Go with the flow — it’s more than a motto, it’s their mantra.
Dayton-based yogis Tori Reynolds and Ben Rivet knew they were on to something after just one class. The two joined forces to create Go w/ the Flow, an immersive combination of movement and music in January 2012.
“It’s almost too corny for its own good,” Rivet said of the name. “But it fits. The beat guides the breath, and the class guides the music.”
Rivet, usually tucked away in a back corner of the studio, provides live music and loops acoustic guitar and beatboxing to provide a soundtrack for Reynolds’ dynamic vinyasa yoga classes.
“It’s all about getting you out of your head and into your breath,” he said.
On the same page
Reynolds was completing her teacher training at Practice Yoga, in Dayton’s Oregon Historic District, when she met Rivet, an independent musician and University of Dayton graduate. He asked if he could play acoustic guitar and beatbox for her class.
There was no arm-twisting required.
“She dug my music, and I dug her style of teaching, so we really clicked in that regard,” Rivet said. “I was really intrigued by the connection we made.”
Vinyasa yoga is often faster paced than some other types of yoga, and the postures are linked together in a series of movements that are synchronized with the breath. Much emphasis is placed on the breath and the transition in and out of the postures. Music helps with both the pace and the transitions.
“The music isn’t distracting. It’s really motivating and helps dictate the tone of the class,” Reynolds said. “It’s all very spontaneous.”
The duo’s first collaboration consisted of Rivet playing about five or six different songs but has since evolved into one continuous piece of music that plays during a 75-minute class.
“I felt like the switch in style of music was a little jarring,” he said. “The point is not to be a rock star; it’s to keep them in the zone.
“When I stopped thinking about the next song, I became more in tune to the class and what Tori was doing.”
Like the students, Rivet has to be in the moment.
“I don’t plan before class, because I feel like you can never predict what’s going to happen,” Reynolds said. “So go with the flow really fits us because no two classes are the same.”
On the road
Go w/ the Flow got its start at Practice Yoga but quickly gained momentum locally and across the country.
They moved outdoors to hold a free class at the RiverScape pavilion at the Five Rivers MetroParks Bike Week 2012 kickoff.
“We did a class for 237 people,” Reynolds said. “It was amazing, and it was right before we left for the West Coast.”
As part of her teacher training program, Reynolds traveled to studios across the country to complete various modules. She and Rivet booked classes along the way. Go w/ the Flow has brought their unique practice to studios, festivals and a variety of other venues from Rhode Island to California and many points in between.
“It really took on a life of its own,” Reynolds said.
The duo has hosted more than 100 classes or demonstrations from coast to coast since their first collaboration in the Oregon District a little over a year ago.
Beyond the classes, they have also created Go w/ the Flow T-shirts and decals and have a website and Facebook page.
Why it works
Rivet, known as BJSR in the local music community, is more than a musician. The self-described journeyman was doing his teacher training at Practice Yoga when he and Reynolds met.
“If I were not a teacher or a yogi, I couldn’t anticipate what’s coming next in a class,” he said. “I’m there with them responding to what they’re doing in that moment.”
If they are in a challenging pose, they might need more musical intensity. Other times, he backs off and is subtler.
“The music is so in tune with the breathing,” Reynolds said. “He plays to what’s going on in the class. It really enhances the whole experience.”
While the postures might be the most recognizable component of yoga, the breath work is critical. Being focused and in the moment is also imperative. If your mind is racing, you are formulating to-do lists or thinking about work, you won’t get the most out of your yoga practice. Rivet’s original and highly adaptable soundtrack helps the students remain focused and motivated.
“If you have control of your breath, you can have control of your mind,” Rivet said. “We help them do that.”
SET YOUR CALENDAR
Go w/the Flow will be on the road quite a bit over the next few months but will, again, bring their practice to RiverScape for Bike Week on May 13. The class is free, all you need is a yoga mat and a willingness to give it a try.
On the web:http://gowtheflow.org