My name is Kristen Hendricks and I am a teacher at the Boston Baptiste studios. One year ago, while residing in McLean, Virginia, I attended Foundations in Action in Park City, Utah. That weekend I wrote the following in my journal: “I will work with the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute. I will teach in Boston. I will assist programs.” Today, I write this email to you from a coffee shop a block down the street from the Baptiste Cambridge studio.
In February 2011, I took part in the apprentice program at Level One Training in Hawaii. I took a week off from my senior year in college to attend, feeling unsure as to what I wanted to do with my life when I graduated. “Feeling unsure” was consistent with how I felt at the beginning of the week – I had a lot of thoughts about not being good enough to assist with an amazing team of seasoned Baptiste teachers. I was timid and scared to truly be myself, not raising my hand when asked to share and feeling afraid of saying the wrong thing or looking silly. One of my favorite quotes by Mariane Williamson comes to mind: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” The Baptiste Apprentice Program helped me realize that when I focus on my insecurities or compare myself to others, I make myself feel inadequate. When I am in my true self-expression and sharing from my heart, I have an abundance of joy and energy to share that allows me to feel connected with the people around me. My transformation that week was significant. I returned to my classes in Virginia teaching and sharing vividly and dynamically from my heart. Students told me that I seemed lighter and more joyful; attendance at my classes increased. My classes became more accessible to others by being true to who I am. Wow- I am getting energized right now by sharing this with you!
While assisting Level One Training in Mexico this past June, I experienced breakthroughs in the power of clear communication and being for others. Before Mexico I often found myself trying to do everything on my own. This strategy has helped me in the past, yet it created frustration and disconnection for me in a group. I honed in on the root of my frustration, an old belief that I had about myself since I was eight years old. At that age I lost all of my hearing in my right ear. I created a belief about myself that “I am overwhelmed and I am not heard.” I became aware that in the moments where I felt frustrated and disconnected from my teammates I was acting out of this lie. I practiced noticing this pattern for the rest of the week in the safe environment that program provides all participants. With the support of the team and hearing the participants’ breakthroughs in unveiling similar thought patterns, I became present to what a weight this belief has been on my back. Noticing this and choosing to let it go is now a part of my daily practice.
Each program I assist has caused new breakthroughs in my life, supporting me in healing relationships, cleaning up clutter in my life, letting go of fear and taking actions to make my dreams a reality. Not only has this happened for me; I see it happening for everyone who assists – it is totally inspiring!
I have seen and experienced tremendous growth in the Baptiste programs since my first Level One Training. I have seen true community-building in action by Baptiste teachers clearing past issues, acknowledging each other, and committing to creating new possibilities together. What I’ve experienced in programs has impacted my life tremendously, and now I’m putting my practice into action in my life. Instead of suppressing my feelings, I practice speaking straight with myself and the people in my life. I feel lighter and more full of joy than I ever have before.
My intention is to contribute to this amazing community by teaching Baptiste yoga, and assisting programs, so that I may continue to evolve and share the joy with everyone around me. I am committed to my growth and our community’s growth! I invite YOU to join me at a future program or a class at the “Mothership” in Cambridge or Brookline soon in the near future.