The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast
Ep 126: Body Mindful Yoga with Jennifer Kreatsoulas
This episode deals with a topic that impacts so many of us and our students: body image and making peace with the bodies we have. In the USA, up to 30 million people suffer from an eating disorder, and worldwide, almost 70 million. Yoga can be a powerful tool to navigate the daily challenges of recovery from eating disorders, or even to help people accept their bodies.
Jennifer Kreatsoulas is a certified yoga therapist specializing in eating disorders and body image. As an inspirational speaker and the author of Body Mindful Yoga: Create a Powerful and Affirming Relationship With Your Body, she helps others who struggle with their bodies find peace of mind with yoga and mindfulness practices. She also provides yoga therapy online and in-person, and coaches healthcare and yoga professionals.
For over 20 years, Jennifer has struggled with anorexia, and she reveals how that inspired her work in helping people who struggle with their bodies through yoga. Shannon and Jennifer discuss what words and cues can be triggering and some alternatives you can use instead, as well as the general language in our culture around food, fitness, and fashion.
Being mindful of our bodies and creating an affirming relationship with our bodies is not easy, but it is work worth doing. This episode will surely shed new light on some of our practices in cueing during yoga classes, and how to be more aware of the language that we use and that surrounds us.
[5:25] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jennifer Kreatsoulas.
[7:18] Who is Jennifer and what is the work she does?
[9:35] What is an eating disorder?
[12:50] In the US, 30 million people are affected by eating disorders.
[14:26] What made Jennifer decide that yoga would be a part of her recovery?
[16:14] What are some examples of triggering words or actions?
[21:11] Jennifer and Shannon discuss the importance of educating and empowering students with the language you use, as well as bringing inquiry into the class.
[24:20] We're often told to love our bodies, but that is hard to do sometimes.
[26:18] Jennifer shares some of the language around body parts that can be sensitive.
[31:50] What are some other verbal cues to pay attention to?
[34:05] Movement in a yoga class may not come as easily to beginners as it does to us as yoga teachers, who have been doing it for years.
[35:51] What are some of the best practices surrounding body mindful yoga?
[40:34] There is so much power in our words - we need to be mindful of how our words can hurt ourselves, hurt others.
[45:01] Who is Jennifer's target for her book, Body Mindful Yoga?
[46:00] Jennifer also offers mentorship for healthcare professionals and yoga teachers.
[50:03] Jennifer shares some words of compassion for people who are not feeling confident in their bodies.
[52:13] Don't forget to get a copy of Jennifer's book, and do check out her website to learn more about her work.
[53:27] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this interview.
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
Quotes from this episode:
"[An eating disorder] affects people of all ages, of all genders, of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds."
"We're all learning how to love ourselves better, and we all have our obstacles to doing that."
"If we want to use that language, let's make it empowering and educate our students on what's actually happening in their bodies, and what it means."
"Find the language that resonates with you most authentically."