations and projections.”
The Yoga Rave was an inspiring, healthy event where yogis were able to connect with one another, share their practice, and finish it all off with a dance party. With enough support and interest from the community, Corbishley says there may be another yoga rave around the corner.
Upcoming events sponsored by BC Living Arts include a live theatrical sketch event called The Sketch Salon. Only 30 spots are available. Those interested in the event can register online at bclivingarts.ca/sketch-salon.