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The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Now displaying: January, 2018
Jan 29, 2018

049: Grow Your Yoga Student Base [Part 1] with Shannon Crow

 

On today’s episode, Shannon wants to help you with one of the most frequently asked questions: how do I get more students to come to my class?

 

In part 1 of this 2-part episode, Shannon will take you through the steps that helped her grow her student base. Beginning with asking what is your ideal yoga class size to being patient and consistent as you build your students’ trust, Shannon shares 6 areas to consider with six actionable steps.

 

Don’t feel overwhelmed by the actionable steps, just start with one this week and find out how it can work for you as you build your student base.

6:15 1) What is your ideal yoga class size?

 

Consider: How many students do you need to pay for your time, rent, fuel? After expenses how much profit would you like to make? How many students can fit comfortably in the space?

 

7:35 Action Item: Once you have the ideal number of students in your head choose 1 of the 2 ways to visualize this:

 

  1. Sticky notes
  2. Student sign-in sheet

 

Put it somewhere you can see every day

 

11:15 2) Registered sessions

 

If you’re concerned about having enough students to cover your space rental, registered sessions are a great way to know what your income and expenses are going into the session.

 

20:50 ACTION ITEM: Try running a registered session. See how it works for you, your student base and for the studio or rental space schedule

 

Offer something new and unique that you’re particularly passionate about.

 

A couple of examples:  a 4-week beginner series or a 6-week back care yoga series.

 

22:00 3) Define Your Yoga Niche

 

ACTION ITEM: If you can define what your unique yoga is and who your ideal yoga student is then you already have done this work! If you feel stuck on either of those or if marketing and content creation is a challenge enrol in  Define Your Yoga Niche: An Online Workshop or book a one-on-one Consultation Call with Shannon.

 

25:25 4) Create content that advertises and markets your yoga

 

26:10 ACTION ITEM: Do the (Free) 5-Day Content Creation Challenge

 

26:25 5) Classes to suit your students

 

Are your yoga classes accessible? Are the classes that will attract the community you live in?

 

28:50 ACTION ITEM: Find a way to check in with your students to see what kind of yoga they are looking for (email survey, phone call, talk with them at your next class).

 

If you don’t have students yet can you check in with people in your area? Attend some local classes to see what is popular, join or create a local Facebook group

 

Ask friends or ask on social media

 

Listen to Trevor Parks’ episode where Shannon asks Trevor a series of questions so he can define his ideal student

 

029: Creating Your About Me Page With Trevor Parks

 

Sign up for the Define Your Yoga Niche: An Online Workshop

 

30:25 6)  Be patient and consistent

 

Keep showing up for yourself and keep showing up for students. Don’t get discouraged if your class sizes are smaller at the beginning.

  

ACTION ITEM: Keep showing up to teach

 

While being consistent, be careful of yoga teacher burnout. It’s okay to take some time off or occasionally ask for another teacher to sub your class.

 

001: How to Avoid Yoga Teacher Burnout with Erin Aquin

 

 

Links

 

The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group "Most Embarrassing Teaching Moment"  thread-  thanks to Joyce Slaughter for starting the discussion

 

The Connected Yoga Teacher FB Group "Looking for Music for Restorative Yoga" thread- thanks to Brittany Boersma who is most definitely not looking for cheesy spa music ;)

 

Shannon does NOT recommend Foundations by Kate Nash as a good yoga class song :)

 

The Connected Teacher Facebook Group

 

001: How to Avoid Yoga Teacher Burnout with Erin Aquin

 

029: Creating Your About Me Page With Trevor Parks

 

Define Your Yoga Niche: An Online Workshop

 

5-Day Content Creation Challenge

 

Student sign-in sheet

 

Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube

 

Book a Consultation Call with Shannon

 

Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Jan 22, 2018

Yoga Teacher Eating Disorder Education with Tabitha Farrar

 

On today’s episode, Shannon and Tabitha Farrar reflect on eating disorders, such as disordered eating and anorexia, and its relationship to the yoga world.

 

As Shannon notes, January is a busy time for yoga teachers. Many new students are influenced by the tradition of the New Year’s Resolution as a way to make a fresh start or establish new patterns (often eating better and exercising more), so eating disorder education is especially relevant at this time of year.

