Find your inner warrior princess

Buti yoga focuses on women’s empowerment

Savannah Vasquez
svasquez@thedestinlog.com
Dannica Lowery, who goes by Danni Coyote, said buti yoga is her favorite form of yoga to practice and teach. [SAVANNAH VASQUEZ/DESTIN.COM]

In this series of first-person articles we follow reporter Savannah Vasquez as she explores her yogi journey and discovers the most unique forms of yoga offered in the Destin area.

For the second stop on my yoga journey I decided to try buti yoga, and let me just say I was intimidated! Before my class I looked up Buti yoga on YouTube and saw video upon video of toned she-women moving to high-octane beats like dance professionals. I thought, "What have I gotten myself into? I can’t dance.”

I arrived early for my class at the new Spice Health Studio in Miramar Beach, and instructor Dannica "Danni Coyote" Lowery said Buti yoga is a relatively new form of yoga.

“Buti is a mix between African tribal dance, power yoga, kundalini yoga and plyometrics,” she said. When I asked her to explain the practice in laymen’s terms, she laughed but happily obliged.

“Buti is an Indian word that means, ‘A cure that has been hidden within,’ ” she said. “The whole premise behind buti is to focus on women’s anatomy, self-love, community and women’s empowerment.”

Before the class began I asked Lowery for any first-time advice because, let’s face it, I was still nervous.

“You don’t have to be a hero,” she said. “If you need to stop and get a drink of water or step outside for a minute, you can. I want it to be fun and I want you to whoop and holler and sound like Xena Warrior Princess.”

The next hour can only be described as the most intensive workout I have ever done, and yet I was smiling and laughing throughout the entire class. We began in a seated position, but as soon as the tribal beat got moving, so did we. We bounced, swayed, side-stepped and shook what our mamma gave us, and it was all I could do to keep up with Danni Coyote and the beat.

We had the lights turned low and it was storming outside, which gave an even more primal feeling to the movements we were doing. Lightning seemed to dance in time with the music, and the rain outside was emulated by the beaded sweat on our bodies.

At intervals during the songs, Lowery let out a warrior cry that I tried to imitate, but out-of-breath as I was, mine sounded more like a dying cow than an exuberant warrior. I didn’t care, though; I was having fun. I knew the burn in my thighs and in my core would leave me sore the next day, but in that moment with the beat pounding, I felt like I could take on the world.

When the hour came to a close, we settled down to a resting pose on our mats. I welcomed the calm after so much intensity. Buti yoga left me feeling invigorated with a drive to want to improve my yoga stamina.

Although buti is primarily for women, Lowery said that during her monthly Buti Glow class she does allow men to join in. The Glow class combines the Buti practice with the added element of painting yourself in glow paint and performing the yoga under black lights.

“The Glow class is super fun because it taps into your inner child,” Lowery said. “And you can release your inhibitions because the lights are out.”

I’ll have to try the Glow class soon, but until then I am just proud that I am now officially part of the local Buti Tribe. 

Want to Go?

Buti yoga is available at two locations in Destin; SoFITco Studios on 30A located at 2166 W Co Highway 30A Suite E or in The Summit building at 42 Business Center Drive Suite 209 in Miramar Beach. For more information, visit www.dannicoyote.com or call 850-660-6670.