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The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Now displaying: 2022
Oct 3, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

292: Diet Culture and Yoga with Jessica Grosman & Elyssa Toomey

 

Description:

Diet culture is becoming more and more pervasive in the yoga world. It can show up in hidden and deliberate ways, and it is causing harm to our yoga students and it can be dangerous. Elyssa Toomey and Jessica Grosman are experts at the intersection of yoga, food, diet, and nutrition and have insights to share on the topic.

 

Elyssa Toomey is a Certified Eating Disorders Specialist and Supervisor (CEDS-S), Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT). She is an experienced anti-diet, Health at Every Size informed, weight-inclusive eating disorder dietitian who is passionate about helping people develop a peaceful relationship with food and their body. Elyssa specializes in helping clients heal from chronic dieting, disordered eating and eating disorders through 1:1 consultations and ongoing group and individual clinical supervision and case consultation.

 

Jessica Grosman is an Anti-Diet Registered Dietitian, Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Weight-Inclusive Health Practitioner and Yoga Teacher. Her mission is to help people get comfortable and connected with their own body through food and yoga. Jessica believes that all people have the right to health, regardless of size or medical condition. As both a Registered Dietitian and a Yoga Teacher, Jessica is qualified to address and educate on the topic of diet culture in yoga.

 

Elyssa and Jessica share their take on how yoga teachers may be contributing to diet/wellness culture in yoga spaces, how we can identify harmful behaviors, and what we can do about it. They also give tips on how to create safer spaces for all bodies and to use yoga as a way to foster connection between body, mind, and breath. Elyssa and Jessica offer guidance on the role of yoga teachers in disrupting diet culture and when it is appropriate for us to refer our students for professional help.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:09] Shannon introduces her guests for this episode - Jessica Grosman & Elyssa Toomey.

[6:27] What do Jessica and Elyssa do and who do they do it for?

[8:57] Where does diet culture show up in the yoga world and yoga spaces?

[12:35] Jessica shares some examples of how yoga teachers may be perpetuating diet culture.

[16:10] Jessica and Elyssa encourage us to question what we mean when we say "health" or "healthy".

[18:53] How can yoga teachers who are not trained to speak about food, diet, or nutrition handle questions from students that buy into diet culture?

[21:09] Jessica highlights the fact that anybody and everybody can practice yoga and yoga goes beyond asana.

[22:05] Elyssa and Jessica are putting together a workshop about yoga and diet culture - Blurred Lines: The Harmful Intersection of Diet Culture & Yoga.

[25:21] We are all bombarded with diet culture messages from a very young age, so it can be difficult for us to break away from these thoughts.

[27:53] What can we do when we see or encounter harmful messages in yoga spaces or online?

[31:14] Social media can be dangerous in terms of the negative influence it can have but it is also possible to uplift and highlight the work of people doing beneficial things,

[33:27] Jessica and Elyssa share their thoughts around how we can create safer spaces for all students.

[36:44] We also need to pay attention to the language that we use when cueing poses or variations and modifications.

[38:34] Shannon pops in to share a quick teaching tip.

[41:54] What should yoga teachers do if they have students who may need to seek professional help?

[48:17] Jessica and Elyssa leave us with some final thoughts around diet culture in yoga.

[51:21] Find out more about Jessica and Elyssa on their websites or connect with them on social media.

[53:53] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this interview with Jessica and Elyssa.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"Diet culture is a piece of this overall wellness culture... It is so pervasive, it's in everything that we do." - Elyssa

 

"As teachers, there is this level of respect that our students have for us or they're looking to us for direction, not only the physical direction of where to place your feet on the mat, but also sort of that bigger life direction." - Elyssa

 

"The scope of practice for a yoga teacher does not include anything related to food, diet or nutrition." - Jessica

 

"Our bodies are to be lived in and not looked at." - Elyssa

 

"Our worth as individuals has nothing to do with our weight and has nothing to do with our size." - Elyssa

 

"Anybody can have an opinion about any subject but opinions are not facts and opinions are not knowledge." - Jessica

 

Sep 26, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

291: Better Balance with Susi Hately

 

Description:

Keeping their balance is something we may have noticed that older adults may find challenging, or something that we may ourselves have felt we need to improve as we age. How can yoga help with this? Susi Hately shares insights from her experience working with people on their balance.

 

Susi Hately is the founder of Functional Synergy and she helps people reveal and heal their human potential regardless of their age or condition. She also helps yoga teachers, yoga therapists and health care providers hone their talent and become excellent practitioners. Susi also teaches people, often over 50, 60 and 70 years of age, how to get out of pain and handle other symptoms that accompany aging. Susi combines her formal training in Kinesiology and deep knowledge of yoga to foster the magic of recovery and healing so that they can live well, with strength and ease, and better balance.

 

Susi shares how she was inspired to get into this line of work by her father who improved his balance and mobility through yoga. She outlines the key elements that contribute to balance and highlights the importance of asking students why they want to improve their balance. Susi also talks about joint mobility, rest, breath and breathing all impact balance, and tips to help our students (and ourselves!) maintain and improve balance as we get older.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:27] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Susi Hately.

[5:06] What is the work that Susi does and who does she do it for?

[6:46] What got Susi interested in talking about balance?

[8:38] How did Susi's father get interested in yoga at the age of 79?

[9:30] What about yoga helps people improve their balance?

[11:13] What are the first steps Susi takes when someone specifically wants to improve their balance?

[12:50] How does Susi cater to people who may be fearful about their balance?

[14:34] What are some things Susi loves to share with students who want to work on their balance?

[16:33] What are some cues yoga teachers could be more mindful around when it comes to breathing?

[18:38] What does rest have to do with balance?

[20:57] What are Susi's thoughts on guiding people to the practice of yoga when they need to down regulate their nervous system?

[23:12] What kind of homework does Susi give her students to improve their balance?

[26:22] What are some movements related to balance that we take for granted that we can practice in a yoga class?

[30:13] Closing the eyes can be an important part of training people in their balance. How does Susi address students who may feel embarrassed or afraid of fumbling or falling over with their eyes closed?

[33:22] Shannon pops in with a quick message about the sponsor, OfferingTree.

[36:01 - 36:01] Susi highlights the fact that our bodies can change at any age and people can regain some of the mobility and ability that they may have lost.

[39:30] Why do people believe that they are destined to lose their mobility and ability to perform certain actions?

[44:00] Susi leaves us with some final things to remember as we work with students or work on our own balance.

[44:39] Find out more about Susi and her work at her website and check out her YouTube channel too.

[45:25] Shannon shares her key takeaway from this conversation with Susi.

[50:00] Shannon shares some upcoming offerings.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"The key components are what's going on in your inner ear, your stimulus system, what's going on visually as well as what's going on developmentally, like your motor control patterns and how your body moves."

 

"Rest and breathing are important to balance."

