Baptiste Power Flow Immersion 2011

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!

Attachment and Non-Attachment

Attachment is having a “hangup”. It’s a stickiness or a blocking (as described by Zen teacher Alan Watts).

It’s about having a hangup on the things we are told by our parents, teachers, aunts, uncles, bosses and peer groups. Things that define what we do, what we think about the things we do (or don’t manage to do) and how we feel about those things.

We create elaborate mental models based on peer feedback about how we should relate to the world. Some things are helpful –> like ‘don’t put your hand in a fire.’ Others are less helpful –> ‘successful people must drive a nice car,  live in larger homes and work endlessly day and night until they are 65.’

In yoga we learn to not be attached.

This means, listening to what people say – but then not getting “hung up” on those things.

This means, going through life without the burden of needing to conform to some pre-fabricated and outwardly imposed model of the universe. Instead, it means going through life with the curiosity of a living organism that interacts with the environment – as part of the environment – and relates to the world based on what is actually showing up – not based on what someone told you or what something is called.

A tree is a tree not because it is called “tree,” but because it is what it is – beyond just an image in your mind or words.

This is non-attachment.

 

The monk who sold his ferrari: book recap

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Finished reading a very quick book – The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, by Robin Sharma. I was perusing Barnes and Noble and noticed the book due to the striking title. I had never heard of Robin Sharma, but have since learned that this book is a bestseller and has been for the past 10+ years.

It was an incredibly quick and easy read (I finished it in 3 sittings, about 2.5 hours total). It’s written as a fable and embeds a whole bunch of personal development teaching through the story. If you have read Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins or other personal and spiritual development teachings, the themes of this book will be very familiar.

Overall, the book was OK. I give it a 7 out of 10. It’s worth reading, but the fable itself had a bunch of information (and quotes!) I had already read through other teachers. the fable itself also was pretty darn predictable in terms of how the dialogue progressed (though there was a twist at the end!).

Some of my take-away’s:

  • Time management is one of life’s most important skills
  • Most of us sleep far too much
  • Not being motivated means you don’t have a clear vision/purpose/goal for your life
  • Mental chatter causes physical fatigue and “aging” on some level – thus the importance of meditation
  • Never put off happiness for the sake of achievement – stay in the present
  • The purpose of life is to serve others
  • Will-power is required for personal transformation on any level
  • The mind will follow your direction, your will….don’t let yourself follow the whims of your mind!

There’s a bunch of other nuggets. It’s a worthwhile read, not mind-blowing but full of good insights and it’s very quick and easy to get through.