Don't sweat it! I'll save you a spot! Teaching Wednesday night @a_seminole_heights_yoga_studio 7:15-8:15pm #baptisteinspiredyoga #powervinyasa #poweyoga #seminoleheightsyoga

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You Decide - 60 Minute Baptiste Inspired Power Vinyasa

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Here is an audio recording of a recent 60 minute Baptiste inspired power vinyasa yoga class I taught at Kaleisia Tea in Tampa, FL. The reading I chose was "You Decide" from Melody Beattie's Journey To The Heart.

Bandcamp
Mixcloud

Join me tomorrow morning! 11am @kaleisiatea for 60 minutes of #BaptisteInspired #powervinyasa #sundayasana #communiTEAyoga #DonationsAccepted 💜

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Logging Teaching Time

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The process of becoming a Baptiste certified instructor is a long process (as it should be). Now that I have Level One and Art of Assisting under my belt (and I've registered for Level Two next year), I'm working away at the requirement of 100 classes taught since completing Level One.

This is going to be a longer process for me than I originally realized. I was hoping that the classes I'd taught prior to Level One would count, but it makes sense that my teaching methods have changed since Level One and how I was teaching early on doesn't count towards Baptiste certification.

I've started keeping records of post Level One teaching in a Google spreadsheet, (outside of what I record in my Yoga Alliance teaching history) in order to keep my post Level One teaching data accurate.

When I travel, I have committed to myself that I will record an asana sequence each time I travel and publish them to the web for sharing. Doing this will keep me accountable to maintaining my practice when I travel and to sharing my practice with others.

It is difficult for me to pick up teaching times at the local studios where I practice, simply because my job requires me to travel often and not on a regular schedule. I can't be on the schedule at a studio for any other days than Saturday and Sunday. I'd love to teach early morning classes on both of those days, but I know that I will have a scheduling conflict sooner or later and need a sub to cover the class. The dilemma is how to make a space in our home a yoga room where I could teach and log teaching hours without having to rely on awesome timing to pick up a sub class here and there.

I know what I must do, it is the getting down to it that is daunting (but necessary). Knowing what I want is only part of the equation. Transforming desire into action is where the rubber meets the road.

Why Hurry Through - 60 minute Baptiste Inspired Power Vinyasa

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Here is an audio recording of a recent 60 minute Baptiste inspired power vinyasa yoga class I taught at Comes The Dawn in Tampa, FL. The reading I chose was "Why Hurry Through" from Melody Beattie's Journey To The Heart.

Bandcamp
Mixcloud

This Sunday @kaleisiatea I'm teaching a 60 minute #BaptisteInspired #powervinyasa flow 11am! #sundayasana #communiTEAyoga

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You Deserve a CTRL+BREAK Today. 60 Minute Baptiste Inspired Power Vinyasa Audio Video Recording

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Here is the second Jen Tech Video (yes, I know it has taken me a full calendar year to publish the second video). Stay tuned for the third in the series. Video in the can, audio track nearly done.


Audio only also uploaded to Bandcamp and Mixcloud!

Join me @kaleisiatea for #CommuniTEAyoga this Sunday at 11am 🙏🏼💜 #AttentionOnYourBreath #powervinyasayoga #baptisteinspiredyoga #seminoleheightsyoga #DonationsAccepted

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This Friday, November 11th - I'm teaching a 90 minute #donationbased #baptisteinspiredpowervinyasa flow at TreeHouse Yoga in Tampa (8509 29th Street, Tampa, FL 33604) Class starts at 6:15pm! #baptisteyoga #tampayoga #powervinyasa #baptisteinspired

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Get your bones moving! This Sunday @kaleisiatea I'll be leading our CommuniTEA through 60 minutes of #baptisteinspiredyoga designed to strengthen, invigorate and motivate your best self to step forward! Come as a pirate or a witch or the beautiful yogi you are! 11am #SundayAsana #seminoleheightsyoga #poweryoga #communiteayoga

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Compassion For Humanity Manifested Through Touch #ArtOfAssisting #BaptisteYoga #JourneyIntoPower

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The Art of Assisting - Hot Spot Power Yoga - Jacksonville, FL October 22nd & 23rd 2016

Since starting down the path to becoming a Baptiste certified yoga teacher, I've achieved my 200 hour RYT, attended Level One training (Menla 2016), and most recently completed The Art of Assisting at Hot Spot Power Yoga, Jacksonville FL with Brooke Hamblet from Indigo Yoga, Fort Worth TX.

The weekend intensive training began at 9 am Saturday morning, once all of us came to our mats. Brooke covered the information we would learn as well as outlined the promises she was making with our group and asking us to hold her accountable to these promises.


  • You will be taught and will practice an assist for every pose in Journey Into Power
  • You will assist a full Journey Into Power practice using the Baptiste yoga techniques for team assisting.
  • You will have a new experience of connection with others and being of service.
  • You will have a rich understanding of True North Alignment and how to put it into action through hands on assists.
  • You will discover that using the Art and Master of Baptiste yoga (Look, Listen & Give Tools) can effectively make a difference in a pose and the practice.

We learned that there are three types of assists:
  • Directional
A light touch, usually performed with fingertips on skin to indicate direction and impact form.
Examples - running finger up the spine in Mountain, sparking fingers in Thunderbolt, hand to thigh to ensure muscle engagement in Upward Facing Dog
  • Deepening
A partnership to change the bone structure of the pose, usually performed with a C-shaped hand and can include other body parts lending support to impact alignment.

