baptiste power flow immersion

by jenna on September 22, 2011

Whew! I made it!

When I think about recapping the past week, I honestly don’t even know where to start. I could tell you that it was amazing, that it powerful, even that it was life changing but putting words to such an experience almost seems impossible. Bear with me.

From the moment I got off the plane on Sunday, it was go go go go go. I met up with my roomies at the Denver airport and together we made the trek to Estes Park. It was my first visit to Colorado and I am….SMITTEN! Colorado friends, can I come live with you? I am thoroughly obsessed with your beautiful state, even though I didn’t see an elk, which was my goal for the entire week.

That night, we had a welcome session with Baron and he introduced the staff of senior Baptiste teachers that would be leading sessions during the week. Not really knowing what I was getting myself into then, I realize now what an amazing opportunity it was to practice with these awesome teachers from all over the country. On top of getting to practice with Baron for four hours each day (not as scary as it sounds–promise!), I took two amazing breakout sessions—-Yoga of Service in Action with Paige and Inversions with Kelly. We also watched the premiere of The Africa Yoga Project documentary, which was a whole other experience in itself.

The first day when Baron posed the question “why are you here?”, I really didn’t have a good response. Because I’ve practiced yoga for eight years? Because I want to be a yoga teacher someday? Because it’s a trip to the Rocky Mountains? However, my class with Paige really changed that.

I know, without a doubt, I was there to take that class and connect more with The Africa Yoga Project (AYP). In her class, we discussed how take yoga off the mat and into real life and serving others. Hearing Paige’s story about how she moved from New York to the slums of Kenya to start this life-changing project was, quite simply, transformational. Since AYP’s beginning a few years ago, she has helped to provide hundreds of Kenyans with yoga teacher jobs as well as build schools, community centers and spread the love of yoga in a poverty stricken area. It spoke straight my heart and gave my personal practice a whole other (much) larger purpose. I am so excited for October 2nd!

My time in Estes Park really transformed me as a yogi and a person. As a natural introvert, I was “forced” to get out of my box a little bit and connect with others who I might normally not have gotten a chance to connect with. As much as the week was about the physical yoga practice, it was also about life in general. I really think that going to this was one of the best thing things I’ve ever done for myself in terms of personal growth and awareness. I was able to push myself to new limits both mentally and physically (hellooooo handstands!), and connect with so many amazing people. I learned that the answer to how is YES and I was ready right where I was….no waiting around, just do it!

I really look look forward to attending more Baptiste events in the future and if you guys ever get a chance to go to one….DO IT. I promise you won’t regret it. Practicing yoga in a room of 500 people was almost electrifying, and the breakout sessions and discussions were thought provoking and authentic. It’s funny to me how many people consider yoga to just be a way to work their abs. To me, yoga is what happens when we take what we learn on the mat and use it to empower ourselves and the people around us.

It also really works your abs.

(someday I’ll be able to laugh again…someday)

 

 

 

 

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

erin @WELL in L.A. September 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Congratulations!! I’m between a few teachers/styles of yoga for training and Baptiste is in my top 5! Glad to see you love the experience.

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Sarah @ See Sarah Eat September 22, 2011 at 12:22 pm

So glad you had such an awesome time. And I love what you said about yoga, it’s the truth! :)

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John September 22, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I’m proud of you!
Love Dad!

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Jessica @ Jess Go Bananas September 22, 2011 at 12:31 pm

I love how the theory of incorporating yoga off of the mat! So many people see it as exercise, but it really heals the body AND mind! :)

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Angharad September 22, 2011 at 12:36 pm

So awesome! Glad you had such a transforming experience – those don’t come often! The 500 person-deep sessions sound exhilarating!

