Baptiste Yoga Tier 2 Certification - Dedication and Achievement

It all happened so quickly, I didn't even write about it as I was applying to level up to Tier 2! I'd been checking the Baptiste Yoga website to see what the guidelines were going to be to apply for Tier Two certification and the guidelines had changed at least three times since I'd made notes about what was needed for me to do before I could apply. 

The website showed different requirements than the application form did. The website description said 102 hours of additional approved coursework is required to reach a total of 300 hours, but the three listed requirements total 398 hours already. Previously the website had listed 250 hours as the requirement for approved coursework (according to the notes I took about a month ago).

When I clicked into the application form, it says 500 additional hours of classroom teaching are required and the website description says 100 hours of classroom teaching are required. The application form also lists a prerequisite of a CPR certification, which the website description doesn't list as a requirement.

So with all that being said, at the time I applied for Tier 2 certification - I had attended/completed the following programs:

> Tier 1: 200 hour Certified Baptiste Teacher | 258 hours* 
> Level Three: Beyond Borders | 125 hours
> Advanced Art of Assisting | 15 hours
> + 102 hours of additional approved coursework to reach a total of 300 hours
> + 1 year or 100 hours of teaching as a Tier 1: 200 hour Certified Baptiste Teacher
> Apprentice A Week Long Program | 120 hours

My hour count was 518 hours plus 170 hours of teaching since achieving Tier One certification.

So I applied on February 1st and waited. On March 6th I received the email indicating my next steps. I was already current on my dues payment for Tier 1 so the only hurdle I had to clear was the new Certification Development Program Exam for 2019. The exam is online, 22 questions (fill in the blank, multiple choice and True/False) and a passing score is 80% or better. I passed with 81% missing 3 questions and getting a partial credit on one question. After taking the exam I updated my blog posts with the verbiage for 2019 as it was a little different than what I'd had in my notes from years past.

I'm happy to announce that I've successfully leveled-up to Tier 2 Certribution Status! This doesn't mean that my teaching has changed or anything like that - it simply means that I've gathered enough training hours with the Baptiste Institute to move into the next teaching tier and this also means that I'm now listed as a 500RYT with the Yoga Alliance. To level up into Tier 3, attending the Fit To Lead program is the prerequisite. Fit To Lead requires a pretty big time investment and it isn't something I can fit into my vacation schedule for 2019 or 2020, so I'll be looking towards 2021 as the year when I might enroll in Fit To Lead. We'll see how it goes... It seems like a long way away right now, but it's really a lot closer than I realize.

SuperBetter - 12 Part Yoga Book Study

This 12 part yoga book study will delve into the chapters of SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal as the theme for each class.

Students are be encouraged to download the Superbetter app and play along at home!

Part 1 - Why Games Make Us Superbetter
1. You Are Stronger Than You Know - 2/9
2. You Are Surrounded By Potential Allies - 2/16
3. You Are the Hero of Your Own Story - 2/19
4. You Can Make the Leap From Games to Gameful - 2/23

Part 2 - How to be Gameful
5. Challenge Yourself - 3/2
6. Power-Ups - 3/5
7. Bad Guys - 3/9
8. Quests - 3/16
9. Allies - 3/19
10. Secret Identity - 3/23
11. Epic Wins - 3/26
12. Keeping Score - 3/30
Superbetter Graduating Class 3/30

My Journey as a Yoga Teacher

Each of these links represents a major milestone in my progress towards becoming a yoga teacher, learning hands-on assisting, attending Baptiste Programs, receiving constructive feedback, putting feedback into action and becoming a Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher. I'm now tracking my progress towards Tier Two Baptiste Certification in the upcoming year(s).

Introspection, Basic Truths and Transformation
Teaching Yoga is Unlike Anything I've Ever Done
The More You Sequence a Class, the Less You Rely on Pictograms (2016)

Journey Into Power Sequence - All Poses and Transitions
Baptiste Power Yoga Methodology
Baptiste Power Yoga - True North Alignment
Baptiste Power Yoga - Eight Universal Principles of Stepping Up to the Edge

Level One Program - Through the Eye of the Storm and Back Again
My teaching changed drastically after attending Level One Program! No more pictograms, no more wondering if the sequence was long enough. I began teaching from Journey Into Power off the mat.
Art of Assisting
What is Baptiste Yoga and Why Should I Care?
Level Two Program - Packing, Prepping
Level Two Program - One OF Many
Baptiste Certification Process Under Way
Baptiste Tier 1 Certification Feedback Process (as of 2017)
The Challenge to Reach Beyond Your Default Language
Certification Unlocked!

