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The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Now displaying: December, 2020
Dec 28, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

200: Practice, Parenting & Perfectionism with Judith Hanson Lasater & Lizzie Lasater

 

Description:

We’re celebrating 200 episodes of the Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast! On this episode, mother-daughter duo, Judith Hanson Lasater and Lizzie Lasater, share more about their yoga journey, parenting, and running a yoga business. 

 

Judith, Ph.d. and physical therapist, is a well known figure in the yoga world, and one of the leading yoga teachers in the US. She has been teaching yoga for 50 years, helped found a nationally-known yoga teacher training program in San Francisco, CA, which has trained thousands of teachers since 1975, and collaborated with other yoga teachers to start the Yoga Journal magazine. Judith has authored 10 books, including her latest: Yoga Myths -  What You Need to Learn and Unlearn for a Safe and Healthy Yoga Practice, and specializes in restorative yoga. 

 

Judith has three children, and one of them is Lizzie Lasater, who is a mother of twins, and also a yoga teacher in her own right. Lizzie learned yoga from her mother, and now teaches restorative yoga teacher training globally via her virtual platform. In addition to sharing her work through live online events, curated digital trainings and her Sunday Savasana Series newsletter, Lizzie also has a heartfelt spirit jewelry collection. Together, Judith and Lizzie share a variety of courses such as Living Your Yoga, Yoga Myths, Savasana Intensive and more on their combined online platform - lasater.yoga.

 

In this interview, Lizzie shares her insights about what it was like growing up with a yoga teacher for a Mom, and how that has influenced her in journey of teaching yoga and running a yoga business. Judith and Lizzie discuss “being enlightened”, how yoga translates into their daily lives, and holding boundaries. They also talk about their own personal experiences with parenting, and why we all struggle with the idea of perfectionism and not being able to be “perfect parents”.

 

This is an incredible interview about how yoga relates to parenting, perfectionism and your own practice - from the unique perspective of a mother-daughter team.

 

Key Takeaways:

[10:29] Shannon introduces her guests for this episode - Judith Hanson Lasater and Lizzie Lasater.

[12:38] For Judith, what does it feel like to have been teaching yoga for 50 years, and what does she see in the yoga world now?

[15:51] Lizzie shares a bit about how growing up with yoga all around influenced her to become a yoga teacher.

[17:55] Did Judith's children ever rebel and move away from yoga? She shares how she held space for her children apart from yoga.

[21:22] Lizzie talks about what it was like to grow up with a yoga teacher as a parent, the feelings she encountered as a teenager, and how that has influenced her own parenting style.

[25:36] What is it like for Judith and Lizzie to work together as yoga teachers now?

[31:06] Judith shares her perspectives on the idea of "becoming more enlightened" through the practice of yoga.

[36:12] Lizzie reflects on her working relationship with her mother and the boundaries she holds with each of the roles she has with Judith.

[37:40] Judith explains how setting and holding boundaries spills into the teaching of yoga and personal relationships.

[42:48] It is important to remember not to hold ourselves up to the standards of the yamas and the niyamas, or some sort of perfection.

[47:53] Do parents now face more pressure to be perfect?

[50:45] Shannon, Lizzie and Judith reflect on what it's like to parent their children.

[55:12] How much of Judith's experience in the yoga world has been translated into her latest book, Yoga Myths?

[57:01] What are Lizzie's thoughts on teaching yoga for a shorter time and reading Judith's book?

[01:00:25] Judith explains why cueing is not a practice she recommends, and what she suggests instead.

[1:03:23] How will moving yoga teacher training online impact the level of yoga?

[1:10:14] Lizzie shares some thoughts around impermanence, and Judith shares a short poem to end off.

[1:15:25] Find out more about Judith and Lizzie's work via their websites.

[1:17:19] What is your biggest takeaway that you will implement?

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Sukhasana Chair.

 

Quotes from this episode:

 

"Yoga is a life-changing, soul-changing, body-changing practice, but its power is predicated upon choice and intention." - Judith Hanson Lasater

 

"What is the point of this practice on the mat, this pranayama, this meditation, if it has no effect in the world?" - Judith Hanson Lasater

 

"The most important question to begin with is not 'What am I going to teach?'. The most important question is 'What is going to be the relationship I have with my students?'." - Judith Hanson Lasater

 

"I'm finding that [parenting] is so much more full mind-body-spirit than any of the books I read led me to believe." - Lizzie Lasater

 

Dec 21, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

199: Creating Inclusive Yoga Spaces with Erin Ajayi

 

Description:

As yoga teachers, many of us have the intention of creating inclusive yoga spaces. However, we may not know what that looks like or feels like from the perspective of a BIPOC yoga student. Erin Ajayi joins Shannon in this episode to experience her own experience of being a yoga student of color (from the perspective of a Black woman).

