1,700 calories is the number assigned to the items I just ate: an ultimate cheesy garlic bread meatball marinara, washed down with a cup of black hazelnut coffee. The last time I worked out? Last year. The last time hit a Juul? Writing this sentence. I feel like a lump of lard if a lump of lard were sentient and could request extra toasting on a Subway sandwich. It’s time for a change. I have to get back to a routine: mornings starting before 9 a.m. and working until I drop, but I can’t seem to get back into a rhythm.
I decided that an easy approach to getting back into a routine — fitness, academic, or otherwise — would be to start my days with a yoga class. A nice, medium-difficulty, cardio-intensive yoga class. As I scan the yoga schedule at the Roots Center for Sacred Studies, located off 17th Street and Uintah Street, and prepare to drag my yoga mat up the hill to an off-campus studio, the term “Buti Yoga” catches my eye.
“Buti,” pronounced “booty,” yoga was created in 2008. A Google search of buti yoga defines the practice as primal movement and deep core engagement. Buti Yoga focuses on intense cardio and rotations, and has a dedicated following of women in athleisure with perfectly curled hair— the kind of woman I aspire to be. So, I decided to register for a class the next day, and I was ready to become part of the Buti collective.
Stumbling out of bed at 10:32 a.m. for an 11 a.m. class allows little time for putting a flawless curl in my hair, and choosing the perfect athletic ensemble. Yet, as I enter Roots, I am overwhelmed with a sense of comfort. The studio lies in a small business flat, its doors peeling with a stick-on stained-glass pane cover. Shelves of shoes to the left, a river-rock fountain to the right, the foyer opens into a cozy waiting room; inside and to the left, an entryway framed with glass bottles gives way to a warmly lit, wood-floored studio.
As I unroll my mat and throw my tangled hair into a messy bun, I survey the room — a grandmother and her granddaughter, the instructor, and me. The instructor, April Stone, invites us to join her on our mats. Her hair, of course, is mildly curled, and her workout apparel screams modest yet modern.
Stone asks me if I’m familiar with Buti Yoga. The conversation goes something like this: she asks, “What is your background?” I say, “I have no idea. I thought the butt pun seemed funny. Who doesn’t want a little humor in their work out? I know I do.” Then I proceed to tell her about my casual Google search and my “light” understanding. She nods in acknowledgement, and then leads us through isolations for the remainder of our practice.
We “spiral,” isolating our hips and rib cage, tracing circles over our frames. We jostle our legs in a bent sprinter’s stance. These moves are essential to Buti practice. We begin a warm up, full of jumps, cardio, and Ke$ha mashups.
We speed through the workout, spiraling, jumping, and dancing. As the granddaughter and grandmother tap out from the isolations, Stone and I continue to spiral, sweat, and dance over our mats. Midway through our practice, Stone’s son, about seven years old, interrupts to peer up at his mother in contorted modifications of downward dog. He’s bored; his tablet is no longer entertaining him. Stone tells her son that she is working and continues to instruct while the little boy climbs over his mother, requesting kisses and cuddles.
As we conclude our session with intensive core work, cool down, and meditation, Stone invites us to welcome in the light and energy of the space, the class, and the people around us. Stone smiles and thanks us for our patience — her little boy reunited with his tablet in the other room.
My messy bun falls out, but I don’t care. As I strap on my Chacos and walk out the door, I think about the little boy, wrapped around his mother’s legs, gazing up at her with wide eyes and affection. I think about the idea of Buti I saw online, and the instructor who I met in the quaint, hometown studio. While Buti as a concept may portray beautiful women spiraling over yoga mats, head-to-toe in Lululemon, Stone provided a sense of warmth and familiarity to her practice, welcoming fitness enthusiasts and lard lumps alike.
Want to try Buti Yoga? Join the Active Life team in El Pomar’s multipurpose room this Saturday at 11:30 a.m. for a free class, instructed by April Stone!