Set Higher Standards by Ravi

Ramblings from a 30-something ultra-marathoning yogi with a day job.

Posts Tagged ‘Baron Baptiste

Baptiste Power Flow Immersion 2011

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The 2011 Baptiste Power Flow Immersion is complete!

500 + yogis gathered in Estes Park, CO for a three day immersion in Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. Led by Baron Baptiste, this gathering included Master Teachers from around the country leading workshops in addition to plenty of teachers and students of all skill levels coming together to practice.

Each day began with a four-hour master class led by Baron that included mediation, intensive Vinyasa Yoga practice and plenty of time for group dialogue, sharing and partner work (handstands anyone?!). Following lunch, students could choose from a wide variety of afternoon breakout session. Some were discussion based while others involved more practice – all led by remarkable master teachers from the Baptiste community.

Each evening following dinner there was a different event – including a premier of the new documentary for the Africa Yoga Project and a Yoga Dance Party on the final night.

I’ve been to many yoga workshops and multi-day trainings but the Power Flow Immersion was unique. It was unique in the size and welcoming nature of the community that gathered to practice each day. It was unique in its setting – with Estes Park being the gateway to the gorgeous Rocky Mountain National Park (where else do elk walk by you on the way to yoga practice?!). It was also unique in the balance between intensive practice and discussion sessions with just enough free time that allowed things to really “sink in”.

For me, the most unique thing was the overall quality of the teaching.  Each Baptiste training I’ve been to has been more impactful than the last. Part of it might be that I’m becoming more receptive to the teaching and as such – things are starting to really “click” for me, and it’s also true that Baron and his committed teach of staff and master teachers are continually evolving and improving their approach. That’s part of what I really like about this community – everyone really seems committed to constant and never-ending improvement – and that includes Baron and his teaching!  

I’ve walked away from the past three days with a new found sense of possibility for what I can create in my own life. I’ve been inspired through witnessing the transformation of others around me in the Baptiste community. I’ve also learned the difference between power (good!) and force (not good) and how these energies show up in my own practice and everyday life.

I have a few more days remaining here in Estes Park as the Yoga Journal Conference kicks off today and continues through the weekend, but already the experience has greatly surpassed my expectations. If you have an opportunity to attend at Baptiste program, don’t hesitate to do it!  Whether you have a desire to teach yoga or not, you will surely come away with direct experiences and practical tools that you can apply to create massive progress throughout all aspects of your life.  

 Here’s a video recap of day 1 (I’m in the video about half-way through!).

Team "Shaki Vinyasa" at the Power Flow Immersion!

Written by Ravi Raman

September 22, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Be Responsible to Be Unstoppable

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An unstoppable dude!

An unstoppable dude!

What is stopping you? Is there something in your life that you want that you do not have? If so, what is keeping you from going out and getting it? This could be something relating to your physical body, your job, your bank account, your relationships, your friends, etc.

I have little patience for people who whine. I think everyone is entitled to have an opinion and complaining might be cathartic to some extent – but I don’t enjoy hearing people complain about things, especially when the people complaining don’t take action to fix whatever is the issue.

People often complain about things because they pass ownership for a situation on to someone else. Someone else didn’t grant them a promotion. Someone else cooked the delicious cookies (that they over-ate). Someone else is ignoring them. Someone else cut them off in traffic. Etc.

During my yoga training last month we spend a lot of time taking ownership and responsibility for whatever  happened to us in our lives. Our job (or lack thereof), our relationships, our childhood experiences. All of these things were ultimately our creation – be they good or bad. Being responsible – at cause – for your life gives you tremendous power.

When you are at cause you take ownership for everything that has, is or will happen to you. This also means that you are control of creating the life situations that you wish to happen – and recreating the meanings for things that have happened in the past and were previously called “bad” into more empowering memories. If something doesn’t suit you, change it! If something is stopping you, choose to be unstoppable and resolve the issue.

The key to being unstoppable is therefore a simple one. Take responsibility for your life situation – the good and the bad, by accepting that you are a cause for whatever has happened, will happen and most importantly, whatever is happening in your life now in this moment.

Written by Ravi Raman

September 7, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Assisting at Level 1 Baptiste Yoga Teacher Training

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During one of my many daily practices at the 2008 Level 1 training

During one of my many daily practices at the 2008 Level 1 training

I’m headed back to Level 1 Teacher Training for Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga. I attended last year as a student, and this time I will be an assistant, supporting the other students and teachers in the program.

I’m looking forward to spending another 8 days in the Catskills at Menla Mountain Retreat Center, disconnecting from technology for a while, helping others to learn and grow and I’m sure I’ll also pick a few things up myself. I am always amazed at how the act of teaching others can help you to learn so much.

See you in a week or so!

Written by Ravi Raman

July 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm

3-Day Fruit Fast Recap

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A Fruit Feast! I consumed almost all this fruit over the 3 days. Note: the bananas were intentionally purchased unripe. They were perfectly ripe when consumed though. I also only drank 12 ounces of the 100% pure blueberry juice.

