by Anamaria Guerra Forero
NAIROBI— After 4 years, AYP co-founder and creator of Baptiste Power Yoga, Baron Baptiste, found himself back on Kenyan soil to host The REUNION 2017! In the days leading up to his arrival, the AYP Shine Center was buzzing with excitement! Many old friends were eager to catch-up with Baron and our new teachers were anxious to meet the person they had heard about so much throughout their years of training!
Baron has devoted his life to creating and sharing transformational yoga practices that awaken and empower people to live a whole life and to experience their full potential in each moment. For the past twenty-five years, he has led workshops and yoga teacher trainings that follow his yoga life philosophy that is detailed in several books. For more about Baron, please visit his website: www.baptisteyoga.com
On the planned REUNION days, all regular daily yoga classes in the Shine Center Studio, were put on hold, but this left the Shine Center far from empty! In fact, AYP teachers from Kenya and across Africa - including South Africa, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tanzania and Sierra Leone - traveled to Nairobi.
While the workshops and master class were surely highlights of the visit - we all definitely remembered what it means to SWEAT - the REUNION was so much more! It was a conversation, an invitation from Baron to see inside of each of us what is possible.
It was also an opportunity for us to show him what we have created as a community in the last 4 years. We were so happy to share our outreach classes with Baron, and saw with new eyes how AYP leaders are changing and impacting communities around Nairobi!
With Baron, we also envisioned what possibilities still lie ahead for AYP. We opened up new possibilities by sharing our practice and our stories with hundreds of yogis gathered for the master class. We also rediscovered our talents beyond yoga, like music, dance and acrobatics, in a fantastic talent show put on by AYP teachers.
The words of one AYP teacher says it all, “To have the opportunity to get myself involved and on the path of becoming a Baptiste Yoga Teacher, makes me feel free, trusting and believing that I am good enough to do whatever I choose to start.”
The power of this workshop cannot be understated and AYP hopes to take Baron’s dream and run with it - creating a shared, beautiful future HOME that leaves no one out.
For me, I feel grateful to be part of the collective dream of AYP that started 10 years ago with Paige Elenson and Baron Baptiste, and what is nowadays “HOME” for many. I look forward to sharing and expanding this dream in the years to come.
Together we can root down to rise up!