For most people the word "rave" brings to mind a certain kind of music scene, usually fueled by alcohol or drugs. But you don't need substances to have a good time—even in a club environment. Throw yoga, meditation, and kirtan into the mix and you've got Yoga Rave: A party that appeals to youth and exposes them to a whole different kind of scene.
"Yoga Rave sprang from a wish to create a place for celebration where folks can come and enjoy going out but with no need for outside substances aside from their own bliss," said Yoga Rave's national director Elan Gepner. "It's the connection with others and with ourselves that brings us joy."
Yoga Rave is touring U.S. cities through the weekend. It is led by the band So What Project in partnership with non-profit organizations the Art of Living Foundation and the International Association for Human Values.
The events combine music, chanting, dance, meditation, and yoga to give the participants the experience of meditation and community in a healthful way. Each of the elements are mixed in to the event, with impromptu yoga or meditation sessions alongside dancing and chanting.
"A lot of people are still wary about yoga and meditation," said Art of Living Foundation's Mansi Sadana. "This gives it to them in a different form."
So What Project has been leading yoga raves in Latin America since 2001, but this is the first Yoga Rave tour in the United States. Proceeds from the seven-city U.S. tour, which began in New York and finishes in Seattle on April 7, will go toward bringing Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!) to the local youth in the cities.
For more information visit http://yogarave.org/us/.