The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Now displaying: April, 2018
Apr 30, 2018

062: Buteyko Breathing with Steve Donald


When Shannon heard about Buteyko breathing she became curious and reached out to Steve Donald, one of the first Buteyko teachers in Canada. Steve had struggled with asthma throughout his life,  and it worsened as he grew older. He tried raw diets and supplements and some improvement was made but not sustained. In looking for an answer an internet search led him to learn about The Buteyko Method.


Impressed with the extent Buteyko helped him with his chronic condition Steve trained to teach Buteyko in 2006. He is the founding member of the Buteyko Breathing Educators Association ( BBEA) 2010 and was elected as BBEA president and board chair in 2016. Steve has been asked to speak to various groups, including yoga teachers and is preparing to hold teacher trainings in the Buteyko Method in the near future.


Buteyko is based on the concept that we breathe an excessive amount of air and it negatively impacts the function of our bodily systems. It is known as an asthma, sleep apnea and anxiety treatment; however, it is effective in treating a wide range of chronic health issues, as well as being good for general health and wellbeing.


Shannon and Steve discuss breath and the Buteyko method including what happens on a physiological level when we take a deep breath, how much air we should optimally be taking in per minute, and why Steve highly recommends nose breathing (even when engaging in physically demanding activities such as running). Shannon also asks Steve how the Buteyko Method can co-exist with yoga.

11:50 What led Steve to discover the Buteyko method


14:00 How much time does it take to incorporate the breathing exercises into your life


15:35 The theory behind Buteyko


17:00 Steve’s process to incorporate Buteyko into his life despite his skepticism


19:40 Other alternative health attempts made by Steve to relieve his asthma symptoms


20:55 How to incorporate Buteyko breathing into your life and how much work is needed in order to maintain the benefits


22:20 Steve’s experience as one of the first Buteyko teachers in Canada


23:20 Difference between yogic and Buteyko breathing and the possibility of incorporating Buteyko breathing with yoga


26:05 The culture of “take a deep breath” and what happens on a physiological level when you take in too much breath


30:00 How understanding respiratory physiology informs the understanding of blood pH and the effectiveness of Buteyko


33:50 How much a healthy adult should be breathing and how much those with chronic conditions breathe (liters per minute)


35:50 What Steve wants to share with yoga teachers


38:05 Why Steve believes large volume breathing isn’t beneficial and the effect it has on those with asthma and anxiety


40:10 Nose breathing versus mouth breathing


44:40 A great yoga cue for breathing through the nose


45:35 What distinguishes Buteyko breathing from regular breathing


47:35 How to work with Steve and upcoming Buteyko trainings


51:45 Shannon’s closing thoughts on breath



Steve’s Website: Buteyko Toronto


Buteyko Toronto on Facebook


Buteyko Breathing Educators Association


Further Reading: Buteyko and Breathing


PDF: The Health Benefits of Nose Breathing by Dr. Alan Ruth


Article: 28 Reasons to Nose Breathe by Lisa Bowen


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Apr 23, 2018

061: Too Many Yoga Teachers? with Kimma Stark


When Shannon read Kimma Stark’s thought-provoking blog post: What the World Needs Now is NOT ANOTHER YOGA TEACHER, she knew she wanted her on The Connected Yoga Teacher to share her perspective. Kimma, with great love and respect for those who own and/or manage yoga studios, questions the churning out of yoga teachers through the yoga studios who provide trainings in order to make ends meet.


With Kimma’s experience managing four different studios she knows how difficult it is to create a business model that will ensure a studio’s financial success. What she questions is the effect these trainings can have on the industry, the teachers and the students.


Shannon and Kimma also discuss the limitations of a 200-hour yoga teacher training, yogi trainings versus YTTs, the importance of always learning and finding inspiration as an established yoga teacher, embodying your teachings and much more.


For Kimma, teaching yoga is her full-time profession and says it has been “most rewarding, challenging, and meaningful work she has ever done.” She was intrigued by yoga from her very first experience, trying a hot yoga class in 2000. She moved on toward traditional formats and began teaching in 2008. Her teachings are grounded in yoga philosophy, anatomy and physiology.


