The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Now displaying: July, 2018
Jul 30, 2018

075: Yoga for Pelvic Girdle Pain with Dr. Sinead Dufour


Shannon is pleased to have Dr. Sinead Dufour as her first returning guest to discuss pelvic girdle pain. Sinead has been a practicing physiotherapist for about 15 years, with a PhD in Primary Health Care. Her extensive studies also include training in obstetrics and urogynecology. She is a professor in the Health and Science department at McMaster University and is the Director of Pelvic Health at The Womb.  


Pelvic girdle pain develops in pregnancy or postnatally. It’s pain that develops below the rib line and travels below the gluteal fold. 75% of women have pelvic girdle pain in their second pregnancy and 20% have continuous pelvic girdle pain postnatal.


Shannon and Dr. Sinead Dufour discuss how our understanding of pelvic girdle pain has evolved, the misconceptions that make treating the pain difficult, and what yoga teachers can do to help their students experiencing pelvic pain. Dr. Sinead discusses how important it is for women to trust their pelvis by recognizing its strength and directing signals of safety, reassurance, and resilience to help prevent the pain and reduce fear of giving birth.


9:35 What is pelvic girdle pain?


14:45 What do we now know about the effect of pregnancy hormones in causing laxity of the pelvis and how that understanding has evolved; central mechanism versus mechanical factors


20:15 How we can talk to our yoga students about their pelvic girdle pain; pelvic sensitivity does not mean lack of strength of the pelvic region, the effect of asymmetrical movement, misconceptions and outdated information


22:25 The problem with misconceptions around pelvic health in pregnancy; creates increased fear around giving birth, can actually cause more pain if the woman feels compelled to clench her pelvis believing it to be weak


26:45 How new research has informed the way Dr. Sinead Dufour treats her patients with pelvic girdle pain and how it can inform the way yoga teachers can help students


29:40 Previous pregnancy as a risk factor but not a determining factor, higher risk if there’s been a trauma in the first pregnancy


32:05 Understanding that the mechanics isn’t the driver of the pain but it is relevant, and the mechanics is something they can have control over- don’t be afraid of movement, be mindful, some movement is good to avoid


33:15 Movements for those with pelvic girdle pain (and those to avoid)


38:10 Study of the effect of high cortisol and the importance of education around these findings and the application to yoga


40:00 Importance of language around pelvic girdle pain using “sensitive pelvis” instead of “falling apart” or “dysfunctional” and the misconception of engaging the pelvis to remedy the pain


42:50 Incidents of long-term pelvic girdle pain (20% of women) indicates the current approach needs to incorporate new research and deconstruct long-held beliefs


46:25 Hypertonic pelvis and taking care around doing exercises such as kegels


48:50 The importance of referring students to a pelvic floor physiotherapist- even before pregnancy to “reset” the pelvis, build trust in the body, empowerment in knowledge


53:40 Do men experience pelvic girdle pain?


56:15 The benefit of therapy in pregnancy and postnatally- is it appropriate to refer a student to a therapist?


58:40 Dr. Sinead’s preference for the term “motor control exercises” instead of “stability exercises”


1:02:44 How to reach Dr. Sinead Dufour


1:03:15 Shannon’s wrap-up and key takeaways




Email Dr. Sinead Dufour:


Website: The Womb


Find a Canadian Pelvic Health Specialist


PDF: Dr. Sinead Dufour's Postpartum Movement Tips


PDF: Dr. Sinead Dufour's Study: Association between lumbopelvic pain and pelvic floor dysfunction in women: A cross sectional study.  


Pelvic Symmetry Sequence by Shannon Crow


Relevant TCYT Episodes:


007: Breath and Pelvic Health with Trisha Zinn

008: Core Breath and Pelvic Health with Kim Vopni

009: Kegals, Mula Banda and Pelvic Health with Shelly Prosko

033: A New Perspective on Diastasis Recti with Dr. Sinead Dufour


The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group

Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Jul 23, 2018

074: The 8 Limbs [Part 2] with Jennie Lee


On last week’s episode Shannon gave us an overview of The 8 Limbs and on today’s episode, Shannon takes a deeper look with guest Jennie Lee author of True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment.

Jennie Lee is a yoga therapist, teacher, speaker and writer who specializes in Classical Yoga, Meditation and Mindful Wellness.  Shannon met Jennie through a post on The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group. Group members highly recommended Jennie’s book as a fresh look at the 8 limbs and one they use to inform their teaching and personal practice.


It is Jennie’s belief that the 8-fold path is fundamental for yoga teachers to understand and wrote the book with the intention of building a bridge between the classical texts of yoga and what we’re seeing in the yoga practice today. She wanted to make the eight limbs accessible to yoga teachers and students using layman terms with practical applications to everyday life.  


