The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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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

Jun 25, 2018

070: Teaching Yoga for Seniors: Is Age Nothing but a Number? with Shannon Crow


On today’s solo episode Shannon shares her experience with posting a question on The Yoga and Movement Research Group on Facebook  where she asked:

Who is teaching yoga for students who are 50+ and what are you calling it?

A general All Levels or Gentle Yoga are not what we are looking for. Instead something new and fun.

Also, to clarify -- I am looking for a name that isn't offensive (such as yoga for seniors would be).


Shannon was asking on behalf of a client who had been approached by a group of 50+ women requesting their own yoga class without mentioning the term “senior”.

The question set off an intense debate resulting in over 500 responses in the thread. It was certainly a hot button issue with words like “ageist” and “offensive” being scattered throughout the responses. A very interesting conversation developed and many asked if a class geared towards seniors was even necessary. A significant number of responses were something like “just call it yoga.”

Many important points were discussed, bringing in a wealth of insight. Through this thread we were able to compile a list of possible class names that were shared by respondents with great humour and wisdom. Other important considerations pulled from the thread included defining “senior”, the gift of teaching older adults, and marketing considerations.

Shannon is grateful for the insight she gained from this passionate debate. Aging in the context of yoga is a topic that clearly needs to be explored. What is your opinion about yoga for seniors? Has this episode sparked any insights? Do you have any class names to add to the list? We would love to hear from you.


10:20 Shannon’s post that sparked the debate


15:10 Compiling and sharing the wealth of responses


17:30 How to we define senior?


18:25 Yoga teachers that are firmly against senior specific classes


21:25 Yogini Flame on ageism and her own view of aging


25:25 Yoga students that want to be grouped by age


28:00 The beauty of teaching older adults


29:45 Marketing considerations  


31:35 List of class name suggestions


33:35 Shannon’s final thoughts and gratitude for the insightful conversation



Yoga for Seniors article (written by Laura Cameron)


Shannon's Seniors Yoga Question: Facebook Post and Thread


Austin Ince’s Website: Shanti Power Yoga


Flame’s Facebook Group: Yogis and Yoginis


Louise Bloom on Tumblr: Bloom Yoga Coaching


Autumn Anderson’s Facebook Page: Wellness for Busy Women


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training with Shannon


Yoga Anytime


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Jun 18, 2018

069: Yoga with Pelvic Organ Prolapse with Dr. Sarah Duvall


After meeting physiotherapist Dr. Sarah Duvall through a webinar, Shannon knew that Sarah, through her expertise and passion for pelvic health, would make a great guest for an episode of The Connected Yoga Teacher, complimenting the series of episodes on pelvic health (links below).


In addition to her work as a physiotherapist who specializes in helping women recover from pelvic health issues, Sarah has experienced first-hand how emotionally and physically draining it can be to suffer from pelvic health issues when, following the birth of her child, she was diagnosed with Pelvic Organ Prolapse.


Sarah mainly works with women, specifically athletes and mothers, who need help with pelvic health issues including Diastasis and Pelvic Organ Prolapse. She was tired of seeing injuries that were entirely preventable; prolapse that worsens after birth, abdominal separation that just didn’t heal, and back pain from women lifting their infants.


Dr. Sarah Duvall’s goal is to help women exercise better. She sees many trying to back into shape after having a baby through jumps, crunches, sit ups, and other physically damaging workouts that impact both the abdominal muscles and pelvic floor. Sarah wants to empower women to build strength without getting hurt. She runs online courses for moms who are recovering from pregnancy and childbirth as well as those tailored to professionals who are working with pre and postnatal students.


Sarah defines Pelvic Organ Prolapse, the importance of breath awareness in relation to pelvic health, prolapse prevention, and advice for yoga teachers on how to support and accommodate those with prolapse.  

4:30 Sarah’s journey to becoming a Pelvic Health Specialist


5:40 Sarah defines Pelvic Organ Prolapse


8:20 Breath and pelvic health


14:00 Using your sitz bone to check-in with your breath and pelvic floor (a good exercise to teach your students)


18:10 Who is most susceptible to Pelvic Organ Prolapse


23:00 What it feels like to have Pelvic Organ Prolapse


25:40 Different types of prolapse


26:30 Other breath practices Sarah recommends for teaching yoga, including breathing through transitions


30:45 How yoga teachers can help students in class who’ve been diagnosed with prolapse


33:55 Is breath holding damaging to pelvic health and the importance of giving women hope they can resume their physical activities


37:00 Sarah’s personal experience with Pelvic Organ Prolapse; the challenge of healing, relapses, and the emotional impact the diagnosis and treatment


43:15 Other considerations when you have a student with prolapse


44:05 How to recognize if you’re straining or bearing down through kinesthetic awareness and the importance of checking in throughout the yoga class


47:15 What Sarah wants to tell yoga teachers and those teachers who are dealing with Pelvic Organ Prolapse themselves


48:15 How to get in touch with Sarah and her other offerings


49:20 Shannon’s key takeaways





Sarah's Website: Core Exercise Solutions


Course for Healthcare Professionals


Courses for Moms: Pre and Post Natal Pelvic Health Care


Dr. Sarah Ellis Duvall on Facebook


Core Exercise Solutions Youtube Channel


Printable PDF about Pelvic Organ Prolapse


Relevant TCYT Episodes:


007: Breath and Pelvic Health with Trista Zinn


008: Core Breath and Pelvic Health with Kim Vopni


009: Kegels, Mula Bandha, and Pelvic Health with Shelly Prosko


033: A New Perspective on Diastasis Recti with Sinead Dufour


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training with Shannon Crow

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Jun 11, 2018

068: Trauma-Sensitive Yoga with Amy Hoare


Today’s episode opens up a difficult but important issue in the yoga world; the abuse of power.  Shannon has invited Trauma Treatment Specialist Amy Hoare who has recently completed her 300-hour at the Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga program.

Amy conducted a survey as part of her final project which focused on hands-on-assists, power dynamics, and abuse in yoga.


Amy began her yoga practice with the intention of working through trauma and decided to become a yoga teacher for her own healing. Amy took her YTT at Karma Teachers in Vancouver, BC, finding the program focused a lot on transformation and healing. Karma Teachers is a not-for-profit community-based program focused on working through trauma.


Amy compiled data for a survey she created about the abuse of power in yoga classes. There were 146 respondents (all of whom have participated in a yoga class), answering a series of questions that would help Amy unearth the overt and subtle abuses of power. Amy notes that there is an inherent power dynamic between the student and teacher- especially in guru settings. Amy shares that her intention was not to shame or cause division but rather to help her identify power imbalances so she could shed light on this for students and teachers.


Shannon and Amy discuss the oftentimes unsettling results. Amy also shares how her training and final project have influenced how she now teaches, defines terms such as complex trauma and trauma-sensitivity training, and gives tips on how you incorporate a trauma-informed perspective into your teaching.

5:45 Amy’s yoga journey


8:30 Amy’s understanding of trauma as she’s grown in experience and education


9:10 Complex Trauma-  a trauma that is repeated (a duration element to it)


Always relational- always happens in relationship and therefore trauma is healed in relationship


10:35 Background on the survey


13:55 Survey question: Have you been physically abused by your yoga teacher (11.6%)


16:15 Survey question: have you been verbally abused by a yoga teacher? (24%)


18:45 Survey question: Have you ever found your yoga teacher value your experience over yours? (68%)


20:10 How the study influenced Amy’s teaching


22:25 Amy’s choice to back away from public classes and her focus moving forward in the trauma-sensitive yoga field.  


25:15 How Amy’s language has shifted in and out of yoga classes e.g. asking vs. telling


Question for yoga teachers: Is there a possibility to be more aware of subtleties like language, cueing, and offering hands-on-assists?


