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Flexible fantasy: ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ yoga comes to Crown Heights

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Call it a twisted way to get gaming geeks off the couch.

A Brooklyn experimental artist has created a “Dungeons & Dragons”-themed yoga class for both fitness fanatics and fans of the time-honored fantasy game.

“The fact that are these two cultures, which are perceived as being different, seemed like a really exciting experiment,” said creator Scott Wayne Indiana. “It’s very earthy.”

In “D&D Yoga,” yogis are treated to dungeon master Indiana’s narration of the classic fantasy role-playing game and simultaneously prompted by yoga instructor Sarah Dahnke, who has created entirely new poses for the class such as “flipping a switch” and “dice rolling.” Dahnke is also prepared to improvise poses on the spot if the story merits it.

“Another door is in front of you — this door has been nearly hacked apart, but leads you further on into the temple,” Indiana instructed yogis at the inaugural session at Crown Heights’ LaunchPad in January. “You managed to just barely hit the goblin, the force of your sword blow knocks you on the ground, where you finish him off.”

Indiana developed the idea for the class during an upstate yoga retreat, where he partook in an afternoon round of teacher-guided meditation. The idea of a voice leading him through an experience was something he wanted to translate to a yoga session — and though he is no “Dungeons & Dragons” mega-fan, the game stood out as a prime choice.

“I love looking at the culture from a distance and trying to bring that into a relationship with yoga,” he said. “The culture of it is super intriguing, with adventures through forests and dungeons.”

The first class was fairly evenly separated between gamers and yoga enthusiasts, according to Indiana. A second round is slated for March 22, and Indiana also plans on bringing his invention to Austin in March during the music, film, and technology festival South by Southwest.

“It’s not meant to improve yoga or to improve Dungeons and Dragons,” he said. “It’s just a different thing that is fun.”

“D&D Yoga” at LaunchPad [721 Franklin Ave. between Sterling and Park places in Crown Heights, (646) 494–7211, www.brooklynlaunchpad.org]. March 22 at 11 am. $5 suggested donation. Email symplvision@gmail.com to reserve a place.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at mriesz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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