 

"The key is how can we help a system down regulate and have a system become too that restful state.... If we can settle and connect and be at ease, we'll find that the balance is a lot better."

 

"When you have the correct stimulus, all sorts of things can shift."

 

Sep 19, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

290: Best Microphones for Online Yoga with Ashley Hagen

 

Description:

Many yoga teachers are teaching online these days and one thing is extremely important for online classes - sound quality. Having a good quality microphone can really help, but with so many options available, which do you choose without breaking your budget? Ashley Hagen has some advice for you in this episode.

 

Ashley Hagen is a yoga teacher, yoga teacher trainer, yoga studio owner, and business coach. She gets excited about all the things that support an online teacher or studio -- systems, software, and the technology needed to make it all run smoothly. Since moving into the online space, Ashley has become an expert in building an online yoga business - including what mics to use to teach online, on Zoom, and out in big outdoor spaces.

 

Ashley gives her recommendations on best mics for yoga teachers teaching online, suggestions to improve your sound quality as you are leading classes, and how to navigate some of the complex technology related to getting set up for Zoom and online classes. Ashley also shares how OfferingTree has been a useful resource for her and why she recommends it to yoga teachers, as well as how you can build confidence to teach online.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:24] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Ashley Hagen.

[6:11] What is the work that Ashley does and who does she do it for?

[7:14] Did Ashley's business take off with the pandemic?

[8:32] What microphone does Ashley recommend for yoga teachers who want to teach online?

[11:50] Ashley has done a video comparing a whole bunch of different microphones that yoga teachers use. She shares a little about that.

[14:29] Shannon had a problem with adjusting the volume on her Rode microphone so she reached out to Ashley. Ashley explains how she set up her Rode mic to work.

[18:46] How can you play music on Zoom and still use a wireless mic?

[20:49] Ashley shares some tips on what to wear while teaching online so that your clothes don't interfere with the mic, and how to wear your mic.

[23:33] What are some mishaps Ashley has had while teaching online that she has learned from?

[26:10] If you're having problems with your mic, you might want to check the cables first!

 

[28:16] Ashley has some tips if you are teaching yoga outdoors.

[29:22] How does Ashley handle recording and editing her videos?

[32:00] Ashley has a quick tip about the kind of content you could be sharing on YouTube.

[32:46] Ashley shares her experience with using OfferingTree for her business.

[36:18] Would Ashley recommend OfferingTree for yoga teachers who are just getting started?

[40:04] What are Ashley's thoughts on yoga teachers not getting their offerings out first.

[41:56] Ashley shares some advice for yoga teachers who are feeling uncertain about whether they can teach online yoga.

[43:30] Learn more from Ashley through her website and connect with her on social media!

[44:14] Ashley outlines the information you can find in her PDF guide!

[45:09] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this interview with Ashley.

[46:12] Shannon did a little mic test to show the difference in sound for her between the Blue Yeti mic, her Airpods, and the Rode Wireless Go.

[49:39] Shannon highlights some of her key takeaways from this chat with Ashley.



Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

 

"If that's the case for you where you ever feel like your mics are going bad, first check the cables."

 

"[One tip is] it's using a microphone for outdoor yoga to amplify your voice with a speaker."

 

"I wouldn't call myself an audio expert or a technology expert, but I'm a step or two ahead of people because I test things out. So I'm able to answer some questions."

 

"Yoga studios don't get students before they open their storefront. They open a studio first and then they get the students. It's kind of the same thing. You've got to open your virtual studio before you get people in the doors."

 

"Yoga studios don't get students before they open their storefront. They open a studio first and then they get the students. You've got to open your virtual studio before you get people in the doors."

 

Sep 12, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

289: Limb Difference and Yoga with Melissa D'Errico

 

Description:

Many more people live with limb differences than we might realize. However, we are not taught as yoga teachers how to serve people with limb differences when they come into our classes or create more welcoming and comfortable spaces for them. Melissa D’Errico has some advice and insights to share.

 

Melissa D’Errico has had a lifelong love of movement. She started dance classes at a young age, and eventually found her way to yoga, earning multiple certifications in yoga in different modalities such as pre-natal yoga, yin yoga, yoga dance, and other forms of yoga. Melissa also offers healing energy work through Reiki. She currently teaches at the Yoga Center of Deerfield Beach, the Meditate School of Mindfulness and at Beyond Transformation and supports the Lucky Fin Project, nonprofit organization working to raise awareness and celebrate children and individuals born with symbrachydactyly or other limb differences (upper, lower, congenital, and amputee).

 

Melissa shares her story of being born with a limb difference and how that never stopped her from doing anything she felt called to. Melissa also shared some valuable insights around the language that we use around people with limb differences as well as what we as yoga teachers need to know when someone with a limb difference attends our classes.

 

This is a great opportunity to learn more about people with limb differences and how we can better serve them in our classes. 

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:15] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Melissa D'Errico.

[5:15] What has Melissa's yoga journey been like? What is the work she currently does?

[7:17] Shannon and Melissa discuss her experience with yoga dance.

[9:26] Melissa lives in a body with a limb difference. She shares more about her experience.

[14:59] What should yoga teachers do when someone with a limb difference comes into their class?

[19:11] Melissa shares some insight about dealing with "uncomfortable moments" in a yoga class.

[20:34] What are some things around language and cues that Melissa would like yoga teachers to know and use?

[22:29] Shannon highlights some re-education she experienced at the Accessible Yoga Conference.

[25:18] Shannon shares a little about the sponsor, OfferingTree.

[27:43] What does Melissa say to people who have a limb difference that they were not born with and are feeling like it's a disability for them?

[30:54] What made Melissa stop calling her limb difference a birth defect?

[34:14] What are some things from yoga and yoga philosophy that Melissa has learned and applies to her life?

[35:16] Learn more about Melissa or join an online class with her!

[38:11] How does Melissa make her busy schedule work?

[40:25] Melissa shares some final thoughts about teaching students with a limb difference.

[41:06] Being a "helicopter yoga teacher" isn't helpful. Melissa explains more.

[42:24] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this episode.

[49:52] Shannon highlights some of her upcoming events and trainings.



Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"I teach yoga with a limb difference."

 

"You probably feel more uncomfortable than the person with a limb difference."

 

"We already know everything we need to know, we just need to remember."

 

"You got this... just lead with your heart, teach with your heart, the true yoga is in your heart and it'll all work out."

 

Sep 5, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

288: Shavasana (śavāsana) with Indu Arora

 

Description:

Shavasana (śavāsana) is the final resting pose of almost every yoga practice but how much do we really know about and understand it? We may think of it as being a pose of resting or relaxation to cool off after a vigorous asana practice but it is much more than that. Indu Arora shares more.

