The ladies – at least on the night I attended, it was mostly ladies – of Ritual Sweat Society call themselves “rebel yogis.” And indeed, it’s not every yoga studio that greets you by borrowing a Biggie lyric and painting it in the stairwell: “To all the yogis in the place with style and grace.” Located in the space that Gen Xers and above might recall as “the place where In Your Ear Records used to be” on Thayer Street, perhaps the musical reference is appropriate.
This is the second location for the studio, which started in Dartmouth. They expanded into Providence in June. Calling themselves a “tribe,” they offer much more than just a schedule of classes. There are Bigs and Littles sessions for parents and children, Buti Brunches, retreats to exotic locations like Hawaii, and special invite-only events for their “High Society” members.
Ritual Sweat Society specializes in Buti Yoga, a high-intensity mash-up of dynamic yoga, primal dance, plyometrics, and a healthy dose of cardio. Imagine a class that whisks together elements of yoga, Zumba, Pilates, and barre with a rock and roll attitude, and you’ve got something like the idea. Oh, and did I mention it’s hot yoga?
As should be obvious by now, this is not your typical yoga studio. If you’re looking for quiet, meditative practice, Ritual Sweat Society may not be the place for you. It’s not the time or place to go deep into mindfulness or try to perfect your form. The music is pounding. The pace is relentless. It’s hot, and you never stop moving.
If fast and loud is your thing, however, Ritual Sweat Society might be exactly the place for you. If you’re into the tribal camaraderie of CrossFit, or you like the poses and flowing movements of yoga but crave a more hardcore edge, you’ll probably love Buti Yoga. It’s not what you do to find a peaceful escape from the stresses of the day; it’s what you do to burn them off and dance them out. And if you’re looking to work your core, Buti Yoga has its very own signature technique for that, the Spiral Structure. Unlike traditional crunches or sit-ups, this treats your abs like the cylinders that they are and works them from every angle and in every direction.
The soundtrack was a mix of thumping club music, Latin vibes, and even a bit of old school hip-hop. I never thought I would find myself doing yoga to A Tribe Called Quest, but as I said, this is not your typical yoga studio. The music fuels the movement, and the movement is intense. Suffice to say, it delivers on the promise of sweat.
Ritual Sweat Society
286 Thayer Street • 774-206-6198