Jennie opens up about her life challenges and how The 8 Limbs have helped her navigate the hardest times, how she applies it to her work as a yoga therapist, and her new book Breathing Love: Meditation in Action.


7:35 Jennie Lee’s yoga journey


10:15 What is Spiritual Psychology?


11:40 Shannon asks Jennie what inspired her to write a book that explores the yoga sutras in depth


15:05 Jennie Lee takes a look at Saucha (found within the Niyamas) and how the principle can be applied to in our everyday lives


18:30 The last 4 sutras: Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi- their similarities and differences


20:55 Is it possible for humans to experience Samadhi and Jennie Lee’s caution around trying to reach this state


24:00 The emphasis put on Asana by 20th Century Western culture


26:10 How can a yoga teacher bring the 8 Limbs into their classes


28:35 The meaning Isvara pranidhana has brought to Jennie’s life, especially when going through difficult times and the benefit of surrendering to the power that is greater than you (for Jennie it is Love)


32:05 The challenge Jennie Lee has found in practising Pratyahara and how “unplugging” is key


34:40 Tapas- considering doing less instead of more


38:00 Dhyana (meditation) and how Jennie has made this an everyday practice and that “not enough time” isn’t a good excuse


42:10 How the 8 Limbs inform Jennie’s yoga therapy practice


43:45 How to connect with Jennie


44:30 Jennie’s new book: Breathing Love: Meditation in Action


46:45 Shannon’s final thoughts and invitation to join her for Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training September 22nd and 23rd, 2018



Jennie's Website: Jennie Lee Yoga Therapy


Jennie Lee’s Books:


True Yoga: Practicing with the Yoga Sutras for Happiness & Spiritual Fulfillment (2016)


Breathing Love: Meditation in Action (2018)


There is one copy of each book available to win.
To enter,
click here and leave a comment at the bottom of the show notes about what The 8 Limbs mean to you.


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training
September 22nd and 23rd, 2018


To Contact our virtual assistant Samantha Scott for website design help and more:


Tech Crazy Va: Website Design, System Efficiencies & Virtual Assistant Services


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Jul 16, 2018

073: 8 Limbs of Yoga (Part 1) with Shannon Crow


Shannon is excited to share the meaning the 8 Limbs of Yoga has brought to her life. Derived from Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, this eight-fold path provides guidelines for living a meaningful and purposeful life. The eight components focus on morals, ethics, and self-discipline.


Shannon was introduced to the 8 Limbs when she took a yoga teacher training. She began studying the guidelines in depth 5 or 6 years ago and continues her study to this day. Shannon felt pulled to apply these philosophical principles into her teaching and everyday life.


The importance of the eight-fold path felt especially grounding when Shannon began working with clients in a physiotherapy office. Her new focus caused Shannon to ask exactly what was her scope of practice. She wondered if she was leaning towards working as a physiotherapist. Shannon determined through inner work and self-study (Svadhyaya) that her scope of practice encompassed anything grounded in The Eight Limbs of Yoga, including helping her clients find movement so they can sit in meditation.


Shannon names and describes the 8 Limbs of Yoga and offers an outline for applying the principles to your teaching and personal life. A lot of the exercises include journaling work but it that isn’t your favourite medium feel free to think or meditate on the challenges and outcome of your experience. As always, Shannon doesn’t want you to feel overwhelmed by taking on all the challenges at once. Perhaps work on the one that calls to you in particular. Please share any insights gained through inquiry or your own take on the 8 Limbs of Yoga and what they have brought to your life.


8:48 Shannon’s overview of the 8 Limbs of Yoga


12:20 How Shannon has applied the Eight Limbs in her work as a yoga teacher and in determining her scope of practice


14:00 Using language keeping Ahimsa (nonviolence) in mind, for example, say “You have a knee that needs extra care and attention” instead of  “You have a bad knee”


15:05 Giving credit to teachers you have learned from is one form of putting Asteya (non-stealing) into practice


16:25 Asking your student how their movements feel, how their body feels differently from one day to the other, and one side to the other encourages inquiry and empowers your students to put Svadhyaya (the study of self) into practice


18:20 Reminder that Asanas are 1/16th of the 8 Limbs and the importance of this for Shannon’s student who was limited in movement after she broke her knee


19:35 Shannon’s “homework assignment” to help you incorporate the Eight Limbs into your own life:


21:05 1. Yama


Ahimsa Chose to do something to demonstrate self-love today and in your journal write your name, draw a picture and draw a heart around it


Satya Tell someone a positive truth about another person today and write about your experience with this


Asteya Find a quote that speaks to you today, write it down with the author's name and then research 3 things about them


Brahmacharya Set a boundary for the moderation of your energy in some way today. Write it as though it is already so. For example, “I am shutting off all screens by 8 pm to allow time to settle and encourage sleep.”


