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Evolve Yoga & Wellness on Pearl Street (Weekender)

Erin Kuehl, owner of Evolve Yoga & Wellness, will lead a yoga class accompanied by a DJ 7 p.m. Thursday (May 3) inside the studio at 411 Pearl St. 

Ally Karsyn, The Weekender

Yoga instructors and DJs might have more in common with each other than you think.

For instance, both are in charge of controlling and working off the vibes of their respective audiences in hopes that they work up a sweat and leave the experience feeling rejuvenated. So it only makes sense that Evolve Yoga and Wellness Center would combine the two for a unique yoga session. Add in an after-session wine tasting and you got yourself one heck of a yoga class.

The Portland-based producer and DJ Ian Hyman – who goes by the moniker DJ Hyfi – will be making his way to the Pearl Street studio to help enhance the high vibes and flow of the yoga class called DJ Hyfi Vino & Vinyasa, led by Erin Kuehl.

While she’s busy instructing poses on the mat, DJ Hyfi will lay down a barrage of ambient electronic music and illuminate the space with colorful lights.

“He does the rounds across the United States,” Kuehl said of the DJ who regularly fuses yoga and electronic music. “He travels and goes to yoga studios and he’ll offer these classes. He taps into whoever is the teacher at the studio...so he understands how the class ebbs and flows.”

Classes like this start off really chill, she added, but once he warms up to the space and the instructor and guests, DJ Hyfi unleashes “high vibing sequences” and picks up the pace. In many ways, Kuehl said, the DJ is playing to her teaching. When the session has concluded, visitors can visit Evolve’s upstairs space for a celebratory glass of wine.

Indeed, this is not your standard yoga class.

“I think that’s the beauty of yoga in the West,” said Keuhl. “We can take it and it can be our practice and it can fit into our lives however we want it to. A lot of people look at yoga as maybe this spiritual practice – and I believe it is for a lot of people – but you can also incorporate that element of fun.”

In addition to strengthening the yoga community, Kuehl said these out-of-the-norm specialty classes help challenge her as an instructor.

“But it’s also exciting,” she said. “You get to mix your loves. You don’t ever know what you’re going to get when you come in. The flow changes, the teachers are different. There’s that element of surprise and excitement. It’s not the same old hum-drum workout routine. This just adds another layer to that and makes it more fun.”

Kuehl said there’s still room to find that spiritual connection in a yoga class that has electronic music as a backdrop.

“No matter where we are, we create this sacred container,” she said. “Every time you come to your mat, healing occurs. We’re sacred beings. If we could create sacred containers for everything we do, we would operate much more effectively in this world.

“When you start to bring celebration into these things, the universe aligns. The universe just opens up and responds when you celebrate. And we don’t really celebrate. We should be celebrating every single day. So you can bring that level of celebration into a yoga practice anywhere at any time.”

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Weekender reporter

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