DECEMBER 18, 2017

#TRIBE THRIVE

The KEY to Sustainable Transformation (+ How to Actually USE It)


 

As a collective, we sure like to punish ourselves. For the LOOK, to be SKINNY, for the ABS- and all the other physical achievements we’re after. But this way of pursuing the LOOK is pretty jacked.

NOT because you can’t deprive/punish/tirelessly push yourself until you see something different

NOT because it’s wrong to want to want better for yourself, but because…

  1. Outer transformation without an inner foundation is crazy unsustainable (and you work too hard for that shit) and
  2. If the abs are all you’re after, YOU end up missing out on the most life-affirming gifts transformation has to offer on the way.

You deserve better. So don’t do that.

By now, you've already heard that you're supposed to #loveyourself like, the day before yesterday. That’s great and all... but pretty much only anxiety-inducing unless you know how you can actually get there...not in new age concept or just by intending to, but in real, actionable life. 

Buti is about transforming from the inside out. It's catchy tagline - but it’s also one of the deepest truths about this practice, and the complimentary lifestyle so many Buti students adopt with it.

You're not here just to polish your facade. What’s better than rock hard abs? Feeling ridiculously confident and ridiculously vibrant before you have it-and keeping that swagger with or without them.

So, how DO you transform from the inside out?

The good news is, sustainable transformation + finding the self-love we're all after go hand in hand- and it's all held up by 3 trusty pillars- at Buti we call them the FEEL/THINK/LOOK Philosophy.

The 3 Pillars of Sustainable Transformation:                                                   

PILLAR 1: FEEL

Transformation that lasts begins with processes/practices that illicit different FEELINGS in you. To achieve and maintain a physical result like, weight loss, toning or muscle gain you must begin by making changes in your lifestyle that make you feel tangible + beneficial differences. Stuff you can actually TALK about: less bloated, better digestion, happier, greater confidence, less tired etc. 

You really can’t go wrong here. Feeling good is a win-win-win. If you don’t know HOW to start feeling better, you’re in luck. At Buti, creating the tools to support your sustainable transformation from the inside out is literally our day job. All you have to do is show up + use them.

3 Ways to Start FEELING Better Immediately:

1- Get Your Buti On 3-5 Days X Week

There’s not much to say but to just SHOW UP and DO IT! With live classes, online streaming, and DVDS/Digital Downloads - we’ve made it pretty hard to find a legit excuse to skip hitting the mat (you're welcome). We recommend you practice Buti 3 Days ON and 1 Day OFF.

If you’re struggling to START, know this: Buti Bliss is never far, and soon you’ll be begging to workout on your rest days. Hesitating only wastes precious energy you could be using to fuel your transformation- so STOP!   Don’t overthink things: all you have to do is show up as you ARE and give it your all.

“I regret doing Buti today”- said no one ever.


2- UPGRADE Your Breakfast Routine

Somewhere along the line we decided that the most important meal of the day should weigh you down and complicate your digestion. Yeah, and cigarettes are good for you.  Treat the most important meal of the day with some damn respect. Bizzie created Golden Ratio Bliss Protein as the easiest and best way to start the day and give your body the fuel it actually wants + needs.

A daily wake + shake regulates digestion, keeps you satiated all morning and balances blood sugar—plus, the collagen in Golden Ratio eliminates bloating + cellulite, curves cravings and strengthens hair and nails. BEST BREAKFAST EVER.

Grab a 30 Day canister HERE or grab a 7 Day Challenge to try a variety of our flavors + see results in a week.  

3- Go Grain Free/Dairy Free-

Step 1: Don’t panic.

Start with a one month commitment to avoiding these 2 food groups. Whether or not you realize it yet, inflammation, “grain brain” and hormonal fluctuations are making you feel like shit.

The scariest thing is: just like that weird smell you got stop noticing after 5 minutes, you can’t even tell how grains + dairy are doing to your body if you’ve never taken time away from them.


Your body has learned to cope (#resilience), but the bummer is: grain + dairy are probably taking up a good chunk of your energy and dimming your shine.


Fortunately Bizzie took the time to put all her favorite Paleo recipes into our 5 Paleo meal plans. They even come with a symptom tracker so you can see exactly how you’re feeling- and just as importantly how you're NOT feeling over 30 days.

 



PILLAR 2: THINK


Once the effort you put into FEELING better starts cultivating noticeable changes in your life (IE less physical discomfort, clarity, better moods) naturally, how you THINK about life and the choices you make starts to shift.


It might be hard to imagine now, but what used to look like a fun night out or innocent pizza binge starts looking a lot more like 3 foggy, bloated days you are not even trying to deal with.


Why ruin a perfectly good weekend? Not so tasty, after all.


PILLAR 3: LOOK


  • You’re FEELING clearer/happier/better than you knew possible.
  • You’ve dropped the MENTAL struggle of making choices that support your goals.
  • Your confidence is beyond on fleek, and damn- is that a warrior staring back  in the mirror?


So, now what? You’ve found (and most importantly- stuck with) the practices and routines that support you feeling your best, and have had the shift in mindset to stick with them.


All without ever depriving or punishing yourself, you’ve created a sustainable lifestyle built on self-love in its purest form: loving action taken.



You've been putting in work taking action to feel and think your best. You might even say “who the f needs abs when you feel like a million bucks?”, but either way - here it comes: a physical transformation you had almost forgotten about.

Beneath our surface desires, behind any of our desires to be skinny, to be fit, to be WHATEVER- there is a bigger and badder WANT: embodiment. The confidence to feel more than just comfortable in our own skin. The vibrancy to f***ing shine. Buti will take you there. 

Sustainable transformation starts with how you FEEL. Breathe knowing that you already have your first step + take action.  Trust the process - you know this tribe will be here to support you with loving accountability each step of the way. 



At the end of the day, what you really want is a feeling. And it’s our honor to create tools to support you in your sustainable transformation ✌🏼

 

Start the first 30 Days of 2018 with all the tools + badass support to kickstart your own sustainable transformation 👉👉👉 Join the Buti 30 Day Transformation Group!


 

 

December, 2017

#TRIBE THRIVE


A Word From Buti Founder Bizzie Gold

AN OPEN LETTER TO SHIVA REA


I was shocked last night when I was alerted by thousands of students that you went out of your way to create a “call out” post on Facebook.  I’ve taken the time to go through your post in-depth to bring more light to areas that were either intentionally or unintentionally deceptive. In this letter, we will also take a journey through your career and why, of all the women in the yoga community at large, you should understand what this journey is like and support instead of tear apart.


