Assisting as an Art | by Lisa Taylor

By Baptiste Yoga on November 3, 2011

In Baptiste Yoga, we refer to assisting is as an art because it requires a commitment to developing skillful expression while eliciting the beauty and creativity of connection between human beings.  When asked, many people respond to questions about their yoga practice with the word love.  “I love my practice.”  Yoga is a way we can express love for ourselves in order to experience possibility in our lives.  Supporting students with hands-on assists is a way for both student and teacher to share and further discover that love while opening up to the possibilities that result from making a powerful connection.

Baptiste assistants use a student’s natural physicalness to empower and create possibility in the moment.  As an assistant, what is possible for you personally is to be a part of creating something with another person that would not have otherwise been available.  It begins with physicalness; learning how the many parts of the body move and relate to each other individually and the whole.  We emphasize getting your hands on bodies to receive the kind of moment-to-moment feedback transforms your skills and confidence, allowing you to take this and apply it safely and creatively in your classes at home.  As the assistant you work in partnership to empower the student to move their body in ways that they may have never moved before.  You will open up new possibilities in a student’s practice and in their life through confident and direct touch and as a result, they will return again and again because in your classes they see a difference in what is possible for them.

Assisting in Baptiste Yoga programs around the world and within my own studios has changed not just how I teach but who I am in my teaching and my life.  I relate to people with a confidence drawn from having touched and connected powerfully with thousands of people in this wordless way.  I learned to step out of my own way and beyond my fears, and make a difference in this world one touch at a time.  The result created is a whole community of students and friends from a place of pure service, and I am committed to sharing this tool with anyone and everyone.

Lisa Taylor is a Senior Baptiste Teacher, owner of Baptiste Affiliate Studio Evolution Power Yoga, and co-facilitator of Baptiste Yoga’s Art of Assisting program in Charlotte, NC, November 4-6, 2011

  • Julie Mathers