 

Erin Ajayi is the Senior Director of Development at I Live Here I Give Here, a nonprofit organization with the mission to make Central Texas the most generous community in the nation. Erin is also a part-time yoga teacher who has taught in studio spaces, and college and university spaces. Erin came to yoga as a result of a running injury but since then, her relationship with yoga has evolved. Today, Erin teaches restorative yoga "to help her students show up to the moments in their lives."

 

Erin also opens up about some of the adverse personal experiences she has had within the yoga world and shares some deep insights about how mainstream yoga perpetuates exclusion, or even racism. She also has some suggestions on what inclusive practices studios and practitioners can adopt as alternatives, and how yoga teachers and studios can hold space and give voice to this marginalized group within our community.

 

Key Takeaways:

[6:02] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Erin Ajayi.

[7:37] What was Erin's yoga journey and how did she get into teaching yoga?

[10:20] How did Erin and her mom do yoga together?

[11:10] What is the work that Erin does now, and who does she do it for?

[12:51] How does Erin feel about the fact that the world is finally waking up to the idea of creating inclusive spaces for BIPOC?

[15:15] What are some of the things Erin wishes yoga teachers were more aware of?

[18:31] How can we be more inclusive in our greetings to our students to make everyone, across the board, feel welcome.

[20:28] Shannon and Erin discuss the defensiveness that yoga teachers may feel when confronted with anecdotes of BIPOC being othered.

[23:36] How can we invite more Black people and other vulnerable populations into our yoga classes?

[26:59] People are becoming more conscious of representation and the current global situation has opened up possibilities to connect with people of all different backgrounds, modalities, etc.

[29:15] How can we connect with people from marginalized groups in an authentic way?

[33:28] What are some other instances in which Erin felt uncomfortable as a Black yoga student?

[36:46] Shannon wonders if giving a discount to BIPOC would help draw them in to events or festivals or studios.

[40:21] There is no quick fix to this situation. Erin shares some strategies for yoga teachers to create more inclusive spaces.

[43:19] Erin has some other suggestions of things that yoga teachers and studios can consider.

[46:12] Erin shares some final thoughts around creating inclusive spaces for yoga students. 

[49:32] Check out the resources Erin recommended to Shannon in her original email in the links below.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity.

 

Quotes from this episode:

 

"With yoga teachers, that relationship that they're building with students is really important." - Erin

 

"I know the importance of representation in advertising and in literature." - Erin

 

"If you're having trouble attracting a diverse student population, there's an opportunity to do the deeper reflection and start to think - where can I have representation in other areas?" - Erin

 

"Don't start with the assumption that Black people or people of color need a discount to attend your yoga class." - Erin

 

Dec 14, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

198: Share Your Yoga Specialty with Megan Mulrine [Consultation Call]

 

Description:

Specialization is an ongoing process, and times of change and uncertainty can be just the push you need to niche down and specialize in something that really lights you up. 

 

Megan Mulrine is the founder of Yogatrotter and a yoga instructor who has trained more than 600 yoga teachers in 200 and 300hr YTT programs in Bali. Through her years of practicing and teaching yoga, and discovering more about Buddist meditation, Hindu philosophy and the history of yoga, Megan discovered her passion for Hindu mythology as it relates to Yoga. She has studied Hindu epics like the Mahabarata and the Ramayana) and shares these stories with her classes to deepen their understanding of the history, legends and culture contained within the yoga asanas.

 

When travel restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic forced Megan to close down her in-person Yoga Teacher Trainings, she quickly put up an online training. It sold well at first but has started to slow and Megan is now worried about being able to sustain her yoga business while supporting her team of teachers as much as possible.

 

In this consultation call, Shannon helps Megan peel back the layers of her business by digging into where her true passion lies and how she can specialize to share her passion with more people. Shannon also advises her on how to build a sustainable business that serves her audience, while also supporting her lifestyle and finances.

 

If you have been thinking about creating a more sustainable yoga business, and questioning whether specialization and niching down is the way to go in the midst of all the uncertainty, give this episode a listen.

 

Key Takeaways:

[5:44] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Megan Mulrine.

[7:15] What does Megan need most help with in her yoga business? She shares her biggest challenges as a result of the pandemic.

[8:58] Who is Megan's audience? When was she planning to host the next 200-hr training (if COVID hadn't happened)? Shannon digs into some of the details about Megan's offerings and her plan for her business.

[12:38] When Megan first switched to online courses, they were selling well but her numbers have dropped off since. Are people getting tired of being on their computers so much?

[15:29] Which specialty would Megan choose if money was not a consideration?

[17:29] As important as picking a specialty is making sure that people know about your specialty.

[20:01] Megan struggles with sharing what she does and her specialty with her audience. Shannon coaches her on how to phrase her offering.

[22:53] Shannon advises Megan on how best to repel people who would not be a fit for her offering but also attract people who would be interested.

[26:40] Shannon shares some strategies with Megan on how to build her audience.

[30:22] Shannon gives a shout out to Schedulicity.

[32:05] Is there a "freebie" in your yoga business that you should be monetizing into a paid offering? Listen to Megan talk about her "freebie" that Shannon recommends repackaging into a paid offering.