She teaches private and group classes in Gentle Flow Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Restorative, Prenatal, and Kids Yoga classes along with Thai Massage in Cascais, Portugal. She has an Essential Elements retreat planned in Portugal for June 2018.


9:40 Kimma’s early experience with yoga


13:30 Kimma’s first teacher trainings


15:30  Kimma’s early career in the high-paced corporate world of marketing and advertising


17:10 What led Kimma to write her article: What the World Needs Now is NOT ANOTHER YOGA TEACHER


20:20 Kimma’s experience as studio manager and the business model of offering yoga teacher trainings as a way to make ends meet


22:45 Alternate trainings such as yogi trainings for those interested in delving into yoga but not necessarily teaching and the pressure to teach coming out of your first YTT


26:05 Kimma’s move to Portugal and travels to Thailand and how teaching yoga can be a nomadic lifestyle


29:45 On continually learning and evolving as a yoga teacher and how students can sense when yoga teachers are embodying the yoga they teach


31:18 What 200-hour YTT Kimma would recommend


33:12 Other considerations when choosing a yoga teacher training and approaching yoga with an understanding of the light and dark (the yin and yang)


35:00 Why Kimma feels a 200-hour YTT is not enough


37:30 What would Kimma tell aspiring yoga teachers who have obstacles, such as distance and time, about taking a yoga teacher training and why Kimma has a concern with online training when starting out


39:44 The effect of studios offering yoga teacher trainings to make ends meet instead of offering unique teachings and the idea that teaching yoga is a service


44:30 Kimma’s advice to teachers wanting to teach full-time  


46:28 How to contact Kimma and her upcoming retreats


49:18 Shannon’s closing thoughts and key takeaways




Flowing Lotus Website


Flowing Lotus Yoga on Facebook


Kimma Stark's Resumé


Kimma’s article: What the World Needs Now is NOT ANOTHER YOGA TEACHER


Frog Lotus International Yoga Teacher Training Programs


Fiverr- Freelance Services


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Accessible Yoga Conference in Toronto June 22nd-24th, 2018

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Apr 16, 2018

018: Accessible Yoga with Sarah Helt


There has been a growing movement focused on making yoga accessible to all that has caught Shannon’s attention. On today’s episode Shannon has invited Sarah Helt, an Ambassador from the Accessible Yoga organization, to share her insight on this topic. Sarah speaks with great thoughtfulness about what led her to teach yoga with a concentration on accessibility, on how to make yoga classes more available to those with disabilities, and the upcoming Accessible Yoga Conference.


Sarah was introduced to working with persons with disabilities through an apprenticeship program with senior Iyengar teacher Gabriel Halpern. This work became a great source of inspiration and led to her creation of NeuroYoga; an accessible style of teaching yoga and meditation geared toward persons with disabilities relating to the spinal cord and nervous system.


Sarah Helt is the Lead Teacher of Hot 8 Yoga, the Director of Communications and Marketing for Accessible Yoga along with her role as an Ambassador.

4:25 Shannon’s reflections on making yoga accessible to all


13:30 What to expect at The Accessible Yoga Conference


15:50 What led Sarah to practice yoga and become involved in Accessible Yoga organization


18:15 How Sarah began to notice a link between yoga and pain management


18:55 How Sarah found her niche, her “soul work”


20:35 Sarah reflects on the journey leading to her to work with persons with disabilities and if looking back there’s anything she would do differently


22:15 On not letting fear hold you back from modifying poses for those with disabilities and on taking your time to build your successes


23:55 On why there’s a separate conference for accessible yoga


26:55 Yoga Accessibility Conference resource guide points to how meticulously those with disabilities have to plan to move in the world


29:30 Sarah sums up the Accessible Yoga Conference


30:40 What Sarah would like yoga teachers to incorporate into their classes to make them more accessible?


