While the holidays bring lots of togetherness, there will come a point where you just…
Yoga – Learning to Walk the Path of Looking Good and Feeling Good
Yoga: Learning to Walk the Path of Looking Good and Feeling Good
Living in Cambridge I used to walk by countless Yoga studios and think – what are these places? Sometimes I’d even poke my head in to try to get an idea of what it was all about. I mean what could possibly be going on in there that was better than what was out here? Why we’re flocks of beautiful women pouring out of these places and why was everyone always in such a good mood? I was curious to say the least but it always seemed like a world that didn’t belong to me…boy was I wrong.
Today, almost one year to the day since my first class at the Baptiste Yoga Studio in Porter Square, I am a yoga junkie. It boggles my mind to think about how many times I’ve schlepped to the gym or humped on a treadmill – just to maintain what I already had. The total body and mind work out that yoga provides whipped me into a physical form that I had not seen since high school. Muscle definition, core strength (that I feel all the time) and yes, an overall better sense of being. All of this in about 3 months and made possible by 2-3 90 minute classes per week and all for about the price of a high end gym membership.
Keep in mind not all studios or instructors are the same. You have to find the one that’s right for you. I love Baptiste because it is particularly strenuous and provides an amazing work out. It’s also “hot” which basically means the room is heated to 90+ degrees to help you relax and loosen your muscles. This produces lots of sweat, which I also love. There is no better way to detox after a weekend of partying but please don’t try it when you you’re hungover…you will be useless for the rest of the day.
Lastly, Yoga is fantastic for anyone with an old sports injury. Increased flexibility, zero friction and no pounding on your joints, which your body will thank you for later in life. I have lots of buddies who complain about knee pain from running or shoulder pain from working out. For these individuals I could not recommend Yoga more, as anyone who knows me probably already knows.
My Yoga addiction has pushed me to research a little further into the practice. I recently caught up with Rachael Lappen, teacher at Baptiste since 2009 and one of my favorite instructors, to gain some insight into what makes yoga so awesome.
What is yoga all about for you?
RL: Yoga for me is about accessibility and community. It is literally for every body and we see that in our studios. No matter your level of experience, you come to class as you are and leave empowered to do something bigger than what you thought was possible when you walk out the door- and you’ll meet your best friends in the process.
I saw and felt huge results in only a few weeks. How does yoga do that?
RL: Baptiste Yoga focuses on the being physically present in each moment. This requires you to put 100% of your attention on your practice. You will be challenged… maybe beyond what you thought was possible. That takes commitment. We speak a lot to gaze point and breathing techniques that encourage you to drop what’s going on in your head and commit to listening to your body and staying with what you’re feeling and seeing right in front of your eyes. When you do that you can get really strong really fast.
What role does the mind play in the practice of Yoga? How does body and mind working together give you more than just a work out?
RL: The mind is a powerful thing and can have a lot of influence on how we operate. But our bodies are smarter and our physical experience brings us back to reality always. In your yoga practice, witnessing what your body is capable of allows you to shift your perspective in the moment. Students always come to class and surprise themselves by how much they learned about themselves in the practice or that they could do something they didn’t think they could when they walked in the door. This is a perfect example of our physical experience shifting how we think about ourselves and what is really possible when we put our attention on it. You’ll feel the effects ripple beyond what you may consider your workout into your relationship with your job, family and friends, in every aspect of your life.
A Yoga studio, especially this one, feels like more than a business to me. How does Baptiste see itself?
RL: Yes! At the Baptiste Studios we definitely see ourselves as a huge family. Whatever you need, you will find it here. Even if you haven’t yet talked to the student on the mat next to you, there’s just something to what the practice is about that is undeniable. And you can witness that by the flocks of people that have been walking through the doors for years. A community like that isn’t possible if you only have the mentality that you’re just running a business. Baptiste Yoga is like coming home to your best friends and family who are so committed and will call you out, kick you in the butt, and stand for you to be your most powerful self every single day. This is how we thrive!
Can you describe your relationship with students and the city of Boston?
RL: I can honestly say that my students are some of my greatest friends and teachers and there’s nothing better than walking into the studio every day to experience that. I have been a die hard Baptiste Yogi for almost 13 years and I have witnessed my own transformation both physically and mentally over the years. I’ve been on the mat next to many others who have done the same. You can’t really put those kinds of relationships into words. Our community in Boston runs deep and it’s a great gift to see people so committed to their own growth challenging themselves every day, witness results, bringing their friends and family to class, sharing this practice. Baptiste Yoga has inevitably made an exponential impact on people here in Boston and it’s really an honor to be a part of it
If all that doesn’t convince you then perhaps a quote form Adam Levine of Maroon 5 might help…”Yoga’s a form of meditation, an investment in happiness for the rest of my life. You don’t need anything but a few feet of space and a mat. And I can always find at least an hour a day to practice. Yoga will drastically improve you in every way imaginable.”
* $49 New Student Special at Baptiste Yoga Studios! Valid for new students only. Good for 30 consecutive days. Valid at both studio locations.
Porter Square Location
2000 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge MA 02140
Brookline Village Location
25 Harvard Street
Brookline MA 02445