31:25 Working within the scope of your practice to help students and the benefit of therapy in conjunction with yoga classes


34:40 Authentic connection and its relation to attachment theory; facilitator is doing the movement with the student and how that can create an authentic connection with a healthy attachment


35:45 How Amy practices non-attachment in her teaching by not being attached to a rigid idea of the form- the point is a shared authentic experience, the practice of making choices and bringing in interoceptive awareness, all of which is based on trauma theory, attachment theory, and neuroscience


39:00 Interoception in trauma-sensitive and trauma-informed classes, normalizing “feeling nothing”, avoid telling students what they need to feel and what the pose should look like


41:40 Functional movement vs. precise poses


43:45 Answers to hands-on-assists questions influenced the biggest change in Amy’s teaching:


Have you received a physical assists or adjustments without being asked (65%)


Have you ever felt pressured to receive a yoga assist adjustment even when consent was given (37%)


46:20 Survey question: Have you noticed that certain advanced poses or forms are valued as more spiritual than other forms by your teachers through statements such as “go deeper”? (66%)


This response relates back to attachment to the form or that we need to take people somewhere in particular


47:30 What Amy wants to say to yoga teachers about the results of the survey and moving forward


52:40 Shannon’s closing thoughts and key takeaways




Interoception: Interoception is our ability to “internally-sense”; such as the feelings of hunger, feeling the need for a “bio-break”, feeling our heart racing, or feeling ourselves getting anxious. Interoception can be compromised by negative conditioning. This conditioning can come in the form of verbal cues “only babies cry” resulting in a shame in expressing deep pain with tears. Other verbal cues such as “you’re not sick, you’re just faking it” resulting in a conditioned distrust of our somatic symptoms. It can also be compromised due to trauma and toxic stress. The good news is through contemplative somatic and cognitive techniques such as meditation, mindfulness, and yoga (contemplative movement) we can improve our connection with what is going on inside ourselves!


From the article: Interoception: Our Felt Sense from Trauma Recover Yoga.Com


Complex Trauma: Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD; also known as complex trauma disorder) is a psychological disorder thought to occur as a result of repetitive, prolonged trauma involving sustained abuse or abandonment by a caregiver or other interpersonal relationships with an uneven power dynamic.


Excerpt from: Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Wikipedia Article


Trauma-Sensitive Yoga: “Trauma-sensitive yoga goals are quite contained, evidence-based model for effective treatment for trauma survivors. “ -Amy Hoare


Trauma-sensitive yoga helps them learn to calm their minds and regulate their physical responses and, thus, their emotions. They're able to learn to recognize and tolerate physical sensations and thereby regain a feeling of safety inside their bodies.


From Trauma-Sensitive Yoga on


Trauma-Informed Care: Trauma Informed Care is an organizational structure and treatment framework that involves understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma.


From the Trauma Informed Care Project.Org



Amy’s Email:


Yoga Movement and Research Group on Facebook


Link to Amy's Survey: Power and Yoga


Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga program- great resources on the site


Karma Teachers in Vancouver


Related TCYT Episode:


003: Trauma Training for Every Yoga Teacher with Margaret Howard


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Define Your Yoga Niche Online Course


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Jun 4, 2018

067: Yoga for Every Body with Amber Karnes


If you’ve ever wondered how to make your yoga classes more inclusive to those with larger bodies, our guest Amber Karnes, founder of Body Positive Yoga, has an abundance of insight. She’s a ruckus maker, yoga asana teacher (E-RYT 200), social justice advocate, and a lifelong student of her body. Her commitment to inclusive, adaptive yoga practice empowers thousands of diverse practitioners around the globe.


Amber was hooked after her first yoga class. She noticed that the negative self-talk that overwhelmed her at times subsided after her first yoga class. She became curious about this effect and went back to repeat the “experiment”. Amber noticed she felt grounded and calm in her body for the first time. The physical aspect mattered to Amber but the internal regulation and tools yoga provided were especially powerful. She found the practice to be immensely helpful in her struggle with depression and anxiety, finding a peace of mind that kept her coming back.


Amber decided to take a yoga teacher training 7 years into her own practice to deepen her personal practice and learn “the rest of yoga” outside just the poses. She had no plans to teach but after immersing herself into the program she saw the need to provide space for women who felt their bodies were all wrong for yoga. Amber has been now been teaching for over 15 years.


Amber feels that it is important to recognize that there are systems of oppression, such as the patriarchy and racism, that try to take away a woman’s power. The pressure women feel to conform their bodies to a narrow societal standard distracts women so “we can’t do amazing things like change the world and make art or help people that really need a voice, that we can stand up and use our voice to help support and uplift them.”


Amber wants to emphasize that women need to feel that it’s NEVER their body that’s the problem. If a student struggles with a pose their body is not to blame. There is incredible power in offering modifications and props and being aware of the languaging around cues. She also offers that teachers are  “there for our students and hold space for inquiry to allow the processing of emotion behind the desire to change the body.”


Amber offers workshops, retreats, courses (including Yoga for All Teacher Training with Dianne Bondy) through Body Positive Yoga. Amber is the creator of the Body Positive Clubhouse, an online community dedicated to building unshakable confidence and living out loud.

3:45 Amber’s first yoga class


8:15 How yoga teachers can be aware and respond if students express dissatisfaction with their body


Good Principles to Bring into the Classes:


9:55 1) The Body is Never the Problem- It’s the asana that’s the problem NOT the body, employ modifications or props


11:05 2) Languaging- Embodied or positive physical experience vs. striving and achieving, remove the hierarchy of language avoid saying “full expression of the pose”


12:10 Misconceptions around props: that they’re a crutch or cheat, that if you use them you’re not as good as the other students. Teachers have the opportunity to remove this stigma and help students see props as positive or neutral.


13:15 Progressive teaching- giving students the opportunity to stay in pose or progress, for example:


Start in Table Top

Feet behind, rest toes behind mat

Lift leg at hip

Lift arm


Offer the student the opportunity to stay at that level or progress, depending on their level of comfort.


16:00 Shannon and her client’s experience with coming to the mat to check in. Amber calls it “neutral ground”, a place where she avoids body criticism or shaming with a focus on inquiry and emotional exploration.


17:20 Body neutrality- it’s okay to feel neutral about your body without the pressure to love your body and aligns with practicing non-attachment


20:25 Advice for teaching bigger bodies when you don’t live in a larger body and how specialized training is very helpful


26:05 Marketing for classes for larger bodies or all bodies


32:50 Yoga images in yoga marketing- including photos featuring a variety of bodies, ethnicities, abilities, etc. will attract a more diversity


35:25 Modifications, props, and cuing: it shouldn’t be assumed that any pose it basic for anyone. Questions to ask yourself: What is the point of the pose? How can you make poses more accessible to your students? Can we change the orientation of the pose or change the relationship to gravity? Sometimes it’s something as small as adding blocks under the hands, using the wall or chair, etc.


A lot of students don’t have body awareness coming into yoga- you can help them move into over time


41:20  Two steps to help students with larger bodies:


1) Widen- Feet two fists width or maybe wider (width of the mat) automatically puts students in a better position which helps them access their breath, avoid feeling compressed or pinched, bodies are more flexible than the body can often express


2) Move stuff out of the way- Take hands to low belly, fold forward and bend your knees, pull your hips back, tuck belly up and back- also great cue for someone that isn’t in a larger body (great cue for hinging hips)


43:55 How to assist a larger student without putting them on the spot: speak matter-of-factly and make cues relevant to the entire class: no one wants to be put on the spot whether they’re injured or in a larger body, etc.


Make it clear that no one has to be in perfect shape to practice yoga.