33:30 Sarah’s involvement in the Accessible Yoga Conference and how to get in touch with the organization


34:40 About the Accessible Yoga Ambassador program


38:10 Shannon’s closing thoughts and key takeaways- when are teachers ready to teach one-on-one and how to make yoga classes more accessible




Accessible Yoga Email:


Sarah Helt’s Email:


Accessible Yoga Website


Accessible Yoga on Facebook


Accessible Yoga on Instagram


Accessible Yoga on Twitter


Sick Boy Podcast


Accessible Yoga Conference in Toronto June 22nd- 24th


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity




“I think it’s really unfair that marginalized persons, such as those with disabilities, have to shoulder the burden to make society accept them.” ~Sarah Helt


“Unification will serve our world, as a whole.”
~Sarah Helt

Apr 9, 2018

059: Marketing and Promoting a Yoga Teacher Training with Ashley Hagen [Consultation Call]


Today’s episode is a consultation call between Shannon and Ashley Hagan, who is preparing to co-teach her second 200-hour yoga teacher training course. Ashley is a full-time yoga teacher with a background in graphic design. She has been the lead instructor at a yoga studio for 4 years and has come to the realization that she wants to build her own yoga business by hosting trainings, retreats and more. Ashley loves taking yoga teacher trainings and pulls from them to inspire her to teach in her own way.


Shannon coaches Ashley by asking her to reflect on the first 200-hour yoga teacher training she led, how Ashley and her teaching partner Dave split the work, why Ashley wanted to create her own course and more.


Shannon advises Ashley on marketing her course as it’s Ashley’s top priority to fill the spaces available. She also leads Ashley to distill her course and who she and her co-teacher Dave are down to the essence, as well as envisioning their ideal student in order to market the training.


Shannon also asks Ashley to consider what makes her teaching unique, what defines her course over the many other 200-hour yoga teacher trainings and the importance of taking a stand on what she wants to include in the content of the course.

02:40 How a consultation call with Shannon works


07:25 What Ashley finds to be the most challenging aspect of her yoga business


08:10 Ashley’s previous experience with leading a yoga teacher training


08:30 Working with a partner and splitting the work


11:10 When her teacher training starts and the style of training


11:35 What motivated Ashley to create her own teacher training


12:45 Feedback Ashley received from her previous teacher training and challenges she encountered


14:35 What unique offerings Ashley feels she brings to her trainings


16:00 Shannon asks Ashley to reflect on yoga teacher trainings she’s taken and how she would like to teach aspects of the course differently


17:45 Ashley describes Budokon and what she draws from the practice


19:30 Shannon asks Ashley to consider her interest in Sanskrit and yoga philosophy as a strength and perhaps incorporating it into her teacher trainings


21:25 Shannon suggests Ashley incorporates developing yoga teacher confidence into the course and advice on getting yoga teacher jobs


22:05 What Ashley finds to be the biggest challenge in attracting yoga students to her training


22:55 Shannon’s sticky note method to visualize, in a concrete way,  how many students you need to fill your course and how to accomplish that


24:00 Shannon asks Ashley if she has a mailing list and if she has a method to reach out to that list regularly, in a personal way


27:00 What Ashley believes to be her target audience and is advised to market keeping this in mind


28:40 Reaching out to yoga teachers that may have students who are interested in YTT and considering incentives for those who refer students to the training


33:25 Using video to introduce yourself and your partner to tell your background story and using Facebook Live to preview part of the course


37:20 Making a plan to post on social media and sending out emails, including some course content or relating it back to activities in your life


42:55 Establishing what makes you unique is key to elevator and escalator pitches- Your One Thing, THE strategy, the essence of your yoga teacher training


45:40 Highlighting the relationship between you and your co-teacher and the way you work together can make students feel confident about taking your course


Taking a stand on the YTT that you want to teach and letting students know that the 200-hour yoga teacher training is just a start