 

Tabitha Farrar is an eating disorder recovery coach who speaks and writes about effective and realistic recovery approaches for adults with restrictive eating disorders. Tabitha recovered from 10 years of severe anorexia and is passionate about helping adult sufferers find a sustainable recovery that works for them.

 

She is the author of Love Fat, numerous articles on eating disorders and the founder of 2 support forums. Tabitha is currently working on her second book, A Workbook for Anorexia Recovery.  She also hosts The Eating Disorder Recovery Podcast and has founded Adult Eating Disorder Recovery (AEDR), a service that offers meal support and emotional support through text for those recovering from an eating disorder.

 

Tabitha shares her expertise to help dispel myths surrounding eating disorders. She also discusses symptoms of EDs, the seriousness of malnutrition, the danger of restrictive eating (such as cleanses and fasts), and what to do if you suspect a student suffers from an eating disorder.

 

3:45 Shannon’s Personal Wellness Goals for the New Year

 

4:55 Shannon’s thoughts on yoga and its relationship to eating disorders

 

7:40 Tabitha’s yoga journey

 

8:45 How Tabitha came to realize she had an eating disorder

 

10:25 What led Tabitha to her current career path- an eating disorder coach with a podcast Tabitha's Eating Disorder Recovery Podcast

 

12:00 What Tabitha wishes people knew about eating disorders

 

13:30 Myth around the idea of anorexia being a desire for control when in fact it’s a ”negative state relief” - a behaviour that helps manage anxiety to a level that is tolerable.

 

14:40 Not always easy to recognize an eating disorder but some symptoms include:

 

  • extreme weight loss can be a sign but you don’t have to be underweight to have an eating disorder (even anorexia)
  • mental state deterioration
  • irritability
  • hoarding
  • possessiveness (acting as though you’re in a threatening environment)

 

16:50 Another symptom that is especially relevant to yoga is the compulsion to exercise

 

19:00 A study revealed eating disorders can stem from genetics if ancestors migrated in response to famine- in migration eat very little and quickly travel over vast distances “have to keep moving”

 

Article: Adapted to Flee Famine: Adding an Evolutionary Perspective on Anorexia Nervosa by Shan Guisinger PhD

 

20:40 Malnutrition is a medical emergency

 

21:15 Tabitha’s wish for less emphasis on nutrition believing that as nutritional science has gained prevalence in our society it has been more detrimental than helpful

 

23:10 The yoga community should treat the body as a living organism and not like a machine

 

23:45 What can yoga teachers do to empower their students whether they know their yoga students have an eating disorder or not- Tabitha reads an email she received with thoughts on yoga teachers and eating disorders

 

25:20 Detrimental effect of yoga marketing, social media- e.g. can set unrealistic standards in the mind of yoga students or can encourage students to come to yoga focusing on accepting  their bodies not changing them

 

27:05 The changes in Tabitha’s teaching after educating herself about eating disorders

 

29:20 Yoga and meditation as a tool for eating disorder recovery

 

30:45 Breaking down eating disorder statistics by age and gender and looking beyond them- e.g. eating disorders in males are underreported  

 

32:20 If you notice some symptoms of an eating disorder in a yoga student do you approach them?

 

35:10 Helpful to for yoga studio managers to have some education in eating disorders so teachers can come to them if they’re concerned about a student

 

36:00 Danger of diets, fasting, cleanses, vegetarianism, veganism (any restrictive eating) in general and especially when struggling with an eating disorder

 

39:10 Being aware of language around eating and the body as a yoga teacher- criticizing your body is normalized in society, often a bonding activity

 

42:20 Tabitha’s final words to yoga teachers

 

44:05 How to find Tabitha if you want to contact her

 

45:00 Shannon’s closing thoughts

  

“I want you to understand that eating disorders are genetically based mental illnesses. They are not a choice. They are not ‘caused by society’ (although they are complicated and aggravated by society in a serious way). They are not caused by bad parents or a ‘need to control’” -Tabitha Farrar

 

Links

 

Tabitha Farrar's Website

 

Instagram

 

Twitter @love_fat_

 

Podcast: Eating Disorder Recovery Podcast (also available on iTunes)

 

Book: Love Fat -Tabitha Farrar’s eating disorder recovery story

 

Tabitha’s Blog Posts: The danger of veganism and EDs

 

