What Is Baptiste Yoga?

Never heard of Baptiste yoga? Here’s what it is – and why you may want to give it a try…

There are so many different styles of yoga out there these days that it can be hard to keep them all straight. Personally, I love the fact that there are so many different ways to do yoga, as it means there’s a yoga type that’s right for everyone! If you’ve been doing yoga for a while, you are probably familiar with a lot of the main types: Hatha, Vinyasa, Bikram, maybe even Kundalini. But you might not have heard about Baptiste yoga.

Baptiste yoga is a fairly new addition to the yoga lexicon, as it only came on the scene in 1940. Here’s a bit of information about this yoga style from YogaPractice.com:

Baptiste Yoga was founded by Walt Baptiste and his son, Baron. They were inspired by the teachings of Krishnamacharya and his students Iyengar and Desikachar. Baron then took what he had learned from these eastern teachers and created his style of yoga.

The three main elements of Baptiste Power Yoga are asana, meditation, and personal inquiry. 

These three elements help students to step into their full potential. Through practice, you can discover your passions and create new ones too. This will help you develop even more confidence to step into newer and bigger possibilities within your life.

Baptiste Yoga seeks to empower, strengthen, and stretch our bodies and minds. 

The structure of each Baptiste Yoga class is inspired by Baron’s book “Journey Into Power.” His book provides a method, organization, and theme for each sequence of poses. This helps to align the principles in Baptiste Yoga clearly and concisely.

Classes are generally 60, 75, or 90 minutes long and take place in a room heated to 90 degrees. During class, there is a strong emphasis on a slow and steady breath. This will unify you with the other practitioners around you.

Since Baptiste Yoga is not described in terms of beginner or advanced, it can be practiced by all yogis.

Baptiste Yoga enables students to experience power. This power can be associated with their physicality, movement, or breath.

Here are a few more reasons why you might want to try this yoga style:

1. It will make you sweat – but not too much

Baptiste yoga is a type of power yoga, so it involves plenty of dynamic movement and strength-building poses. You’ll find yourself burning a lot of calories during a Baptiste class without really realizing it, and you’ll definitely sweat! While not as hot as Bikram or “hot yoga” classes, the room is usually kept at a fairly warm temperature during a Baptiste power yoga session. This will help your muscles get warm and limber, but without the stifling heat of a more typical hot yoga class.

2. It’s accessible for anyone of any experience level

Yoga, with all of its history and ancient traditions, can sometimes seem mysterious and intimidating to a newbie. Baptiste yoga is very accessible to modern yoga students – even those who have never done yoga before. It’s contemporary and inviting, and you don’t feel like you need to know anything about yoga terminology or techniques before starting out.

3. It’s a lot of fun!

Baptiste yoga is much more energetic and playful than many other types of yoga classes you may have experienced. Baptiste classes encourage celebration, fun, creativity, and experimentation in a supportive and uplifting environment. For example, you’ll often find participants laughing, cheering, and high-fiving each other between sequences. If this sounds like an environment you might enjoy, you may want to give it try!

4. It helps you improve as a person

Along with the sweating, the calorie burn, the fun, and the creative atmosphere, Baptiste yoga also offers many of the other benefits of a regular yoga practice – including the ones that you take off the mat with you.

It can help make you a more calm and focused individual. It will help you look inward and discover your inner strengths and abilities. It can even help you “find your purpose” by encouraging self-reflection in a relaxed and creative environment.

And, of course, it builds your physical strength and stamina, increases flexibility, and helps you get in touch with your body – with are all things that we need in today’s modern, externally focused, fast-paced yet overly stationary world.

If you’re looking for a fast, fun, physically and mentally challenging yet supportive yoga style, you may want to give Baptiste yoga a try!


(Photo by HONG SON from Pexels)

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