Growing up as a classically trained ballerina, dance and fitness have always been important to 27-year-old EMILY DISON. From Jonesboro, Ark., she moved to Memphis to pursue a career in dance. In 2011, she joined the Memphis Grizzlies as an NBA dancer. After several years of traveling with the team, she decided to put down further roots in the Memphis community as a Cardio Barre instructor.
Yoga had also started to call to her, and she began incorporating some of those methods into her dance over time. “My personal Yoga practice is a movement of therapeutic art. Movement allows me to experience my feelings, calms my anxiety, and reminds me of my truth. Yoga helps me to gain control with balance and by improving my flexibility with tension release,” Emily says. After years of pursuing both separately, she found the perfect way to combine her identity as a dancer and her passion for yoga when she learned about a new method: Buti Yoga.
Buti Yoga is a dynamic asana practice fused with primal movement, tribal dance, and deep core engagement. The trademarked style of yoga was created in 2010 by Bizzie Gold, a celebrity trainer and wellness expert, and is taught in 20+ countries and across the US. Buti Yoga’s technique pulls from various other methods like Kundalini and vinyasa flows and combines them with primal dance moves and drumming on your mat.
The beginning of the 60 to 90-minute class focuses on activating energy centers in your body through movement and breath control. As the energy in the room rises, participants move into vinyasa flows that build into West African movement sequences. The end result is a tribal fusion cardio mix that sculpts and tones your whole body.
“The energy in the class spreads through the room like wildfire. Everyone is sharing the same powerful experience, which connects us like a tribe. You leave the class feeling energized, challenged, and empowered. A beautiful tribe of Butisattvas is forming in the 901!” says Emily. “It’s a practice of self-love and acceptance alongside other people who are sweating it out and detoxifying themselves with you. To start, all you need to bring is water, a mat, and your good vibes.”
Emily encourages people of all different yoga backgrounds and levels to try Buti for its unique fusion experience. She sees it as a great opportunity to bring together all types of people in Memphis. “It provides a soulful blend of camaraderie for those who seek the path of health and happiness,” she says. “With this practice, we can really empower the community.”
WHERE TO JOIN EMILY DISON AT A BUTI YOGA CLASS:
Tuesdays at 4:30 pm at Coyo Yoga lounge, 2163 Young Ave. coyoyoga.com
Wednesdays at 8:30 am at Delta Groove, 2091 Madison Ave. deltagrooveyoga.com
Fridays at 6 pm at Co-Motion, 416 N Cleveland St. comotionmemphis.com
Saturdays at noon at Coyo Yoga Lounge, 2163 Young Ave. coyoyoga.com
Sundays at 8 pm at Delta Groove, 2091 Madison Ave. deltagrooveyoga.com
By Brittany Anas. Photos by Philip Murphy.