Bridging the gap between live music and yoga in philadelphia

For most yoga classes, the environment is usually peaceful and quiet. Yoga gives people a chance to relax and reflect within themselves, however, at Sound Space on West Girard Avenue, yoga is much different from what many people are used to.

LeeAnn Doncevic, the yoga instructor, teaches her class much differently. Doncevic teaches a three-week series called  Soul Vibes Yoga. The class incorporates live music and tries to explore the combination between live music and yoga,.

For the former Washington Wizards dancer, music has always  had a great impact on her life and incorporating music with yoga seemed natural.

“I have a background in dance,” said Doncevic. “I had the great opportunity to be a dancer at the University of Maryland and I realize how important music can really be. A lot of people use music as therapy. I believe music soothes people especially the sound of drums.”

LeeAnn began dancing at a young age. Her Grandma inspired her to begin dancing and once she built up the confidence, she begin training in jazz, tap, ballet and modern. Upon graduating from the University of Maryland, Doncevic achieved her MBA, worked for a non-profit organization, danced for the Wizards and a modern dance company in Washington DC. She also began her Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training Program with Bombay Yoga Company.

Despite teaching dance and yoga for over 10-years, LeeAnn didn’t have the idea to combine her two loves until very recently.

“You get better at yoga through practice,” said Doncevic. “One day I came up with the idea because yoga classes typically don’t have music. Incorporating music into the yoga sessions would make it harder to maintain your focus. There a few companies that have music in there yoga classes, but not many. Adding drums to yoga classes I thought would be a good idea because of the feelings behind them.”

Doncevic incorporated music within her yoga classes by allowing Philly musician, Eric Schmidt, to play world wounds and drums during her classes.

“It was different,” said Schmidt. “I did a world percussions. I started off with hand drums and tried to add other drums that added different type of percussions to have that proper sound.”

“Personally, I’d like to bring it back,” said Doncevic. “I’d like to bring it back to Sound Space in January. I’d like to add more musicians. I only had one this time, but I’d like to add maybe a small group or a few more musicians, just to see where it goes. Music is powerful. It unites people. It doesn’t matter where your from or your ethnicity. It just brings people together. It’ powerful.

Doncevic’s class is one of the few yoga classes that actually incorporate music. There are a few events  each year that do something like this, but it does not happen on a regular basis. The Filmore Philadelphia held a similar event early this year in August, however events with yoga and music are usually few and far in-between.

Yoga and may have a natural partnership, but regular yoga is far more popular. Yoga events around Philadelphia can be found at My Area Yoga Philly . Perhaps, more classes will start incorporating music into yoga, but until then, LeeAnn Doncevic will be teaching her Soul Vibes Yoga class at Sound Space on Sunday nights 6-7 p.m.



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