At a slant, this sect of the genre can read like a dark side cousin to the New Age movement. Yoga fits into the mix nicely. Kimee Massie is one of a handful of yoga instructors folding metal into their practice. For the past few years she’s been holding classes soundtracked by selections from bands like Sunn O))), Earth, and Wolves in the Throne Room. Now she’s released BLACK YO)))GA: Asanas Ritual, Vol. 1 an hourlong video of "vinyasa style yoga set to drone, noise, stoner metal, ambient, industrial, space doom, and other traditional meditation music" that as far as I know is the first "real" metal yoga video to come to market.
Metalheads tend to be good at appreciating the ridiculousness of the thing they’re passionate for, while being intensely, earnestly into it.To the traditional incense burning, sitar-loving, OM-chanting yogi, these new waves of asana might seem slightly unorthodox or even a complete departure from yoga's original meaning and traditions. But one could argue that when put into practice, the mind of the devout metalhead is as quiet as the meditative monk. Who says we can't find peace and stillness within the loudness of music? Ever been to a Radiohead concert? I'd liken it to as transcendental of an experience as any I've had, and I meditate almost daily. So for those who like it loud, The Observer recently published a survival guide to some rather unconventional yoga found throughout New York City, many of which included musically charged classes ranging from Adele to silent disco, and even a hot and sweaty hip hop session at a Y7 studio in Brooklyn.
At Y7, a boutique known for hip hop and heaters, prepare for “sweat dripping, beat bumping, candlelit” yoga. With studios in Soho, Flatiron and Williamsburg, it’s impossibly hip and incredibly loud, with playlists featuring artists like Miguel and Beyoncé. Envision SoulCycle’s nightclub vibes, only flow focused. Unfortunately, there’s no hip hop dance moves involved. You’ll have to search out an actual club for twerking, or head to a particularly intense Zumba session. If you are a beginner, Y7 is the perfect place to hide because it’s almost pitch black.But Y7 isn't the only studio to drop some hip hop into its repertoire, either. Last summer, an outdoor "Flowyancé" class took to the streets of Philadelphia, while a workshop in Melbourne, Australia, offered Drake yoga—led by an instructor from NYC, naturally. And lest we forget my personal favorite: Deep House Yoga at Verboten, a popular nightclub in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. With techno grooves and booming bass, not to mention a full-color spectrum light show that reflects off a giant mirror ball, this just might be as loud as it gets, but it's also great fun. As a teacher there I will attest that even in this seemingly unusual setting, you will indeed go deep into the yoga zone. With NYC at the epicenter for many of these offerings, it's evident that alternative yoga is slowly making its way up the charts in the U.S. and beyond.