Updated: Jul 21, 2020
Baron Baptiste is an American yoga teacher who developed his own style of hot yoga.
He studied under BKS Iyengar and Bikram, and from the teachings of Krishamacharya (who is recognised as the Godfather of Ashtanga Yoga). Baptiste grew up meeting yoga gurus from around the world as his parents were huge yoga converts who actually opened the first ever yoga studio and health food store in San Francisco in the fifties.
Baron developed the Journey into Power sequence in the eighties and it’s now being taught in studios all around the world. The sequence is a series of yoga poses put together in a specific order to maximise strength, flexibility and transformation. The sequence moves through poses designed to bring vitality, to find equanimity in balance, to ground and strengthen, to ignite through backbends and to enable opening and release in the body.
As we are still partly in lockdown it’s pretty hard to get your house to the temperature of a hot yoga studio, but the sequence is still incredibly powerful without the heat.
I got into Baptiste yoga by going to Lumi Studio in Hammersmith run by Ari and Elina. Having tried lots of different forms of yoga and practised yoga in studios around the world while I was travelling for theatre work I found that Lumi was the friendliest and most welcoming. The Journey into Power sequence and Baron’s principles of getting people into their bodies, empowering students to create their own practice and see that practice as a way to access something powerful in their lives that opens up possibilities – made sense to me and felt like something I could really get onboard with. It felt a bit like how I view theatre and why I do it: – make it physical, make it your own, and use it as a way to explore how we can be better humans.
The practice involves asanas (poses), meditation and personal inquiry with a real emphasis on using your practice on the mat to help you in everyday life. It can be challenging but it should also be fun and it’s key to the core of the practice that you are honest with yourself. Celebrate what you can do and work on what you can’t and together we will celebrate our imperfections and our breakthroughs.