Apprenticing a Baptiste Yoga Training Program

Photo Aug 11, 8 18 28 AM

Soon I will be making my way back to Menla for a third visit! This time around I will have the extreme pleasure of apprenticing the 2018 Baptiste Level One Training. Just two short years ago, I was attending my first Level One training, now I'm going back in co-creation of the program as a team member and as a participant in the development of my own leadership.

Once again, I'm nervous about packing even though this is my third trip to Menla. This time I'll be flying to Albany out of St. Louis and I won't have the luxury of unpacking after a work trip and packing fresh for a trip to Menla. I know, I know, it's a small thing all in all.

I'm back to Menla, but into the unknown. Familiar surroundings, some familiar faces, but an all new experience. I know I will come back home re-energized and full of post-training Baptiste magic. I'm so excited!!

I am confident that very soon, other Tampa area yogis will be going off to their first Baptiste trainings and coming home ready to give back their fresh energy into the local yoga community. It's a beautiful thing and I'm very excited to be a part of it.

Finding Singing Bowls In Unexpected Places

Several months back I did a lot of digging on the Internet, trying to find reasonable prices for crystal singing bowls (the cost for an 8 inch crystal bowl starts around $70 and goes up from there!).

I stumbled across a video by YouTube user Naddycat which he posted over 6 years ago, about his discovery of a Nordic Ware Mini Bundt pan giving off a pleasant sound when struck with a finger/knuckle. Well, I bought my own Nordic Ware Mini Bundt pan off of eBay and I can tell you it does sound amazing with a knuckle but it is even better with a gong mallet (or probably any kind of mallet).

Taking the idea of a bundt pan making a nice sound to the next level, I was at a local thrift store recently and found another polished aluminum bowl which made a nice sound too. Here's a little video to show you a random sampling of things you might find at a thrift store which make a pleasant sound. I highly encourage you to go to your nearby thrift stores and find the common everyday objects that sound good to your ears!

I use the Nordic Ware Mini Bundt pan to bring my yoga students out of savasana with its lovely dulcet tones :) I like that the bundt pan is unbreakable, sounds awesome and I can also use it to bake delicious cakes! Multipurpose FTW. Oh, and it was $20 (including shipping!) - you can't beat that!!!

Shimmering Sequin Signage #DIY

I had an idea to make a sign that I could bring with me when I teach at Jai Dee in Tampa, 801 E. Main Street in Lakeland or any other place that I might get the opportunity to teach at in or around the Tampa Bay area. I've always loved the way sequin signs catch the sunlight and move with the breeze. The parts are available online in 12x12 plastic pre-pinned boards, but they're very expensive. I decided I would use a "handypanel" 2x4ft section of pre-sanded plywood and 1x2x8 strips of wood from the local hardware store and get to work on making my own custom 'pinned' wooden A-frame sign.

I ordered the bags of 20mm sequins from Aliexpress, 8 boxes of WIRE BRADS 18X 5/8 and used a big sheet of packing paper to grid out the proper spacing of the nails to keep the sequins from overlapping. I used a center punch to put a small divot in the plywood sheet at each intersection of the grid (where each nail would go) and then used a pair of flat tipped pliers to hold each nail an equal length from the plywood surface and hammered each nail in.

This is of course after building the sign and painting the surface white with three coats of outdoor rated paint.

The total number of nails used = 3600.

To keep the sequins at a distance from the wood backing (so they'd shimmer in the breeze) I used short 1/4 inch sections of cocktail straws cut down to serve this purpose. After nailing in all the nails, each nail had a cocktail straw spacer placed on it and then I could begin to pop the sequins into place over the wire brads nail heads.

Created with flickr slideshow.

What I had not initially planned for was a safety border around the edges of the sign to keep the nails from getting impaled into the grass when the sign would take an inevitable face plant on a windy day. I'd made the front facing edge of the sign a bit larger (1/8 in) than the underlying frame which made coming up with an edge framing solution a little tricky. Eventually I settled on using small strips of wood to bring the underlying frame out to the same edge as the front of the sign. Then I used wood trim painted white to create a top and sides frame for the sign fronts which will keep the nails and sequins from coming into contact with the ground when the sign falls over.

