Editor’s note: This article was originally published March 5, 2014
Wizards, magic spells and swords wouldn’t seem to have much in common with the peaceful, accepting overtones of yoga. Or would they?
A mashup of the role-playing adventure game Dungeons & Dragons and the stretching, soothing fitness practice is coming to Austin during South by Southwest. Resolute Fitness will host a D&D yoga session from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Gazzang headquarters, 600 Congress Avenue, Suite 1650. The event is free and open to the public.
Scott Wayne Indiana, a 40-year-old exhibit designer who spent a year in Austin in the 1990s, came up with the concept after visiting an upstate New York ashram. Indiana, who now lives in Brooklyn, experimented with the concept there in January, and D&D Yoga was born.
In Brooklyn, a dungeon master led a guided narrative while participants practiced yoga moves. Players were given a 10-sided die and a character sheet. They portrayed a single character, described as a rogue who had run afoul of the local law and could be absolved of his crimes by delivering a package to an ancient temple in a nearby forest. In that first session, leaders took the sum of the player’s dice rolls to determine some of the story developments; in Austin, they’ll randomly choose one player’s roll. (Watch video at http://tinyurl.com/keptck4. )
The combination of D&D and yoga might seem contradictory, but Indiana notes that yoga is rooted in Hinduism, and the religion’s seminal text centers around a spiritual inner battle. But he admits that’s kind of a reach.
"Really, it’s just kind of a fun way to play around with yoga," Indiana says. "It’s taking this thing I already considered to be pretty fun and adding a layer of storytelling on top of it."
Longtime D&D player Brandon Hodge, owner of Austin’s Big Top Candy and Monkey See Monkey Do, will serve as dungeon master. Instructors from Resolute Fitness in Austin will lead the yoga moves. For more information go to https://www.facebook.com/events/294523100695491/.
In the meantime, downward dragon anyone?