Cello + Yoga = Love

 Yoga is invigoration in relaxation. Freedom in routine. Confidence through self control. Energy within and energy without. ~Ymber Delecto

This Friday I was lucky enough to get into a special event at Portland’s Yoga Shala studio, a yoga class with live electric cello and a concert after.

Nathan Mills, a local instructor taught the class, using his unique “Bushido” yoga style. He’s drawn on his own experiences with different sorts of movement, including a lot of martial arts and Tai Chi, to create a new style of yoga. I first encountered Nathan’s class at the Yoga Shala, but have since followed his classes around to other studios in Portland. They are always an energetic mix of movements, a flow and some energy focusing and a whole lot of challenge.

Just finishing up a long tour around the States, Nathan’s cellist friend Michael made the Yoga Shala his very last stop before heading home to LA. The cello happens to be my favourite instrument, it’s calming and powerful and has a deep, rich sound that I love.  Michael’s electric looping technique created the greatest soundtrack for the class, and was impressively all improv. He uses technology to record sections of his music as he plays, then repeats them in a loop as background accompaniment while he continues to play. With up to three looped tracks backing his live playing, the effect can be really powerful. From one simple melody, each piece would expand upon itself until the cello harmonies filled up the space, motivating our movement. (You can check out some samples of Michael’s music @ Solo Electric Cello)

The concert afterword, with the yogis and some outside guests comfortably lounging around the studio, was a great treat.

I even ran into one of my fellow teachers in training there, Keph, who is also a break dancer/hand balancer. You really just have to watch his youtube video to understand exactly what that means.

Speaking of fellow trainers and amazing yoga experiences, my “ohmie” from CorePower training is currently enjoying a weekend up at Lake Tahoe for the annual Wanderlust Festival. That’s three full days of yoga and music, hiking and enjoying the fresh Tahoe air. Bee, a Portlander by way of London, is an amazing stylist and yogi, and blogs her happenings with a dedication that I aspire to at beeyondyoga.com, where you can check out her Wanderlust adventures.

Overall I had a wonderfully “blissed out” yoga night of my own. Yoga, live cello, good friends, a beautiful and a beautiful day (the sun has finally emerged here in the Pacific NW) =  

A teacher training note: 7 weeks down, 1 to go! I can’t believe that my 200 hour certification is almost done already

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