I’m always game for trying a new workout. Somehow though, even as a lifetime fan of both yoga and dance, I felt a little intimidated to try Buti Yoga. What if I don’t know the moves? What if I don’t have the coordination? What even IS it?
Buti is a high-intensity workout created by LA yoga trainer Bizzie Gold and consists of 60 to90 minutes of plyometrics (industry lingo for explosive jumping movements), combined with various Hatha yoga styles and tribal-infused dance components. Throw in loud, beat-pumping music, a passionate message of empowerment and an inclusive, community-driven mentality, and you’ve got yourself a fitness “movement.”
And guess what: If you think it’s impossible to get calorie-crushing cardio, major muscle sculpting and Cirque du Soleil-like flexibility knocked out all in the same sweat session, then you need to get yourself to a Buti class stat.
Dana McGowan, who leads Buti classes twice each week at PLAY Louisville, tells me it “rocked her world” when she discovered it. She admits that she was always one to shy away from traditional yoga practice because of the slower pace and lack of music, but when a friend introduced her to Buti three years ago, she was an instant addict. The combination of music, dance and sweat made her feel like she’d found her soul mate workout. And for those who’ve never tried it and might feel intimidated, she gets it! She understands that it can be intimidating to begin any new fitness challenge and says she felt the same way approaching her first ever Buti class.
So what can a newcomer expect from a 60-minute Buti Yoga session? First of all, leave your inhibition and shyness at the door. Trust me when I tell you that within this group, everyone is focused on their own workout and doesn’t care about what moves you are or aren’t doing perfectly. Plan on lots of hip movement, cardio drills, short dance sequences and pulsing within traditional yoga poses. There is lots of core work! Isometric movements to help strengthen your deep core muscles and lots of twisting for your obliques ensure that your abs will be feeling it the next day. Mine were. The plyometric/cardio element to the class (think mountain climbers, squat jumps and slapping the floor) add a tribal vibe, and if you like something a little more cardio-intense than yoga, this is a fun option to try.
I loved how the tribe (a term which, though not indigenous to Buti Yoga practice, has been emphatically embraced amongst its followers) exhibited a team spirit among fellow participants. The energy was contagious, and it’s always motivating to feel like you’re connected and working together, whether it’s through synchronized movement or accomplishing a common goal.
But let’s get to the bottom line. Is it a legit workout? Can it get you in shape? YES and YES. McGowan has a beautiful 5-month-old son and the kind of flat tummy that looks like she was born with it. Her loyal practice over the course of the last three years allowed her to teach even into her ninth month of pregnancy last year. She is just as grateful though for the mental benefits as she is the physical ones.
“Buti has truly helped me discover what it is to love myself, and it is my mission to help others do the same,” she says. “Buti is about loving yourself in a world that is constantly telling you not to, and that makes it a practice for everyone!” VT
Check out a Buti Yoga class any Monday or Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at PLAY Louisville (1101 E. Washington St.). The cost is $10 and you’ll want to bring a yoga mat and water.
By Kris Ritcher.