Downward dance hall: 100 yogis pack Vancouver nightclub for reggae yoga classes
It was all “downward dance hall dog” Sunday at a Vancouver nightclub where 100 yogis packed the room for one of the city’s first-ever reggae yoga classes.
A rainbow of yoga mats covered Fortune Sound Club’s dance floor and thick bass flowed from the club’s state-of-the-art sound system into the hands, feet and backsides of smiling yogis.
“I’ve loved reggae for a really long time,” said Danielle Hoogenboom, the founder of Love Light Yoga who led the sold-out event. “Yoga and reggae are two of the utmost conscious practices — put them together and you’ve got a powerful force.”
Hoogenboom led her first reggae yoga class at a concert in Jamaica last year, but she’s been playing reggae in yoga studios since she began teaching seven years ago.
She organized Sunday’s event with local DJ Tank Gyal, who has run reggae dance-hall nights in Vancouver for more than seven years and played tunes for the yogis.
The class began with a series of flowing, dynamic vinyasa yoga poses and transformed into the slow, restorative poses of yin yoga, but was broken up with a lively reggae dance party in the middle, of course.
Yogis were encouraged to make noise and break yoga rules whenever necessary.
“It’s more about the feeling and the energy,” Hoogenboom said. “You want to leave here feeling positive and strong, not with your (butt) kicked and tired.”
Alex Pearson, a fellow yoga teacher who helps Hoogenboom manage events, rolled out her mat for the uplifting event.
“A lot of reggae music is more intelligent and aware and focused on creating positive change,” Pearson said. “I think that yoga’s something that engenders that same mindset as well.”
Hoogenboom has a second class booked at Fortune for Feb. 15, before she heads to Jamaica for an annual two-month teacher-training sojourn.