By now, you’ve probably tried yin, vinyasa, or even ashtanga yoga. And if you enjoy the heat, energy, and vitality of the latter, then you’ll definitely want to try Baptiste Yoga. But what is Baptiste Yoga?
Also known as Baptiste Power Vinyasa, Baptiste Yoga is a type of power yoga developed by Baron Baptiste.
Baptiste himself is one of West’s most influential yoga teachers, as his parents opened one of the first yoga schools in the United States and were even good friends with B.K.S. Iyengar.
Baptiste Yoga, then, is a powerful, invigorating, and revitalizing flow that’s typically practiced in a heated room. Although it can be intensely physical, it emphasizes meditation and pranayama as forms of self-inquiry and exploration.
Here’s what you can expect from a Baptiste class.
1. It awakens the breath.
Although some classes are accompanied by music, most Baptiste classes have none. The steady, rhythmic sound of the breath is part of the practice, and helps you shift your focus inward.
In a Baptiste class, your teacher will encourage you to activate your ujjayi pranayama or your victorious breath. This involves inhaling through the nose, and exhaling while constricting the back of your throat to create a deep, wave-liked sound.
This emphasis on the breath also helps you generate more and retain heat in the body. In a Baptiste class, your breath is your music.
2. It helps stabilize your core.
The Baptiste method helps stabilize and strengthen your core. Teachers emphasize engaging your uddiyana bandha, or your abdominal lock. In a class, you will actively draw your navel into the spine, which is basically engaging your T.A. (transverse abdominis).
With a strong core, you can also expect to have a strong spine. Baptiste classes feature the same twists, backbends, and hip openers that you may already be familiar with in Vinyasa. You end each class feeling refreshed and renewed.
3. It challenges your focus.
A Baptiste class is typically held in a hot room, just like a Bikram Yoga class. The temperature can go up to 90 degrees, so you’ll definitely be warmed up and sweaty even at the start of the warm up.
Hot yoga classes like Baptiste leave you feeling more nimble, mobile, and flexible. This is because the muscles are warmed up more effectively, so you can find yourself doing a pose with much more ease. Most importantly, however, the hot temperatures challenge your focus and discipline!
It’s really important to hydrate before, during, and after a Baptiste yoga class. Make sure to drink electrolyte-powered water to stay hydrated throughout class. Always listen to your body.
4. It empowers you.
Because the Baptiste practice is both hot yoga and power yoga rolled into one, it’s really one of the more challenging types of yoga. But most definitely, you emerge out of each class feeling stronger every single time.
The intensity of Baptiste yoga also helps reduce the effects of stress, making you feel a lot lighter, energized, and more empowered. After all, there’s nothing like completing an entire yoga class and feeling amazed at how you got through all those challenging postures!