Examples - C-shaped hands providing support and structure for Downward Facing Dog, guiding the knee toward the pinky toe in Warrior Two, encouraging a deeper seat in Thunderbolt pose
  • Empowering
A light to firm touch offered as resistance, used to offer proprioception (teaching a body where it is
in space) for the end result of new training in the muscles of a body. It can result in added stability.

Examples - Bracing student's hips in Revolved Crescent Lunge, side to side assist in Half Moon, pressing the outer edge of the student's foot down with your foot to ground their foot in Warrior One, Warrior Two, Triangle etc.

As a group we were led through the Journey Into Power sequence by Brooke while the Assisting Team from Hot Spot provided us all with assists throughout our practice. Brooke called on us to observe how the assists were being given, how the assistant held their body while assisting and observe how the assistant entered and exited each student's personal space. Yoga students don't typically directly observe the process of assisting, instead the student is focused on setting their drishti (gaze) on something that isn't moving and maintaining a smooth, even ujjayi breath. This first practice gave us all the opportunity to come to our mats as beginners again, as we were now observing and participating in a yoga sequence in a new way.

Immediately following the JIP flow, we then broke up into pairs and then observed Brooke as she showed us an assist for each pose in the first two sections (Integration, Awakening). We'd switch places and give each other several tries at assisting each pose, providing feedback to our partner on how the pose landed with us (not enough pressure, too much pressure).


Art & Mastery of working with the pose:
  • Look & listen for the FORM of the pose
  • Look & listen for the ALIGNMENT of the pose
  • Look & listen for the ACTION/PRINCIPLES of the pose
  • Look & listen for the POSSIBILITY of the pose
  • Look & listen for what's missing and find the access to give the tools that make a difference right now

We'd practice a section of JIP assisting with our partner and then switch to a new person we'd not met and then continue learning the assists for the next sections of the JIP flow. 

Sunday morning we began our practice in silence and were led through a guided meditation. Following the meditation practice, we had the opportunity to share with the group our experience during the meditation practice and what came up for us during the practice.

We moved on to the final sections of the JIP flow, learning more assists and seeing how the basics of observing/assisting the feet, hips, hands carried over into many of the final poses of the JIP sequence.

OUTCOMES of Art of Assisting
  • Knowledge of the basics of assisting including
  • 3 types of assists: directional, stabilizing, deepening
  • Actions of artful assisting (Maintaining True North Alignment while assisting, establising one's presence on the student's mat, entering and exing the student's space gracefully.
  • The basics of assisting a Baptiste Institute Program
  • An assit for each pose in the JIP sequence
  • The ability to use True North Alignment to observe, listen & give tools when assisting
  • Practice assisting a 60 minute class

For our final "test" we paired off into 1s and 2s. When we returned from lunch break, the 1s had placed their mats in the center of the room, within the taped boundaries on the floor (read: really close together) as instructed by the Assisting Team. The 2s were instructed to find a 1 and join them standing at the back of their mat (the student standing at the front of the mat). The sudents (the 1s) were then led by Brooke through the JIP flow. Brooke would call 'switch' for the 2s to switch to the next student in the row. Once the 2 reached the last student at the end of a row, they moved on to the first student at the beginning/end of the next row. This way of moving from student to student assisting their practice is called 'typewritering' so that each student receives an assist during the class and the flow from student to student is orderly and fluid.

When the practicing students (the 1s) reached savasana, the 1s then became the assistant team and worked with the new students (the 2s) on their mat so that each of us had the experience of assisting one another and each of us had the experience of being assisted through the JIP flow.

When the teacher presses their hands into the hands of the student in downward facing dog to ground them in the pose, this is considered an empowering assist.

The final practice was designed to be stressful for us who were learning the typewritering method and navigating closely placed mats all while listening for the key word "switch" to move to the next student's mat. Diving right in and putting a new skill to practice in a safe environment where it is ok (expected even) that you'd make mistakes is a wonderful way to learn. The point was to allow us to make mistakes in a learning environment rather than having our first mistakes be in a classroom with actual students.

Attending a weekend workshop like the Art of Assisting gives one the opportunity to make mistakes and be messy with learning new skills in an environment that is safe, non-judgemental and empowering. Each of us had many opportunies to learn, practice, offer feedback and receive guidance in a group of people who went from strangers to champions for each others' success in a matter of a few hours.

This is the power of the Baptiste yoga community. We are each others champions, cheerleaders, support group, foundation of stability, encouragment and growth. We learn from one another, encourage one another and grow together to bring our true selves forth into the world as a force for freedom, love, compassion, acceptance (I could go on and on)....

Many thanks to Jon and Leah Hansen (owners of Hot Spot Yoga) for holding this workshop at their studio and for having Brooke Hamblet to lead our group through learning the Art of Assisting. I now have the ability to confidently give assists to my students while leading them through the Journey Into Power sequence and I made dozens of lifelong friends in two days' time!