Apprenticing a Baptiste Program (Level One - Menla 2018)
Apprenticeship Complete!
Thoughts from Behind the Tech Desk
Level Three Program - Beyond Borders
Level Three Program - From ME to WE

- pursuing Tier Two Certification - 

☐ Online CPR Certification (TBD)
✅Tracking 100 hours of teaching as a Tier One Certified Teacher
☐ Taking additional approved coursework to meet the hours required (TBD)

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being 7 Part Yoga Book Study

I picked this book up on a whim, based on the author being Martin E.P. Seligman and it is a fantastic book. I've turned it into a seven part yoga book study for the month of January 2019.

Flourish: A Visionary New Understanding of Happiness and Well-being by Martin E.P. Seligman

"A compelling view of a positive human future, for individuals, corporations, and nations, brilliantly told." -- Tony Hsieh author of "Delivering Happiness" and CEO of, Inc.

1. What is Well Being?
2. Creating Your Happiness - Positive Psychology Exercises That Work
3. The Dirty Little Secret of Drugs and Therapy
4. Teaching Well-Being: The Magic of MAPP
5. GRIT, Character and Achievement: A New Theory of Intelligence
6. Positive Physical Health: The Biology of Optimism
7. The Politics and Economics of Well-Being  Ikigai

Each date we'll delve deeper into the components of this book as we move through asana.

8 Universal Principles of Stepping Up To The Edge

Photo by Harry Burk on Unsplash

1. We are either now here or nowhere
2. Be in the now and you'll know how
3. Growth is the most important thing there is
4. Exceed yourself to find your exceeding self
5. In order to heal, you need to feel
6. Think less, be more
7. We are the sum total of our reactions
8. Don't try hard, try easy
      - From Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste

Many years ago, I got my start as an IT consultant at a company called Coleman Technologies. I remember being impressed by their founder's father's lists of Rules and Laws that were printed on the back of everyone's business cards. Short, simple words to live by. I was reminded of this list of rules and laws when I recently re-reading  Journey Into Power. Jeff Coleman's Law 16: Grow or Die is akin to Baron Baptiste's principle #3: Growth is the most important thing there is.

Growth of any kind, regardless of the measure, is progress. Look for ways in which you can stretch yourself, be a little nervous and step forward into your own greatness. We each get one shot at this life, be up to something bigger than yourself while you are here, and have the opportunity.

From ME to WE - Baptiste Level Three Pacific Grove CA 2018

Shifting from the headspace of 'me' to 'we' doesn't come easily. Identifying blind spots, getting clear on what is actually happening takes attention and dedication.

The core of our inquiry work during Level Three began with the worksheet we were given Monday evening.

Stuck in the Box

Identify a person in your life where things are stuck (stuck in a rut, stuck in unworkability, stuck in upset and so on.) Write that name on the line below.

Inside the box, describe the relationship as it is right now - the mood, results, the conversations, etc. You can use words, pictures, sentences, etc.

I picked a current complaint person who I don't have much "charge" around but is a current complaint. I knew I was selecting an easy person because in the past I have actively avoided speaking of or complaining about those people with whom I've severed the ties of past relationships. I am also aware that just because I don't verbalize my past relationship struggles, doesn't mean I've actually dealt with those emotions. It only means I've buried them.

I worked with the person I'd selected to put in the box, not getting much out of the exercises. The "fire" at the root of the relationship with the person you've put in the box is that there is a broken agreement. The things you say about that person or situation are simply smoke and not the real root of the situation. At the end of Wednesday evening, Baron gave us the last in the steps on "The Way Out" and only then was I ready to delve into addressing a previous "stuck" relationship.

