From coast to coast, it's not hard to find yogis advertising classes fluent in Beyoncé.
Susie Edebor is one such yogi. Along with her husband, Nosa (a.k.a. Houston MC Nosaprise), the couple runs Nosie Yoga, which offers a variety of classes throughout Houston. They’ve been incorporating Beyoncé into their class's curriculum for a little while; under the name Bey-Asana, the yoga classes take place in different yoga studios around the city from time to time.
"Being from Houston, Destiny's Child and later Beyoncé is just a part of our culture,” Susie says.
Their first Bey-Asana was two years ago, just a one-off event they used as a fundraiser to help Nosa cover the training costs for getting his yoga-teacher credential. But the event, which got a writeup in the local paper, suddenly took off. “In Houston, Beyoncé represents empowerment, strength and energy, and we wanted to create something fun that would bring all that together while connecting people,” Susie explains.
In many ways, the Third Ward-born singer has lent her brand to the yoga movement by sharing photos of herself in poses, way before she became the symbol of superstar motherhood. Plus, it adds value and authenticity to her Ivy Park line of clothing, which is making Lululemon moms reconsider their athletic-gear choices.
Also, as yoga becomes more popular, class organizers are thinking of new ways to make it more accessible to the non-yoga types. The hip-hop retreats, or the beer- and cat-themed yoga are all opening the ancient practice up to a wider audience.
“There are tons of poses in the practice that totally represent Bey," Susie says. "There’s Warrior Two pose, or as Nosa likes to call it in Bey-Asana: ‘Surfbort.' Tadasana or Mountain Pose is also a good one, and of course goddess stance is a powerful pose that will warm you up.”
But why do these yogis choose Beyoncé, of all the celebrities, to connect with yoga?
“Beyoncé is super relaxed. A natural yogini from my brief moment in her presence,” says Jenny Buergermeister, a yoga teacher who started her JennyYoga studio in River Oaks in 2002. She says Beyoncé and a cousin came into her studio back in 2007 for a private class. The association between Mrs. Carter and the practice can only be good for the true believers.
“Big names can help the peace movement” when it comes to yoga practice, Jenny says.
Over in California, a place synonymous with yoga and healthy living, instructor Paul Schneider created his own take on Beyoncé yoga after a Drake-themed class proved successful. His Namasbey classes began in November 2016.
He admits he’s sold slightly more tickets to the Drake yoga, but that’s not to take anything away from the Queen Bey, who stands to benefit in major ways by being associated with yoga.
"Almost everyone in Los Angeles loves yoga and Beyoncé, so it makes perfect sense to unite the two,” Schneider says.
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“Every class we have at least one brand-new student who has never done yoga and just really loves Beyoncé," he adds. "That’s a part of the concept behind this class — to make hatha yoga fun and less intimidating to beginners, or even to people who may never have tried yoga in their life if it wasn’t for fusing it with their favorite artist.”
For Schneider, Beyoncé is an empowering figure perfect for achieving that mind-body-spiritual connection that yoga classes are supposed to offer.
The way he describes it, the class has a playlist that’s heavy on Beyoncé with a few Destiny’s Child’s classics thrown in. But then it becomes more than just the beat. “Since Beyoncé is such a strong human being and strong performer, the class is mostly strength-based," Schneider says. "Our logo is Beyoncé in Goddess Pose since I would consider her to be a Goddess.”
Nosie Yoga will hold its next Bey-Asana event from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, at the Your Body Center, 3605 Katy Freeway. See Nosieyogi.com for more information.