Five years, 2.6 million hits, and more than 11,000 likes after Lululemon released “Sh Yogis Say” on YouTube, familiar phrases still echo through our practice spaces.
Need a coconut water? Namaste. Down dog. Headstand. Inhale, right leg up. Namaste. Exhale, chaturanga dandasana, elbows in. Mala beads. Wheat grass shots? Namaste.
If you had a mala bead for every time you’ve heard those words, you’d have a lot of mala beads. But how often do you hear the loud, bass-pounding rhythm of Shaggy and Snoop Dog from the doors of a yoga studio? And how often do you hear these instructions?
First-timers, extra brownie points for singing out loud ... Inhale right leg up, exhale step it through, high crescent lunge, now pulse it out, smaller circles with that booty, tighten it up and snap it double-time ... Three, two, one, take it down, exhale downward dog and shake it out, shake those bootys ... Now bring those knees in and down, left and right and tap, double-time, hips up, shake it out ... Come up, yogis squat, hands on hips and pop it out, take it down low, as much as you can ... Engage your core or you’ll be sore.
Welcome to the world of Buti Yoga. Founder Bizzie Gold created the technique to fuse the ancient Kriya methods of cleansing and breathwork with plyometrics and high-intensity tribal dance.
Taught by Buti certified instructors, these female-bonding, girls-night-out-but-guys-are-welcome-too classes are hosted at Yoga Tropics in Pacific Beach and by The Movement Lab in Solana Beach.
DiscoverSD recently caught up with a class right before a booty-shaking set of warrior.
“So we start in yoga postures, then begin the dance moves from there,” instructor Maria Centanni said. “People come once, then bring more and more friends. It’s a high-energy mix of the breathing and yoga practices with lots of movement. They come back because it’s so much fun.”
“At first when I saw the class with everyone bumping their butts in the air and gyrating like strippers, I thought no way am I doing this,” said Buti-student-turned-teacher Marie Steinwedell Baez, “but all of a sudden it was the middle of class and we were getting our butts kicked and didn’t even have a chance to think about feeling awkward.”
Studio owner Carla Stockalper also started out skeptical about bringing the booty-shaking, butt-sculpting vibe to the Yoga Tropics class schedule, but quickly found that it complemented the studio community.
“Every time I practice, I’m transported back to those high school girls-night dances,” Stockalper said. “It’s so nurturing to female empowerment - but that being said, the guys have a great time, too. It offers a high-energy alternative to shake up your practice, and it’s a space where you just feel good in your own body.”
This fun alternative is also offered by The Movement Lab team in North County, who describe their Buti and the Beach class as “not your ordinary yoga class.”
So if you’re on Garnet or Highway 101 hearing club music blasting, don’t be surprised if it’s blasting from the local yoga studio. Come in, grab a mat, and try it out! And if you happen to go left when everyone else goes right, that’s perfect - the more you laugh, the easier it is to keep that booty shaking in rhythm.
Yoga Tropics, 1896 Garnet Ave., San Diego, YogaTropics.com
The Movement Lab, 243 N. Highway 101, Unit 3, Solana Beach , TheMovementLab.org
Anna Mueco has been a student of hatha and kriya yoga since 2003. Mueco became a yoga instructor in 2006 and currently teaches in Pacific Beach. Send your thoughts about the yoga world to her at anna@HyperNinjaYoga.com