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The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Now displaying: December, 2019
Dec 30, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

149: Yoga for Anxiety with Amanda Whiting

 

Description:

Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in the world, with almost 300 million people globally dealing with an anxiety disorder. This means there is a chance that one or more of your students may be dealing with anxiety, or even coming to yoga to help with their anxiety. How can you, as a yoga teacher, help them and what are some of the things to be aware of? Amanda Whiting has some insights on this topic.

 

As someone who has been managing her own anxiety since she was two years old, Amanda is no stranger to anxiety. Yoga has taught Amanda that through asana, breathwork, and meditation, anxiety can be more manageable, and an overall sense of wellbeing is inevitable. Today, Amanda helps others work through and manage their own anxiety and mental health conditions through a variety of yoga classes, workshops and retreats, as well as free meditations, yin classes and yoga nidra.

 

Amanda explains what having an anxiety attack feels like, and anxiety is a uniquely personal experience for each person. She shares how yoga can be a part of the prescription for mental health, why loving kindness and self-compassion is so important, and even what happens if someone has a panic attack in your class. Amanda approaches this sensitive topic with openness and heart, and this episode is full of so much useful information that all yoga teachers can use.

 

Key Takeaways:

[5:22] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Amanda Whiting.

[6:49] What is the work Amanda does now, and how did she get there?

[9:57] What does having an anxiety attack feel like?

[12:28] Amanda shares her thoughts about why anxiety exists.

[16:20] How has Amanda's experience with anxiety from such a young age informed the work that she does now?

[17:50] Amanda and Shannon discuss why "love yourself" is so difficult in practice.

[19:25] What are some ways we can change the neural pathways that make it difficult to love and connect with ourselves?

[23:51] Amanda shares her spin on the loving kindness meditation.

[25:51] How does loving kindness and self-compassion come in when dealing with anxiety?

[31:27] How can yoga teachers go about offering yoga for anxiety?

[34:11] Anxiety is a uniquely personal experience for everyone who has it, and it can manifest in different ways and forms.

[37:24] Why is yoga helpful for anxiety, and what are the other prescriptions for anxiety?

[43:20] What can yoga teachers do if someone has a panic attack in class?

[49:49] For the majority of people, anxiety is not something that can be fixed or cured or that goes away entirely, but something they live with and manage.

[52:20] Connect with Amanda via her website or social media to find out more or learn how you can work with her.

[53:14] Shannon shares some of the upcoming things to look out for.

 

Links:

 

Loving Kindness Meditation:

Bring your attention to yourself - without any parameters or exceptions - you as you are in this moment.

With this awareness of you, repeat to yourself:

May I be at ease.

May I open to what arises.

May I know that I am enough.

May I love myself just as I am.

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals

 

Quotes from this episode:

 

"[Anxiety] can be a byproduct of everything."

 

"We live in this right-away society, and I think that's really a blessing and a curse."

 

"We have so much ability to love others and have compassion for others, and yet, somewhere along the way, it's become that that's not okay for us to have for ourselves."

 

"If you are someone who is struggling with accepting and loving yourself and having compassion for yourself, you need to focus on you."

 

"Even though anxiety has become way more noticeable, it is still really not understood." 

 

"I don't allow the anxiety anymore to control my life, but that doesn't mean that it's not part of my life."

 

Dec 23, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

148: Stress Incontinence and Yoga with Melissa Dessaulles

 

Description:

Something that affects 33 million Americans, 3.3 million Canadians and almost 400 million people worldwide is a topic a lot of people aren't talking about - urinary incontinence. That’s a shocking statistic, and all the more reason to address this issue - expert Melissa Desssaulles is just the person to talk about it.

 

Melissa Dessaulles is a registered physiotherapist with extensive training in the management and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction and perinatal health. Melissa is also the founder of Mommy Berries, which offers a postpartum program to guide new mums through the early healing phase in a way that promotes healing and recovery of the pelvic floor and core muscles. Apart from her physiotherapy work, Melissa also  dedicates time to raising awareness about common pelvic floor issues such as prolapse and incontinence through informative sessions.

