When you think about yoga, you’re probably not imagining plyometrics (jumping) or elements of tribal dance. But that’s exactly what Bizzie Gold introduced into the mix when she founded Buti Yoga in 2012. After being discovered by the likes of Julia Roberts, Buti is now taught by 6,000 instructors in 27 countries around the world, including at its two studios in New York and Scottsdale, Arizona. I’ve been attempting to master its signature spiral movements for a few months now and can report that it’s pretty much the most fun you can have on a yoga mat.
Gold isn’t standing still, however. Having disrupted the yoga industry, she’s turned her attention to personal development with Break Method, a structured self-inquiry program that promises to rewire your emotional addictions so that you can move forward.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Q: What makes Break Method different from other practices?
It works, and it’s cost-effective, and it’s something that addresses all facets of your life. But it also completely transforms your perception of your future. I don’t really like spending my time on things that only solve present issues. I want to teach people how to get out there, roll up their sleeves and change the future. And I think a lot of programs miss out on all those opportunities because they just get so focused on listening to the client’s narrative, and often the client’s narrative is exactly what holds all of the reasons why they’re stuck in the first place.
Q: You’ve trained Julia Roberts and Jennifer Love Hewitt in the past. How did you get into training celebrities?
So I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever per se been a personal trainer. I always say that I accidentally fell into the fitness industry. I actually started off in fashion public relations in L.A. until I basically just burnt the candle at both ends of the stick, got diagnosed with lupus, and had to hit the reset button by 23. That was when I really immersed myself in my yoga practice and ended up through that founding Buti. And then from there, Julia Roberts asked me to start training her so I wasn’t gonna say no!
Q: What was the inspiration behind Buti?
I had a really traumatic birth with my first daughter. When I went back to my job [teaching yoga], I just went back feeling very robotic and uninspired. And there were some — we’ll just call them alternative trauma healing experiences. I ended up tapping into the practice that would become Buti, which came to me in a vision that helped me understand how we were moving the body in a way that was too linear and wasn’t addressing a lot of the deeper energetic aspects of the body. And then I started teaching my yoga practice differently and within a year it was pretty well known.
Q: What are the main benefits of Buti?
I think it helps you integrate your emotions into your body instead of letting your emotional trauma just sit there as stored trauma. Shaking and vibration are huge elements of the practice to help release that stored trauma.
Unfortunately, a lot of people get into their fitness practice and then they spend the whole time feeling like they’re not good enough, feeling like a failure, comparing yourself to everybody else. And I think the environment that we create in Buti allows that space to release those aspects instead of to marinate on the comparison game or the self-punishment.
How has Judaism influenced your life and career?
I was raised reformed Jewish. I would consider my family to be kind of more on the cultural side of Judaism. And there was definitely a strong emphasis for us … that the world is effectively broken and it’s our job individually to do mitzvahs and help make an impact to heal the world.
That certainly propels me to always desire to make an impact, and to do my part to heal the world and not just sit around on my butt and wait for somebody else to do that, or wait for somebody else to save me. That’s always been at the forefront of everything I’ve been taught in my Jewish upbringing. I’ve always been really drawn to volunteer work and wanting to do things that tangibly make an impact instead of just give my money to charities.
What kind of volunteering do you do?
We offer scholarship programs which I’m really proud of. We have done a lot to offer scholarships to the Native American community. We try to give scholarships as much as we can. We usually take about 15 scholarship programs for a semester, and it’s done by an application process.
And then my daughter and I also sometimes volunteer at Feed My Starving Children. An organization that basically packages food and sends it out to communities all over the world.
Q: And is there anything in your spiritual life outside of Judaism that informs your practice?
What I love most about Judaism at least in the reform concept that I was taught when I was young is that it really lends itself to blend in with a lot of other metaphysical concepts. Both my kids went to Chabad pre-school and learned about the chakra system, and they would make different kinds of crystal necklaces. I always loved that things can overlap in Judaism and that it’s not such a closed system.