The Baptiste Family
A Yoga Dynasty Making News

Check out the related articles written about and by Sherri Baptise Power of Yoga
Walt Baptiste, Editor and Publisher from 1949-1955 of Two Magazines
Body Moderne and Strength and Health

Walt Baptiste Body Moderne Philosophy | The Baptiste Family History
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Baron Baptiste Baron Baptiste, Boston
People Magazine ~ June 2003

SEX AND THE SUTRA? “A lot of teachers are kids in a candy store I got that out of my system early.” says Baptiste, 39. “Me seeing students doesn't work.” (He's dating a yoga teacher.)
IN THE GENES: His parents opened San Francisco's first yoga studio; his three kids “can stand on their heads. But they'd rather snowboard.”
CELEB CLIENTS: Helen Hunt, Elizabeth Shue

Learn more about Baron Baptiste.
More articles about Baron Baptiste

Meet the Innovators!
Anniversary 25 Yoga Journal

[This excerpt explains how the Baptiste Yoga Dynasty extends over three generations]

“In America is the place, the people, the opportunity for everything new," wrote Swami Vivekananda before he left India in 1893. Vivekananda, had learned from his guru, Sri Ramakrishna, that the world’s religions “are but various phase of one eternal religion” and that spiritual essence could be transmitted from one person to another. He set about to bring that transmission to our shores. His first speech was at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. ‘Sisters and brothers of America,” he began, and the audience was on their feet, giving him a standing ovation. Our love affair with the East was born, and so began a steady stream of Eastern ideas flowing west. In 1920 Paramahansa Yogananda came to address a conference of religious liberals in Boston. He had been sent by his guru, the ageless Babaji, to “spread the message of kriya yoga to the West.” Although his early works had unpromised titles like Recharging your Business Battery out of the Cosmos, his 1946 Autobiography of a Yogi [self Realization Fellowship] remains a spiritual classic. Yoga was established on the West Coast in the mid-50’s with Walt and Magana Baptiste’s San Francisco studio. Walt’s father had been influenced by Vivekananda, and Walt and Magana were students of Yogananda. The Baptiste family yoga dynasty continues today with their children, Sherri Baptiste and Baron Baptiste.

Yoga Journal

SAN FRANCISCO yoga teacher Walt Baptiste, who died on July 6th at the age of 83, was one of Americas’s pioneers. Baptiste began teaching breathwork at the tender age of 17, having been exposed to yoga by his uncle Joseph Baptiste, a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda. Two years later he opened the Center for Physical culture, where he combined weight training with yoga and meditation. In 1955, Walt and his wife, Magana, opened the first yoga school in San Francisco; in 1971, they founded the Baptiste Health & Fitness Center, which included a yoga room, gymnasium, and dance studio as well as a natural food store and restaurant. Baptiste was also a competitive bodybuilder [he won the “Mr. America” title in 1949], wrote extensively on physical culture, and edited Body Moderne magazine. But as a committed yogi, he was as much concerned with the spirit as the body. Meher Baba called him a “son of Light, “ and Swami Sivananda, founder of the Divine Life Society, bestowed on him the honorific Yogiraj, “king of yoga.” Over the course of six decades, Baptiste taught countless students, and today three of them-his and Magana’s children, Sherri Baptiste Freeman, Devi Ananda Baptiste, and Baron Baptiste, all accomplished and popular instructors-carry on the family yoga tradition.
-Richard Rosen

The Improper Bostonian

Meet the New Guru Baron Baptiste
Unlike most American yogis, Baptiste didn’t discover yoga: he was born into it. His father was a world famous body builder and Mr. America, [see Baptiste Family History] who studied the eastern religions and ancient disciplines of yoga with his father. Barons’s mother demonstrated the benefits of yoga during a San Francisco magazine while he was still in her womb. “Baron has all the knowledge of the purist view of yoga and he’s able to translate it in a way that people understand”.

The NFL'S Yogi
If you haven’t yet heard of Baron Baptiste, just wait-ESPN’s Cyberfit Power Yoga master is coming to a cable channel near you. Whether He’s hawking his instructional yoga videos on the QVC shopping network, directing his classes with infectious enthusiasm, or leading Philadelphia Eagles football team through integral yoga workouts, Baptiste seems to exist at the calm center of his own promotional hurricane. And then suddenly-and you hear this from nine out of ten people-they’ve tapped into an inner calm, a poise, an equanimity, an inner peach with themselves that they’ve never experienced before in their lives. “ This inner balance, Baptiste believes, forms the essence of yoga, no matter what the style. Even critics admit that ‘their parents were great,” and that Baptiste's lineage is strong. Baron’s father Walt, a world-famous bodybuilder and former Mr. America, founded San Francisco’s first yoga studio in 1935. Magana, Baron’s mother was photographed for a 1963 layout in the San Francisco Chronicle while eight months pregnant with her son, demonstrating yoga for expectant mothers. [“So I suppose I have yoga in me since before I was born,”Baron laughs.] At twelve, Baron was studying, fasting , and meditation in a Himalayan ashram, and at fifteen he was teaching children’s yoga classes in San Francisco. His sister, Sherri Baptiste Freeman, has been a popular yoga teacher in the Bay area for years.
Yoga Journal, OMPAGE

Talking shop with Baron Baptiste

Yoga has always been close to home for teacher Baron Baptiste, who was born into a lineage of yoga teachers and whose parents opened the first yoga studio in San Francisco when Baron was a child.