 

Urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction is something that affects a lot more people than we think. Melissa explains the difference between stress and urge incontinence, why leaking occurs, abdominal weakness postpartum, and how yoga during and after pregnancy can help in addressing some of these issues. Stay tuned to the end to find out more about Melissa’s free resource for pregnant people, as well as for a very special discount on Melissa’s postpartum program, just for listeners!

 

Key Takeaways:

[5:00] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Melissa Dessaulles.

[6:45] Who is Melissa and what is the work that she does?

[9:18] Urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction is something that affects a lot more people than we think.

[11:37] Urinary incontinence or leaking is common, but it's not normal. Mellissa explains how she approaches the topic without making people feel bad.

[14:33] What is the difference between stress incontinence and urge incontinence?

[17:15] Melissa highlights some of the options available to people who have stress incontinence.

[20:51] How can yoga and the tools of yoga help someone who is dealing with stress incontinence?

[23:43] Listen to Schedulicity's hot tip of the week.

[24:48] What is Melissa's advice for people who are doing Kegels exercises and are still leaking?

[28:59] What are some circumstances when people might be more likely to experience stress incontinence? Melissa explains why stress incontinence in pregnant people or just after having a baby is normal.

[32:50] Men also experience incontinence issues.

[33:32] What happens to the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy and delivery should be treated like an injury and addressed accordingly.

[35:20] Who can Melissa help from the standpoint of physical therapy, and when would she refer them to other options?

[38:34] Yoga can be a powerful tool to help with body awareness and empowering people on their healing journey.

[43:15] Find out more about this topic and Melissa's work on her website, Instagram or join her online program.

[48:17] What were your key takeaways from this episode?

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals

 

Quotes from this episode:

 

"It's common, but it's not normal." - Shannon

 

"Every muscle needs to be able to move to do its job well." - Melissa

 

"What we work on is we find out why YOU are leaking so we can tell you what your muscles are doing and see what your habits are, and then maybe give suggestions." - Melissa

 

"I don't think we would see so much incontinence persisting if we just acknowledged that those muscles have been through something." -Melissa



Dec 16, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

 Ep 147: Core Myths with Lauren Ohayon

 

Description:

At some point, either as a student or teacher, we have heard the phrase "engage your core". Some people are even conditioned to think that they should do this all the time! In actual fact, doing this is not as beneficial as we think it is, and it can be limiting to function and movement. Lauren Ohayon is an expert on the topic of core and pelvic floor issues, and on this episode, she busts through some of the common myths about core strength.

 

Lauren Ohayon is the founder of Restore Your Core, an online program addressing pelvic floor and core dysfunction, and helps thousands of women globally through her online programs, and Facebook groups. Lauren is internationally recognized for specializing in core and pelvic floor issues, and has 20 years of experience teaching yoga, pilates and functional movement. With her comprehensive exercise programs that are designed to be effective, safe and sustainable, Lauren focuses on helping people exercise well and move efficiently to gain core strength and ideal pelvic floor function. 

 

When it comes to the core, many people assume that all core exercises are created equal, but this isn’t the case. Lauren reveals the differences between different core exercises, and busts through some other myths around building core strength. She also explains what the core really should be doing and when, and dives into the issue of intra abdominal pressure, and conditions like prolapse and diastasis.

 

This is a hot topic that will benefit all yoga teachers, both in your own practice and in cueing certain poses, so be sure to tune in.

 

Key Takeaways:

[5:53] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Lauren Ohayon.

[7:22] What does Lauren do and who does she do it for?

[8:42] When did Lauren start focusing on pelvic health and the core?

[10:58] What is the core, and what is the core not?

[13:08] Shannon and Lauren discuss their interpretations of the Core Four.

