Jazmyn Burton describes her first experience with yoga “falling into her body.” She was stressed out from her job at a newspaper, and in beginning a yoga practice, found she was more present and mindful. Ten years later, she’s aiming to make yoga more attractive to a new audience by using hip-hop and trap music to inspire students.
Every Friday afternoon in July, Burton will teach an energetic vinyasa yoga flow at Mascher Space Cooperative in the South Kensington section of Philadelphia. Her aim is to make classes accessible for all levels of yogi, of any shape or size, with an emphasis on body positivity, all while using some of her favorite popular artists to get students moving. She acknowledges that some of the lyrical content of the music can be rough around the edges, but that it’s in her nature to find the positives in just about anything.
“There are little tracks, little lyrics that are just so profound,” said Burton. She points to the song Ultralight Beam by Kanye West and the lyrics: “We’re on an ultra light beam, this is a God dream, this is everything.” “Is he saying that we are in God’s dream? And so I’ll start class with that particular theme, explaining my take on what Kanye may or may not have meant, or what I took from it,” she said.
She sees the use of music not commonly know to be used for yoga as a way to get prospective students in the door, and she hopes that they’ll even go out into the world taking classes at different studios. “Yoga is a very healing, uplifting and nurturing practice, that I hope adding trap music to it will encourage a more diverse body of people to participate in it.”