Shiva Rea visits Washington regularly, but the renowned instructor has never led one of her signature trance dance sessions here before. The Trance Dance is part of the Summer Solstice Regeneration Weekend Shiva will offer June 23-24. Sign up today!
Over the “Summer Solstice Regeneration Weekend” she’ll offer a series of workshops and a two-hour session explaining the history of ecstatic movement and giving participants a chance to feel the release that comes from this very different kind of yoga. More info
“It’s all music-driven. There is no trance dance without music,” says Jessica Lazar, a local senior prana flow teacher. The experience begins with Rea cueing collective movements, such as lifting arms, crawling and jumping. “There’s something about doing the same thing that takes away pressure to bust out the best steps,” Lazar says.
When students get comfortable in the rhythm of the dance, there are short spurts of free movement, giving them the chance to connect with their creative sides. June 23 at 7:30 p.m.; $50; All Souls Church, 1500 Harvard St. NW, Flowyogacenter.com
A self-described fusion of ancient yoga teachings and modern street culture, MC Yogi describes Pilgrimage as “a sonic trip, a journey toward the Self, toward what the yoga masters call the Supreme Soul. Everything went into this record to make it a full, authentic, transformative yogic experience on the dance floor.”
The first single, “Give Love,” is an infectious dance-floor anthem with a life-affirming call to action: “If you want love, you have to give love away,” a defining lyric from perhaps the only MC who can be found beatboxing over an OM chant. The video for the track, which quietly appeared last Spring on YouTube, has over 260,000 plays to date.
MC Yogi’s Pilgrimage also features world-renowned Indian musicians, from celebrated sitarist Deobrat Mishra to vocalist Mahesh Vinayakram (son of Grammy-winning Indian percussionist Vikku Vinayakram), all giving the record a rich, multi-instrumental feel like few others in modern hip-hop. Tracks like “Ganesha (Sound The Horn)” and “Born To Fly” are instantly infectious, while simultaneously pushing the higher consciousness-minded, alternative-rap movement ever forward.
Pilgrimage is Yogi’s first album since his 2008 critically acclaimed debut, Elephant Power, which still appears atop the world music chart on iTunes. Elephant Power’s extraordinary success brought Yogi invitations to play in dance clubs, festivals and yoga studios all over the world. Drawing on that acclaim, Starbucks tapped MC Yogi for their “Are You In?” advertising campaign, which asked viewers to volunteer to be part of President Barack Obama’s call for national service. The campaign used the words and lyrics to Yogi’s “Grassroots Movement.” Now the time has come for phase two. In MC Yogi’s words, “I’m just a working class mystic” – but for a generation seeking a healthier, spiritually enlightened, holistic way of living, his music is an essential soundtrack for that journey.
Kathrin Frauscher Co-founder DC Yoga Without Walls
It is great to share breath, poses and laughter with friends and families. It is a big part of why my friend Erjona and I started our project DC Yoga Without Walls- we want to share the practice with as many people as we can.
When I found out about Yoga on the Mall, I knew I had to get a group of friends together to go and have fun and practice. A group of eight of us went together and we had so much fun!
We ran into lots of friends and the acroyoga helped us to meet new people. We were laughing so much trying to stack our legs with each other and bend in funny ways.
The vinyasa class was artfully conducted to focus on connecting with follow yoginis. We held hands in our warrior poses, we clapped and sang together and ended with an amazing om shared by over 1000 people.
What a great way to connect with old and new friends! Thank you DC Community Yoga for creating the lovely space for so many of us to share a practice we all love!
Vanessa King is a Certified AcroYoga teacher, sharing the practice in DC since 2008. She’ll be at Yoga on the Mall leading the group warmup and a demo by AcroYoga students from Yoga District, Capitol Hill Yoga, Yoga Chai, Flow Yoga Center, Willow Street Yoga, Rivers Edge Yoga, Annapolis Yoga and Embrace Yoga.
AcroYoga brings people together, since by nature, you can’t do alone! It’s a partner practice that fosters community. It’s rooted in diversity- a combo of yoga from India; acrobatics, originating from Greece and healing arts such as Thai Massage, from Thailand/India. Yoga is the glue.
My first yoga studies were based on Patanjali’s teachings of the Yoga Sutras. AcroYoga embodies the full spectrum of yoga outlined in his four chapters on freedom- practice and surrender, strength and sweetness. An AcroYoga practice can travel from the deepest surrender of receiving therapeutic flying or Thai Massage to the dynamic action of high flying acrobatics.
I’ve heard that our highest yoga is that of relationship. AcroYoga is that kind of yoga. The union not just with the divine in yourself but the divine in another person. It develops trust, connection and playfulness in practitioners and inspires clear and positive communication. I’ve learned so much about myself and humanity from its practice. I find it fascinating that almost universally we are more capable of being there for others than believing others can support us.
What do you like about teaching AcroYoga in DC?
DC is a serious town. We live big questions! However, after teaching AcroYoga in various countries, I have to say the DC crew make the biggest shift- from ultra serious to ready to play and laugh and have fun together in a second. I love this community and am always excited to come home. We are loud and boisterous and everybody has a voice. It’s powerful and all love. Show us your Acro yoga with a photo reply!