Brandon Compagnone
Naima Workman
Vanessa Ross
Rachel Epstein
Sam Whiting

Brandon Compagnone

I have been teaching Baptiste Power Yoga since 2003. As a part of the Leader Teacher Faculty for the Baptiste Institute, I lead Baptiste programs around the world.

I grew up in Milford, MA, studying Goju-Ryu Karate at my father's karate school from age 5 to 17. I began wrestling at the age of 13, and became obsessed. I loved it, but it left me injured and disconnected from my body. In my search for healing, I practiced Kundalini and Iyengar yoga in college, and began to connect to the suffering that is part of the human condition.

After graduating from U-Mass Amherst with a degree in psychology, I ended up selling real estate in Boston. I was making a living, but it was unfulfilling. Knowing I needed to return to the yoga mat, I picked a studio randomly off the internet and miraculously landed in Baptiste Power Yoga in Boston. My first class was like returning to a long-lost love. That is the day I reclaimed my life and remembered my work. I felt like I could do anything. I started running marathons and ended up participating in the Boston marathon seven years in a row.

I continued to practice day in and day out and was amazed to find how healing it was physically and emotionally. Over time, I transformed my pain from an obstacle to a stepping stone for a new attitude toward life. As a teacher, my intention is to wake my students up to what’s possible for them in life, beginning with the potential that’s available when living in healthy body with an inspired heart.


Naima Workman

I arrived at my first Baptiste Power Yoga class in 2002, when a friend brought me to one of the original Baptiste studios in Boston. I was looking for a good way to stay in shape, and instead I found a practice that would completely transform my life.

I started running long distance when I was 11 and enjoyed the physical challenge and the success, but did not enjoy the injuries that left me limping by the end of high school. When I went to college at Harvard, my physical discipline went out the window. Needless to say, by the time I graduated, my mind was overloaded and my body neglected.

When I first encountered Baptiste Yoga in Boston, I felt like I had discovered a home I hadn’t known existed. Although it kicked my butt (and still continues to do so!), I felt invigorated in mind and body. As I continued to practice, I realized that I had to share my discovery and signed up for my first teacher training with Baron Baptiste in 2006. I have been a certified Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga teacher since 2010. In 2007, I quit my job as a graphic designer and moved to Northampton, MA, to open Shiva Shakti Power Yoga with Brandon.

In my classes, I encourage students to challenge themselves sensitively and to discover the tools they need to explore on their own. I look at teaching as just another step in my studentship and an opportunity to share my experiences of growth and discovery.

Vanessa Ross

I have been practicing yoga off and on since 1994 when I took an Iyengar class for a college PE requirement. When I discovered Ashtanga yoga a few years later, I fell in love with the Sun Salutations, with the flow of the postures and their devotional connection to the natural world.  Though over the intervening years, my ability to attend classes was limited by becoming a midwife and then a mother of two, I kept coming back to yoga for the energy and peace it brought to my body and mind. I practiced at home and with a variety of teachers and tried almost every style of yoga out there.

In 2011 I was suffering from chronic pain due to a herniated disc despite practicing several times a week. A teacher from another studio suggested that I try hot yoga at Shiva Shakti. I had never understood the appeal of practicing in the heat, but I quickly began to experience the incredible therapeutic effect it had on my back pain. After only a couple of months, I was seeing my chiropractor less, felt my body becoming stronger and more balanced, and discovered I had "grown" a half an inch. I was hooked. I went to a Baptiste Immersion later that year and felt even more inspired to deepen my practice. When Brandon and Naima planned their first teacher training, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it, and I have been honored to teach at Shiva Shakti since receiving my 200 hour certification in February 2013.

Beyond the physical benefits of the practice, I love the way Baptiste Yoga connects our practice on the mat to our lives off the mat, bringing together the physical and the spiritual, which is truly what yoga is all about. I have found that the more dedicated I am to my practice, the more benefits I reap in all aspects of my life, particularly when life becomes most challenging. Becoming a teacher has been an amazing experience for me as a student of yoga and of life, and I am grateful to be on this path with all of you.


Rachel Epstein

For almost 15 years, yoga has been a home for me, a regular practice that has sustained me through struggles and joys alike. I explored many styles and traditions, but always felt like they were missing something that I yearned for. Either the yoga lacked physical rigor in spite of a focus on spiritual inquiry; or it felt devoid of meaning beyond a good physical workout. In any case, for many years, I found myself piecing together a routine made up of a variety of activities to satisfy my desire for all of these things: physical challenge, emotional healing, and spiritual growth.

In Baptiste Yoga, I found what I was looking for: a practice that challenges me to find my edge physically, emotionally, and spiritually so that I can continue to grow as a human being and to be more fully present for the people in my life. As a result of a regular practice at Shiva Shakti, I have been inspired not only to commit more deeply to my own asana and meditation practices, but also to bridge the gap between being a student and a teacher of this powerful tradition. I attended the Baptiste Level 1 Training in August 2012 and completed the Shiva Shakti Teacher Training in February 2015. I am honored and excited to share my love of this practice, as well as the freedom, growth, and joy it makes possible, with the amazing Shiva Shakti community.


Sam Whiting

I was born and raised in Northampton, MA. As a former elite winter sports athlete, I attended Stratton Mountain School and went on to compete at a national and international level. It was through a rigorous ski-conditioning program that I was first introduced to yoga. After college, I found Baptiste Yoga at Shiva Shakti Power Yoga in Northampton and encountered a practice that was unlike any training that I had experienced through my years as an athlete. I felt invigorated. Through Baptiste Power Yoga, I was able to access the raw physical body and tap into the well of potential that lies within our physiology.
 
Since then, I have received mentorship and training in the craft of leadership, teaching and assisting from Coeli Marsh, Brandon Compagnone, Naima Workman, Baron Baptiste and the Baptiste Institute. I have taught in the Boston area at the Baptiste Yoga Boston studios in Cambridge and Brookline, On The Mat in Concord, MA and Shiva Shakti Power Yoga at home in Northampton. In 2016 I began training with the InnerFire Wim Hof Method Academy as an extension of my mission to unleash human potential, health, strength and happiness through specific breathing techniques, mindset and cold exposure.
 
I am committed to inspiring students to realize their true potential, to have fun and challenge themselves while discovering tools that build a strong foundation for growth, and to live and practice with purpose, integrity and balance. 



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