Hot Buddhi is a high intensity power style yoga.
This type of yoga combines asana, dance, kundalini, cardio, twerking, and plyometric movements. All of these dynamic movements are combined to simply help the yoga student to let go and get in touch with their inner strength. Jen Liming from the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii created Hot Buddhi yoga.
My personal back-story:
I found Hot Buddhi yoga roughly two years ago when a woman named Brittney started teaching the class at Yoga Centered in downtown Hilo, Hawaii. I have to admit, at my first Hot Buddhi yoga class, I had a hard time not laughing and feeling ashamed of my body. I was struggling with finding my own body beautiful and sexy.
When I walked into the studio the night of my first Hot Buddhi yoga class, I noticed something different about the studio, students, and teacher. The lights of the studio were turned off, while twinkling multi-colored strung lights outlined the front of the classroom. Because of this, all the students looked like silhouettes with sparkling water dripping off their bodies during the sweaty class. The music was turned up load, with pop, r&b, electronic, and rap music blasting from the speakers. I learned later that each teacher has their own style of music they like to buddhi-asana to.
The students before and after class were positive and supportive in helping me to acclimate to this new style of yoga. I remember one student even explained to me that if I closed my eyes during some of the spiral hip movements, that I would be able to connect to my body more organically. She was completely correct!
As I stated earlier, I struggled with finding my body attractive and sensual, which caused me to feel robotic when trying to shake my hips like Shakira. When closing my eyes, and accepting my body, I immediately found my hips to be fluid and to move with ease. Once I dropped away from my judgments and body shaming, the African tribal dance and spiral hip movements, along with twerking and yoga asana soon became easy and fun.
As for the teacher, Brittney had her mat facing the students and remained on her mat for the entire class. I remember thinking, “this is different.” Once the session started, I noticed how Brittney was doing the class with the students. I loved this and still do!
The teacher in Hot Buddhi yoga engages with the students and actively participates for the entire class. It is better to think of the teacher in Hot Buddhi yoga as a facilitator, rather than an instructor or leader. Hot Buddhi yoga teachers use their voice and cues in class to help the students to safely get into postures quickly, so that when there, they can shake or spiral their hips to the beat of the music.
After class, I realized the loud music helped me to tune out my thoughts and the non-existent overhead lights allowed me to feel free to move as I pleased (seeing as no one could tell it was me in the dark room). Brittney encouraged me to keep trying Hot Buddhi yoga, and so I did. After a few months, I was hooked!
I will not lie: Hot Buddhi yoga changed my life. I feel more empowered as a woman, because the powerful yoga allowed me to let go of my stereotyped ideas of beauty and find the inner strength to love myself. This internal strength lead me to become certified as a Hot Buddhi yoga teacher this past January with Le He’a and Jen Liming’s Alchemy of Hot Buddhi yoga teacher training.
How Hot Buddhi yoga can help women to feel empowered:
It would be wrong of me to force my own opinions on other women, but I strongly believe that Hot Buddhi yoga can help empower women to be vulnerable, allow change, and let go. Me personally, my past relationships, as well as social media and other mass-produced cultural ideas of beauty are what kept me from loving myself fully; Hot Buddhi yoga helped me to let go of the emotional baggage I had collected over the years. With each sweaty class, I felt my internalized misogyny melt away.
A great deal of Hot Buddhi yoga builds strength and flexibility in the legs, hips, gluts, and arms. The first chakra (Muladhara) is activated through spiral energetics and pelvic tucks. The kundalini style breathing sends a wave of energy from the feet up to the top of the head. This rising energy can be felt pulsing through the body. The effervescent energy and emotional release to the first chakra are part of why this exercise makes women feel empowered after class.
I truly believe that this yoga practice has the energy to ignite a flame that will burn away all the madness created by patriarchal society.
Hot Buddhi yoga can help women to find their authentic self physically, spiritually, and mentally. For myself, I noticed my body moved more organically and smoothly in everyday activities. My spirit felt elevated and I was able to cope and respond to tough situation more easily. Mentally, I noticed I was able to focus on the things I wanted to accomplish and to be more present when conversing with friends and family.
Hot Buddhi yoga is the ultimate women’s empowerment yoga!
For more information about Hot Buddhi Yoga and its transformational practice, see the following videos.
Author: Hannah Lipman
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Author’s Own, Youtube