Love practicing Vinyasa but don't fit in with the Lulu-wearing, green smoothie-sipping yogis at the studio? Or maybe you're not quite digging the music they play at your local classes?
If you said yes to both questions AND you're into doom metal, drone, and industrial music, you're gonna want to check out Black Yoga.
What is Black Yoga?
BLACK YO)))GA is a Vinyasa style of asana practice set to space doom, stoner metal, drone, ambient, and industrial music. It's the brainchild of 200 RYT-certified yoga teacher Kimee Massie and her husband Scott Massie, who wanted to make yoga classes for those who don't identify with the lighter, upbeat hippie vibe of most yoga studios.
BLACK YO)))GA classes are not that different from traditional ones; you will still flow through sequences of basic poses guided by a certified yoga teacher, but there is just a darker, heavier atmosphere that many find comfort and solace in.
According to their website, the goal is to "spread the benefits of yoga to people in our own art and music communities. People who may battle depression, anxiety, alcoholism, drug addiction, trauma/PTSD, phobias, dark passengers, etc. People who may not feel they fit into the typical yoga classes."
These classes also offer the ideal environment for anyone who loves yoga and dark metal music, and those in sub-culture communities who have a hard time reconciling yoga with their lifestyle.
The BLACK YO)))GA Meditation Ensemble
Music is the key part of BLACK YO)))GA classes, so in 2014, they went from playing music from mix-tapes (listen here) to creating the BLACK YO)))GA Meditation Ensemble to produce a specific soundscape for the classes with tracks that are heavy, but also meditative.
Kimee and Scott are based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania though Kimee currently doesn't teach BLACK YO)))GA classes at any specific studio. They'll set up at any venues that can host, and they offer private/group private classes.
Image credit: Paul Werkmeister/Miser Photography