A few days ago I went to Verboten, a relatively new club in Williamsburg, for a session of deep house yoga.
What is deep house yoga, you ask? Yoga. While they play deep house. Obviously.
Not sure what deep house is? Here’s an example (current #1 on Beatport’s “Deep House Essentials” playlist).
Even though I’m not the biggest fan of deep house (understatement), I was intrigued by the concept and I’ve been meaning to check out Verboten ever since it opened a year ago. So what better way to check out “New York’s hottest club” than by getting my zen on inside its walls?
I walked in to Verboten, set up my yoga mat, and looked around to check out the space. It’s a relatively small club with a cool and intimate vibe. There’s an elevated platform around the walls of the dancing area – presumably for VIPs, normally – where our instructor and the DJ were stationed for class. A large disco ball hangs from the ceiling and there’s plenty of dim, ambient lighting.
If you don’t think that’s already the perfect setting for a yoga class, there are also giant screens spanning 3 walls that projected peaceful nature scenes throughout the entire class.
When the class began, I was pretty pleased to see/hear that the music was not, in fact, deep house. It was more of a downtempo feel and appropriate for some slow yoga movements. But unluckily for me, when the class picked up, so did the music, and it got more into the class’s namesake. The DJ was amazing and really following along with the flow of the yoga, and I actually enjoyed myself and the way the music complimented the practice. So much so that I’m almost (alllllmost) considering giving a real shot at learning more about deep house and trying to appreciate it.
Towards the end of the class, the instructor urged us to begin moving freely. He started small, asking us to swing our arms. Then we added legs. Then he asked us to all walk forward so we were closer together and more in the center of the dance space. Slowly but surely he told us to let go, and it evolved into a crazy deep house dance party, one that probably isn’t so far from what normally happens at Verboten at night, only it was a group of sweaty men and women in their workout gear. I loved it.
When the class ended, I went into the “locker room” (the single stall bathrooms that Verboten’s usual party-goers use), changed my clothes, and headed out into the rain, both relaxed and energized. I thought I would only go to deep house yoga once for the experience, but I’d absolutely take another class (anyone want to join?). And I definitely want to go dancing at Verboten sometime soon.