 

Indu Arora considers herself a lifelong student and has spent the last 2 decades of her life studying, thinking and sharing Yoga and Ayurveda. She is a renowned author of SOMA - 100 Heritage Recipes for Self-Care, Yoga - Ancient Heritage, Tomorrow’s Vision, and Mudra: The Sacred Secret. She is a firm believer that “yoga is not to be learnt and done but explored and realized” and embodies this in her own life and practice. Indu travels extensively within the United States, Canada, Europe and India to teach and speak on Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Ayurveda and Mudras and her unique gift is in making Yoga and Ayurveda a practice which is equally useful for beginners as well as for seasoned seekers. 

 

In this interview, we learn the correct Sanskrit pronunciation of Shavasana (and other asana!) and explore why the Sanskrit pronunciation is so important. Indu shares insights on what we are missing about Shavasana and the true purpose of this pose - as a preparation for death. Indu also answers some common questions we often encounter about Shavasana, such as how long it should be, and if it is okay to fall asleep during Shavasana. Indu offers some deep reflective questions for us to contemplate around why we practice yoga and how we can find, share, and face the truth through yoga. This is a great episode to listen to before your next yoga practice or before you do shavasana.

 

Key Takeaways:

[3:48] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Indu Arora.

[8:06] What does Indu do and who does she do it for?

[9:24] Indu believes that “Yoga is not to be learnt and done but explored and realized.” What does this mean?

[13:07] When did Indu's journey with yoga start?

[17:58] What is the Sanskrit pronunciation of Shavasana? Indu explains why pronunciation matters. 

[24:32] If you are interested in learning more about asana names and meanings, check out Indu's book, Yoga - Ancient Heritage, Tomorrow’s Vision.

[25:38] What does Shavasana mean and what are we missing about it?

[31:36] Shannon pops in with a message about the sponsor, OfferingTree.

[35:33] People have some resistance in thinking about death and dying. How can we approach teaching about Shavasana and deal with that resistance?

[40:20] What elements could yoga teachers incorporate to build more of a practice like this?

[42:34] Indu invites us to consider why we are practicing yoga each time we do it, and to ask ourselves if we are becoming robotic in our approach.

[45:17] How long does Shavasana need to be? Does it always need to be at the end?

[53:13] Learn more from Indu and connect with her via her website, and social media.

[55:09] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Indu.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"Yoga is not to be done, it is to be explored and realized. It is a state of being, it is a state of mind, it is a state of emotions, it is a state of breath, all of this."

 

"What is the purpose of yoga and why are you sharing and why are you studying about it? And why are you thinking about it? Do not lose that focus."

 

"It is a rehearsal for death."

 

"Shavasana is the practice of Pratyahara, it's a conscious letting go."

 

"Yoga is not a feel-good practice, it is a face-the-truth practice."

 

Aug 29, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

287: Insurance for International Yoga with Beth McVeigh & Joe Fagan

 

Description:

Many yoga teachers have been curious about insurance for yoga teachers teaching abroad and teaching online to international students - particularly in light of the COVID pandemic. What kind of coverage do you need? Do you need people to sign a waiver? What happens if you can’t control who watches your videos? Beth McVeigh and Joe Fagan have the answers to these questions and more.

 

Beth is a Commercial Insurance Manager specializing in insurance for Complementary Health practitioners and Studio, Clinic and Spa owners based in Canada. Along with her experienced and knowledgeable team of insurance advisors, Beth helps clients navigate the insurance coverage they need for their practice. Joe Fagan is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for Beyogi. He helps to create relationships within the yoga community to generate exposure for all involved. Joe is a US-based insurance provider for yoga teachers.

 

Beth and Joe share more about what kind of insurance yoga teachers need when teaching online to international students, sharing yoga on shared platforms, or if they are traveling to teach in-person and abroad. They also explain the legal considerations yoga teachers should be mindful of when it comes to waivers and COVID, and how to navigate getting insurance if you’re planning to relocate and teach yoga in another country.

 

Disclaimer: The material presented in this podcast is for general informational purposes only. Please consult with your local insurance agent for specific advice or services needed.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:27] Shannon introduces the topic for this episode, which was inspired by questions and comments from the Connected Yoga Teacher community.

[4:36] Shannon has a few announcements about upcoming events and trainings.

[8:04] Shannon introduces her guests for this episode - Beth McVeigh and Joe Fagan.

[11:17] What is yoga insurance and what gets Joe and Beth excited about helping yoga teachers with their insurance?

[13:52] Why is it important for yoga teachers to have insurance, and what gets Beth  excited about her work?

[15:16] What are some considerations with teaching yoga online? Is there a difference between live classes and pre-recorded classes, and does it make a difference who signs up?

[18:42] What can yoga teachers do if they are not able to keep track of who is watching their videos online? Beth and Joe explain how insurance works for yoga teachers going outside their country of coverage.

[24:02] Beth clarifies how it would work if a yoga teacher who has international web-based consulting coverage posts a video on Instagram and someone from a different country watches it and gets hurt as a result.

[25:37] It is hard to provide blanket statements about which specific situations are covered and which aren't, so it would be best to check with your local advisor for any specific cases you are concerned about.

[27:21] What should yoga teachers be aware of if they are planning to travel to another country to host a yoga teacher training or retreat?

[29:22] If a yoga teacher is planning to relocate to another country, should they look into insurance before traveling or should they wait to get to their new location?

[31:17] Shannon pops in with a quick note about the sponsor, OfferingTree.

[33:44] What are the steps a yoga teacher should take if they are planning to go away for a whole year to teach yoga abroad? How is it different if they're relocating?

[37:14] What are some other things yoga teachers should know about teaching online to people outside their country?

[41:02] What has changed with waivers because of Covid?

[48:09] Joe offers his clients a template of a waiver when they enroll into his program as well as other helpful resources available on the website.

[50:45] If you are based in Canada and you work with Beth and her team, you will have 24/7 access to a group of lawyers.

[53:30] If you are in the US, find out more about getting yoga teacher insurance with BeYogi and in Canada, do check in with Beth for your best options!

[55:00] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this interview.



Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"Yoga insurance or liability insurance for yoga instructors, it's ultimately all designed for protection." - Joe Fagan

 

"We are definitely heading into a new age of claims, so it's good to make sure that [yoga teachers are] properly covered for it."

 

"It's very crucial to any type of online environment to have some type of disclaimer or waiver that can be signed before admitting somebody into that." - Joe

 

"It's always a good idea - whatever event you're doing, if it's outside of your normal scope of practice - to talk to an agent." - Joe

 

"Make sure that we know every single detail of your business structure because that's the only way that we can properly make sure that you're insured." - Beth

 

Aug 22, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

286: Yoga Around the World with Lily Allen-Duenas

 

Description:

Have you ever wanted to teach yoga around the world but weren’t sure where to get started? Perhaps you have wondered how the yoga community differs from country to country. Lily Allen-Duenas shares her insights as a yoga teacher who travels the world and also as a podcaster who has interacted with yoga teachers and students from all around the globe.

