Raising the heat in a Winter Wonderland – Yoga Raving in western New York

When most people think of Rochester, NY, the first thoughts that come to their minds are not likely to be “cosmic,” “vibrant,” or “spirited.” – But they did not see what was happening last night at the Harro East Ballroom in Rochester’s downtown city center.

For three hours last night this city I call home, which is so often dreary and ever- grumpy during the mid-winter months, lit up with incandescent lights as over 215 people gathered to laugh, dance, stretch and move in an exhilarating yoga practice. This is what happens here when we have an event like a Winter Wonderland Yoga Rave.

A yoga rave is an event that is part yoga practice and part dance party, and uniquely weaves together high-energy music, a spirited vinyasa yoga practice, and an overflow of florescent color in the form of glow sticks, “bling rings,” and glitter. The expertise of professional DJ’s and some of the area’s most acclaimed yoga teachers led the event.

The concept of bringing a yoga rave to Rochester was introduced by Aimee Senise Bohn.  Aimee is a registered yoga teacher with over eighteen years of experience in the practice. In addition to teaching various yoga workshops for both yoga teachers and those who are new to yoga, she also leads yoga study trip to India and teaches her own eclectics style of yoga called Shri Vinyasa Yoga.

Rochester’s first yoga rave was held in March 2012, and the response was so favorable that another one was planned for this January. The event was co-taught and coordinated by Aimee and fellow renown Rochester yoga teacher Randi Lattimore, who is also the Mind-Body Coordinator at Rochester’s Midtown Athletic Club.  Breakthrough Entertainment’s DJ NAPS and DJ A provided a dynamic amalgam of high voltage music to create a perfect blend of party, yoga, and savasana.






Who would have thought this was happening on an 18-degree (F) evening in western New York? Well, what many people outside of our city may not know is just how amazing (and large) our yoga community is here.  During these months when I start to feel nostalgic for Thailand’s sunshine, or wonder why I didn’t move to southern California or Santa Fe fifteen years ago, our yoga community is one of the things we have in Rochester that makes me most proud to be here. I’ve visited yoga studios in dozens of locations in other cities, states, and even countries, and I am always struck by some of the talented teachers and beautiful studios there are here in Rochester.

We have over twenty-two yoga studios in the greater Rochester area (including surrounding suburbs), and thousands of local yogis who are practicing styles ranging from vinyasa to Iyengar, from restorative to Bikram, to name just a few. So, if you do have a reason to venture into western New York, I recommend stopping in Rochester, and place taking a yoga class (or several) at the top of your list of activities to partake in. And, if you are really lucky, maybe there will even be a yoga rave event while you’re here. I’ll see you there on the mat…or maybe even with a hula-hoop.

Until next time, namaste.

*A special thank you to Juliette Pellegrino and Diane Harris for sharing photos for this post*

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