Rock Om – The Origin Story

Yoga flow with DJ Drez and Marti Nikko

Music, Yoga, and The Making of Rock Om

It’s hard to deny the psychological benefits of listening to music and its impact on workouts. Many people who exercise regularly even go as far as to say the right playlist can be as important to your workout as the right equipment.

Enter: Rock Om.

Rock Om is an in-room yoga experience, unique to Hard Rock Hotels. Part of the brand’s Sound Body® wellness program, this complimentary wellness amenity provides guests with professional-level yoga equipment and includes yoga videos led by music talents and yoga gurus, DJ Drez and Marti Nikko.


The Dynamic Duo – Drez and Nikko

When it comes to integrating music into practice, DJ Drez is yoga’s sound pioneer. He began his career over 20 years ago in the hip-hop world and has worked with an array of top artists in the music industry including Blackstar, Black Eyed Peas and Eminem. Today, Drez is an internationally acclaimed producer, musical director, and dedicated yogi.

DJ Drez and his wife, Marti Nikko, pair as a dynamic duo in crafting music with yoga in mind. Like Drez, Nikko is no stranger to the music industry and is a talented singer, songwriter, and yoga instructor. When they’re not in the recording studio, the couple tours the world teaching and performing at yoga retreats and festivals like Wanderlust.

The Making of Rock Om, ft. DJ Drez and Marti Nikko

Traditionalists believe that yoga should be practiced in silence. At Hard Rock, we’ve broken the mold and believe yoga and music have a symbiotic relationship.

This is what makes Rock Om so unique. The rhythm and beat are meant to be felt throughout your yoga flow rather than heard.

Backstage with Nikko

In an interview with Samantha Hunger of Yoga Digest, Nikko talks about introducing her husband to yoga, collaborating with Hard Rock and the making of Rock Om.

The following excerpt is from The Rock Om Yoga Experience w/ Marti Nikko and DJ Drez. Read the full article here.

Samantha Hunter: What does the practice of yoga represent to you?

Marti Nikko: Yoga is an opportunity to expand your understanding of this human experience – a process and way to connect more deeply to yourself and to other human beings.  Yoga is a major life tool for me.  It helps me to clear out clutter in not only the body, but the mind and heart.  Even if things are only three percent better after a practice that I had to work hard to make happen, it is still very much worth that three percent.

SH: Why did you feel it was important to introduce your husband to yoga and what was that experience like?

MN: My husband broke his neck as a skate boarder when he was young.  As an adult he suffered from chronic residual pain from that injury mostly in the neck and shoulders.  I knew that yoga might be a possible solution to bring some ease to the body.  It took some pushing, but he finally did agree.  It helped!  Life-changing to be real.  The practice of yoga has really become part of who we are.

SH: How did your partnership with Hard Rock to create Rock Om come about? Tell us about the experience of developing that program.

MN: Hard Rock tracked us down. Drez and I have been traveling the world teaching at various festivals, retreats and yoga studios. Drez got the call that Hard Rock wanted to bring yoga to their hotels and we loved the idea.  I created the classes while Drez created the music.  We are both musicians and yoga teachers. Mixing music with yoga has been something we have always done so this felt right at home.  We wanted our classes to be fun yet still embody the deeper aspects of yoga. We also wanted the classes to be completely accessible to not just the seasoned practitioner, but the beginner.

SH: What in your opinion makes Rock Om so unique and special?

MN: To be honest…it’s us.  We don’t teach your average fluffy or workout hotel yoga.  We are real teachers and musicians who live this work daily.  We have to really give it up to Hard Rock, who took a chance to hire real musicians that happen to teach really good yoga.  It just worked out to be something unique and special and definitely not anything you can find at any other hotel.


Learn more about Rock Om® and the other wellness elements that make up the exclusive Hard Rock Hotel Sound Body® wellness program, available at Hard Rock Hotel properties worldwide.