 

Lily Allen-Duenas is an international yoga and meditation instructor, a holistic health and wellness coach, and a Reiki master healer. She strives to help people reduce their emotional overload, and find balance, breath, and space for self-care. Lily is the founder of the Wild Yoga Tribe and the host of the Wild Yoga Tribe podcast. She has taught yoga classes and wellness workshops all over the world.

 

In this episode, Lily shares some of her tips for getting started with teaching yoga while traveling the world and the different things she has learned about different cultures in different countries. Lily offers suggestions on how to find and secure yoga jobs abroad and what to look out for to avoid scams. As a writer and marketer, Lily also has some great strategies around her podcast marketing strategy and navigating social media.

 

Key Takeaways:

[1:11] Shannon shares one of the resources she is learning from about social justice.

[4:07] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Lily Allen-Duenas

[7:34] What does Lily do and who does she do it for?

[10:17] What are some differences Lily has observed in talking with yoga teachers around the world?

[12:06] What is something surprising that Lily has learned about different cultures as she interviews different yoga teachers?

[15:54] Interacting with people from different cultures or backgrounds can challenge out preconceived notions.

[17:37] What is Lily's advice for people who want to travel and teach yoga? How can they do that?

[24:06] Lily walks us through some of her podcast marketing strategies.

[29:24] Shannon pops in with a message about OfferingTree.

[31:33] What are Lily's tips for staying on track with her marketing strategy for her podcast?

[35:16] Lily shares her biggest tips to make marketing on Instagram easier for yoga teachers.

[40:28] Shannon and Lily discuss having boundaries on social media and showing up authentically.

[47:01] Find out more about Lily and her work via her podcast, website, and social media.

[51:52] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this episode as well as some other resources for listeners.



Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"How do I find work and especially if I want to do it in a different country, it can seem really difficult."

 

"I think we're in a smaller world than we've ever been in before and ... I just love the possibilities."

 

“[For marketing,] I think it's important to have that routine and the rhythm and then of course to do it in a way that feels mission aligned."

 

"Sharing anything and everything you can think of related to your niche and then doing that in a way that really serves your audience will help of course grow the community."



Aug 15, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

285: Mental Health Aware Yoga with Dr. Lauren Tober

 

Description:

Nearly one in five U.S. adults live with a mental illness and 1 in 3 Canadians will be affected by a mental illness during their lifetime. Globally, there is an upward trend in the number of people living with and impacted by mental health conditions. This means we may have students in our classes with mental health conditions that we don’t know about. How can we best support these students within our scope of practice? Dr. Lauren Tober shares more.

 

Dr Lauren Tober is a Clinical Psychologist, Yoga Teacher and certified iRest Meditation Teacher with a passion for health, healing, happiness and awakening. She is the founder of Awake Psychology, an online Australia-wide psychology practice, the Centre for Mind Body Wellness in Mullumbimby (Australia) and teaches Yoga Teachers around the world about mental health with the Mental Health Aware Yoga training. Lauren has also created several acclaimed online courses, and her work has been featured in many publications.

 

Lauren explains what is and isn’t in our scope of practice as yoga teachers when it comes to mental health, and how we can support people with mental health conditions without overstepping our boundaries. Lauren also offers tips on what to do when someone cries in a yoga class, how to create a safe container in a yoga class that may have students with mental health issues we don’t know about, and how we can support students outside of yoga.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:13] Shannon shares a book she is learning a lot from - One Native Life by Richard Wagamese.

[4:44] Shannon has a few announcements to share about upcoming events and offerings.

[8:16] Shannon introduces the guest for this episode - Dr. Lauren Tober.

[11:36] What does Lauren do and who does she do it for?

[13:23 - 13:24] Lauren reminds us that we may not know when our students are going through mental health challenges.

[15:55] What lies within the scope of practice for yoga teachers when it comes to helping people with their mental health?

[18:41] Lauren works with yoga teachers around mental health to give them enough information to help their students.

[21:17] It is common for people to break down and cry in yoga classes. What should yoga teachers do in that moment?

[26:34] What might Lauren say to someone who cried during the yoga class to check in with them at the end of the class?

[27:39] What should yoga teachers do if students start to open up about their struggles or mental health challenges?

[30:06] Lauren recommends having a list of professionals you can refer people to - e.g. doctors, naturopaths, psychologists.

[34:13] What is something related to mental health challenges that Lauren wishes yoga teachers knew.

[38:12] What are Lauren's thoughts on using touch in a yoga class?

[43:49] Shannon pops in with a warning about strong language.

[45:12] Shannon gives a shout out to sponsor OfferingTree.

[48:42] There is a common misconception among yoga teachers that if you do enough yoga, you don't need any mental health support. Lauren shares her thoughts on this.

[54:01] Find out more about Lauren and her work on her website and check out her special website around yoga for mental health.

[56:09] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this interview.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"We don't necessarily know someone is going through stuff, [or] going through some mental health challenges."

 

"You need to really get clear on what your scope of practice is and make sure you stay within that and if you feel tempted to do some counseling or offer massage or whatever it is, … go and get some training in that area so you can broaden your scope of practice and include that in your offering."

 

"Yoga has an amazing role to play in terms of supporting mental wellness and supporting people who are going through mental health challenges."

 

"Supporting somebody going through mental health challenges is creating a space where someone can come and feel safe. "

 

"To be present with someone else, from one human being to another human being, to be really present is such a gift."

 

"Having conversations about consent and touch is really powerful."

 

Aug 8, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

284: Beyond Pronouns and Pride Month with Shannon Crow

 

Description:

How can we make our yoga classes more inclusive and accessible? The truth is, sometimes we can mess up and make mistakes even when we try to create safer spaces in our yoga classes. We may cause harm without realizing it - that’s why it is a huge gift when someone points out how we are causing harm.

 

The work of continuous learning goes beyond simply using the right pronouns and extends far beyond Pride month. These are complex and nuanced issues - we have to strive to continuously educate ourselves. In this episode, Shannon Crow shares the email from a listener that inspired this conversation as well as resources for you if you are keen to continue learning how to create safer, more accessible yoga spaces for people in the LGBTQIA+ community.

 

Key Takeaways:

[3:24] Shannon shares a book she has been enjoying and learning from recently.

[6:56] This episode was inspired by a brave email sent by a podcast listener in response to Episode 275 about being kicked out of yoga class.

[9:00] Shannon shares the email from the listener.

[10:44] Even when we want to create safe spaces, we may not succeed. We may also cause harm to others and it is a huge gift when they communicate that with us.

[11:58] Our continuous learning journey goes beyond Pride month.

[13:03] We can spread our learning and collaboration requests out to span the entire year, instead of just in Pride month.

[14:12 Shannon has some resources for you if you want to create an inclusive yoga space in all months of the year, not just in June.

