Yoga Twerks To Hip-Hop’s Gritty Trap Sound

By William Robert Ferrer
The Seattle Times

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Trap yoga” takes the traditionally tranquil and meditative practice of Yoga and marries it with gritty “trap” music.


On the speakers, Future rapped about Molly, Percocet and Hendrix, and on the floor, I concentrated on trying to coerce my hips into something resembling a twerk.

No dice.

This wasn’t a frat party or another ill-advised night barhopping on Capitol Hill, but a trap-yoga class.

Trap yoga takes the traditionally tranquil and meditative practice and marries it with gritty trap music, a genre of hip-hop defined by its use of the Roland TR-808 drum machine (think: T.I. or Gucci Mane).

It might seem like an unusual pairing, but trap yoga is having something of a moment.

In 2014, Chicago yogi Asia Nichole Jones trademarked the term “trap yoga” and, since then, practices and one-off events have cropped up in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Milwaukee and other major cities.

Seattle instructor Abiola Akanni, 29, has been teaching her version of trap yoga, dubbed Trap Vinyasa, for two years and practicing for three.

Akanni said she hadn’t heard of others leading trap yoga classes until after she began regularly offering Trap Vinyasa.

Recently, I met Akanni at Bohemian Studios in Phinney Ridge for her Trap Vinyasa class. (She’s also an instructor at 8 Limbs Yoga.)

I took, and almost failed, a power-yoga class in college, and beyond that I’ve had little experience folding my body into a pretzel, regulating my breathing and using my chicken arms to support my body weight.

I prefer jogging.

Akanni said her class embraces beginners. “Trap Vinyasa just invites so much self-exploration,” she said. “But it meets you exactly where you’re at. It doesn’t require you to have yoga practice established yet.”

Often, trap yoga is credited with helping to break down barriers to the practice, especially among communities of color.

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