Let’s go line by line, shall we. In response to:

“It is bold for you to call this: "the evolution of yoga". This seems to be more of the evolution of a fitness form.”

Let’s start dissecting this based on an excerpt from our yoga teacher training manual:

“The practice of yoga began in India over 6,000 years ago. The word yoga means “to join or unite.” Yoga is NOT a religion. Any person, regardless of their faith or affiliation, can be considered a yogi or yogini. The practice of yoga is often viewed as a path of self-discovery and inner-transformation. This transformation or “joining” of the soul body and physical body is achieved through a series of steps that include physical movement, focus, breathwork, ethical behavior and meditation. While yoga is rooted in traditional text and study, it is also a living breathing organism that needs to evolve with societal needs.”


6,000 years ago, people were working the land and spending the majority of their days involved in some aspect of hard physical labor. In 2017, the vast majority of us spend our days at a computer - sitting- all day long. Evolution takes place when successive generations needs change and the practices they engage in have to adapt to fit these new needs. Much like what you’ve done in the vein of evolution for the yoga community, Buti incorporates primal movement and shaking to catalyze vibrational change in the body. The process is all woven seamlessly into vinyasa. I would strongly argue that if we didn’t refer to it as yoga - we would get accused of stealing yoga and not giving proper credit to the practice that comprises the entire skeleton of what we do. Our practice draws upon Kundalini, Vinyasa and Anusara to name a few of the strongest influences in yoga lineage.

Where do we draw the line between yoga and fitness? I’d argue, using the definition I’ve placed above from our yoga teacher training manual (which is also widely accepted I’d add) that yoga is a path to self-discovery through physical movement (CHECK), focus (CHECK), breathwork (CHECK), ethical behavior (CHECK) and meditation (CHECK). Buti Yoga is comprised of each of these elements and when compared to other prominent yoga styles in the West, I feel strongly that our students carry what they learn on the mat into their lives and step into their truest form of leadership, support and love.


And onto the next - this one is my favorite:

“Undulation, circular and diverse core movements, and isolations are not a "new technique" for anyone familiar with African & Middle-Eastern based dance forms. I offered a practice "creative core" on DVD 10 years ago which has circular, fluid movement complimentary to yoga of which you have many similar moves but I didn't call it yoga even though it is integrated inner-outer.”


We’ve never taken credit for “creating” hip or abdominal isolations, so alerting us in your post that this isn’t a “new technique” seems odd and frankly condescending. We mention in a number of places throughout our website that we draw on primal movement and a variety of indigenous dance styles at the discretion and background / expertise of that individual instructor. If you are referring to Spiral Structure Technique®, this does not have to do simply with hip or abdominal isolations. This protocol applies to all joint capsules of the body to facilitate strengthening, range of motion and injury repair.


When I did a quick search of videos that you’ve put out out through the years, despite your comment in the post, they are all described as yoga either in the title or in the description. Here’s the thing - I think they are yoga and I do think you were one of the most influential yogis pushing the envelope on evolution. Before today, I genuinely admired your work.

 

Let’s dive into this certification comment. Here’s what I know - I don’t make the rules but I do follow them:

“I don't appreciate you training teachers to teach Vinyasa Flow and Buti Yoga in 14 days which is 13 hours a day for 14 days straight and using the Yoga Alliance for a more fitness industry model of fast expansion to get a 200RYT and then just for churning out teachers (someone just said you actually only need 2-days! to be certified to teach Buti Yoga only).”


Let’s first get our facts straight. Our yoga teacher training program which has been around for years is based on a 4 month yoga teacher training course. This course covers energetic anatomy, chakra diagnostics, anatomy and physiology, leadership training and of course application of yoga principles including but not limited to asana and pranayama. Our program includes extensive testing and demonstration which is more than I can say for 90% of the yoga programs out there which genuinely just want to turn a profit. We actually care deeply about the quality of our graduating students and test them accordingly. Only this year did we launch an immersion training option (14 consecutive days)  which is often the only way to attend a YTT for people looking to transition into yoga immersion but can only take off 2 weeks for work. The review process for curriculum is intensive and our program covers everything the 4 month program does with less time to absorb content. Obviously, this isn’t ideal for me as the teacher either. I’d much rather give students a chance to absorb, apply and integrate what they’ve learned over a longer period of time but some students simply can’t make a 4 month commitment.


In addition to our yoga teacher training program, we also offer Buti®, Deep, Sculpt and HotCore. Each of these formats is a 2 day certification. It is important to add that over 80% of all participants in the shorter program formats go on to take our 200 hour yoga teacher training program. 

The ominous typo… let’s address this one:

"Under your video of your ad you highlight a review that this is for "banging body and sexy workout". Your typo "But Yoga" says it all. Using the term "Butisattvas" for instructors is really a stretch from the meaning of a Bodhisattva. I doubt you will leave this in the comment section so I will post this elsewhere too. Let's all work together to empower women. It is important to have clear language. "

I didn’t write the ad that you saw but I do know that the woman who made the typo (which will now go down in history) was ironically a big fan of yours. She was horrified when she read what you wrote today and immediately reached out to me fired up and upset. The review from another student is what it is - a review from a student. Unfortunately, we live in a world where women are focused on the external side - the abs, the booty - at Buti we like to refer to what we do as a sneak attack. You speak to the women looking for the external results, you give them them what they are looking for while also leading them down a deep spiritual journey. A recent student review that speaks to this topic is as follows:  “I came to Buti looking to change my body and it changed my entire life instead. The six-pack abs ended up being a happy side effect.”

Sattva means goodness, purity or light. Buti is an Indian Marathi word for “a cure that has been hidden or kept secret.” We don’t use the word butisattva as an affront or error to the word bodhisattva. We use the word butisattva to describe students of the practice that have tapped into their “cure” their own light that allows them to make intense shifts in their physical, emotional and spiritual bodies

And now, your closing statement, let’s dive in:

"Note I am speaking up and questioning your marketing statements, language and short-term training and appropriation of terms like Bodhisattva. I am all for every positive form of movement and I feel fitness can be absolutely transformative and spiritual to however anyone wants to experience it themselves. If women are benefitting wonderful! But there are broader, long-term issues beyond the class that are truly effecting the evolution of yoga in America that I am concerned about."


This particular marketing video was filmed by a few of our students that own a studio in Georgia. They are not representative of our group as a whole or our corporate offices. We were promoting their studio and speaking to an important point that they wanted to make (being from the bible belt) that some of the movements that look “sexy” (their term for primal movement) do wonders for the body and even the pastor’s wife loves it. The story they were telling was an important one and is being misconstrued by you and your comments. They were trying to tell Southern women that moving your body freely is important and that even though it may look “sexy” the internal state achieved through the movement is profound.