Aparigraha Notice if you are tempted to label something as “mine” and try to change the wording, e.g. instead of my yoga students or my children use their names


25:45 2. Niyama


Saucha Choose something to clean today and feel this is a sacred ritual instead of a job on the to-do list. Draw or take a picture of the before and after.


Santosa Write about a life experience that was challenging at the time that you are now content with and grateful for. How might you have acted differently if you knew what you know now?


Tapas Choose something that you’d like to do for the next 40 days and use your willpower to help achieve your goal. Write it down and tell a supportive friend about your goal.


Svadhyaya Look over past journal entries and reflect on it, add notes or add anything you’ve learned about yourself. If you don’t have a journal you can start one and look back after some time has passed.


Isvara pranidhana Write one of the following words in your journal and write or doodle around it: surrender, devotion, dedication or faith


31:15 3. Asana Create an asana or yoga pose that you have never seen or done, give it a name and draw it out


32:15 4. Pranayama Set a timer for three minutes and sit comfortably, choose a pranayama practice and write down how you feel afterwards


33:25 5. Pratyahara Write down 5 character traits you’d like to exhibit even in the chaotic and stress of everyday life. Sit in meditation for 5 minutes visualizing embodying these traits.


34:40 6. Dharana Light a candle and sit in meditation focusing on the light of the candle for 3-5 minutes. Notice as much detail as you can about the candle and draw a picture of the candle or jot down some words following the meditation.


35:15 7. Dhyana Set aside a few minutes to walk in nature, in silence. Notice all that is going on around you and notice if you feel a part of it or separate from (or maybe somewhere in between) the world around you. Write about how you can feel part of nature staying focused on your true qualities.


35:45 8. Samadhi Write about or meditate on an activity or experience when you felt a moment of bliss (even fleetingly) and connection to the divine (something bigger than you)


36:35 Shannon’s final thoughts on the 8 Limbs and the personalization of these guidelines for living a meaningful and purposeful life as well as a sneak preview of upcoming summer episodes




8 Limbs Printable PDF


Applying the 8 Limbs “homework”


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on YouTube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training September 22nd and 23rd, 2018


To contact Samantha Scott, The Connected Yoga Teacher’s Virtual Assistant for help with your technical needs:


Tech Crazy VA: Website Design, System Efficiencies & Virtual Assistant Services


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Jul 9, 2018

072: Email and Content Strategy (Consultation Call) with Kristen Boyle


On today’s episode, Shannon shares a consultation call with client Kristen Boyle, a yoga teacher from Denver, Colorado. This episode is ideal for any yoga teacher that has thought about growing their yoga business.


Kristen has been teaching alignment based yoga in a studio setting for over 10 years. She is a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist, a Yoga Therapist in training, and leads 200-hour yoga teacher trainings and 85-hour prenatal yoga teacher trainings. In addition to all that great work, Kristen has been moving away from studio teaching and focusing on her personal yoga business, including private yoga sessions, workshops (online and in person) with a particular focus on continuing education for yoga teachers.


Through this consultation call with Shannon, Kristen reveals that her top priority is to grow her yoga business by reaching out to a larger audience. Shannon poses many important questions to help narrow down the focus of Kristen’s offerings and together they brainstorm the best way to reach those who would benefit from her services.


Other topics covered in the call are: the best way to present content and advertise your services (including email campaigns), considerations if you’re thinking about creating a webinar and the importance of being consistent with the output of your content.


4:41 Kristen’s yoga journey and the evolution of her business


6:35 What Kristen considers to be her biggest business challenge and where she feels she should direct her focus to increase her revenue stream


9:55 What offering Kristen would like to focus on


11:55 Shannon discusses email service providers like MailChimp and the benefit of professional guidance


13:20 Focusing on content creation after determining your niche and your unique way of providing your services


17:20 Considerations when deciding whether or not to continue in-person teaching as your online content grows


18:20 Shannon suggests how to choose topics to focus on in your online offerings


19:50 Kristen’s decision to concentrate on calls versus webinars


20:45 Kristen’s Business of Yoga Facebook Group and the challenge of inspiring the group members to post


24:20 Shannon describes the importance of creating your “Lead Magnet” which speaks to the struggle your audience is facing


25:00 The value of creating your email flow before you have people opt-in- decide how often you want to send emails and have newsletters prepared ahead of time


26:10 Providing an option for a client to replay a video if they miss the session along with privacy and storage issues


29:10 Webinar considerations: the importance of being straightforward when offering a webinar, considering another term for webinar, and determining the number of emails you want to send out before and after the webinar


32:45 Creating content by determining where your comfort level lies e.g. through videos, pictures, text, etc.