I finished the protective edging in time to use the sign outside of Jai Dee last weekend. It was a really windy day and the sign fell over a few times with no damage to the sequins. Several people commented on noticing the sign as they drove into the studio and that they could see the sparking sequins from a great distance. I'm thrilled that it came together nicely even though from beginning to end it took about a month of intermittent work (nails/spacers/sequins) and then another couple of months for me to figure out a protection frame and the time to put the framing on the sign.

If you want to make your own sequin sign, it just takes some time, patience and keeping your eye on the finished goal while you do the work that gets you to that goal.

The Great Yoga Mat Bake Off: B MAT vs. Manduka Black Mat Pro

A quality yoga mat is a key component of a regular yoga practice. Too often the mat is chosen in haste or purchased based on price. The yoga mats sold at department stores are not what you want to use for a daily yoga practice. They are thin, smell of chemicals and break down and begin to fall apart within months of purchasing. Do yourself a favor and try out a couple of mats before you make a purchasing decision. Your local yoga studio may have loaner mats you can try or you can ask other students in your classes what made them choose the mat they have. The type of yoga practice you prefer will also influence the type of mat you choose. Hot yoga will most likely require sweat absorbing yoga mat towels (Yogi Toes towels) or extra sticky mats (B MAT, LululemonJade, Gaiam Sol Dry-Grip).

I came across a B MAT at the Baptiste Level Two training I attended in July of '17. I'd never experienced a mat as sticky and grippy as the B MAT. Level Two training is a very sweaty experience and I never felt my hands or feet slip as I practiced asana on the B MAT. I asked the owner of the mat a few questions about where they got the mat, where it was made etc as I'd not heard of it. I reached out to B MAT once I got back home and asked about an ambassador program to spread the word about B MAT. They sent me a discount code and I used that to get 50% off of a B MAT strong mat. I'd already purchased a B MAT Everyday but I felt that mat was too thin for my preference. The B MAT is made of 100% rubber (which I think smells good) and initially is a dust magnet (this lessens over time). Cleaning it is as simple as spraying it down with water with a few drops of tea tree oil in the water and letting it dry. The B MAT doesn't roll up super tightly for storage, so you may want to use a mat strap to keep the B MAT contained when not in use. I'm a fan of my B MAT but I will say that it is so grippy that you must fully commit to jumping back to chaturanga on the B MAT. There is no toes-sliding-into-place wiggle room on the B MAT. If you land short, you land SHORT. The B MAT surface does not offer any sliding at all (which is great!)

Spring Cleaning, Streamlining Efforts

After looking at the listening stats on the audio classes I've been uploading to Mixcloud & Bandcamp it doesn't make sense for me to keep posting classes there because I'm not seeing evidence that anyone is listening from there. I do see pretty good statistics via my Libsyn dashboard and in iTunes Podcasts Analytics. I'm not monetizing the classes I publish online, so the stats are simply telling me where my efforts are best utilized.

Going forward I will be publishing to Libsyn which then makes my classes available in iTunes Podcasts, Google Play Podcasts, Spotify Podcasts, YouTube and iHeart Radio. I'll also stop publishing per-show blog posts because that's redundant if you've found my page or my audio classes via a podcast app. I made a pinned page on this site with quick links to my audio classes in the various places they can be found. Doing this will make sharing my classes less of a chore and more of a streamlined process.

New Classes Recorded and Uploaded

Law 9: Don’t Rush The Process. Everything in life has a natural order and rhythm of unfolding.

Law 10: Be True to Yourself.
Look within to discover what you know in your heart to be right and then act on it.
Law 11: Be Still and Know.
Stop the busyness, planning, running around, accumulating and stressing about things.
"Your Body, Mind and Soul Are One". 
Chapter One: Everywhere and Nowhere
From Brene Brown's book "Braving The Wilderness"
75 Minute Check IN
The theme of the class was to Check IN and get present. 75 minute class

Discover Your Own Truths 60 Minute Baptiste Power Yoga Audio Recording

This class was recorded at The Poor Porker in Lakeland at a Sunday morning yoga class on 01/21/18. The reading of the day from Melody Beattie's Journey To The Heart was titled Discover Your Own Truth.