Alexis Berry discovered the practice of Buti yoga three years ago. At 19 years old, Berry started teaching out of her mother’s living room. When Bridget Whittle, the owner of Rapid City Yoga Studio in Rapid City, South Dakota, reached out to her because of her Instagram feed, Berry was ecstatic. “I was so excited; seriously, it was the greatest thing ever. She asked if I wanted to teach, so I did a demo class and started teaching there,” said Berry. “It is my favorite thing teaching yoga and Buti.”

Buti — an Indian Marathi word which means “the cure to something hidden or kept secret” — was created by Bizzie Gold in 2012. It’s a practice described as a dynamic asana with primal and deep core movement, cardio sprints, and tribal dance. Berry said one of her highlights of the practice is the inclusion of the feminine elements, even though she has both male and female yogis in her class. “We really focus on bringing out the power that’s inside of you to the outside, and the physical practice you can really apply to your life,” she said. 

The studio has tried offering Buti a few different ways: several times a week and once a week. Now, it’s going to do Buti special events. 

Berry said a key to the class is fun playlists — she loves A Tribe Called Red, hip hop, etc. However, Berry does take time at the beginning of class to be quiet and offers a space for her students to center themselves. But, after that she incorporates tribal dance movements, mat slaps, plyometrics, cardio and a lot of focus on hip opening.

A unique element to Buti is the spiral structure technique, which is a spiraling of the inner core. Berry said it’s great for healing after childbirth, and Gold notes in her blog it’s used to “facilitate the release and toning of the body — physical, emotional and energetic.” Buti also uses static shake; Berry said “shake medicine” has been used since ancient times in order to facilitate the release of trauma.

What Berry has noticed in terms of the benefit of Buti is how it opens up students. “I think it offers an opportunity to just be yourself and really feel how your body wants to move,” said Berry. “I think that’s what people like about it … It really incorporates the element of listening to your body, that intuitiveness, and that was my favorite thing. It incorporates primal movements and the flows and fluidity, and it’s also a very
good workout.”

All in all, she said as a teacher it’s her role to provide space for her students to find happiness, positive energy and a safe environment. In the end, her goal is to give space for students to enjoy their practice.

“How I know a Buti class is going successfully is when people smile,” said Berry. “That’s what I think sets it apart from a lot of other workouts; it’s when they connect with themselves through the movement so much they are glowing with happiness and they are smiling. That’s my favorite thing.”