Mike Ragogna: What gave you the idea to merge music with yoga for your Soulshine tour?
Michael Franti: I started practicing yoga on tour about 13 years ago as a way to really just take care of myself as I was going in and out of airports and tour busses and doing shows and promotion and staying up late and eating bad restaurant food, et cetera. As I was touring I would practice at a different studio in every city that I went to in the world and I started inviting teachers and fans to come and practice with me before our shows, so we’d do it backstage or in a parking lot or in a park nearby. Last year, we played out at Red Rocks and we invited people to come in the afternoon before the show and practice yoga. We expected about two hundred people would be there and I believe two thousand showed up. We were really overwhelmed by this, so we thought, “This summer, let’s just do this at every one of our shows.” At every show on the Soulshine Tour, myself and some of the other artists will be playing acoustically in the afternoon and there will be a mass yoga class and then it will turn into a proper crazy rock concert after that.
MR: You have Baron Baptiste and Seane Corn as a couple of your yoga teachers. Did you already know them prior to the tour?
MF: I’ve known Seane and Baron for a while, many years now. They’re really inspirational in terms of the way they take yoga off the mat and into the world. I thought they’d be the perfect fit for this because whether you’ve practiced yoga for decades or whether it’s your first time on the yoga mat or whether you just want to come and hear some acoustic music and hear somebody that’s really inspiring speak both Baron and Seane and all of the other teachers really fit that bill. Continue reading >>