Baron Baptiste, the founder of Baptiste Power Yoga, talks about some of the major realizations and key lessons he’s learned in his life and why the hardships we encounter are things that allow us to choose how they shape and define us. Learn how...
Baron Baptiste, the founder of Baptiste Power Yoga, talks about some of the major realizations and key lessons he’s learned in his life and why the hardships we encounter are things that allow us to choose how they shape and define us. Learn how Baron let go of his anger and resentment and how that became one of his life’s most impactful turning points.
- Baron describes his childhood with two words: freedom and painful. His parents were dedicated to natural ways of living and eating, with his father being an herbalist and running a yoga center. With the freedom, he didn’t have the same bonds as other families, which resulted in a deep sense of loneliness.
- He recalls being the kid that everyone picked on and because of the shame and embarrassment. He never told anyone what was happening. In the long run, the pain of being alone developed into resilience later on in life.
- Baron’s father was his first real teacher. He had a natural way of serving people and being around that bled into Baron’s perspective as he was growing up. Another big influence was a visiting yoga teacher from India who exposed Baron to athletically physical yoga for the first time. As he continued to study with him, he showed Baron the power of a mind/body practice.
- Baron’s childhood was stacked with a lot of trials and tribulations. Since he didn’t fit into the mainstream very well, he fell into a peer group that didn’t have the greatest habits. In his teenage years, Baron was failing school rapidly and getting into drug use.
- Baron continued on this path, got married and had three kids, but eventually he and his wife decided to separate, and that experience brought back the same sense of deep loneliness.
- Baron saw two options. He could put his suffering and pain on others or he could take responsibility for his life and who he wanted to be.
- Before his divorce, Baron was taught a different way of meditation that focused on observation of his thoughts. It was at that time with that focus, that Baron realized how much resentment and anger he had inside him, brewing just below the surface. Prior to hitting bottom, he didn’t see himself as an angry person at all.
- He realized that he had a lot of anger towards his father for not being present in his life when Baron was growing up. It was forgiving his father that lifted a sense of heaviness off his shoulders, and that moment of forgiveness became a major pivot point in his life.
- You can feel justified in your anger and resentment, but at some point you need to let go of the things that no longer serve you.
- Yoga was always a part of Baron’s life but it never directly impacted his experience of living. It was more of an intellectual pursuit until he learned to embody his experience with meditation. He began exploring other kinds of teachings like Christian and Judaic mysticism and Zen Buddhism.
- You can access the power of meditation without going through the 12 steps. You just have to be willing to sit with your shit. Meditation is about getting to the root of the problem, digging it out, and healing yourself.
- In life, we are either expanding or contracting. Resentment is a way of contracting and closing ourselves off. As the saying goes, “It’s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
- Around the age of 19, Baron decided to give up alcohol and drugs, and despite not being addicted to those substances anymore, the 12-step program still had applications in his life. After attending some meetings with a friend, he had the realization that he needed to forgive his parents as well as acknowledge his judgement and resentment, and let it go.
- Everything changes when you stop blaming, and start taking ownership.
- Baron is most grateful for his three healthy, bright, and intelligent sons as well as whatever higher power has been watching over him and allowing that to happen. He’s grateful for the experiences and hardships that he’s had that have strengthened him and made him better.
- Make your practice about staying out of your head, in whatever way that means for you. There is power in staying out of your head. Meditation is a unique way of doing that. It allows you to be present to the physical sensations of your body and the universe.
- If you find meditating difficult, just find a comfortable place and just sit. If you feel resistance, just put your attention on your breath and watch your thoughts. Just sit without expectation and see what happens.
- Your thoughts aren’t you.
- Separating yourself and becoming aware of your awareness gives your negative thoughts less power over you.
- Baron’s friend John Sullivan gets his comeback story shoutout. He’s the one guy who has always been there in the hardest of times.
Mentioned in this Episode:
@baronbaptisteyoga on Instagram
@baronbaptiste on Twitter