what we do
The magic of this practice has been thousands of years in the making…
HISTOry OF YOGA
Yoga’s beginnings are debated; most researchers agree that yoga is at least 5,000 years old and originated in Northern India. Patanjali is considered the “father of yoga” for organizing the practice into an eight limbed path (yama, niymama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi.) Of this path, most of us are familiar with asana (the physical practice,) dhyana (meditation,) and pranayama (breath practices.) In this path, in order to achieve samadhi (bliss, ecstasy, connection to the Divine and all living things), all of the previous seven limbs must be put in place.
Centuries after Patanjali, teachers focused on the physical body as a way to access the inner body and stillness of the mind. This shift led to Hatha Yoga, what we think of as yoga in the West. A handful of modern teachers are credited with introducing yoga to the United States and revolutionizing the way we practice and the widespread growth of yoga; their names are T. Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda, B.K.S. Iyengar, T.K.V. Desikachar and Pattabhi Jois and Indra Devi.
B.K.S Iyengar, Krishnamacharya, and Desikachar are the most profound influences to Baptiste Power Yoga, the style of Hatha Yoga we practice at Shakti Power Yoga. Baptiste Power Yoga’s methodology reflects the eight limbed path in it’s three source teachings: asana, meditation, and inquiry. Baptiste Power Yoga inspires radical self growth through sweat and empowerment through coming from ‘we are all connected.’
History of meditation
Like the physical practice of yoga, meditation’s beginning is disputed. The first documentation of meditation is in India’s ancient Vedas, a collection of religious texts and hymns written around 1500 BCE. Also at this time, other forms of meditation were developing in Japan and China.
The practice started gaining ground between 500-600 BCE, when Buddhism had embraced meditation as a religious practice and when Japan opened the first meditation hall in 653 BCE. As it spread, the West documented meditation in Greek texts.
Largely until recent centuries, meditation was a practice for monks, priests, and religious figures. The West began accepting it as a practice with the publication of books like The Tibetan Book of the Dead, The Dharma Bums, Relaxation Response, and Ageless Body, Timeless Mind.
Today, the Baptiste Institute defines the practice of meditation as “an access getting present and awakening.” Simply getting present is a huge step and wonderful gift to give yourself. Grab a pillow, listen for your breath, and just sit.
Music has the potential to energize a room and transform a yoga practice into a new shape. At Shakti you’ll experience all styles of music from ancient Kirtan to Electropop to 90’s Country. Wednesday at 7:15PM, Shakti teaches a power hour to all Hip Hop and Rap. It’s loud, explicit, sweaty, and so much fun.
It’s important to acknowledge where music comes from— the hearts of people. Each genre has emerged from a greater tapestry of story.
Early Downtempo evolved out of academic experiments with the first electronic music instruments. Dance music emerged in the 1970s and 80s as a response to oppression. Country was created to connect with the nitty gritty of home-life in rural America. Jungle is derived from the jungle-like Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica. Kirtan was popularized in medieval era Hinduism as a social and congregational response to Hindu-Muslim conflicts. House music came from LGBTQ communities in Chicago. Techno was created by Black Detroiters and repressed East-Berliners. Pop music became an individual crusade (singer/songwriter) and eventually a herald for integration and emancipation. Hip Hop and disco come from Black and Latino communities in New York.
history of hip hop
Hip Hop first appeared in the early 70’s in New York City’s black community. During this period, civil rights laws still had growing pains and cityscapes were shifting. Black communities, specifically the Bronx, gathered in parks and on street corners to break dance, borrow beats, and rap over the beat, giving way to a genre of music and cultural phenomenon. Hip Hop became fashion, graffiti, and art. Rap originates from the ghetto and is strongly regional.
The real power of Rap lies in the opportunity to convey elaborate and profound messages. Interwoven themes of violence, hardship, opposition, and anger convey struggle and emotion, particularly of lower/lower-middle class black culture. Early Rap even tried to end ghetto poverty, bigotry and racism by reaching out to white audiences, connecting remote subcultures.
As Hip Hop and Rap evolve and intertwine, we are met with the energy of the performer plus beats to carry the song, and usually the raw, uncensored experience of the artist’s life. And with that we carry the responsibility to see the bigger picture beyond our listening.