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Four Questions with Showga

Love yoga, art, and live music? We’re inviting you to experience all three—at once! On Wednesday, December 6, illuminate your yoga practice with Showga inside Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends & the Unknown alongside live music by Sugar Candy Mountain at the Oakland Museum of California. Creators of the Oakland-based Showga Katie Colver and Shannan Slevin sat down with us to share more about the Showga experience.

How did Showga begin?
Katie: Showga was born in an underground Oakland space in 2011. I’m a musician and involved in the Oakland music scene, but I had also been a yoga teacher for years. I wanted to fuse these two passions and to help music and party people go inward, while also exposing yoga people to the world of live music. Coming out of the context of the Oakland DIY music scene, Showga is very Oakland in vibe and spirit. It has always been important to us to provide a safe and inclusive space for people of all walks of life.
What does Showga offer that other yoga or music experiences don’t have?
Shannan: We developed the Showga system out of our backgrounds in yoga, shamanism, western psychology, and performance arts, so it is a truly unique fusion of systems. Showga is a dynamic exploration of the senses using sight, sounds, touch, and scent as tools for personal empowerment. Working with the senses around themed classes, the experience incorporates the power of association. Participants learn to work with each sense as a tool for wellness, stress reduction, increased performance, and creative flow.

The experience we create is a synergy of healing arts and creative arts. The experience always involves a carefully curated live music performance, and we are committed to booking a diverse range of genres and styles. Playing Showga is also a great opportunity for musicians to play in a unique context, letting them experiment with new sounds.

What are you looking forward to about Showga inside Nature’s Gift?
Working with OMCA feels very intuitive since both of our organizations represent an exploration of diverse topics, mediums, and creative expression. Collaborating with a museum is very exciting to us, since we share an interest in—and commitment to—exploration, expression, and the arts.

Hosting the event inside Nature’s Gift is very much aligned with our goal of creating a multi-sensory, transformative experience that can be shared with the community. The illumination, mystery, and celebratory glow of the exhibition presents a curious, festive backdrop for the visual component of Showga. It’s about the synergy of systems, to deeply transform our ways of being and thinking.

What do you love the most about Showga?
It’s been really fun to run Showga out of alternative spaces to yoga studios. Showga’s home base is Starline Social Club, which is a bar, music venue, and historic ballroom. We’ve also hosted Showga events at festivals, tech companies, and trade shows. It’s become one of our favorite things about Showga to see how it helps create community in each of these non-traditional spaces for yoga. It’s amazing to see how people in any environment interact after  sharing an empowering experience. Who wouldn’t want to feel more grounded, confident, and open at a bar, in the workplace, or anywhere else?

On Wednesday, December 6, join us for Showga inside the popular, immersive exhibition Nature’s Gift: Humans, Friends, & the Unknown. This event is for yogis and concert-lovers 21 and older. 

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Katie Colver is a musician and shamanic practitioner based in Oakland, and has been a yoga instructor for over 13 years. She has worked extensively with the Power Path School of Shamanism, and completed their Intensive Shamanic Studies Program as well as their Advanced Shamanic Practitioner Training. She fronts the band Cave Clove, and when she’s not Showga-ing it up, she’s on the road with them.

Shannan Slevin is a content producer, specializing in integrative health and body movement programming. Raised in the Great Sierras, Shannan was exposed to yoga, art, movement, music, and the complexities of nature at a young age. From the corporate environment to the closest dance floor, she pulls from these foundational principles daily.