Bill Peregoy synchs his iPod and starts playing the first track from his set list.
"You can really get lost in rock shows . . . in the moment," Peregoy says, walking around the room as students double over into the "downward-facing-dog" position and breathe loudly in time with the rock group, Ted Leo and the Pharmacists.
The music gains momentum and surges into a pounding drum beat. Sweat pouring off foreheads, they shift and hold poses to pulsating bass lines and crashing cymbals.
On this Sunday afternoon, Peregoy is launching his vision -- indie-rock yoga. In the sanctuary of a three-story Jamaica Plain house, above the treetops of its wooded surroundings, he holds the class, "The Bends -- Yoga that Rocks," named after a popular 19 90s Radiohead album.
His drop-in class prices are usually $15, but for indie-rock sessions, Peregoy caters to the rock faithful by giving a discount of $3 to those wearing wrist bands or hand stamps from the night before.
Peregoy, a 45-year-old Somerville resident and the owner of Mindful Dog Yoga studio, decided to combine his two loves -- yoga and indie, or independent, rock -- when students began to comment on the music playing before and after classes.
An aficionado of live music, Peregoy founded and managed the independent record label Pop Narcotic, for five years. He went out several nights a week, grooving to local bands, only to wake up the next morning with an aching back. It was then that Peregoy discovered that yoga relieved his back pain and jogging injuries.
A few days after attending a four-day workshop in a type of practice called Forrest Yoga, Peregoy was at a rock show thinking, "Wait a minute, I'm standing up and it's not hurting. This hasn't happened in about a year."
He was won over.
Peregoy had dreamed of opening his own yoga studio since he started practicing yoga seven years ago. On April 7, he transformed a skylighted office that had housed a nonprofit, social-justice organization into a space for yoga. With many yoga studios in the city, Peregoy acknowledged that it has been a challenge to attract students to his studio a few blocks from the Green Street T station.
"People tend to be tied to one style of yoga and one studio," Peregoy said. "Getting people to try something different is hard at times."
Yoga is often accompanied with calm, inspirational music or chanting, and is sometimes practiced without music at all. At Mindful Dog, Peregoy offers Forrest yoga without music, but he hopes his decision to add indie rock to the mix will bring more people to yoga.
"I love music, and I think music and yoga can go together really well," Peregoy said. "And every yoga studio I go into, almost, you're getting the same 10 yoga CDs that are either kind of new age, bland stuff, or kind of cool Indian chanting. But it's the same stuff everywhere you go. Why do you have to have that kind of music with your yoga? There's no reason."
Mid way through class, Peregoy yelled: "It's starting to smell like indie rock!" Everyone laughed as they lowered themselves to their mats and concentrated on the beat.
"The music added energy," said Nick Pavey of Somerville, commenting on the first class. "It was less serious and more fun."
Jess Glasser, also of Somerville, said she felt energized and connected to the music. "Yoga chanting is monotonous. You lose touch with the music," she said. "He did a great job of matching poses to the music."
Peregoy concluded the class with the traditional saying, "Namaste," which refers to "the light or divine in you."
But on this day, the saying embodies another meaning: "Let the rock in you enlighten you," he said, bowing his head.
Amy Farnsworth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.