Nicole Bengtson, Owner

At 42, I received a Breast Cancer diagnosis that altered the course of my life. At the time, I had been divorced for three years and had just ended a decade long career as a Pastry Chef. I was continually finding myself in one bad relationship after another and was feeling altogether lost.

Before the diagnosis, I was consumed by many fears, mainly the fear of the unknown. It was suffocating and left me feeling paralyzed in inaction.

Almost as instantly as I spoke the word Cancer, a veil was lifted. I cut ties with people who didn’t belong in my life, I accepted help during those weeks of treatment and I returned to my Baptiste Yoga practice. I focused on the basics and getting well. 

I began my first YTT in 2016 and what I found in teaching was a connection to the power I had kept inside. The tools I was given in Baptiste Power Yoga helped me uncover stories I had been creating in my life. I replaced, “I’m not cutout for that,” with “Why not me?”

My inaction that forever had a grip on me, turned into action.

I started listening to my intuition more, saying no more. I allowed myself to be cared for. I created space in my life and listened. I moved out of my own way.

I became a teacher with a true purpose to lead. In creating Root Down, a Baptiste Power Yoga Community, I hope to share my experiences with this practice and all it has given to me. Space has been held for me to uncover my purpose and that is my ultimate wish for my students. 

Yoga continues to teach me that I don’t know. As soon as I think I know, I’m closed off to what could be. When I remain open, I allow for pure magic to happen.

Opening Root Down in Hartford is the very magic I had been waiting for. Our possibilities are endless Hartford! I cannot wait to be in creation of this community with you.

I am a Tier One Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher. I am a Reiki Master and mother to three. I have some “sweet” skills in the kitchen. I am a Cancer survivor. I am in creation of my life…and that is all I know for now..

Taylor Cheek

I felt drawn to Baptiste yoga right after taking my first class. The powerful asana practice requires total focus and commitment, which opens up so much space for exploration and self discovery. There are always variations to play around with, and it’s up to me to know where my edge is that day.

When I’m not on my mat, I’m probably tending to my jungle of houseplants, drinking tea, hiking, snowboarding, gardening, or spending as much time outside in the sunshine. I have my degree in sustainable agriculture, and I’m constantly thinking of ways I can play my part to save our planet, reform our monstrous monoculture food systems, and teach my community about the importance of supporting local agriculture and small farmers!

I completed my 200 hour training at True North Yoga of Avon. I am completing my Level One Baptiste training this summer, along with plans to complete other Baptiste programs, including the Assisting Program and Unstoppable.

Vanessa Lazine

My journey with yoga was not love at first practice; I was initially turned off by the challenging postures, heat, and ujjayi breathing. I continued to return each week only because I needed to incorporate a healthy practice into my life. Since then, yoga has given me the tools I need to thrive in all areas of my life - mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

During practice, students have the chance to tune out noise from the outside world, get curious, and push themselves to new heights. My first 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training was completed at Mystic Yoga Shala in 2015, after ten years of a dedicated personal practice. Always a student first, I strive to learn through trainings and personal development, including Baptiste Level One, assisting two YTT’s, and several Baptiste weekend programs.


Our Root Support Team helps sustain the studio to keep it running smoothly in exchange for free yoga!
If you’d like to be on our support team, send us an email today.