We have over 4,000 instructors worldwide, teaching in 25 different countries all united around creating environment that encourages students to step into their leadership potential, implement longlasting changes in their lives and lift other people up without any judgment.

Then we all have to deal with judgment like yours. Interestingly enough, when I was first alerted to this I did a little research on my own and saw that you received similar feedback for some of your work early on.[ SHIVA REA GETS SLAMMED FOR FLOW JUST FOR SHOW]


Here’s an excerpt from this harsh review of Shiva Rea’s performance:

This is not yoga, it’s just a show, but to succeed in California, this is what they have to do.” Austrian yoga teacher Florian Palzinsky, 42, groaning in response to Shiva Rea’s short-shorts “writhing” in Yoga Trance Dance at the International Yoga Festival in Rishikesh.

According to reports, some 20 peeved practitioners, not feeling the Cali blonde goddess’s shakti flow, up and left before the performance ended. Ouch! “Wearing skimpy clothes, glamorising or doing unusual things definitely effects the dignity of Yoga. The government needs to step in and retain the essence and authenticity of the traditional Indian art,” warns Yogi Ram, founder Trika Yoga and Rishikesh’s Kala Ashram.”

So, how did it feel when you were working hard to evolve yoga yourself only to read that you're “wearing skimpy clothes, glamorising or doing unusual things definitely effects the dignity of yoga.” It probably didn’t feel good did it? But I’m glad it didn’t stop you from doing the important work that you’ve done. When people start to shift the status quo it inevitably bumps up against resistance. That’s how you know you’re onto something important.


I do wonder why though, even after you received judgment for your evolutionary attempts, you decided to replicate the same behavior onto another? My goal here is to remind you that you can’t judge a book by its cover (or in this case one of many facebook ads). The practice of Buti is deep, intentional and applies yogic roots in all aspects of what we do. Hundreds of thousands of women have changed their lives through this practice and sadly many of them also admired you and today their hearts were broken by your judgement. The door is open to you to anytime you want to participate in any of our workshops or even just try a class with me personally. I know that if you were able to see for yourself and experience the depth of knowledge that we impart in our courses, you’d be pleasantly amazed.


If you want to take a look at the irony that she is calling our practice “not yoga,” take a peek through these:


https://youtu.be/eQ8DT3SvOa4 [ 1:21 gives you a peek into the good stuff]


https://youtu.be/-9LfqoJeh9g  [ be sure to go to 1:45 on this one for the real good stuff ]


https://youtu.be/A9PkFFjDh_4 [ :49 seconds and on this is yoga but when we do the same thing - twerking. Genuinely absurd. ]


https://youtu.be/TRou8B31Hic [ the whole thing. If she can title this Yoga Trance Dance and by the way lead certifications in Yoga Trance Dance which she used to do - this is the ultimate double standard. ]


Closing thought:


Yoga was brought to the West to be shared. Since then, there has been a steady uprising in pretentious antics and teachers abusing their power ( many even facing legal action for sexual abuse). Most of the yoga that you think is “traditional” is nothing of the sort. Open your eyes and do your own research. We live in a unique time of change where the new will inevitably bump up against those claiming to be traditionalists of which Shiva Rea is certainly not one (she’s an evolutionary). It’s important that we not be so quick to judge and do harm through our social media platforms.


Whatever path you take and whatever that path looks like is fine with us. We are not in the business of trying to judge or shame other people and practices for what their yoga “looks like. “


You can’t be a revolutionary if you’re a traditionalist


Proud to live by this phrase every day. We honor tradition and evolve the practice to meet you - where you are.

 

-Bizzie Gold
Founder, Buti Yoga

 


 

 

September 13, 2017

#TRIBE THRIVE


A Story of Transformation:

HERE'S WHY BUTI YOGA IS MY SOULMATE WORKOUT.


 I once read that soulmates act as a mirror; reflecting the pieces of ourselves we allow to hold us back and showing us where we are resistant to show up as our true selves.

Soulmates come in - often out of nowhere - challenging and influencing us to shift and change so that we may live our best, most authentic lives.

For me, Buti Yoga is that. It’s my soulmate “workout”.

It's the practice that came into my life out of nowhere. A workout that showed me pieces of myself that I kept buried.

Buti Yoga is the one thing that so clearly revealed where I was hiding out and where I was judging myself too harshly to allow myself the opportunity to be free.

Buti is the workout that changed my mindset about working out. Buti is a workout, but it’s more loving than that- like, from the core of your being, loving.

Buti is MOVEMENT.

It’s movement that gets you out of your head and into your body.
It’s movement that feels like meditation.

It’s NOT that tedious, robotic, “I’m torturing myself to do this even though I hate it because I MUST. LOSE. WEIGHT.” movement, but deep, internal, connected, fluid, natural, spirit-driven, soulful, playful, primal Movement -- with a capital “M”.

During this year’s Buti #Dare2BareChallenge we were prompted to do a little digging to share when we first felt self-conscious about our bodies. It was difficult for me to pinpoint a specific event or moment, but I do know that by the time I was 13 years old, I was hyper-aware of the fact that my body didn’t look like everyone else’s.

I think that's when I started to cling to the notion that I wasn’t beautiful. As if being different means anything other than the fact that you’ve been uniquely designed. As if different isn’t beautiful or even okay or acceptable.

It kicked in at 13 and I carried that self-consciousness with me, as if it were a piece of me - for all of the years that would follow.

Which means: I’ve spent 21 years of my life with some form of non-acceptance of my body.

Dude…TWENTY-ONE YEARS.

13 was also the year I started working out seriously. I didn’t do it for fun or for sport, I did it because I felt like I needed to change my body to look a certain way or to fit into some mold or standard that, realistically speaking, has probably always been perceived rather than actual.

I’ve put a lot of time and energy into workouts that I fucking despise.

Like, seriously torturing myself through grueling, agonizing, hamster-on-a-wheel workouts because I just HAD TO be thin. I had to look any way other than I did.

Never mind "accepting my body"— that wasn’t even in my scope. It wasn’t about being fit, it wasn’t about being strong, it wasn’t even about being healthy - I just wanted to be skinny. That mentality went on for far too long.

I can be real with you, right? For 3 years I was a “coach” with a well known fitness company,  while I would promote certain programs talking about all of the health benefits, the underlying motivation for all of it, for me, was to fit into that cookie cutter of “fit”, “lean”, and “in shape”.

