A clear path to life coaching started approximately ten years ago, when I was introduced to the Baptiste style of yoga. I began to study with Baron Baptiste the founder of the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute, and I am now a 500 hour Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher. Through Self discovery, and Self inquiry, the “Who are you” question which to some degree has always been part of my existence began to make sense to me, and in the process I began to think about my purpose on this planet. The Baptiste method of teaching yoga goes beyond the practices of asanas or yoga postures and explores how to acquire mental clarity and focus, release of the beliefs and habits that hold us back, and acquire inner peace, and live our lives with authenticity. Baptiste’s best-seller book, Journey Into Power: How to Sculpt Your Ideal Body, Free Your True Self and Transform Your Life With Yoga became my daily companion.

For the past ten years, I have read and explored numerous techniques that advocate “freedom” and happiness as a way of being.  In so doing I came up with tools to help all who come in contact with me, to live a happy life, an abundant life, a successful life. The more I delved into the practices of yoga and meditation, the more it became obvious that teaching others and leading them to discover what I have discovered was indispensable. I led numerous programs such as 40 Days to Personal Revolution, based on the well know Baptiste book with the same title. I led numerous weekly or by-weekly boot camps, and retreats abroad, and explored, and helped participants to release the non loving feelings that held them back, and to transform these feelings into love, happiness, and imperturbability.

Denise K. Bonnaig & Baron Baptiste

Denise K. Bonnaig & Baron Baptiste

It is after one of these classes, retreats, and boot camps, that a participant wrote me a thank you note and added that she perceives me not only as a yoga teacher, but also a spiritual guide and a life coach. This thank you note made me wonder what exactly a life coach did, and in the process, I realized that throughout my life, my family, friends, students, and clients have always perceived me as a wise and generous person, always ready to help uplift, empower, motivate, inspire, and encourage others to become the best they could possibly be.

All this led to taking steps to attend the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies to become a Certified Life Coach.

It all started right after the death of my mother when she was thirty-two.  I was 5½ years old.  My reaction to her sudden death resulted in my asking myself, over and over again, “Who are you.” Whether I was alone or not I kept asking myself “Who are you?” “Who are you really?” “Who is the real you?” I remember asking myself the same question until my mind would quiet down, and become still.  It is during that time too, that I felt misunderstood by my relatives; frequently, I would say one thing and I would get a negative reaction, which in turn made me unhappy. That resulted in my strong desire to “be right all the time” because I was led to believe that “I was wrong”.   Somehow, I felt that now that my loving mama was gone I was always blamed for every single act of alleged wrongdoing. As a result, I decided not to allow anyone to “make me wrong” but rather make sure that I was “always right” and in the process, “make everyone else wrong”.

This “wanting to be right all the time” became my operating program or story. To be right, I had to be the strongest, the smartest, “the best” at everything I did. Obviously this led to much frustration, anger, and suffering during my teenage years, during which I felt I was being told I was “not good enough” or “not perfect”. In hindsight, my decision to go to law school and become an attorney was not an accident. It was motivated by my strong desire to be right all the time, and to speak for those who could not speak for themselves. It goes without saying too, that in the early years of my marriage too, the ride was bumpy because I constantly wanted to have the last word.

Denise K. Bonnaig

Denise K. Bonnaig

The developments in technology, the inventions and discoveries in various fields, have brought much comfort to our existence and stretched our imagination beyond what any of us could have dreamed. Unfortunately, these breakthroughs have not alleviated human suffering or distress. In fact, with the hectic pace of our lives today and the uncertainty of our economic and spiritual circumstances, there is a growing existential crisis that manifests itself in all sorts of ways, be it anger, loneliness, depression etc..

People are seeking ways to alleviate this suffering, this knot they feel in their stomachs. I firmly believe that life coaching has a tremendous role to play in helping people navigate the circumstances of their existence. I particularly believe that Authentique Coaching is well-positioned to bring clients the tools they need to lead a fulfilling existence. That’s because we address both the spiritual – addressing that perennial question of who they are and what is their life purpose – while giving them concrete tools to apply daily to quiet the voice of doubt and create that which they desire. My use of neuroscience; psychology; philosophy (Buddhist and Western); my experience as a trial lawyer; my experience as a practicing yogini and as a yoga teacher; my life experience as someone who has experienced illness, death and has raised three successful black men – two of whom are medical doctors, against all odds – put me in a position to help my clients beyond their dreams.

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