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Yoga vs. Defqon.1

The Defqon.1 Festival hit Penrith over the weekend and drew a huge crowd to the International Regatta Centre.


The event even made its mark at the yoga studio. Our numbers were slightly swelled by visitors from the Netherlands involved with running the festival. And I taught the Saturday morning beginners’ class to a backdrop of ‘hardstyle’ music booming from the Red Cow, as devotees waited for the main event at the Regatta Centre to get going.


It won’t surprise anyone who knows me that I really have no idea what ‘hardstyle’ music is. I hadn’t even heard of it until I read a wiki entry on Defqon.1.


But I could hazard a guess as to some of the characteristics of people who are into ‘hardstyle’ music. Based on the long line of people waiting to enter the Red Cow, as I left the yoga studio on Saturday morning.


Certainly the look seemed to be important (the hair, the body, the clothes). There was a heightened sense of excitement and anticipation. And they were clearly very drawn by the sounds and the noise and the movement.


The contrast to the class I’d just been teaching couldn’t have been more stark, in a way. In that the class ended in silence, and with stillness. With a pose that can help us to ‘let go’ of our physical bodies (Savasana - ‘corpse pose’).


Yet yoga can also leave us with a heightened sense of excitement and joyful anticipation about the possibilities of life. And that’s particularly so in those silent, still moments at the end of class, when we roll over to the side after Savasana. At that time, and perhaps more than any other, we may feel a profound sense of relaxation, physical wellness, mental quietness and inner peace.


It’s not the high of a music festival, I’m sure. But it does have the power to draw us back to our yoga mat day after day and year after year. And to help us develop a sense of distance from, and equanimity around, the highs and lows of life.


And perhaps most importantly, to give us a sense of what truly links us to each other. Which is not a ‘look’ or an ‘event’, but what we find we all share on the inside.

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