Baron Baptiste is known as the founder of power flow yoga. Because Baptiste grew up with yogi parents, we're not surprised that he lives a very zen life.
But its the "Baptiste" movement — a special practice combining meditation, intense movement and peace of mind — that makes him so remarkable. When Baptiste came to town for a sold-out all-day workshop, we sat down with him at Yogasport in Dallas, one of his affiliate studios, to learn how to find better balance and emulate his lifestyle.
CultureMap: When you created power flow yoga more than 20 years go, was it your intention to create a kind of brand?
Baron Baptiste: It wasn't the goal. I wanted to take the mysticism out of yoga and create a disciplined power yoga practice. It worked out: When I first practiced in Beverly Hills, people quickly saw physical, mental and emotional results.
CM: Does yoga always have to be incorporated with mediation?
BB: They don't have to go together, but they certainly lend to each other. Poses create health, strength and calmness in the mind; meditation creates stillness.
CM: How do you suggest staying balanced with a busy work/travel schedule?
BB: The good thing about yoga is that you can do it anywhere. But it's always better to get to a class and practice there, where you have a dedicated space with no distractions.
CM: Can anyone practice Baptiste power yoga?
BB: As long as they are healthy overall, one can jump right into it — at any age.
CM: How hot does a class get?
BB: Our studios vary, but I will say that this practice generates body heat of about 80 degrees. With contracting and extending you are heating and healing from the inside out. You're detoxing and cleansing.
CM: Do you follow a special diet?
BB: I try to eat as natural as possible — whole foods. I think it stems from a wholesome attitude.
CM: More and more men are practicing yoga, but it seems like they're still a minority. Why do you think that is?
BB: In our classes we see a lot of men, actually, because they are more athletic. You don't need to be flexible for this kind of yoga. Women are certainly more open than men, but I think there's definitely a breakthrough from the perception that yoga is only for women.
CM: Yoga clothing has become so prevalent. Do you think yogis need to wear special gear?
BB: The good thing about yoga is that you don't need much. You have to be comfortable, and you must be able to move in whatever you wear. Lululemon happens to be an amazing brand.
CM: In another life, what would you be doing?
BB: I'd be on the radio. I like to talk.