If you practise yoga in London you have probably come across Marcus Veda and his amazing Ashtanga-inspired Rocket Yoga classes. Marcus is one of my all time favourite teachers so I’m especially happy to have chatted to him a bit about yoga and music. Being a former DJ, Marcus made the transition to become a yoga teacher after training in Tokyo, London, NYC and Goa.
What are the learnings you have taken from being a DJ to the mat?
Being a good DJ and being a good yoga teacher are actually closely aligned in some ways, as both take the audience/students on a journey. It’s supposed to be a flow. You need to be able to carry the vibe and the energy throughout the class; the breath should always be connected to the movement. A good DJ wouldn’t let the music take an awkward or abrupt turn and in the same way a good (vinyasa) yoga teacher should make sure all movements and transitions flow together smoothly without ever breaking the breath.
Yes! It’s definitely important. I produce various bits of music especially and mix them into a DnB/downtronica/deep house set at home to use in my classes. I don’t have that much time anymore to search high and low for new music but thankfully I have a lot of DJ/producers friends who send me stuff. You can listen to some of my sets here
Do you have a favourite music yoga memory?
Actually no. All my great music memories are from actual music venues. I don’t think most yoga teachers are necessarily concerned with creating seamless playlists for classes, but then I don’t suppose it’s as important to them and there’s no reason it should be- they aren’t DJs! I often hear too many vocals or cliched trip hop beats with some faux eastern sample on top which is not the way I like to go. Being a DJ of course I have a lot of great memories from music in general and that same euphoric feeling that you can get from a gig or concert is what I’d like to bring into my classes. The best club experiences and the best yoga classes are the ones when you get lost in the moment, when you don’t think about what you are doing. Meditation should be effortless like dancing at its most unselfconscious.
My advice is to stay in yoga and not get caught up in everything else around it, including all the politics. The teacher training is actually the easy part. What’s hard is coming back to a place like London and establishing yourself as a teacher when there are so many people fighting for the same jobs and so many more with an opinion on what yoga “is.” I’m resistant to the idea or attitude that ‘my yoga is the right yoga’. Make sure your yoga is the right yoga for you and step back from judging what anyone else chooses as theirs. Svadhyaya.
Connect with Marcus on his Facebook page for updates on classes, workshops etc.