Any yogi, engaging in practice for any length of time, will likely share that their relationship with yoga has changed over the years. A yoga studio is no different.
Yoga Body Shop began in 2007 as Binghamton’s original hot yoga studio, practicing freestyle Vinyasa Yoga in a heated room. While heat was a core component of the experience, the community loved the blended style of yoga offered, defined as neither Bikram Yoga nor Baptiste Yoga.
A flood in 2011, forced a physical relocation of the studio, but also created an opportunity. Owners, Linda and Ron Sambursky, decided to pursue additional training and were faced with a decision of what discipline of yoga to bring back to the community. Bikram Yoga seemed to be synonymous with hot yoga. So, naturally it seemed Bikram Yoga should be high on the list, as heat was a cornerstone of the original Yoga Body Shop experience. However, Bikram’s militant nature seemed at odds with the blended style practiced. After visiting several studios—Bikram, Baptiste, and beyond—the decision was made.
Why did Yoga Body Shop choose to become the Binghamton area’s only Baptiste Affiliate Studio? Why was the Bikram path not traveled? Simple, Baptiste Yoga is Power Vinyasa Yoga. Yoga Body Shop had already developed a reputation for doing Vinyasa Yoga in the heat, it was a natural evolution in the studio’s relationship with yoga.
The “Power” in the Baptiste Power Yoga name is somewhat misleading that this is a vigorous yoga practice. In truth, “Power” refers to empowerment. Power is the result of the practice. It is not vigorous as much as it is rigorous. Rigor is defined by Merriam-Webster as the quality or state of being very exact, careful, or strict. Like Bikram Yoga, Baptiste Yoga has a sequence of poses. The Baptiste Journey into Power Sequence has 11 named mini sequences or series and contains roughly 53 poses. This is a very well thought out, researched sequence and is often updated. The teachers of Baptiste Yoga are trained to know the sequence and how to masterfully play within the sequence so that no two classes are the same. Alternatively, all Bikram Yoga classes consist of the same 26 postures series, including two breathing exercises, in 90-minutes. Bikram instructors are trained to maintain this structure. The Bikram format offers less flowing sequence than Baptiste, with Bikram abruptly transitioning from sequence to sequence.
Baptiste Yoga is typically practiced in a room heated 90 degrees or higher, while Bikram Yoga is practiced at a very specific 105 degrees. As a studio already practicing a form of Vinyasa Yoga in the heat, the community was comfortable with heat, but they loved the flexibility Baptiste Yoga offers with its range of 95–102 degrees depending on the level of the class.
It was clear when researching and experiencing the distinct differences between Baptiste Yoga and Bikram Yoga, that Baptiste Yoga was a perfect fit for Yoga Body Shop. Linda and Ron were struck by the profound transformative nature of Baptiste Yoga. After their first Baptiste training in August 2011, the trees and grass seemed greener and all of nature seemed to radiate more vibrantly.
Now it’s your turn to experience the greener grass of Baptiste Yoga, check out Yoga Body Shop’s class schedule to find your first Beginner Hot Yoga class.