Article: Adapted to Flee Famine: Adding an Evolutionary Perspective on Anorexia Nervosa by Shan Guisinger PhD

 

Adapted to Flee Famine Website

 

Adult Eating Disorder Recovery (AEDR) Website

 

The Connected Teacher Facebook Group

 

New Year's Resolutions Discussion on TCYT Facebook Group

 

Miranda's Student Numbers Question Discussion on TCYT Facebook Group

 

Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube

 

Book a Consultation Call with Shannon

 

Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Jan 15, 2018

Downward Dog in Prenatal Yoga with Kim MacDonald-Heildant and Shannon Crow

Shannon met Kim MacDonald-Heildant at a prenatal yoga teacher training and they bonded over their enthusiasm for this area of expertise. Leaving the training with even more questions, Shannon and Kim decided to join forces. They felt that while every teacher and training brought them valuable experience, they wanted to expand on what they learned to incorporate the research and experience they’ve gained since.

 

Shannon and Kim co-founded Mama Nurture to provide a 100-hour prenatal yoga teacher training (PYTT) that spends more time on all the wonderful aspects of prenatal that are often only touched on in PYTT (e.g. postnatal and fertility) while expanding on anatomy. Their website also provides great resources such as articles, breath practices and yoga sequences.

 

Kim was drawn to yoga as a self-care practice and became even more enthusiastic about the practice when she became pregnant. She enjoyed her pregnancies and the way yoga enhanced her experience. This positive relationship led her to enrol in a 200-hour YTT followed by a PYTT and is now a certified children’s and prenatal yoga teacher.  She is also a mother of 2, a teacher, co-owner and director of Gibbons Park Montessori School as well as the founder of Live Laugh Breathe Yoga.

 

Shannon and Kim found that one of the most common questions from yoga teachers in prenatal training is: “Can I teach downward dog to pregnant yoga students?” There are many opinions about this. Shannon and Kim are going to share their opinions which they emphasize are not meant to be a definitive answer. In fact, through listening to each other they’ve switched positions!

 

As Shannon and Kim say: “No one yoga pose is good for everyone. No one yoga pose is bad for everyone.” They explore reasons why downward dog is on their caution list and offer alternative poses that can provide some of the same benefits.


7:20 Kim’s yoga journey

 

9:00 What inspired Kim and Shannon to create their own prenatal yoga teacher training

 

10:45 Kim’s thoughts on prenatal and downward dog

 

12:25 How Shannon and Kim ended up switching their positions on downward dog in prenatal yoga

 

13:35 Article written by Kim and Shannon

 

Can I Teach Downward Dog to Prenatal Yoga Students

 

14:10 Reasons Kim and Shannon caution, take out, or only offer downward dog as an option in their classes:

 

14:25  1) Unnecessary strain on the low back

 

15:45 2) Can cause or exacerbate heartburn and nausea

 

16:45 3) Most prenatal students are beginners and downward dog is not a beginner pose

 

18:30 4) Can irritate carpal tunnel which is common in pregnant women

 

19:20 5) It can cause baby to turn

 

20:40 6) Can increase round ligament pain

 

21:15 7) Can affect very low or high blood pressure

 

23:35 Kim and Shannon’s favourite pose for prenatal students- Puppy Pose

 

25:10 Kim and Shannon’s cueing for downward dog for a prenatal student that wants to attempt the pose

 

26:25 To stretch out the calf muscles- Modified Big Toe Pose

 

27:55 Bird Dog Pose

 

28:45 Legs Up the Wall

 

29:20 Half Forward Fold

 

30:50 Kim’s words of wisdom when it comes to incorporating Downward Dog- “Try to let go with what’s expected of you.” Observe your class, don’t be afraid to ask how it feels for your students, your students may do it because they feel like they should, not because it works for them

 

31:55 Kim and Shannon want to share their information and experience to help others make a more informed opinion about downward dog in prenatal- no absolute answer

 

33:15 Shannon’s closing thoughts- ask yourself what benefit do you want to gain from a pose?