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Jen September 22, 2011 at 12:39 pm

Yoga really is not about the postures. It’s all about the “other” stuff. Glad you had a great trip. And, I’m amazed you still kept up with the blog during it. Do you plan to travel overseas to help with these types of organizations in the future or teach at home? Do I foresee a career change from food? :)

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bethany September 22, 2011 at 12:40 pm

Come back to CO! If you loved Estes, you’ll love Boulder :)

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Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) September 22, 2011 at 12:45 pm

That sounds like a phenomenal experience… and as for abs, I went to power yoga last night and am definitely feeling it! It was my first class in ages, and I am so glad to have gotten back on the mat!

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Corey @ Learning Patience September 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I knew you would have an amazing time! Sounds like a wonderful project and a great time in Colorado.

xoxo from Houston (this week :-)

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Yolie @ Practising Wellness September 22, 2011 at 12:51 pm

So many congratulations and happiness for your experience, I love yoga so much and I love that you love it too! :-) So glad that you had SUCH a wonderful time at the Baron Baptiste immersion – I can only imagine how powerful a few days that was. Incredible, I’m sure, and something I would love to do!
Thank you for writing about your passion and experience, it is so wonderful to read and connect with – yoga is such a powerful practice on and off the mat, and the community is a blessing! <3 I'm going to Colorado next week and cannot wait to practice there – you've made me even more stoked from your rave reviews of the state. And I'm going to Yoga to the People in New York which I'm so excited about – I love their podcasts so much! <3 <3 Aaah, fun times. Namaste, Jenna! xyx

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Maria September 22, 2011 at 12:52 pm

What an awesome opportunity! I love yoga, but I only get to practice it once every couple of weeks :-/ I really need to make more time for it. I also fell in love with Colorado, when I visited there a few years ago! If I could live anywhere else besides Chicago, I think Colorado would be it.

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes September 22, 2011 at 1:01 pm

Wow! Sounds like an amazing time! Great pics :)

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga September 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm

Thank you for this awesome recap of your trip!!

The word electrifying…yes! that’s what it feels like to be in the company and energy of 500 others who are all there wanting to learn and grow. The vibe, mood, energy, camaraderie, bonds formed over shared experiences; all so powerful.

Happy to hear it was a life-changer. I knew it would be. Every yoga retreat and workshop I have done always has been. More so about life and yoga off the mat, than on the mat, actually. Asanas are great; new poses and tackling them are fun, but the off the mat life-changing stuff is really the best gift ever.

Congrats to you for having this experience :)

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kathleen @ the daily crumb September 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

what an amazing experience, jenna. i just visited your yoga aid page. so proud and honored to support you in this inspiring endeavor.

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jenna September 22, 2011 at 1:18 pm

thank you SO much, Kathleen!

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Stephanie @ Live Cook Love September 22, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip! I went to Estes Park this summer for the first time and it was absolutely beautiful!!! We did see Elk, so next time you want to go, go in June! They are everywhere!

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Gina (Yogattude) September 22, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Thank you for such a great recap! I’m so excited that you got to experience such an amazing weekend with Baron and others. I am itching for a retreat or workshop…and low and behold, Rolf Gates is coming to Seattle this weekend…it’s my lucky day! I really enjoy reading about your yoga experiences and hope that you are able to take the training soon, it sounds like you would be a fab teacher!

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Hilliary@HappilyEverHealthy September 22, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Sounds like a wonderful and life changing experience! Glad you had a wonderful time!

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Cait's Plate September 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Congrats!! What an incredible experience!

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Anne September 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm

I love yoga (Ashtanga), like you said we feel stronger inside and out. I would love to do workshops in the future, but the “talking-discussion” part… not much…

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Anne September 22, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Oh, and your posture (for what we can see) is great, seems strong and graceful.

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polly September 22, 2011 at 1:41 pm

LOVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

you are precious!! XOXO

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Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine September 22, 2011 at 1:49 pm

This is so awesome, Jenna. It looks like an incredible experience. Isn’t Estes Park beautiful?

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Sarah S. September 22, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Congrats on such a wonderful time! I worked in Estes Park (lived in Boulder) when I was younger and LOVE that place. I’m just SO glad you were able to experience such a wonderful place. I can’t believe you didn’t see any elk– those babies are all over all the time! You’ll definitely see one when you go back :) And Boulder is amazing. Plan to settle down there permanently :) You must visit it!