48:25 Tools for teachers to offer modifications:


  1. Set everyone up with the same props
  2. Take time to talk about how the props can be used
  3. Offer alternative spots (chair, wall, etc.) and focuses (shape or balance of the pose)


Empower your students so they can trust their instincts, experiment until they find a position that feels good,  and ask your students how does their breath feels in this pose. Subtle things like language help your students feel good so they can access an embodied experience.


55:10 Issues around consent: do some self-study:  Why I am or am not offering assists or adjustments to my students? Is this necessary? Is it clarifying or nurturing? Cueing over adjusting. Help students make the adjustment for themselves and adjust your student only if they are in a position that may cause injury. If you do make sure to ask for consent and let them know what you are going to do.


1:06:35 How to reach Amber Karnes



Amber’s Email:


Amber’s website: Body Positive Yoga

Body Positive on Facebook


Body Positive on Instagram


Representation Matters: Inclusive and Diverse Stock Photos


Body Positive Yoga: Modifications


Amber’s article: Yoga Turned My Body into a Place I Could Call Home


Relevant TCYT podcast episodes:


003: Trauma Training for Every Yoga Teacher with Margaret Howard


015: Consent Cards and Hands-On Assists with Molly Kitchen


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity



“Offering modifications offers students agency over their own yoga practice and gives the locus of control back to the students. We want to guide our students into a place of inquiry where they can have an experience in their own body...both on the mat and into areas of their own lives.” ~ Amber Karnes

May 28, 2018

066: Online Scheduling Tool for Yoga Teachers
with Jane Crites


When Shannon began The Connected Yoga Teacher podcast she had a vision to create a safe and supportive community for yoga teachers along with great content shared on a weekly basis. Shannon didn’t have immediate plans to find a sponsor but knew that the podcast’s sponsor would have to offer services that she herself used and about which she could speak passionately. Shannon also felt strongly that she wanted the service to be relevant to yoga teachers. Schedulicity, an online booking application and scheduling tool that Shannon has used since 2011, checked all the boxes.


Through a consultation call with her business coach Natalie Eckdahl of BizChix, she was encouraged to create a plan to monetize The Connected Yoga Teacher podcast. Shannon realized that she needed to focus on marketing and sponsorship as those elements would make the longevity of the podcast possible.


Today’s guest is Schedulicity’s Jane Crites, VP of Product. Jane began working for the company in 2007.  Shannon and Jane talk about Jane’s love of yoga, upcoming enhancements to their services, the power of scheduling and more.


Jane does the work that lights her up in a position that allows her to problem-solve with customers. Jane has been instrumental in putting energy towards marketing to yoga teachers and studios as well as focusing on how Schedulicity’s services can benefit yoga entrepreneurs.


Jane lives in Bozeman, Montana (also Schedulicity’s headquarters), and describes the winter landscape as a frozen tundra but she wouldn’t have it any other way. She has a variety of interests including yoga (sometimes hot yoga in the winter ☀), software development languages, has a whole foods plant-based culinary/nutrition certification and is excited to design and create a permaculture food forest in her front yard.


2:20 How Schedulicity became The Connected Yoga Teacher’s sponsor


5:00 Shannon’s journey to monetizing the podcast


7:15 About Jane Crites from Schedulicity


9:50 The origin of Schedulicity


10:10 Jane’s experience working with Schedulicity


12:25  How Schedulicity is able to offer services for free


15:00 Is Jane finding an increase of yoga teacher and studio users?


16:05 How Schedulicity can serve new yoga teachers


17:55 Upcoming plans for Schedulicity enhancements like “Fill My Class” and community-based cross-promotional opportunities


21:25 How Jane and the Schedulicity team implement customer suggestions- including Shannon’s :)


24:40 Creating your client database to help with marketing your classes


25:20 Jane’s yoga journey and interest in yoga teacher training


28:40 Other Schedulicity RockStars’ passion for yoga


29:55 Jane’s advice for those thinking of trying Schedulicity


32:15 Shannon’s key takeaways about the power of scheduling your one-on-ones and more


35:55 Exciting MamaNurture Teacher Training news!




Jane’s email:


Jane on LinkedIn


Schedulicity Website


Schedulicity on Facebook


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


MamaNurture Teacher Training


Relevant Podcast Episodes:


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


054: Launching a Podcast and Facebook Group with Shannon Crow


BizChix Podcast: 235: How I Monetize My Podcast and Platform


BizChix Podcast: 306: 7 Ways to Monetize a Podcast


Live Podcast Interview Video with Jane Crites & Shannon


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

May 21, 2018

065: Create Your Ideal Schedule with Shannon Crow


Shannon was inspired to create an episode to answer a question she is frequently asked: How does she do it all?


Shannon is the first to say she has a packed schedule and that fitting everything in can certainly be a challenge. Over the years, working as an entrepreneur, Shannon has learned many tips and tricks and they’re always evolving to help her create and implement her ideal schedule.


There are many questions asked, tools you can use, and further reading and resources that are mentioned in today’s episode, but, don’t feel you have to take everything on.  As Shannon says, pick just one thing to start; maybe something that would make the biggest impact or would be the easiest to incorporate into your life and work on that. Integrate that one thing and if you have that down you can return to this episode for another tool or resource.


In our busy world scheduling to use your time in an optimal way is quite a challenge. Remember not to be too hard on yourself- no one has this down to a science but a few tweaks in your planning might make a world of difference. We’d love to hear if you’ve tried any of these techniques or if have any of your own suggestions. What do you find works for you?

6:05  When are you working and when do you have time off? What do you want to do with your time off?  What fills you up that is not work-related?


7:55 Look at that daily work schedule- when are you working, when are your breaks and when are you ending your day? Think about your ideal work week, month, and year. Where you are now vs. where are we headed.


10:10 Appointments with yourself are necessary to fuel you. When you’re scheduling time off do you stick to it? Distractions from family, other work, etc interfering? Move your appointment with yourself somewhere else on the calendar.


12:15 The best time of day for you to teach? Do you feel like you have to work when it is convenient for the studio or students? You might be surprised by the turn out when you choose your best time.


14:45 What is your ideal yoga class? 1:1 or group classes? How many classes per week? What would this look like if money wasn’t a factor?


16:10 Scheduling software- helps you clarify when you can book in classes or one-on-one appointments, your breaks, time between appointments so people can come and go without rushing


**Limited time vs. Lack of time: reframing language around your schedule so you aren’t perceiving that there is never enough time**


20:15 Money Mindset- how much do you need to teach to make ends meet? What is your hourly rate?


21:20 Time Blocking- daily, weekly, and monthly


Shannon’s Week:


MONDAY - Content Creation


WEDNESDAY - Podcast Day

THURSDAY - Consultation Calls

FRIDAY - Catch up day - podcast ready for Monday


26:00 Time blocking helps prevent Decision Fatigue


26:35 Ideally spend 15 minutes a day to wrap-up your day


Review your day - put the to-do items on your calendar that came up during the day


Mind Dump - if there is a tornado of thoughts and to-dos write them all down and see what needs to be added to your calendar


Prioritize and Plan for tomorrow - put the high priority tasks on your calendar for the next day and perhaps going further into your week or month


29:35 List things you are spending your time doing. What are the things you enjoy doing? What are the things you find yourself avoiding? It may reveal if you’re losing time doing activities that aren’t a priority.


