Yoga- Ever heard of it?

There are pivotal moments in your life that never fade. Even after six years with several traumas/triumphs, I still remember the weekend of my Buti Yoga training clearly. It was my twenty-seventh birthday present to me. I treat myself for making it another year around the sun when it feels right. I mean, c'mon. When I turned eighteen, I went sky-diving. That was incredible. I was soaring so high that is knocked me out for the entire car trip back home. When I turned thirty last year, my sister & I took a trip to Hollywood to see my best high school chum, Katie. I went to to the beach four times, saw the breath-taking sights of Malibu twice, saw a dolphin swimming, saw a sea lion, ate at too many amazing restaurants, went to the wonderful Good Times at Davey Wayne's, and much more. Needless to say, not your typical Midwesterner life kind of trip. Pretty unforgettable. 

Malibu Beach in California. 

Malibu Beach in California. 

But, back to the yoga weekend. 

It was a hot, sunny, September weekend in Portland. I traveled alone. The weekend training was in The Dalles, Oregon, which is alongside the Columbia River just outside of the Portland Metropolitan area. I was so excited to be back on the West Coast. I was even more thrilled to learn more about & audition for one of my more recently stumbled upon passions: Buti Yoga

There were about twenty or so women packed into one small, sweaty, & **stinky** room. Bizzie Gold, the founder herself, was leading the weekend and my friend that introduced me to the practice, Katya Seymour, was training to become a Master Trainer. I was staying very quiet & to myself, but I was ready to rock & eager to take in as much information as I could. The weekend was loaded with nerves & high-expectations.

We received bountiful information for two-full days, and were expected to audition on Sunday. I remember practicing & planning Saturday evening in my hotel room. I was so excited and nervous and focused on one thing: passing the test and beginning my new side-career as a Buti Yoga teacher! 

Sunday rolls around and I got up extra early, showered, ate a decadent breakfast, and was ready to roll. When we got there, numbers were stacked into a pile, and I envisioned that I could go somewhere in the middle. Nope. Number O N E. 

"Fuck," I thought. "Nope, no time to think like that. Let's do this." I concluded. 

I was confident but exceptionally nervous. I knew my playlist was fire & I knew my plan. But, that practice and that moment felt bigger than I anticipated. I had this sense of knowing that I was right where I needed to be. 

My first song started, and I began on track for the moves I planned, but nerves kicked in & i just blanked, forcing me to improvise & create on the spot. Creativity in the moment is a big part of Buti. I don't even remember a damn thing I did. All I remember is Bizzie Gold saying: "See that? That's how you pass a demo." I had goosebumps and couldn't wait to share the news with my friends back home! I also had an earful of form corrections and things to work on when I returned back home. 

Pure Yoga in the Dalles Location, The Dalles, Oregon. 

Pure Yoga in the Dalles Location, The Dalles, Oregon. 

That's the beauty of Yoga: it's an ever-learning practice.


   Connecting the body, mind & soul. 

I didn't realize that Buti was only in it's adolescent stage during that training.  It took being re-acquainted with the current training module four years later to witness it's current powerful, challenging & empowering state. I was re-trained in Buti during my 200HR RYT in 2017 in The Big Apple. I took four separate road trips to NYC for the certifications.         


Kelly & I in her studio,  Peace, Love, & Wellness  , in Warren, Pennsylvania. 

Kelly & I in her studio, Peace, Love, & Wellness , in Warren, Pennsylvania. 


During the first weekend meet up, I met one of my soul sisters, Kelly. She traveled and lodged with me three of the four trips, and I will never forget our --- A D V E N T U R E S  &  L A U G H S --- 

NYC was incredible, but it was even more incredible sharing it with my new, soul friend.

We were able to learn & together, blossom into newer versions of ourselves, speak honestly & be true , effortlessly. 

I think relationships are our greatest Yoga lessons into practice.


"I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, & valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship."

                                                                                                                                                                                                      -Brené Brown. 


Our entire RYT group was one giant, uniquely driven sisterhood of passion and support and L O V E. In it's entirety, each of the beautiful souls helped shape me & my healing journey so much! Everyone was so uniquely themselves, and full of wisdom and spacious L O V E. I still feel deeply rooted from those amazing four weekends and will never forget the experiences shared. #allthefeels

RYT group in NYC at Crunch Fitness. 

RYT group in NYC at Crunch Fitness. 

I also had the privilege of co-owning a movement center called 'The Space' with my sister & another partner for almost two years. It was a center for creative movement, yoga, energy healing & more. Those two years, to date, have been some of my most cherished memories & propelled my growth tremendously as a student, as a teacher, & mainly, as a community-oriented human being. I will always cherish those special two years and the beautiful, sacred memories created there. 


Movement & Wellness, along with Photography are my true passions. And, I've had the honor to combine them into one outlet! 

