Depending on who you consult, Atlanta is considered the trap capital.
The music genre popularized by Southern artists like Young Jeezy and T.I. was initially focused on drug dealing and the struggles of poverty. Trap music has been around from more than two decades, but in recent years, the style has spread to artists outside of rap culture. It was just a matter of time before it spread to other industries.
A year ago, the Trap House Atlanta opened on Moreland Ave. to serve any type of hustle you might have with barbering and beauty services, car detailing, food, photography, studio recording, and clothing all in one place.
This past weekend with the release of his album, Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, Atlanta-rapper 2 Chainz and Spotify opened a Trap Salon where fans were given a free mani/ pedis in an all pink salon as the album played in the background.
Next month, Oakland-native Britteny Floyd-Mayo, 29, aka Yoga Bae, returns to Atlanta with her version of trap music love. Trap yoga, she said, is the perfect blend of trap and zen.
“Everyone thinks to find peace you have to be like Jesus and go to the mountaintop, but you have to find your peace while the world is blatantly loud and disrespectful,” she said.
Here’s a clip of Yoga Bae teaching Trap yoga at DogPatch Dance and & Yoga in San Francisco (to the sounds of Let it Out by Atlanta-based Jidenna ):
Floyd-Mayo was first drawn to yoga as a college student. She wrote her thesis about how yoga and mindfulness practices can offer support through transitional phases of life, but after graduation, living the life of a harried, married mother of two drew her away from practicing yoga.
Ten years later, in the aftermath of a divorce, she found herself reaching for yoga again to help her through that transition. She ended up going to India to study Vinyasa but when she returned, she was unable to connect in traditional yoga classes.
“I thought I was going to a zen master and stop falling asleep in yoga classes. I did not. I was bored. As a woman of color I still felt displaced,” she said. “I would go home and do my own yoga to trap music.”
One day, she got the bright idea to attend traditional yoga classes with Bluetooth headphones blasting trap in her ears. “I would be in classes doing Downward Dog and my ear buds would fall out and they would hear the music,” she said. She got some strange looks, but no one told her to stop.
When a friend who owned a yoga studio suggested she take off the headphones and lead a class through poses accompanied by trap music, she agreed. The classes kept filling up, she said.
“I was like, ‘Keep doing it until no one comes,'” said Floyd-Mayo. She began getting requests to teach from other studios. Then studios in other cities called and she would use the money earned from teaching classes to pay for her flights. Then she got calls from studios that wanted to pay her to come and teach. “Now I am to the point where I go to a city to do a tour,” she said.
This month she held seven classes over four days at three locations in Atlanta including Atmasphere Yoga. Each class had between 40 – 75 students and all but one were sold-out, she said.
“I get people who have never been to yoga classes before. I smell the chemicals on them. Trap yoga is the gateway drug to yoga,” she said.
Mayo teaches a warrior sequence and after running through it three times, she blasts trap music and gives students three minutes to practice on their own. It is a safe space where students can practice with the support of a yogi while learning a sequence they can then do whenever they have free time, she said.
Floyd-Mayo attributes much of the spread of trap yoga and its growing popularity to the internet and social media.
“I think we live in a time where community is sought after. With social media and the internet people are able to find a path. Most everyone can benefit in some way from yoga, but it has to be in a way that is palatable to them,” she said.