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The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Now displaying: July, 2021
Jul 26, 2021

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

230: Anti-Oppression Yoga with Pooja Virani

 

Description:

The term “anti-oppression” can make some of us feel uncomfortable, and we may want to shy away from talking about it, but that is exactly what makes this such an important conversation. This is part of the work of bringing our yoga into our lives and the world, and Pooja Virani has some insights about anti-oppression yoga.

 

Pooja Virani is a Pain-Free Movement Specialist and Social Justice Consultant on a mission to spread joy, foster equality, and help people reach their highest potential. Pooja is certified in Kripalu Yoga & Meditation, Kids’ Yoga, and Acroyoga, and specializes in Rehabilitative Yoga for Injury Prevention & Pain Relief, LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Yoga, and Social Justice Education for Yoga Teachers, Community Leaders, and Businesses. She believes in "yoga for everyone" and aims to make yoga accessible and inclusive to all people – regardless of their race, age, gender, sexuality, previous experience, or ability.

 

Pooja talks to us about what privilege is and the different kinds of privilege that exist, what oppression means in the context of yoga, and how it differs from cultural appropriation, and she has some great examples to really highlight these differences. Pooja also explains how we can move toward creating safer, more diverse and equitable yoga spaces.

 

This episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to learn more about creating safe, inclusive and accessible spaces for everyone.

 

Key Takeaways:

[10:32] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Pooja Virani.

[12:25] What is the work that Pooja does and who does she do it for?

[13:42] How did Pooja choose the name "Pain Free Movement Specialist" to describe what she does?

[16:30] Pooja used to hate yoga. She shares more about her experiences being teased and mocked for her culture, and how it influenced her.

[18:52] How did Pooja feel in her yoga classes in college?

[20:34] Now, as a yoga teacher who practices and shares yoga in North America, what are Pooja's thoughts and feelings about it?

[22:25] How does Pooja define privilege?

[24:33] How does Pooja define oppression?

[25:48] How does oppression show up in yoga spaces?

[27:54] Shannon and Pooja discuss the idea that yoga is not religion.

[34:06] As a white person, should you still be teaching and practicing yoga?

[36:43] Shannon reflects on what it means to create safe, inclusive spaces.

[38:23] Is it appropriate to give and receive gifts of religious idols like Ganesh?

[43:18] Is it okay to say namaste in a yoga class?

[48:32] Pooja shares an example of how namaste has been taken out of context.

[51:40] Our usage of words evolves over time - it is important to keep this in mind.

[53:16] Pooja shares some final thoughts around cultural appropriation and further resources.

[55:52] Learn more about Pooja and her work via her website, and be sure to check out the free resource list she has compiled.

[58:10] What are your key takeaways from this interview?

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"Yoga has always seemed a way towards freedom."

 

"Just because you have privilege doesn't mean that someone has never oppressed you."

 

"Why I say that we all have the ability to oppress others is because we all have agency in our lives."

 

“When it gets to this point where this thing came from India and I'm the only South Asian everywhere I look, that's pointing to the fact that there's been a systemic exploitation of that culture."

 

"We have the responsibility to figure out ‘what are we teaching?’ and ‘why are we teaching it?’."

 

"Our use of language is evolving out of respect. That's the way it should evolve."

Jul 19, 2021

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

229: Closed Captioning for Zoom Yoga with Landen Stacy

 

Description:

Do you have closed captions or live transcription enabled for your Zoom classes? It is something small that you can do in just a few minutes, which really makes a huge difference to a lot of people. Landen Stacy how you can make your Zoom classes more accessible by adding closed captions to them. 

 

Landen Stacy is the owner of Emerald Yoga Studio located in Pembroke, Massachusetts. Landen discovered yoga in high school and has continued his yoga journey since then, eventually going on to complete his YTT at the studio he now owns. 

Landen loves teaching and the ability to create accessible classes in his studio, and aims to create the yoga studio he always wishes he had - one that is accessible, inclusive, welcoming and safe for everyone.

 

What do you need to add closed captions to Zoom? Why are closed captions important? What are the pros and cons of different transcription settings? Landen answers these questions and more, including other ways in which he makes yoga classes at his studio more accessible to people.

 

If you are looking for ways to improve your student experience and create more welcoming and accessible yoga spaces, both online and in-person, this episode is a must listen. 

