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).


Becoming a Registered Yoga School

I'm the kind of person who has to actually see the 'big picture' before I can break things down into a logical arrangement according to a calendar based time line. This is a long way of saying I have to write down all the things that are required before I can figure out how to convey the requirements.
Starting in August of 2020, All Y'All Yoga started on the path to becoming a Registered Yoga School. This starts with becoming familiar with the Yoga Alliance Requirements, the Lead Trainer requirements, and the documentation required when applying to become an RYS.

I achieved the Yoga Alliance YAECP® credential in August 2022 after completing Fit To Lead with the Baptiste Institute and clocking 1000 hours teaching, after becoming registered with Yoga Alliance in November of 2015. Having this step completed, I embarked on digesting all the content Yoga Alliance requires as part of a 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training program. I wrote it all down on my home office whiteboard so I could look at it every day and slowly begin to formulate a process for turning these topics into a daily schedule, training manual, curriculum & hours allocation and assessment methods.

After many months of attempting to transform topics into a timeline, I came upon a formula for slicing the buckets of hours YA assigns to each major topic. I took the hours tied to each major topic and divided them into what I felt might be an appropriate distribution of time for each topic, weighting the topics and sub topics according to my perceived importance and complexity.

Our yoga studio will include training in Yin and Yoga Nidra as well as Baptiste Power Yoga, therefore the YA major topic of "Techniques, Training, Practice" got further divided into sub topics: Asana (Baptiste Power Yoga), Pranayama & Subtle Body, Meditation, Yin/Restorative and Yoga Nidra. 

Color coding the major topics and sub topics helped me see how the topics link to one another while I was working out how to distribute these major topics and sub topics over the course of the 200 RYT program.
Working within the constraints of when the studio has classes already on the schedule, and when we could have the studio space available to lead the RYT curriculum within an agreeable frame of time, we reached this scheduling conclusion. This schedule would allow us to deliver the YA content over the course of 7 weekends in 2023. Creating a YTT schedule where the days of training are long but not egregious was the goal.

Working with graph paper, I arbitrarily picked a small "bucket of time" to be represented by a single square in the graph paper notebook I was working in. This single bucket of time ended up being a 15 minute block of time, since 15 minutes is easy to work with in the context of hours of training and breaking up training vs teaching vs assessing over the course of a day.

Working through the major topics and required sub topics with colored pencils and graph paper allowed me to see how many "buckets" of time each day of training would have available through the 7 weeks. Once I had the major topics laid out in color, I began to lay out the sub-topics such as Skeletal System, Physiology, Bio-mechanics, History, Philosophy, Ethics and so on. Using Friday Evenings for the sub-topics that lend themselves well to lecture-based teaching seemed an ideal path. Once I'd set the Friday night schedules, the Saturday & Sunday schedules began to become clearer. 

I'd created a bulleted list of topics, sorted by importance, which I want to impart to our trainees regarding how to lead Baptiste Power Yoga. Using this bulleted list, I began to divvy up the large time buckets of Teaching Methodology and Practicum into smaller slots of time. Doing this will allow me to teach a concept, have the students practice the concept and then we can discuss how the practice went and receive feedback. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Looking at the bulleted list of prioritized topics in a spreadsheet format allowed me to build the Leader's Daily Agenda documents which we will use to keep us on time while delivering the training. Topic documentation, prioritization, and daily scheduling was also used to define the portions of the YTT dedicated to Yin/Restorative and Yoga Nidra.
I bought a copy of a YTT manual from a fellow Baptiste Power Yoga Studio owner to use as a template for the All Y'All Yoga YTT manual. I've edited, rearranged, removed and adding content to it since August and I have learned a lot about working with Adobe InDesign to create CharacterStyles, ParagraphStyles, Color Swatches, edit Anchor Options to keep images anchored to text fields. Working from an actual YTT manual gave me a foundation to start from, the confidence to strip away and add in content currently required by Yoga Alliance, as well as the content specific to All Y'All Yoga.