It wasn’t until the end of my time with that business that I realized what I was doing. I was promoting a healthy lifestyle and self-love, but I was struggling to find it myself. I WANTED to be that way, I really did, but I was doing workouts and following meal plans and taking supplements only because I wanted to look a certain way - I did it because I secretly couldn’t stand myself, because I was never enough...not because I loved myself.

And then Buti came in—like a freaking storm. I was like the forgotten princess trapped in the tower waiting to be rescued. I needed a hero, and Buti gave me that - I just didn’t recognize it at first.

At first Buti looked weird. It wasn’t anything I had known as "traditional yoga".

It was wild and free and loose and a little sexy and it made me uncomfortable because I didn’t feel like I was any of those things.

I couldn’t move like that!

So, I did what any normal self-depreciating woman would do…I judged it for a hot minute, then gave in and tried it - in the privacy of my own living room with no one around, of course.

 I started moving and breathing and connecting to myself and my body in ways I never had before. And it felt GOOD. Something shifted in me.

All of these years I had been waiting to be freed from the cage of “not good enough” that I had held myself prisoner in, and suddenly, as if on a stampede of wild horses, in came my knights in shining armor — except they were badass women in tiny shorts who weren’t trying to change me or rescue me, they were just being themselves.

They were reminding  me that tucked away in a pocket of my soul was the key to unlock that damn chamber door MYSELF and set myself free. I’m pretty sure that’s what soulmates do.


Listen—just like it often is with soulmates, this shit did NOT come easy. I’ll never forget the first couple of weeks of Buti practice. That shit was brutal.

There was a lot of pausing, resting, grunting, cussing, and making the most absurd faces while efforting like a freaking boss to hold in a metaphorical thick milkshake I just sucked up through an imaginary straw in the magical space between my pum-pum and my bum-bum (aka the Yogic Lock, Mula Bandha).

Trust, when I say brutal, I mean B R U T A L.

THEN— it happened; at about week 3 something shifted. I started to relax into my practice mentally and I let my body take over.

 

I stopped the negative self-talk. There was no more, “I can’t do that!” or “Yeah fucking right!”.  I stopped battling myself and just started DOING the moves. I let my body move into and out of postures no matter how ridiculous or twisted or awkward I looked.

I didn’t care if they were ugly, completely ungraceful, and made my body roll up, pucker, dimple, and wrinkle in ways I didn’t want to see.

I did them.

I tried them.

I said “just for today”—and I overcame a HUGE mental block.

The release taking place on my mat opened me up to releasing in my life. Buti was reflecting back to me exactly where I was struggling with fear and doubt and self-loathing in my personal life, too—and it does that for me still. Every. Single. Time.

Once I confronted these dark parts of me and allowed myself to face them - head on  everything started to change.

Does my body look exactly the way I’ve always wished it would? No. But I’ve got something better...I don’t fucking care!

And not because I’ve given up and given in and resigned to the belief that I’ll never look that way, but because I FEEL so much better than I ever have.


Because I have so much more love for myself and my body than I have in years.
Because with Buti, there is no room for self-depreciation.

You cannot practice proper Spiral Structure Technique and NOT feel like a total badass, freaking GODDESS - especially when you close your eyes and just allow yourself to slide right into the fluidity of the movement.

I don’t know how to explain that. You just have to feel it for yourself.

There is a shift that occurs within your body when you practice Buti. Some of you felt Buti Bliss the first time, for some it takes longer (and it’s largely about getting out of your head).

But...when you feel it...you just know.

So, whether you’re just starting, thinking about recommitting, or considering trying it for the very first time, please - whatever it is you’re battling mentally, physically, or emotionally - DO NOT GIVE UP ON YOURSELF!

Everything you think and feel is a reflection of something going on within you. Don’t hold yourself back from the freedom your soul deeply desires.

What if - just for today - you gave yourself permission to release the bullshit that you know isn’t serving you, even if only for an hour?

What would happen if you allowed yourself to let go of the thoughts that keep you feeling small?

What if you stepped onto your mat believing that Buti was MORE than just a workout?

What if you were that babe trapped in the tower and with one Buti practice you found your own key, hidden in your own soul’s pocket, and gave yourself back the power to be free?

You are worth all of that and more.

Promise.

 






 



 

 

August 17, 2017

#TRIBE THRIVE


A Grounded Spirituality Check-In:

‘TIS THE SEASON FOR THE STATE OF THE SPIRITUAL.


Lion’s Gate & Eclipse season are upon us and we’re knee deep into the spiritual ISH. The time of year tends to bring out the woo woo in even the most grounded of people. Everyone’s senses seem to be a little bit extra LIT. 

So how do we cope?

Heads go into hiding, escapism, and avoidance. Some wander to the astrological charts. The intuitive ones go scanning the clouds; sorting through psychic predictions or immersed in ritual and ceremony. Emotions, memories, strange serendipitous encounters, and déjà vu experiences are par for the course. The energy seems frenetic because it is. Coming off the past year, the intensity this go around is magnified.

About this past year:  tough yet fluid. Juxtaposed, if you will. Its ever-changing, unpredictable, and pivotal temperament set it up to serve as a catalyzing transition year. Many found themselves being rooted and then rerouted, continuously changing course and direction without a clear path or trajectory. Break ups, big moves, job changes, shake-ups in family dynamics and sudden life interruptions were common themes.

This type of uncertainty can breed instability. Chakra alignment breaks down at the root:  identity constructs and social belief systems go into flux.   For those who fearlessly dedicate themselves to their own expansion and evolution; 2017 has been particularly unnerving.

And so, this season we find ourselves stepping out of a metaphysical and metaphorical storm. The fog is beginning to lift and we wonder “How did we even get here?” Even more so, “how do we find the strength to continue to move forward when we’re not even clear which direction it’s in?” 

It’s disorienting and the path still isn’t laid out pristine. It’s alright to wonder “WTF is happening”. Only one thing is certain: To move ahead we have to be ok with letting go.  If you haven’t already, now is the time to dig deep into the personal work.

2017 was the year things didn’t go as predicted and they didn’t go as planned. Our certainties became unsure and our safe spaces became unfamiliar. What we knew and held as absolute truth was revealed as being subjective to the waves of expansion. Timelines that we built for our future were just as quickly destroyed or overturned. Let it go. All of it.  The realities you knew as concrete for yourself no longer exist.

You’ve mastered the mirrors and new ones are coming in. Make way for them by falling away. Give up any lingering story you’ve been holding onto. The old won’t serve you where you’re heading.

And where is that, exactly? As cosmic waves flood into Earth’s space at unprecedented rates, our potential reality rapidly swells and unveils. It feels like a great fall, but this is also the Rise: the two are happening simultaneously and in tandem. The best part is that you get to choose your side.

