David Regelin on Yoga Outdoors in NYC

David Regelin is famous for his Vesica and Multi-Intenso brands of yoga which are some of the most physically intense and popular practices here in NYC. If you ever thought that men who practice yoga aren't muscular, well, you need to check out David's videos.

Lately David has been taking his yoga outdoors and putting out some pretty awesome yoga videos shot guerrilla-style. I talked to David about two of my favorites, Morning Practice and Pier Practice.

MBG: Where did you film both videos?

The videos "Morning Practice" and "Pier Practice" were both filmed, with the obvious bridge and juice bar exceptions, on a pier on the west side of Manhattan. I have been practicing there in the spring/summer for years now. I share the pier with sunbathers, parents and nannies with children, individual fitness enthusiasts, personal trainers and their clients, boot camp fitness classes, cheer leading classes, hula hoop classes, outdoor yoga classes, homeless people, and a handful of rag-tag Tai Chi, martial art, and yoga people. Some times of the day the pier is peaceful and empty, often it's a circus. I practice there because its perfectly flat, has shaded areas, and is close to my favorite juice bar, work, and clients.

How long did they take to film?

I shot "Morning Practice" in one morning, and "Pier Practice" in one afternoon. I leaned the iPhone up against my shoe and tried to position myself somewhere within the frame. I had to discard a lot of otherwise good practice footage where half of me was cut off. I got lucky with some of the shots where i was aligned with the light post behind me representing my central axis above my head or hips depending on the pose. I was also happy to capture some of the background activity to give a sense of the communal spirit of the pier. I knew it would look raw and unprofessional if i shot it by myself with my phone but I think it makes it real and personal.

What was the inspiration?

I just wanted a document of a routine day in my spring/summer life, so it just wrote itself. Drink coffee, bike over bridge, practice, get a green juice from Melvin "the juice scientist" and proceed with the day. No contrived set, or preposterous practice situation.

I was really inspired by the Reggie Watts song that I used for the "Morning practice" video, and his solo creative process. The song is a cappella, made by himself in real time with a simple looping effect.

I should also mention my friend Phillip Askew who makes truly original and spectacular yoga videos with a much higher production value. He has made one for me as well as himself and many other NYC yoga people. Search whoaskew2's channel on YouTube. I have another project lined up with Phillip coming soon.

What do you love about practicing yoga outside in NYC?

I love to practice outdoors for the fresh air, to be by the water, and to practice by myself, which i usually prefer to group settings. I'm not there to perform for anyone, although i do get a range of reactions, from compliments to wise cracks, from wow to why?

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