Showga! Yoga, Live Music, And Amazing Food
By Dana Lee
Imagine a kinetic community experience that saturates your senses, rendering you refreshed and renewed. Every Wednesday night Showga creates a one of a kind community event inside the loft of one of Oakland’s most charming historic restaurants. Showga magic has graced the Starline Social Club since Katie Colver animated her dreams to life beginning in 2011. A few years later, Shannan Slevin joined Katie to strengthen Showga into its current multifaceted incarnation. Enjoying yoga at the Starline Social Club is nothing short of fascinating. The venue itself is worth your trip, inviting you to just hang out and be yourself before and after yoga. I came early with my boyfriend, who is new to yoga, and enjoyed a glass of wine along with a sinful order of crunchy onion rings. I know, onion rings and wine before yoga probably isn’t considered a conventional pre-yoga meal, but neither is Showga an ordinary experience. It’s the perfect way to unwind after a stressful Wednesday Humpday, hang out with friends, make new interesting ones, or go out on an amazing date.
The restaurant is a pure delight, with its historic décor beckoning back to the glorious craftsmanship of 1893. The handmade asymmetrical curving bar is fully stocked with spirits and beautifully unique with attentive service that makes you forget all about your troubles. Historic relics adorn the walls behind the bar making seating at the bar a fascinating experience, or you can sit with your guests in a private booth. The menu has a wide variety of delicious dishes to choose from, but don’t get too full on goodies before yoga. There’s always a chance to come back downstairs to enjoy the cuisine after savasana.
After enjoying a delicious glass of wine, I headed upstairs to roll out my yoga mat on the hardwood floors. Shannan was waiting in the loft like a gentle spirit to help everyone settle onto their mats and inquire about any special needs. She is certified in Yoga, Pilates, Gyrotonic Expansive System, and Nutrition, but it is her wide welcoming smile and authentically soothing demeanor that shines the brightest. She has a way of making everyone feel comfortable, meeting people right where they are to magnify their unique abilities. My boyfriend felt right at home learning basic yoga postures under Shannan’s graceful instruction next to others with varied yoga backgrounds. The guest musician perfectly transitioned his sounds along with Shannan’s movement, and had us gently vibing to the prana of live music.
Showga is proud to give life to many local musicians while melding the healing vibrations of sound with yoga. People often say that it’s easier to release their mental and physical limitations when encouraged by live kinetic vibrations. Russell Butler was masterful at blending his tantric tones along with the ebb and flow of Shannan’s yogic conduction. The room blooms with everyone feeling a taste of nirvana as space in the joints expands with sweet loving acceptance. Each week is a different musical experience. You will never get bored or stuck in a rut, instead you will feel completely spoiled by the real vibrations of live music gently massaging your senses as only live music can do.
Katie Colver is herself an accomplished musician and vocalist. Her band, Cave Clove , an indie rock quartet described as “a wash of soul and tight orchestration” with “a smoky rock sound”. It is important to Katie that everyone know that they are welcome at Showga. Showga is LGBTQ friendly, and a loving space to just be yourself, illuminated by acceptance and love. It’s a beautiful sight to behold everyone moving kinetically along streams of sound, breath, and community connection!
It’s easy to get to Showga, so please be encouraged to explore the fun. We caught the BART from San Francisco and were inside the Starline relaxing within 20 minutes! There’s an abundance of safe parking off the street inside a gated area, and leaving the venue was just as easy as getting there. I hope you will give Showga a try.