[19:46] It is not always important to name muscles or dive into the anatomy to help people.

[21:45] We often hear the phrase "engage your core". Lauren explains why this is not always helpful, and sometimes it can even be limiting to function.

[25:10] Lauren explains the specific type of breath that engages the core, and why it engages the core.

[27:57] Lauren highlights the difference between engaging your core and bracing your core.

[30:54] Why have we gone so off track with our breath and how the core is working?

[34:41] Lauren shares an analogy that she has learned.

[36:46] What are some of Lauren's favorite core strengthening movements and poses?

[40:04] Lauren shares some of her variations for boat pose

[44:24] What are the three Bs that Lauren brings attention to?

[47:22] What is something Lauren wishes yoga teachers would know about the core?

[51:27] Connect with Laura on her websites or her Facebook groups to learn more.

[52:21] What was something you picked up from this interview? Shannon would love to know.

 

Links:

Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"Your core is really the integrated function of your whole body."

 

"In core function, one of the main elements of core function is that our core is designed like any other muscle in our body, to be reflexive, automated."

 

"If your core is not kicking in, ...whatever it's not doing, ... tightening it is not going to teach it to get there."

 

"To me, "engage your core" means to do a very specific type of breath. Your core will naturally pull in with that."

 

"We don't want excessive tone anywhere in our body. ... More tone is not always better."

 

Dec 9, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

 Ep 146: How to Empower Your Yoga Students with Yonnie Fung

 

Description:

As yoga teachers, we want our classrooms to be safe spaces that empower our students and maximise their choice, but this may not always be the case. People may come to our classes wanting us to tell them what to do and trust that it's our job to know better, and also, some practices in yoga may erode empowerment, take away student agency, and undermine safety.

 

Yonnie Fung recently wrote an article on this topic, and what it means to teach inclusive, safe and ethical yoga. She is the founder of Yoga with Yonnie, an award winning yoga and movement space in Beijing that focuses on small classes, non-commercialism, integrity and cultivating real human connections. Yonnie values a collaborative learning environment over an authoritative styles, and seeks to help students and clients in discovering what they need to feel well and whole. 

 

Some common practices in modern yoga fall short of what we want to achieve. Yonnie and Shannon dive into why replicating inherited behaviours and practices from past generations may not necessarily be appropriate, and how yoga teachers can move away from dis-empowering their students.

 

This episode is in no way about shame and blame. We often look back at the things we could have done differently as newer yoga teachers, and that work is sometimes uncomfortable. Listen in if you would like to learn more about how we can move forward as yoga teachers to empower our students and increase their agency in our classrooms.

 

Key Takeaways:

[4:59] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Yonnie Fung.

[6:15] Where did Yonnie's journey with yoga begin?

[9:44] What made Yonnie decide to become a yoga teacher?

[12:05] What is the work that Yonnie does now?

[18:53] What prompted Yonnie to write her list of how we might be unintentionally harming our yoga students?

[23:16] Did Yonnie expect her article to go viral? She shares her experience with publishing her article.

[25:36] How did Yonnie develop her list?

[26:21] Shannon highlights some of the things that stood out to her from Yonnie's list.

[26:43] One of the items on Yonnie's list is participating in power structures. Shannon and Yonnie discuss the power dynamic that exists in a yoga class.

[34:06] Yonnie shares a powerful experience she had during her yoga teacher training that has influenced her way of teaching yoga.

[37:37] It is a common thread in many settings where the teacher is expected to know the student better than the student knows themselves!

[38:26] This week's hot top from Schedulicity!

[39:15] Yonnie highlights how teachers making adjustments to students' postures is not empowering.

[41:28] What are some of the ways that yoga teachers can move away from dis-empowering their students? Yonnie highlights how the language that we use can be the simplest place to start changing.

[48:37] What is Yonnie's response to yoga teachers who want to say as few words as possible in their classes?