(updated verbiage to 2018 assisting terminology)

Journey Into Power Sequence (all poses and transitions)

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The full sequencing of poses for the Journey Into Power are as follows (updated 7/17):
INTEGRATION
Child's pose
Downward facing dog
Ragdoll
Extended Mountain
Samasthiti with three OMs
AWAKENING
Sun Salutation A:
Extended Mountain
Forward fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Step or hop to the front of the mat
[repeat 5x]
Sun Salutation B:
Thunderbolt
Forward Fold
Half lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Right Foot Warrior 1
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Left Foot Warrior 1
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
[repeat 5x]
Sun B Variation - Flip dog /side plank [on last down dog of last Sun B]
Flip dog on Right side
Transition to side plank on left side
Vinysa into other side
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Flip dog on Left side
transition to side plank on right side
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
VITALITY
Crescent lunge
Revolving Crescent Lunge
Warrior Two
Extended Side Angle
Vinyasa into other side.
Thunderbolt prayer twist (once each side)
Fingers to toes forward fold (feet hip width apart)
Palms to toes forward fold (feet hip width apart)
Crow Pose

EQUANIMITY
Eagle Pose (2x each side)
Standing Leg Raise
Airplane
Half Moon
Dancer's Pose (2x each side)
Tree

GROUNDING
Sun Salutation A - variation with triangle
Forward Fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Right Foot Warrior 1
Open Up Warrior 2
Straighten front leg, Triangle
Side Facing Wide Leg Forward Bend
Namaste Front Facing Forward Fold
Twisting Triangle
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Left Foot Warrior 1
Open Up Warrior 2
Straighten front leg, Triangle
Side Facing Wide Leg Forward Bend
Namaste Front Facing Forward Fold
Twisting Triangle

IGNITING (fun fact: There are 14 backbends in this sequence!)
Locust (x2)
Floor Bow (x2
Upward Facing Dog
Camel (x2
Bridge
Wheel (x6)
Supta Baddha Konasana
Dead Bug

STABILITY
Scissor Legs (x50)
60/30 Lift (x10)
Abdominal Twists (x50 [25 each side])
Boat Pose (high to low x10)

OPENING
Half Pigeon Right Side
Downward Facing Dog
Half Pigeon Left side
Double Pigeon (x1 each side)
Frog

RELEASE
Seated Single Leg Extension (x1 each side)
Seated Forward Bend
Table Top
Fish

REJUVENATION
Shoulder stand / Head stand/ Handstand or Waterfall pose
Plow Pose
Deaf Man's Pose

DEEP REST
Supine Twist (x1 each side)
Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Savasana


 The Journey Into Power sequence with the intention for each of the eleven sequence sections is listed below:

INTEGRATION
Child's pose
Down dog
Ragdoll
Extended Mountain Pose
Samasthiti with three OMs
AWAKENING
Sun Salutation A:
Extended Mountain
Forward fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Step or hop to the front of the mat
[repeat 5x]
Sun Salutation B:
Thunderbolt
Forward Fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Right Foot Warrior 1
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Left Foot Warrior 1
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
[repeat 5x]
Sun B Variation - Flip dog /side plank [on last down dog of last Sun B]
Flip dog on Right side
Transition to side plank on left side
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Flip dog on Left side
transition to side plank on right side
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
VITALITY
Step or hop to the front of the mat
Thunderbolt
Forward Fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Crescent lunge right side
hands to heart center
twist to the right
open up to Warrior 2
transition to Extended Side Angle
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Crescent lunge left side
hands to heart center
twist to the left
open up to Warrior 2
transition to Extended Side Angle
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Thunderbolt prayer twist (once each side)
Fingers to toes forward fold (feet hip width apart)
Palms to toes forward fold (feet hip width apart)
Crow Pose
EQUANIMITY
Eagle Pose (2x each side)
Standing Leg Raise
Airplane
Half Moon
Dancer's Pose (2x each side)
Tree
GROUNDING
Sun Salutation A - variation with triangle
Forward Fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Right Foot Warrior 1
Open Up Warrior 2
Straighten front leg, Triangle
Side Facing Wide Leg Forward Bend
Namaste Front Facing Forward Fold
Twisting Triangle
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Left Foot Warrior 1
Open Up Warrior 2
Straighten front leg, Triangle
Side Facing Wide Leg Forward Bend
Namaste Front Facing Forward Fold
Twisting Triangle
IGNITING
Locust (x2)
Floor Bow (x2
Upward Facing Dog
Camel (x2
Bridge
Wheel (x6)
Supta Baddha Konasana
Dead Bug
STABILITY
Scissor Legs (x50)
60/30 Lift (x10)
Abdominal Twists (x50 [25 each side])
Boat Pose (high to low x10)
OPENING
Half Pigeon Right Side
Downward Facing Dog
Half Pigeon Left side
Double Pigeon (x1 each side)
Frog
RELEASE
Seated Single Leg Extension (x1 each side)
Seated Forward Bend
Table Top
Fish
REJUVENATION
Shoulder stand / Head stand/ Handstand or Waterfall pose
Plow Pose
Deaf Man's Pose
DEEP RELEASE
Supine Twist (x1 each side)
Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Savasana

I updated the JIP Pictogram for 2019 and made an 11 column and a 10 column version for your enjoyment.


Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga - True North Alignment

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Verbal cues taught during Level One 2016 at Menla

Feet on 12 o'clock
Lift the 10 toes
Spread the 10 toes
Press the mound of each big toe down
Press the center of each heel down
Lift up
Turn the inner ankles back
Pull the leg muscles into the bones
Pull the outer shins in
Lift the front of the pelvis up towards the belly button
Pull the pit of the belly into the spine
Pull the shoulders up to your ears
Expand out across the chest and upper back
Pull the shoulders straight back
Press the thoracic spine into the chest

True North Alignment verbal cues taught during Level Two 2017 at Menla
1. Ground down like EARTH
FEET
  • Both feet face 12 o'clock
  • Ground down the 4 corners of the feet
  • Stretch the toes out on the mat
LEGS
Inner ankles back, outer ankles down
Outer shins in
From the skin to the muscle to the bone, hug in

2. Flow like WATER
  •  Soften the joints
  • Keep the pelvis neutral;
  • Lift the front of the pelvis as the tailbone descends
3. Build an inner FIRE
  • From the skin to the muscle to the bone, hug in
  • Pull the pit of the belly in and up
  • Draw the front ribs together, expand the mid-back
  • Expand from the inside out
4. Soften like AIR
  • Thoracic spine draws in;
  • Upper arm bones back
  • Shoulder blades move towards the spine & press into the body
  • Expand from the inside out (updated for 2018 methodology)
5. Create SPACE for something new
Draw in to create full expression out!

Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga Methodology - The Centerline, The 10 Tenets of Teaching Baptiste Yoga

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THE CENTERLINE
The centerline is the place between the right and left side of the body. From the skin to the muscle to the bone PULL INTO each bone... then, all the engaged parts of the body pull into the centerline and core to PRESS & EXPRESS OUT.


THE PRACTICES & TECHNIQUES OF BAPTISTE YOGA

1. Physical (Asana): Journey Into Power as an access to vitality, power & freedom.
2. Meditation (Dhyana): As an access to getting present & awakening.
3. Inquiry (Niyama): As an access to discovery & new possibility.

TRUE NORTH ALIGNMENT
1. Ground down like EARTH
    FEET
        Both feet at 12 o'clock updated 7/17
        Both feet face 12 o'clock
        Ground down the 4 corners of the feet
        Stretch the toes out on the mat
    LEGS
        Inner ankles back, outer ankles down
        Outer shins in
        From the skin to the muscle to the bone, hug in
2. Flow like WATER
    1. Soften the joints
    2. Keep the pelvis neutral
    3. Lift the front of the pelvis as the tailbone descends
3. Build an inner FIRE
    1. From the skin to the muscle to the bone, hug in
    2. Pull the pit of the belly in and up
    3. Draw the front ribs together, expand the mid-back
    4. Expand from the inside out
4. Soften like AIR
    1. Thoracic spine draws in
    2. Upper arm bones back
    3. Shoulder blades move towards the spine & press into the body
5. Create SPACE for something new
    1. Draw in to create full expression out!

THE TEN TENETS OF TEACHING BAPTISTE YOGA
1. Come from we are connected
2. Drop what you know and listen
3. Teach from the methodology
4. Fill the space
5. Leave people in their greatness
6. Speak into each and every
7. Listen for how your words are landing in people's bodies and hearts
8. Create the listening for contribution
9. Look for and speak to what is missing
10. Generate inspiration

THE 5 ORGANIZING PRINCIPALS OF TRUE NORTH ALIGNMENT
1. Be Intentional: in creating the physical foundation of the pose & being up to something bigger than yourself
2. Balanced Action: Create Sthira Sukha
3.  The Five Pillars: Put in and keep present Drishti, Ujjayi, Bandhas, Tapas, Vinyasa
4. Total Body Integrity: PULL IN, PRESS DOWN & LIFT UP to integrate... create muscle to bone connection (pull into centerline & core)
5. Total Body Expression: PRESS, LIFT, MOVE & fully express out (move out from center & core)

THE FIVE PILLARS OF THE BAPTISTE POWER VINYASA YOGA PRACTICE
1. Drishti - Gaze
2. Ujjayi - Breath
3. Bandha/Foundation - Core, Hands & Feet
4. Tapas - Heat
5. Vinyasa - Flow

THE ART & MASTERY OF PRACTICING & TEACHING
1. LOOK: For True North & what's possible. Put your drishti ON the areas you want to transform.
2. LISTEN: Your listening makes the difference and not your knowledge.
3. GIVE TOOLS: That make a difference right now

THE 3 THEMES OF BAPTISTE TRAINING
1. Be a YES: As a creation, not a concept. Put your attention ON what you feast to have happen and be for it.
2. Give Up What You Must: Bring into view & let go the fixed drishti's (perceptions) & Tadasana's (positions) that thwart and constrain you.
3. Come From You Are Ready Now: Move, breathe & have your being from "Right now is all I've got." Make the higher call at each step.

THE THREE SOURCE PRINCIPLES
1. Physicalness
2. Possibility
3. Empowerment

Through the Eye of the Storm and Back Again #LevelOne #Menla2016 #BaptisteYoga

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I have never been as proud to wear and keep an event lanyard as I am of my badge from Baptiste Level One training.
Photo Aug 13, 7 47 45 PM

For the past eight days I have been attending my first Level One experience at the Menla Mountain Retreat Center in upstate New York (in Phoenecia, near the Catskills Mountains). Prior to arriving, I scoured the Internet, searching for information on what to bring, what to expect, how to prepare?! Essentially, I came up empty handed. I know that my experience is only a tiny sliver (1/155th) of the overall event, but I am compelled to share my experience with others.

