Mental Physix are a DJ duo made up of Crisanto Santa Ana and Dru Ali. Their mission? To explore the fusion of music and yoga to "create a divine union of healing, through self-realization and sound." Both Santa Ana and Ali perform at yoga studios while Vinyasa classes are going on, and the experience — with both the yogis and the DJs feeding off each other's energies — is intensely spiritual. Last month, Mental Physix took their Technic1200s on the road and toured yoga studios around California, Nevada, Colorado and Utah.
On Saturday, Mental Physix will be performing at the One Consciousness of Love and Light Festival (www.1ConsLoveLight.com) in Anaheim. The festival will feature meditation, dance performances, lots of yoga and healthy, organic food served throughout the day.
OC Weekly: How did you guys meet?
Crisanto Santa Ana: We met through music. I remember Dru working at the Tower Records at Beach Blvd back in 1996. I never really hung out with him, but I'd always buy records and he'd be there working. It wasn't until 2005-ish that we met again through a mutual friend. From there, we started collaborating on music projects. We became music partners in a seven-member group collective known as the Parallel.
How did you end up doing music for yoga?
Santa Ana: We were influenced by the yoga festivals we attended in 2012. We got into yoga early 2012 — it wasn't until we attended our first yoga festival, Shakti Fest, that we decided to combine the two elements, deejaying and yoga. Both elements had made tremendous positive impact in our lives. Our first class we deejayed was summer of 2012 with yoga teacher Tiffany Janay.
Dru Ali: We went to Joshua Tree and had a "musical awakening" where we knew we wanted to contribute our DJ skills to yoga. Everything kind of just fell together after that.
Why play live music for yoga?
Santa Ana: Music for yoga is unique. Certain tones and frequencies can enhance your practice and bring you to a certain level of vibratory frequency. Music during yoga can create calmness or raise the intensity of a practice. Yoga is like a dance, and we provide the soundtrack. Doing music for yoga also allows us to assist teachers in creating an amazing playlist — freeing up the teachers time to focus more on their flows. Having a DJ present in the studio adds another exciting element, allowing the DJs, teachers, and students to exchange and feed off one one another's energy.
Ali: Music adds depth to the practice and can help take you on a journey with the flow of the class.
What does the name Mental Physix mean?
Ali: Mental Physix is balance. Mental and physical. Yin and yang. Deep beats and yoga. The place between the paradox.
How have people reacted to your music during classes?
Santa Ana: The reception to our music has been amazing so far. We've been receiving great feedback both from teachers and students. This overwhelming support has motivated us to further our movement.
Ali: One of the craziest things we've heard was that someone felt like they had an outer body experience by the end of the class!
What do you feel when you play while people are practicing yoga?
Ali: You definitely feel like you're in the moment. It's always a challenge trying to match the music up with the flow of the class. It feels really good when you can get through an entire class and feel like every song in the mix went exactly in sync with every sequence.
Santa Ana: We feel very honored that these students and teachers share their sacred space with us. We also feel very excited just like any musical artist before a show time. The yoga studio is sort of like our sacred stage.
Do you practice yoga yourselves?
Santa Ana: I practice everyday; it's very important. Through yoga I am able to find peace and balance.
Ali: We are both practicing yoga with the intent to teach in the future.
Do you consider yourselves producers or DJs?
Santa Ana: We are actually both — we've been deejaying and composing our own music since early 2000s. We are planning on releasing our album (all original content) later on this year.
What are the pros and cons of playing at yoga studios?
Santa Ana: We can play the music we love, and students and teachers are always excited when we come and play at their studios.
Ali: The [downside] is sometimes we can't play it loud enough!
Mental Physix perform at the One Consciousness of Love and Light Festival, Saturday, May 11, all day. Tickets are $30. Business Expo Center 1960 S. Anaheim Way Anaheim, CA 92805