T.he h.ustle u g.ive
y.oga o.pens g.reater a.wareness
Welcome to thug yoga®
Since 2008, our mission/intention/definition has always been, and still is, in line with that of Tupac’s in his 1994 MTV interview (which I remember watching). His definition of a “thug” was the underdog who, despite life’s hardships, holds his head high and overcomes obstacles to succeed. From the beginning, when exclusive, expensive studios did not welcome my shredder friends, we held our heads high and created our own style of yoga to overcome those obstacles. If you’re saying,”WTF”? Listen to these quotes:
"Court, I want to do yoga
but...I went once and
the teacher said YOGA WASN'T FOR ME."
We started our own class in a place we felt at home... our “Thugz Mansion" aka, Radio Boardshop. We played our favorite rap music because that was more authentic to us than harmoniums or whale sounds. We created our own pose names that were more familiar to our world. We emphasized breath over pose and allowed modifications for every body. After all, the purpose of yoga is getting to your true authentic Self. While other people called us “thugs” because we listened to 2Pac in class, I chose to keep the name as a dedication to Pac and his intention of changing the connotation of the word. We created an acronym just as Tupac did:
T.he H.ustle U. G.ive Y.oga O.pens G.reater A.wareness.
And Thug Yoga® Was Born.
Yogic concepts meets shred life
The classes were FULL, we had (and still have) a low fee of $10 per person, mat included, or donation for anyone who didn’t have it, and no one touched Travis (that's a long story). One day Max called in “hungover”, saying he needed to drink a beer to recover. I responded, “bring your beer to class”, and that at least got him on the mat. Hangover cured! A local brewery got wind of this and started sponsoring our “Hair of the Downward Dogg” that we have today. Berkel, an employee at the shop and DJ (Berkel Beats) started making TY mixes for us and continues to spin his magic at special TY events. The shredder bros, and soon after, babes, who would have never set foot in a yoga studio in Aspen were practicing consistently and visibly gaining flexibility, strength, balance, breath and awareness. Obstacles overcome.