52:00 Shannon and Ashley discuss where and how Ashley is going to market next


56:25 Shannon’s closing thoughts



Ashley's Website- Ashes Yoga


Yoga with Ashley on Youtube


Article: Budokon, made in America, mixes yoga with martial arts on


MamaNurture Website


Relevant Podcast Episodes:


Sticky Note Method- 049: Grow Your Yoga Student Base [Part 1] with Shannon Crow


002: Reconnect With Your Yoga Practice with Nina Andic [Consultation Call]


018: Get Creative with Your Yoga Cues [Consultation Call] with Brittany Alred


029: Creating Your About Me Page with Trevor Parks [Consultation Call]


040: Grow Your Audience with a 5-Day Challenge with Patricia Fasciotti [Consultation Call]

Apr 2, 2018

058: Confidence & Self-Promotion with Julie Zuzek


Julie Zuzek’s passion for entrepreneurship is profound. As she says: “It is the most intense form of personal growth that you will ever go through.” As the founder of The Corporate Yogi, she has certainly found her calling; coaching yoga teachers as they navigate the often daunting world of entrepreneurship.


Julie has the experience to back-up her teachings, she began in the corporate world and worked there for 15 years before deciding to completely change focus and attend a yoga teacher training in the UK in 2009.  Yoga teacher training then led her to the world of entrepreneurship and she founded her business in 2011.


Julie thought that running a business would be easy enough but reflects that it is ‘the hardest and smartest’ thing she’s ever done. She learned the hard way that she’d have to work extremely hard- just like everybody else. She wants you to learn from her mistakes and brings with her a refreshingly honest and open view on entrepreneurship. In her podcast Conscious Business with the Corporate Yogi, she doesn’t ‘sugar coat things’ but does share gems to help yoga entrepreneurs gain confidence.


On today’s episode Shannon and Julie discuss how to gain confidence to self-promote, (a much-asked question in The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group), taking on challenges one-step-at-a-time, letting comparisons go, and much more.


05:35 Shannon follows her own advice on how to gain registrants for her course


12:50 Julie’s yoga journey


14:10 Entrepreneurship is the most intense form of personal growth that you will ever go through


15:10 Julie’s advice on how to navigate “growth hangovers”


17:50 How Julie defines conscious business- really being aware of who you are and focusing on personal growth and relationships


19:50 How Julie weaves eastern and western philosophy into her teachings


21:50 How does it look when a yoga teacher is lacking confidence?


24:10 Imposter syndrome- everyone deals with this at various points in our lives


“Your challenges will always up-level relative to your ability to handle it”


27:05 Julie’s advice on how yoga teachers gain confidence- ask what it takes to take the first step forward in a way that makes you feel safe


“Confidence comes from taking action”


29:55 Being comfortable and confident with silence gives your students the opportunity to really communicate with their body


30:55 Letting go of comparisons to others to find your unique style


34:25 Faking it ‘til you make it?


36:25 Ask and trust your students, having a beginner’s mindset


38:00 How confidence is connected to marketing and self-promotion


“Self-promotion is a muscle we need to build”


39:50 Meta-skill: asking permission in an authentic way


43:05 Stay connected to your “Big Why”


“At the end of the day your self-promotion isn’t about you, it’s about putting yourself out there so you can share your gifts, your purpose, heal others.”


44:35 The wonderful feeling of finding your niche and taking a leap in a direction to see if it fits for you


46:10 How to connect with Julie through Business Coaching, Conscious Business Mastermind Coaching, Retreat Leadership Training or her podcast Conscious Business with The Corporate Yogi


48:45  Shannon’s closing thoughts


Another wonderful thing that Julie said a few times “Get out of your head and into your heart.” -when it comes to building confidence when teaching



The Corporate Yoga Website

RetreatU Website

The Corporate Yogi on Facebook

The Corporate Yogi on Instagram


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group

Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube

 Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training

Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)


Toronto Yoga Conference April 12th-15th

Accessible Yoga Conference in Toronto June 22nd-24th, 2018


To contact Samantha Scott for Website or VA work: Tech Crazy VA

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity