“Baptiste Power Yoga is designed to be accessible to all and all are welcome in this class. Be ready to step up to the edge--wherever that is--and go for it!”
Teaching yoga and building community started five years ago in Meg’s garage as she began teaching friends and neighbors the Baptiste Power Yoga method while she trained all over the continent with Baron Baptiste himself. After outgrowing her garage she stepped out to her personal edge, took a leap of faith, and opened her own yoga studio.
Building community with her clients is one of the hallmark components of her practice as well as “empowering others to shine bright,” as Meg says. “Sometimes we have to peel off the layers but this practice that we do helps us renew our physical vitality, and the work we do through inquiry and meditation helps us fire up any places we are feeling stuck, so that we can get out there and live big.”
Another vital component for Meg, and the Baptiste style of yoga, is what she termed “True North Alignment.” She describes the true north concept as “a whole system of where to put what body part to get what’s true to your body”. And, she assures us, this works the same when we’re upside down.
Baron’s father Walt founded Baptiste Yoga and Baron continued and evolved the practice after learning from Iyengar, Krishnamacharya and Desikachar, and other well-known yoga practitioners who were big influences for him. This style has three elements of the practice: asana, meditation, and self- inquiry with emphasis on personal growth and transformation of the student. “Baron took eastern poses and blended it with western methodology of empowerment and community and came up with this heated flow that takes people up against their edge and leaves them in their greatness," as Meg describes this style of power flow.
Although there is a sequence that is common no two classes are the same since instructors are taught to teach to what is right in front of them-to whomever shows up to be taught. She wants beginner students in her classes to feel welcome. That’s no different in this workshop which is appropriate even if you’ve never gone upside down in a yoga class before. “I want people to leave this workshop having been empowered. Typically that means having faced their fear.”
Meg, her husband, and young family all practice yoga, even her toddler. “I love going upside down! I practiced inversions all through my pregnancy. I did a handstand right before I delivered my baby.” They are an active family and whether it's coaching their kids' teams or running them from place to place Meg is inspired by her own practice. “I have to be okay with being in the flow and I really need yoga to help me find balance. I take time to take short meditations even if it’s only a few minutes.”
The defining aspect of yoga for Meg, though, goes back to integrity. “If there is one thing that is at the foundation of the practice it is integrity, that is, for example, in our practice, standing in our true north, aligning our body in a particular way, and also standing in what we believe, what we stand for, who we stand for, that can be really freeing for people when they walk out of the studio, to be aligned with what they stand for.”
Karen Kramer is a yoga instructor and festival blogger.