 

Key Takeaways:

[8:02] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Landen Stacy.

[9:41] Landen shares a bit about his yoga journey, and how he decided to do closed captioning.

[12:10] What was the teaching situation where Landen lives?

[12:32] Some students specifically take Landen's classes because his classes have closed captions.

[14:58] What are the benefits of adding closed captions to your Zoom classes?

[16:35] What are the requirements on Zoom to enable closed captions?

[17:45] Get the step-by-step instructions on how to enable closed captions on Zoom via the links in the show notes!

[18:28] What are the pros and cons of different transcription settings?

[21:36] Check out the transcription tool that Shannon uses - Podse.io.

[23:06] Landen and Shannon discuss how useful it is to be able to add closed captions and live transcriptions to Zoom calls.

[24:20] How does Landen communicate the availability of closed captions to the students attending his classes?

[26:46] How has Landen's experience been owning a yoga studio through the pandemic?

[28:26] What are some ways Landen makes classes in his studio more accessible?

[31:52] Landen shares some final thoughts from his own yoga journey.

[34:56] Find out more about Landen's work and his studio by visiting his website or connect with him over email.

[35:58] What are your takeaways from this interview? 

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"I love the ability to create accessible classes in my studio."

 

"I think I'm trying to create the studio that I always wish that I had."

 

"It's such a small thing that you can do, that really helps a lot of people."

 

"[Closed captioning] is good for a whole plethora of people who are looking for that extra layer of being able to understand."

 

"Just having this virtual option has really opened doors so much."

 

Jul 12, 2021

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

228: How to Personalize Zoom Yoga with Arundhati Baitmangalkar

 

Description:

Are you teaching yoga online and wondering how to make your classes more personalized, create more connection with your students, and continue building that sense of community - from behind a screen? Arundhati Baitmangalkar has some insights about how to personalize yoga classes on Zoom, and create connections with students in yoga teacher trainings.

 

Arundhati is the founder of Aham Yoga, a full-service yoga studio, and Bollyworks, a part-time Bollywood dance studio, in Redmond, WA. Born and raised in India, Arundhati came to yoga after nearly a decade of teaching dance, and started teaching yoga in 2006. She is trained in vinyasa and hatha styles of yoga from renowned yoga masters, and is one of the leading yoga teachers in her area. Arundhati represents a great balance of classical and modern yoga, and in addition to yoga classes, she offers yoga teacher trainings and workshops. She also runs a blog, YouTube channel, hosts the Let's Talk Yoga podcast, and was voted one of the top 20 yoga teachers of color to watch out for in 2020 by YogaWalla.

 

Shannon and Arundhati discuss some simple strategies to connect and engage with students, like using their names and letting them ask questions. Arundhati also shares some tips on how to create the best experience possible for your YTT students, and the tools she uses to enhance teaching online.

 

If you’re teaching any of your yoga classes online, this podcast is full of useful info on how to give your students a personalized experience even on Zoom.

 

Key Takeaways:

[8:07] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Arundhati Baitmangalkar

[10:39] What is the work that Arundhati does and who does she do it for?

[11:45] What helps to feel like we have a connection with our students when we are teaching online?

[12:58] Arundhati makes it a point to acknowledge every person in her class by name, and encourages questions in her classes.

[17:13] One thing many yoga teachers struggle with is seeing their students on Zoom, either because they don't want to turn on their cameras, or have poor placement of their cameras. What are Arundhati's tips around this?

[21:27] Shannon shares a struggle she has been having recently with leading yoga teacher training.

[27:22] Shannon and Arundhati discuss some of the elements students would get from an in-person class that are missing from the online environment, and how to cater to that.

[29:05] Breakout rooms in Zoom are a good tool to do activities in smaller groups. Arundhati explains how she uses them in her yoga teacher trainings.

[31:31] How does Arundhati instruct people to get help from her when they are in a breakout room session?

[34:00] Shannon shares something that has worked really well for her in leading online sessions.

[35:57] What kind of comments has Arundhati received from students about Zoom classes and being tired of being on screens and Zoom?

[39:18] Arundhati explains why she puts more energy into serving the students she has now, instead of trying to convince people who are resistant to having Zoom classes, and how she keeps students interested in coming back to classes.