If you feel the lifting you’re being called to lead. It’s all happening, and it’s happening right now. There’s no more time to play small or stand behind the curtain.

If you choose the Rising, where you’re going is far greater than anything past.

You’ve seen glimpses of it in fleeting moments already. Trust that it’s real because you feel it in your heart. It’s okay that the seed is small and seems obscure or undefined. It doesn’t have to make sense. Don’t doubt it just because you can’t place stock in the physical evidence.

Understand that it can’t yet be fully realized because it’s different than anything you’ve ever perceived before. It feels uncomfortable and somewhat blinding, but when it’s all said and done: it’s a simple leap of Faith. Be unwavering and unshakeable in it. What you need to know is that it IS and WILL BE. Lean in to the strangeness of New and let it all unfold.

 

Trust, belief, and giving it up to your Highest. These are the steps that will deliver you to a place that feels like Home.  No matter what it takes or how the road twists and turns: you’re getting there. There: A space of love and alignment. Filled with your true path, your real purpose and sanctified connection.  A space where Karma falls away and dharma aligns. Your chord of inspiration is direct and you create in the flow of the divine vessel you’re put here to be.

It’s coming and it’s already here. Guard your soul and keep your feet on the ground.  Stand tall, travel light, rise & become.

 

Here for the Lightworkers,

Bella LaQuatra 

Neria Collective//@bellalaquatra

 






 



 

 

October 5 , 2016

#TRIBE THRIVE


A Story of Grain + Dairy Free Transformation:

Finding Freedom From Anxiety Through Nutrition


 The first time I experienced anxiety I was 22 years old.

My father had recently been diagnosed with cancer, I had moved into a new place, was enrolled in an undergraduate degree program, and was teaching at a K-12 charter school.

Life felt uneasy and intimidating—every single day. Shortly after my father passed I started having panic attacks. I refused to go to a doctor because I feared they would try to force prescriptions on me.

I was determined to face my anxiety, and work through my symptoms without the help of medication. 

I was never officially diagnosed, as I refused to seek out help. As an avid researcher, I had read enough to understand that what I was suffering from was anxiety.

I fell into that category with so many others who never seek treatment and go undiagnosed. Anxiety disorders plague western society; you most certainly know people in your life that live with symptoms everyday (and maybe that includes you).

After a couple of years of moving through my grieving process, I was able to successfully reduce my my anxietyuntil, that is, I found myself in another new chapter. 

I was, once again faced with a lot of uncertainty: another new place, a toxic relationship, and a new career path with my own business.

My anxiety took over once again, causing my sympathetic nervous system to go into overdrive—eventually leading to adrenal fatigue. 

Even after doing an overhaul on my high stress lifestyle, I was still experiencing anxiety from the enduring havoc the stress had caused to my physical and mental state. 

I spent months trying to reduce it—focusing on building a lifestyle focused on self-love, health and wellness, and was able to start reducing my symptoms. But traces of my daily anxiety still lingered. 

At this point, I had been practicing Buti Yoga for a year and a half. I had witnessed many women have remarkable transformations going Grain Free/Dairy Free—however, as someone who doesn’t suffer from any autoimmune disorders or GI related issues, I didn't expect to see any results from going Grain Free/Dairy Free myself.

Having been a Pescatarian for 8 years—I was used to avoiding certain foods. Instead of looking at Grain/Dairy free as a limiting factor  I decided to view it as an opportunity to experiment. I had already experienced years of scrutiny for having dietary preferences, but knew how to confidently stick to them if they truly made me feel my best. 

For the first few days, I experienced a few minor withdrawals from grains and dairy—along with headaches and cravings.

Fortunately, those soon passed and I started to notice positive changes: my skin began improving after just a few weeks. The positive changes kept coming. 

After a couple of months of eating this way, I realized that my anxiety was at an all time low. I had started making life decisions NOT based on fear or uncertainty but with a new found ease (with additional help from Bizzie’s BREAK method).

I had never considered that nutrition could be a contributing factor to anxiety disorders, let alone the final piece of the puzzle in eliminating my anxiety.

It turns out that anxiety and gut health go hand in hand, because gut health and brain health go hand in hand.

While you may not experience any physical symptoms of an unhealthy gut, mental symptoms like anxiety and depression may indicate that your gut is not as healthy as you think. 

It took 5 years to discover, but I finally feel like I have the final tools to eliminate anxiety from my life. I have no desire to welcome grains and dairy back into my life, because I know anxiety is the side effect that comes with them. 

If you suffer from anxiety, and want to regain control over your life, I highly encourage you to give the Grain Free/Dairy Free lifestyle a solid chance.

Nutrition is not a cure, but it is a tool. Combined with a lifestyle of exercise, yoga, meditation, sleep and stress management—you might have found your key to naturally decreasing your anxiety, too. 

Editors Note:  Our 30 Day Slimdown Meal Plans are the easiest (and most delicious) way to transition to a grain + dairy free lifestyle and THRIVE. 

For more information on releasing the emotional addiction and patterns that hold you back with Bizzie Gold's BREAK method—click here.

 


Molly Borsom
is a Butisattva living in Phoenix, AZ. She found Buti Yoga in the Spring of 2014, and it has changed not only her yoga practice, but every aspect of her life. She is certified in Buti Yoga, Hot But Yoga and a 200 HR RYT. She enjoys sharing her experiences in health and wellness in order to inspire others to take action in their own lives. 



 



 

ISSUE NO. 06

April 15th, 2016

#TRIBE THRIVE


A Story of Transformation:

Investing in YOU: Taking the RYT Plunge



I found BUTI Yoga after reading about it in Shape magazine. I started a Buti DVD with the goal of losing weight & gaining some muscle tone.

I was an uncoordinated, out-of-shape mess but I loved the movement and workout.

After a few months, I started the online subscription and became on "online junkie"! I could see the physical changes but even more powerful were the emotional changes. I attended the first BUTI retreat to make real connections.

After meeting the other open, compassionate, caring, non-judging women, Master Trainers and Bizzie, I came home wanting to teach Buti and get certified.

I have had a lot of goals in my life. Certified Yoga Instructor was not one of them.

But when you find a yoga practice that makes your body, heart, mind and soul dance—how can you not want to share it?

When you find a yoga practice that supports all women; that doesn't expect these cookie cutter bodies and attitudes to become instructors or to be part of their tribe—how can you not want to share it?

When you find a practice that allows you to "do you" once you're certified—how can you not want to share it?

I wanted to share BUTI, to teach BUTI, to connect women back to their hearts & bodies and back to one another!

To become certified did not become just another goal to check off the list—it came from my heart.

