Buti Yoga: Everything You Need to Know Before Trying a Class

It combines traditional yoga moves and dance.

Buti Yoga

Buti Yoga

Buti Yoga is the brainchild of celebrity trainer Bizzie Gold. Created in 2010, this niche workout combines traditional yoga moves and tribal dance. The plyometric elements of a Buti Yoga class are cardio-intense as opposed to traditional yoga that offers a more zen approach.

Wild and liberating movements will pump up your heart rate, so you'll burn more calories and increase your resting metabolic rate. And at the same time, you’re working hard to strengthen your muscles. Plus, according to the Los Angeles Times, one 75-minute class could burn approximately 800 to 1000 calories. All that aside, though, Buti Yoga aims to cleanse and release toxic energy, or harbored trauma—it’s about letting go. It also focuses on being a part of a community. 

"You don’t feel like you are working out in a Buti class because it’s constantly changing. We don’t go left to right, or up and down, and there is no counting," certified Buti Yoga instructor Hedy Wyland Capell says. "We move our bodies to the music and the beat drops to keep our mind and body guessing what will come next. We want you to shift your mindset from workout to movement and from punishment to celebration." Keep reading to learn more about Buti Yoga.

Meet the Expert

Hedy Wyland Capell has been a certified Buti Yoga instructor for three years. She teaches at Amarah in Pittsburgh, PA. Wyland Capell also holds a BFA in Modern Dance Performance from the University of the Arts

What Is Buti Yoga? 

Buti Yoga encourages the idea of "sweating with intention" and discovering your self-worth. Wyland Capell says your sweat has a purpose, and you should not waste it on a workout that isn’t going to leave you feeling euphoric. "Buti is a soulful blend of power yoga, cardio-intensive tribal movement, conditioning, and deep abdominal toning," she adds. "This workout tones and sculpts the entire body while facilitating complete inner transformation."  

The beat-blended movements force you out of your head and into your body. "You will never take the same Buti Yoga class because each instructor is different in terms of creativity and movement," Wyland Capell says. In fact, Wyland Capell doesn’t choreograph her classes in advance. The only thing that is planned is her playlist because the class is driven by the music.

What Does Buti Mean? 

To Wyland Capell, it means finding something deep within herself that she has kept tucked away. "To move and live without fear or caring what others think of me," she says.

The Benefits

Buti Yoga is a mental and physical release. Take it from Wyland Capell: "I have honestly never felt the way that I do after a Buti class, in any other workout platform." You are encouraged to make noise, scream, or chant—whatever comes out naturally. It's also worth noting that class participation is everything to the instructors and your fellow yogis. "We want you to feel animalistic and wild because once you are in that headspace you no longer care about what you look like or what anyone else thinks," she says. "This connection is important so that your body is relaxed, and you can release into the movement freely."

Buti Yoga also encourages flexibility, strength, and each class incorporates the spiral structure technique to build long, lean muscles.

The Studio

"When you come to a Buti Yoga class you can expect a dimly lit studio with mirrors," Wyland Capell explains. "They are there so you can see how beautiful you are. The music will be a mix of tribal, house, electronic, trance, and hip hop. The energy is high and encouraging."

Take note: You sweat. A lot. By the time class is over, don’t be surprised if you’re stripped down to your sports bra. That said, bring a yoga mat, towel, and plenty of water. "I suggest wearing shorts, or light breathable yoga leggings," she says. "You want a supportive sports bra because there is lots of cardio and jumping. A loose tank top works well."

What To Expect

"You can expect to have the best time of your life," Wyland Capell tells me. "You will leave feeling way better than when you came in, mentally and physically.” She notes that many Buti Yoga newbies have a good, hard cry while in Savasana pose. 

“I cry at almost the end of all my classes because you don’t realize how much stored trauma we hold in our fascia, body, and mind," she says. "It can be a spiritual experience.”

Buti Yoga vs. Traditional Yoga 

“Most of the moves in Buti Yoga come from standard yoga," Wyland Capell points out. "You can expect to do downward facing dog, Warrior I, II and III, child’s pose, triangle, chaturanga, upward facing dog, chair pose, and so on." She explains that the main difference is that in Buti Yoga you don’t hold these positions like you would in a vinyasa class. You move through them using the spiral structure technique that comes from your ribcage and dynamic variations which include, toe taps, floor slaps, pulses front to back, heel raises and drumming. 

You will learn the static shake at the beginning of class. "It’s what we use in-between movements after we have burned out a muscle to release the fascia," Wyland Capell says. "Your legs are in a wide-legged goddess pose with toes pointing toward the mirror. Your back is slightly bent forward, and you can have a slight bend in your knees to take any stress off your lower back. Then you will move your feet side to side like a penguin."

Throughout the session, Buti Yoga instructors are there to teach and most importantly, support you. "You will be shown the correct way to plank," Wyland Capell says. "Your butt will be slightly raised in plank to protect your lower back. There are many different movements to do in this position from spiraling the hips to lowering into pushups.”

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