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Buti (pronounced “booty”) Yoga is perhaps the most unexpectedly fun yoga class I’ve ever taken. A mixture of tribal dance, yoga, and plyometrics created by Bizzie Gold, this practice will elevate not only your heart rate, but your mood.
Buti Yoga in Denver
While Buti Yoga in Denver is growing, it is certainly not a class found at every studio. However, at the YogiApproved.com HQ aka ZenDen, classes are offered three times per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 pm, and Saturdays at 10 am), and will continue to expand. YogiApproved.com is a yoga + healthy lifestyle online publication, started by Ashton August. It is August’s Buti classes and YogiApproved.com publication that have helped grow the community of Buti Yoga in Denver and provide a unique space for regular Buti classes.
August’s yoga journey began with a more traditional practice of vinyasa and hot yoga. She had found yoga in her late teens while dealing with anxiety and migraines. After only a short while of a regular yoga practice, she began to see a shift in her health. Later, in Phoenix, Arizona for grad school, her journey expanded. August attended a hot yoga class after which the teacher came up to her and said, “I really want you to teach here.” And so, she got certified in hot yoga. “I never expected to,” she explained. “I had just gotten my degree.”
August’s then-boyfriend, now-fiance, Tyler Strauss is the person who introduced her to Buti. She found a video online and was immediately captivated by the combination of hip-hop and tribal dance, rap songs and movement.
“I was just in heaven. I love yoga so much. The Buti yoga flair and attitude just drew me in.” -Ashton August
She explains that the exact month she left Phoenix for Denver, Buti creator Bizzie Gold arrived in Phoenix. August thought, “Since I can’t stay, I’m going to bring [Buti] to Denver. I came here on a mission to help it explode.” And with the help of other Buti yogis throughout the state, she has.
One vehicle to bolster the growth of Buti Yoga in Denver has been Ashton’s publication, YogiApproved.com. Ashton began the site almost three-years ago after having received a masters degree in creative nonfiction. The publication perfectly pairs this writing background with her passion for yoga. She teamed up with Tyler, who had owned a couple of online businesses and brought his online savvy to the project.
“YogiApproved.com is an online yoga community that connects people around the world. There are articles on yoga, love, travel, healthy eating, and a ton of video content.”
There are free yoga classes and premium memberships which offer classes and full-length programs. The site is committed to yogic principles and lifestyles. The most recent example of this is the new plant a tree initiative, which plants one tree for every premium class that a student completes online.
“We decided we should put roots down somewhere and that it should be in Colorado, where we are both from,” August said, explaining how Denver came to host the YogiApproved.com HQ. Shortly after the publication’s creation, the YogiApproved.com HQ became a reality and the online community got an IRL counterpart, where live classes could be offered and community could be found. The kernel of this local community are the weekly Buti classes taught by August and other local teachers.
My first Buti experience was on the second day of 2018 (hey, I had just resolved to try new things). But I’ll admit, I was intimidated to go to this new class all alone. Upon walking into a packed YogiApproved.com HQ, my fears were instantly quieted. The room was open and welcoming, loud but in a friendly and energizing kind of way. It was also packed; it seemed like everyone else was starting their New Year’s resolutions strong.
The class was literally life-changing. I was moving in ways I had never moved before, catching the beat in ways I had never dared to before, and was feeling so insanely comfortable and confident and supported by the (mostly) women in the room. It was loud and rowdy and accepting. And lest you think I have the kind of personality that lends itself to wild dancing, think again. I am just your standard, uncoordinated girl who is seriously considering dancing lessons for my wedding because the idea of “just dancing” stresses me out to no end. And yet, there was something about Buti that turned off that over-thinking, self-conscious part of my brain. Plus, I was surrounded by people who were just doing their thing and it was INSPIRING.
What does Buti mean?
Okay, but what really is Buti? Fair warning, I did a lot of googling before my first class (and did find this pretty helpful YouTube video about Buti Yoga). August also wrote this helpful article: “What is Buti Yoga + Why Are So Many Women Obsessing Over it?”
Buti means “the cure to something that is hidden” in Indian Maharathi. It seeks to unlock the energy in the two lower Shaktis (think lots of spiraling motions) and to activate sexuality, power, confidence and cleansing. Since you are working within the first and second chakra, your core will be activated and engaged during the entire class. But unlike traditional core work, you are using the spiral structure technique (SST), which activates the abs in a spiral movement — not a linear one. So expect cardio and toning plus a mind-body connection, which is actually quite literal as August often recommends new students to connect to their bodies by placing their hands on the part of the body engaging in the motion (it seriously does help!). Pair this dynamic and challenging movement with loud, awesome music, and you can see why this is not your standard flow.
As August describes, Buti offers the foundations of a vinyasa-style class, layered with tribal dance, hip-hop dance, and plyometrics like HIIT. It also creates a greater sense of balance and grounding through the balancing of the chakras. “Buti is where yoga meets dance. Yogis will definitely be familiar with some of the moves, but we then layer on these other aspects that create crazy physical strength and agility.” Working within the chakras and with the spiral structure technique is “deeply strengthening for all parts of the core,” says August.
August warmly reminds me that Buti is for all levels of yoga. “Whether you are the most advanced yogi or it’s your first time on the mat, the practice is really about tapping into self-awareness and being authentic about what you need that day.” When you step into a new studio for the first time or try a new class, it can be intimidating. But come alone or bring a friend and you will be supported by the YogiApproved.com HQ community. August’s favorite part of class seeing her students walk up to strangers and introduce themselves, saying “We are so happy to have you here.”
August’s classes at the YogiApproved.com HQ offer an experience you may not find in other studios or styles of yoga. And it is worth stepping outside of your comfort zone.
“We have a room full of women — and men — falling in love with themselves in the mirror. You come as you are. You are welcome as you are. And when you step onto the mat everything falls into place.” – Ashton August
Join the Buti Yoga at the YogiApproved HQ Facebook Group for details about Buti Yoga in Denver, including their classes, teachers, workshops, events, and the local YogiApproved.com and Buti community. The class schedule is about to expand, so keep your eyes peeled! Also be sure to check out YogiApproved.com, a yogic lifestyle site with a ton of great resources, flows and more.
FitLo Live Interview with Ashton August
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