30:40 Blocking out time for a specific task such as a workshop- you may need to block out time every day for a week for example, but the idea is that you’re putting some boundaries around the time you spend so it doesn’t get away from you


31:30 Time blocking specific to yoga teachers:


  1. Personal Practice- 8-Limb focused (not just asana)
  2. Marketing - can include talking about what you do, email, social media, public speaking, newspaper advertisements, posters, business cards, videos and more
  3. Yoga offerings - workshops, classes, 1:1, retreats, online videos, blog posts


**Don’t forget to include your travel and set up time**


  1. Learning - yoga teacher training, reading, studying, videos, courses, yoga teacher training  


**Small regular drips of information are better than a flood of information, especially if your schedule is already packed **


  1. Planning and Preparation of Yoga offerings
  2. Other - Add what you’d like here such as accounting and email


37:00 Self-study (SVADHYAYA) to determine how you best work- Are you an introvert or extrovert? How do you best start off your work day? How does your energy tend to unfold throughout the day?


39:30 “Eat Your Frog First” and “The One Thing”- What is the one thing that needs to get done? If you’re feeling overwhelmed pick just one thing that you are going to get done today and make the goal achievable, measurable, and specific


43:50  Ask what is the one thing that will help me generate income for my yoga business at the beginning of the day or the end of the day and plan tomorrow. How much time do you need to complete this? If it seems overwhelming create micro goals in 60-90 minute blocks.


45:40 Ask if you can outsource some of your to-do list? Household chores, accounting, website graphics, etc.


47:05 Looking at your yoga business as having seasons- it’s okay to focus on one thing and put other projects on the back burner


48:30 Airport Test (created by Pat Flynn) to help look at the big picture


50:15 Set yourself up for success by cutting off distractions, time block for the distracting times eg. timer for using Facebook, and a few other recommended resources



The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon

Relevant TCYT podcast episodes:


030: Rituals to Start and End Your Day with Puja Madan


032: Set and Achieve Big Goals with Natalie Eckdahl


TCYT Define Your Yoga Niche Course


BizChix Podcast: 288: Time Management for High Performers: How to How to Map Your Ideal Month, Ideal Week, Theme Days and Time Block


BizChix Podcast: 316: How to Summer Proof Your Business


Book: The One Thing by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan


Book: Eat That Frog: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done by Brian Tracy


Book: Will it Fly? by Pat Flynn (includes the Airport Test)


Freedom App

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

May 14, 2018

064: Getting Hired by a Yoga Studio with Kristen Sweeney


Have you completed your yoga teacher training and are preparing yourself to look for employment? Shannon and Kristen Sweeney have your back with clear steps to getting hired by a yoga studio that, most importantly, is the right fit for you. It’s the best gift you can give yourself, the studio, and your students.


Kristen Sweeney remembers the first yoga class that lit her up. She was a working as a dancer in Las Vegas, Nevada and tried a Bikram Hot Yoga class. She was “sweaty, drenched, exhausted, hooked, and exhilarated.” Later, as an actor living in New York city, she found yoga to be grounding, gave her a refuge and a sense of safety at a time when her life was hectic, outward facing, and approval seeking.


Kristen reached a point in her life when she wanted to find work that felt rewarding on a daily basis. That led her to teach yoga and share her insights on her blog. Finding a strong connection between herself and yoga teachers through her posts, she wondered if there was something more to explore. Kristen niched down further to create her business Edge of the Mat and is now a business coach for yoga teachers.


On today’s episode, you will be guided through the steps to find the teaching job that is right for you. The steps will take you through a process to determine where you’d like to teach, how to approach the studio, what to expect when you audition and much more. Kristen has also kindly shared the PDF The Yogi’s Guide to Teaching at a New Studio for when you’ve landed the job. You’ve got this and we wish you all the best in finding the work that lights you up!  

07:30 How Kristen’s yoga journey began


10:55 What led Kristen to write her blog Edge of the Mat and how she expanded it into a business


14:20 Was there a gradual realization or a light bulb moment that led her to clearly define her niche


16:50 Step-by-step process to approach studios


17:10 Step 1: Discern which studios you want to approach


  1. If you research to find the studios that fit with you, you are more likely to get the job
  2. Important to be able to approach a variety of studios, gyms and community centers- are they close and easy to commute to?
  3. Does the community vibe match your style of teaching
  4. What is your ideal class size?
  5. What do you want in the experience of teaching? What studios fit you?
  6. Where would I like to work- be choosy and shift that mindset from desperation to personal choice
  7. Take a variety of classes at the locations to find a good fit

22:35 Step 2: Approach the teacher of the class you’ve been taking and approach them with a 2 to 3 sentence ‘pitch’ or introduction including:


  • Thanking them for class and what you liked about it
  • What you love about the studio and community
  • Asking who would you connect with to set up an audition
  • Leave resumé and consider including your resumé on your website


26:05 Step 3: Planning and Preparing for the audition


30:25 What to do if you don’t hear back from the studio


  • Follow up- email
  • Show up in person and take one of their classes
  • Don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back, studios get many emails
  • Sometimes it takes quite a while for to hear back- even months!
  • Worth checking in a few months later (in person) to see if a spot has opened up
  • Don’t take it too personally and letting it breathe for a while


33:50 Tips and tricks for teachers auditioning


  • Prepare :)
  • Detailed sequence planning
  • Create class arc even if it’s a short audition
  • In a Round Robin, situation be prepared to change up your plan depending on your place in the class
  • Structure gives you freedom
  • Prepare yourself for your professional best- externally and internally so you show up as your best, most confident self


38:30 Step 4: Feedback


  • 1:1 time with the studio manager
  • Be open to feedback
  • Feel free to engage and ask questions about the feedback so you can evolve as a yoga teacher


Step 5: Follow Up


  • Auditioner will hopefully let you know what the next steps are (repeat the instructions to make sure it’s clear and follow up)


41:05 Step 6: Yes, no or Maybe


What is the next step if you get a “thanks but no thanks”


     Possible reasons:


  1. Missing self-awareness that misidentified the place as the right fit for you (move on)
  2. Studio felt as though you’re not a good fit or that you’re not quite ready skill-wise to join (check in again in the future)


43:30 Coming from a place of personal choice instead of a place of desperation


44:05 How you can work with Kristen


45:20 Shannon’s wrap-up and action steps







Kristen’s Website: Edge of the Mat


Edge of the Mat Facebook Group


Kristen on Instagram


PDF gift from Kristen: Yogi's Guide to Teaching at a New Studio


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


May 7, 2018

063: Secrets of Successful Full-Time Yoga Teachers with Ashley Zuberi

Ashley Zuberi has been a full-time yoga teacher for three years and acknowledges it has been a struggle. While considering her own challenges, Ashley became curious about the struggles of her fellow teachers. Recognizing there are several variables that affect how successfully one can teach yoga full-time, Ashley created a set of questions that she could pose to other yoga teachers.


Ashley’s questionnaire was aimed at those who worked independently as a yoga teacher and earned 70% or more of their income from teaching yoga. Most of the respondents were female and living in North America though some answers came from China, Australia, and England. She wanted to get a sense from a group of teachers what it looks like to teach yoga full-time. Ashley’s hope was to uncover patterns, tips, and tricks that could be shared across the yoga community on the whole


The answers revealed much that surprised Ashley. For example, she found that 32% of the respondents are able to make a living by teaching alone, which was happily more than she expected.  Ashley also discovered that the teachers worked an average 42 hours per week and that regardless of the hours spent working (between 20-80 hours per week,) most respondents felt they worked too much. Other revelations were around income, teacher burnout, mindset, (how you describe your job and market yourself, for example) and yoga community connection (or disconnection).


Ashley began her yoga journey by following a class on DVD and later attended classes at her local gym based on the recommendation of a friend. This enhanced her life in on several levels including physically, socially, and spiritually. The first yoga teacher training she attended was a 200-hour Power Vinyasa training from Jason Bowman and Derise Diatta at CorePower Yoga Boulder in 2011.  Since then has expanded her knowledge by taking a variety of trainings. She loves to weave philosophy into her teaching which includes group classes, private yoga sessions, workshops, and yoga teacher trainings. In addition, she provides yoga teacher mentorship.



