Last week, The Garland, a stylish hotel in North Hollywood, celebrated September’s National Yoga Month with a Sound Off Deep Flow Yoga Class. Held in their lovely outdoor venue Beverly Park, this was described as “taking classic outdoor yoga to another level.” The class combined traditional vinyasa yoga movements with an instructor and a live DJ spinning music that could only be heard through glowing, wireless, noise-isolating, three-channel headphones.

I’d been hearing a lot about these silent experiences as of late. A friend told me she’d been to a wedding at a private estate in Paso Robles that had a sound cut-off at 10 pm. When that hour arrived, everyone donned headphones and the dancing continued. Someone else had been to a bar mitzvah where the kids rocked out with headphones while the adults were able to carry on conversations without shouting.

The yoga experience at The Garland did, indeed, take things to another level. The DJ played what my friend Lulu described as “deep house and chillout… electronic soothing but clubby beats.” We also heard the yoga instructor through the headphones. It made for a deeply immersive experience and a lack of self-consciousness while also creating a sense of community. (OK, the after-class tacos and cucumber-mint cocktails didn’t hurt.)

Sound Off offers a wide variety of experiences, including silent disco, sound-off ice skating, “bloq” parties and customized events for clients that include Yelp, Spotify, Miami Fashion Week, MINI Cooper and The Howard Hughes Corporation. You can read more about what they offer at their website. The technology is new and fresh—a great way to bring excitement to a group gathering. Interesting things happen when you turn the sound off!

California is one of the most abundant agricultural regions in the world, but a startling number of residents aren’t always sure where their next meal will come from. According to Feeding America, the nation’s largest network of food banks, one in eight Californians struggles with hunger. The situation is especially startling for children; one in five is food insecure.

Hunger is not a supply problem, it’s a logistics challenge. And the meetings and events industry is full of logistics-minded people who are in a position to chip away at it.

 

There’s gold—and a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed meeting center—in them thar hills.

 

A new gem in the central coast.