Youth turn to Yoga Rave parties (non-alcoholic, non-tobacco) to have fun without having to wake up with a hangover
“We had a biker gang of four couples cruising in for the Yoga Rave Party in their Harley Davidsons. The leather jacket and metal chain clad bikers were so accustomed to the ‘traditional’ way of partying that they couldn’t believe you could party without alcohol or dope. We said, ‘Just do what we say’ and after participating, they said that they had never had so much fun!” shares Swami Paramtej, an Art of Living teacher, about his experience of co-organizing a Yoga Rave Party in Argentina.
The Yoga Rave is a non-alcoholic, non-tobacco party where attendees get to experience yoga and meditation followed by bhajans (devotional songs) which are accompanied by electronic music. “The youth want to have fun. So they go for parties and drink in order to forcibly shut their minds and just dance. Here, we use ancient sounds and chanting. Sound is energy and every cell of our body has the capacity to take in this energy. Instead of alcohol or drugs, we meditate to silence our mind.Its lots of fun without having a hangover the next day,” continues Swami Paramtej about the Yoga Rave.
“We had a biker gang of four couples cruising in for the
Yoga Rave Party in their Harley Davidsons. They couldn’t
believe that you could party without alcohol or dope.
We said, ‘just do what we say’ and after
participating they said that they had never had so much fun!”
A blend of music, meditation & yoga
The setting of the party is similar to any other party, with disco lights and a dancing crowd. Yet in this four-hour long party one can also see the people performing yoga, meditating and swaying to the bhajans (devotional songs). The toxic high of alcohol and tobacco are replaced by a special bar which provides energizing drinks (devoid of alcohol) and gourmet vegetarian dishes.Instead of coming back home drained of all energy, a Yoga Rave gives you the much-needed fun and energy.
“The combination of music, meditation and yoga is very powerful. I went home feeling completely energized and with a genuine smile on my face. You only have to dare to do something different,” beamed an attendee of one of the Yoga Rave parties.
Members of the ‘So What Project!’ band, Nicolás Pucci and Rodrigo Bustus, have the party-goers on their toes and gyrating with their music. Though they play a wide variety of music, the hallmark character of their music is the blend of vibrations from thousands-year-old Sanskrit mantras with electronic music. “Our music, bereft of jarring sounds and heavy beats, aims to inspire and elevate the audience,” exclaim the musicians. The duo has released two music albums – Smile in 2009 and the So What Project in 2011.
How the idea emerged
The concept of such a party emerged when a group of volunteers from The Art of Living decided to create a new setting where one could have a clean and fun party without drugs and alcohol.
“Everything began in Argentina four years ago with the belief that it was possible to have a different kind of fun,” smiles Sabrina, volunteer of The Art of living and one of the organizers of the party. “Initially it took place in private homes but due to the overwhelming success and popularity, it became necessary to think of bigger venues. After filling a nightclub, we saw the need to get organized and professionalize the structure of the party. From that point onwards, the number of people attending the Yoga Rave has been increasing from a few hundreds to thousands.”
With over 20houseful parties in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay,Chile and Poland (where it is calledPure Party), the Yoga Rave has become quite popular amongst the youth. Owing to the phenomenal success, a few of them have also been telecast live on the internet for worldwide viewing.
“Yoga Rave is love overflowing! The first time I went to one, I wasn't emotionally well and as soon as I entered everything changed inside me,” expressed an ecstatic Silvana Bisio, a 31-year old from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Recently 50,000 people cheered to the So What?! Beats at the World Culture Festival (WCF) in Berlin. The WCF celebrated the 30 year anniversary of The Art of Living with a galaxy of performances from all over the world.
“When the Yoga Rave started, everybody in the stadium stood up and many even ran to the grounds. Imagine 50,000 people swaying and singing. The collective energy in the Olympic stadium was so high! It was an amazing experience,” gushed Sylaja Kannan, writer from Bangalore.
Service to society
Apart from providing youngsters with an alternate way to have fun, the funds from Yoga Rave go towards local Art of Living service projects. ‘Breathe Together’, a program that allows children from every public school in the country to learn stress-reducing breathing techniques and ‘Breathe Planet’, a tree planting campaign in Argentina, have benefited from the funding.