[50:10] It can be challenging for students to learn how to listen to their body. Yonnie explains more about interoception and how this ties in with trauma and yoga.

[53:45] Yonnie and Shannon talk through an example of how this might play out in a class.

[57:19] It takes a lot of pressure off the teacher if we understand and accept that the students are the experts of their own bodies.

[1:02:01] Yonnie has subsequent follow-up articles that she has written on this topic.

[1:05:26] Get in touch with Yonnie via her website or on Facebook.

[1:06:18] What are some techniques you have learned to empower your yoga students? Share them with Shannon!

 

Links:

Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"There wasn't one single incident. You could say that there were lots of little incidents and it happened very steadily over a period of time that suddenly hit critical mass." 

 

"It was encouraging to know that I wasn't alone, and that other people had these frustrations and concerns."

 

"Yoga at its best is an empowering path."

 

"We're practicing disembodiment from a really young age."

 

"I think it's very important to distinguish the promise of yoga and the potential, from the actual delivery as it plays out."

 

"It doesn't matter how good your intentions are as a teacher."

 

"You can have all the best intentions in the world, but if you are not empowering them to make choices for themselves, you will have impeded their recovery."

 

"We are actually experts of ourselves."

 

"Having the question is so much more valuable than having the answers all the time. Answers are just easy ways to shorten the lifespan of the inquiry."

 

Dec 2, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

145: Before You Open a Yoga Studio with Shannon Crow

 

Description:

Have you always dreamed of opening your own yoga studio? Or are you tired of never being able to set your schedule exactly how you want it, and think that opening your own studio would solve those challenges? Perhaps, you’ve already made up your mind to open a yoga studio and are looking for guidance on how to go about it. Shannon Crow dives into all these and more, on this episode.

 

Having managed multiple yoga studios in the past, and been approached by two yoga studios to purchase a yoga studio, Shannon has no stranger to the topic of opening, running and managing a yoga studio. She has used a 3-stage process to ask herself if this path is right for her, and on this episode, shares exactly how you can walk through the process too.

 

This episode is meant for anyone who has dreamed of opening a yoga studio or anyone who is currently "living the dream" of running a yoga studio. Touching on everything related to opening a yoga studio from what your dream of an ideal yoga studio looks like, to the various models of yoga studios that you can consider, to the questions you should be asking yourself, this episode is a great place to start if being a yoga studio owner is on your bucket list.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:05] This episode is all about opening a yoga studio.

[2:35] If your dream is to open a yoga studio, start by defining what that looks like.

[3:41] Another way to approach this is to ask yourself what are the things that are really bugging you about your current situation.

[5:09] Check out the hot tip of the week from Schedulicity.

[6:55] Shannon shares some ideas for yoga studios and invites you to think outside the box!

[11:48] Shannon does a quick recap, and reveals a little bit of her background with yoga studios before diving into some tough questions.

[14:41] Do you like the administrative side of running a yoga business?

[16:44] Do you love managing people?

[20:32] Do you love competition and collaboration?

[22:27] Do you love being responsible for a whole group of people?

[24:55] How much do you love thinking about the smallest details?

[27:02] Your yoga teachers are your brand, but the entire yoga studio also has a brand.

[28:28] Having a yoga studio means that you're tied to a place. Are you ready for that?

[29:57] As a yoga studio owner, you have to take into account legal and insurance considerations.

[32:45] The last consideration Shannon would like to highlight is around schedule.

[34:51] How does listening to this episode make you feel about opening a yoga studio?

[37:48] Share your thoughts with Shannon!

 

Links:



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals

 

Quotes from this episode:

"If your dream is to open a yoga studio, let's first define what does that look like."

 

"At the beginning, we opened with that dreaming part, and now, I want to hit home some reality pieces that come in when managing a yoga studio, when owning a yoga studio, when running a yoga studio."

 

"When we have responsibilities, we have to set those healthy boundaries."

 

"With a yoga studio, you are tied to a location."

 

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