Buddha Xtreme founder Ari Kassman (via BuddhaXtreme Facebook)
Fusion workouts have made the oddest of pairings, but this might rank among the most puzzling: Breakdance yoga.
The heavy hip-hop beats and quick, aggressive movements of breaking don't immediately seem to jibe with the calm, methodic style of yoga -- but some way, somehow, someone out there thought the combination seemed to make sense.
And so came along The BuddhaXtreme, "an experimental, immersive and interactive fusion of breakdance and yoga," according to its website BuddhaX.com.
The back story, according to BuddhaX.com, starts with founder Ari Kassman, who grew up in New York City influenced by hip-hop -- and then discovered yoga, which he says "transformed" him. Not long after, "[b]-boying -- or breakdancing -- was re-introduced to Ari by Crazy Legs of the legendary Rock Steady Crew."
"BuddhaXtreme is full of that energy -- the kind that comes with breaking through boundaries and finding the outer limits," the site says. "Whether seeing what happens when downdogs meet downrocks or when crow pose turns into a turtle freeze, you'll know that with bXb, there's something for everyone."
Forty-five people attended the premiere workshop at Pure Yoga last week, BuddhaXtreme spokesperson Sara Grossman told NBC New York. Instructors are finalizing a schedule with Pure, both East and West studios, and with Earth Yoga this week.
"There will definitely be more classes in the future," Grossman says.
What to expect in class
"You will learn how to dance, float, flow and stay in shape using the proven techniques of two of the most advanced forms of movement that ever have been created," the site says. "In the premiere 2-hour bXb workshop event, you'll dig into the BuddhaXtreme basics, three interconnected series of addictive breakflow: The Foundation, The Core and The Urban Warrior.
The series is taught by a range of yogis, b-boys and martial artists, and the soundtrack is provided by New York-based DJ Premier.
"Yoga and breakdancing??? At first I thought it would be like a hip-hop yoga class I once observed. Where the mash-up of activities felt forced. This class wasn’t at all like hip-hop yoga. In fact the instructors make yoga and break dancing fit together like chocolate and peanut butter... It was easy to see how yoga asanas and break dancing moves are surprisingly similar."
- fitchickinthecity.com, who notes she only observed the class and did not participate (Photos included in linked post) (February 28, 2011)
"I am not very familiar with breakdancing, but I noticed that a lot of the moves/freezes can actually be seen as updated or modern yoga poses! It definitely worked up a sweat and my arms are STILL sore! I have a new-found respect for breakdancers – it requires some SERIOUS muscle."
- justflourishing.com (Photos included in linked post) (March 1, 2011)
If you're intrigued but don't want to wait for BuddhaXtreme to announce their next class, check out NYC PopSugar's listing of other mash-up yoga classes in the city.
And here's a video posted on YouTube from that premiere workshop: