‘Bring the fierceness’: South Kona Buddhi offers unique form of yoga combining high-intensity strength and cardio exercise with dance
South Kona Buddhi owner Sara Conti has a message for the community: bring the fierceness.
“It’s about men and women, we’re trying to be strong,” she said. “It’s about rewiring your brain and saying, I can do this. We gotta bring the fierceness.”
South Kona Buddhi, Captain Cook’s newest yoga/dance studio held its grand opening in late April offering up an array of classes for yogis. Buddhi is a unique form of yoga that combines high intensity strength and cardio exercise, with dance. And classes are for everyone.
“Anyone can come — beginner, experienced — all humans are welcome,” said Jaylynn Travis, one of the instructors.
Yogis, area businesses, friends and community members all gathered April 23 to support the new studio, located at 82-6066 Mamalahoa Highway. Classes take place Monday through Saturday, morning and evening, and cost $15 for a drop-in. Memberships are also available, and include eight classes for $100.
For Kelly Keene, a participant and local artist at the event, yoga helps her de-stress.
“I’m very excited about today,” she said. “I’ve been coming to Buddhi for about three years now. It’s a great workout and way to relieve stress.”
Belinda, another participant, agreed.
“The classes are fun. It’s very therapeutic,” she said. “I can take my stress out on it if I’m having a bad week. I’m here every Saturday.”
For Travis, who has been practicing for over 10 years, yoga is about focusing on the present.
“What it means to me? It’s having the freedom to not think about what’s going on in the outside world and being present in the moment,” she said. “ I also love to dance. I think it’s about not hiding. Being proud to be an individual.”
“So if you love to dance and you love yoga come to South Kona Buddhi. It’s not even just a good workout, it’s about community and connection. I teach Tuesday and Thursday evening from 5:45 to 7 p.m.,” she continued.
Conti started teaching Buddhi yoga on the beach. During COVID-19, she took her practice outdoors and held online Zoom sessions, sometimes with 20 students or more.
But Buddhi is no walk in the park.
“It’s a really hard workout,” said Conti.
Conti, who has been practicing yoga for about a decade, learned her moves from the founder of Buddhi, Jen Liming. Liming would practice yoga while listening to R&B music and artists like Tupac, and ultimately started to add her own dance moves.
But Liming had to get past her own fears and inhibitions.
“I think, as women, we’re built to be ashamed of our bodies,” she said. “But when we’re all practicing together, it’s like were all at home in front of the mirror. So I just did it. I had this realization that was like, ok, we can all be cool together, and we’re supposed to be ok with our own sensuality.”
And according to the founder, there’s a science behind combining dance moves with yoga postures.
“When you study yoga, you learn that there are energy channels in your body, and when you shake and move, you tap into your creative energy,” she said.
More, the most frequent participants in the class are moms.
“About 80% of our clients are moms,” Liming explained. “I’ve had so many people tell me, ‘I’ve had two kids and I’ve given up on my body, this is giving me my life back.’”
At South Kona Buddhi, there’s a kids corner with building blocks and other games.
“I want it to be a thing where moms can bring their kids,” said Conti. “We’re gonna work with you.”
Travis was one of those mothers when she got into yoga.
“When I first started yoga, 10 years ago, I was a new mom, and I didn’t know what I was doing,” she said. “Yoga helped. I got my ‘me time.’ And I thought, ‘why not just let it all out’?”
Conti signed the lease for her studio in Janaury, and her vision for the studio is still growing.
“I want it to be a community space, for not only Buddhi and dance and yoga classes, but to have a space where other entrepreneurs can do what they love to do and can bring something positive to our community,” she said.
“We’re trying to do these movements that are uncomfortable or feel weird, but no matter what, we want people to get in touch with themselves,” she said. “It’s about flowing with everyone no matter what — like how you flow in the world and move through so many different energies and personalities.”