Heavy-Metal Yoga Is a Thing
But of course, the truly unique feature of the class was the soundtrack, which is a pleasant relief from some of the more bullshitty aspects of yoga.
Yoga asks you to embrace peace and serenity, not just for 90 minutes but as a pervading, self-cultivated outlook, a message bolstered by chanting-and-nature-sounds playlists. I always valued yoga as a low-impact workout that made me feel really, really good -- a perfect mix of self-massage and endorphin release -- but I'm too cynical for the more meditative part of it. Whenever the stick-figure woman at the front of the class launches into a Maharishi routine, I find myself tuning out and glancing at the perfect apricot-shaped asses around me. At best, yoga offers me a break from my life as an impoverished millennial with an unstable freelance career and intimacy issues, not a solution to it.
Peace and serenity are not what doom metal, the central genre of Scott's playlists, are about. Bands like Earth and Sunn O))) relay the opposite: a feeling of strife, anxiety and occasionally imminent death. I listened to their hissing static and lumbering guitar as I moved through poses, and I felt like I wasn't being asked to part with my stress and angst. The sound of trepidation was right there on the stereo -- but it was small, manageable and came in a predictable rhythm, and I was still able to work toward something as I experienced it.
Maybe for cynics and hard-asses attracted to metal, that's a more honest and appealing message than that of birds and waterfalls.
A Black Yoga Playlist:
New Risen Throne - "Orbiting Gates"
Sunn O))) - "Orakulum"
Genocide Organ - "Their Mighty Slaughter"
Wolves in the Throne Room - "Dia Artio"
Mustard Gas and Roses - "IV"
Ulver - "Theme 03"
Earth - "Raiford (The Felon Wind)"
Bunk Data - "Angelus Rector"
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