I signed up for the Nashville RYT program to begin my journey in sharing this practice with integrity, more knowledge and a deeper understanding of yoga. Yes, it was a huge time and financial commitment.

The 1st unit of the RYT program gave me knowledge about the history of yoga, understanding different types of yoga, anatomy, sanskrit and learning to teach. That was the first layer—but each month (unit) it gets deeper! YOU become the work and the study. I received tools to release & heal the emotional crap that was holding me back.

This program taught me how to heal from learning about and healing my chakras. I received so much support, love and acceptance from every woman in the class. We created bonds that we’ll have for a lifetime! RYT helped me to get clear on my direction, not just professionally but personally, too.

When you heal, get direction and gain support you become a leader—not only ready to teach but to bring it all into life!

That is what I get to carry with me each day because I took the leap! I get to help other women heal; that is so huge. That is what we are here for, right—to heal, love & share!!

If you think that RYT just means "registered yoga teacher" and a certificate on the wall we aren’t talking about the same program! This RYT means confidence, tools, knowledge, support and friendships for life.

This just isn't a professional investment, it is an investment in yourself. I've spent a lot more money than the cost of this program on clothes, shoes, getting my hair done—an endless list of "things" that made me look good on the outside.

This investment will make you look and feel good on the inside so that you can connect and teach other women to do the same and that is so worth it!

As always, a huge thanks to Bizzie and my other Nashville RYT girls, all of you keep my heart full!!  

Editors Note: Interested in certification? Buti offers Yoga Alliance 200 Hour RYT around the world!

 

 

 




Cindy lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is a mom to one amazing daughter, and has been practicing BUTI for 2 years. She became RYT & BUTI certified last year and is 48 years young. She loves teaching BUTI yoga to all levels and ages. Cindy does wellness coaching to help women at every age become healthier -physically, emotionally and spiritually.  

 



 

ISSUE NO. 04

March 21st 2016

#TRIBE THRIVE





Ever wake up in the morning and think "What day is it? Did I pay that? Did I send in the permission slip?" only to hear "Mooommm! Do you want the good news or the bad news?"

Each day in the life of any parent is full of unexpected road blocks that can shake even the 'zennest' of us. I've cleaned up my share of messes, from both my children and other people's kids. It's all in the name of the parenting game.

My thoughts on being a parent have drastically changed in the past 2 years. I used to think being a good parent meant physically being at every practice, play date, game, school play and all the outings. I felt that I had to be there for Every. Little. Thing. I believed that reaching for my dreams was selfish and felt I had to put them on hold for the sake of my young children.

Unfortunately to do that means sacrificing your needs, desires and dreams. It's wrong. So wrong. Sacrificing my needs not only hurt me, but my family as well. I sunk into a pretty dark place. Although I was physically there for them, that spark and inner fire was not. I was terrified, literally paralyzed with fear over the thought of leaving my children.

It wasn't until my Buti RYT training in Nashville, TN, that I left my son for the first time. He was 8 at the time and my daughter was 3. After an amazing eye opening weekend, things started changing drastically for the better. I started acknowledging my needs, began to breathe freely, started practicing yoga regularly, and that inner desire to heal myself and others was ignited.

I found ways to practice everyday, no excuses. For the record, my husband travels a lot, I don't live near family and I didn't have any babysitter, so at first it was a challenge but I made it happen.

7 steps for fitting a regular practice into your busy life:

 

    1. Let go of expectations. Some days my practice consists of both kids fighting behind me over who's down dog is better, and some days it's quiet while my kids play together for 45-50 mins without fighting (not often). There are days when they cry and need help, so I stop, help them and get back to it. Other times my practice is perfect and I'll have an hour or more to myself when no one is home (again not often).
  1. Prioritize you! You are worth this time. It's not selfish to take 45 minutes to 1 hour for yourself and your practice. It will make you present, centered, a better parent and person.
  2. Be kind to yourself. If the asanas aren't filling your tank that day let go and meditate, read a book, take a walk, garden, do something else that fills you. Yoga is much more then just asana.
  3. Yoga everywhere. Sit with your kids and play in malasana or lotus. If you're cleaning up - stop and drop into an Ardha Chandrasana for a couple of breaths. Hang out in goddess pose while you help your kids draw outside with sidewalk chalk. Drop your yoga everywhere!
  4. Journal. Keep a journal of your practice. I know it sounds trite but it helps to visually guide your path as you'll see a pattern in your routines (good or bad). It's also very therapeutic.
  5. Keep motivated. Instagram yoga challenges are a great way to stay motivated (@ButiYoga has one that's set to start April 1st). They push you to get your practice in and provide a sense of accomplishment. Added bonus - you may even win some yoga swag while you're at it!
  6. Find your Tribe. Hang with your Yogi friends. They inspire and uplift. Practice and laugh together. Bond. Buti sisters are great for that!

Yoga is a journey to yourself through yourself. A journey so necessary. It has saved my life.




Kimberly Savage is a Yoga Alliance 200hr Registered Yoga Teacher in Vinyasa yoga, BUTI yoga levels 1 + 2 and Hot BUTI certified. She is currently studying Yoga Therapy with a focus on trauma, addiction recovery, eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). Her goal as a yoga teacher is to create a safe place where students can feel free and at peace with their bodies, minds and souls, grow in their practice, build bonds and thrive. Kim and her husband Kevin, son Matthew, daughter Elizabeth and two golden retrievers reside in South Charlotte.

 


Buti Tribe,

First off—a big WELCOME to our new Tribe members! We’re excited to WITNESS + SUPPORT you in your transformation to embodying your best feeling, thinking and looking self!

If you’re unsure of where to start, we recommend you kickoff your practice with our Dynamic Flow DVD/Digital Download for 30 days to master the basics—before moving onto our 2 other DVDS or Online Streaming! Snag a 30 Day Slimdown Plan and Golden Ratio Protein Powder to embrace the FULL transformation Buti has to offer.

It’s time to #shakeyourasana again! We’ll be launching our Instagram challenges the 1st of every month, beginning April 1st.  Take the opportunity to OWN where you are and SHARE + SUPPORT your fellow Buti sisters!

Have you been keeping up with CONSISTENT practice? Every time you hit the mat, you’re saying YES— to the TRANSFORMATION possible when you SHOW UP in self-love.  Don’t overthink it, just dive in and LET GO.

We all know Buti feels damn good. Let those feelings guide you to your mat 5x week!

