New twist at yoga class: using headphones for immersive experience

Lauren Glassberg Image
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
Headphones adding to the yoga experience
Lauren Glassberg has the story of Sound Off, yoga classes that feature the use of headphones.

UNION SQUARE, Manhattan (WABC) -- When you take a yoga class, you grab a mat and maybe some blocks.

But in a twist at one class, you grab headphones too, to help give you a more immersive experience.

The moves are the same, but the experience totally different. These pop up classes offer a meditative and physical experience with an added audio component that makes an impact.

There's music in this yoga class, thanks to a live DJ.

But that music is only heard through wireless headphones. The same goes for the instructor's voice.

It's called Sound Off Yoga.

"We're providing a personalized audio solution for any kind of event, whether that be yoga, dance parties, weddings, movie screenings," said Sound Off CEO and founder Castel Valere-Couturier.

Sound Off yoga events are held periodically, one at Union Square's W Hotel.

"First I was a bit skeptical," said yoga instructor Kat Fowler. But her skepticism was overpowered by the totally immersive experience the headphones offer.

"You're completely in your body as opposed to worrying about what people are doing around you," she said.

She realizes that her voice is practically inescapable.

"You feel like she's talking directly at you as opposed to the rest of the class, so you can tune everybody else out," said one member of the class.

And even have your own little dance party if the urge strikes.

"It's like the music takes you to a whole difference place because it's in your ear, it's awesome," said another class member.

And you might not even hear the sounds of the city, let alone the noise from your neighbor.

"You could have the person next to you grunting and you're self-conscious about that, but with the headphones on you really let loose of everything and you're really able to be yourself," said Valere-Couturier.

And while headphones are usually anti-social, there's something collective about this headphone experience.

"I've been doing yoga for about 15 years and never experienced anything quite like it, it really allows you to get into your own place and your own head and it was just awesome," said one of the class members.

Sound Off yoga events are usually $30. You don't get to keep the headphones, but the experience stays with you for awhile.

For more information, visit: