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Get to Know Your Teacher…Ursula

By 3rd April 2017 No Comments

Baptiste Yoga

What attracted me to Baptiste Power Yoga initially was the unique combination of power yoga, vinyasa principles and an element of heat. It draws on the teachings of household yoga names like Iyengar, Pattahbi Jois and Bikram. Who doesn’t like a good workout, I thought?

The more I got into this practice and what Baron Baptiste – the founder of power yoga as we know it  – stands for, the more convinced I was.

First: it’s an all-inclusive practice. EVERYONE can practise this type of yoga, independent of how “inflexible” you think you are. It’s possible because it offers freedom – freedom to work with your body and do what is best for you at that moment in time. According to Baptiste the key to learning yoga poses is to take your brain out of it. Those two things really transformed my practice; for someone who found yoga because of numerous injuries limiting movement in my body and high work-related stress levels, this approach felt like a blessing. It made my practice humbler, allowed me to accept my limitations and at the same time invited me to continuously play with my edge, while taking the ego out of it. Baptiste Yoga is not about bending yourself into a pretzel – as the founder claims himself he’s ‘less interested in burning incense than in burning away the excess baggage that weights down your mind and body’ (“Journey into Power”, B. Baptiste). And that’s exactly what it offers.

It’s a powerful sequence based on 5 pillars: breath, heat, flow, gaze and abdominal lock – all creating a dynamic, healthy and deep practice.

Breath is the single most important element of a yoga practice.  Developing a skill to match breath and movement takes time.  It helps us link the mind to the body to eventually help us stay in the present moment, connected.

Heat helps us melt tension away. Muscular motion creates heat that softens our tissues, making poses more accessible. And, of course, the inevitable end result: sweating, one of the most important mechanisms for healing and getting rid of what doesn’t serve us.

Flow brings a liquid quality that promotes deeper release, builds momentum and creates heat in the practice. It brings the cardiovascular element, promoting weight loss amongst many other health benefits. Flow encourages meditation in motion.

Gaze (Drishti) means focusing your eyes on one point. By doing so we’re soothing our nervous system, slowing our mind and effectively engaging more deeply in our practice. Overtime it helps exercise a non-reactive mind, but the real miracle happens when we take drishti off the mat and observe it in everyday life…curious?

Abdominal lock (Uddiyana) is a gentle lift of the pit of the abdomen toward the spine, helping draw attention to the core. When activated, it gives stability to every pose, supports lower back and tones internal organs – a true foundation of real-life body strength.

The only thing left to do  is  simply to do it. Come join me on the mat, and watch the transformation to a stronger body and mind unfold 🙂

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The story goes: a high pressure job and realising spin classes and high intensity training was just not doing it for me anymore. I discovered yoga- allowing myself to just be on the mat for whatever little time I thought I had in my busy schedule. And so the seed for transformation was planted. Yoga gradually healed my old wrist, knee and back injuries, and helped me deal with my head so often working on overdrive. Becoming a yoga teacher was soon the only path forward to share my story and help other stress addicts. I trained in Baptiste inspired hot power vinyasa- an all accessible practice keeping body fit and bringing focus back to being the best versions of ourselves on and off the mat.