My Baptiste Yoga Story

My strong passion for personal growth, development and more possibility for my life and the lives of others is what keeps me coming back to Baptiste Yoga even when I fall away. Sharing my why is important.

It was 2016 and after taking 6 years off from attending Baptiste programs, I got curious to reconnect with the source that inspired me from day 1.It started at a Yoga Journal conference where Baron was leading an all-day session.I popped in and I still remember the look of surprise on his face when he saw me practicing on my mat.Before my hiatus, PoYO was an affiliate, I assisted programs, I was super involved.I went up to him at the end of the day and told him how great it was to be there.He acknowledged my showing up and how good it was to see me too.Nothing about it, and the connection was honest.

I decided to attend the certified teachers event that year.My dad died on a Tuesday and the program was on Thursday.I felt like I shouldn’t go.I needed to be home with my family.That’s what I told myself, but that wasn’t the truth.The truth was, I needed to get out and reconnect - when I was at my lowest.I did.It was hard.I was resistant.I would have rather been home drinking and wallowing but I stayed in the work.I kept thinking that I should have showed up as a bigger yes, I could have gotten more, but I showed up as I was and it was perfect. I signed up and attended L3 later that year.

I don’t remember much content from the program.I do remember having a rough time physically because I was pregnant and we were at higher altitude.I also remember -I experienced the most freeing few moments in wheel that I can ever remember.I also remember laying in Savasana at the end of a practice thinking, “I belong.”

6 days after returning from L3, my mom died.When shit got really hard during my pregnancy without my mom by my side, and when I haven’t wanted to get out of the house, and when I am trying to draw more out of me and you- it comes from this place of pure love, or tangible moments of knowing that we can pull out more than we think possible if we doubt our doubts, show up at our best at that moment and let the yoga do us.Because I did this I know it is possible for everyone.I lived this experience.  I lived through and am fully alive after a horrible tragedy.

I started FIT to leadprogram a few months later.My mom was supposed to be my nanny.It wasn’t supposed to be a cluster-fuck of arguments with my husband about whose responsibility it was to parent.It was supposed to be easy.My mom lived for caring for me and everyone, fully selfless and yet this is what life handed me - a growing opportunity on all levels. I was 6 months pregnant for the first week and then Reese was 3 weeks old at the second gathering, 5 months old at the next, and then I left her behind for the final session.As I look back on all this and reflect, I was at such different places in my life for each and every program.I was a Yes. I was a No.I was in grief.I was postpartum, hormonal, tired, exhausted, feeling broken and all the emotions that come with every big life event and every small one.  Yet, this community also held the space for me to be all these things while really seeing me as whole and complete.

Just last month, I apprenticed a Level 3 program and it was monumental for me.    I arrived as selfish, unhappy, resentful and angry.  I didn't like myself and I knew I needed a swift kick in the pants from my community to get me back on track. I was not allowing myself to go home the same person I arrived.

I participated in the content of the program and was also on the other side of leadership - sort of.  I wasn't leading like people see me do in my studio - I didn’t lead inquiry, I didn’t teach, I didn’t assist practice and yet I was leading by holding the container of the group for transformation, and making sure everything was dialed in with the program so that the students could get the most out of it.  None of it was super sexy (setting up chairs, folding towels, taping floors, getting coffee, being the timer for exercises, I can go on).  The task didn't matter.  What it was… was a team effort.  I felt a part of a team in a way that I haven’t in a long time - mostly because I hadn’t been showing up that way.  I was showing up with expectations and righteousness.  When I let that drop away, all the stuff I got to do on team became fun.  It wasn’t about me, it was about WE and I found my life’s purpose.

My life is for making a difference.  So this is where I am right now in my journey.  It will change again...But from right here, right now, my life is for making a difference and I am committed to making sure that Power of Your Om delivers that to the yoga community of Santa Barbara, to those who don't have access to yoga, and beyond our little bubble..wherever I can.

 ~Adrienne Smith

Adrienne SmithComment