Pilgrimage To Power (Forking My Yoga Repository)

 


I've forked my yoga repository. 

A fork is a new repository that shares code and visibility settings with the original “upstream” repository.

Last year a friend asked me if I would recommend taking a training course with the leader of the yoga school I'd trained in. I'd seen some questionable content in his podcast channel on YouTube, as well as being wary of those he's recently aligned himself with professionally (ex-Landmark Forum personnel). Initially, I couldn't quite put my finger on what was off, but I'm going to gather some links here so I can find them in the future. Link Link Link Link Link || Link Link Link Link Link Link. 

As I watched a few of his videos, I was dismayed to hear him referencing articles on NewsMax (a far-right digital media company), opining on toxic feminism, and referring to the Patriarchy with air quotes, as if Patriarchy is a myth.

"the toxic feminism that's like imbued our culture that wants to tear down men, strong men, good men, this toxic femininity, a part of it is it gossips about you, it dresses itself up as a victim, it's got to tear down men, tear down the, you know, the patriarch, it's patriarchy, it's patriarchy. [ed- He's using his hands here to make air quotes]"

The transcript of the last few minutes of that video is here. If you want to see the whole video, I've archived it as an unlisted YT video in case the original gets deleted.

As I composed my email reply with my thoughts, it was clear to me that after I sent the email, I would have to create a split between myself and the school of yoga I was trained in. This split was something I'd been avoiding. There have been many red flags in the past few years.  His words and actions were not aligned with my personal ethos or my worldview. It took several hours to edit the artwork for my website, podcast and social media presence and remove all the verbiage that I'd used to associate myself with that yoga school.

I then started the slow process of figuring out what words I wanted to use to describe the name of the yoga sequence and the concepts around how I teach yoga. After giving it a lot of thought and trying a few different phrases out, I settled upon Pilgrimage To Power. I like the alliteration and the simplicity of the phrase. I like that one way to define a pilgrimage is 'a journey to a holy place, which can lead to a personal transformation, after which the pilgrim returns to their daily life.'

Words are powerful, and I needed a way to teach yoga without the trappings of trademarked words and phrases. I submitted for a Wordmark on the phrase "Pilgrimage To Power" to have a phrase that was mine and not subject to litigation. The cost of the Wordmark application was $250, and the process takes 8-14 months to complete on average. Wordmarking the phrase "Pilgrimage To Power" is largely symbolic for me as I do not intend to generate revenue with this terminology. I see it as a turn of the phrase that I can use in my teaching and not fear being sued over it.

Stripping out the Trademarked verbiage from my documentation, my speech and my writing has been an arduous task. What should I call each section of the asana sequence if I am going to refer to it, if I am to teach students how to teach it? Which poses should I add in or take out now that I am at liberty to prune or graft to this yoga tree? I left a majority of the sequence in place as the structure is good, but. I needed new words to use. I noted where poses can be swapped in or left out as needed. 

It is well documented that yoga poses or sequences cannot be trademarked (thanks, Bikram!). 'Only the selection, coordination, and arrangement of photographs, drawings, or writings that depict the exercises may be entitled to copyright protection, but not a compilation of physical exercises itself. Yoga sequence is rather construed as a functional system, procedure, or process under 17 U.S.C §102 (b).'

Therefore, I devised new terminology to represent the energetic qualities of the yoga sequence I'll refer to as Pilgrimage To Power.

Cohesion: 
  • noun; the action or fact of forming a united whole.
Kindling:
  • gerund or present participle: kindling; light or set on fire.
  • arouse or inspire (an emotion or feeling).
  • (of an emotion) be aroused.
  • become impassioned or excited.
Vigor:
  • noun; physical strength and good health.
  • effort, energy, and enthusiasm.

Sisu (determination):
  • Sisu is a unique Finnish concept. It is a Finnish term that can be roughly translated into English as strength of will, determination, perseverance, and acting rationally in the face of adversity. Sisu is not momentary courage but the ability to sustain that courage. It is a word that cannot be fully translated.
Persistence:
  • noun; firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
  • the continued or prolonged existence of something.

Agni (fire):
  • Agni, the god of fire, sacrifice, and divine knowledge.
Valor:
  • noun; great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.
Yielding:
  • adjective; 1. (of a substance or object) giving way under pressure; not hard or rigid. 2. giving a product or generating a financial return of a specified amount.
Liberation:
  • noun; the act or process of freeing someone or something from another's control: the act of liberating someone or something.
Restoration:
  • noun; 1. the action of returning something to a former owner, place, or condition. 2. the return of a hereditary monarch to a throne, a head of state to government, or a regime to power.
Repose:
  • noun; a state of rest, sleep, or tranquility. verb; be lying, situated, or kept in a particular place.

Just for fun, I made a Github for Pilgrimage To Power since Github can store other things than just code.









Yoga: Hands on Assisting AGENCY, INTENTION, ACTION

 


I have done a thing that has been in the planning and development stages for seven years. I have compiled all of the hands on assists I've learned through two intensive weekends and countless yoga classes into a single spiral bound book that you can purchase from Lulu.com or you can find it in the Amazon marketplace. 

This book includes 117 clear line drawings illustrating more than 38 hands-on assists commonly used in Power Yoga studios. These drawings are accompanied by easy-to-understand explanations of hand positions and the impact each assist has on your students' practice.

The front cover shows what you can expect to see inside the rest of the book. I will post more photos of the finished print on demand book when the copies I ordered arrive.