My planning/packing is well documented in this blog post, and now that I have been there and back, I can identify things that I would have done differently, or not at all.

Starting with the logistics of getting to Menla - I had a great experience with Advantage Transportation. Our driver Lawrence was waiting four our group at the Albany airport before I'd even landed. He was very helpful, friendly and he went above and beyond to ensure we had a pleasant trip to and from Menla. He arrived early on our departure date, picking me up outside my bunkhouse (and saving me a ten minute walk to the front of the Lhasa Inn (the main dining hall and check in/out desk).
Photo Aug 06, 4 26 34 PM

Photo Aug 06, 4 25 22 PM
I opted for the bunkhouse residency in order to be more involved in the social aspects of Level One and I had several warm, connective conversations across the kitchen table of the Dragon House. I was unaware that the bunkhouse had no air conditioning but had a full kitchen. As a result, the battery powered fan I brought was essential. If I had known about the refrigerator, I would've brought a silicone ice tray, but luckily a lady on the lower level of the bunkhouse came prepared! Genius!!


My clothes drying rack worked well enough, but I'll have to redesign the main tripod connection joint. The epoxy I used didn't hold the tripod nut to the PVC cap as well as I'd hoped. The handout says to pack enough changes of clothes for 2 changes per day, but what it does not say is that your sleeping quarters are such a long walk away from the dining hall that you won't have enough time to eat, get showered/changed and get back to the conference center in time. Out of the eight days, I managed to catch a full mid-day shower once. Two other days I managed to wash my hair in the sink during lunch. I brought 7 full outfits and only had to re-wear one pair of leggings. The Nalanda Conference Center is a full ten minute walk to the Lhasa Inn Dining Hall by way of the South road. There is a trail through the woods (indicated on the Menla map) which is only a five minute walk between Nalanda and Lhasa. Either way, the one day I managed to shower, I was already beginning to sweat by the time I'd returned to Nalanda for the after lunch inquiry session.

Bring baby wipes/antiseptic wipes, twine to string up clothes lines (I didn't think of this), and shoes that can traverse gravel roads and uneven surfaces. Espadrilles are not sufficient (trust me on this one).

Photo Aug 13, 7 10 55 PM

The gift shop in the Lhasa Inn is stocked with bug spray, sunscreen, deodorant and other sundries if you forget anything (or don't want to pack everything in your carry-on bag). Had I known this, I would've left some stuff at home & bought it there if I needed it.
Photo Aug 12, 1 42 53 PM

The first night was a general overview of the tenets of Baptiste yoga and an outline for the rest of the week's schedule. Our days began with breakfast from 6:30-7:30 in the main dining hall (Lhasa Inn), followed by morning meditation at 8am in the Nalanda Conference Center. Each morning Baron held a guided meditation for our group, followed by us listening to audio tracks from Tree of Knowledge by Humberto R. Maturana or selections of Osho. After meditation, we had a snack break and then returned to the conference center room for asana practice. The first day (Sunday), Baron led us through the Journey Into Power sequence. Subsequent days we did individual practice of our own JIP flow, each day building on the previous day's learned section of the flow. After lunches, we'd return to the conference center for Inquiry work, sharing sessions or connection oriented interactive games.

Our inquiry sessions began with the group being asked to create a fear inventory. We drew four columns on a page of our journals and the header for each column went like this:

What are some of your fears? What are the things that you do or do not do to handle these fears? What is the experience you have when those fears are happening? What do you say to yourself or others to explain your emotional reaction and/or those body sensations?

With this beginning list of fears, we were asked to journal that evening on the day's events. The following day we began inquiry on our pretenses, what are we hiding and what does it cost us? The next inquiry session focused on us creating a complaint list, what it costs us and what the complaint is about (being specific). These inquiry sessions were spread out throughout the week's events, each session building on the previous sessions' work.

The takeaway I had from the inquiry work was the full understanding that the voice in my head (the internal narrator/critic) is a liar of the worst kind. It is human nature to make stories about the things we observe/experience. This does not make these stories fact. They are just stories (lies). Each and every one of us struggles with an internal narrator who tells us such things as "I am no good", "I am alone", "I am unloveable", "I am unwanted". The list is endless and the list is complete bullshit. Thing happen to us, we make assumptions, crate a story and then cary this story with us as an trophy/albatross as a reason/excuse for why we are the way that we are. The fact is, if we change our minds/stories that anything is possible for us once we stop living behind the towering fortress walls of our stories/lies.
Photo Aug 11, 2 43 39 PM

Each of us has a "hidden truth/secret", kept from others because if they found out this truth, they'd leave us, wouldn't love us, wouldn't accept us and we'd be alone. These "truths" are often "I'm not good enough", "I'm not smart enough", "I'm bad", "I'm a loser", "I'm a failure". These statements are lies and are incredibly self-limiting. Our earliest experiences shape (restrict) our adult selves, but letting the hurting six year old child within each of us run the emotional control board of our meat covered skeleton made of space dust is a guaranteed recipe for misunderstanding, resentment, frustration, loneliness, anger, etc.

The connection oriented sessions reminded me of some of the games I've played within the Authentic Relating Community in Austin Texas. There are many cities across the United States and Canada that have communities similar to that of the Austin Love Juggernaut. I encourage you to do some research and see if there isn't an AR community in your town! The events are small-ish gatherings (less than 30 people typically) where people come together out of curiosity and engage in person-to-person relating experiences.