5:45 How Shannon structures her Consultation Calls


8:50 Ashley’s yoga journey


9:50 Ashley’s yoga teacher project - 53 logistically challenging


11:25 The difference between the yoga industry and other industry in regard to “set paths” and a measure of growth and success


13:20 Interview process and how Ashley chose her interviewees


14:25 Ashley’s key takeaways from the data collected


18:30 What yoga teachers found to be their biggest challenges


20:35 Their experience with yoga teacher burnout and anxiety around “never knowing enough”


22:30 How Ashley compiled her data


23:30 Mindset of yoga teacher influenced their answers-  do you consider yourself a yoga teacher or small business owner


24:15 The reality of working for yourself


26:20 Successful yoga teachers and innovative marketing


28:20 What the interviews revealed about the marketing mindset,  Ashley’s personal experience with marketing and the importance of building relationships


30:45 What Ashley took from the data and applied to her yoga business- Ashley’s decision to scale back from her online presence


Smart Passive Income vs. Smart Active Income


34:20 Responses to the question “Do you feel supported?”


39:25 How the lack of support felt within the yoga community can be addressed


41:05 The struggle to commit to a personal practice and perhaps re-defining what that means to you


43:20 What Ashley wishes yoga teachers would know after doing these interviews


44:50 Balancing family and a yoga career and how the yoga community can help support this


48:40 How to connect with Ashley


51:30 Average yoga teacher income from respondents and how the mindset for making a living as a yoga teacher is a viable option for full-time work from teaching has evolved over time


55:15 Shannon’s closing thoughts on the issues brought forward by Ashley’s report such as creating a supportive community in your area



Ashley’s Website


To Access the downloadable PDF “The State of Teaching Yoga Full time” click on “Download the Report” button on Ashley’s homepage




Ashley on Facebook


Ashley on Instagram


Article: Calling All Full Time Teachers by Ashley Zuberi


Article: The Evolution of Yoga Teaching by Ashley Zuberi

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Yoga is a practice that asks us to look at ourselves and our lives so we can choose to live in alignment with our true values. The practice offers freedom, safety, and non-judgment to do this inner work. Embarking on this path is both an individual journey as well as a journey within our community and the world.”

~Ashley Josephine Zuberi

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

Mar 26, 2018

057: Feng Shui Your Yoga Space with Marina V. Umali


Shannon has invited designer Marina Umali to the show to answer some of the questions asked by many of you in The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook group about setting up your yoga spaces.


Marina is a New York State certified interior designer and Feng Shui practitioner. She studied architecture at Parsons School of Design and Interior Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She also practices yoga and has had the opportunity to visit many yoga studios.


Shannon and Marina discuss setting up your at-home or studio space keeping direction, colours, fabric choices, lighting and more in mind. Marina also shares with us when and how to clear the energy of objects and spaces for a more peaceful practice and how yin energy can be expressed through design choices you make.


Marina’s work is a blend of striking design and practical functionality and the power of intention and good energy flow. She believes that deep, lasting improvements to your environment create deep, lasting improvements in your life. Most recently, Marina became certified as a cruelty-free designer.

08:30 Marina’s journey to becoming an interior designer


11:10 Marina’s top Feng Shui tips: 1) no clutter 2) command position


13:50 Tips for clearing your clutter


14:45 Is there any direction that we should we be facing?


16:40 The relationship between Feng Shui and windows


17:35 Colours for yoga spaces


19:50 Organizing your yoga space within a room with various functions


21:10 Other Feng Shui tips: 1) room in the back of house with yin energy 2) natural materials, soothing colours 3) options for lighting


22:20 Marina’s recent cruelty-free certification


24:15 Feng Shui fabric suggestions


25:10 Tips on creating an altar space and clearing objects of past energy


27:55 Clearing your yoga space before practicing (at home or before teaching your class)


29:25 Clearing our minds before practicing yoga


31:35 Feng Shui for your electronics


33:30 Energy around your bed- the effect of books and storage


36:55 Marina’s experience with energy in yoga spaces she’s visited


37:45 A few more tips from Marina 1) use green cleaning products 2) paint with low VOCs 3) use inspirational quotes or graphics in your space


38:45 The energy of mirrors in yoga studios


39:30 How to work with Marina


40:35 Shannon’s final thoughts and her big takeaway

Marina's Website


Marina V Design Studio on Facebook


Marina V Design Studio on Instagram


Blog Post: How to Solve Health Problems with Feng Shui by Marina Umali


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


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Mar 19, 2018

056: Yoga and Menopause with Leslie Kazadi

Today Shannon has invited Leslie Kazadi to talk about yoga and menopause.  There can be a lot of shyness around discussing the profound physical, emotional and mental changes that menopause can bring. Leslie opens up about her own experience with menopause in a very honest way and how it led her to take it on as a special area of interest in relation to her yoga teachings.


There have been studies that have shown a promising correlation between yoga and the reduction of common menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, sleep and mood disturbances, stress, and muscle and joint pain.  Leslie discusses these and other symptoms while revealing the increased health risks that accompany menopause. Also discussed is how yoga teachers can make their students more comfortable and what women experiencing menopausal symptoms need in their yoga practice.


Leslie has a wealth of education and experience to draw on. She is certified as yoga a therapist by the International Association of Yoga Therapists as well as a certified in massage and Thai massage therapist. Leslie also had the opportunity to study in India with the masters of Ashtanga and Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois and BKS Iyengar which inspired her to take yoga teacher training in 2001.


Leslie has worked with adults of all ages with complex medical conditions. She is passionate about making yoga accessible to all including those with injuries and older adults. She feels working with those who “don’t think they can do yoga” especially fulfilling. Leslie believes in teaching in an approachable way that includes laughter and lightheartedness and holds the belief that truly being present is the greatest healer.


7:20 Leslie’s yoga journey


10:30 Why Leslie wanted to work with people that weren’t typically drawn to yoga and her interest in anatomy


12:35 How Leslie came to turn her attention to yoga and menopause


13:55 The reluctance of women to talk about menopause, the disappointment felt by ageing


16:00 Leslie’s experience with menopause, common symptoms


19:10 Empower yourself with the knowledge to choose your yoga practice- when entering menopause your risk of heart attacks and osteoporosis skyrockets, digestive issues such as GERD and acid reflux


19:55 Outward changes that go along with menopause that are difficult for many to talk about or accept such as changes in the skin (such as elasticity), decreased muscle tone, weight gain -can be hard for yoga teachers whose physicality is on display


21:25 How you can help students experiencing menopausal symptoms more comfortable


23:45 What style of yoga is helpful for women going through menopause, a focus on strength and relaxation and on their participation in class but not being singled out


26:20 How yoga helps achieve a good night’s sleep, allowing yourself to schedule an extra hour of sleep (even temporarily)


28:30 Those who struggle with ageing and how this causes unnecessary pain


34:10 “The gift of ageing” and practising gratitude, how yoga philosophy can support this


37:05 The positive aspects of menopause: “Live the life you want to live now”


39:00 The importance of being authentic with your students, letting them know that you accept them as they are, and knowing you influence young women who are bombarded with messages about beauty


41:50 How to work with Leslie Kazadi and her passion for making sure yoga is accessible for all


44:25 Shannon and Leslie reflect on yoga teacher trainings


46:50 Shannon’s closing thoughts and takeaways (and a preview of upcoming episodes!)



Leslie’s website- Alchemy Yoga Therapy


Leslie on Instagram


Leslie Kazadi Yoga Therapy on Facebook


Leslie on Twitter


Yogis Anonymous


What is GERD? Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)- from WebMD


Mind-body therapies for menopausal symptoms: a systematic review- A 2010 review of 21 papers from  the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Mar 12, 2018

055: Share Your Course Using Thinkific with Siddharth Bharath


Thinkific is an online course software platform based in Vancouver BC, Canada. CEO Greg Smith was searching for a way to put his LSAT course online in order to reach more students. He saw the need for an online course platform and along with his co-founders designed software that would allow course creators to easily add their content online.