Earlier this week, as part of the 40 Days to Personal Revolution program, I did a 3-day fruit fast. As I love to eat fruits, I was really looking forward to this. I considered it more of a fruit feast than a fruit fast!

The picture above shows the entire array of fruits that I picked up for these 3 days. In fact, there was more than enough fruit here to last me over a week! I still have a few mangoes and oranges left in fact.

You might be wondering what I broke my fast with? After teaching a yoga class in the morning, I enjoyed some Idli that my mom made before going to work!

So how did I do on the fruit fast? Here is the scoop. Keep in mind that I entered this 3-day fast after having gone without caffeine or any processed sugar for over 3 weeks. I also have been practicing yoga 6-7 days a week for quite a while and have been following a 100% plant-based diet for many years. As a result of this, I think my detoxing symptoms were a little less severe than others. Your mileage will vary!

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Level 2 Yoga Teacher Training

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Tomorrow I am heading to Montana for more Yoga Teacher Training. This is the second part of the training required for Baptiste Power Yoga teachers (“Level 2″ Teacher Training). I’ll be offline the entire time. Will post an update when I return in 10 days!

Written by Ravi Raman

August 29, 2008 at 7:13 am

Baptiste Level 1 Teacher Training Complete!

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Me and Baron Baptiste, on the last day!

(Baron Baptiste and I on the final day!)

I re-entered my orbit this week, after a wonderful week of yoga followed immediately by a few days of business meetings. Baptiste Level 1 Teacher Training was incredibly challenging, in all the right ways. Physically, emotionally, mentally.

A few key distinctions I picked up from this week with 142 amazing yoga friends:

  • Your body can go farther, longer and harder than you think.
  • Your attitude and outlook on life will determine your reality.
  • The most important question we have in life is “Who am I?” Ponder this daily.
  • Approach every moment with an “empty cup” and the world will fill it with more that you’ve imagined.
  • Our “stories” have run or lives in the past, but the future can be different.
  • Teaching in fun and I have an gift for doing so that must be shared.

I head to Level 2 Teacher Training in a few weeks (in Montana). Round 2 will focus on even more “inner work,” that is to say, improving our ability to be present and teach from our hearts.

Written by Ravi Raman

August 17, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Transitioning From Yoga Student to Yoga Teacher

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This weekend I finished a teacher training intensive at my yoga studio. This intensive was 12 hours of yoga over the weekend (Friday night and 2 practices a day on Saturday and Sunday), with 25 other teachers and soon-to-be teachers from the Seattle area (though 1 person came in from Montana!).

My studio, Shakti Vinyasa, is a Baptiste Affiliate Studio, and this style of Power Vinyasa Yoga is quite popular nowadays. The training pushed us all to discover our own inner voice, our reasons for teaching and some of the key building blocks to leading an outstanding class.

Perhaps the most unnerving part of class was leading other students through small 3-5 minutes routines! In fact, at one point during yesterday evening’s class, while all of us were hanging out in downward dog waiting for the teacher to lead us to the next pose, we were asked to raise our leg if we wanted to teach the class.

Of course I did.

And of course I was then called on, and led the class through a little Sun Salutation B (with Crow thrown and a few Lion’s for good measure!). This was my first attempt at teaching a class this size at an actual yoga studio (in front of a bunch of other teacher’s no less!). It was a lot of fun.

Throughout the rest of the intensive, we had several practice rounds of teaching amongst smaller groups, with feedback (intense feedback I might add!) on what we did well and what we could improve on.
Feedback was a critical aspect of the training, and we were pushed to give feedback that focused both on “gems” (things we do well) and “opportunities” (things we could improve on). We were also repeatedly coached to not react to the feedback, and to just accept it.

I must say, that if you have never had to sit and listen to someone praise or critique you and SAY NOTHING…..you would not realize just how tough it is. No nodding the head or laughing or telling your story about why did such a thing…just sitting and accepting it quietly.

Through this experience, I have had a few realizations about making the transition from Yoga Student to Yoga Teacher:

It is far harder to teach a class (effectively) than I thought.

It is one thing to take class on a regular basis, and another thing altogether to remember the sequencing and cues for proper alignment that are needed when teaching. Remembering the proper breathing pace and cues also takes practice. From my own experience, it was as if there was a barrier between my brain and my mouth….and when I tried to teach, I smacked right into it! Already after just a few days of practice I can see that I’ve improved a lot. It’s also clear that I need to “study” more of the asana sequences and Sanskrit names more rigorously.

It is far more rewarding to teach a class than I thought.

It is a feeling that words cannot describe. On a practical note, teaching is an excellent way to really dial in your own practice. You also get to see many more people doing poses as an observer, which gives you insight into alignment issues you may be having in your own practice. It is also just so much fun. It’s like a runner’s high. I can also see how much you can contribute to society through effective teaching. You can help people remove stress from their lives and bring their bodies back into harmony. I’m so glad I’ve started out on this journey to become a yoga teacher.

For those of you who have read this far, are you a yoga teacher or student? If so, what is your motivation for practicing and/or teaching? Leave a note in the comments please!

Written by Ravi Raman

July 28, 2008 at 2:47 am

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