Buti: A Love Story-By Courtney Dewrell

How many times have you heard the quote, “There is nothing permanent except change”? I think that’s one of the many reasons that it’s so important to try new things. Several years ago, with this ‘permanent change’ idea in mind, I started a summer of yoga field trips. I was fortunate enough that the area where I lived, Pittsburgh at the time, had a bunch of different kinds of yoga: Yoga with bunnies at an animal sanctuary, stand up paddle board yoga, chakra awakening yoga, and Buti Yoga were the ones that I tried. Prior to finding Buti, vinyasa yoga was my main practice of choice. I liked to find teachers who would offer arm balances or other challenges that reminded me to play and not to take yoga (and life) so seriously.
Another benefit of trying new things is that you get to be a beginner again! You don’t have to worry about looking like a pro because, well, you’re not! My first Buti yoga class was a black light event to celebrate the instructor’s birthday. The studio darkened the room, turned on black lights, and provided glow-in-the-dark body paint. This was a unique experience because the paint on my arms and face enhanced the primal of movements found in a Buti class. Also, with the lights off I was able to draw my awareness away from how I thought I “should” look and I allowed myself to submerge into a completely new world.
I knew that with the studio lights back on it might be a different experience, but I felt so carefree during the practice that I was willing to try again. What continued to draw me back to subsequent Buti yoga classes was the music’s upbeat tempo and the movements within each of the postures. I’m the kind of person that has to get the wiggles out before I can settle into any sort of meditative state and Buti offered just that. An example I like to give is: in a pose like Warrior II, once we find our alignment we will find some movement such as pulsing through the front leg, rowing the arms, chakra awakening, etc. all to really fun music!
“Buti” is an Indian Marathi word meaning a cure that has been kept secret. The practice of Buti Yoga combines elements of kundalini and vinyasa yoga with tribal dance, and deep core activation for a well-rounded engagement of mind, body, and soul. Each class is different and challenging in a new way. Instructors select music that drives the intensity of the class so I would say you might find it difficult to become complacent in this practice.
After moving back to Florida, I had a hard time finding a class that challenged me in the ways that I had grown used to in Pennsylvania. Through searching online, I found there was a Buti class about an hour away and although that is an incredibly far away to drive, I was so enamored with this style that I did my best to get there once a week. The instructor in Santa Rosa started encouraging me to look into getting certified.
Although I had long been interested in taking a yoga teacher training, something had always been in the way: money, time, pregnancies, new babies, cross country moves… However, the Buti certification takes place over a long weekend and you are able to teach the style when you pass your demonstration. This seemed to fall into place perfectly- I would be able to bring a style that I loved to my area and share it with anyone willing to try something new!
The questions I get most frequently are: can men come to this practice? And can I try Buti if I’m not flexible/not that strong? The answer to both is absolutely! There are many modifications that can make this practice accessible to a wide population of people. After two pregnancies and two C-sections, my abdominal wall was a wreck. I truly believe the spiral structure technique and intense focus on core awareness and engagement that are taught in Buti played a huge part in my healing.
I’ll refrain from telling people how they could or should feel after a Buti class, but what draws me back time and time again is a curiosity about what my physical self is capable of, the mental peace that washes over me after a heart-elevated oxytocin release, and the calm that my soul is able to settle into after I get past the physical exertion.
And if you don’t have a yoga practice already, that does not mean you should not try out a Buti class! We all start somewhere! I do suggest that all people, whether long time yogis or people brand-new to the world of fitness, should rotate through the different branches of yoga regularly for a well-rounded yoga approach. Each practice is challenging in its own way.

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