KAPAA — Rebecca Hart teaches a fusion of tribal dance and power yoga designed to transform and heal women from the inside out. She’s taking it to the mainland this summer and she’s bringing her own bass with her.
That’s because Hart has just wrapped up producing a five-track album with Steel Pulse’s David Elecciri Jr., and she’s going to use the music in the classes she’ll be teaching nationwide.
Hart teaches Buti Yoga, named with the Indian Marathi word that means “a hidden cure.” It’s setting women all over the world on fire for themselves, creating a space where women can experience their own individual power and encourage one another at the same time.
The intense workout also has a formidable reputation for reshaping women’s bodies.
“It’s created specifically for women to heal from the inside out and it stimulates your endocrine system,” Hart said. “You sweat so much, and you really dig in and really move with Buti.”
She said Buti Yoga has also garnered the reputation as “twerking yoga” but explained it isn’t the same thing.
“We’re taught to pull in instead of throwing your butt back, and that stimulates your endocrine system in a totally different type of motion that is hormone balancing,” Hart said.
The high-intensity, tribal dance movements inspire a sense of primal connectedness, and the yoga aspect of Buti opens the hips, where most women hold trauma and stress from life events.
“I’ve had women in puddles of tears because it takes you into this mind-body-emotional connection and we’re going through and opening all the chakras,” Hart said. “But at the same time, we’re supporting each other within this container and we’re coming together.”
Buti Yoga requires high intensity, big bass music with a beat that drives tribal dancing, but Hart said most of the music in that genre today didn’t quite fit with the practice.
“A lot of it has lyrics that aren’t as positive or conscious as I want them to be, especially if you’re opening your soul and your heart space so much,” Hart said. “So I decided I wanted to make my own album with music that is uplifting to use in my class.”
She set the intention a year ago at one of her Buti Yoga classes, when she and her students voiced their goals out loud before getting on the mat.
“When you say things out loud, they come to fruition more so I was having us share our intentions and manifestations,” Hart said. “So I said, I’m going to produce an album before summer.”
But, as her self-set production deadline approached, Hart said her world got busy.
In addition to teaching Buti Yoga, as well as a few other yoga classes, Hart is a disc jockey, teaches physical education at Hanalei Elementary School and is a part-time fourth-grade teacher.
“It was all good things, but I thought summertime isn’t going to happen and I should move the timeline back,” Hart said.
In April, however, a nagging voice in her brain told her to reach out to Elecciri, who she had met through her work with Kauai’s KKCR radio station. She followed her intuition and emailed him.
That’s when she found out that Elecciri was on a break for about a month from touring with Steel Pulse and he was going to be on Maui.
“He said he’d just fly over to Kauai and produce an album and that’s what we did,” Hart said. “He was here for just two weeks and we made five tracks.”
She debuted those tracks in her May 23 Buti Yoga class and then jumped on a plane to DJ at an after-party for the clothing company Teeki in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
“Everyone seems to like the new songs,” Hart said. “Bizzie (Gold), the founder of Buti Yoga, she’s already putting it on her Tone video and that has about 10,000 people who follow.”
Hart’s grandmother introduced her to yoga when she was 17 years old. She studied holistic health and Ayurveda when she was at Hawaii’s University of Manoa.
“So I took up Ashtanga (Yoga) up on the north shore of Oahu when I was in college and when I moved to Kauai, I worked at the Hanalei Day Spa,” Hart said. “The owner asked if I would teach yoga in the morning so I started it as a side thing.”
Now, she said she suspects she might be making more money teaching yoga than with her multiple day jobs.
“DJ-ing came before teaching this kind of class, and I was into yoga, but my mom encouraged me to do this (Buti Yoga) so I did,” Hart said. “So it’s all really crazy, and I’m freaking out on a certain level, but this is how it’s all supposed to go.”
As her teaching career has blossomed, Hart has had the opportunity to teach different styles of yoga all over the world and she usually has to put her Kauai classes on pause when she’s off-island.
That’s all changed, too, though, because Hart just held a Buti Yoga teacher-training workshop and she’s picked up a few new instructors.
“Now I have six girls on Kauai that can sub with my classes so I can keep it going when I leave,” Hart said.
For the next few months, Hart will be touring throughout the U.S., teaching Buti Yoga at festivals like Topanga Days, Reggae on the Mountain, and Raindance in California and Project Earth festival in Minnesota.
Hart’s Kauai Buti Yoga class is on Monday nights at 7:15 at the Kauai Athletic Club in Kapaa. She’ll have a substitute teacher leading the class while she’s off-island.
“It’s been such an honor being able to teach,” Hart said. “And it’s been so amazing working with David. Because he’s with Steel Pulse he brought so much of that classic, upful Reggae (to the album), and he actually plays electric guitar on a track and you’ll hear his voice on another.”