Dasha Alekseyeva was not the first to come to the combination of dance music, drinking and some permutation of the thousand-year-old physical, mental, and spiritual practices of yoga.
“Finding that first yoga gig was hard,” she said, which was why Alekseyeva decided to skip that and start her own practice and launched Sputnik Yoga. The practice combines dance music, drinking and mindful flows and is a part of a monthly series at the Bogart House in East Williamsburg.
“I’m originally from Russia, so ‘Sputnik’ made sense,” she said of the moniker. “The first satellite…that was an elevated experience.”
Laid off from a marketing start-up earlier this decade, Alekseyeva made a beeline to Daya Yoga, another practice in Bushwick. The studio held training sessions for future teachers of yoga.
“I was fortunate enough to be able to take everything off my plate and consciously only put the things that I really wanted on my plate. That was such an empowering experience,” Alekseyeva said. “I highly recommend training or some kind of retreat situation for most people.”
Alekseyeva says she was driven to merge yoga with dance music and cocktail culture because it was a newer concept for New York, never explored on a larger scale.
At Sputnik Yoga, she’s joined by DJ Amber Valentine, who Alekseyeva said is really big in the gay community. They spend a lot of time feeling through the mixes, which are transmitted through large glowing headphones, a barrier of sound that she hopes will make aspiring yogis feel less self-aware and self-conscious.
“It’s only this year that I begun to elevate the experience,” Alekseyeva said of her decision to begin monthly sessions at the Bogart House, a multi-faceted venue with an amazing sound system. When Sputnik started out, Alekseyeva would stake out furniture stores with low traffic and other underused retail spaces, but now she has a new tactic, “I want to feel like I have important work in my life. Less is more, and that’s why we’re focusing on having fewer, but really phenomenal events.”
Alekseyeva has also taken her budding brand to the road. Last year, Sputnik attached their name to the hip vodka brand Deep Eddy, ran sessions at Firefly Fest and, more recently, Samsung has announced plans to use Sputnik sessions as a platform to demonstrate features on a sport-themed mobile watch product the the company has been rolling out. The first of these sponsored events is later this month.
“Someone who’s never been on a yoga mat before will have a blast,” Alekseyeva promises.
Sputnik Yoga sessions are held every month at the Bogart House at 230 Bogart St. in East Williamsburg. Tickets for the next session can be purchased in advance here, which go for $20, though those who can’t afford tickets are welcome to attend them for free as well.
Cover photo image courtesy of Elizabeth Spear for Sputnik Yoga.