To ease the group of Level One attendees into relating to one another more fully, we were asked to engage in eye gazing for one minute with each partner we paired up with before we entered into the teacher/student training portion of each day's Level One training. Each morning Baron asked us to generate "Good Morning" with our community and have us greet our community one by one with a hearty "Good Morning". After three days of inter-relating connecting games and sharing experiences, the handshakes that had originally accompanied the "Good Morning" exercise spontaneously evolved into hugging on the 4th morning. It was a beautiful thing to behold!

I am deliberately excluding full descriptions of the connection oriented events that we engaged in so that I don't ruin the surprise and discovery for anyone embarking on their first Level One trip!


The Nalanda Conference Center is a beautiful, spacious room with lovely views of the woods out each of the windows. The Baptiste Institute had hung posters on the main wall of the studio for this event. Each banner listed different aspects of the Baptiste methodology - The Centerline, True North Alignment, The 10 Tenets of Teaching Baptiste Yoga etc. I have transcribed the contents of the banners here:

WITNESS
THE OBSERVER SELF
MENTAL REALM
THOUGHTS, ATTITUDES, DECISIONS, BELIEFS, IMAGES OF THE PAST
EMOTIONS
BODY SENSATIONS
ACTIONS/NON-ACTIONS
RESULTS 
(all of these things = WHO I CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE)

THE CENTERLINE
The centerline is the place between the right and left side of the body. From the skin to the muscle to the bone PULL INTO each bone... then, all the engaged parts of the body pull into the centerline and core to PRESS & EXPRESS OUT.

THE PRACTICES & TECHNIQUES OF BAPTISTE YOGA

1. Physical (Asana): Journey Into Power as an access to vitality, power & freedom.
2. Meditation (Dhyana): As an access to getting present & awakening.
3. Inquiry (Niyama): As an access to discovery & new possibility.

TRUE NORTH ALIGNMENT
1. Ground down like EARTH
    FEET
        Both feet at 12 o'clock
        Ground down the 4 corners of the feet
        Stretch the toes out on the mat
    LEGS
        Inner ankles back, outer ankles down
        Outer shins in
        From the skin to the muscle to the bone, hug in
2. Flow like WATER
    1. Soften the joints
    2. Keep the pelvis neutral
    3. Lift the front of the pelvis as the tailbone descends
3. Build an inner FIRE
    1. From the skin to the muscle to the bone, hug in
    2. Pull the pit of the belly in and up
    3. Draw the front ribs together, expand the mid-back
    4. Expand from the inside out
4. Soften like AIR
    1. Thoracic spine draws in
    2. Upper arm bones back
    3. Shoulder blades move towards the spine & press into the body
5. Create SPACE for something new
    1. Draw in to create full expression out!

THE TEN TENETS OF TEACHING BAPTISTE YOGA
1. Come from we are connected
2. Drop what you know and listen
3. Teach from the methodology
4. Fill the space
5. Leave people in their greatness
6. Speak into each and every
7. Listen for how your words are landing in people's bodies and hearts
8. Create the listening for contribution
9. Look for and speak to what is missing
10. Generate inspiration

THE 5 ORGANIZING PRINCIPALS OF TRUE NORTH ALIGNMENT
1. Be Intentional: in creating the physical foundation of the pose & being up to something bigger than yourself
2. Balanced Action: Create Sthira Sukha
3.  The Five Pillars: Put in and keep present Drishti, Ujjayi, Bandhas, Tapas, Vinyasa
4. Total Body Integrity: PULL IN, PRESS DOWN & LIFT UP to integrate... create muscle to bone connection (pull into centerline & core)
5. Total Body Expression: PRESS, LIFT, MOVE & fully express out (move out from center & core)

THE FIVE PILLARS OF THE BAPTISTE POWER VINYASA YOGA PRACTICE
1. Drishti - Gaze
2. Ujjayi - Breath
3. Foundation - Core, Hands & Feet
4. Tapas - Heat
5. Vinyasa - Flow

THE ART & MASTERY OF PRACTICING & TEACHING
1. LOOK: For True North & what's possible. Put your drishti ON the areas you want to transform.
2. LISTEN: Your listening makes the difference and not your knowledge.
3. GIVE TOOLS: That make a difference right now

THE 3 THEMES OF BAPTISTE TRAINING
1. Be a YES: As a creation, not a concept. Put your attention ON what you feast to have happen and be for it.
2. Give Up What You Must: Bring into view & let go the fixed drishti's (perceptions) & Tadasana's (positions) that thwart and constrain you.
3. Come From You Are Ready Now: Move, breathe & have your being from "Right now is all I've got." Make the higher call at each step.

THE THREE SOURCE PRINCIPLES
1. Physicalness
2. Possibility
3. Empowerment

The words we were taught for cueing True North Alignment differed somewhat from those on the banners. The banners were dated 2014, so I can only assume that these are the new verbal cues Baron wants us to use to teach True North Alignment.