Print on demand from Lulu.com: https://bit.ly/HandsOnAssistingBook

Amazon marketplace: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1312051108

Square shopping site: https://jentechyoga.square.site/

Fun fact, as an independent seller on Amazon, they charge me 15% of the book price + a $1.80 "variable closing fee" for each book I sell there. This is a total of $8.19 per book which is a pretty hefty percentalge. Square charges 2.9% plus 30 cents per online transaction. Thus I created an inventory of stickers, essential oil, iron-on patches and a couple of copies of my hands on assisting book for sale via Square. When the stock on Amazon runs out, I'm not going to restock there. I'll pivot to using my Square site.


Leading a Powerful Power Yoga Class (what you need to know, in 9 minutes)


 I created this 9 minute video to give you the information you need to lead a powerful power yoga class. These are the essential items which seem too simple to be real, but believe me - simple is best and simple is often challenging to put into practice.




Sandbags for Yin Yoga - pattern & supplies for DIY


This is a simple pattern for making sandbags for Yin Yoga.

Use wrapping paper, paper bags from the grocery store or the packing material you might have to create a pattern with these dimensions. You will have three pieces to this pattern. This drawing is not to scale and is for representational purposes.

The largest pattern piece for the sandbag outer casing is 18 inches x 8.5 inches. If you want to add a logo or embelishment, chalk mark 1.5 inches in from lower left corner.

Smaller back portion of outer casing is 7.5 inches wide x 8 inches tall.

Larger back portion of outer casing is 12 inches wide x 8 inches tall. 

4 inch nylon zipper (this is what I had on hand. If I had to do it over, I would've used a wider zipper)

1 inch wide nylon webbing, cut to 9 inches long. Sew handles on both ends of the sandbag for easier transportation. Sew handles at 1 1/2 inches from the top edge and bottom edge.

For the sandbags I made, I used ripstop nylon leftover from a previous project and recycled bed linens. I made two sleeves for each sandbag. One out of the ripstop nylon and one out of the bedsheet, giving each sandbag a second layer of protection agains seam breakage and potential future sand leakage.


I cut the inner sandbag sleeves approximately 7 inches wide and 20 inches long. I serged the fabric on three sides (or cut some as one long rectangle & then I only had to serge two sides). I turned the sleeves inside out so that the serged seams were on thie inside and filled each of them with 7 1/2 pounds of play sand. Then I serged the top edge closed and put this inside another bedsheet sandbag layer, serging the top of that closed. Play Sand comes in 50 pound bags from the hardware store for $6. The sand is washed and filtered and is perfectly suited for this project. Any moisture in the sand will evaporate over time and you do not need to worry about baking the sand or otherwise taking great measures to dry the sand out before using it. Over the course of a few days, the sand bags dried out and I had no issues with mold or dampness persisiting with the sandbag innards.

The only sewing directions of note is how to create an invizible zipper enclosure. You do this by using a basting (long) stitch to connect the two back pieces of the pattern together. Use a back stitch when you start stitching, when you reach the point that will be the top opening for the zipper, the bottom opening for the zipper and the bottom of the zipper seam. Press the seam flat. Sew the zipper into this section, as pictured, taking care to sew across the top and bottom of the zipper several times to create a barrier against the zipper opening too much and tearing the stitches. This does not need to look perfect. It only needs to be functional and resistant against breakage. Noone will care if your top stitching is straight. I promise.

When you've finished sewing the zipper into the basted seam, turn your fabric over and use a ripper tool top cut through the stitches where the zipper is located.

The beauty of this project is that you don't have to worry about how straight your stitches are, or how sharp the corners are sewn. There is a lot of wiggle room and no matter how messy it might look on this inside, the sandbag will serve its purpose, and be put to good use regardless of how well you do or do not sew.

The cost of supplies was $16 for the nylon webbing$17 for 100 4 inch zippers and $18 for 150 pounds of play sand. I ended up making 30 sandbags. Each 50 pound bag of play sand will make 7 sandbags weighing a little over 7 pounds each. Calculating all the supplies (which I have leftovers of zippers and webbing) and dividing by 30 makes each sandbag cost $1.70 in supplies. The least expensive yin yoga sandbag I found online was $22. It was much more cost effective to recycle bedsheets to avoid buying nearly $700 worth of sandbags.


Yoga Alliance Aligned Baptiste Power Yoga Teacher Training Manual Template

 

If you've been following along, you'll know that my yoga studio will be holding our first yoga teacher training in March of 2023. As part of the process of becoming a registered yoga school recognized by Yoga Alliance, I purchased a teacher training manual template from a mutual friend. I spent six months rewriting, reorganizing, redesigning and collaborating with our YTT team to create a document meeting the current Yoga Alliance curriculum requirements and reflecting the training we will be delivering.

All Y'All Yoga's Yoga Alliance registration process is now work in progress.

With that process started and that manual "completed", I set to work on this template which aligns to the Yoga Alliance 2023 curriculum guidelines and encompasses Baptiste Power Yoga teaching methodology, ready for anyone to edit to reflect the mission and ethos of their studio. 

This template is ready for you to edit, reorganize or rewrite to meet your yoga teacher training goals. I have reformatted this document into four different file types:  

  • Adobe InDesign 
  • Microsoft Word 
  • Google Documents
  • Canva Template

The images used within this template were created by me or taken from Wikimedia and used under Creative Commons Share Alike Attribution. The document color palette was designed to be readable when printed in black and white or color and the yoga postures are represented by gender neutral stick figures.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy of this YTT Template, please reach out to me.

 JenTechYoga 2023 YTT Template Inquiry

 Here are thumbnails of the pages and the table of contents and sections in the manual. Click to see them full size (readable).