Silent Sukhasana: A “Silent Disco” Yoga Class

Roll out your mat, and pop on some noise-canceling headphones for this unique yoga experience at Belvederes

by Emma Diehl
March 18, 2019

Belvederes Ultra-Dive is one of Lawrenceville’s most popular weekend haunts, with the sound of its themed DJ-nights spilling out onto the street as guests line up to enter. On Monday nights, however, it’s decidedly more quiet, but curiously still active. If you happen to stop by the back room on a Monday night, you’ll find a group of yogis practicing in unison, but in total silence.

This is Silent Sukhasana. Started nearly two years ago by Yoga by Cassie, in partnership with Frequency 528, this “silent disco” style yoga encourages participants to get out of their heads, and onto the mat in an intimate, private style yoga setting.

What is a Silent Disco?

For those of you scratching your head at the term silent disco, here’s a brief introduction. A silent disco party, also known as a quiet party, is one where each person wears headphones rather than listening to music in the room. The room is silent, the music is in the headphones. Some silent disco parties offer multiple DJs, and you can switch what you are listening to by flipping the switch on the headphones. This article from Olga Khazan, a staff writer for The Atlantic offers a detailed history of the evolution of the silent disco.


Throw on those HeadphOMes


While it’s called Silent Sukhasana, the experience is anything but for those practicing. As a first timer, arrive early and fill out waivers, then you’ll don a pair of noise-canceling headphones to listen to the live set Ryan Ondriezek of Frequency 528 spins during class.

Yoga with Cassie founder Cassandra Stevens is mic’d up, so each yogi can hear her loud and clear over the headphones. With the lights low, and the volume up, it’s almost as if you’re in a private yoga class.

“I have regulars who say the headphones make them feel safe,” Stevens says. “They feel less self-conscious of what they look like, or what other people are perceiving them to look like.”

“It’s something to do with the headphones,” chimes in Ondriezek, who has seen the same effect at other silent disco events. The headphones come on, and “You don’t care who’s watching.”

Practicing yoga on the (albeit very clean) floor of a bar might not sound like the best way to bliss out on a Monday. But, with the lights low, and the mellow tunes coming in on the headset, it doesn’t take long for participants long to forget they’re exercising on the floor of a dive bar and get into the groove of class.

Turn Up, Tune Out

Experienced yogis and novices alike are familiar with the yoga and fill-in-the-blank gimmick classes, but Stevens sees Silent Sukhasana as something else entirely. The headphones are used as a tool, rather than an afterthought, to free the mind from outside distractions.

“In a regular yoga class, you’ve got the heater, the fan, people burping, grunting–outside noises. This offers up a class free of distraction. There are no windows, it’s dark in here, you’re able to internalize,” explains Stevens. “When you listen to music through headphones, I feel like the dimension of sound is so different. You feel it in your body a bit more.”

Silent Sukhasana is open to experts and yoga beginners. With Stevens’ directions coming in loud and clear on the headphones, it’s easy to hear cues and directions, no matter where she is in the space.

That’s Stevens’ intention–her classes and education around the city focus on inclusivity and mindfulness on and off the mat. “I love creating a wellness aspect in the work environment. How can we create that inclusive feeling and element of self-care in everyone’s job?”

Beyond a yoga mat, participants only need to bring an open mind, and a donation (a suggested $10 is encouraged, but not enforced) to get started. The class takes place every Monday at 8 pm and lasts 60 minutes.

Silent Sukhasana Details

When: Mondays at 8 pm

Where: Belvederes Ultra Dive,  4016 Butler St., Pittsburgh, PA 15201

Cost: $10 suggested donation

See the Facebook Event for More Info

Belvedere’s Ultra-Dive
Getting there
4016 Butler St, Pittsburgh, PA 15201, USA
Mon-Sun 6pm–2am
More Info

Emma is a Pittsburgh-based writer, with a focus on lifestyle and technology. Her work has been featured on HuffpostLive!, NPR, XOJane, NEXTPittsburgh, and Niche.

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