New cueing words - 2016 Level One
Feet on 12 o'clock
Lift the 10 toes
Spread the 10 toes
Press the mound of each big toe down
Press the center of each heel down
Lift up
Turn the inner ankles back
Pull the leg muscles into the bones
Pull the outer shins in
Lift the front of the pelvis up towards the belly button
Pull the pit of the belly into the spine
Pull the shoulders up to your ears
Expand out across the chest and upper back
Pull the shoulders straight back
Press the thoracic spine into the chest
New cueing words - 2018 Level One
Feet on 12 o'clock
Lift the 10 toes
Spread the 10 toes
Press the mound of each big toe down
Press the center of each heel down
Lift up
Pull the leg muscles to the bones
Turn the inner ankles back
Pull the outer shins in
Lift the front of the pelvis up towards the belly button
Pull the pit of the belly in toward the spine
Pull the shoulders up to the ears
Expand the chest and upper back
Pull the front ribs in toward the center
Pull the shoulders straight back
Press the thoracic spine into the chest
Pull the jaw bone straight back to the neck

The full sequencing of poses for the Journey Into Power are as follows:

Child's pose
Down dog
Ragdoll
Mountain
Samasthiti with three OMs
Sun Salutation A:
Extended Mountain
Forward fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Step or hop to the front of the mat
[repeat 5x]
Sun Salutation B:
Thunderbolt
Forward Fold
Half lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Right Foot Warrior 1
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Left Foot Warrior 1
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
[repeat 5x]
Sun B Variation - Flip dog /side plank [on last down dog of last Sun B]
Flip dog on Right side
Transition to side plank on left side
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Flip dog on Left side
transition to side plank on right side
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Sun B Variation with Crescent Lunge into twist:
Step or hop to the front of the mat
Thunderbolt
Forward fold
Half lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Crescent lunge right side
hands to heart center
twist to the right
open up to Warrior 2
transition to Extended Side Angle
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Crescent lunge left side
hands to heart center
twist to the left
open up to Warrior 2
transition to Extended Side Angle
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Thunderbolt prayer twist (once each side)
Fingers to toes forward fold (feet hip width apart)
Palms to toes forward fold (feet hip width apart)
Crow Pose
Eagle Pose (2x each side)
Standing Leg Raise
Airplane
Half Moon
Dancer's Pose (2x each side)
Tree
Sun Salutation B - variation with triangle
Forward Fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Right Foot Warrior 1
Open Up Warrior 2
Straighten front leg, Triangle
Side Facing Wide Leg Forward Bend
Namaste Front Facing Forward Fold
Twisting Triangle
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Left Foot Warrior 1
Open Up Warrior 2
Straighten front leg, Triangle
Side Facing Wide Leg Forward Bend
Namaste Front Facing Forward Fold
Twisting Triangle
Locust (x2)
Floor Bow (x2
Upward Facing Dog
Camel (x2
Bridge
Wheel (x6)
Supta Baddha Konasana
Dead Bug
Scissor Legs (x50)
60/30 Lift (x10)
Abdominal Twists (x50 [25 each side])
Boat Pose (high to low x10)
Half Pigeon Right Side
Downward Facing Dog
Half Pigeon Left side
Double Pigeon (x1 each side)
Frog
Seated Single Leg Extension (x1 each side)
Seated Forward Bend
Table Top
Fish
Shoulder stand / Head stand/ Handstand or Waterfall pose
Plow Pose
Deaf Man's Pose
Supine Twist (x1 each side)
Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Savasana


 The Journey Into Power sequence with the intention for each of the eleven sequence sections is listed below:

INTEGRATION
Child's pose
Down dog
Ragdoll
Mountain Pose
Samasthiti with three OMs
AWAKENING
Sun Salutation A:
Extended Mountain
Forward fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Step or hop to the front of the mat
[repeat 5x]
Sun Salutation B:
Thunderbolt
Forward Fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Right Foot Warrior 1
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Left Foot Warrior 1
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
[repeat 5x]
Sun B Variation - Flip dog /side plank [on last down dog of last Sun B]
Flip dog on Right side
Transition to side plank on left side
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Flip dog on Left side
transition to side plank on right side
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
VITALITY
Sun B Variation with Crescent Lunge into twist:
Step or hop to the front of the mat
Thunderbolt
Forward Fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Crescent lunge right side
hands to heart center
twist to the right
open up to Warrior 2
transition to Extended Side Angle
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Crescent lunge left side
hands to heart center
twist to the left
open up to Warrior 2
transition to Extended Side Angle
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Thunderbolt prayer twist (once each side)
Fingers to toes forward fold (feet hip width apart)
Palms to toes forward fold (feet hip width apart)
Crow Pose
EQUANIMITY
Eagle Pose (2x each side)
Standing Leg Raise
Airplane
Half Moon
Dancer's Pose (2x each side)
Tree
GROUNDING
Sun Salutation B - variation with triangle
Forward Fold
Half Lift
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Right Foot Warrior 1
Open Up Warrior 2
Straighten front leg, Triangle
Side Facing Wide Leg Forward Bend
Namaste Front Facing Forward Fold
Twisting Triangle
Chaturanga Dandasana
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Left Foot Warrior 1
Open Up Warrior 2
Straighten front leg, Triangle
Side Facing Wide Leg Forward Bend
Namaste Front Facing Forward Fold
Twisting Triangle
IGNITING
Locust (x2)
Floor Bow (x2
Upward Facing Dog
Camel (x2
Bridge
Wheel (x6)
Supta Baddha Konasana
Dead Bug
STABILITY
Scissor Legs (x50)
60/30 Lift (x10)
Abdominal Twists (x50 [25 each side])
Boat Pose (high to low x10)
OPENING
Half Pigeon Right Side
Downward Facing Dog
Half Pigeon Left side
Double Pigeon (x1 each side)
Frog
RELEASE
Seated Single Leg Extension (x1 each side)
Seated Forward Bend
Table Top
Fish
REJUVENATION
Shoulder stand / Head stand/ Handstand or Waterfall pose
Plow Pose
Deaf Man's Pose
DEEP RELEASE
Supine Twist (x1 each side)
Butterfly (Supta Baddha Konasana)
Savasana
I uploaded the pictures I took while I was at Level One to Flickr:
Created with flickr slideshow.