[20:54 - 20:59] Shannon shares what OfferingTree is putting together for yoga studios.

[22:43] Shannon highlights some of the podcast episodes listeners can learn from as well as trainings available.

[27:50] We can all learn from each other if we're willing to share and be vulnerable about where we messed up.



Links:

 

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"This continuous learning journey, I really think this goes beyond Pride Month."

 

"Please don't be the business that sticks a pride flag on their website in june only to then take it down and forget all about the social justice issue the rest of the year."

 

"It is very nuanced and it's like we don't know what we don't know and in the meantime we might be causing harm."

 

Aug 1, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

283: Teach Yoga Without Demos with Francesca Cervero

 

Description:

Do you demonstrate yoga asanas when you teach? Do you wish you could do fewer demos in a class but don’t know how? How can we start doing that in our classes? Francesca Cervero explains how she teaches yoga without demos and how other yoga teachers can too.

 

Francesca Cervero has been teaching yoga full-time since 2005. Inspired by her foundational training at OM Yoga Center, the years she spent as a dancer, and subsequently in physical therapy, Francesca’s teaching is also influenced by her love of Buddhist teachings and a constant curiosity about anatomy and biomechanics. Francesca offers private 1:1 yoga classes, mentors yoga teachers in The Science of the Private Lesson™, hosts the podcast The Mentor Sessions: Support & Strategy for Yoga Teachers, and is the founder of the adjoining community, The Mentor Sessions Sangha.

 

Francesca explains the benefits of teaching without demos and how we can start to teach without doing demos in yoga classes. She shares her tips like sitting on your hands while teaching and how to cue effectively as well as how to ease the transition if you currently rely on demos to teach. Francesca also shares how she counters pushback like “people are visual learners” and what to do when accessibility is a factor and we need to share demos.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:13] Shannon shares a podcast she is learning from.

[6:13] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Francesca Cervero.

[10:05] Shannon gives a shout out to the sponsor, OfferingTree.

[12:48] What does Francesca do and who does she do it for?

[14:18] What does Francesca do in terms of demonstrations vs no demonstrations as she is teaching.

[16:43] What are some of the benefits of not doing demos?

[19:58] You might feel inclined to demonstrate because you're feeling nervous. Francesca addresses this and shares some tips  that can help.

[25:16] The only way to gain the skills to teach without demonstrating is to practice them.

[27:29] Recording yourself teaching with just your voice can be a helpful technique to get better at teaching without demonstrating.

[30:40] How does Francesca deal with that awkward moment when people in the class are waiting to see a demonstration because that's what they've become used to?

[36:15] Teaching without demonstrating isn't black-and-white. The key is to focus on the student and what cues might help them.

[40:14] Shannon and Francesca discuss the difference between teaching yoga and doing yoga for your own practice.

[41:26] What can yoga teachers do when they're teaching online and their students want to have their video off?

[49:02] Find out more about Francesca and how to work with her via her podcast, mentor sessions, and her community.

[49:34] Francesca addresses two scenarios that yoga teachers may have questions about - teaching beginners without demos and teaching in situations with a language barrier or to people who are deaf and hard of hearing.

[53:01] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this interview with Francesca.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"It's obviously not sustainable to need to constantly use our body to share information about movement."

 

"When we exclusively use our body to share information about movement, I think that it puts the emphasis or the focus on the aesthetic of the shape rather than the experience or the potential benefit, which will look radically different person to person."

 

"I prefer teaching with my words because I think it places the emphasis for the student more on what they're experiencing as opposed to what their body looks like."

 

"The only way to gain the skills to teach without demonstrating is to practice them."

 

"The real heart of teaching is in relationship. If you can't see them, then that's not there."

 

Jul 25, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

282: What's Missing? Yoga Class Notes with Kathryn Anne Flynn

 

Description:

Have you ever been to a yoga class and noticed that something is missing? Perhaps it was the cues given, or the postures practices, or even the sequence of the class. There are certain key elements that we need to have to make a well-rounded yoga class and we might be missing some of them! Kathryn Anne Flynn shares her expertise on this topic and how we can make our classes more accessible to all.

 

Kathryn Anne Flynn is a teacher and student of yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, and psychotherapy in Ottawa, Canada. She is known for weaving together her fields of study and practice tools to meet life with a compassionate presence. Students of many generations call her their teacher and they are drawn to her inclusivity and authenticity. Kathryn is also the host of the Intelligent Edge Yoga Podcast, author of Teach Kind, Clear Yoga, and offers online practices as well as trainings, workshops, and retreats.

 

Kathryn shares her insights about some of the key elements missing from yoga classes (especially with newer teachers) such as silence, little joint care, and music and playlists, and gives us tips on how we can effectively incorporate these into our yoga classes to become better teachers and create a better environment for our yoga students. This is a really motivating episode to get inspiration about how to improve on your classes and create a better environment for our yoga students.

 

Key Takeaways:

[0:00] Shannon addresses the recent US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

[1:45] This episode is also sponsored by the Accessible Yoga Continuing Education Program.

[8:33] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Kathryn Anne Flynn.

[11:55] You can win one of Kathryn's books simply by leaving a comment in the show notes!

[13:04] What does Kathryn do and who does she do it for?

[14:37] What got Kathryn interested in her work around psychotherapy and trauma therapy, from being a yoga educator?

[17:29] Kathryn is the author of Teach Kind, Clear Yoga. What was her motivation for writing the book and what feedback has she received about it?

[19:31] There are often trends in things that are missing from new yoga teachers' classes. Kathryn reflects on how she made this observation.

[22:14] A reminder for people going through their yoga teacher training: Teaching yoga is never going to be as hard as it is in your training.

[24:01] Something that is often missing even from experienced teachers' classes is silence.

[26:09] Another element often missing in yoga classes is little joint care.

[28:53] There is value in simplicity and repetition.

[32:33] A tip for new teachers - if you are nervous when teaching yoga, you can use music to support your teaching and create atmosphere in your classes.

[33:54] Shannon pops in to share a conversation she had with Sara Villamil about OfferingTree.

[36:11] Is music essential to a yoga class or can we teach without it? Shannon and Kathyrn share their perspectives.

[43:07] Kathryn shares some tips around what to consider when sequencing your yoga class.

[48:33] You can bring creativity into sequencing your yoga classes.

[50:16] Kathryn developed her own personal style of yoga because of the communities she worked with and paying attention to their needs.

[53:05] Kathryn highlights two types of postures that are often missing from yoga classes.

[59:30] What are some final thoughts Kathryn has for a yoga teacher who is feeling like something is missing from their class?

[60:39] Get Kathryn's book and connect with her via her website and social media.

[62:24] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this interview with Kathryn.



Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Accessible Yoga Continuing Education Program.



Quotes from this episode:

"Teaching yoga is never going to be as hard as it is in your training."

