Badass Babes: A Q&A with Baye Tilson

Behind every successful woman is a tribe of other successful women who have her back.

As part of a new content series on BabesAndBeignets.com, we are featuring awesome women, AKA ‘Badass Babes’, who are doing cool stuff in New Orleans and beyond. These Badasses inspire us to be better career women, take better care of our health, and keep moving forward to being the best version of ourselves.

Know anyone who should be featured as a ‘Badass Babe’? Please let us know

We’re so excited to introduce our first Badass: Yogi extraordinaire, Baye Tilson. 

Tell Us A Bit More About Yourself

My name is Baye Cobb Tilson, aka Yoga Baye 🙂 I am a corporate consultant but my passion is yoga and fitness.  I am 27, I LOVE New Orleans – but by no stretch would I call it an “easy” place to live.

I came to NOLA after attending Duke University when I was 21 and “taught for America” (albeit briefly) – it chewed me up and spit me out, but it brought me deeper into my yoga practice, sooo there’s that silver lining.  I moved to Houston (followed a boy), got trained in yoga, and came back to NOLA (with the same boy – now my husband).

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I started NOLA TRIBE YOGA with my friend, McKensie Kirchner, in 2016 and the vision was initially bridal and bachelorette yoga – it’s so pretty and to me, yoga is so symbolic of all the love and good energy that a bachelorette party and a wedding is all about.  From there it has grown rapidly thanks to amazing community partners and venues and other incredible business owners and brands.

I would call myself a social power yogi.  I like yoga that isn’t pretentious and I don’t believe in “better than thou” yoga.  I like a cold beer or a rosé after a good sweat. It’s all about balance, right?  Buti Yoga and anything high energy (power, hot yoga, rave yoga, bounce yoga) are my favorite to do and teach because they’re so fun and sweaty and free.  My intention is to be unapologetically authentic as a friend, a teacher, and a woman.

When did you start practicing yoga?

 I took my first yoga class in high school but got serious at Duke when I studied yoga under a former Buddhist-monk-turned-professor.

How hard/easy was it for you to make the career move from Teach For America to Corporate Consulting?

I don’t think that leap would be easy to do without higher education – I got lucky.  But, I believe in the power of strong networks (I have an incredible mentor), positive energy, and enthusiasm about whatever it is you want to do.  If you aren’t going to be all-in, just get out.

What advice would you give to anyone currently being chewed up and spit out by their job?

Believe in yourself.  You are not stuck.  Invest in your life.  Invest in your happiness.  Don’t wait for the metaphorical (or literal, as was the case was for me) punch in the face to change your life.

What’s your favorite part about practicing and teaching yoga?

My favorite part about practicing is being able to just let go.  I’m very “type A”.  I’m always 100mph on 100 different things.  My mat is my sacred space and the only place where I can be unapologetically all about me.  I book-end my days teaching yoga -it’s my favorite part of the day.  The energy my students radiate lights up my soul.

Real talk, is doing JUST yoga really enough to stay fit throughout the year?

Sure.  But that depends entirely on the type of yoga you do, how physically engaged you are when you practice, your body type, and how you eat. I eat a ton of food and I love treats (see below), and there is just not enough Buti Yoga in his town to catch up to my treat consumption. Yin yoga just won’t ever cut it for me.

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While running and yoga are my go-to workouts, I also spin (and teach spin!), TRX, box, and even dabble in some Crossfit!  Figure out what works for you, be consistent, and then shock your muscles with something new once in a while.

What’s your favorite cheat meal/treat around New Orleans?

Not cheatin’, jus’ eatin’ good.  And honestly, all of them.  I love it all.  Give me alllll the tacos.  A salted chocolate chip cookie from Willa Jean?  A romantic Gautreau’s dinner? Trout almandine from Clancy’s?  Kenton’s Oysters?  Vegan Boudin balls from DTB?  A cinnamon sugar District donut?!  Okay, though…if you’re asking me to get monogamous, Karibu Kitchen (at Tchoup Yard) has the best “cheat” foods – tater tachos?!  Krunch Wrap Supremes?!  It’s all so fresh, and many of their ingredients come from the local Paradigm Gardens (where we do Goat Yoga!) Tater Tacho me any day, babes.

What’s your go-to spot or activity around town when you’re not teaching yoga at Higher Power or NOLA Tribe Yoga?

The Daily Beet is my go-to spot. I’m there around 11:30AM most weekdays (Say hi!).  On a sunny day, I’m at the Fly with my husband and puppy – throwing the frisbee and drinking rose.  I also love the Tchoup Yard-even when I’m not hosting/teaching Wednesday Night Free Yoga there!

Let’s get to the important stuff: where would be find the BEST yoga pants ever (for both yoga-ing and drinking wine on our couch)?

As a new Lululemon ambassador (!!!), I am a huge fan of their apparel and mission.  The fast and free pant is my favorite for practice, and the straight leg is the best for travel and lounging – with some fresh white Adidas kicks. I also love my local brands: New Orleans Yoga Apparel (the banana leaf/palm frond pants are a fave) and Louisiana Legs (check out the Mardi Gras beads print)!  Shop local or shop Lulu.

One thing you can’t live without?

Hot yoga, iced coffee, made beds, my husbro and puppy, my NTY partner McKensie, rosé, endless baye-cations, my engagement ring, huge earrings.  My husband said, “You can’t live without at least 3 bags of things.” So I guess he’d be the one thing, and he could pack the rest.

Tell us about upcoming NOLA Tribe Yoga events!

  • Buti Yoga Wednesdays at Nola Spaces
  • Moon Cycle Yoga at Eiffel
  • L.I.T. Rave Yoga at Republic NOLA (date announced soon!)
  • Outdoor yoga (sunrise and Tchoup Yard) back in March
  • Rooftop Sip&Flow series at the Catahoula Hotel on Thursdays starting in March
  • Goat Yoga will be back this spring (Oatmeal and Raisin are getting married!)

For more info and tickets visit nolatribeyoga.com

One last piece of advice for anyone trying to get healthier and more zen in 2018?

Release what does not serve you.  Mix your cocktails with club soda.  Sweat once a day.  Have more sex.  Stop apologizing. Cut yourself some slack.  Be authentic.

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Babes & Beignets

Babes & Beignets is the go-to resource for the twenty-something babe livin’ la vida NOLA. For lovers of happy hour, entertaining, brunch, local shopping, the hottest events, the occasional venture outside of the city & more - it’s all here! Sharing our love of New Orleans, and connecting with those who share that love is what we are most passionate about.

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