Diary of a Newfound Neophile, Volume 2
Getting My Booty to Buti
By: Erica Mestyanek, Editor of Dallas Yoga Magazine &Co-Founder of Cosmic Yogi Movement
In Volume 1, I shared my newfound love for Kundalini Yoga. In this edition, I want to share my experience with Buti Yoga. If you happened to stop in at the Cosmic Yogi Festival in November at the Addison Conference & Theatre Centre, you might have witnessed Buti Yoga taking place on the lawn. When Tara Rosenthal and Elektra Moon started the class, all eyes were on them and everyone who didn’t already know what was happening had the same thought, “What kind of yoga is this?!”
According to Tara, Buti Yoga means to uncover what is hidden underneath the surface. It is a tribe of empowered women who support each other in their quest for health and happiness. The movement methodology is drawn from primal movement, tribal dance and ancient yoga techniques to awaken the Shakti energy and free the mind. It is about tapping into the confident, powerful energy that we all have inside of us, and USING it to heal & improve our lives on the outside. Buti Yoga workouts transform your BODY + SOUL with cardio-intensive bursts of tribal dance, primal movement + conditioning woven into a dynamic yoga practice. Elektra says it is a “Butifull” fusion of yoga/cardio/tribal dance/plyometrics and deep Shakti core spiral work.
I remember at the festival, watching the class sweat and move in such a different way than I had seen a yoga class before. I had the chance to talk to my friend Heather after the class and she was wiped out. I remember thinking at that moment, “yea, don’t put me down for cardio.”
Fast forward a few weeks later and I had the opportunity to give Buti Yoga a shot with Elektra at SoulTopia in Carrollton. (She also teaches at Tribal Yoga House.) I was nervous to say the least. I didn’t think I would possibly be able to keep up, but I was ready to at least give it a shot. First of all, if you’ve never been to SoulTopia you have to check it out. The store itself is amazing, full of crystals, décor, tarot cards, jewelry, sage, palo santo and so much more. We had a group of about 10 yogi’s, most of who I learned had not experienced Buti Yoga as well so that definitely put me at ease knowing I wasn’t the only newbie. Elektra started the music and it was fun, upbeat and somewhat sensual. Before I knew it, we had a great flow going and it was mostly familiar poses at first. We started adding some swirly movement with our spines and booties and that, for me initially, was challenging. I found at that moment I needed to get in touch with my sensual side. I quickly realized I needed to close my eyes to really get into the rhythm of each movement. I won’t lie and tell you I didn’t question how silly I looked a few times before I really allowed myself to let go. When we started the “booty bounce” as I will call it (I am sure there is a more technical name), I realized the amount of concentration and muscle strength/memory that took. There were moments we were banging on our mats with our hands, and other times where we were releasing energy with our breaths and other sounds. It was more cardio than I am typically used to or even interested in participating in, there were a few times towards the end where I was ready for Savasana.
That night, I slept like a baby.
A couple weeks later, I went to visit Tara at her studio called Tribal Yoga House (it’s inside a Piano Gallery.) Tara’s studio is awesome; full of mirrors and the lighting is the perfect setting for Buti Yoga. We quickly got started and the music was loud and full of incredible beats. It quickly became obvious this would be a different experience than my first Buti Yoga class. This class, for me, felt even more sensual, which for me at times was hard to swallow for someone who doesn’t typically think of themselves as a sensual person. It seemed as though the cardio level in Tara’s class was a level or two higher than my first class. I did have a couple times where I had to take a break and grab a quick drink of water before I could dive back in, but I was not the only one in class who did the same so, again, that made me feel better. Savasana, was delightful. Tara gave us warm compresses that had been scented with a nice minty essential oil. I don’t think I need to tell you I slept like a baby that night.
All in all, I love Buti Yoga. It is helping me tap into this new, sensual, open me. Both Tara and Elektra are amazing teachers who offer their own unique twists on Buti Yoga and you can bet you will get a different experience from them. Cosmic Yogi Movement cannot wait to partner with these two amazing gals at the next Cosmic Yogi Festival.