 

"Reviewing your teaching can remain uncomfortable and it's worth it."

 

"If you design your classes in a way that folks are safe doing the practice, you can have faith in the resilience of the human body - which means you can have faith in the potency of silence and restrain yourself to offer more space because people need silence so badly if their lives are super busy and loud."

 

"I think it's important to be able to teach and practice both with and without [music]. It's just another tool that you need to know how and when to apply it."

 

Jul 18, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

281: Yoga Teaching Tips with Gabrielle Harris

 

Description:

Whether you’re fresh out of a yoga teacher training or have been teaching yoga for years, there is always something new to learn about becoming a better teacher. Gabrielle Harris shares actionable tips for yoga teachers that you can start implementing in your classes and using right away.

 

Gabrielle describes herself as a writer at heart and a yogi in mind and body. Her aim is to inspire students and teachers from all disciplines to keep falling in love with yoga each new day. Gabrielle has over 1000 hours of training in various disciplines and traditions, and through her written work and yoga classes reminds us to start living a full life through the toolbox of yoga. She is also the author of The Language of Yin and The Inspired Yoga Teacher.

 

Gabrielle talks about her journey in writing these two books, how to teach yoga to beginners, and why language is so important and powerful in yoga. Gabrielle also shares her thoughts on what makes a good yoga teacher and why our job is to watch, listen and observe, rather than centering ourselves in our teaching. She offers some tips on the different types of cues we might use, how to practice nonviolent communication, and encourages us to reflect on our responsibility as yoga teachers.

 

Key Takeaways:

[0:00] Shannon addresses the recent US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

[2:30] This episode is also sponsored by the Accessible Yoga Continuing Education Program.

[5:58] Shannon shares one of the resources she has been learning from - Buffy on CBC.

[9:06] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Gabrielle Harris.

[12:31] What does Gabrielle do and who does she do it for?

[13:11] Gabrielle shares more about the two books she has written.

[14:24] What has helped Gabrielle get through the long process of writing books and teaching yoga?

[15:26] Gabrielle has teaching experience outside of yoga. She explains how that has shaped how she teaches yoga.

[18:07] How can yoga teachers cut out the fluff and get to the very essential parts of yoga when teaching beginners?

[19:53] How does Gabrielle apply what she learned in teaching a language to a yoga teacher training?

[23:15] It can be tempting to try to fill space with words, but it is important to be intentional instead.

[25:14] How can we practice self-editing?

[27:05] Why do we often feel the need to fill silence with words?

[30:02] As yoga teachers, sharing parts of your life can be very powerful, but only under certain circumstances. It can be useful to become the listener instead.

[33:22] What are some things that can help improve our teaching technique?

[35:43] Timing and pace are also very important for a yoga class.

[38:37] Shannon pops in with an update about OfferingTree, sponsor of the podcast.

[41:30] How can yoga teachers manage the timing of their flow and sequence?

[44:03] Gabrielle shares some tips around different types of cues you can give in a yoga class and examples of what that may look like.

[49:44] Using questions in teaching is a great technique to center the students instead of the teacher.

[52:15] How does Gabrielle handle questions from students who ask where they should be feeling a pose or how to be experiencing a movement?

[56:21] Gabrielle shares some thoughts around the responsibility we have as yoga teachers.

[59:58] What does Gabrielle wish she had known as a newer teacher?

[61:04] Find out more about Gabrielle and her work by checking out her work and the links below.

[62:46] You can win a copy of one of Gabrielle's books!

[65:27] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this interview with Gabrielle.



Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Accessible Yoga Continuing Education Program.



Quotes from this episode:

"It is much more difficult to be precise and concise and essential." - Gabrielle

 

"If you want to know what the essence of what you're trying to teach is, you need to go back to what your intention is for that class." - Gabrielle

 

"There's different types of cueing and there's a place for all of them." - Gabrielle

 

"I want the teachers out there to assume that everything that we're saying, everything that we do in a yoga class has a propensity to change or to harm or to heal." - Gabrielle

 

Jul 11, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

280: Get Paid as a Yoga Teacher with Shannon Simmons

 

Description:

As yoga business owners, we may feel conflicted around making money and getting paid for sharing yoga and helping others. However, being able to get paid for the work that you do ensures that you will be able to continue serving others with your yoga. So how do you make sure that you can pay yourself a consistent salary? Shannon Simmons shares how to organize your finances and get paid consistently as a yoga teacher.

 

Shannon is the founder and CEO of Fit For Profit. Her goal is to remove the stress that wellness business owners often feel around finances, by helping them implement simple systems around money management. By helping them create financial systems in their business that allow them to pay themselves a consistent salary, Shannon enables them to worry less about paying bills and focus on building a sustainable business.

 

In this episode, Shannon S. addresses some of the concerns yoga entrepreneurs have around making money and getting paid, and encourages us to shift our mindset and thinking about our businesses. She explains how the Profit First system helps yoga teachers make a profit in their business and build a more sustainable business that is able to deal with emergency expenses and taxes while paying yourself a consistent salary. If you are ready to start making profits in your yoga business, this episode is for you.

 

Key Takeaways:

[0:00] Shannon addresses the recent US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

[3:54] Shannon shares some of the resources she has been learning from.

[6:09] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Shannon Simmons.

[12:12] What does Shannon S. do and who does she do it for?

[13:19] What is the Profit First system of accounting?

[15:15] Setting up multiple bank accounts can be a challenge! What are Shannon S's thoughts around that?

[16:07] Shannon S. has a list of banks she recommends for people wanting to implement Profit First.

[16:31] How does Profit First differ from the typical way of managing finances in a business?

[20:04] Apart from the account for profit, what are the other accounts we should have in this system?

[22:04] Paying yourself as the owner is separate from your profit! Shannon S. explains further.

[24:09] How does Shannon S. respond to wellness professionals or yoga teachers who think that they shouldn't be making their business about profit?

[25:48] What are some of Shannon S.'s tips to implement the Profit First system?

[27:29] Shannon S. recommends raising your rates annually.

[31:15] Get your bank statement and start looking at all your expenses. Which ones can you reduce?

[33:09] Shannon C. and Shannon S. discuss how useful it can be to have someone on your team to have eyes on your finances.

[33:59] If you only have one account for income and expenses, Shannon S. recommends making the transfers every time you get a deposit. How often should you pay yourself profits?

[36:20] What happens to the other half of the profits that you don't pay to yourself?

[37:29] Shannon C. pops in with tip about using OfferingTree for memberships.

[40:27] Many yoga teachers and entrepreneurs don't have a separate business bank account and they aren't paying attention to their finances! Shannon S. shares some tips on that.

[43:45] Don't wait till it's time to do your taxes to figure out if you made a profit or not!

[44:52] What are some of the roadblocks that come up for entrepreneurs? 

