This past weekend, I completed my certification to be a BUTI yoga teacher! The training was 2 days long and I pushed myself to complete exhaustion. I have an achy back and after my first 11 hour day of non stop plyometrics and HIIT, I was worried that I pushed myself too far.
One of the first things we learned about was activating the mula bandha.
The mula wha?
Mula bandha, aka “root lock” is the act of pulling the pelvic floor up and inwards towards the belly button. You may realize you’ve never been aware of the pelvic floor, and how the heck do you pull it in? Well…. My Buti master trainer put it in a very graphic but detailed and easy to understand way. “Imagine that you are sucking a thick milkshake through a straw that goes from your anus and vagina all the way up to your belly button” . Try it. For realz. It actually made a lot of sense to me when she put it that way. Throughout class she kept reminding us to “suck in that milkshake”.
Last week, I also started physical therapy for my back. One of the exercises that they had me do was called “bracing”, basically a westernized term for root lock aka mula bandha. My therapist has me do it daily for 10 second holds, 10 times. The purpose of this is to strengthen the psoas and transverse abdominis to help support my back.
How crazy that the week I started PT was the same week I got my Buti training and both of these events emphasized the importance of the same thing?! The universe is sending me all the vibes.
Well when I woke up for my second day of intensive training, I was pleasantly surprised to feel my back was pain free and strong as ever. Holding the mula bandha throughout all my movements protected my lower back from overexertion. Instead of letting the weight and explosiveness of my vigorous tribal dancing fall onto my achy breaky back, the pressure was sustained by my deep core muscles and instead resulted in a core strengthening workout. I was having an actual epiphany.
I am so excited to learn, and feel the benefits of bracing aka mula bandha aka root lock. You better believe I’m going to start including it in my personal exercises, and emphasize the importance of it to my yoga students.
Aside from my epiphany, I learned some AMAZING tribal dance moves and also discovered some badass tribal music. I’ve been listening to Buraka Som Sistema for days and I just want to dance my life away pretty much. I listen to it when I’m driving and just keep thinking of awesome Buti yoga moves to go with the music.
The Buti classes are structured with intervals of dynamic yoga, tribal dance and plyometrics. This results in the elusive “after burn”* that comes along with HIIT. The heart rate becomes highly elevated, and then lowered again during the yoga portion and repeats throughout the entire class. It’s a totally unique and effective approach to get in a cardio and strengthening workout while also addressing range of motion/ flexibility. And it’s so incredibly fun. I personally find it more fun than Zumba.
*”After burn” means you’ll keep burning calories at an accelerated rate for hours after you’ve stopped exercising
I completed the training with a friend that I met in a YogaFit Vinyasa teacher training last year. We will both be teaching Buti classes at a local gym and we have a launch party coming up.
I met so many inspiring women at this training. The vibes were thick with love and fierceness. I wish we could all get together and do Buti on a regular basis. I look forward to more trainings and continuous learning. My confidence has risen and I think I love myself even more after this experience. I want to share and spread the love with anyone who is willing to experience it.