The  30 Day VEGAN Slimdown drops this month! As always, you'll be armed with everything you need to kick grain + dairy in 30 days—if you haven’t already—no deprivation necessary (we didn’t name it the “Salad Slimdown” for a reason).  Now NO diet-types have an excuse for not experiencing what Grain + Dairy Free can do for your body/mind/emotions (sorry, not sorry). We’re here to SUPPORT you in getting the most TRANSFORMATION out of your practice!

We just held a Buti Certification at our Headquarters today. Nothing beats witnessing Butisattvas leave ready to further LEAD + INSPIRE tribes of their own. After all, Buti is a dish best served SHARED. If you’ve been looking for a sign that it’s time...you have our permission to consider THIS it. Be BOLD—make BIG moves. It’s good for you.

Here are your Discount Codes—Sale ENDS between 3/31 and 4/1 at MIDNIGHT!

—Buti DVD Bundles: Choose from 3 Bundled Options for all levels: $45.99-$59.95 Click here to purchase.

—200 Hour RYT:  Take 15% OFF + Receive 7 Days of Golden Ratio when you PAY IN FULL for an upcoming training with code: SPRING16RYT Click here to purchase.

—Buti Certification: Save $100 + Receive $20 towards apparel when you PAY IN FULL for an upcoming Buti Certification with code: SPRING16CERT Click here to purchase.

—Golden Ratio Autoship: 15% on your 1st month of Autoship with code: SPRING16AUTO Click here to purchase.

—20% Off your 1st month* of an Online TONE Subscription with SPRING16TONE

*new subscribers only

As always, if you have ANY questions, or have something to SHARE we are here for YOU—please call us at (480-361-4633)

Butisattvas Get to WERK

"When in doubt, take a comparison picture. I actually cant believe the progress so far and am so excited to keep pushing forward :)"

-Brittney S

"I decided I wanted to be healthy. Healthy, fit and strong. I wanted to finally lose the 20lbs I've been trying to lose for 20 years and be able to enjoy the second half of my life...
I wanted to be more of an inspiration to women. I wanted to help them realize how great they are...

-Deb O.

"For those of you who have asked...here's a side by side..."

-Jen B


Golden Ratio is AMAZEBALLS! Mixes so well with just water, its creamy and has just the right amount of sweetness. I'm not a vanilla lover, but this one IS a keeper! Bizzie Gold you rock!!

-Darina F

#Tribe Thrive Recipe

Enjoy this Grain Free, Dairy Free + Vegan sneak peek from our Vegan 30 Day Slimdown!

Sunbutter Hemp Cookies

1 cup sunflower seed butter

1/2 cup coconut crystals

1/3 cup hemp seeds

1 Neat Egg Flax Egg (You can purchase The Neat Egg here) or (check out this recipe for a Flax Egg ) ** use liquid in accordance with vegan egg directions

1/4 Enjoy Life Mini Chocolate Chips

1/4 teaspoon himalayan salt

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients. Roll into cookie balls and place on parchment paper. Bake for 13 minutes at 350 degrees F.

#Tribe Thrive Playlist

What have we been shaking our asanas to at Buti lately? This week’s playlist accompanied our Online Tone 158. Listen on Spotify, here.

Song List:

1. Big Up - Wiwek

2. Ground Shake - Stush

3. Space Between - Weapons of Mass Creation

4. Mutfakta - Chuckie & Gregori Klosman

5. Check, Run It - TI

6. Throwback - B.O.B ft. Chris Brown

7. All For You - French Montana ft. Whiz Khalifa, Machine Gun Kelly, Snoop Dogg and Lana Del Rey

8. F*%^* Em Only We Know - Banks

9. Sick Like That - Will Sparks ft. Luciana

10. Type Of Way - Rich Homie Quan

11. GOMD - J Cole

12. Love More - Chris Brown ft. Nicki Minaj

13. The Buzz - Hermitude

14. Blue Jeans (Gesaffelstein Remix) - Lana Del Rey

15. Goddess - Banks

16. Light - Odessa ft. Little Dragon

 

Follow Buti Yoga on Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @ButiYoga. Bizzie Gold can also be followed on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @BizzieGold.

 

 

 

March 24, 2016

#TRIBE THRIVE


A Story of Transformation

Aging, Buti & Breaking Down Preconceived Notions.


Let's talk about aging shall we? Aging is something your body begins to do naturally from the time of conception. When we’re very young, we can’t wait to grow up, and when we’re older, we want to be young again. Silly humans!

As I passed the half-century mark almost two years ago, the self-reflection has been touch and go. I try not to dwell on the past, but when I do, it's without regret. Instead it becomes a validating learning experience which then EMPOWERS me to live in the moment!

Women are obsessed with youth and beauty. I worked for Clinique cosmetics for 6 years, and one of their slogans was “Beauty is not about looking young, it’s about looking good." Such a true statement.

Beauty can't be defined because it comes in so many forms. Beauty is something that comes from inside and projects outwardly.

I believe the #1 priority for women of ANY age is to take care of yourself! You’re not going to perform on an optimum level in any area of life if you’re not healthy mentally and physically. When I found Buti Yoga, I was able to become who I was truly meant to be, in every way.

The Buti lifestyle encompasses total body wellness. Buti is NOT exclusive to the young, nor any particular shape, economic class, or race. It is for every single person that chooses to practice it.

One of the most important gifts that Buti gives us is empowerment. So many of us have emotional experiences when practicing, because we are releasing energy that has been stored for years. Most of this comes from some sort of self-loathing. Women have been taught to put themselves down for far too long by their mothers, grandmothers, and various societal infractions. I was one of those people who constantly found fault in my self and when my mother asked why, I honestly had zero reason! Little did she know, that for as long as I could remember I had silently observed her do the very same thing to herself.

  Accepting who you are as an individual, and learning to love and care for yourself will set you free! Practicing Buti Yoga and nourishing my body with the cleanest, unprocessed foods available has truly unlocked the secret to the BADASS ME! I’m 51 going on 17 and there is no stopping me! I have the wisdom and the bulletproof youth wrapped up in one feisty package. I’m in the best shape of my life and definitely the sexiest!

There is no age that should ever define you. Turning 40 does not mean that it’s automatically time to take it easy, give up or stop reaching for your dreams. Remove any preconceived notions you may have! Success, love, health and wellness can happen at ANY age. The quality of life you’re looking for CAN be achieved. Yes, you have to work for it. You have to move, and sweat, and cook fresh meals. It doesn’t come in a synthetic pill or hinged contraption. Nor will it ever be found on an “As seen on TV”.

As women, we need to pass this message on to as many other women possible! Luckily we have a support system and network that spans far beyond what we could ever imagine. The Buti Tribe is filled with inspirational women that support and love each other and is open to all! We need to stop apologizing for everything. Beauty does NOT equal youth. Aging is inevitable and a natural process.

