Not Your Typical Rave

Forget everything you think you know about raves—unless you
think of them as a conscious gathering of like-minded folks striving for
enlightenment. The new raves are drug, alcohol, and smoke-free yoga-oriented
dance parties, and they are gaining popularity as an alternative to traditional

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The concept has been subtly invading the yoga scene for a
few years, from Shiva Rea’s Yoga Trance Dance, to Friday night black light flow
classes. For those who feel a common thread between the mental, physical, and
spiritual effects of a good yoga class and dancing or singing, these events can
be a great way to enjoy a night of healthy socializing.

This idea is what inspired Argentinians Rodo Bustos and Nico
Pucci, of the So What Project! to start throwing yoga rave house parties five
years ago. They “realized
that so many people want a different place, want a different orientation to have
.” Their parties quickly outgrew houses and had to make the move to
larger venues. As volunteers for the Art
of Living Foundation
, they realized they had found a way to promote peaceful
community gatherings while giving back to the community, and the non-profit Yoga Rave was born. They now organize yoga
raves in eight countries with the vision of creating “a movement that will
support all people to come together in deeper connection and celebration,
without the fallout.” Proceeds from Yoga Rave events support stress reduction
for youth and prisoners.

While they may have the rights to the domain name, the Yoga
Rave organization is far from being the only group throwing yoga raves. Natural
Highs, a teen-led group in Boulder, Colorado recently threw a yoga rave led by
yoga wiggle-worm David Sye. The groups founder, Avani Dilger, feels these events reflect the true origins of
the rave movement, a movement she says started with the intention of creating
community celebrations where altered states of consciousness were reached
through movement, dance, and music rather than with drugs. She thinks yoga
raves may not only help redefine public perception of what a rave is, they may
also introduce more people to yogic practices. She points out “people who do yoga
know that they feel ecstatic at the end, but a lot of people who do drugs don’t
know that yoga does that…we’re teaching people that you don’t need drugs and
alcohol to feel extraordinary states

There are currently so many events merging live music,
dancing, yoga, and mantra in varying combinations, that there really is no one
formula for a yoga rave, and many of these events don’t actually use the word
“rave.” Often
individual studios and teachers find their own unique way of naming their event
the one thing they have in common with each other and the raves of the
nineties—glow sticks are required. 

Do you know of or have you been to any yoga raves in your

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