On today’s episode, Shannon speaks with Siddharth Bharath, a marketer and VP of growth at Thinkific. Sid, who at the time was a marketing consultant, was looking for an online platform to host his courses. He really liked Thinkific as a course platform because it was easy to use. He decided to contact Greg Smith with some marketing ideas and Greg was impressed enough to ask Sid to join their team and has been with them since.


Shannon picks Siddharth’s brain asking him what technology is needed to create a course, how much financial investment is involved, how students and teachers can interact, marketing your course and more.

10:05 What led Sid to work for Thinkific


12:40 How Thinkific can help you run a course


14:45 The Thinkific plans so you can decide which financial investment works for you


15:55 Do you need a website needed to run a Thinkific course


16:50 What is the bare minimum technology needed to make a video


18:30 What tools are needed for good audio


19:55 Sid’s tips for creating a video


20:40 How Thinkific facilitates the interactivity between students and teachers


21:30 Yoga teachers who are producing courses with Thinkific


23:25 The Thinkific team and culture of kindness


25:30 The help available to Thinkific users


26:25 Sid’s tips for marketing a course


29:05 Videos as yoga class add-ons and how they can supplement your in-person classes


29:25 Payment options for your customers such as one-off, monthly payment plans


30:30 Sid’s last bit of advice: “Action beats perfection”


31:50 How to get in touch with Sid and Thinkific


32:15 Shannon’s wrap-up and key takeaways



Email Sid:


Thinkific Website


Thinkific on Facebook


Thinkific Blog Post: Best Equipment & Software For Creating Online Courses


Example Yoga Courses on Thinkific


The Bhakti Shop


Mako Mindfulness Membership



Related TCYT Podcast:


Ep 54: Launching a Podcast and Facebook Group


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


5-Day Content Creation Challenge


Define Your Yoga Niche Online Course


PDF: 5 Koshas


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Mar 5, 2018

054: **Anniversary Episode ** Launching a Podcast and Facebook Group with Shannon Crow


Welcome to The Connected Yoga Teacher one-year anniversary episode! Episode 001 of The Connected Yoga Teacher was launched on February 24th, 2017 and here we are, just over one year later on episode 054.

Shannon’s vision to provide a platform for yoga teachers to connect between trainings has grown in a way that she could never have imagined. Always reading about and researching yoga topics, Shannon wanted to support other yoga teachers by sharing important and relevant information. She has invited a variety of guests to share valuable knowledge about a wide array of subject matters such as running a yoga business, pelvic health, eating disorders, yoga and social media, re-thinking stretching, and the importance of trauma-informed yoga.

Shannon provides a behind-the-scenes look at creating and maintaining The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook group and the work put into the podcast each and every week. She also shares more about herself; her vulnerabilities and her view on making mistakes.

With much gratitude, we want to thank our listeners for taking this journey with us. Downloading the podcast and engaging with and supporting one another on The Connected Facebook Group keeps this community thriving.

Thank you also to The Connected Yoga Teacher team -- Rob, Laura, Samantha and every single listener.

2:25 Shannon’s journey that led her to the creating a podcast for yoga teachers and the fear that accompanied that


4:40 Brainstorming in her red journal and finding the common thread was wanting to help yoga teachers


5:10 Why Shannon thinks supporting other yoga teachers is so important


5:40 How Shannon got her ideas for topics- from yoga consulting, connecting with and interviewing experts, reading articles


6:40 The Connected Yoga Podcast team


9:55 If you’re interested in making a podcast or creating content


10:05 Some of the content Shannon wanted to include in the podcast and choosing her guest


11:05 The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group- creating and maintaining the group


12:05 Podcast listener and TCYT FB group member Barbara Peter’s question for Shannon: “Would you please do a podcast about everything you do behind the scenes to make everything in The Connected Yoga Teacher group page so wildly successful. Every minute detail. Hold nothing back.”


13:00 Naming the podcast and making the choice to avoid asking others to join, hoping to grow the group organically


14:20 July 2017 (5 months into the podcast)- 346 members, a solid foundation had been built with Shannon working hard to keep the members engaged


14:55 Nov 2017 (9 months into the podcast) -1000 members, great questions and content posted regularly by members


15:35 February 2018 (the one-year anniversary of the podcast)- over 2000 people (100 people added just this week!)


15:40 3 question set-up for those that want to join a group, post questions to start discussions, post questions on behalf of other teachers


16:55 The challenge of making a welcome post that you can pin to the top of the group page, the purpose of the welcome post and tagging people in the group


18:25 Shannon’s TCYT Facebook Group welcome post


20:40 Context of people’s posts when it’s in writing, in text, easy misunderstandings challenges in moderating the group


23:35 Online negativity and taking a look at your own reaction to posts, avoiding the knee-jerk reaction- “Can you say that in a more vulnerable way?”  


Related episode: 051: Yoga and (Anti-) Social Media with Carol Horton, PhD


24:50 Question from Shelly Prosko of Prosko Physio Yoga: “My question for you relates to compassion and sense of community and connection...What is one thing that you’ve failed at or made a mistake of you’re struggling with right now if you can get a little vulnerable if you feel comfortable…”


27:25 Shannon reflects her on making mistakes, owning up to them, embracing them, how her view of mistakes has changed over time


36:15 When Shannon thought she was ready to launch the podcast and what she still had to consider


Related Episode: 005: Set and Achieve Big Goals with Natalie Eckdahl


37:50 Steps needed make TCYT podcast


42:20 How Shannon got Schedulicity as a sponsor


44:30 Automation and engaging with guests and listeners through emails


46:40 Show notes and our desire to have a great summary, quotes, timestamps and links


47:50 How profit can be made through podcasts


48:40 Shannon’s began using Facebook Live as a way to engage her audience


49:30 Shannon’s Facebook Launch Party Event


51:40 TCYT downloads statistics


52:50 Shannon’s final thoughts and voicemail by TCYT podcast listener Haunani Drake


Contact us:


Email: info@theconnectedyogateacher


Voicemail: The Connected Yoga Teacher Website (click on the ‘Send Shannon a Voicemail’)



Seth Godin’s Podcast 01: Akimbo- The Grand Opening- a great episode about launching a podcast


Dr. Kristin Neff’s website:


Accessible Yoga Conference- June 22nd-24th, 2018 at the University of Toronto


Related TCYT Podcast Episodes:


051: Yoga and (Anti-) Social Media with Carol Horton, PhD


009: Kegels, Mula Bandha and Pelvic Health with Shelly Prosko


005: Set and Achieve Big Goals with Natalie Eckdahl


Facebook Live Show: The Connected Yoga Teacher


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


The Connected Yoga Teacher Launch Party Facebook Event Page


The Connected Yoga Teacher Launch Party Facebook Event Video


Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Feb 26, 2018

053: Yoga Mentors and Lineage with Chase Bossart


On today’s episode, Shannon invites Chase Bossart who with great warmth and humour shares with us some of his experiences with his mentor T.K.V. Desikachar. Chase discusses the hallmark of Desikachar’s teachings that he’s very much taken to heart, the importance of mentorship and the sometimes necessary end of this relationship.


Chase was introduced to yoga in 1991 when he took a semester abroad in India as a philosophy major. He was interested in learning more about Eastern philosophy and took a class in yoga theory. This is where he met his mentor T.K.V. Desikachar, one of the class’ regular instructors and become immersed in yoga and Desikachar’s teachings.