[34:33] When you love what you're doing, showing up and doing the work for free can feel easy, but that doesn't mean we should. Megan and Shannon discuss a bit about her money mindset.

[36:41] Shannon shares some ideas for Megan to showcase her community and build deeper connections even virtually.

[39:54] Shannon recommends that Megan figure out her minimum viable income and how much she wants to make financially -- and why she should do that.

[44:32] What happens when yoga teachers fail to see the unique gifts that they have and share them with others?

[46:42] Shannon and Megan do some brainstorming around what her freebie should be and how she can put out a call to action more often to monetize.

[50:25] Megan offers her training in a rolling sign ups format, but isn't seeing a high number of completions. Would having a fixed start and end date add accountability and be more effective from a marketing perspective?

[1:00:06] Shannon and Megan discuss more ideas for her content to show up more in search engines.

[1:02:41] Find out more about Megan and her offerings via her website or Instagram.

[1:03:42] What were your key takeaways from this consultation call?

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity.

 

Quotes from this episode:

 

"You find the specialty and those people will find you." - Shannon

 

"The more niche you make your offering, and the more people hear about that niche, the more people will gravitate toward you." - Shannon

 

"When people don't pay, they don't show up." - Shannon

 

"I want our yoga teachers to be making loads of money, because they really support amazing things when they do." - Shannon

 

Dec 7, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

197: How to Keep Your Studio Open with Nicole Blackwood

 

Description:

In the middle of all the COVID-19 pandemic closures, one group of people in the yoga teacher community has been particularly affected - studio owners. On top of figuring out how to transition to virtual classes and serve their yoga students online, they also have to deal with the challenges that come with having a physical space. Nicole Blackwood is a yoga teacher and studio owner of Embody Yoga & Wellness, who has managed to keep her studio open this year despite the pandemic, and this episode is a replay of the live interview on how she managed to do it.

 

Nicole began teaching yoga in 2014, with a deep desire to teach yoga classes to those who felt like the practice may be out of their reach. Eventually, she opened her own boutique yoga studio in St. John's, Canada, to create a space that provides options for all bodies, and that allow people to experience the benefits of yoga regardless of age, physical condition, or experience level. Nicole focuses on offering a warm and intimate refuge for her students to focus on their wellbeing. Her studio offers a variety of yoga classes and her specialty is yoga to support fertility.

 

In this interview, Nicole really opens up about how she has managed to overcome the challenges of keeping her yoga studio open through the pandemic. She shares the story of how she realized she might need to close her yoga studio, and how setting a goal of the number of yoga students needed to stay open helped her reach her target. Nicole also talks about her marketing efforts in attracting studios, and how she has been managing her studio now that in-person classes are allowed but with certain restrictions in place.

 

If you have been toying with the idea of closing your studio, or even dropping one of your yoga classes, this episode is sure to be an inspiration for you.

 

Key Takeaways:

[6:58] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Nicole Blackwood.

[8:45] Where did Nicole's yoga journey begin?

[11:59] How did Nicole decide to open a yoga studio?

[15:18] When COVID hit, Nicole pivoted to move her studio online. However, she was eventually faced with the decision of whether to close the studio. Nicole shares more about that experience.

[18:37] What did the realization that she might have to close her yoga studio feel like to Nicole?

[20:48] What were some of the numbers that Nicole looked that to make the decision about closing her yoga studio?

[24:25] Nicole shares more about the business model for her studio, and how she arrived at the number of 124 students to break even.

[27:17] How did Nicole manage to attract 124 students to register? She reveals her marketing strategy to hit her goal in time for her deadline.

[34:26] Nicole had been emailing her mailing list once a month prior to this latest launch, but she had to drastically increase the number of times she emailed them to hit her numbers. Why did she feel so resistant to sending more emails?

[37:44] How has Nicole set up her yoga classes to take into consideration online and in-person classes?

[41:08] When will Nicole start marketing again for the sessions which start in the new year?

[43:19] What would Nicole do differently for the next round of sessions?

[44:20] Nicole shares more about some of her niche offerings.

[49:41] Nicole has some final thoughts around what it's like to run your own business.

[53:33] Where does Nicole store her videos?

[55:55] Shannon shares some of her key takeaways from this interview with Nicole.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals.

 

Quotes from this episode:

 

"It wasn't until [Shannon] made me try and visualize what it would be like if I didn't have a studio, did I realize how much I didn't want to to lose this space." ~ Nicole

 

"I had to really realize - how many students do I need to be able to pay myself and break even as a studio?" ~ Nicole

 

"When you send an email, generally you see sales if there's a call to action that relates to sales." - Shannon

 

"It really makes a difference when we keep that connection going with our email list." - Shannon

 

Dec 4, 2020

You are invited to the Yoga Teacher Conf happening on December 14, 2020. Shannon Crow is one of the many presenters that will be there. Let's hang out online and talk about how you can create your dream yoga business.

http://www.theconnectedyogateacher.com/yoga-teacher-conf

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