If you are also on the path to becoming a Registered Yoga School, perhaps this post will be helpful for you to organize your YTT weekends to meet the content requirements of Yoga Alliance. I know it is unlikely that your weekend start/stop times will be the same as those at All Y'All, but the concepts I've laid out for a way to organize the major topics, sub-topics and then divvy them up into a timeline will possibly be of use to you.

This Google Sheet will help you formulate your responses to the Yoga Alliance Application. Once you've completed the "Explanation for your RYS" for each of the core competencies, you'll be ready to copy and paste this content into the Yoga Alliance website when you are completing your Yoga School Registration application.

I created an offline template which can be used to pre-fill out your Daily Scheduler data. The Yoga Alliance website for creating the Daily Schedule doesn't allow for submitting this data and saving your progress. It's entered all at once. The spreadsheet I made will help you organize your data in such a way that you can enter your data into the YA website and know that you will be uploading your complete schedule content. This document is an Excel spreadsheet and not a Google spreadsheet, as I couldn't figure out how to create dependent drop down lists in a Google spreadsheet.

If you found any of this useful and you feel called to contribute, here is my PayPal account information. (click below)


Copyright Free Content Curation Challenge


Photo https://unsplash.com/@rexcuando

Curating musical content which complies with being copyright free, royalty free or available for free use is often challenging. I've written about music in class vs no music in class previously, but this topic has risen back up into my radar. Our studio owner has recently stopped paying the nearly $900/year fee to ASCAP which allowed us to play licensed music in the yoga studio. The majority of our classes are taught with no music, but the ASCAP licensing is needed even if the music being played happens before or after a yoga class is led.

I've begun using searches in Spotify to attempt to curate copyright free playlists for our classes. It seems that not all the songs that come up with a "copyright free" or "royalty free" search query in Spotify are actually copyright/royalty free. I've had several copyright strikes on my audio class recordings posted to YouTube for tracks that were results for copyright/royalty free searches. What is also interesting is the copyright strikes I've received claiming the song that was playing in the background as belonging to an artist/record label when it was definitevly not that song by the artist/label claming that track as theirs. 

This happened recently for the Journey Into Power 505 class where I used a playlist of copyright free beats in Spotify. Playlist link. The Orchard Music claims a copyright strike against this class recording at the 32:57 minute mark claiming that this song is Long Beach by Beatmasta. I know that this isn't the song playing at this point in the class (it is actually "Beat 1" from a Royalty Free Hip Hop Beat Album on Spotify). I did some searching online to try to find "Long Beach" so I could hear it and compare. Fun fact, The Orchard Music doesn't even allow streaming of this recording in the United States.

In the past I've had spurious copyright claims laid agains the three OMs heard at the beginning of each class recording as being День 3 -- Новые начинанияand me making a crystal bowl ring as being Requiem (claimed by Believe Music). These copyright claimswere easy to dispute as I knew that there was no music at all in those classes receiving the copyright strike. It is harder now that some of my classes have what I believe to be is copyright free music in them. It seems that I can't always be sure of what my search results in Spotify tell me. I know I could download music from The Free Music Archive or the You Tube Music Library but the ease of using AirPlay from a Spotify playlist has been an irresistable low barrier to entry.

This does encourage me to get back to work on making my own original music, putting it in Spotify and thereby being able to 100% refute any copyright claim on a class of mine going forward. Stay tuned for advancements in this space regarding copyright free music made by yours truly.

Disputing incorrect copyright strikes would be more meaningful if my YouTube channel were monitized, but it isn't. All the content I publish is free of any monitization. The copyright strikes I receive are a mere annoyance as they have no financial impact to me, but I find it irritataing that a record label is claming rights to what is not theirs in hopes of making some money off of the content I've uploaded.

I can point to two very excellent musicians who have a slew of albums/eps/songs available for streaming in Spotify: Chad Crouch and Karl Casey. Very different ends of the spectrum and both of them are extremely prolific!