Chase has spent over 4 years in India and several years in China (becoming fluent in Mandarin).  Expanding on his knowledge of Eastern philosophy, Chase earned a Masters degree in Religious Studies with an emphasis in Indian Philosophy in 1996.


Now living North of San Francisco, Chase has travelled frequently to give workshops and training on a wide array of yoga and yoga therapy topics since 2003. Chase teaches courses and workshops in person and provides an online meditation session and online study session of Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita once a week. He is also passionate about pranayama, meditation, chanting and the therapeutic application of yoga therapy. He loves to lead experiential workshops that demonstrate yoga philosophy’s practical applications in daily life.

5:25 Studying with his mentor T.K.V Desikachar in India


8:35 Hallmark of Desikachar’s teachings is individualized, one-on-one sessions where you participate in your own healing


10:05 The feeling Chase has when teaching to online students and in-person students


12:00 Online Thursday night study of Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita with Chase- study of Sanskrit and most importantly how does that apply to one’s life by pausing, responding and sharing with each other


13:10 Incorporating Sanskrit and yoga philosophy in our practice and the importance of finding context for why we do the techniques we do, recognizing that yoga is an intentionally engineered practice with the science behind understanding how the human system functions


18:00 Chase’s appreciation for Desikachar’s ability to break teachings down and applying them in a practical sense to everyday life


19:05 Importance of taking time to take teachings in- not rushing through training and philosophical texts so a sustainable transformation is possible


20:20 Differentiating between yoga as information and yoga as being (understanding why your life is unfolding as it is, seeing yoga play out in your life, allowing for feedback and study with a mentor)


22:10 The benefit of having a mentor- difficult to digest studies without a reliable outside reference, help you stay on your path, cue you to reflect and the importance of having an established relationship with someone you have faith in and trust


25:20 Chase details some of the more difficult experiences as Desikachar’s mentee and how moving through them helped him establish different patterns and the refinement of his person and behaviour


32:30 Chase’s belief that teachings should be the main focus- not so much the lineage and T.K.V. Desikachar’s hesitancy to give a name to his yoga teachings (named Viniyoga for a period of time) when he very much believed that yoga should flow through someone in an individualized way


36:10 The problem with lineage and putting yoga into groups- divisiveness, can overemphasize form over function


37:45 Desikachar’s taught the importance of relinquishing rather than looking at the effort and asanas


39:20 An example of relinquishing- being attached to how things are such as groups you are in, your home, your job and seeing that as primary importance


42:55 When and why a mentorship relationship may end


47:55 The importance of honesty and communication in mentor-mentee bond and when there may be a shift in the relationship


51:00 What mentorship should provide such as understanding how the mentee’s  process works and helping to hold space for that process


53:35 Yoga Wells Institute Therapeutic Yoga Trainings


53:20 Importance of teachers undergoing process themselves, doing their own practice with an open, malleable fashion


57:00 Upcoming Yoga Therapy Teacher Certification Course with Chase in Nashville, Tennessee


58:55 Chase’s work with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) and its importance in legitimizing the practice via accreditation and guidelines


1:02:19 Chase shares what his own practice looks like while gently reminding teachers to find their own way


1:04:20 If you struggle with your own practice- “When you need it the most it’s harder to do.”


1:08:40 Shannon’s closing thoughts and key takeaways



Yoga Well Institute Website


Yoga Well on Facebook


Twitter: The Well Bucket


Yoga Well Institute on Instagram


Email: send an email to set up a 30-minute interview process to help find you a mentor


Yoga Therapy Teacher Certification Course


Chase Bossart on J. Brown Yoga Podcast


International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT)


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Feb 19, 2018

052: Create Your Online Course with Janelle Allen of Zen Courses


Have you ever thought of turning your expertise into an online course? It can be a great source of income that comes with the satisfaction of inspiring others with content you feel passionate about.


Shannon welcomes Janelle Allen, the founder of Zen Courses to help you get started. Janelle shares her knowledge with us covering how to pick a topic, organize and market a course, the different styles of courses, and much more.  


Armed with her Masters of Science degree in Instructional Technology, Janelle has spent nearly ten years creating courses for a variety of clients, including colleges, universities, corporations and small businesses. Realizing that she wanted to work in a more personal way with others she founded Zen Courses.  Through her business, Janelle offers services that include one-on-one consultations and courses.

Janelle has a free online email list course just for our Connected Yoga Teacher listeners.

6:20 How Janelle got interested in online learning and went from working for a six-figure company to working for herself


10:10 Janelle’s experience with yoga


11:20 How to get started creating an online course: 1) target learner 2) what problems do they have 3) what solutions do you have


15:35 How do yoga teachers pick from possible course topics? How to determine if people will pay for your course.


17:35 How to organize the course? “The one thing” what should people be able to do after completing the course, using “backwards design”


21:45 “Simpler is better” - resisting temptation to put too much content in your course


20:35 Tools Janelle uses to create her courses- outline, content cues, mind maps


23:40 The difference between a live course, self-paced course or blended course (part live and part self-paced)


26:30 Open cart or close cart launches- whether a course is available for a limited time


27:15 How choose between creating live course, self-paced or blended course- often depends on complexity of your courses


28:40 Thinking about your learners- there will be times when parts of the course will be harder, students may stumble and it will be important to be available to your students during these times through video chat, Facebook groups, provide an extra week to do their work, etc.


32:10 Making your course actionable: activities and assignments in your course, develop a community in your course (on social media like a FB group)


34:05 How to get students for your courses 1) market to existing audience through email including survey questions, building a case for the course and how to sign up for your course  2) partner with people that have an audience through a joint webinars


39:30 When you are worried about being “salesy” and how Janelle worked through that and the fear of rejection


41:30 How to reach Janelle if you want to work with her


43:40 What advice would Janelle give to those starting out


46:40 Shannon’s closing thoughts



Zen Courses Website


Sign up for Zen Courses Newsletter


Free Course from Janelle Allen "Start With Email"


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


Define Your Yoga Niche Online Course


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)


Free TCYT 5 Kochas PDF


Free TCYT 5-Day Content Creation Challenge


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Feb 12, 2018

Carol Horton, PhD is a writer, educator and activist. She works at the intersection of mindful yoga, social science, and social justice. Carol serves as Vice President of the Yoga Service Council and was a co-founder of Chicago’s Socially Engaged Yoga Network. In her desire to make yoga accessible to all she has taught yoga in underprivileged areas such as Chicago’s Cook County Jail, a drop-in centre for homeless women, a residential foster care facility, and a community health centre.


Shannon asked Carol Horton to be a guest on The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast after reading Carol’s thoughtful blog post called Yoga: Beyond the BS. Carol discusses the negativity surrounding yoga, especially in social media. She brings up the shadow side of yoga, such as the commercialization and commodification of yoga, with the intention of being critical in a balanced fashion. It is her wish that yoga teachers employ honesty and discernment as they navigate the yoga world.


From Carol’s first yoga class in a church basement to her profound healing and spiritual experiences while practising, it is clear yoga has meant a lot to her. Carol doesn’t believe that yoga culture needs to be taken down with critique but rather respectful discussions in conjunction with work so there is power behind the discourse. Carol believes in supporting and nurturing the good and calling out the bad so we don’t lose the teachers that can make profound changes in the lives of others.


2:20 Shannon’s thoughts on the negativity in the yoga world and connecting with Carol Horton’s blog post Yoga: Beyond the BS


7:25 How Carol got started in yoga and how it evolved into her current work


11:55 Difficult childbirth was a profound experience in Carol’s life that shifted her perspective on yoga and saw the importance of trauma-informed yoga


15:00 Lying in savasana and slipping into a “spark of consciousness”


19:30 What led Carol to write the blog post Yoga: Beyond the BS


26:10 Problematic aspects of online discussions, social media as a culturally powerful medium and online bullies


30:25 When Carol thought about walking away from yoga and why she didn’t


35:00 The positive and negative response to Carol’s blog post


38:50 Is there a place yoga teachers can go to for fruitful discussions?


