Our dear friend and Oregon-based yoga teacher, Chris Calarco knows a thing or two about groovin.’
Chris recently launched his ‘Yoga Groove’ classes and workshops to bring together his 2 great loves – yoga and music.
What exactly is Yoga Groove?
“I’ll play your favorite song, Darling. We can rock it all night long, Darling. Cause I’ve got love, Darling, Love sweet Love, Darling / Open up your heart. Open your heart. Let love come running in” – Bob Marley
The initial inspiration for Yoga Groove can be traced directly back to August 14th, 1997 when music changed my life forever. During the adventure of a first set at Phish’s concert in Darien Lake, NY, the band softly landed into the improvisational section of their heralded classic song, “Harry Hood.” For the past several years my life I had been stagnated in emotional knots over an old girlfriend. I was struggling to make sense of moving on with my young adulthood but at that moment I felt a surging release through my body. I have been transfixed with music’s ability to deeply move ourselves and change our lives ever since.
While yoga’s profound effect has occurred more gradually, the practice has produced similar results. As the years of living accumulate we close off to the inherent grace and gift of life. We protect our hurt to survive the emotional tricks our head will play and do whatever it takes to maintain safety and security. While these decisions may serve particular functions for a time, this guarded state prevents us from cherishing life’s fundamental promising nature.
Dedication to the practices of music and/or yoga demand you heed Bob’s call quoted above – “Open up your heart/ Let love come running in.” By starting Yoga Groove I have chosen to carefully and intentionally combine music and yoga because I deeply love both and want to share this love with others. I am personally devoted to both of these practices and relish them every day with gratitude and respect. Yoga Groove comes not only from years of musical exploration, inspired collecting, experimental playing and live concert living but also from a profound longing to connect with something higher. Yoga Groove comes from physical and emotional experiences on my mat that began to amazingly mirror the exhilaration of both subtle and grand musical moments. It comes from the desire to intimately know our divine nature and acknowledge hatha yoga and devotion to music as symbiotic practices that radically shift our body, mind and heart.
If shivers have ever shook your spine watching Michael Jackson dance, if the Motown bass lines of James Jamerson have emboldened you to dance at Cousin Ralph’s wedding, if singing call and response Kirtan has broken through the hardened heart, Yoga Groove is yours. We surrender to curated music when we practice asana to further surrender into our true self. We practice with music’s vibrant support to feel more deeply, to dance more wildly, to smile more broadly, and to ultimately shine more brightly. Yoga Groove makes explicit what you already feel inside. Yoga and music are true companions on this joyful ride. We hope you come along.
About Yoga Groove
Groove Yoga is: Aligned vinyasa practice combining iconic musicians and yoga to deepen your relationship to the universal pulsation of spanda. Discover how yoga and music are two paths up the same mountain.
When we practice asana with the support of inspiring music we can expand and transform our body and mind by connecting with spirit. Yoga Groove is practiced in three different ways.
Iconic Artists: We explore the influence of major artists who have impacted generations and cultures. Each class is themed to connect the music to yoga philosophy and seeks to deepen student’s understanding of how music and yoga are parallel processes moving us closer to the one divine heart that connects us. Current artists offered : Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Madonna, Pink Floyd, The Beatles
Genre Specific: We dive deeply into the catalog of a specific genre of music, exploring how the themes embedded in the sounds, lyrics, and culture connect to yoga. Current offering: Soul/Motown
Remix: This class features a broad range of artists and genres using specific songs that connect in theme, mood, style, and/or cultural influence. These songs are tied to the specific hatha yoga practice on that day. Artists may be well known, burgeoning, or unheralded. You may hear anything frompsychedelic electronica to indie rock, folk, classic rock, 80s pop, and anything in between.