The DJ was spinning a hype jam from the Migos as I transitioned out of a twerk and into a downward facing dog, when it finally hit me. This class is genius. It incorporated everything I loved. An open friendly environment, moody lighting, live music, black women, yoga and twerking. Did God send this combination from heaven? Am I really getting my life to ‘Slippery’ while in asana? Yes, I was.
I had taken the class on a whim, but discovered so much more. Created by Oakland native, Britteny Floyd-Mayo aka Trap Yoga Bae™, the Vinyasa-style yoga class was an energizing experience filled with hella laughs, sweat, and bass along the way.
What made this class so unique?
It married yoga, trap music and a little something called #RachetAffirmations to create the ultimate experience of a yoga lituation.
As an emerging thought leader in the wellness industry, I got a chance to sit down with the Trap Yoga Bae herself:
How long did it take for you to fall in love with yoga? And actually, get good at it?
I knew yoga could change my life, I just didn't know how to be consistent. My relationship with yoga was very spotty the first few years, but I actually loved yoga after my first few classes. I studied Positive Psychology during my undergraduate studies and for my senior thesis I was curious if yoga could help people in transition (truth is we are always in transition, right?) reduce stress and anxiety. Part of my study was to attend yoga classes regularly and journal how I felt. In my own personal study and in the research I found, it said yoga does help.
Actually get good at it?
That's so subjective and evolving, I have seen the tremendous progress I can make with a consistent practice, but I have also learned and lost some key poses like splits and headstands. But, to feel confident that I was capable of doing all those twisty, bendy moves? That takes a few months to respect your body enough to know that it is capable of doing it – believing you can is the first step in getting good at yoga.
How does Music, Mental Health, and Yoga correlate to you?
Music permeates our existence, it is in our DNA and can affect or mood radically. Mental Health is the center core of our overall health and wellbeing, an unhealthy mind tends to lead to unhealthy behaviors and consequence. It is sooo very important and sadly often ignored. And Yoga, ahhhh that gives you the opportunity to dive into the journey of self to learn how to bridge your mind and body in a way that brings you closer to your truest self. When you mix these things, you practice influencing yourself to not only live in your truth but to do it with an understanding of your own strengths, even the strengths that are disguised as limitations.
Some women just aren't into the mental benefits of yoga, what can yoga do for women who just want a bangin' body?
I am asked all the time if all I do is yoga... I usually laugh it off and respond, "If you think it takes more than yoga to get a bangin' body, then you have never been to my class." There are many branches of yoga and many of them are not all easy breathing and making your body do weird things. My favorite type, which is Vinyasa, is physically demanding and more than enough to help you reach your body goals. You'll get that bangin’ body and may just find some inner peace while you are at it... Who doesn't enjoy a two for one deal like that?
What made you want to share your specialty of Trap Yoga with the world?
When I traveled to India, it was during a rough time in my life (divorce) and I just wanted to practice yoga daily. Well, the least expensive way to do it was to join a yoga teachers training program, so that's what I did. Once I left India, I wanted to keep on my journey so I went and spent another month in China, Colombia and then Brazil.
When I got back I knew I had changed. I realized how I found my truest self and I wanted to share my story and how I found a way to make beauty from my hardships.
A friend of mine practiced with me and said that without me even speaking about my story, she could feel the whole process that I went through from my classes. From that moment, I knew that was the way I would share my joy with those that identified with me in some way.
If you could invite any celebrity to your class, who would you tell to 'pull up' and why?
When I get the chance, I am inviting Issa Rae to my class. I love that she shared her truest self with the world and it seemed to create space for people to identify with her to raise their flags and be cool with being awkward or whatever. Plus, she is rooting for everybody black so, I know she's my type of friend.