Music pumping, neon body paint and glow sticks may seem more fitting for a night club or after hours party than a yoga studio, but this was the setting for Bouge Yoga O’Neon, my black light yoga and dance event held recently at Yasmin Yoga Loft (YYL) in Old Montreal with DJ FREEFLY. What could have been just a yoga practice with cool lighting became a magical, powerful and therapeutic practice.
YYL had hosted a black light event for yoga teacher Lauren Rudick last year, but impetus for Bouge Yoga O’Neon arose when the organizers of the Wanderlust Tremblant asked me to lead a yoga dance party with black lights during their August Festival. Without hesitation, I said yes and I spent several months contemplating how to make this an experience that was fun and also meaningful and purposeful.
Given my background in Ayurveda, I designed the practice in five ‘chapters’ corresponding to the elements and their qualities — Earth, Water, Fire, Air & Space. I also worked with the DJ so that the music would follow the energy of each element. I suggested an intention and loosely guided the first part of each section leaving space for participants to interpret the music and movements themselves. The event ended with a free flow of dance and final relaxation.
Bouge Yoga O’Neon at Wanderlust Tremblant sold out weeks before the festival. It was a blast. We had over 100 participants and the practice was even more powerful than I expected. The lighting, the music, the body paint (yes, we had a body paint station) along with the carefully arranged sequence created an environment for people to loosen up and be playful. As result, the atmosphere was light, joyful and full of community spirit. There was also a palatable authenticity in the room.
With this in mind, we (the team & I) decided to offer this event at the Loft. And it was no less spectacular.
The studio was decorated with black lights, of course, and dozens of glowing neon stars. Doors opened at 6pm. We had a table of brushes and non-toxic, water based glow paint, allowing guests to be creative and paint themselves and each other. This was a great ice breaker.
The practice was about 90 mins and as one yoga teacher present said, “I couldn’t wait to get the yoga part over with so we could dance.” And we did. DJ FREEFLY was fantastic and the vibe in the room was electric.
Much gratitude to RooBar, Cocos Pure, DJ FREEFLY (aka Marcel Capito), Carlo Kuhlenschimdt, Chrissy Skerritt, Kelly David, Amanda Roemer and the rest of our YYL family for their efforts in making this event a success and thank you guests! Your energy and enthusiasm were invaluable.
Words from some of the participants:
The Bouge Yoga O’Neon event at Yasmin Yoga Loft was amazing! This is the kind of yoga event that you do not want to miss! It loosens up the body, and mind and let’s you express yourself however you’re feeling in the moment. Yasmin’s vision for the class is inspiring, and while we travel through the 5 elements, you begin to really feel and understand each of them. I would attend this event 1000 times, and it would never lose its excitement. – Jaime Schmidt-Little
Yasmin’s imaginative Black Light – Yoga Bouge O’Neon event – with the electrifying beat moving the crowd through the yoga poses to the peak with everyone free flow dancing under the magical black light and fluorescent stars was fantastical and transformative for me. – Tessa
If you weren’t able to make it to the Yasmin Yoga Loft for Bouge Yoga O’neon, make sure you don’t miss the next one! The blacklight class, guided by Yasmin with the beats of DJ Freefly, was a great yoga dance party. Yasmin incorporated ayurvedic elements into the practice that made it quite special. There was an amazing energy in the room from all that attended! – Kelly