My Application Process Is Underway: Tier 1 Certified Baptiste Yoga Teacher

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I am pleased to report that I have submitted my application to become a certified Baptiste teacher! The process was long and involved but totally worth it! Once I'd completed Level Two training, I received an email to complete the post training survey. When I completed the survey, I then received an email back with my course completion certificate PDF attached.

A couple of days after I received my Level Two completion certificate email, I received an email from the Baptiste Yoga program. It had links to the Certribution Guidebook, the new Certification Application, and the Online Submission Portal. I then have one year to complete the application process once I've submitted my documentation.

The information required at the time I applied (8/25/17) may be different from the information required for past or future applicants. Here is a list of the supporting documentation and essays required for my application. Documents should be in PDF or DOC format. All other formats are incompatible with the application system.
  • Letter of Recommendation (from Affiliate Studio owner or direct supervisor recommending you to apply for Baptiste Certification)
  • Documentation of your yoga practice for a minimum of either 1 year or 100 yoga classes (a letter from a yoga teacher or studio can serve as documentation)
    • I used my student visit history from Mindbody Online. I copied the text on the screen and then pasted it into a Word document.
  • Documentation of your teaching of the Journey Into Power sequence for a minimum of either 1 year or 100 yoga classes. A letter or email from my employer or my name published on a teaching schedule can serve as documentation.
    • I've been recording my teaching dates into a Google Spreadsheet, so I copied that data into a Word document.
  • Write a 1-2 page essay on why you have chosen to teach Baptiste Yoga and how this methodology speaks to you.
  • Write one paragraph on the following points. Be concise, specific and not conceptual.
    • The Who:
      • As a Certified Teacher of Baptiste Yoga do you see yourself as a contribution to others? The/your community? To the world?
    • The What:
      • In your being a contribution, what is the promise you are making to yourself, the/your community and to Baptiste Yoga?
      • What is the contribution to your practice, your teaching and your life that you are committed to realizing through teaching Baptiste Yoga?
    • The How:
      • How do you see yourself using Baptiste Yoga (in and out of the classroom) to fulfill on being a contribution?
  • If you were to get certified, write your professional and public bio in 100-200 words.
  • Film your teaching.
    • Video requirements: The class must be 60-90 minutes in length. Do not play any music during any part of your class. The recording must include your entire class from start to finish.
    • Position the camera to be able to see most of the room and you clearly (including full bodies and faces of the students). Ensure that your voice can be heard clearly and that the room is lit appropriately to be seen in the video.
    • The sequence must be consistent with the flow as presented in Journey Into Power.
    • Upload unlisted video to YouTube.
  • Complete a self-evaluation of my teaching as seen in my video.
    • Physicalness
      • Direct awareness to the physical body & speak physical point to physical point. Speak to the form, alignment and action of the pose.
    • Empowerment
      • Look, Listen, Give Tools
        (Look for and speak to what is missing. Speak into each and every. Leave people in their own greatness.)
        Reasoning & time-stamped examples
    • Possibility & 3 Themes of Baptiste Yoga
      • Draw the parallels between physicality and being.
      • Speak to the three themes: Be A Yes, Drop What You Must, You Are Ready Now. Come from we are all connected. Create inspiration.
      • Note specifically when and where you see a physical and energetic result or possibility embodied by your students as a result of your instruction.
    • Use of True North Alignment & The 5 Organizing Principles of Baptiste Yoga.
      Earth, Fire, Water, Air, Space:
      • Which elements were most present in your teaching?
      • When and in what parts of your class were they the most present?
      • Conversely, what elements were missing?
      • When and in what parts of your class were they needed? 
      • When and where did you specifically speak to True North Alignment?
      • Did you exemplify True North in your body language and voice (articulation, emphasis, filling the space)?
      • Are you intentional in your teaching and do you cue your students to practice intentionally? 
      • Do you teach with balanced action - relaxed and firm?
      • Do you speak to internal and external rotation, total body integrity and total body expression? Where and how?
    • Use of 5 pillars of Baptiste yoga: Drishti, Ujjayi, Foundation, Vinyasa, Tapas
      • How did the class flow, and what was the effect of the breath on the class and the tempo?
      • Too much cueing? Not enough? Missing entirely? Effective and united? 
      • Was your teaching forward moving and in line with the Journey Into Power sequence?
      • Did the energy of your class match up with the energy of the sequences - producing heat and a consistent flow?
      • The energy of the class matched the energy of the sequences, the students produced a lot of heat and flowed from the beginning to the end of the class.
      • Did you presence the 5 pillars throughout the entire class?
    • Demonstration & Assisting
      • When used, were they an extension of your teaching?
      • Were they direct, clear and powerful?
      • Were your hands an extension of your words in delivering your cues?
      • Were you visible to your whole class during any demonstrations?
    • Essential Language
      • Where did you notice when you were speaking from a script?
      • When were you speaking to what was actually happening in the room?
      • Did you see your words and in the bodies and hearts of your students?
      • Did you notice use of filler words (like, um, and then) or cues that felt scripted?
      • Did you cue more than needed, just right or not enough to make an impact right now on your students’ experience?
    • Overall Effectiveness
      • In 500 words or less
        • If you felt your class and teaching were effective, briefly describe what did you do that caused you to be effective?
        • If you felt your class and teaching were ineffective, what did you do that caused you to be ineffective?
        • Speak to your connection to your students.
          • What new blind spots are you getting present to in your teaching as a result of your self-evaluation?
        • If you were to put in what was missing, what would your teaching look like?
        • Describe how this will give you access to what is now possible in your teaching.
There are a couple of these items that I had a little difficulty with and I hope that what I've submitted is acceptable. I've been teaching the JIP sequence since I got back home from Level One, but I only teach once a week at Jai Dee (an official yoga studio). The other teaching I've done has been teaching from home to my neighbors and friends, and a handful of donation based classes at community centers. I've kept meticulous records of the class size & locations and I hope this will meet the documentation requirements. I heard somewhere that the class size for the Certribution video should be 5 or more students. I didn't see that called out specifically in any of the information packets, but the yoga class I led as an Africa Yoga Project fundraiser at the Lakeland Brewing Company brought 27 yogis to their mats, so I recorded that class for my Certribution video!

I learned a lot about my teaching by completing the self-evaluation. I observed myself moving without intention as I moved around the 'studio' space. I noticed that I could have given many more hands-on assists during the practice. I noticed that my verbal cues did not land (were not understood) by some of the newer yogis and they might have benefited from me demonstrating the first Sun Salutation sequence. I missed the opportunity to speak to internal and external rotation, total body integrity and total body expression as well as speaking specifically to vinyasa and tapas during the class. The class I taught wasn't the exact flow of Journey Into Power, I omitted the Grounding sequence because not everyone had a block for Triangle (I hope that doesn't count against me, but if it does I have no qualms about recording another class).

I'm eagerly looking forward to the email/phone call from the Baptiste Institute so that I can receive their feedback. It may take 4-6 weeks to hear back from them, and I may need to record a class multiple times or provide additional information. Now begins the waiting... :)