Move through vinyasa to a live DJ and then cut loose around Paddington's Uniting Church. Future Sound of Yoga offers two music and yoga sessions: Fire and Flow. Flow is a more relaxed, yin yoga session with soothing beats; Fire is an upbeat, dynamic session that has been coined as 'rave yoga' by its many fans.
Erin Moy's account of a Fire session from 2012:
Some people relax with meditation. For others, it’s the hypnotic beat of banging four to the floor that calms them. A visit to church might make you feel at ease. Or, perhaps some evening yoga is the key. Well, for DJ Matt and yoga teacher Angel, the best way to unwind involves all of the above.
They call this cross-section the Future Sound of Yoga, and it involves yoga and meditation performed to a DJ set in Paddington’s beautiful Uniting Church. Fittingly, Matt and Angel met in the dance tent at Glastonbury in 2005, and have since been practicing yoga together with electronic music. Two years ago they turned the concept into a public class under the FSoY moniker, and Sydney’s limber tech heads can’t get enough.
I must admit, when I arrived at their Friday night event last month, I was sceptical about how the class would pan out even before I heard about the ‘free dance’ section. Like me, you might be thinking the concept sounds like something you’d see on a flyer at a bush doof, but once I put my reservations aside, I had a seriously good time. In fact, I think Future Sound of Yoga is the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had in workout gear (and I used to be a bit of a deal on the pre-teen gymnastics circuit).
Initial warm-up exercises are coupled with down-tempo ambient offerings like Portishead and Massive Attack; stronger postures like the warrior series are performed to moody techno tracks like Trentmoller’s ‘Moan’; and flowing, standing sequences are soundtracked with uplifting house anthems of the Paul Kalkbrenner variety. So far, so good.
Then comes the real curveball: 15 minutes of free dance as heavier tech-house drops. But, thanks equally to the progressive build in Matt’s set (“I haven’t heard a set that good since 1998,” said one elated yogi after the class) and the gentle encouragement from Angel, everyone felt comfortable to move freely through the church, introducing themselves to each other and throwing their bodies into serious clubbing moves along the way.
Several banging tracks later and it was time to return to our yoga mats to wind down as Radiohead dropped into the mix. Gentle stretching flowed easily to Savasana, and soon the class had softened to a point of meditation. And then the music stopped.
At two hours long, Future Sound of Yoga is a serious workout that spans flexibility, strength and cardio work. But more than that, it is both relaxing and exhilarating, and a much more wholesome and natural high than the options offered in Sydney’s nightclubs at 3am on Sunday morning.
And you better believe I’m going back for another hit this month. I’ll be on the dark purple yoga mat. Please do say ‘hi’ during the free dance section.