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..

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.

Ben Peterson

Ben, an East Longmeadow Massachusetts native, found yoga a few years ago while looking to treat a bit of back pain. His practice began at home with online classes, and with free classes offered at his college. After moving back home, he started taking classes at the local Baptiste Affiliate studio and was HOOKED.

His strong practice and commitment to sharing the work has led him to further grow as a teacher/leader and help others to hone their practice.

Melody Smith

As an avid runner, I was introduced to yoga in college and at first used it simply to complement my training. Fast forward years later and I truly feel that yoga has changed the way I approach life.

I have always felt especially drawn to Baptiste Power Yoga because it demands full body awareness and allows me to access my own inner strength. As a teacher, I hope to provide this same feeling of power to my students.


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.