Headbanging Meets Downward Dog at Portland’s Doom Yoga

I went to doom metal yoga on a Tuesday night at the Flying Tortoise Academy in Portland for the novelty factor. I’m not much of a consumer of doom metal, but was curious about the class.

Teacher Kali Giaritta is a drummer and songwriter, but more poppy than doomy. She and husband Matt Harmon form a psych pop duo called There is No Mountain. Matt’s a metal fan and encouraged Kali to try practicing yoga to doom metal. She liked the way it worked together.

doom metal yoga portland

The doom metal yoga ad from Kali’s Mystical Hug Yoga site

Kali has been a volunteer yoga teacher with Living Yoga for the past four years, taking yoga into non-traditional settings like drug rehabs. “I started to think about other people who weren’t accessing yoga because the environment was not drawing them in,” she told me. Like metal-heads.

On the night I went, men outnumbered women – a rare thing for a yoga class. We listened to an album called “Silk Spiders Underwater” by Swiss metal band Zatokrev. Students seemed excited about suggesting songs for the following week’s playlist.

I liked it a lot more than I expected. The intricate songs were strangely meditative, and played at a pleasant volume. I think I’d especially like doom metal yoga in winter, when I stay indoors more and my thoughts turn inward.

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