What is RhythmAsana?
RhythmAsana™ is a unique and joyous blend of yoga, movement meditation, dance, and global rhythms. The RhythmAsana experience employs music, movement, and meditation to reconnect us to our inner rhythms and open pathways into deep joy.
A typical RhythmAsana session starts with gentle yoga and movement and gradually flows into high-energy ecstatic dance before descending back into the peaceful heart of yoga. The soundscape throughout the journey is a unique blend of heart-opening original songs and traditional music from around the world that inspires inner and outer movement. For most RhythmAsana events, live music is provided by Johanna Beekman, George Beekman, Lyris Cooper, and a rotating cast of guest musicians.
A RhythmAsana journey can be both deeply moving and profoundly joyous. Just ask people who’ve been there: “RhythmAsana is the one of THE most joy-generating things I have ever done!” “A wonderful experience! I can’t wait to do it again!” “An unexpected awakening of joyful depths … community moving as one.” “I feel like I reconnected to soul and heart and body.”
The RhythmAsana experience is continually being refined so that participants of all skill levels can experience the deep joy that grows out of connections between yoga’s inner peace and moving in kula—community—to the sounds heart-opening music from all around the planet.
Who are we?
The Oregon-based RhythmAsana team is made up of George Beekman, Lea Bayles, Johanna Beekman, and Lyris Cooper. The team is available for classes, workshops, and multi-day retreats.
RhythmAsana was created by George Beekman and Angela Grace. The two of them recognized that there was something magical about combining yoga, dance, and global rhythms. They developed and shared RhythmAsana with others—first in the form of 90-minute “classes,” and later as weekend workshops. Since then, the team moved into a live-music format by adding musicians Johanna Beekman and Lyris Cooper. The most recent addition to the team is Lea Bayles, a highly experienced and deeply gifted movement catalyst and teacher who became the principle guide on the RhythmAsana journey when Angela’s busy life made it necessary for her to move on.
George Beekman is co-creator, music director, and creative coordinator of RhythmAsana. He is a musician, educator, producer, author, multimediator, and yoga enthusiast based in Corvallis, Oregon. As a percussionist, George has played with groups that perform world beat, kirtan, trance dance, folk, jazz, and other styles. He currently performs with the RhythmAsana band, the New World Kirtan Band, GuitarMasala, and the Suz Doyle band. He DJs for global dance parties and ecstatic dances. For more than two decades he taught at Oregon State University, where he helped create the new media program. He has written several books about technology and its impact on people.
Lea Bayles is the primary movement guide for RhythmAsana. Lea is a popular movement catalyst, teacher, author and performer based in Corvallis, Oregon. Lea helps people of all ages and abilities connect with the creative joy and healing power within. Her dynamic, playful, practical and mystical approach draws from her master’s degree in mind-body psychology and expertise in healing arts, a wide variety of dance forms, energy medicine, yoga, yoga therapy and chi-kung. For more about Lea, visit leabayles.com.
Johanna Beekman is the lead singer and songwriter for most RhythmAsana events. Johanna is a sacred songstress and kirtan artist with a lifetime of experience as a singer, songwriter, and performer. Johanna is loved for her rich, soulful voice, her radiant spirit, and her evocative, inspiring songs and devotional chants that tap deep into the collective soul. She is equally comfortable performing sacred kirtan music for yoga festivals and classes, rhythmic world-beat grooves for dancers, and soulful ballads for concert audiences. She serves as composer, singer, and instructor in her unique Lullaby Yoga restorative classes. Johanna just released Beyond Love: Soothing Songs for the Soul, an album inspired by her Lullaby Yoga classes. The CD is a worthy followup to Heart Beats One, her highly-praised album of original kirtan music from the traditions of yoga. Johanna’s ability to create unforgettable songs in almost any genre is well-documented in her previous recordings, including The Edge of Divine. And her a cappella anthem Free to Decide (Breathe) has been performed by ensembles and choirs across North America. For more on Johanna, visit johannasings.com and facebook.com/johannabeekmanmusic.
Lyris Cooper is a singer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and project manager for RhythmAsana. Lyris is comfortable playing a wide variety of musical styles and genres. Lyris and Johanna toured together for many years, playing in venues large and small around the Northwest. Lyris co-produced Johanna’s album The Edge of Divine and was part of the production team for Heart Beats One.