A&E

Communal Silent Savasana yoga has become Las Vegas’ unlikeliest craze

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Guests participate in a Silent Savasana session at Red Rock Resort.
Photo: Mikayla Whitmore

A year and a half ago, Laura Davidson was in a bad place. Her partner had cheated on her, and after moving out of his house, she was “pretty much homeless and broken.” Vowing not to fall into an abyss, she attended Silent Savasana.

“I went there to be alone in a crowd, but everybody would say hi,” Davidson says. She fell in love with the warm, happy vibe of the free yoga experience, created by Las Vegans Kyle Markman and Dray Gardner. “In a city that’s supposed to be a sin, it’s a great outlet for everybody I know.”

For Davidson, and hundreds of others like her, Silent Savasana is a social occasion. She arrives an hour early to socialize, then stays after for drinks at the casinos where the events are held. “It’s like a club that everybody can get in to,” she says.

Spun off the technology that enabled the “silent disco” trend, Silent Savasana uses wireless headphones to transmit music and instruction to yogis. Gardner, the yoga instructor, leads the session, while a DJ spins music to match the moment.

Through the intimacy of headphones, Gardner whispers words of wisdom into the ears of participants, like “love yourself enough to struggle.” Gardner’s focus on the mental aspects of yoga has obviously struck a chord with locals. In two years, the events have grown from about 20 participants per class to nearly 800, Markman says.

“Most people look at yoga as a workout, so I try to focus on the work-in,” Gardner says. “We have to learn to love ourselves, learn to come to peace with the pains of our past.”

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