"Imagine that all your stresses from the day are just floating away..." says Keely Angel, our yoga instructor (alongside her husband, Aaron Angel). We're instructed to close our eyes and breathe deeply. I'm sitting upright on my borrowed Lululemon mat, with my spine held straight as though a string were pulling it up through the rafters. From the stage, Tasha Blank spins a mix of ambient and lounge tunes that fit the flow of the evening. Serene, relaxing scenery surrounds us from the Control Room's three video walls, in case we do want to open our eyes at some point. Some twenty-odd music fiends are in the same position as I am, scattered across the club's cushioned, reclaimed wood floor. This is Willkommen – Verboten's exclusive Deep House Yoga class.
This week, Verboten celebrated a blissful one-year anniversary that brought the likes of Maya Jane Coles, Luciano, and Damian Lazarus back to Williamsburg. Monday saw yogis Aaron and Keely Angel leading vinyasa flow to a diverse crowd, whose levels ranged from novice (like myself) to advanced.
Alongside the soothing atmosphere, there's something calming about knowing that the two-dozen people around you have an adoration not only for their physical well-being, but also for the deeper side of electronic music. We love Verboten, and just because the weekend is over doesn't mean that we have to leave this techno gem behind. This place, with its ever-spinning discoball and special curation of artists each week, is our weekend home from midnight to the crack of dawn. Even though it was a Monday evening, we could still feel the high spirits drifting in the air.
Tasha Blank threw Justin Martin's "Don't Go" into her mix as I nearly gave into my weakness during a hefty warrior pose. I'm no yogi; in fact, prior to Monday's class, I'd only attended a yoga class three times. The last one was four years ago. But the Angels opened the class members' eyes – and our joints – in a unique way. Every Willkommen session features a different instructor from the last, each one bringing his or her own methods to the Williamsburg club; the Angels' session focused largely on balance.
A handful of the group were regular yoga practitioners, something that was clear in their pose precision. It was Jayme Videa's first time here, and she's enthusiastic about returning. "It was fun to kind of bounce around to the beat in between poses," she says. Indeed, at the beginning of the session, Keely asked us to let our bodies move freely while in prayer pose or downward dog.
My only regret is that I didn't attend Willkommen on Tuesday night. Says Jayme, "The class we took on Tuesday – he had us bounce around the whole floor to the music, waving our hands around and smiling." How's that for a multi-sensory experience?
Head over to VerbotenNewYork.com to snag your $20 tickets to the next Willkommen Deep House Yoga session. Different instructors teach during each time slot, which are 7:00pm and 8:30pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. Behind the decks, you'll find either Tasha Blank or George Faya, who is also the club's manager (and occasionally there are special guests). Lululemon mats are provided complimentary with your ticket.