Along San Francisco’s Baker Beach, for example, as a flock of seagulls vie for sand space with a dozen people in puffy jackets, yoga pants and – curiously – headphones.
They reach their fingertips to the sky – the people, not the seagulls – slowly, silently, moving their bodies in sun-salutation unison, except for the guy in the back who has his eyes closed and might very well be asleep. All a passer-by can hear are the waves. How can these people move as one?
Because this is silent-disco yoga on the beach, of course.
“Try to sync your breath to the waves,” murmurs instructor Sarah Allison of Outdoor Yoga SF, her soothing voice gliding through the headphones, accompanied by groovy, New-Age-y music.
“Tap into that part of you that is more than anything else —water — that water element that is you,” she says as she’s splashed by that very element and forced to move the group a few feet closer to the parking lot.
So, it turns out that yoga and beer, which is offered in Woodland every now and then isn’t that unusual after all.
Neither is it unusual to do yoga on a wake board in the middle of Velocity Island, as members of Urban Soul have found out.
And “Yoga in the Park?” That’s not unusual at all.
Now there’s silent-disco beach yoga or even on the classic studio version. How about aquarium yoga at the California Academy of Sciences? Or planetarium yoga? Maybe you’d prefer goat yoga, beer yoga, laughter yoga, Yoda yoga (atop a “Star Wars” themed mat, yet), cannabis yoga, paddleboard yoga, guys-only bro yoga or even toga yoga. (Sadly, the latter does not call for wearing togas a la “Animal House.” It exercises for your toes.)
Yes, yoga has gone wild. It’s pushing the downward-dog envelope, adapting asanas to the current American appetite and tailoring the practice to the individual — like you do your news feed.
“The way we’ve packaged yoga in our country, it often doesn’t have much to do with what yoga was originally all about, connecting the mind-body, the spiritual aspect, not just the postures,” says laughter-yoga instructor Teresa Corrigan, a UCSF nurse who specializes in biofeedback. “But I haven’t tried beer yoga, so I shouldn’t judge. Maybe it’s amazing!”
Even those who don’t know their vinyasas from their chakras will find there’s a yoga for everyone. And while some iterations – rave yoga? karaoke yoga? — may sound gimmicky, most of these creative versions actually have some method to the madness.
Courtesy of Daily Democrat