DRILLINGER DOES is a weekly column that chronicles the exploits of urban daredevil Meagan Drillinger throughout the five boroughs. Every Monday is another adventure — from whiskey tours and no-pants subway rides to sex club date nights.
“School night” means nothing in NYC when it comes to all-night clubbing. Mainstream and underground clubs alike usually have DJs spinning most nights, and it’s just as easy to stay out until dawn on a weekday as it is on a Friday or Saturday (except the hangover guilt is slightly worse). But last Monday I wasn’t going to Williamsburg’s Verboten for an all-night rager; I was going for a little Deep House and Downward Facing Dog.
Listen, let’s clear something up right now: I like electronic music. That’s a hard fact for a lot of New Yorkers to stomach. But I firmly believe it’s yet another example of people fearing what they don’t understand. We’ll call it “musicism.” Yes, a lot of electronic music is horrible, just like a lot of rock is horrible a lot of pop is horrible (Creed… Nickelback…Pussycat Dolls). But electronic music is more than David Guetta featuring Usher, or that loud noise you hear emanating from the West Side Highway at 3 a.m. on the weekends. There are actually fantastic DJs that play with the deep varieties and intricacies that make up the genre (and sub-genres), and if it’s done properly, what you have are super complex collaborations that emerge as beautiful works of art. There is also a broad spectrum of electronic music, so it isn’t always the “untz untz untz untz” that makes you want to drive a spoon into your eye. Deep House uses complex melodies with threads of soul music and ambient vibes. It doesn’t reach a climax, but maintains a soothing, comfortable consistency, which is why it’s actually pretty perfect for yoga.
Verboten has been throwing underground parties in NYC for about a decade, but only recently opened up permanent shop in a 10,000-square-foot former metal shop in Williamsburg (of course. #brooklyn). Along with neighboring club Output, the two are hotspots for undergrounders who don’t want to rock stilettos or the same ubiquitous black button-down shirt — people who actually appreciate music and are there to dance. Verboten has started hosting Deep House Yoga nights on Mondays and Tuesdays, bringing in guest yoga instructors and DJs to lead music and yoga enthusiasts alike in hourlong sessions on their main dance floor, disco ball and lighting scheme included (this is the club, after all).
With the $20 ticket comes complimentary use of a Lululemon yoga mat, and I spread mine out on the dance floor as the DJ started up her set. The lights dimmed as the disco ball twirled a kaleidoscope of pinks, greens, and blues overhead, bathing us in color and sound. As if this wasn’t extremely chill enough, on the walls around us were projected images of nature: oceans, forests, snowscapes. Guest yogis Keely and Aaron Angel, who typically teach out of a studio in Prospect Heights, were our hosts for the evening.
From there it’s pretty much a regular yoga class. If you fear yoga instructors waving glow sticks and spraying glow-in-the-dark paint, rest assured this is not that type of experience. There is no foam, no lasers, no pounding music, and no one spraying Champagne on you because frankly, this is not that type of club, and Deep House is not that type of music. (And you probably fear electronic music because this is all you know of it. I get it. You’re a “musicist.”)
What you can expect is a meditative Vinyasa flow that’s great for all yoga levels. The ambient sounds pull you into a deep, almost hypnotic state, punctuated by undeniable urges to bounce to the pulsating, subdued beat. And you should give into those urges. Holding a ridiculously painful pose is less terrible if you can bob your head back and forth or sway your shoulders around in the process.
Plus, Deep House is a great introduction to the wide world of house music, so at the very least, you can now officially say you’ve hit the underground music scene at Verboten. No one has to know you were probably at home in bed by 10 p.m.
I certainly won’t tell.
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