5 Myths Debunked about Baptiste Yoga


As I’m about to embark on another teacher training program with the Baptiste Institute (read about my new experiences here); I thought I’d share a couple of stories/myths I’ve heard since I started teaching this style.

It is a religion

It’s NOT a religion.

It’s named after the founder Baron Baptiste.

My mum for one, thought I changed religions when I wore a Baptiste t-shirt home once. She immediately grilled me and I had to tell her “it’s just a yoga name, mum!”

The name is deceiving - but it's a different spelling; the religion is Baptist without the E; and the yoga is Baptiste with the E.

For sure it’s not a religion, just as yoga isn’t a religion. 

It is hot yoga! I don’t do hot yoga!

Firstly I'd like to clear that this myth is not myth. It’s the truth.

Baptiste Yoga is usually practised in hot room, of around 26 - 32 degrees Celcius..

I wanted to include this myth to address the concerns from those who don’t do hot yoga.

I rarely switch on the heater when I teach because luckily Singapore’s weather is around the same temperature. I’ll have the fan on for circulation.

You will sweat and you will also create your own heat with your ujjayi breathing or as they call it, it’s the breath of fire.

On the rare occasions where I do switch on the heat, I promise you that it won’t be as hot as a Bikram class where it can go as high as 40. (Trust me, I’m not a big fan of Bikram heat where it’s impossible to even breath.) You’ll just be a little uncomfortable and that will get you right out of your comfort zone, which is where we need to be in order to grow in our practice.

So come try the class.

It's too “powerful” for me.

The full name of the practice is Baptiste Power Vinyasa. Most people get scared off by the word "power," as they think they are not strong to take the class.

Yoga is for Every Bodies!

Baptiste Power Vinyasa IS a multi-level class. It’s for everybody. Modifications and up-levels are offered. Modifications are offered and Baptiste Yoga prides itself on simple and essential language with a few Sanskrit words thrown in.

I always tell my regular practitioners to drop what they know and be a beginner again. Sometimes when we think we know everything, there’s no capacity to listen. And once we give ourselves permission to be re-start, it gives access to so much powerful listening and new discoveries.

If you are new or just coming back to yoga after long a time - you’re in a great place. I’d say you’re luckier than me. You’ll have plenty of new discoveries. P.S If it's your first time doing yoga, please let the teacher know, so she can take care of you.

If you can move your limbs, you can do yoga. Just have to get your mind out of the way.

You are ready now! All you have to do is drop your fears and be a yes to discovering new!

It is going to be boring because it is the same asana every time.

I had the same thought when I first started the practice. hah! I hate routine, and the thought of doing the same thing over and over again - eek! 

FYI - The class is based on Baron Baptiste’s Journey into Power sequence which includes the five essential categories of asana – standing poses, forward bends, backbends, twists and inversions. It’s more or less fixed.

The first good news is that as they say - "Repetition - the Key to Mastery". Practising the same poses especially as a beginner allowed me to get familiar with the poses, so I can get "better" at it;  and once I got familiar - to explore beyond the asanas and to discover new possibilities for my body.

2nd good news is that your body is different every time you come on the mat.

Let me ask you - How can it be the same when your body is different every time you wake up in the morning? Who knew what you did last night or what you ate? Or may you didn’t sleep at all?

There you go - how can the class be the same?

3rd good news is that you can make it challenging or less by changing the words you say to yourself.

I’ve discovered that the cause of all my sufferings is ironically the myths (stories) that I tell myself.  If I say it’s going to be boring, it’s going to be boring? What am I really afraid of? What is possible I drop overthinking and coming in as a beginner, knowing nothing, coming in with a clean slate, with no expectations. What is possible?

To come as you are and not what you think you should be.
— Baron Baptiste

When you drop your stories then you can be more present in the moment, and you can create space for something new to emerge.

And that is what yoga is - to be still in the current moment, and not allow past or future thoughts distract you from what is there for you right now.

Baptiste yoga is better than (or not as good as) other yoga styles

I had a fellow teacher ask me once - "what’s so good about Baptiste Yoga?"

I sat on this question for a long time. I’m passionate about Baptiste Yoga - but I think yoga no matter what style is good for everyone. As long as you find style that you like, that’s the key to staying.

Truthbomb is Baptiste yoga is just another style of yoga. It’s not better than or worst than. It suits my body and thats why I like it.

And it’s always better for you to experience it for yourself.

When you want to get out of a pose, that’s when the real yoga begins.

When you try it for the first time, if you don’t like it for whatever reason, try it again.

Stay and see if you discover something new about your practice?

You can even try this method on other styles of yoga, or anything non-yoga you’ve always wanted to try or maybe someone forced you to try. Go in with a different mindset, drop what you want, and be present to what’s available at that point in time.

Honestly speaking, Baptiste yoga IS just another style of yoga AND it’s not better nor worst than another style. The difference is the community - the people who is practising, experiencing and sharing it.

Did you know Baptiste has its roots in Iyengar, Ashtanga and Bikram?

I did a project where I tried Ashtanga for 2 weeks, Bikram, and Iyengar respectively and you can read about it here. I do find similarities and I'm grateful that Baron, through his experiences, re-created the traditional teachings for modern human bodies like mine.

Practice ahimsa or kindness! Create good karma by respecting every style, every lineage, every teacher, because there’s always new to discover in your practice when you are willing to try something new.

That’s it!

If you do know of any other myths, please share in the comments below.