My most recent passion has been diving deeper into Vinyasa Yoga. Vinyasa Yoga is a style of yoga that links movement with breath. Just like Buti, no two classes are ever the same. I've learned that we enter into a posture with acceptance of where our physical bodies are, allowing ourselves to feel what we feel that day. The more grace given towards your body & fluidity of breath, the better, in my opinion.

"Vinyasa recognizes the temporary nature of things. Vinyasa, is a breath initiated practice, that connects every action of our life with the intention of moving towards what is sacred, or most important to us." -KAT SAAL

Photo captured by my dear friend,   Halle Roland Photography  

Photo captured by my dear friend,  Halle Roland Photography 










I seem to be a point of even more curiosity and connection craving in my yoga journey today. These words are hummmmming even louder in my mind and are calling out to me to explore their depths.

So, I reached out to two of my favorite, very unique, local to Toledo, Yoga teachers, Kate Seymour & Jess Betz, to hear more about their Yoga journey. 


Kate Seymour (E-RYT, YACEP) is a co-founder of Luna Soul Collective, teacher at Fitness Shack & California Yoga

Why did you begin? Why do you continue?

"I began yoga as a strictly physical practice. I truly wanted lean, long muscles, but I was drawn to the depth of what was beneath, so not coming back to my mat over and over again wasn't an option!

I continue because every single time I come back to my mat, a journey unfolds before me. A journey that clears the mind and brings me closer to knowing myself."

What is the most difficult lesson you've learned through your Yoga journey?

"Non attachment. Having set backs in terms of health really clarified that for me. Letting go of strength, not being able to breathe, not being able to even savasana..."

The most cherished lesson, thus far?

"It is probably the same. Knowing that yoga really isn't about the asana. Remembering to be present when it all goes well and when it doesn't."

Do you believe Yoga is really for everyone?

"Yoga is for everyone. Everyone can can practice once the expectation of what they may look like falls away. And this doesn't mean that everyone should love yoga. Some people truly don't dig it, which is fine! But anyone who has a pull towards it, can most certainly practice."

What is your background with traditional yoga? 

"Traditional yoga and I don't go way back. I am by no means classically trained, but I respect the roots, as well as the branches." 

What aspect of yoga do you practice most, aside from the asana practice?

"Apart from the asana, I practice pranayama daily, mindfulness, non-attachment & self study." 

A little side note: Kate encouraged me to get my Buti license & is responsible for helping Buti Yoga grow so widely throughout Toledo, OH. 

Thank you, Kate, for your openness, honesty, & encouragement! 


About Jess Betz, founder of Vivre La Vie

Jess’ sole purpose in life is to share the ancient teachings of yoga with those she crosses paths with. Her classes take students on a journey to self love and inner peace. Jess’ classes are soul enriching and guide students to explore life on a deeper level. Her classes are influenced by different yoga linages; bhakti, raja, hatha, vinyasa, kundalini, pranayama, mudras, and reiki. She creates her classes based on Ayurvedic practices, the seasons, elements, and phases of the moon. Jess hopes to bring people together to make the world a better place through the ancient wisdom of yoga.

She completed her 200 RYT with Yoga on High, is a certified Reiki Master and is working towards her 500 RYT with Shiva Rea in Santa Monica, California.

Why did you begin? Why do you continue?

"I started Yoga when I was eighteen, living in California. I lived by a studio and I just walked in one day and met my guru! My life forever changed at that moment. I practiced Bhakti Vinyasa flow. Bhakti is the yoga of love and devotion. We got to sing to a live Kirtan band before & after practice. I never felt so free & that really began my yoga journey. The practice helped me release stress from a very intense school schedule, but as I practiced more I began to release trapped emotions from my childhood."

What is the most difficult lesson you've learned through your Yoga journey?

"My most difficult yoga lesson would be challenging myself physically more as I get older. Yet, at the same time, I cherish that because through time I have became stronger mentally & emotionally."

Do you believe Yoga is really for everyone?

"I think Yoga is for everyone whether it’s meditation, pranayama or Asana. I think anything that makes people happy can be looked at as Yoga. I could not imagine my life without yoga.  I feel beyond grateful that it is a part of my every day life. The practice is so beautiful. It is always there for me and it connects me on a deep level with my soul. I love practicing all types of yoga but my favorite practices are ones that are sacred and reconnect me to my spirit, nature & the elements. I use yoga off my mat through meditation wherever I am."

Can you explain the power of breathing? How does it connect you to your soul?

"Breathing techniques calm my nervous system which is great for anxiety & depression! It makes me feel more centered and balanced! And, the state I feel from Pranayama is a natural bliss which is a feeling of connection to something beyond consciousness & ego."

Thank you, Jess, for the endless amount of

- L O V E-

-L I G H T- 


-S U P P P O R T-

you supply the community & myself. 


And, thank YOU, for your time & listening to my continuous Yoga story.

I am currently diving into the Chakras & look forward to sharing that with the community someday! 

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namasté, limitless beings. 

the journey continues...


Joni JohnsonComment