At the apex of a parking structure, adorned in a jungle of flora, Angelenos bedecked in the finest workout attire unfurled their yoga mats. Though the concrete was unforgiving beneath the thin layer of rubber, people sat and chitter-chattered as the unmistakable sounds of deep house music pulsed quietly in the background.
“Practicing yoga and listening to deep house music was my go-to healing modality,” says Chicago based DJ and deep house yoga purveyor Alissa Jo. “Who am I to not share these two with the world? Even if other people are doing something similar, I have my own version to express.”
As everyone settled onto their mats, we were all given a pair of shiny, futuristic headphones that glowed a shade of blue as deep as the house that emanated from them. Already familiar with the silent disco trend, it came as no surprise when Alissa gracefully slathered my eardrums in beats silkier than Clark Gable’s bed sheets. What did come as a surprise, however — even though I should have been expecting it — was hearing the voice of our cyan-haired instructor, reverberating directly into my brain. Accustomed to standard yoga practices, hearing her voice transplanted straight into my ears felt very intimate, yet somehow isolating. Though I was connected to the music and instruction, I felt disconnected from those around me. (I think the experience could have been just as immersive without the headphones and the inordinate amount of ear sweat they generated).
Sweaty headphones aside, Alissa organized an event that attracted a flavorful assortment of people—there were Lululemon-donning yoga junkies, psychedelic festival-goers, still-dusty Burning Man devotees, heavily tattooed rockers wearing all black, fitness gurus, weirdos, beardos, urbanites, nature lovers, break-dancers turned yoga masters, the “I’ve been doing yoga since the sixties” OGs and the noobs who showed up with their fresh mats still wrapped in cardboard. Apparently if you combine yoga and deep house music, representatives from all of L.A.’s hippest and freakiest corners will congregate to celebrate the union.