Breakdancing yogi Anya Porter wants you to get a little more down in your dog

Anya Porter yogi breakdancer in one-handed handstand

The awesome Anya Porter (Photo: Sam Hollenshead)

New York City has its first yogi breakdancer—or breakdancing yogi—in Anya Porter. The energetic founder of this modern style called Breakti (formerly Yoga Spanda) is teaching a workshop tomorrow night at YogaWorks Soho on how you too can get a little more down in your dog, and several more in August and September and beyond. No experience required! Don’t worry. You’re in good hands.

While earning her dance degree in college, Porter would spend summers in Philly learning popping and locking, and she performed her serious breaking skills with several companies. Yoga came afterward as a healing adjunct to the competitiveness of the dance world and back pain. But during her teacher training the idea of merging breaking with yoga just broke on through, says Porter. “So many things in yoga, like the arm balancing and deep core principles, are similar. And I thought, how cool would it be to have a DJ in the studio? How great would the light-heartedness feel in class versus the competitive side of me?”

As a vinyasa teacher now, Porter noticed that her flow students would stop moving for inversions and kind of stand around nervously. “Breaking makes trying balances way less scary for some people. When it’s fun, they’re willing to take a chance. Breakti can be a new approach to feeling overly serious about our yoga practice or feeling scared and filled with the idea that ‘I’m never going to get this,’” she says.

In the three-hour Breakti workshop at YogaWorks, expect an asana portion that emphasizes accessing the ab wall, safely “cathedraling” or rising the back body, and balance transfers. “Then we’ll move the mats away and learn how to move from a bridge to just one hip and one shoulder and then the other side and how to hold freezes AKA elbow or arm balances,” says Porter. (Check out the video, below, for visuals.)

Porter then teaches a dance sequence and leaves you with moves you can take to the club. Another thing some yogis need, she jokes. “There’s a tantric concept that everything is created with pulsation and vibration. It’s a very affirming concept that says, You’ve got the music in you already. It’s just a matter of peeling away the blocks.” That’s the soul of Breakti. —Melisse Gelula (Updated: December 1, 2010)

For more information about Breakti and workshop dates with Anya Porter, visit www.anyaporter.com

9 Comments | ADD YOURS

  1. August 8th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Looks like so much fun!!!!

  2. October 17th, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    I’m a beginner who has had Anya as a teacher. She is patient, caring, and provides individual attention while keeping the class going. Take a step toward something new if you’ve never tried it, and if your experience is like mine, you’ll learn that you can do more with your body than you may have thought possible. Her class taught me to challenge my limits through the experience rather than make a judgement call as to whether or not I could do something. You’ll have fun, feel good, and learn from Anya. She’s wonderful… peace & blessings to her.

  3. January 18th, 2011 at 9:28 am

    […] Breakdancing yogi Anya Porter wants you to get a little more down in your dog […]

  4. July 25th, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    […] like Flynn and Dharma Mittra, and seven 90-minute intensives that focus on yoga styles from Breakti and Ki Power Vinyasa to Acro Yoga. Lululemon ambassadors, like Jen Guarnieri, Anya Porter, Matt […]

  5. December 6th, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    I love the music. Connecting the floor to the movement. awesome.

  6. January 9th, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    […] half another. The second one is Dwi Pada Koundinyasana. (It looks like breakdancing, right? This woman thought so, […]

  7. April 16th, 2012 at 7:18 am

    […] you meet will tell you the benefits far outweigh the hardships.  —Anya Porter, creator of BreaktiYoga teachers need revenue from a number of sources to make a living. These sources include working […]

  8. September 19th, 2012 at 11:09 am

    […] emcee, to Elena Brower, Schuyler Grant, Chrissy Carter, Dana Flynn, and Kelly Morris teaching, to Anya Porter performing Breakti. (It also felt like an extension of the DNC at times, with references to Barack […]

  9. February 1st, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    […] so timing may also matter here. And we know of some cool acts slated for the stage, like Bari and Anya Porter. Maybe Lululemon will ramp up the entertainment for the weekend? Browsing the racks was a pretty […]

Leave a Comment (* required)