34:00 If unsure where you shine make a commitment to use one content medium, such as video, for a certain period of time


35:35 Shannon and Kristen brainstorm content Kristen can offer through commonly asked questions from newly certified yoga teachers


38:30 Sharing information through emails- one tip at a time


40:15 Building up your website by adding content


41:20 Putting aside time for content creation and the importance of being consistent with your offerings e.g. once-a-month


46:05 Asking yourself how your offering will pay you and determining your rates


49:25 Making it as easy as possible for potential clients to work with you


51:45 Offering levels of content- free versus paying membership content


58:50 Shannon’s final thoughts and wrap-up



Kristen’s Email:


Kristen's Indie Flow Yoga Website


Kristen’s FB Group: The Business of Yoga Facebook Group


Fizzle.Co- Training, Coaching, Support and Community


Relevant TCYT Episodes:


016: Five Pages to Include on Your Yoga Website with Shannon Crow


020: Six Online Tools for Your Yoga Business with Shannon Crow


045: Creating Content with Shannon Crow


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


5-Day Content Creation Challenge

The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


To Contact Sam, The Connected Yoga Teacher’s Virtual Assistant for email set up help and all other tech-related services:


Tech Crazy Va: Website Design, System Efficiencies & Virtual Assistant Services


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Jul 2, 2018

071: Using Research to Inform Your Yoga with Ariana Rabinovich

Ariana Robinovich is a yoga teacher and Movement Specialist based in New York City. She is the founder of Yoga Research and Beyond which makes research accessible and helps teachers translate research into practice. Ariana also teaches students one-on-one and in group classes, offers Continuing Education courses for fitness professionals, hosts her podcasts and co-wrote a book series called Exposing Yoga Myths.


In this episode Shannon and Ariana discuss the value of research informed teaching. Ariana’s Yoga Research and Beyond membership site is a database of reviews about individual studies which are relevant to yoga teachers and Movement Educators. Ariana describes the reviews as Cliff Notes for the research study. The goal of the site is to take complex subjects and translate them into simple terms without the jargon, creating a bridge between science and application.


Ariana talks to Shannon about finding meaning in these research studies and using them as a tool to inspire you and inform your teaching. Ariana wants to be clear that these studies do not provide black-and-white answers and that they should not be taken in without asking questions.


Ariana goes on to describe the complicated nature of analyzing data. For example, if a study sees the overall improvement in the health of a research study group practicing yoga it may be difficult to ascertain the cause. As yoga is a practice that taps into the mind/body connection, the improvement may be due to factors such as breathing, meditation, the physicality or the particular style of yoga. Initial findings can spark future research studies.


Ariana is adamant that she doesn’t want to see yoga teachers becoming overwhelmed by the information. Yoga research is, as Ariana describes it: “an add-on and untapped resource.” The big goal of yoga research is to help yoga teachers get a clearer understanding of how yoga can help their clients and to determine how yoga can fit into alternative health care.

4:50 Ariana’s yoga journey


9:05 What led Ariana to create her podcast Yoga & Beyond: The Yoga and Movement Science Podcast and the restructuring of her podcast


15:10 Ariana’s Yoga Research and Beyond membership site is a database of reviews about individual studies which are relevant to yoga teachers and movement educators


20:05 The opportunity to dialogue with other members in the comment thread in individual articles of members-only Facebook group, sharing questions and intimidation around that- no question is a dumb question


22:45 The complex nature of analyzing research and applying results to the practice


29:20 Examples of yoga research studies and questions to ask yourself when reading the research


32:20 How research informed Ariana’s teaching head and shoulder stands in group classes


34:00 How research changed Ariana’s view on alignment and flexibility


39:00 How Ariana incorporates strengthening into her yoga classes


43:20 Ariana expands on alignment- when it is most important to be aware


46:00 When research conflicts with yoga teacher training


49:35 What Ariana wishes was included in YTT


53:30 The importance of collaborating with other health practitioners


54:25 Other research resources and advice on taking in new information


58:45 Identifying the bias in studies


1:01:20 Shannon’s final thoughts




Ariana's Website


Ariana on Instagram


Yoga Research and Beyond Instagram


Yoga Research and Beyond Website


**Membership discount for Yoga Research and Beyond Website: One-year membership for $79 instead of the regular price of $99. Enter the code CONNECTED18 at checkout.


Yoga Research and Beyond on Facebook


Book: Exposing Yoga Myths by Ariana Rabinovich

PubMed.Gov: US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health