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Finding My Center With Black Yo)))ga « Ectomag

Finding My Center With Black Yo)))ga

black yoga


I don’t like to think of myself as someone that is easily intimidated, but yoga has managed to keep me at bay for years. Despite their efforts to position themselves as relaxing, inclusive, peaceful places I have never felt particularly welcome in a yoga class. I always seem to find myself surrounded by tall willowy soccer-mom and Adam Levine types in overpriced yoga pants. Glossy lips and plastic smiles giving polite side eye to the short girl with the thick thighs and the Ghoul t-shirt. I am the triangle peg trying to fit into their well balanced round hole. It’s hard to bend over and find your center when it feels like everyone is staring at you.

If the typical crowd in a LA yoga class wasn’t already a yoga deterrent, it was the music that solidified the notion that the practice of yoga simply was not for me. How can a turn off my brain and focus on my breathing when every fiber of my being wants to replace the sounds of Yoni and Enya that drift through the air with Primitive Man, Call of the Void or Sun O))). Instead of leaving a  yoga class feeling refreshed and relaxed, I find myself walking away tense, dejected and frustrated.

A few months ago I got wind of the Black Yo))ga Collective. A group of PA yoga enthusiasts that are creating yoga classes for those whose sensibilities run toward the darkness instead of the light. While I am too far away to take a class at the Black Yo))ga Collective, I was beyond excited to hear that they were releasing a DVD of their classes. The prospect of being able try and hopefully enjoy a yoga class that is a bit more in tune with my sensibilities was way more exciting than I thought it would be. My copy of the Black Yo))ga Collective CD/DVD combo has finally arrived. I have spent the last few months finding my center in the void and trying to perfect my downward dog.

I have spent more a lot of time wondering what a metal yoga album would sound like. Some days I thought it should sound like the horror infused hymns from Gobiln. Other days I wanted Primitive Man, Abigail Williams and Sun O))))) to join forces to create something haunting, ethereal and heavy. But what the Black Yo)))ga collective accomplishes with their album far exceeds anything that my jumbled yoga fantasies could have dreamed of. Equal parts, doom, stoner metal and traditional Eastern music, this album has become my go to for any time that I need a quiet moment. It draws you in with with dense drums and intricate guitar riffs. While Eastern inspired melodies draw your focus to your breath, to your center, into a void of your own creation. A good meditation album can draw your attention or just as easily slip into the background. It can lull you to sleep or fill you with energy. Black Yo))ga can all of this and more, it is a perfect meditation album.

I’ve been working with the Black Yo))ga DVD for a few months now and I have decided Instructor Kimee has done the impossible; she has made yoga a accessible and relaxing practice. If you’re a fan of dark music, you are going to love doing Black Yo))ga. But what really struck me about the Black Yo))ga DVD is the variety of bodies. Men, women, tall, lean, short, thick and everything inbetween. This dvd gave me the welcoming feeling that I have always wanted from a yoga class. Even if I am never in a position to take a class with the folks at the Black Yo))ga collective they do a wonderful job of showing that they cultivate and take pride in a very inclusive environment. My band shirts and thick thighs would not get side eye here.

Kimee is the most mindful yoga instructors I have ever come across. She checks in with the audience throughout every pose suggesting pose modifications. Softly suggesting that you be mindful of what your body is telling you. This was the first time I had ever had a yoga instructor suggest a modification for people with sinus issues. Instead of the perfect unison poses I’ve seen in most yoga DVDs  Kimee everyone within the sound of her voice to move at their own pace. Putting the focus on mastering the pose instead of keeping up with the class. I honestly can’t say enough good things about Kimee and the Black Yo))ga collective. If you’ve ever wanted to try yoga but were put off by the music or the crowd at your local yoga studio, Black Yo))ga will help you find your center in the darkness of the void.

You can pick up a copy of Black Yo))ga here.



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