I often use classes from Yoga Download when I practice at home. In the mood for something a little different, I began a class entitled “Sun Salutations.” Lovely.
But when it began, I realized this was a Baron Baptiste Power Vinyasa flow led by David Farmar. I haven’t exactly been practicing a power flow lately. So I was nervous about it. And I remembered my last year or so in Boston, I went to hot Baptiste classes every week, a couple of times a week. And I absolutely loved it. I fell in love with yoga all over again through that hot, sweaty movement. But what I forgot about it, and one of the things I really loved about it, was the humor and attitude of the teachers.
So calm, so funny. Really pointing out the moments when you can hold or push just a little bit harder. There’s definitely an edge to the Baptiste voice. It’s not a Kripalu voice – which is often focused on nurturing and “if you feel like it, come into this pose” and sometimes can feel a little bit like coddling. The Baptiste tone is a little nudgey – a little pointed. I don’t know how exactly to describe it, but there’s a little more tough love in the attitude.
I’m not saying that one is better or worse than the other. I have enjoyed both, and sometimes, I need to be guided in different ways by different teachers depending on where I am in my practice.
Today, I absolutely enjoyed this class. I took a couple of child-pose-breaks in the physical practice, but the energy I feel now is out of this world.
This is the first time I think I’ve really realized how different schools of yoga can influence your practice. Not just on an alignment, prana-focus level, but on a deeper level of communication. I always knew that yoga had many different styles and incarnations, but it’s interesting, now, to see and to notice how intentional these style choices can be. And, as an aspiring teacher, to watch how a turn of phrase or tone of voice can change the mood of an entire practice.
This month in our training, we are focusing on finding our true voice. And, I know yoga asana is the preparation for meditation, but this class has got me thinking a lot about the impact your true voice can make and the kind of yoga teacher I want to be.