Focus on living in the present, set goals to do what you LOVE and what you’re passionate about, and take care of your body! Empower yourself and learn to live without fear of things that don’t even matter. Self-destructive behavior is illogical. Make the choice to break those patterns and behaviours. Most importantly live this life fully and completely - right now!

 




Deb Olson is a Butisattva living in Denver, CO. Her lifestyle includes practicing Buti yoga, a paleo diet, and maintaining the highest quality of life possible. She spends her time loving her family, friends, and sharing her passions and knowledge with anyone interested.

 


In 2013, I was in a car crash. My car was driven into on the driver’s side, and my shoulder was badly injured. Insurance sent me to physiotherapy where I was diagnosed with yet another part of my autoimmune disease - hypermobility. Hypermobility is a condition where a person’s joints are loose and can move easily beyond what they should. This puts a lot of strain on major joints like hips, knees, and shoulders, and causes a lot of pain while the muscles do extra work to hold the bones where they should be. It is a condition that is inherited.

I worked with my physiotherapist for six months to strengthen my subscapularis, teres major, and lats to hold my injured shoulder in place and prevent further injury. Yet with all of the work my range of motion and pain level didn’t get much better. In the end of it, with the physio work and my own workouts at home, I was strong - but I wasn’t ‘fixed’.

It was then that I discovered Buti Yoga.

I was discharged from physiotherapy and I was looking for some kind of physical supplement that might help reduce the pain in my shoulder and increase my range of motion back to normal. I downloaded a fitness app and tried out a 10 minute Buti workout just by the description - “It’s yoga that boogies! Get ready to shake your moneymaker like you never have before…it’s fast paced, fierce, and feminine. And might even make you blush a little.” This badass tattooed yogi by the name of Bizzie Gold invited me to go to her website and join her tribe for a free beginner’s workout video, and at the end of the 10 minutes I said, “HELL YES!” My muscles were screaming, I was having fun and I felt free! This 10 minute yoga workout had made me moving like I never had before, and made me feel things I didn't know I had the capacity to feel. It spoke to me on a much deeper level than just that workout high I was used to, and I craved more.

When I first discovered Buti, it was a fun workout that I enjoyed, was completely different, and gave my body a burn like nothing else, but I didn’t subscribe to the yoga lifestyle and way of thinking. Just one month after I started doing it, however, I noticed my shoulder injury was a lot better - the pain was reduced to almost nothing, my stabilizing muscles around my shoulder were noticeably stronger, and my range of motion was back to normal. It was healing, not fatiguing and challenged me in ways that made me question everything I had done before.

Buti was about creating community and support, not about being alone to beat yourself up over what you couldn’t do or what you were NOT. The yoga mindset and lifestyle had found me, and I noticed it changing my entire life, not just my body. I wanted to share it with everyone! I didn’t want to see one more person suffer the way I had without knowing the difference between actually suffering and being healthy. I worked hard on my yoga poses, I concentrated on unblocking my chakra system, I cried, I screamed, and just eight months later, I went across the country to Vancouver to attend a training and get certified to teach Buti Yoga.

Today, I’m no longer toxic to myself or anyone around me. I uplift, and I help to restore. I’m no longer living with fear. I have a positive outlook on new challenges that come up and approach them with a logical mind. I’m no longer living a life where workouts must be self destructive to be any help, and I’m no longer living in pain and malnutrition. Since adopting the Buti lifestyle values, I have been able to reduce my pain management medication to a third of what it was, and enjoy the things I eat rather than being worried about how I might feel after I eat them. Most importantly, I came out of my shell and am no longer the small, self conscious person I was. I’m confident in who I am, body and soul, and I feel free and energized every day. I have a tribe of women and men who attend my classes which I teach four times a week at various studios, and I’m working towards growing that tribe every day to be able to teach full time.


Every day I’m thankful for this practice that helped me grow up, take charge of my life, and transform.


“It’s hard to explain my way of living to people who never lived it A minute in my position filled with my opposition That anybody not different fighting to stay the same I got lives in my hands and I’m fighting to make them change” - Angel Haze, Battle Cry

My transformation story is deep and comes from many angles, it really speaks to the healing powers that Buti Yoga as a practice has, and is relatable from whatever angle your own story comes from. Trust the process as you will achieve amazing things! You will change, but don’t be afraid to be someone other than who you are right now. Be brave with your life!

Before I started Buti, my mind and entire being overall was toxic. My life for a long time was based on fear - fear that held me back from the huge ideas I had for the world around me with zero ambition to act on any of it. I really started getting into exercise as part of my lifestyle when I was in my first year of college, and it was really only because I needed something to escape to.

I went about it in the wrong way.

Exercise for me was something to do alone, to separate myself from other people instead of with my friends or using it as a way to meet new friends. It was all about being alone with myself. The more I exercised, the better I felt, and the better I looked, and that made me want to keep doing it. At that time, I was making a living as a writer, which is a very solitary thing to do, and keeping myself separated from everyone else with my skewed view of how working out should be. I made myself the modern Miyamoto Musashi - I focused on my craft and my body, and gradually forgot how to be a functional social person all together.

The thing about that workout high is you get addicted to it. You get addicted to feeling good. When you combine seclusion with that feeling of addiction, you become obsessed and start chasing that high because it becomes more difficult to attain. There’s no one other than yourself to tell you that you’re going too hard and you’re going to burn out, but of course, you’re not going to tell yourself that, because you love how it feels.

This state was what my life consisted of when I started going through testing for an autoimmune disease, which remains today without a conclusive diagnosis. At that time pain management and a myriad of medication trials didn’t really help me - but exercising did. I was battling severe anemia with a blood iron level of absolutely zero, the inability to absorb supplements to correct the problem, and a red blood cell count that revealed somewhere, I had lost a whole pint of blood. I was already beyond burnt out and all I wanted to do was chase that high that made me feel ‘normal’ and gave me the feeling that I had a little bit of control over something in my life.




 They nicknamed me 'The Shakti Gangster' for good reason - a little bit hip hop, a little bit goth, and a whole lot of chakra awakening happens when I join the party. I've been practicing Vinyasa yoga for eight years, and Buti Yoga for two. Nothing has changed my life and my mind like Buti yoga has, and now I live to share this practice with as many people as I can reach. I completed my Buti yoga certification in Vancouver as the first milestone of my mission. Besides yoga, my life is filled with health, wellness and fitness. I have a black belt in Go Ju Ryu martial arts which I've been practicin and teaching for seven years. The intention I leave you all with is 'I can and I will'.

- Jenna Smith-Panko