[41:37] What are some things Arundhati has learned along the way from teaching yoga online?

[44:55] Arundhati reflects on what going with the flow is like for her.

[46:35] Find out more about Arundhati and the work she does by visiting her website and following her on Instagram.

[47:29] How did Arundhati ensure that her trainees in yoga teacher trainings got teaching practice?

[49:59] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this interview.

 

Key Takeaways:

  • Acknowledge everyone by name (before and after class)
  • Encourage students to unmute and ask questions during class
  • Leave time at the end of class to ask questions
  • Send personal messages (type in chat to just that person) to a few students each class
  • Log in, and then sit like you would in a studio
  • Use breakout rooms
  • Zoom fatigue is real - try out themes / exciting class titles, focus on the students who are there with you

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"Understand that teaching in person and teaching online are two completely different experiences."

 

"[For online YTTs], make sure your spaces are well-lit, make sure you can provide multiple angles if possible."

 

"I tell the trainees and even the students who come to class, you have to take more responsibility for your practice."

 

"When we plan these trainings, we have to keep extra time for those breakout rooms because I feel like that's where you really get your hands-on experience."

 

"It's about accepting the moment, even if that moment is unpleasant."

 

Jul 5, 2021

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

227: Is Pain During Yoga Okay? with Neil Pearson

 

Description:

As yoga teachers, we may have guided students to avoid all movements that cause any amount of pain, particularly for students who may be dealing with injuries or issues in their bodies. However, is this necessary and is pain always a bad thing? Neil Pearson sheds light on what pain science has to say about pain, and how to approach pain in yoga.

 

Neil Pearson is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist, educator and author. He is also the Founder of Pain Care Aware, a yoga mentorship program that focuses on a pain-informed approach to teaching yoga, and Pain Care U, which offers practical, effective, non-pharmacological pain care for people living in pain. Additionally, Niel provides education to PTs, MDs, and yoga therapists, as well as serves as a consultant to Canada's largest rehab clinic group and pain advocacy groups. He focuses on teaching about pain science, the lived experience of pain, and the intersection of pain science and yoga, with the goal of helping people living in pain and assisting others with the same desire to serve.

 

Neil answers some common questions around pain during yoga, including whether sharp pain is okay, how and when we can know that it is safe to explore the edges of pain, and if pain is really just all in our heads. If you are experiencing pain, or have students with pain, this is a powerful interview to listen to.

 

Key Takeaways:

[7:54] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Neil Pearson.

[9:19] Neil talks about the idea that pain is a taboo topic.

[10:59] What is the work that Neil does and who does he do it for?

[12:24] How did Neil start integrating pain science into his work?

[17:19] What should yoga teachers do for people who are feeling pain?

[22:56] Many times in yoga classes, we encourage students not to do things that cause pain. What are Neil's thoughts on that?

[32:05] Neil talks more about the common belief that discomfort is okay, but sharp pain is not okay.

[34:24] Shannon and Neil discuss how determining causes of pain can be frustrating because it is influenced by many factors and is very changeable.

[38:38] Neil and Shannon discuss her experience recovering from a herniated disc recently, and how each person is an expert in their pain.

[44:18] As yoga teachers, how can we know if pain is caused by tissue damage? Neil explains the buffer between pain and damage, and how we can tap into that.

[46:23] Neil shares a bit more about movement guidelines, and how we can pay attention to four alarm systems in our bodies to know if a movement is safe.

[50:50] Neil talks about his work teaching people about pain science and the new training for yoga teachers around pain.

[53:48] Neil shares his hope that this training will help yoga teachers give people a different lived experience around pain.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"It's almost like pain has become a taboo topic and/or word within yoga." - Neil

 

"We have these beliefs about pain and those beliefs lead us to do certain behaviors. And it's also our society and our health care system [which have] beliefs about pain." - Neil

 

"Just because we have thoughts about pain, we have beliefs about pain, but we never question them, we never get curious about them." - Neil

 

"What we want to do is recognize is that we have options." - Neil

 

"Pain is a complex, multi faceted thing. It's not just about tissue damage there are other things involved in it." - Neil

 

"You can use any aspect of your existence to change any aspect of your existence." - Neil

 

"It's okay to provoke the symptoms if you feel at the end that the benefits of what you did outweigh the consequences." - Neil

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