[47:10] Shannon S. shares some percentages that people can start off at to implement Profit First in their business.

[50:42] What are some tips to get to being able to pay ourselves a salary of 50% of revenue?

[53:45] Get support from Shannon S. in setting up Profit First for your business. Connect with her via her website.

[58:17] What is your biggest takeaway? What action step will you be taking from this interview? Shannon C. shares how she's applying insights from this interview to her business.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"You are your own best employees. So you need to be paying yourself as if you were an employee." - Shannon S.

 

"The only way to help people is to be profitable and the only way that you can truly be profitable is if you're really helping people." - Shannon S.

 

"If you have any resistance to five [bank accounts], you don't have to do five. Just start with one. That's the very basic process to get started." - Shannon S.

 

"Most people aren't profitable before they implement Profit First. That's the dirty little secret." - Shannon S.

Jul 4, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

279: Bowel Health and Yoga with Shannon Crow 

 

Description:

Bowel health and function is an essential part of our lives, yet something we don’t discuss often. We all (hopefully) have bowel movements regularly and if we are not, it can impact our pelvic organs, pelvic floor and overall health. Yet, conversations about pooping are not normalized and we avoid talking about this topic! Why?

 

In this episode, Shannon Crow, host of The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast and founder of Pelvic Health Professionals explores the topic of bowel health. She explains how yoga and bowel health are connected and some of the common things that can go wrong with our bowel health and function. Shannon also shares snippets of a live call from the Pelvic Health Professionals membership with Michelle Lyons, a physiotherapist, yoga, pilates and mindfulness teacher, and nutrition and health coach specializing in pelvic health with a whole-person approach.

 

This episode is a must-listen for everyone - because bowel health and function affects us all!

 

Key Takeaways:

[4:38] Shannon's getting personal on this episode to talk about a topic not many people are comfortable with - poop!

[5:52] How are yoga and bowel health connected? Shannon shares a clip from an interview with Michelle Lyons who spoke about bowel health in Pelvic Health Professionals.

[11:01] Shannon invites you to bring your awareness to your bowel health in your next yoga session. She walks us through a couple of yoga poses to help with that.

[13:32] The kind of toilet you use may impact your bowel health. Shannon shares some tips on how to bring ease to pooping.

[15:13] Shannon pops in with a conversation with a fellow connected yoga teacher about OfferingTree.

[17:56] The breath can have a huge impact on bowel health!

[19:00] Hormonal changes can impact bowel health and bowel function as well.

[22:59] Yoga helps with stress management and brings people into a state of rest and digest. This can impact bowel health positively.

[23:54] Michelle covered a lot of different aspects of bowel health and function inside Pelvic Health Professionals!

[26:34] Shannon highlights some of the upcoming topics for calls in Pelvic Health Professionals.

[28:52] We need to normalize talking about bowel health!

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"One of the ways that yoga can really help is by bringing attention to the breath. And we know that breathing is absolutely essential for good pelvic floor muscle function." - Michelle

 

"Yoga and breathing and mindfulness and gentle movement in general, all of these have the ability to tone the vagus nerve." - Michelle

 

"Good bowel health is really when you don't have to think about it." - Michelle

 

"Generally bowel dysfunction, we can break down into three categories: either you can't keep stuff in, you can't get stuff out, or it hurts." - Michelle

Jun 27, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

278: Religion & Cultural Respect in Yoga with Emmy Chahal

 

Description:

How are yoga and religion connected? Why do some people, depending on their religion, feel like yoga is evil? What does spiritual bypassing look like and why is it harmful? These are the challenging questions Emmy Chahal tackles in this episode.

 

Emmy Chahal is a trauma informed yoga teacher, bodyworker/energy healer and workshop facilitator based on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Territory (in the place now known as Vancouver). Emmy works at the crossroads of business, social justice, and spirituality. Emmy has experience of more than 19 years of steady yoga and meditation practice, and over 10 years of teaching. She integrates her educational background in Cultural Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies to offer tailored workshops for workplaces around wellness topics, cultural education for yoga teachers and practitioners on topics like cultural awareness, ancestral healing, and uncolonizing yoga, as well as intuitive healing sessions. Emmy also offers mentorship for yoga teachers and semi-private or family yoga classes. 

 

There’s no denying that yoga and religion intersect at some points - yet they are different. Emmy explains how colonization shaped our understanding of religion, the impact of that, and why it is important to learn about other faiths and belief systems to avoid causing harm and violence. Emmy also shares more about how yoga can strengthen your faith practice, and how to be respectful of other cultures we partake in while also learning about and connecting to our own culture. This is a rich discussion answering a question many yoga teachers and practitioners have no doubt encountered - is yoga religion?

 

Key Takeaways:

[3:28] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Emmy Chahal.

[8:20] What does Emmy do and who does she do it for?

[11:16] How do yoga and religion intersect and how are they different and similar?

[15:05] Shannon and Emmy discuss how people in North America may not have had the experience of interfaith exploration or learning about other faiths different from their own.

[18:03] Emmy shares her thoughts on the idea that yoga is not religion and addresses the idea that people have that yoga is against their religion.

[22:46] How are things like colonization and residential schools tied to yoga and religion?

[28:10] Shannon reflects on her ancestors' history.

[29:08] Understanding your ancestry and history can help you avoid something Emmy calls "hungry ghost syndrome".

[34:27] Learning about whose land you are on and the history of that land can be a healing practice.

[35:18] Emmy shares her experience of a Kundalini awakening.

[38:08] Shannon shares a short conversation she had with Sara Villamil about OfferingTree.

[40:31] What are Emmy's thoughts on Christian yoga?

[44:45] Yoga is a great system to have difficult conversations through.

[46:14] There is a lot of ignorance about the history of yoga and lack of cultural awareness among yoga teachers, particularly white yoga teachers in the west.

[48:23] What actions can yoga teachers take to make a difference in how yoga is treated?

[54:07] Do not turn to South Asian yoga teachers and expect them to tell you what to do.

[54:52] Research your ancestors and learn about your own spiritual, embodiment, and earth-based practices.

[55:26] Is yoga religion?

[60:14] Emmy has found that yoga can help people in their faith practice.

[63:18] Find out more about Emmy's work and learn more from her via her website.

[66:08] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this episode with Emmy.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"Yoga became a way of connecting to a collective consciousness, but also connecting to our own personal spirituality."

 

"[Yoga] is a mind body spirit practice and that it can help you in your faith practice."

 

"Yoga is about union. It's about finding that connection between your mind, body and heart and really connecting to yourself."

 

"There are really interesting links between yoga and Christianity that if we dig deeper, we could see some deep connections about the mystical quality."

 

"There has been a denial of the roots of yoga and this is something so common in the yoga industry. ... Something is lost here because we're not recognizing, we're not acknowledging where the practice comes from."