Packed, Prepared, Nervous

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Two days left until I get on that plane and head to Baptiste Level One training at the Menla Mountain Retreat Center in Phoencia, NY. I'm as ready as I can be, packed twice (maybe three times) and I've over-thought everything.

I know that I am as ready as I'll ever be, but I'm also aware that I'm not anywhere close to physically prepared for the 2 asana sessions each day for the six full days we'll be there. I double checked the cell phone coverage maps for Verizon and AT&T (just to be sure!) and there really is no cell phone coverage at Menla. I'll be offline, out of reach for a full week and I'm O.K. with that.

I've written about what Baptiste yoga means to me in several different posts so I won't get into that here. I'm eager to advance my teaching skills to teach on my feet and lead a group through the powerful sequences that are part of a Baptiste flow. It will mean so much to me to give back the joy that I've found from being a Baptiste yogi.





Packing for Baptiste Level One - Menla 2016

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There are only 14 days left before I get on a plane and head to Baptiste Level One training at the Menla Mountain Retreat in Phoenicia, NY.

I have overthought every thing that can be overthought.

Prepared for every potentiality and packed the bare essentials. 

Required items are a yoga mat, block(s) and a strap, and enough yoga clothing for 12 changes (2 per day). The full list of recommended things to bring is thankfully provided by the Baptiste organization.

How to fit all of these items into a carry-on suitcase is another thing all together. Luckily, I have my trusty Halliburton Zeroller and it has a ton of space. The connecting flight to Albany will likely require me to plane side check my suitcase (it'll be a small commuter plane). My mat in the yoga bag will be my other carry on item, and that means I can't bring my backpack! My flight schedule doesn't allow enough time to wait at baggage claim to pickup my suitcase (that would burn 30 minutes) and get to Menla on time, so it's carry-on only for me.


My suitcase is packed and ready to go and here's the list of what I'm packing:

strap
Assorted Ultima Replenisher packets
1 cotton net tote bag


The other half of my suitcase has room enough for:
non liquid toiletries
hairbrush/hair ties
mesh tote bag (for carrying shampoo/hairbrush/soap to the showers)
6 yoga yoga bra tops
6 tank tops
1 combo yoga bra/top
1 swimsuit
1 nightgown/long shirt
1 lounge pants
1 long sleeve cover up top
7 yoga leggings
2 cotton hand towels


I hope that I've thought of everything but I'm sure there's something I've forgotten. I did recently order some tea tree towelette/wipes to clean my mat/face with as well as a battery powered rechargeable fan for the nightstand (assuming there is a night stand in the bunkhouse).

Stepping into the unknown is easier to do if I've had ample time to pack and prepare. I'm confident that I'm as prepared as I can hope to be!

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

See YOU on the mat, tomorrow morning as I lead us through 60 minutes of a powerful, sweaty flow @kaleisiatea #communiteayoga #sundayasana

12:27 AM 0 Comments A+ a-


via Instagram http://ift.tt/1UVhlWN

Wake Up Yoga (4.30.2016) In Being, You Belong

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I made a recording of Wake Up Yoga (subbing for Richell) at Jai Dee on April 30th 2016. This was a 75 minute class with a kickin' playlist (spotify & 8tracks).

I opened and closed the class with a poem written my my dear friend Sara Ness. It was difficult to read it aloud (her words are powerful), but that's exactly why I chose it to open and close the class.

Here is her poem in its entirety:

When was the last time someone saw you?
Or cared enough to try?
Has anyone looked past your guards
Or held you as you cried?
How often do you feel you matter?
Safe to show your heart?
Free to tell your truth,
be "too much", or fall apart?
Have you ever felt true love
with strangers you just met?
And what if we can all be here
with nowhere else to get?
You think that you aren't perfect
I plan to prove you wrong.
Come sit with us just as you are - 
In being, you belong.
-Sara Ness

The audio recording of this class can be found on mixcloud and bandcamp!


Baptiste Level One - 2016 Phoenicia NY

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I am continuing to raise the bar on my personal growth. I signed up for Level One Baptiste Yoga training for August 2016 and been accepted!! It will be held at the Menla Mountain Retreat & Conference Center in Phoenicia NY.

I've witnessed the transformation that occurs during Level One training during my time practicing at Breath and Body Yoga in Austin TX. I know I have my work cut out for me, mentally and physically to prepare for the week's long training. Long days, strange environments, meeting many new people and being a long way from home.

It is for this very reason that I have selected the bunkhouse sleeping quarters. It makes the most sense to me to lean into the unfamiliar territory of shared sleeping quarters during such a pivotal time in my yoga journey. 

Related to this journey, I have written a post describing what Baptiste Power Vinyasa means to me.