Nia Batiste is a yoga teacher and artist/musician based out of Los Angeles.
1. What style of yoga do you teach?
Yin yoga is my preferred style to teach and my voice is closet to Tantra.
2. What is your intention behind teaching?
To remind people to listen to themselves and their bodies, and to notice the urge to react, or resist. Although, I don’t teach as often. I cycled back into student mode. I think that’s important for any yoga teacher, healer, artist, speaker, or service-provider to step back for a moment and receive what they’re giving, because honestly, we forget to do that sometimes. I personally need that break to ground pretty often, but that’s what makes a great teacher, one who is willing to be taught. I come back to my classes with more wisdom and compassion.
3. Who are your mentors in yoga?
I’m currently working with a Reiki Healer, Sosa. She’s called me out on things I’ve never noticed about myself, or didn’t want to notice before; baggage that I’ve carried with me through certain aspects of my life that would have, or have already caused me to react or resist.
4. What have they taught you?
To notice the root of my actions, reactions and resistances. Is it coming out of fear or out of love? It’s always one or the other, but sometimes the ego gets in the way of seeing things clearly and intuitively, so it’s been nice to work with someone who can translate my energy, bluntly! She’s pretty raw! I’m my best self around people who don’t sugar coat things, and at the same time, can come from a place of love and support. It inspires me to do the same. From that, I’m learning to accept what’s already been done, to notice how I feel about it now, and to transmute my emotions into more love for myself and others by letting it go. For me, my release happens through art. Over time I’ve learned to watch more closely at myself, and anything that may come out of fear, reveals itself as clear as day, through creative expression. Usually at a time when life wants to make a lesson out of me, throwing me on my ass.
5. Please mention a book that you have read about yoga that has had a positive impact on you?
My Reiki healer actually recommended a book to me called A Return To Love by Marianne Williamson. The title says it all. We hold so much in our mind and body from the past, and we don’t realize how easily things can trigger us back into fear. This book broke me down all the way. Sometimes we have to fall apart into bits and pieces so we can transform into something new, and that’s what’s been happening with me lately.
6. What lesson are you currently learning in your Asana practice?
To be slower and allow more. I see the difference in my asana when I’m resisting trust or patience, it becomes upper body focused, strength-focused. That’s why I teach Yin, it reminds me to practice stillness for myself. If I’m going to hold space for others to move slower, then I should hold space for myself too.
7. How often do you practice?
Everyday, in many ways, not just asana and meditation. Mostly through creative catharsis and healthy living.
8. How do you implement the other 7 limbs of yoga into your life other than Asana?
Good question, I haven’t thought about the 8 limbs since my Yoga School exam. I honestly just Googled what they were to remember... yikes! I’ve spent my entire life learning how to live by this practice, and didn’t even fully realize it, until now.
I practice Dhyana and Dharana through meditation; turning my focus inward so I can connect more deeply with my intuition. There’s usually one thing going on after another with me. I get distracted easily, and although I’ve found ways around that, without grounding myself, things can get out of control. I practice Pranayama by taking breath-work classes, and as far as the Yamas and Niyamas are concerned, I practice them naturally. I believe very strongly in upholding integrity, and self-study is the most Important to me. I have a Psychology background so I can’t help but to look myself in the mirror at the end of the day. Even if someone does wrong by me, I always see the other side to it... eventually. As an empathic person, I can put myself in anyone’s shoes and acknowledge when I’m behaving in a way that goes against pure love, which is ultimately what I believe in and how I choose to live my life. Even if I were to fall out of alignment with that, self-study keeps me in check. I forgive myself and grow from there. It’s all about self-love. If you love yourself enough, applying the 8 limbs feels more instinctual; unfortunately they’re many ways to ignore instincts in this society. Practice is key.
9. Why is being present so important to you?
Because not being present doesn’t work out in my favor, like ever! Not being present looks more like self-sabotage in my world. I’m more at peace when I’m living in the moment. It’s so hard with social media though! You see everyone’s best selves and you can’t help but to think, “what about me?” “I should be…?” “why can’t I…?” or “I wish I could…” The mind battles itself extensively via Social Media. I’ve learned how manage my time around it and how to stay in my own lane.
10. How can we keep up with you on social media? What is your IG handle and/ FB name?