BLACK YO)))GA – Asanas Ritual, Vol. 1

So it has been a bit, eh?  Now that the seasons are getting colder, I'm growing more and more Minnesotan in my Seattle landscape in order to best combat the troubles ahead.  Yesterday I chose not to wear any normal clothing and wore traditional Minnesotan garb of fur pelts from animals and consumed the beating heart of a Seahawks (Seacucks in our household - google cuckolding for details) fan to cheer for the Vikings in their contest of strength and endurance versus the Packers.  Unfortunately, my minutes-long O's were not enough so I drank myself into a depression and walked the landscape for hours until my feet were torn and broken and my face numb from the wretched wind.  I think the face part is mostly due to my lack of beard which is really disrespectful to my brethren in hindsight so my bad.  This doesn't transition at all into what I reviewed so don't say anything.  Don't tell Stan.

 

BLACK YO)))GA is an ensemble of musicians seeking to create a meditative sort of sound that's a good accompaniment to well, yoga.  Their aim is to use darker music - drone, stoner, industrial, doom, ambient, and noise - to create an alternate atmosphere to your traditional yoga studio.  They believe it's more tailored to those who seek the benefits of yoga but also may be battling mental illnesses such as depression, PTSD, alcoholism, anxiety and many other illnesses, that may be best combated through darker music (I hate using 'darker' as I feel it's shallow and pedantic but I have no other idea on how to best describe it).  With the album is a DVD that's an hour long introductory yoga class that incorporates the music (surprise!).

  

In order to prepare for the review of both the album and DVD, I took a week of off from weightlifting and followed the DVD for four days  and then solely the album for the remaining three.  Now my background in yoga isn't too extensive. I maybe have around 50 hours of experience which includes a semester long class I took with my ASMR yogi-prince (shoutout to Dustin).  In summary, not enough yoga to be a moderately good but enough to talk shit and spit game in the studio so I can flex my sick pose flow and my cool meditative pillow that kind-of but not really works as a yoga block (it is black).  I'll be pointing out some things that I thought were issues and some of them may seem tiny but I did this for a week so I 'll be somewhat thorough and critical. So let's go!

 

 

I like the DVD.  It's not perfect, but I like it.  I initially had trouble getting access to the video but after speaking to the members of BLACK YO)))GA, they were kind enough to provide a resource to watch it so props to them for being so helpful.  I think it's a good introductory video for those who are not necessarily very experienced or want to try yoga.  The poses are relatively easy and provide enough challenge, but not enough to deter anyone from trying.  My first experiences with yoga was that fucking P90X yoga back in high school and let me tell you, some of that shit was daunting and I don't expect anyone who is doing P90X especially for the first few weeks or even months to come close to pulling some of those moves.  This is the opposite.  You get some good, basic poses with information from the instructor in how to better perform them, but, it isn't perfect.  If we assume this video is intended to be an introduction to yoga, then these flaws are real.  Some of the video editing didn't show the instructor flowing into another pose (example: Lizard pose) and that can throw off one's meditative state.  If we continue with this assumption, I think better background on chakras or even excluding the discussion of chakras throughout the video altogether would be best.  I don't know enough about chakras nor do I really care about them so I think that time spent would have been better spent in learning more about how to better perform poses or reminding the participants to breathe properly (cause I can't breathe properly - thanks Obama).  Without knowledge of chakras, it feels like wasted time.  This could be considered a small issue but I think it is big enough to discuss.

  

As far as the music goes, great.  Very meditative and zen-inducing.  I was especially a big fan of the first track, "A Wandering Through".  The cello/strings/zenductress really kills it.  If you don't want to use it for yoga, it's still a great stoner/doom/ambient/drone album.  Great for sleeping, the tub, reading, making meat pies and over-easy eggs, lamenting over your Saturday night drinking decisions, Hearthstone, and drawing alchemical symbols on your floor in chalk in order to summon your deceased mom.  No real complaints.  Also, if you get bored of the album, they provided numerous playlists on Mixcloud of similar music that can also be used for anything meditative.  I've checked out a few and many contained artists I never heard of or cared to try out before so I've discovered more music out of it in the end.  Plus this is only Volume 1.  I don't know when the next volume is coming out but I'm excited for it.

 

 

Overall, great alternative to your traditional yoga practice.  If you're not a fan of the music, it's at least worth trying to spice up your at-home practice.  If you're like me and primarily use weight lifting as your form of exercise - let me tell you, yoga is humbling.  I'm a pretty strong guy and considered myself to be in pretty good shape but dawg, every time I do yoga I wish I did it more because it always somehow puts things in a new perspective.  I can squat more than you but I can't balance at all.  I also consider it to be a great rehabilitative exercise for muscular imbalances, correcting posture, and breathing better.  If anything, learning some new stretches when you got a knot or tight spot can helpful.

 

BLACK YO)))GA Official Facebook

Written by Cole Olson

BLACK YO)))GA: Asanas Ritual, Vol. 1
Screaming Crow Records
4.5 / 5