Buti Glo adds a nightclub feel to yoga class at Newport Peach.
By Jessie Dax-Setkus
After a traditional yoga class, complete with a physical workout and meditative breathing, participants might seem to be glowing from the inside out as they emerge with a renewed sense of calm. But at the high-energy Buti Glo session at Newport Peach, students will actually be glowing thanks to the fluorescent body paint and a black light in the room.
According to yoga instructor Nicole Kniss, this is a class where participants can let loose and be themselves. Students learn to love their awkward movements in the mirror and come back for more. This class meets once a month, although Buti yoga without the glow element is also offered regularly. Here, Kniss talks about the class and the origins of Buti Glo.
What happens in a typical Buti Glo class?
Nicole Kniss: Buti yoga, in general, is a power elastic flow that … [utilizes] plyometrics, HIIT [or high-intensity interval] training and tribal cardio dance. In every class, you pretty much go into the real sweaty hardcore yoga, but it is also broken up into fun cardiovascular dance exercise that comes from West Africa, Native America or Hawaii—there are a lot of aspects that it pulls from. It is just kind of natural for the class to be set to a dance club vibe. … We do all the classes to really heavy bass and rap. Every movement really goes to that beat [and] it’s very beat-driven. In these classes, we do complete lights out, and we have a really high-powered black light that lights up the whole room. … We use neon, black light body paint to really tribe up our faces, arms and legs. … They come in, we start with the paint party, and then we go into a 75-minute class.
What do people like about this class?
For women, it’s allowing them to unleash everything that is held inside and opening up the hips, letting the stresses out. As women, we kind of hold a lot of stress in our hips. So, it is kind of like empowering women to support each other to find that love for themselves in the mirror. At the same time, we want them to feel like they are at a nightclub without creepy dudes rubbing up on them. It’s a safe environment to shake your butt, let your hair down and have a really good time with your girlfriends.
What are the challenges of the class?
For most people, it’s just such a different feeling in their body. It is so primal and so focused in this grounding feminine energy. Sometimes, it is mostly people just staying in their own heads. We always start the class by saying, “Get out of your head, enter your body, feel the music and find your own self-acceptance.” … We really try to coach people and give them that advice of finding those positive affirmations instead of feeling awkward. If you really let your mind go, you can really have a transitional time; it can make you feel really different when you come out. We call it “Buti bliss.”
What’s the background of Buti Glo at Newport Peach?
I’ve been teaching yoga in Newport for about three years. I moved here from Sacramento, and no one taught it down here. It’s worldwide and people practice it everywhere. … I started teaching the classes and I find that the Buti Glo is a really great way to introduce the practice itself to people. It allows you to feel like you are in that party atmosphere. You have body and face paint on you; it kind of takes you out of your comfort zone right away. When you go on to the [regular] class, you are a little more open to what everything is going to feel like. … It has been a real powerful discovery for a bunch of people down here. I have a really dedicated tribe of people, so we try to do it once a month.
Do you have any tips for a first-timer?
Let yourself be out of your head. We always say, “Open your hips to free your mind.” Come in with no expectations and just be ready to have fun. That’s really the best advice we can give people. We explain the techniques when we are in there, so that everyone stays really safe. But the main thing is coming in and having some fun. We do a Champagne toast and I bring kombucha too, so everyone can enjoy some bubbles.
Bring these must-have items to your first, or next, Buti Glo class.
When you get your om on, make sure you’re using one of the most comfortable yoga mats out there: the NAMASTAY MAT, $78, at Lululemon, Fashion Island. (949-644-9642; lululemon.com)
Casall’s DASHING SPORTS BRA, $72, has a thin crossed band in the back, with a lifting effect and a nicely shaped bust with some structure, so you don’t feel exposed if you choose to train in just the bra. (www.casall.com/us)
Ensure you are properly hydrated with the 64-ounce HYDRO FLASK GROWLER, a state-of-the-art water bottle that will keep your water ice cold during this 75-minute workout, $66, at Hobie Surf Shop, Corona del Mar. (949-706-8090; hobiesurfshop.com)
Move your body with ease in these EASE tights, $100, by Casall. Soft and quick-drying fabric with great stretch combines with a great all-over print that’ll inspire you to flow and glow. (casall.com/us)
Carry your stuff in style using the Adidas DEFENDER III SMALL DUFFLE BAG, which will hold everything from your water bottle to your yoga mat, $35, at Dick’s Sporting Goods, Fashion Island. (949-640-1107; dickssportinggoods.com)