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Kiah September 22, 2011 at 2:49 pm

I had my HS girls do that group pose (your last pic)! It’s so fun, and looks great. They did it in front of the whole school and were so proud. I was so proud :-)

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Beth @ DiningAndDishing September 22, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I did a yoga class last night for the first time in a long time and absolutely loved it. I’m going through a tough time right now with a break up and am determined to use healthy coping mechanisms instead of…wine :). I can only imagine what this experience was like for you! Yoga is such a powerful thing.

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Ashley L September 22, 2011 at 3:07 pm

Looks like you really had a life changing trip. You have inspired me to get on my mat after almost two years away. I hope that I am able to connect with the way I used to.
Oh and did you decide that you are definitely going to become a yoga teacher now?

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Marci September 22, 2011 at 3:11 pm

I love hearing about your time there. So intrigued by Baptiste style! I saw on Facebook my friend (Ashlie from Dallas) was there. She taught my very first yoga class and then I got hooked on Baptiste.

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Sarah September 22, 2011 at 4:10 pm

So glad you enjoyed it!! And our CO home is always open to a visitor/roommate!!

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Abby September 22, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Yay! So happy to read about your amazing experience in my home state :) High-five for “taking yoga off the mat” and getting out into the community. I think we could all stand to volunteer our time and talents more.

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Stephie September 22, 2011 at 5:01 pm

Wow. I am so jealous of your experience! I started practicing yoga a little over a year ago and it is probably the only thing that helped me survive my senior year in college. I am so sad now that I cannot afford a membership at a studio anywhere around me and can only make free classes once a week. I hope that someday I can get to a place of being able to get to power classes multiple times a week and do what you did! How awesome for you!! Your spiritual fulfillment must be through the roof right now =)

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Kristin September 22, 2011 at 5:09 pm

You are quite the woman. I am inspired by your blog posts, especially this one. To seek out your higher purpose (and unintentionally it sounds!)…well, just reading about it gives me goosebumps. Thank you for your blog and sharing your story…and best wishes with your yoga journey.

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Marla September 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Now THIS is the Jenna I have been missing for a while now!
I felt “your voice” in this post and it felt truly authentic.
I have missed that and so glad to feel it again. :)

Maybe it’s just me, but welcome back Jenna!!!
(I’ve missed you !)

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Ally September 22, 2011 at 5:33 pm

No ELK?! That is so sad! If you ever decide to come back our way, let me know. I know where I can take you to guarantee an elk sighting, and probably a bear too!

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gia September 22, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Wow, amazing. Have you read Garance Dore’s blog about her (small but significant) journey with weight loss and the self loathing that was part of the hurdle? It’s a four part well written story and she finds peace about her body with yoga (and some running). Lately I’ve been feeling, exercise feels good, but I’m only doing it for looks lately. I want it to be more than that and you both are on the same wavelength.

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briana September 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm

just wanted to say…..You.are.inspiring!

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Flea September 22, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Hey Jenna, I’ve been loving your blog for years. Thought you might be interested in this book: Birds of Paradise – Diana Abu-Jaber.

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Leslie Means @ Her View From Home September 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm

Awesome! And I knew you would LOVE Colorado! You should head east to her neighboring state of Nebraska. I’m pretty sure you would love it here too! :) Plenty of BEAUTIFUL open spaces!!

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amy walters, aDESIGNdock September 22, 2011 at 7:45 pm

How fun Jenna! I just want to thank you for your all this yoga talk lately. It’s really motivated me to get back in the habit of going to classes – and my body is thanking me :D I feel great!

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Dee September 22, 2011 at 7:56 pm

Wow Jenna! It sounds like you had an amazing experience! Reading and gleaning from your words about how passionate you are about yoga really makes me want to break out of my comfort zone and go to a class. Finally.