41:30 Carol’s editing work for the book: “Best Practices for Yoga in the Criminal Justice System”


43:40 Carol’s desire to see healthcare (including yoga) accessible to all; working with those in homeless shelters, foster homes, prisons and more to help those who’ve experienced trauma to heal


52:10 How to contact Carol


53:50 Shannon’s final thoughts




Carol Horton's Website


Blog Post: Yoga: Beyond the BS


Book: Best Practices for Yoga in the Criminal Justice System Editor: Carol Horton PhD

The Yoga Service Council


Forrest Yoga Website


Embodied Philosophy Podcast


The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


5-Day Content Creation Challenge


Define Your Yoga Niche Online Course


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

Feb 5, 2018

050: Grow Your Yoga Base [Part 2] with Shannon Crow


Welcome to episode 50!


We are so happy that we’ve been able to keep growing and connecting with so many yoga teachers to discuss a wide variety of topics relevant to the yoga teacher career path.


The Connected Yoga Teacher podcast and Facebook group has been brought to life by all of your support for one another, your humour and spirited discussions.


Thank you for all for your participation and feedback as it has provided much inspiration and momentum. You have helped to this little seed of an idea planted by Shannon Crow, who envisioned a supportive place for yoga teachers to raise each other up.

Thanks also to Rob, Laura and Samantha of The Connected Yoga Teacher team for so much of the work that goes into getting every episode to you.


As a gift to you, our listeners, a 50 episode summary has been compiled. It’s filled with key takeaways and actionable step for each episode. Keep an eye out for it in your inbox and if you are not subscribed to The Connected Yoga Teacher newsletter click here to sign up.


In Part 2 of Grow Your Yoga Student Base, Shannon continues to share steps to help you attract more yoga students. No need to tackle them all at once, simply do one thing and when you hit a comfort zone move on to another action item. Areas explored include connecting with students in and out of class, offering gifts and discounts and being authentic; because as Shannon says, you’ve got this! You have everything within yourself to attract the students who will benefit from your unique services.


12:30 Recap of Part 1 of Grow Your Yoga Base


14:20 7) Connect with students  a) In class


17:25 ACTION ITEM:  If possible place yourself at the exit and the entrance to greet and say goodbye


18:20 7) Connect with students b) Outside of class


23:20 ACTION ITEM: Get a list of your students and their contact information- their phone number, email and maybe even a mailing address


24:35 8) Posters and Business Cards


Keep posters with you and ready to pass out or put up. It’s handy to have a poster travel kit with you that includes a variety of ways to hang your posters such as tape and tacks.


Consider getting business cards to hand out or other creative way to pass on your information such as brochures and bookmarks.


ACTION ITEM: Create a poster or business card to have ready to pass out or hang up.


28:25 9) Get to know people’s preferences/check in


When you have a smaller class it’s a great opportunity to take the time to check in asking them what poses they enjoy and what parts of their bodies need some extra attention. You can incorporate the poses into your future classes each week.



ACTION ITEM: Choose 1 check in method and try it out in your next class


30:55 10) Offer the same thing every week. Offer something different every week.

It sounds contradictory but including the same poses can help students feel comfortable and internalize the poses and learn about these poses in relation to their bodies.


The opposite has its own benefit- adding a new thing will keep the students feeling challenged and increase their knowledge base.


“The opposite of a great truth is also true” –Gretchen Rubin


32:25 ACTION ITEM: If you generally do the same thing, add something new or tweak a commonly used pose. If you often vary your classes quite a bit try the same flow each week in a session.


33:10 11) Gifts, treats, offers and discounts


Some examples of gifts and treats: quote on a paper, a yummy treat (could be healthy or semi-healthy like organic chocolate or ginger chews, maybe even something homemade), pose cards, candles, something that works with the holidays such as an ornament a Christmas or chocolate on Valentine’s Day.


Some examples of offers and discounts: bring a friend for free, 5-class pass donation for a charity auction, punch card (with 10 stamps students earning them a free class), partnering with a local business or event (such as a free smoothie at a local eatery when you take a class).


34:30 ACTION ITEM: Bring a treat to your next class which may work with your theme.


34:35 12) Assists



While some people love touch while others feel uncomfortable. If you or your students aren’t comfortable with touch, there are other ways to assist. Savasana can be a great place to start. A couple of ways to ensure your student is comfortable with touch is by using consent cards or by classes that include assists as a main focus.



The Connected Yoga Teacher podcast episodes to check out on this topic:


036: Thai Yoga Massage with Shai Plonski

004: Assisting Students Without Touch

015: Consent Cards and Hands-On Assists with Molly Kitchen


36:00 ACTION ITEM: Learn one assist and practice it on another yoga teacher, your partner, friend or family member.


36:35 13) Strengthen your own yoga practice


Be the student. Attend other class to gain inspiration and nurture your own yoga practice. Attending workshops and trainings so you can continue to learn and grow as a yoga teacher.


TCYT podcast episodes to check out on this topic:


001: How to Avoid Yoga Teacher Burnout with Erin Aquin

002: How to Reconnect With Your Yoga Practice with Nina Andic


ACTION ITEM: Set a time and place to practice yoga.


41:00 14) Be authentic


Teaching what you know and be who you are. Don’t try to be like another teacher. You are unique and no one else can share yoga like you can.


ACTION ITEM:  Pick 5-10 yoga poses to strengthen your cues and unique voice. You can record yourself on your phone or jot down some notes to help you determine whether your using cues that make sense to you and your own personal experience in yoga.


42:25 15) Use a theme


There are so many ideas out there for themes and the sky’s the limit! You can subscribe to the Yoga Teacher Central newsletters as it has relevant theme ideas each week. A few examples are: anatomy focus, 8-limbs, chakras, elements, summer solstice, full moon.


ACTION ITEM: Look at your calendar and see what’s coming up for you, sit in meditation or draw a card and see what pops up for you- it might be one word or setting an intention


43:40 16) Create an amazing class


You’ve got this, you’re already an amazing teacher! When you speak in your authentic voice and you define your yoga niche and plan something new or fun along with the consistent yoga offerings you are doing fine.  Trust that the right students are coming to you at the right time.


ACTION ITEM: You are right on track and are now armed with 15 things to help you keep going.  And for the days when it isn't feeling like the best class. Learn from it. Move forward with a deep breath. We have all been there and we have your back.




Add your location to the Connected Yoga Teacher Map


The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Page "What if I am getting bored with teaching?" thread- thanks to Shannon Elise sharing your authentic self with us


Student waiver and health information form (PDF printable version)


Student waiver and health information form (editable Word document)


Canva- to make your own graphics


Here is an editable poster template Shannon made using Canva. Please make sure to make a copy before you edit it, so the original is there for others :)


Fiverr- to help you find a graphic designer to work for you


Relevant to 12) Offer Assists:


036: Thai Yoga Massage with Shai Plonski

004: Assisting Students Without Touch

015: Consent Cards and Hands-On Assists with Molly Kitchen


Relevant to 13) Strengthen your own yoga practice:


001: How to Avoid Yoga Teacher Burnout with Erin Aquin

002: How to Reconnect With Your Yoga Practice with Nina Andic

The Connected Teacher Facebook Group


Follow The Connected Teacher on Youtube


Book a Consultation Call with Shannon


5-Day Content Creation Challenge


Define Your Yoga Niche Online Course


Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Mama Nurture Teacher Training (RPYT)

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity

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





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




Tabitha Farrar's Website




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

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