Yoga with Baron Baptiste

A couple of weeks ago I did a workshop with Baron Baptiste. I had seen the ad about 2 months ago, and decided I wanted to do it. I didn't know much about Baron, only that his parents are both yoga teachers, he teaches a style of power yoga, and is known for his yoga bootcamps. I tried to register well over a month in advance, only to find out the workshop was already sold out. I was put on the waiting list (and later found out there was a waiting list for the waiting list), so I was pretty doubtful that I would get in.

When I got the phone call in the afternoon, letting me know a spot had freed up for the workshop that night with Baron, it was at the height of a heat wave. I immediately said yes, hung up the phone, and began to wonder if I made the right choice. The workshop was being held at Moksha Yoga; a 'hot' yoga studio where they heat the room between 38C and 41C (100-105F). The temperature outside was probably similar, so while everyone else was going home to take cold showers and turn on their fans and a/c's, I was heading to an intense 3 hour workshop in a heated room... my mom was very skeptical.

Within the first half hour I was already sweating, and we haden't even done anything, we were just sitting listening to Baron talk about his background and his take on yoga. I had know idea he had studied with Pattabhi Jois, Iyengar and Bikram (3 well known teachers). He talked a lot about meeting your edge, and pushing through it; physically, mentally, and emotionally. He emphasized that we are stronger than we think. I definitely related to what he said, and was ready for the challenge.

The practice started with the abs. Baron guided us through one of the most intense ab workouts I've ever done. I wasn't sure I was going to make it. We continued though sun salutations (holding downward dog for what felt like 20 breaths), standing postures, balancing, seated postures, backbends (I think we must have done 8 full wheels), and relaxation. With seventy people packed into the heated room, doing an intense yoga practice, it was not just sweaty, it was a slip and slide! The energy was amazing. Even though we only had an inch between mats, everyone was super considerate. I love packed classes, it always gives this "we're in this together" feeling.

I'm not sure what my expectations were for this workshops, but I really enjoyed Baron's teachings, and felt that he has a genuine, kind heart. I think when it comes to workshops, teachers, and life in general, it's good to have an open mind, and to go out of your way to try new things and challenge yourself. We are so often pleasantly surprised...