There is something to be said for the feeling you get standing in a strong crescent pose, arms raised in triumph, head lifted toward the heavens, and hearing Kendrick Lamar sing out, “This what God feel like…” You damn right!
When the homie Jason first suggested that I try trap yoga in our group chat, I immediately dismissed such a ludicrous notion with a casual, “shuddup…” assuming that he was making fun of my affinity for contradictions. Haha, very funny. I mean, please. Who would ever think to mix yoga with trap music? It’s supposed to be all wood flutes and didgeridoos, right? WRONG! Fam, this is a thing. A for real, for real, grab your mat and downward dog to Future’s ‘March Madness’ thing!
How was I just finding this out? Moreover, WHY DID I NOT THINK OF THIS? The info section of my Instagram page, (@KhalilahJoi) literally says “I meditate to trap music.” This is who I am as a person!
Once I realized trap yoga was a real class, I immediately started looking for one to take here in LA. At the suggestion of my homegirl and legit yogi friend, Kemi, I decided on Studio Two Six Two downtown. They offer trap yoga classes Monday-Thurs at 7:45pm for 10 bucks and Friday for only $5.00!
When I arrived, I was super impressed by how beautiful and pristine the studio was. Not that I thought it’d be taught in a trap house or anything. Themes need only go so far. (Side note: If you listen to trap music but don’t what a trap house is, you might be low key fraudulent. Jussayin’.) But the whole vibe of the studio was dope.
Along with being cute, though, it was also…empty with the exception of the instructor. Her name was Lina and when I checked in she said I might be the only person in class that night because there hadn’t been any other online sign-ups and Thursdays were typically slow.
Like, huh? How are people not lined up for this?
Bruh, it’s TRAP YOGA–the melding of the spiritual and the carnal, where your higher self and your inner hood girl get to kick it. The dichotomy is genius.
As it turned out, Lina was right. It was just she and I, and my first trap yoga experience would be a private session. Nice! As I waited for class to start, the songs I heard were “Redbone” by Childish Gambino and “Bad Intentions” by Niykee Heston, so I assumed I was in for more of a ‘trap soul’ Eric Bellinger/Bryson Tiller/Kehlani kind of play list. But then, promptly at 7:45, class officially began. There was a slight break in the music while she found her song and then…this…
…in mutha-f-in child’s pose!! WHAAAATTT?!!
It only got better from there: Future–warrior 2, Weezy–boat pose, Rick Ross–triangle pose, K-dot–twisted crescent and lizard pose, Wale–wall-assisted headstands! I’ve never held a headstand that long in my life! To my shame, there were a few songs that I didn’t know. It didn’t matter. The experience was awesome!! And don’t be fooled. It was also a great workout. The room was slightly heated at the start, (not Bikram hot, but maybe 85-ish degrees.) So I was in a full sweat two poses in. It’s a pretty traditional vinyasa flow, and those standing poses mixed with the chaturanga flow, (yoga push-ups into upward dog into downward dog,) definitely get the heart rate going. Lina also incorporated a lot of intense stretching postures like lizard and splits, (or attempted splits in my case,) and of course…inversions. I bet if Future did more inversions, he wouldn’t need all that Molly, Percocet. Just a theory.
One thing I noticed about this particular pairing is that it was much harder for me to find the stillness in a pose. You try not bouncing when the beat to “Humble” drops in the middle of your humble warrior. Impossible!
In the way of critiques, I’ll be honest in saying that I would have felt pretty uncomfortable in a room with 10-15 women of varying ethnic backgrounds hearing the n-word drop over and over. That’s a much more complicated, multi-layered conversation, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it. It’s just facts. (I wouldn’t have minded the radio edits one bit. The beats still knock, and isn’t that really why we listen to trap in the first place?)
That said, if you like trap music and want to do some yoga, you have to try this at least once. If nothing else, it’s an experience. I’m not saying I won’t go back to the wood flute and didgeridoo, but that can get a little dull sometimes. Thankfully, now I know that I have the perfect alternative every night of the week. And if they drop French Montana’s “Pop That” or Rick Ross’ “Trap, Trap, Trap,” may God help anyone whose mat is next to mine.
Final verdict: Trap Yoga…here for it!