Basside Rapper Opens Bikram Yoga Studio in South Miami
They say music tames the savage beast, but in this concrete jungle, it takes more than a little mood music to unwind.
Local musician Carolina Villalba is not your average yoga instructor.
Carolina Villalba, 25, is attacking the nerves of the Miami scene at both ends. Not only does she inspire crowds to let loose as one half of booty bass rap duo Basside, she's also proudly opening her own 1,500-square-foot Bikram studio in South Miami, Bikram Hot Yoga 305.
Villalba will host a soft opening this weekend with free classes from Friday through Sunday, but the grand opening party on Saturday, Aug. 16, is the big celebration, featuring a "dope DJ set" from Chocolate Sunday fave Mr. Maneuvers, live performances from Curls, Basside, and more.
"As a young woman myself, I look for other women to look up to, and sadly these days, it's really rare," Villalba says. "(Basside) and this is my medium for being here for the women of Miami, or South Miami, or the whole 305 who want something to look up to."
Villalba is short in stature, tiny in frame, and full of energy. She jokes that she's 25 but looks 12. She attributes her ageless appearance to her Bikram studies. It's a lifestyle she's dedicated herself to for the past 10 years. As a manic 15-year-old without much parental guidance, Bikram gave her life a center.
"After I started doing this, it completely changed my mind," she says. "I realized what discipline was, what time was, what my time meant. When you're in here, because of the heat and how fast everything goes, it makes you meet your maker. You become really humble when you're in there."
Bikram yoga is a 90-minute series of static stretches (meaning you hold, release, and hold again) in 26 poses. Classes are traditionally kept at 105 degrees at 40 percent humidity, which aids in the relaxation process and gets those muscles nice and limber.
"Miami is Bikram weather. We're Bikram people," she says. "It's a lot easier for someone in Miami to do Bikram than somebody in L.A. or New York where you get dry weather. We're used to wearing less. We've got no shame. Nothing to hide."
Not to mention the benefits are "unlimited."
"I have friends that are a little obese, they always complain about the pain in their ankles or back. They don't know how it feels to not have that weight on them all day long," she says. "The pain you feel in your body, if you feel uncomfortable with your body, if you have lower self-esteem, whatever it is that you have, it goes away."