How To Be A Part Of Something Bigger
In 2006, at the ripe age of 21, I went to live in London for a semester. I traveled to places like Italy and Prague. When I missed my flight to Sweden, I went to Paris instead. I created lifelong connections on cobblestone streets and in cafes and windowless bars. By stepping (way) outside my normal world, I gained access to adventure and a deeper learning than I ever had.
Europe is magical like that.
During this same time, I was also in the middle of recovering from an eating disorder. I had debilitating anxiety and self-hate. In between plane rides and escapades, I would have to deal with myself. I looked for yoga, but couldn’t find anything that landed with me. So when I found out there’s now Lumi Power Yoga—a studio specializing in Power Vinyasa Yoga—in London, I gasped.
The power of Baptiste Yoga and Europe together? I gotta be a part of that.
I talked to Ari Iso-Rautio, one of Lumi’s leaders, on the phone. We gushed about London and Baptiste Yoga. He’d been in the corporate world and eventually realized it wasn’t for him. He and his wife, Elina, opened their Hammersmith studio in September and will welcome the first Art of Assisting there this May.
“The opportunity for Baptiste Yoga in Europe is immense, no question.” Ari told me. “We’re coordinating with the other studios and Certified Teachers here to get more programs so more people have access. We’re letting people know we’re here.”
“People come to the studio for more than just a yoga class but to connect. For the human connection,” said Christiane. Angela, who collaborated with Christiane during Italy’s Yoga Festival, has also seen an amazing response to Baptiste Yoga in her community. “I started renting out a high school gym,” Angela said. “Two people turned into five, which turned into forty. I opened the studio not long after that. The possibility for Baptiste Yoga here is unlimited, and we have to be fearless about it.”
When Leader/Teacher Brooke Hamblet taught at Lumi and the Yoga Games in Sweden in February, it was more than a international community coming together; it was a movement getting stronger.
“We love visits when you’re traveling,” Ari says. “Those little moments of connection remind us that we’re part of something bigger. Come over not just to practice, come to teach. We feel connected to the larger community again when you bring your energy.”
Anyone else Googling flights?
Jessica Kenny is a writer who teaches yoga or yoga teacher who writes, depending on the day. For a long time she did neither and was not very happy. She is a Certified Baptiste Teacher in San Francisco and contributes articles to many online and print publications. You can keep up with Jess and her ginger self on her website and Instagram.