I've always hated early morning workouts for so many reasons, but I never thought the lack of a rave was one of them. When I first heard about the Daybreaker Movement, a series of sober early morning dance parties following an hour yoga session, it was so unlike anything I had heard of. Despite the the day and soul-breaking wakeup time, it seemed worth checking out.
At 6 a.m. this past Thursday morning, I got in line outside of the Manhattan dance club, Space Ibiza. I did not know what to expect, aside from one hour of yoga and two hours of dancing to the DJ stylings of FDVM. I suspected it would be a more memorable experience then hitting the gym (since I try to block that out), but I had no idea how much better it would be than conventional exercise.
Morning yoga raves can be a surprisingly awesome way to start the day. Here's why:
The ravers are your friends.
In a total rookie move, I forgot to bring a yoga mat and had no idea who to ask. The more a person looked like they belonged in a literal rave, the more helpful they were. A woman in silver wings and lightening bolt platforms took care of me, showing me to the spare mats like a metallic angel.
There is a live DJ during the yoga portion.
I assumed that the house music would start during the dancing portion of the Daybreaker, and we would be subjected to the snore-fest of music found in most yoga classes. But the DJ went to work as soon as we did, with energizing beats that made me shake my booty in down-dog without even realizing it. Luckily, everyone was doing it.
All the dancing.
Though the yoga is a workout in itself, it's really a warm-up for getting down. Dancing is definitely the main event at Daybreaker and it can burn up to 443 calories per hour. Between that and the yoga, I was earning basically all the ice cream.
The healthy and complimentary beverages and snacks.
Admission to a Daybreaker typically runs from $20-$40 depending on the event, but in the course of three hours that includes unlimited coffee, coconut water, juices and healthy snacks. When the cost of some yoga classes can cost that much alone, it was a delicious bargain.
The fog machines.
They might not be considered "exercise equipment," but I'm going to have a hard time exercising without a strobe light and fog machine from now on.
It's great place to meet people.
Few people have ever successfully flirted on a first impression between the hours of 6 and 9 a.m. Daybreakers are not the place to cruise for hookups, but they are a place to connect with a community. Regulars greeted each other with familiar hugs while wide-eye newcomers like me danced in amazement. By the last hour, the crowd had swelled to over 300 people and with so many endorphins flying around, everyone was still friendly and approachable -- even if they couldn't hear me over the music.
It's reminder that you can be healthy and get down at the club.
Even in a big fancy nightclub with a full bar, I didn't need a drop of alcohol to drop it like it's hot. It was the last thing on my mind. I had the same kind of energy associated with a wild night out, but now it was harnessed it in a healthy way. It was better than most Saturday nights, which is more than I can say for any other yoga class.
Daybreaker events are currently only offered in select cities, but you can bring it to your city by applying to be a producer here.