Punk Rock Yoga
Oct. 3, 6 p.m., $10. The Space, 295 Treadwell St., Building H, Hamden, (203) 288-6400, thespacect.com.
As humans with the ability to have opinions and preferences, we’re able to combine things we love into something we love even more, even if the pairing borders on the unconventional: chocolate and peanut butter, salt and butter, Oreos and jalapeno mustard (yes, this is delicious), to name a few of my favorites. This week at The Space, some like-minded individuals have banded together to meld two of their favorite things – punk rock and yoga – into one fine evening.
Instructor TJ Mokkosian, a personal trainer and yoga teacher in New Hampshire, is coming down to Connecticut to kick off what is hoped to become a series of sorts. The first ever Punk Rock Yoga at The Space will feature Vinyasa Flow yoga, Mokkosian’s specialty, set to a collaborative playlist created just for the event. Mokkosian and The Space’s booking dude Chris Merrow put their heads together to come up with a list of tunes. “It’s gonna be interesting to put a playlist together that not only I like, but will serve the experience,” Mokkosian says. “It’s gonna be ‘How can I sooth and relax while at the same time giving that same punk rock mentality?’” he says.”Chris told me he was going to just make one, and I was like ‘No way!’”
Now, let’s be honest. Punk rock isn’t the first music genre that comes to mind when thinking about how to aurally accompany your yoga session. New age and beach sounds are my personal first thoughts. You know, those CDs they sell out of a kiosk that plays little snippets of each album. That kinda stuff. It’s even strange to think about yoga enthusiasts being so into something so typically un-serene. “People often will be like ‘How can you like punk rock and then also be so into yoga, they’re so polar opposites?’ But I honestly thing that if I hadn’t listened to punk at such a young age, I wouldn’t have had the courage to go against the grain and enter a yoga studio,” Mokkosian says. Mokkosian found his way to yoga after getting into Buddhist meditation. He found that moving while meditating would be more effective for him, and that’s pretty much what yoga is. “Within a week of practicing [yoga], I knew I was gonna be a teacher,” he says.
The yoga uninitiated are totally welcome to Punk Rock Yoga, as Mokkosian will be instructing with beginners in mind, and will offer pose modifications for anyone who needs it. “The poses might get vigorous and people might sweat. There’s not gonna be legs behind heads or anything,” he says. Vinyasa Flow yoga is “basically linking up breath to movement,” says Mokkosian. It’s almost like dancing, in a way, which is definitely something that has occurred in front of the stage at The Space.
If you’re planning on attending, but do not have a full wardrobe of “yoga appropriate” attire, don’t worry. “Clothes and yoga have never been something that clicked in my brain, and I still get made fun of for wearing a basketball jersey and mesh shorts,” Mokkosian says. Guys can get away with that kind of thing, though. And the market for specialty yoga clothes seems to be aimed squarely at women anyway. So don’t go out and buy a super expensive pair of yoga pants if you don’t really want to. “I wouldn’t wear, like, skinny jeans or anything,” Mokkosian says. “Wear something active. But if you wanna put on your spike leather jacket, go for it.”