What Is Baptiste Yoga? History, Elements & Benefits

Since its origin in ancient India, Yoga, which is a practice of the body, mind and soul, has traveled far and wide. Some went from India to propagate its teachings to the different parts of the world. Conversely, many also traveled to India to learn this ancient practice from the best of the best. Quite understandably, over the years, its form has changed and different types of Yoga emerged. This is the case in India and abroad too, where the art of Yoga incorporated elements of the local culture and developed into a new form. One such form of Yoga is Baptiste Yoga, which developed in the United States.

What Is Baptiste Yoga?

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Baptiste Yoga was developed by Yoga guru (teacher) Baron Baptiste. It comes under power yoga, a vigorous form of Yoga that incorporates poses with athleticism to create much movement and action. One can safely say that Baron has had a long association with Yoga as his parents, Walt and Magana Baptiste, opened San Fransisco’s first Yoga studio back in 1952. Baron incorporated elements from different types of yoga such as Ashtanga, and those developed by BKS Iyengar, TKV Desikachar, etc, to develop his own form of yoga, which he named after his surname.

According to Baron, the form is grounded in the practice of asana (pose), pranayama (breathwork), and self-inquiry. According to him, it helps to “break from limiting thoughts and attitudes” that no longer serve any purpose in life. Although a powerful practice, Baptiste Yoga is easily modifiable as per a person’s age and fitness level, its creator says.

Also read: 8 Easy Yoga Poses For Strong Arms & Shoulders

How Is Baptiste Yoga Practised?

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As you already know, Baptiste Yoga is a form of power yoga. Here is what you need to know about it:

In Baptiste Yoga, just like in Vinyasa, you flow from one yoga pose to the next at the pace of your breath. Hence, breathwork is extremely crucial. Generally, ujjayi is the most commonly used breathwork in Baptiste yoga. 

Generally, while striking a pose, you set your gaze at an unmoving point or object for balance, and focus, which is also among the health benefits of yoga. In the Baptiste style of yoga, you set your gaze at an unmoving object and your gaze remains soft.

Benefits Of Baptiste Yoga

No matter the form, yoga provides myriad health benefits, which transcends the body, mind, and soul. The same stands true for Baptiste yoga. Here are the health benefits of Baptiste yoga:

Since you keep your core firm throughout the practice, hence, it can help you strengthen your abdominal muscles, which can be seen as other benefits of Baptiste yoga. It’s also a fun practice with all that movement and flow. Hence, these are some of the health benefits of Baptiste yoga. However, if you are new to it, or to yoga in general, the advice is to start small. Instead of rushing to reap these benefits, start small and eventually build on your practice. You never know, rather than just a physical activity, yoga might become a way of life for you. 

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This content was originally published here.

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