yrl_highres_logo_optFor many of us, we grew up dancing from a very young age. As kids we turned up the music and started moving around in any which way to the rhythms we heard. As we got older the jams continued with Solid Gold in the 80s, the fly girls on In Living Color in the 90s, and later MTV’s Amp to catch the best electronica. A lot of us took our grooves from the living room to the underground clubs and stadiums to feel connected to the musical beats.

With each musical journey, the rhythms connected us further to something much larger than ourselves. Through dancing, we felt free, vibrant, and embraced. While we enjoyed the sights and sounds that took over us in the night clubs in our teens and 20s, at some point there was also a need for an environment that didn’t call for staying up until 3 a.m. (and beyond).

I know for me, it was having a baby that wanted to wake up at 6 a.m. with no concern for how late I was out. But it was more than just being tired. It was leaving with your clothes filled with club funk (a special blend of smoke, alcohol and who knows what from the dance floor). It was a DJ that didn’t even start until after midnight. While I still loved music, after my late 20s, the sparkle of the night started to dim.

Lucky for me, I found my replacement for movement with yoga. This was the true sparkle. I felt bright and alive again, more myself than ever. Not only did my body feel clear from the rhythms of moving, but my mind felt clearer than it ever had. No longer did I have to compromise to have a good time.

And now, music and dance can be added to the yoga experience. Violà — we knew from the instant that we stepped onto the yoga mat that musicians and yogis were made to be together. Both practices lead to a vibrant expansion of the mind, body and soul. Music deepens the awareness of one’s yogic flow and roots the asanas on an elevated plane.

More and more research is accumulating that shows music is actually good for your heart too. According to Health magazine, a 2011 Japanese study showed that listening to music may even lower your blood pressure by up to five points. Michael Miller, M.D., director of preventive cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore says, “I think there’s definitely a physiological effect going on, some sort of mind-heart connection.”

There is a mind-body link that yoga studios and yoga festivals around the country are seeing. We see our students opening up even more to their creative potential when these two are linked.

Yoga Rhythm Lounge was created from this blend of the music and yogic world. Every rhythm is hand picked to awaken, then stimulate, and balance your being. Drums, DJs, kirtan, strings and wind instruments paired with some of Tampa Bay’s finest yoga teachers take each person on a path to cultivate an inner fire and focus.

You don’t need to be the next dancer extraordinaire to join us. All you need is to love music, enjoy the journey that yoga takes you on, and be ready to join in this ecstatic experience we call Yoga Rhythm Lounge.

Sarah Lesch and Krystina Steffen are the creators behind Yoga Rhythm Lounge. For info on their upcoming Oct. 12 event and more, visit www.yogarhythmlounge.com and tickets can be purchased at Bella Prana during business hours too. Bella Prana is a yoga studio in Tampa, Florida that specializes in Flow Yoga, Hot Yoga, Power Yoga, Yin Yoga, Ashtanga, Meditation and private instruction.