Ever relax into child pose during yoga and think, gee, this studio could sure use a string section? You can now find just that thanks to American Pops Orchestra founder Luke Frazier, who has teamed up with yoga teacher Michael Peterson for a “Music and Mindfulness” series held at Dupont Underground. Frazier will helm the piano while conducting a chamber ensemble of four cellists and a percussionist while Peterson (a 500-hour Kripalu-trained yoga instructor) leads 75 minutes of vinyasa flow.
Frazier, who has been practicing yoga under Peterson’s instruction for the last year-and-a-half, says he was inspired to start Music and Mindfulness after attending other classes with music that he found distracting. “I thought, ‘What if we create an original score that is designed for the practice so it really is a more holistic experience?’” he says. “I’m always trying to heighten experiences.” He began Music and Mindfulness last year really as an experiment. “We got such an overwhelmingly positive amount of feedback that we decided, hey let’s expand this. Let’s think bigger and think differently.”
The series starts Sunday, October 21 and is the first of three sessions for the 2018-2019 season. Each will feature a different genre of American music and combination of instruments. For Sunday’s session, Frazier prepared an original score that features nods to “truly iconic” Broadway music, but “never in a way that’s going to be distracting or sound like you’re seeing a Broadway show while you’re doing yoga,” he says. He chose to feature the cello in this session because he considers it to be the instrument that sounds closest to the human voice. “It’s such a warm sound and a warm instrument, so I thought it would be quite beautiful,” he says. Other sessions will take place in April and June and feature American folk songs and music from singer-songwriters.
With events like these, Frazier hopes to not only bring people together, but to help people see orchestras in a different way, a goal that mirrors the overall mission of the American Pops Orchestra. “An orchestra can be right where you are, whether that’s in a concert hall or on your yoga mat,” he says. “This music is for all of us and we want to share it openly and inexpensively.”
Music and Mindfulness will be held October 21 at 6 PM, April 13, 2019 at 6 PM, and June 8, 2019 at 6 PM. Refreshments, including water, juice, tea, and snacks will be available for purchase after each session. Bring your own mat and towel, and dress in layers to stay warm during the relaxation portion. Dupont Underground is located at 19 Dupont Cir., NW. Tickets are $25 and available here.