Why Baptiste Yoga?

Baptiste Level 1 Training photo

Break out of your rut and transform your whole life with this powerful yoga practice

What do you get out of your yoga practice? Some classes give you a great physical workout and nothing more. Others might offer mindfulness and spiritual lessons — but you barely break a sweat. If you feel like you have to choose between the two, you’ve probably never experienced Baptiste Power Yoga.

Because we have seen how Baptiste Yoga can transform lives, we recently became an official Baptiste affiliate studio — the first and only one in Colorado Springs! The change made sense because our mission aligns with the Baptiste Institute’s mission. We want to awaken and empower students to discover their truth and live from their authentic selves. 

Since that probably sounds abstract if you’re unfamiliar with all of this, we’ll break down what Baptiste Power Yoga is all about, hoping it will inspire you to try it for yourself. 

What is Baptiste Power Yoga?

An easy way to describe it to someone at a party would be “a style of yoga developed by Baron Baptiste.” Baron is a world-renowned yoga teacher in the U.S. who has practiced yoga since childhood (his parents were yogis), studied in yoga’s birthplace of India, and trained with masters including B.K.S. Iyengar. His ubiquitous Journey Into Power sequence and best-selling book of the same name make yoga accessible to anyone looking for “physical, mental and emotional transformation.” 

Three qualities that make Baptiste Power Yoga unique:

  • Physicality (asana): Power Yoga consists of a series of poses linked together with momentum. It’s a full-body workout with the benefits of cardio, strength-building and increased flexibility.
  • Meditation (dhyana): Baptiste yoga helps students get into the present moment and practice mindfulness so they can truly awaken.
  • Inquiry (niyama): The third distinctive is all about looking within. Your yoga mat can be a mirror that shows you what’s going on inside — and how you’re showing up outside of yoga. You start to peel away layers of ego, recognize what makes you react, and get to know your true self.

By combining all three of those techniques and practices, Power Yoga can help students lose extra weight, build muscle, increase flexibility, and find relief from anxiety and depression. 

But what actually happens in a Baptiste class? Let’s take a look.

What to Expect in a Baptiste Power Yoga Class

In a Baptiste class, you can expect to come into alignment, give up anything holding you back from expressing yourself fully, and create new possibilities on and off your yoga mat. Oh and expect to sweat — it’s not gross, it’s good for you!

Baptiste classes are …

  1. Practiced in a room heated to at least 90 degrees. This helps you build an inner fire, get out of your comfort zone and shed what you don’t need. You’ll also learn to keep your cool when situations in your life heat up.
  2. Alignment-based. Teachers use specific language to help you find your “True North.”
  3. Normally music-free until the final 20 minutes or so. This keeps the focus on your breath and encourages you to tune into your practice rather than distracting yourself from it. 
  4. Not described in terms of “beginner, intermediate or advanced.” Blocks, straps and modifications make the class accessible for every body.
  5. Not practiced along with the teacher, who is instead watching the students and offering tools to help them get more out of their practice.

Throughout a Baptiste class, the teacher will use special cues to keep you focused on five cornerstones of the practice. We’ll break those down next.

The 5 Pillars of Baptiste Power Yoga

If a class includes all five of these, you’ll walk out of it feeling like a new person!

  1. Gaze (drishti): When you fix your eyes on one point, your attention and energy go where you’re looking. Being intentional about your gaze will bring focus and concentration to your practice — and help you hold balancing postures.
  2. Breath (ujjayi): The breathing technique we use will make you sound like Darth Vader if you’re doing it right. You slightly constrict the back of the throat while breathing in and out of the nose, as though you were trying to fog up a mirror. It creates a powerful inner fire that helps you hold poses, flow with momentum and stay in the moment. 
  3. Bandhas (foundation): Bandhas are “locks” created when we engage specific body parts. Baptiste yoga will activate your hands, feet, and core (abdominal muscles). Root down to rise up!
  4. Heat (tapas): The best way to create tapas to burn away what you no longer need is by building an inner fire. You can do this by hugging everything into the centerline of the body and using ujjayi breath. And of course the heated room helps.
  5. Vinyasa (flow): This means moving fluidly through a series of poses linked up with your breath. In a Baptiste class, one of the most frequent flows is the “half-series”: Exhale from a high push-up position to a low push-up (chaturanga), inhale as you come into upward-facing dog, exhale as you press back to downward-facing dog.

But don’t worry — you won’t need to remember any of that during class. Your teacher will weave the pillars into the class. All you have to do is show up ready to play around! 

Ready to Try It On?  

We hope that learning the background, distinctives, pillars and themes of Baptiste Yoga has inspired you to try it! Check whether you have an affiliate studio in your area. If you’re in Colorado Springs, come say hi to our team at Baptiste Power Yoga Colorado Springs! 

One final note: Now that you know more about Baptiste Yoga, go ahead and forget it all. This practice is not about what you know — it’s just about showing up. You’re doing the work every time you step onto your yoga mat with a spirit of curiosity. To truly transform, Baron teaches, we must first drop what we think we know. 

“There is such wisdom and healing power in not knowing. The paradox is that if we are really willing to not-know, we will. If you are in the now, you will always know how. You don’t need to be an expert to understand this process. It’s not intellectual, it’s spiritual.”

Baron Baptiste, “40 Days to Personal Revolution”