Fitness Friday

I Tried It: Trap Yoga

Hip-hop and mindfulness converge for the ultimate ‘lituation.’

By Cherie Devine January 12, 2018


Being your absolute authentic self ••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Setting your own intentions ••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Following your own guidelines, change antiquated rules ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• Always staying true to the energy that fuels you ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• And don't you dare apologize for any parts of it ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• That's what being a Sucka Free Yogi is all about . 🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸🌸P.S don't forget, stop fucking with Suckas, they can't have your energy, they can't suck away your joy they can't fuck with you, sit by you or share the light of your glow up 📸: @movingartexperience / @lifeisart_films #suckafreeyogi #rachetafformations #trapyoga #trapyogabae

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According to Urban Dictionary,ratchet” is a slang term–pervasive in hip-hop–that, in the strictest sense, refers to an uncouth female. It’s a Louisianan regiolect of “wretched.” 

A “ratchet affirmation,” then, is an inner work prompt, equal parts pep talk and real talk, that Britteny Floyd-Mayo–aka Trap Yoga Bae–incorporates throughout her unique yoga sessions to empower her students. Some you may hear in a Trap Yoga class:

Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s a necessity.
All my drive is intrinsic. I’m not looking at anyone but my damn self.
Don’t you dare apologize for any parts of your life.
I’m a priority in my beautiful ass life.
You can either be the best version of yourself or some knock-off version of the next bish.
You don’t lose them … they lose you. 

The first time I heard ratchet affirmations was during Trap Yoga Bae’s annual visit to Houston, part of her global movement to reach folks of all fitness levels, backgrounds, and genders.

“Anyone who doesn’t think yoga is for them will enjoy this class. Experienced yogis attend, but this is outreach for those new to yoga,” says Floyd-Mayo, a Rishikesh, India-certified vinyasa yoga instructor, twerking aficionado, and serial entrepreneur. She created her yoga persona, Trap Yoga Bae, and the accompanying class as the antidote to feeling unwelcome in traditional yoga studios and their more standard class offerings. Her class is an all-inclusive environment backed with trap music spun by a live DJ. In other words, this class will help you conquer your FOY–fear of yoga. 

Trap music is identified by its ominous lyrical content—many songs are inspired by the hardship of street life. Trap music, then, may seem like a surprising choice for yoga; its heavy bass and hypnotic rhythms are enough to convince me otherwise.

“DJ True Starr travels with me, choosing the music based on the crowd,” Bae explains. “Staple songs will include mixed and spun versions of the latest trap music from artists such as 2 Chainz and Cardi B–she is my kickass lady partner in crime! Just keep an open mind, the intention to have fun, and watch how the universe comes together.”

No stranger to yoga, I was intrigued when I saw a Facebook post circulating for Trap Yoga. When I noticed the class was “recommended for ages 16+; this class is vulgar AF,” I signed up then and there.

So it is that my yoga mat and I enter the warehouse at 215 Grove Street reserved for the last class of Bae’s tour this year. The vast room shines purplish-blue with accents of white string lights, and live-spun trap music entrances. Lavender-scented candles surround the large, black wooden stage. 

The bay doors close, and a confident and unapologetic Yoga Bae welcomes us all to class with a poetic, profanity-peppered greeting. It’s quickly apparent why the class is reserved for an older crowd.

Bae explains that we’ll do three different flows, three times each. She’ll demonstrate each sequence of movements with us twice, then we’ll do the best we can to run though it solo. We’re told to be comfortable–it’s a judgment-free zone.

I realize this is not the typical, soothing yoga class I’m used to. I think back to my interview with Bae earlier that day: “Not everything is about relaxing,” she said. “This class is about intense empowerment so you can make the changes in your life that you want.” 

Here is where those ratchet affirmations come in. As we move through flows along to sexy beats, we voice many lewd–yet necessary–affirmations. Some of my personal favorites: “No! is a full sentence;” “Just like love, yoga is meant to stretch you, not cause you pain.”

As we progress through poses, we twerk to the energizing and erotic rhythms. Class ends on a powerful, uplifting note, and I exit the adventure feeling rejuvenated. I know why some call this the “gateway drug to yoga.” 

Trap Yoga Bae tours cities nationally throughout the year. Classes start at $25, and cost grows according to package, like one that includes a post-class VIP party experience. Yoga Bae is also available for corporate or private events and speaking engagements. Tour dates for 2018 will be announced online soon.

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