Above & Beyond Flow State Interview: Paavo-Yogi Bare

Above & Beyond Flow State Interview: Paavo

Want to know the most special part of our limited edition Flow State Yoga Mat collaboration with legends of trance Above & Beyond?
Oh hi, hello, good day excitement, didn't expect you to creep up on me like that.
Did you ever spend hours day dreaming that your favourite pop band member was going to waiting to meet you at the school gates at the end of the school disco? The school disco that went disastrously wrong and you ended up singing along loudly to the part of the song where it pauses? 
Well this was kind of like that.
Kind of.
At the end of a festival, one of my favourite bands asked to collaborate.
And im so excited to present you one of the coolest most authentic things we've done.
Introducing the Above & Beyond x Yogi Bare Flow State Yoga Mat
to celebrate the launch of Above & Beyond's latest album Flow State.
Stepping out of the dark clubs and festival circuit and into the light, Above & Beyond are more than a band & collective. They are a movement. The power that music has to move through us & with us is hypnotic. It makes us feel right here, right now. It slices through white noise, isolation, loneliness & makes us feel connected, whole, United. Yoga is music. Music is yoga.

The Mat

The Flow State Mat is a minimalist interpretation of the eternal resilience of nature and what it is to be human. Organic shapes are reimagined in a linear way, guiding you into flow, subtly aiding your alignment while giving you space to play and explore.

Feel the grip. Feel your homecoming.

Experience the  Flow State album – Listen here
We caught up with Paavo from Above & Beyond to find out why one of the biggest trance acts in the world decided to launch a Yoga album and what it means to them.
The Interview

It feels like Flow State has been sitting in your bones for a long time, you’ve experimented with hour long continuous Yoga Flow tracks and with Yoga sessions at Burning Man. Flow State seems like the natural next step but why now? Why do you feel like the world will resonate with Flow State today?

We'd been writing ambient music since the start of our band, and our Yoga sets began to create a natural home for all that music.

Especially in today's information filled world, many of us, myself included, have felt internal discomfort - I hope Flow State can be part of bringing comfort and mindfulness to people's lives.

You’ve spoken previously on how Yoga has been a player in helping you through seasons of anxiety and depression, how did you come to Yoga?

I've been fascinated by Indian philosophy and spirituality since my teens, and found meditation and yoga 11 years ago as a means to help me cope with the physical and mental challenges of being a touring musician.

Has music always played a role in your practice? How important do you think it is?

For my own practice, i often like concentrating on just my breath - but music can add an emotional dimension to a practice and different soundcapes to bring a 'familiarity' to the routine of the practice i like.

If Yoga means to unite, then Above & Beyond have nailed it. The real and honest family you’ve amassed is magic. What do you feel it is about your music that draws people together and makes them feel like they belong?

I've always felt that as our music is very rooted in real life experiences, and the honesty of and artistic yet direct way people like Tony, Justine and Zoe write their lyrics is truly inspiring. It's this realness, open display of vulnerability i believe has helped create a feeling of belonging amongst people.

When playing Flow State Live – especially to the scale of the crowds you draw! - how do you create a sense of intimacy? Does it feel different to play live?

Yoga is essentially an individual practice even when it's done in a crowd, but what i've been struck by is the strength of feeling at these shows.
It's one thing hearing the music by myself but emotionally responding to it together with people is magical.

There are two versions of Flow State, one overlayed with spoken word by the majestic Elena Brower, why was this decision made to bring an extra dimension to the album?

During the writing of the album we were listening to some ted talks and soon realised that when we put a really inpirational talk together with the music, the message is stronger, bolder, and the music has more power too.
Talking with Elena we also realised this was an opportunity to create something practically useful for people too.

So it was probably the most badass thing we’ve ever done, creating the Flow State eco friendly Yoga mat with you guys, what inspired the art work?

We talked about the cyclic nature of breath, the nature, how to give the album an organic feel.
The wonderful people at Big Active nailed it!

It’s easy to loose yourself in Flow State, just as you can get lost in a yoga flow. Where you fully able to loose yourself in the creation of the album?

The album was written mainly over a period of about 18 months during a very challenging and dark part of my life.
I did at times lose myself in the pressure of it all - but there were also amazing moments listening to the album in hotel rooms around the world.
Now the album is out, feels like much of that darkness was transformed through music into shining, healing light and it's radiating back.

In the magical words of Elena, How do you come back to that place within you, that place of peace?

I found it and connect with it each day during my meditation practice.

And where do you find that place of peace outside yourself?

In nature

What does being in Flow State mean to you?

I most often get into a flow state when playing piano.
It's a state where, often through sustained focus, time, stress and pressure all vanish, and what's left is free, childlike creativity.

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