 

Links

 

Gibbons Park Montessori School

MamaNurture Article: Can I Teach Downward Dog to Prenatal Yoga Students

PDF: 8 Contraindications for pregnant yoga students (to get the list sign up on the homepage)

Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)

TCYT Podcast 033: A New Perspective with Diastasis Recti with Sinead Dufour

Spinning Babies Website

The Connected Teacher Facebook Group

Free Images Discussion on TCYT Facebook Group-A special thanks to Lindsey Larson for starting the discussion

Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube

Book a Consultation Call with Shannon

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Jan 6, 2018

Redefining Stretching with Jules Mitchell

 

Jules Mitchell is “a student for life”. She is a massage therapist, yoga teacher and educator.

She holds a Master of Science in Exercise Science and Biomechanics from CSU Long Beach and teaches numerous
workshops that combine the tradition of yoga (asana and pranayama) with her knowledge of biomechanics to educate teachers in a fun digestible way.

 

Jules practiced yoga for many years and at a certain point in her life felt the need to teach. The teacher training brought up so many questions for Jules that she says weren’t satisfactorily answered and realized she would have to turn to academics to answer them.

 

Jules came to realize and accept that there will always be a lot of questions that are unknown and one will always be learning. She tells her students at the beginning of her workshops that if they don’t leave there with more questions then she hasn’t done her job. Jules wants to impress upon yoga teachers the need to question more, the importance of scientific literacy, critical thinking and curiosity.

 

Shannon and Jules talk about how there are no bad poses, the importance of cueing (talking less and listening more), and questioning how poses are taught. Jules gives us an excellent example by discussing whether you keep your legs straight or bend them when performing a forward fold. Her explanation using scientific research illustrates the importance of science-informed teaching and the benefit of reading studies in a field that is ever-evolving.

 

Jules wants to help inform you to make your own choices as a yoga teacher, not to overwhelm you. She is working on an upcoming book tentatively titled Yoga Biomechanics: Redefining Stretching which moves far beyond what is generally understood about stretching. She explains the mechanical properties of connective tissue, the material science, the composition and architecture of tissue and emerging ideas and research along with yoga sequences. She hoping to release this information-packed book in 2018.



8:05 Jules' yoga teacher journey

 

10:15 An example of a question that Jules had that wasn’t answered satisfactorily in yoga teacher training

 

13:25 How Jules went outside the yoga teacher training for answers, but then brought information back to the yoga world

 

14:55 Jules' thoughts on stretching, range of motion and flexibility

 

17:15 Passive stretching, load and strengthening “strengthen to lengthen”

 

19:05 What does this look like for Jules as a yoga teacher?

 

“co-contraction” not so much focus on contracting some and relaxing others, how the muscles work together and how we don't need to work so hard to isolate them hopefully introducing adaptation

 

20:15 Restorative yoga and how it affects the tissues at a cellular level

 

22:25 How Jules uses research and at the same time works hard to avoid making huge assumptions

 

27:55 Language and cues that Jules uses now with more information- ask open-ended questions like ”How does it feel when your hand goes there?”  How can we help people explore movement instead of making them afraid of it- say less, observe and let your students teach you.

 

30:20 Forward folds and hamstrings

 

Article:  To Bend or Not to Bend (the Knees in a Forward Fold) by Jules Mitchell

 

33:05 Poses cannot be categorized as safe and not safe

 

36:40 How can we cue to enable students to pose the body as robust

 

39:10 What Jules feels is missing from yoga teacher training and importance of reading research studies using critical thinking

 

41:15 Social media and the pull Jules feels to answer questions there

 

42:50 Jules’ upcoming book: Yoga Biomechanics: Redefining Stretching

 

47:25 How to contact Jules

 

49:15 Shannon’s closing thoughts

 

Links

 

Jules Mitchell's Website

 

Book: Yoga Biomechanics: Redefining Stretching by Jules Mitchell in 2018

 

Article:  To Bend or Not to Bend (the Knees in a Forward Fold) by Jules Mitchell

 

Article: Question Everything by Jules Mitchell

 

Jules Mitchell's Workshop Schedule

 

Jules Mitchell's Online Education

 

Jules Mitchell's Online Classes on Udaya.com

 

Online Course: Biomechanics of Yoga and Asana: Biomechanics, Posture & Performance with Jules Mitchell

 

Free Youtube Videos with Jules Mitchell



The Connected Teacher Facebook Group

 

Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube

 

Book a Consultation Call with Shannon

 

Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

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