The steps to The Way Out are:

  1. Forgiveness
  2. Apology
  3. Declaration
  4. Make a new agreement or promise
  5. Stop it!

Now that I had the full toolset to address who was in the box, I felt safer to put a more charged person in the box. Even still, I didn't want to put pen to paper in the journal where I kept all my Baptiste Program notes. I tore out a page from a different notebook and put Greg in the box. The relationship is with my ex-husband. The broken agreement was that I would love, honor and cherish him til death do us part. I forgive myself for not being honest, I apologize for letting it go on so long, making it harder on both of us and for not telling him myself. I declare the agreement to love, honor and cherish him til death do us part to be complete. The new agreement I make is to honor our shared past for what it was and what it wasn't.

Thursday morning, the first participant to share was reticent to say the name of other person in their stuck relationship. I identified strongly with this sentiment. The woman who was sharing was standing right next to me and some of the emotion in her sharing was in direct alignment with what I was feeling about my "Life in the Box" exercise. I shared this with her as we broke into pairs to share on the overnight assignment. I told her about me not wanting to say his name, to not want to bring his name out into this space. I had it that if I did that, it would give him power and ownership over me. I shared again on this with my small group at lunch - how her share had impacted me and how I felt haunted by my past. I was beginning to see that not speaking of the person and the past is what gives it a power. The exact opposite of what I'd been thinking (which wasn't working).

When we returned from lunch to seats for sharing, I raised my hand right away to share. Baron called on me and I went to the mic and shared on the relationship, reluctantly said Greg's name at the mic, stated what I could forgive myself for, what I could forgive Greg for and what I could apologize for. After a few minutes at the mic of back and forth dialogue and questioning, Baron said something that I haven't heard stated in this way before - that we should leave people greater after our leaving. I thought about that for a time, thinking back to where I handled things badly. I see that me not honoring the past is what keeps the fire of the broken agreement alive. I see that by me not speaking and sharing, I am making it about me, withholding self and undermining others by hiding. Several people came up to me and said my share had helped them and for that I am grateful. It was not easy to put those words out into the present moment. Verbalizing thoughts and feelings of mine has been difficult for me in the past. Stepping out in front of when I want to take myself out of the situation by saying "I don't have to do this." is the work that I am in now.

Baptiste Level Three: Beyond Borders Pacific Grove Dec 2018

How did Level Three get here so soon? On December 1st, I'm getting on a plane to fly out to San Jose, starting the journey towards the Asilomar Conference Center in Pacific Grove, CA. Obviously, coastal California in December is a very different climate than what I'm used to prepping for in Phoenicia, NY for my previous Baptiste programs. Yes, I'm stressing on what to pack..

As always, I've packed early. I like knowing all my things will fit in one carry on suitcase and the extra space left in my big old Manduka mat bag. With a week left for daydreaming what I might need in Asilomar - based on what I forgot that I could've used at Menla - I've added a few things to my packing kit for Level Three. We'll see if I need everything I've packed or if I've misjudged completely soon enough.

I've added these extra things into my packing bag after apprenticing Level One this summer at Menla.

  • 4 small binder clips (to hang up towels to dry on the commando hooks)
  • More commando hooks (you can never have enough)
  • A good length of painters tape wrapped around a tiny laminated loyalty card (you never know when you need some tape, and painters tape won't peel paint or leave residue)
  • 5 or 6 long zip ties (again, you never know)

Since most yoga pants don't have pockets - or at least not enough pockets to hold all the stuff I like to have at my mat during program - I made a thing. I'm pretty excited about it too. I used a can koosie (which I've had but never used) and upcycled it into a neoprene collar for my Camelbak bottle.

Apprenticing at Level One had me needing a pen, wanting my essential oil nearby, and let's not forget the joy of having a chapsick handy. I'd put some rubber bands around my water bottle to hold the stuff to it, but everything got soggy when my bottle sweated. It's not an insulated bottle, but I'm attached to it :)

I cut off the bottom of the koosie, opened one seam with a seam ripper and used a scrap of 2 inch wide elastic I'd had left over from another project. I measured the area I'd need for the essential oil bottle, marked with chalk and sewed a top stitch on the elastic to make the first slot. Next, the chapstick, then a final slot for a pen. On the other side of the koosie, I made a pocked big enough to hold a few business cards or electrolyte packets. I sewed down the bottom of the business card pocket so things won't slide out the bottom.

I didn't bother to change out the white thread in my serger because this is the prototype sleeve. We'll see how well it works to keep all my little stuff handy during the Level Three program.