You have to give our generation props; we have a knack for kicking everything up a notch. We have turned ordinary brunches into boozy day parties, group bike rides into musical light shows, and Yoga classes into a chakra aligning concert. Gone are the days of downward dog and cobra poses synchronized to the melancholy sounds of Enya. We like our asanas paired with jamming playlists these days. If you live in Houston, you know we keep a good playlist everywhere we go. If you aren't familiar with the city then let me explain; Houston is built on legacy. From the music to the food, Houston adds its own personal flair to just about anything. So when Alicia Tillman and Victoria Antoinette announced the first Trap Yoga and Taco's under the moniker "2 Dope Yogis" there was no doubt that the city was in for a treat.
Trap Yoga and Tacos is the brainchild of Alicia Tillman and Victoria Antoinette, two friends turned business partners who are no stranger to putting on for the city. Their fifteen plus year friendship began with two young debutantes with plenty in common and enough energy to light up a room. After years of losing touch, they reconnected at The University of Houston and thus began the dynamic duo. " We went to a Sneaker Summit event and realized that we want to get a little more hands on with the representation of this city" explains Antoinette. Starting off as founding members of the Hive Society, the two blossomed their work throughout the city for years before masterminding their newest venture. When it came to the birth of Trap Yoga and Tacos: Volume 1, expectations weren't too high. "We put up the flyer for the event and waited to see what ticket sales would turn out like" laughed Antoinette. Twenty five sales turned into eighty. Eighty sales turned into a sold out event.
"It really just started out as a 'let's just see what happens' kind of situation." Tillman explained, "We had been talking about hosting some sort of a yoga festival for a while but when I started having to turn away people from my classes at Black Swan [Yoga] due to capacity, we knew we needed a space where we could take as many students as possible" Tillman, the self proclaimed Awkward Yoga Girl, is known for her sold out, high energy yoga classes around the city; most notably those she mentioned at Black Swan Yoga, a donation based studio with locations in The Heights and Upper Kirby. Great Day Houston recently featured Tillman's wall to wall packed and she started her own yoga practice a few years ago. As her practice deepened, so has her passion for the art. Years later, Tillman has managed to turn her passion into an experience for her as well as those who are open to it.
"Yoga really is for everybody" says Victoria Antoinette, Tillman's partner in yoga. "It just hasn't been marketed like that in the past". Antoinette, who currently teaches a children's yoga class stressed to us the importance of having a healthy outlet available to all who are curious or even clueless about the form of exercise. "Attaching the Trap and Tacos to the event name simply makes it familiar. It makes it familiar to us and inviting. You may not know much about yoga but you know trap music and you love tacos. If that’s what gets people up and moving then why not?".
The success of the first Trap Yoga and Tacos in July of 2017 brought about the demand for a second. In a few short weeks, Trap Yoga and Tacos: Chopped and Screwed edition was born. As ticket sales went up, disaster came down. With the threat of Hurricane Harvey's destruction on our city, both Tillman and Antoinette were uncertain that the city was even in the mood to do yoga and eat tacos. But on a rainy Thursday evening in September, hundreds of Houstonians wrapped themselves around the corner at Warehouse Live prepared to get their flex on with the flow, led by the force that is Alicia Tillman. The city showed out and blessed the 2 Dope Yogis with another sold out event.
Besides delicious tacos, music is one of the most integral parts of these events. With the help of DJ Rich Nasty, DJ Candlestick, OG Ron C and The Chopstars, Trap Yoga and Tacos becomes a true turn up. "The music is the draw" explains Tillman. " When I was practicing to typical meditation music, I was having a hard time connecting because I wasn't feeling the music. I didn't understand it. But If I throw on some Bad and Boujee, I'm in my element. I try to share that experience in my classes" she adds. Don't get it confused though, these beauties are not "trap yoga" instructors. " I'm always hearing that I teach Trap Yoga which, I don't " laughed Tillman. "While we stand behind our brand, we don't want to limit ourselves. We are more concerned that we are able to market a healthy lifestyle to audiences that yoga is not always made appealing to. Yoga is no longer just a day time activity for housewives as it has been presented so many times before" adds Antoinette.
So what is next up for these two?
Trap Yoga and Tacos Volume 3: The Trap Gives Back!
With the help of the Hive Society, 2 Dope Yogis were able to donate a portion of the proceeds from the chopped and screwed edition to victims of the Hurricane Harvey disaster. With this upcoming event, they will be collecting toys to be donated to The Salvation Army for their annual toy drive. A donation grants you a discounted ticket into the event. This volume features the sounds of DJ Rich Nasty and Special Guest @YogawithDavina of Yoga One in Houston. Trap Yoga and Tacos Volume 3 will be held on December 1st at the Silver Street Studios in East Downtown. Merchandise pop ups will be announced prior to the event and you can find more information and tickets, here.
Bring your mat, bring your appetite, a toy to donate and pull up. Make Trap Yoga and Tacos your first Christmas present to yourself.