I’ll never forget my first yoga class. I was an overworked college student who’d signed up to take yoga as an easy class. I didn’t understand all of the benefits that it would bring for years to come. That list includes:
- Increased flexibility.
- Increased muscle strength and tone.
- Improved respiration, energy and vitality.
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
- Weight reduction.
And the list goes on… These are all things we forget that we need more as adults than we ever could have. We go around all day, checking off lists of things and people to deal with. Sometimes, we innately forget to take long, endowed breaths. Sometimes, we forget to talk to ourselves. We forget to empower ourselves! The truth is, I’ve been in and out of Yoga since college. I’ve been a Bikram Yoga and Shakti Yoga fanatic. Both equally calmed my spirit and toned my body. However, something was missing. Instead of meditating in silence I would drift to the more upbeat exercise classes like spin, kickboxing and more. Then, I was introduced to Trap Yoga by Trap Yoga Bae. Who knew that Yoga could awaken the spirit and have you digging out you’re alter ego? I thought only high-intensity workouts could do this for me. Little did I know. I took it a step further and decided to get a better understanding of this form of yoga and the significantly strong woman who teaches it.
Check out my interview with her. You’ll find out the who, what, when, where and why of Trap Yoga. And, that’s exactly the mission of it. Sometimes, you need more than Zen. You need a full revolution of the mind, body, and soul.
How did you get into teaching Trap Yoga?
I just wanted to do Yoga and not feel confined and stuffy. A friend of mine had a dance studio and she said, “you should teach a yoga class to trap music.” The first class sold out. She said to me, “Your job is to empower other women.” So that’s what I’m doing. It’s become a 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., but it is yours.
What’s your story?
I got to college, and I married the first man I saw. He was my tour guide- an upperclassman. He was raised Pentecostal. I didn’t know this because he was wilding out in New Orleans. He was telling me I couldn’t wear pants. I became a full-blown minister. I thought this is what a wife and a mother are supposed to be. He moved me to Texas. He was abusive. He cheated. I decided one day there is a fire, and I have to go. I picked up my kids and drove 30+ hours back to California to my Grandmother’s house. I was told in my marriage by Pentecostal people that yoga was the devil. I started practicing yoga seven years ago. You be careful when you say you want someone’s life because you don’t know what they had to do to get there.
Why did you drop out of Medical school?
I had one more year left and quit. I had a dream to be a CRNA. I took a 2-year leave of absence. I left medical school to pursue my dream which turned out to my wildest dream which was to travel the world and make the lives of black women better. Teaching Yoga has become a 7 a.m. to 3 a.m., but it is mine.
How do you balance mom life with road life?
At first, I use to feel pretty guilty. We do 7 days on and 7 days off. Now my company is doing well enough that I can bring them with me. I value them seeing the entrepreneur life over 2 days in first grade. I interact with them so that they know that I love them and that they are my helpers. They sell Gatorade or merchandise while we are out on the road. My daughter – She wasn’t as free or happy as a child. When I freed myself and became more audacious and excited, my children became proud of me. For my daughter, as a little brown girl to see me as an empowerment coach is really awesome. I balance it by doing things that are unique to me. Trap Yoga is me sharing my life as it is to the world. I do not put my kids on social media because they are sacred to me.
What cities have you taught in and what’s your favorite thus far?
It is hard to say because I’m knee deep. I love teaching in Atlanta because that is like the Trap Capitol. The love is so real and Nashville is the first city where I’ve been like, “I could live here.” Nashville could take your heart easily! The city is clean and the people are nice and I have kids so that’s a must!
What’s your dream city to teach in?
I’d like to create a metropolis. My dream class would be a convention style, where you come in on a Friday and Saturday and we open up a trap house where we teach for like 5- or 6 hours. (A trap house is any place where Yoga is taught.) I’d bring in other yogis that I think teach dope classes. I’d bring in local businesses and vendors to where we would all be supporting each other. It could be any town in the USA. We are collecting data this year to potentially do that next year.
What’s the most memorable thing a student has told you they got out of class?
There was one woman who came to my class that said, “You know I don’t have much, but I really want you to know that I was about to hurt someone or myself because I didn’t see how I could get out of a really negative or abusive relationship. I didn’t know it was as simple as choosing myself.” Prior to hearing the words from the class, she hadn’t put it together that you can choose you. Those are the kinds of conversations that come up after our classes very often!
Is Trap Yoga trademarked to you?
Everybody wants to swear to God that they are the creator of Trap Yoga. When I started teaching, I was completely unaware that any other trap yoga classes existed. Once I started teaching the class, I started getting hate mail and stuff saying that “I am the creator.” People brought their egos into it. I said if we are all here to spread love, then do that. Go be great and get money doing what you’re doing. There’s enough to go around.
Trademarks and all of that, it’s all complex. There is no right that anyone can take ownership of any type of movement and legacy. The way I run my class and run my branding is so different. There are so many ways that it can be done and I honor everyone that is doing it in their own right. I will tell you that I am the best and to me that matters so much more. I own it. Whats for me is for me. I am going to be okay. In order to be a champion, I am always fighting other battles. People think that freedom is free. You have to fight for freedom. To have this black girl joy that I have, I have to cut people off.
How important is meditation in a Yoga practice vs. empowerment in a Yoga Practice?
I think meditation has its place. I meditate in the morning or when I want to cuss someone out. I don’t want to suppress my thoughts so I can calm down. I want to get it out. That is what Trap Yoga is. It is a practice where you can get moving with something that is louder than your brain. When you are focusing on the music and you are trying to get your body right, I’m filling your head up with a distraction. That way when you get to your quiet place you can think about issues that you’re facing and not care. It’s well curated and thought out. It’s really made for beginners who really need to get stuff out. They need to kick some s*** out of their heads and their hearts.
To learn more about Trap Yoga or to attend one of Trap Yoga Bae’s classes, click here.