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Krystina (Organically Me) September 22, 2011 at 8:18 pm

That sounds so beautiful. The whole experience, what you said – everything. Do you primarily use yoga as your form of exercise or do you incorporate other things into your routine as well?

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jenna September 22, 2011 at 8:33 pm

I just do yoga! it’s awesome.

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diana@mymarblerye September 22, 2011 at 9:49 pm

can’t believe you were in colorado!

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Jane @ In the Pink and Green September 22, 2011 at 11:51 pm

What an amazing experience, and I’m so glad you enjoyed Colorado! I live just north of Boulder, and I love going up to Rocky Mountain National Park because it’s seriously such a beautiful area! I’m sorry you didn’t see any elk though! My parents were visiting from Michigan last week, and I took them up to Estes Park and we saw a bunch of elk…but we had to get to the park at sunrise though (I’ve got a bunch of the pics of the elk on my blog so you can see elk with out having to wake up at dark o’clock…) Also the Africa Yoga Project sounds like an awesome opportunity, can’t wait to hear more about it! I used to be kind of a yoga-hater (because it wasn’t super intense cardio, I used to feel like it was a waste), but since I moved out to Colorado I’ve had the opportunity to practice with some amazing instructors and my views have totally changed, I love it now! Yay yoga! xoxo

Ps: I just finished reading Secret Daughter per your recommendation and I loved it, so thanks!! I just did a review on my blog yesterday and I gave you a shoutout! :)

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Kristina September 23, 2011 at 6:00 am

“It’s funny to me how many people consider yoga to just be a way to work their abs. To me, yoga is what happens when we take what we learn on the mat and use it to empower ourselves and the people around us.”

I agree 100%. It’s amazing how many people I see who practice yoga without actually… really…practicing yoga.

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Moni'sMeals September 23, 2011 at 8:26 am

Fantastic! Good for you,
I feel very motivated right now for many things. :)

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Becca @ Peace, Love & Bagels September 23, 2011 at 8:42 am

this. sounds. awesome.

(!!!)

I am just beginning down the yoga teacher training path, with a teacher who has been taught in anusara and jivamukti styles. I haven’t even met the group yet and it’s already a whirlwind of wonderfulness! I look forward to hearing about when you embark on that journey!!

That Baptiste event seems like an amazing experience, I’m so incredibly happy for you! I can feel your enthusiasm and excitement right through my computer screen :)

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peacebeme September 23, 2011 at 9:47 am

WHOO HOO! Colorado is THE BEST state! :)

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Jeni @ hippiewildmama September 23, 2011 at 12:47 pm

What a great recap! I’m so glad you loved Colorado, it just seems like there is something for everyone here. I suppose it’s that way everywhere, right? Namaste

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Kait September 23, 2011 at 4:53 pm

amazing! and I am so jealous. Hopefully I can make my way to a yoga retreat sometime soon.

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Katie Rogers September 24, 2011 at 8:30 am

So glad this was such a great experience! You remind me how I must get to an event like this again! I did a great teacher training in SF through It’s Yoga and I heard they (Larry and Marie) moved their studio up to Sonoma! You should do a training there. They are really great and convenient because it’s only 3-4 weeks. You seem to me like you’d be a fantastic teacher.
You should also check out Seane Corn. She’ll be at the Yoga Journal Conference in January. You’d love her.
Good luck!

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Luv What You Do September 24, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Sounds like a life-changing opportnity!!! Thanks for taking the time to share. I know when you are immersed in such a spiritual and emotional journey, it is often hard to turn it into words, and I think you did a great job! Were there all levels of yog there?

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Rocky Slaughter September 24, 2011 at 8:56 pm

This looks awesome! I just registered for a hot vinyasa program in Eugene today! Woop woop.

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Sabrina @ Radioactive Runner September 26, 2011 at 9:02 am

What a GOOD recap! Sounds like a life changing experience. I love the idea and concept for the AYP. Thanks for sharing :)

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Gena September 27, 2011 at 3:34 am

So envious! Looks like you had an amazing time.

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