This past week, yoga instructor and proud Oakland native, Britteny Floyd-Mayo, aka “Yoga Bae,” came to Nashville as part of her national tour for 3 days to teach a string of her Trap Yoga classes that are perfectly suited for today’s trendy boutique fitness craze.
With a welcome poster depicting a set of snarling blue-painted lips and gold-plated teeth, it is immediately evident that this will not be a typical yoga class.
To put it simply, “trap yoga,” as instructed by Yoga Bae, is vinyasa style yoga taught to trap music’s fat beats, as DJ’d by her resident bad-ass lady DJ partner in crime. Yoga Bae walked into the Nashville Ballroom’s studio space set aside for her 7 p.m. class on Friday with the spirit of a yogi and the grace of a woman completely comfortable in her own skin. She welcomed everyone to trap yoga with a slew of profanity and a huge smile and explained we would be doing three different flows, three times each. She would go through each of them with us twice and then she’d bump up the music and we would be tasked with doing it ourselves, as best as we could. No judgment allowed.
“No judgment allowed” largely describes Yoga Bae’s entire class. Her language is lewd and outrageous, her directions are full of sexual innuendos and her spirit is one committed to helping her students learn and grow. Throughout each flow she sprinkles in what she calls “Ratchet Affirmations” full of positive, fierce energy meant to be just as restorative as the yoga practice itself.
She makes yoga poses relatable and fun—by telling you to stand with your feet “head-between-your-legs” distance apart for mountain pose, by introducing child’s pose as the class’s “safe word” and by instructing everyone to do a backbend because it’s time to bend over backwards for yourself for once!
Yoga Bae offers solace and nurturing advice subtly as she guides her students along to Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar. “You are your own guide. Your own savior,” she preaches. “May I be joyful. May I be free from suffering and fuckshit.”
To Yoga Bae, it is important to remember “No!” is a full sentence, that as women we must know how to rest and that, “yoga, like love,is supposed to stretch you, not cause you pain.”
After a class full of twerking, vinyasa-ing and listening to Yoga Bae’s words of wisdom, she tells us that instead of ending in child’s pose as she normally does, we will end in hero’s pose; she was not satisfied by the conviction with which we shouted our, “No, bitch!” earlier in the class.
And while there’s no incense or gong or dimmed lights and essential oils, upon leaving Yoga Bae’s class, you will feel revitalized, powerful and thankful for great music and the fact that not everything has to be taken so seriously all the time.