Thirty college students, men and women alike, gathered in a dark room and plopped down on mats. Glow necklaces and bracelets were strung around their necks and wrists illuminated the black hole with circles. Some weren’t phased by them, others strung them around their heads or noses pretending they were aliens or angels. A throwback music playlist filled the room as people were glowing downward facing dogs, trees and chaturanga poses. This was glow yoga.
Glow in the dark yoga, glow yoga, or “glow-ga”. Whichever name you give it, the experience was nothing short of enlightening despite the dark. The night started with rows of mats spread out and groups taking selfies in the dark to post on Snapchat, even though close to nothing was visible. As the room filled, more selfies were taken and a few glow sticks exploded, the music started.
Glow-ga wasn’t just your average yoga session, this was LivFree yoga. If you’ve ever been to restorative yoga, you know that with the right pose and the right music you can sleep on the floor of room 214 in the Wellness Complex with ease. This was not restorative yoga. Every motion was fluid and fast until sweat was dripping down faces and feet were contorted over heads. Muscles were stretched, which was a plus for all the dancing party-goers preparing for the weekend ahead. A few times it seemed unnatural that having your bottom perpendicular over your head with your toes touching the floor three feet behind your ears in the plough pose was comfortable. In these moments the class was comparable to your 2-year-old self that would roll around on the floor without a care in the world and that enjoyment is never frowned upon.
The instructor adamantly reminded her literally glowing students to release the stresses of the week and find the happy within, something that, with finals around the corner, was warmly welcomed. Releasing the child within was encouraged as everyone was asked to fine their happy baby pose with 60 hands grabbing 60 feet and rolling around the mats, laughter drowning out Usher in the background. Some even dug deep to find their inner gymnast to perform the bridge pose viewing the room upside down, not that anyone could tell in the darkness, all that could be seen was neon circles on circles in every direction.
When the class came to a close all those happy babies were sent to nap time as a cool off before Namaste, the traditional end to yoga no matter how comparable the lighting is to a Las Vegas night club. Perhaps from now on all yoga should be glow in the dark; not only is it unique, but it provides the comfort of darkness. For some, yoga is difficult and as judgment free the Springfield college campus is, who wouldn’t feel better if no one could see you bend, stack and open your leg then flip on your side and do arm circles?