Yoga with a beat in Vail |

Yoga with a beat in Vail

Caramie Schnell
Vail, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyPulse yoga instructor Charry Morris, left, leads a Vail Valley class in an upside-down pose Friday at the Westin Riverfront's gym in Avon.

VAIL, Colorado –A good DJ is intuitive. He or she can read the audience and know when to speed up the beat or slow it down.

“That’s precisely the key to a DJs future,” said Vail resident Demian Amanton, or DJ Damianos. “As a DJ plays, the crowd is going to decide if you took them on musical journey and if it was heartfelt or not.”

That ability to read the crowd is the same in a dance club or a fitness club, Amanton said, something he knows firsthand since spinning at a recent Pulse Yoga workshop.

“Spinning at a yoga class is really a new concept,” he said. “After the last workshop, the clients came up and said it captured the moment perfectly.”

Pulse yoga incorporates free weights and micromovements within traditional yoga postures, which makes for a much more physical and challenging class, said Pulse Yoga co-founder and Avon resident Prisca Borris. Borris is a former pro-mogul skier.

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Amanton will spin at another Pulse Yoga workshop on Friday at the Cascade Club. Borris will teach the class with Argie Tang, with whom she co-founded pulse yoga.

“Argie was dealing with some bone-density issues,” Boris said. “Her doctor recommended she start a weight-lifting program, but she really missed her yoga. So she incorporated weight lifting with yoga.”

“You get all the benefits of yoga, plus additional strength, balance and movement,” Borris said. “We try to link several balancing positions together and move while you’re balancing, little micromovements in the posture, all the time focusing on core awareness.”

Traditional yogis, in search of yoga’s spiritual component, may not like this class, Borris said.

“This is not their class,” she said. “I love traditional yoga, the spiritual aspect of it, and I seek out those classes, but this isn’t one of them. It’s really challenging, really physical.’

While both Borris and Tang believed personally that pulse yoga had a more dramatic effect on their strength and muscle tone, they were further inspired by a study done by Dr. Paul Arciero, an associate professor of exercise science at Skidmore College.

“He did a 10-week study where some participants did functional resistance training and some did pulse yoga. Even to his surprise, pulse yoga scored as well as functional resistance training in all areas and higher in the areas of improved mood state and increased energy,” Boris said. “Not only was it making people stronger, they were losing weight, reducing their waist circumference and had more energy.”

When Edwards resident Gail Molloy first took a pulse yoga class she thought she “was going to die,” she said. But she bought the set of DVDs and Tang challenged her to do the workout with the DVDs three times a week.

“My body has changed,” Molloy said. “I’ve taken eight strokes off my golf game. I’m hiking faster and stronger and the only difference is pulse yoga three times a week,” she said.

When part-time Vail resident Margaret Wood took the last pulse yoga workshop where DJ Damianos (who is Argie Tang’s son) spun, she was surprised by the effect the music had on her.

“It gave me more energy,” she said. “You kind of pulsed to the beat and the music keeps you from thinking about how hard a position might be.”

That was precisely the goal Amanton had in mind when he picked the music set, which incorporates three main genres.

The set starts with lounge music, also called the “chill out genre,” and transitions to deep house music.

“Deep house is more soulful, the bass is extended and its a deeper tone, which really captures the moment,” he said. “For the meditation, I used primarily world music, Arabic-influenced music.

“The music really gets to people’s souls.”

High Life Editor Caramie Schnell can be reached at 970-748-2984 or

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