Myoga Hot Hatha –Baptiste/Shaw
Yoga: Theory, Culture and Practice
Myoga Hot Hatha –Baptiste/Shaw
I have been extremely lucky to experience the art of yoga from multiple teachers over years. I was able to broaden my horizon by learning a variety of yoga styles. I started my yoga experience with hatha yoga. Lately I was able to open my eye to a completely new form, one I had never experienced before. I was opened up to the world of Myoga hot hatha.
I was fortunate enough to visit a wonderful yoga studio down the street from me. It’s called, MetroWest Yoga. It is run by a woman in her mid, Shawn Shaw, who has been practicing for more than 30 years. She started her yoga practice after an abusive marriage left her divorce with two young children. She started her yoga practice in her own home. She converted a bedroom in her house to a studio in 2003. She encouraged her children to join in as well. When her studio began to grow, she opened up her first commercial studio in Westborough Mass in 2005. She the
Then recently open her second studio
in Worcester, Mas .
Shawn turned to yoga to help heal herself from her divorce. She says yoga
allowed her to heal , a
quote from Shawn’s website, tell her story of what yoga did for her .
“With regular practice, my body became stronger and healthier than it had with any other form of exercise, and my mind became calm and peaceful. In addition, I learned to love more openly, speak more truthfully and live more in the moment. I decided teaching yoga and bringing this beautiful healing practice to others would be my life’s work.” (Shawn Shaw 2011)
It’s wonderful stories like Shawn’s that encourage others
, like myself to give yoga a fair
shake. It has been explained that although one my not have their “a h ha”
moment in the first few sessions . Most
do leave a yoga class refreshed and ready to take on the day with a positive
outlook on what each day has to bring.
Due to Shawn’s passion for wanting to bring the benefits to others, opening her study was only t
o beginning to
what she brings with her. Shawn has become an experiences registered yoga
(E-RYT 200) She has created workshops for those
who want to learn the art of teaching. As well as
trained teacher herself both locally and internationally. She is known for
training teachers to teach with authenticity and open heart.
The MetroWest studios are open to all levels of yoga practitioners, from
beginners, children, to well trained yogis.
The studio offers single drop in classes, a
weeklong class or even courses.
Shawn even offers private lessons to all varieties of yogis. For the beginners
who are looking for that individual time to help learn the basics of yoga, or
for the more experienced yogis who are looking to deepen their practice.
In the beginning I was under the impression that yoga, was used to “empty the mind”
While practicing yoga, one needed to control one’s thoughts. However I was
recently told in an interview with my most recent yoga teacher, that’s not what
Myoga hot hatha is about. An instructor at MetroWest yoga Vin Garino (2013)
stated, “ it is not about
being able to control your mind, because realistically it isn’t completely
possible to control your thoughts. But instead meditation and yoga is about
seeing your mind wander and being able to realize that and rei gn
your mind back in. Being able to know that you mind is straying from your
breathing and being able to refocus on your breaths and focus your energy.”
Knowing this has made a
tremendous effect on my perspective towards yoga. Struggling with ADHD
(attention-deficit-hyperactive-disorder) I have a hard time focusing and
sitting still. I always thought that I would never be good at yoga because my
mind wanders far to frequently to be able to “control”
my thoughts. I thought that yoga was about getting to the point where your mind
is empty and not allowing thoughts to go in or out, it is all
about the breath. This was extremely discouraging for me, because I enjoy the
art of yoga, but felt I wasn’t good at it. Being introduced to Vin, made a big
impact, he was positive and encouraging. When I mentioned my doubts about my
mind, Garino (2013) stated, “if you are able to notice that your mind is
wandering, then the first step is to see and realize that. The next part is to
pull your mind back and refocus. If you are able to do that, then you are more
than half way there in yoga and meditation.”
This he re
is one of the major steps in yoga for me, and one huge reason as to
why I continue to go back to MetroWest Yoga.
After speaking with a few of the yoga teachers at the studio, it was explained that the background of Myoga hot hatha is from the practice of Baron Baptiste. According to Baron Baptiste’s,
“Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga classes offer a true immersion into your physical and mental self. The unique blend of yoga traditions and philosophies emphasize the flow of breath while moving with strength and grace from pose to pose, all in a heated environment. Modern yogi and founder, Baron Baptiste, stresses the principle of adaptation. Both aspiring and advanced yogis, young and old, can modify each posture and create their own individual experience. The result is a yoga practice that rinses and detoxifies the mind and body, while building strength and flexibility on and off the mat.” (Baptiste, 2013)
With this guidance and experience from working with Baptis
ite, Shawn went off with the inspiration
to create her own style of yoga. Myoga hot hatha has become a version of
Baptiste’s power yoga, bringing in her own twist to the practice. One
important factor that differs Shawn’s
practice of yoga from other forms is that fact
that there is freedom in the poses. Garino often stated (2013) in his yoga
class, “ make the pose
your own, challenge yourself. Make it different.” This was something I hadn’t
heard in yoga before. But it was something that stuck with me. I have always
been a unique person, and being able to make each pose slightly more of
my own without changing the pose itself, made me feel more in tune with the
practice. I hope to one day enjoy a yoga practice taught by Baron Baptis ite,
to be able to compare the two. But either way I thoroughly enjoy the new
practice I have luckily been able to experience.
Yoga at MetroWest yoga is influenced by a few cultures. However when talking with Garino (2013) he stated,
isn’t a specific culture to back this study. The main influence in Shawn’s yoga
methods is the study of Baron Baptis ite’s practices.”
According to Bapti
“Baptiste Yoga style
inspired by the hatha yoga teachings of Krishnamacharya and his students
Iyengar and Desikachar, whom Baron Baptiste studied with personally from a
young age. The Baptiste Yoga practice and programs are designed to empower you
with the focus, training and insight you need to achieve consistent results in
the most important areas of your life.”
With this, Shawn has designed her yoga to encourage and train any practitioner to help them succeed with major events in one’s life. A reason for this particular practice is to encourage participants to reach their full potential, awaken th
passion that dwells within them, and to promote confidence to help one take on
possibilities. The Baptiste yoga practice tries to empower practitioners to
become leaders and contribute to the community. The Baptiste practice is one
that is practiced all over the world. It is practiced from all walks of life,
from professional athletes, to parents or teachers. It isn’t a practice that is
only meant for those who can bend like a pretzel or have to stamina to work out
for hours. Any one can exercise this practice, which is part of the reason this
type of yoga is used by so many all around the world.
Hot yoga is something that was new for me
I called the studio to schedule my class I
asked what was meant by “Power hour” they didn’t mention anything about hot
yoga. Even on the website it states just bring comfortable clothing, I didn’t
read the whole page to where it states heated room. However, I showed up to the
studio in fleece leggings and lucky for me a running dri-fit shirt. I will
honestly say I will never make the mistake again on not reading through
something, either way I thoroughly enjoyed the class and I look forward to my
future classes there.
Baptiste, B. (2013). Baron Baptiste: International Best-selling Author and Teacher. Retrieved
February 23, 2013, from Baron Baptiste website: http://www.baronbaptiste.com/about/
Garino, V. (2013, February 21). [Personal interview by the author].
Shaw, S. (2011). Who We Are. Retrieved February 23, 2013, from MetroWest Yoga website: