8 Reasons Why I Practice and Teach Baptiste Power Yoga

So what is it about this practice that has inspired me to finally commit to this style of yoga and even open my own power yoga studio? 

1. I like a strong physical practice. I find that some days I need to move and sweat in order to get to a quiet meditative state. This practice challenges me physically in the way my Ashtanga practice did. What I found after I began practicing this style, though, was that the sequence is very intelligently crafted and opens the body in a way that is very safe and accessible to many people. The lower back pain that used to plague me has essentially gone away since I started practicing BPVY.  This is as much about the sequence as it is about a shift in my attitude toward my practice. Bottom line - the practice makes my body feel great.

2. As a teacher I like the sequence of poses is very accessible to new students. While there are challenging poses like crow and headstand in the practice, we are not required to teach every pose in the sequence in every class. As a teacher, I can gauge my students’ abilities and choose poses that will empower them. I teach the BPVY sequence to my “Gentle Power” students, many of whom are over 55 years old, some of them are even in their 80’s!

3. The fact that the BPVY sequence is structured into 11 parts, each with its own set of poses, provides an amazing framework from which to teach. While I can pick and choose what to teach based on what’s happening in the room, I don’t have to develop my own sequence every time I come to teach. When I first started teaching vinyasa classes I spent a lot of time planning my classes and trying to follow my plan instead of showing up and seeing my students and teaching based on what they needed. Instead of planning the poses, I can watch for what’s happening with my students and adapt to their experience and needs. 

4. The same goes for music. I used to spend a lot of time putting together play lists trying to make sure the music would manage the energy in the room appropriately. Now I get to manage the energy using my own energy instead of using someone else’s  voice.

5. Because this practice has a strong spiritual foundation, but I can be as subtle about it as I like when I am teaching. Some days I am inspired spiritually and this will show up in my teaching. On the days when I am in a very physical space, I don’t feel like I to have to lecture my students on their relationship to a higher power. The spirit of the practice flows from my own experience, study and inquiry rather than from reading other people's words in class.

6. Because there is no dogma in the spiritual aspects of the practice. I respect Baron Baptiste’s way of teaching a great deal because he draws on many faiths in his teachings and does not preach, but at the same time does not shy away from speaking of God. 

7. Because Baron Baptiste is alive and teaches workshops all over the US and abroad and I can go take classes with him and his master teachers and learn directly from them. When I was constantly seeking my flavor of yoga, I really wanted a practice that had a living teacher with whom I could study. I want to be able to ask questions and tap into my teacher’s experience as I try and find my own way on this journey.

8. The most important reason I teach this style of yoga is because it makes me happy and it makes my students happy. At the end of my own practice, I am filled with a powerful joy that comes from my center. After I finish teaching I witness this joy in my students. To see a bunch of smiling, empowered yogis leaving class brings me more satisfaction than any other job I have ever had. 


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