 

Jun 20, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

277: Yoga and Land Acknowledgement with Jessica Barudin & Emmy Chahal

 

Description:

What are land acknowledgements? Who needs to do them, and why? How is it relevant to yoga, and how does this fit into the larger context of deepening our connection to the lands we occupy? Jessica Barudin and Emmy Chahal answer these questions and more in this episode.

 

Jessica Barudin (she/her) is Kwakwaka'wakw, a member of the 'Namgis First Nation living in Alert Bay, BC. She is a proud mother, Sundancer, yoga student, and trauma-informed yoga teacher. Jessica is the co-founder of Cedar and Gold, and collaborates with Nations and organizations across Turtle Island. Additionally, she is completing her doctoral studies focusing on developing a culturally-rooted, trauma-informed yoga for First Nations women and two-spirit folks. Jessica's classes weave in Indigenous embodied practices and teachings as well as honors Yoga's roots through sound, mudra, and a variety of forms made accessible for all bodies.

 

Emmy Chahal is a trauma informed yoga teacher, bodyworker/energy healer and workshop facilitator based on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Territory (in the place now known as Vancouver). Emmy works at the crossroads of business, social justice, and spirituality. Emmy has experience of more than 19 years of steady yoga and meditation practice, and over 10 years of teaching. She integrates her educational background in Cultural Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies to offer tailored workshops for workplaces around wellness topics, cultural education for yoga teachers and practitioners on topics like cultural awareness, ancestral healing, and uncolonizing yoga, as well as intuitive healing sessions. Emmy also offers mentorship for yoga teachers and semi-private or family yoga classes. 

 

Land acknowledgment is just a tiny but important step within a much larger journey. Emmy and Jessica share why emotions like pain, guilt, fear, and anger are high for everyone with this topic and how we can deal with them. They also explain why deepening our connections to the land we inhabit is important and how we can learn about and honor different traditions, including yoga and indigenous healing traditions.

 

Key Takeaways:

[3:14] Shannon introduces her guests for this episode - Jessica Barudin and Emmy Chahal

[11:26] What do Jessica and Emmy do?

[15:07] Shannon shares why she was nervous about approaching the topic of land acknowledgements.

[17:12] Why is it important to share land acknowledgements and who needs to be doing it?

[23:23] Many people may start to feel defensive when talking about land acknowledgements. Why is that, and what can we do instead?

[29:20] Jessica highlights the importance of continuing these conversations even as we may feel hesitant or uncomfortable about them, and how we can move forward from there.

[32:54] How can we strengthen this practice of giving land acknowledgements beyond just paying lip service? Where can we start with this, especially if it may feel uncomfortable?

[37:38] Shannon shares a clip of a short conversation she had with a yoga teacher about OfferingTree.

[43:13] Jessica shares some insights about her particular geographical location and the history and connection she has to the land.

[50:38] There may be no easy way to wrap up land acknowledgement and lineage acknowledgment into one or two sentences that encompass the entire history.

[54:36] One key thing Emmy would like to see is people of European descent remembering their ancestors and going back to their earth-based embodiment and spiritual practices.

[56:44] How has yoga helped indigenous communities? There is a lot of cross cultural learning, rather than blending or merging traditions and systems.

[65:02] Jessica and Emmy share more about how you can work with and learn from them.

[70:46] Shannon shares her reflections and takeaways from this discussion with Jessica and Emmy.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"Land Acknowledgments - I feel like it's the tip of the iceberg. It's one tiny tiny gesture that is an invitation for people to really look at their complacency, complicity in colonialism." - Emmy

 

"Emotions are always part of this conversation and I think it's really important to be gentle with yourself and forgiving and to sit with the complexity and the pain and the guilt and all of that." - Emmy

 

"When we acknowledge the land, is it just a token gesture or is it something that we're deepening our relationships with where we are and what time in history." - Jessica

 

“It has to be heartfelt and it has to be honest and it has to point towards deeper action." - Emmy

 

"When people tell me they're nervous or they're scared or hesitant to say the wrong thing, I always take that as a good sign. That means that you care, and have the courage to make mistakes and try and try again. I think that's really important." - Emmy

Jun 13, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

276: Caring for Yoga's South Asian Roots with Susanna Barkataki

 

Description:

A topic the yoga community has been quite hesitant to approach is that of caring for yoga’s south Asian roots and re-centering South Asian yoga teachers and practitioners. In this episode, Susanna Barkataki shares her insights on why this is important and how to do it well.

 

Susanna Barkataki is an Indian yoga practitioner in the Shankaracharya tradition. Her work is dedicated to supporting practitioners to lead with equity, diversity and yogic values while growing thriving practices and businesses with confidence. As the founder of Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute, Susanna runs Yoga Teacher Training programs and offers other trainings and courses designed to create a fully inclusive and diverse yoga community. Susanna is also the author of Embrace Yoga’s Roots: Courageous Ways to Deepen Your Yoga Practice, and a renowned speaker and trainer on topics like diversity, accessibility, inclusivity, and equity (DAIE).

 

Susanna shares more about yoga’s roots and how it has changed and evolved over time, the two criteria for cultural appropriation, and the current practice of yoga in white communities around the world. She explains why it is important to re-center South Asian yoga teachers (and teachings), and guides us to finding our own answers about whether white yoga teachers should be teaching yoga and how to do so in a way that uplifts the yoga community.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:21] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Susanna Barkataki.

[6:16] Susanna shares a little about her background and how she came to do the work that she does.

[9:37] Shannon and Susanna discuss what her parents went through as a mixed race couple in the 70s and how those experiences shaped Susanna.

[14:27] What does Susanna have to say to yoga teachers who are just starting to learn about cultural appropriation?

[19:01] Susanna outlines the two criteria for cultural appropriation to be present.

[23:00] Susanna explains a little about using the term South Asian yoga teachers or practitioners to refer to the people from the lands where yoga originated.

[27:54] Why is it important to center South Asian yoga teachers if yoga doesn't belong to anyone and has moved around and spread to different parts of the world?

[34:22] Shannon gives a shout out to the sponsor, OfferingTree.

[36:21] Susanna shares a story from Indian mythology about why only understanding or focusing on one part of yoga is insufficient.

[39:47] Shannon speaks to the fear that white yoga teachers may have around re-centering South Asian yoga teachers. What actually happens when we re-center South Asian yoga teachers? Why and how should we do that?

[50:09] What are the benefits of collaborating with others and lifting others up, even if they do similar work to you?

[53:43] Shannon and Susanna discuss how being in a position of privilege is not actually beneficial to the people at the top of the hierarchy either.

[58:09] Should white yoga teachers even be teaching yoga?

[62:31] Susanna shares her final thoughts around caring for yoga's roots.

[65:08] Find out more about Susanna and her work via her website and on Instagram.

[67:06] Shannon reflects on her conversation with Susanna and shares her key takeaways.



Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"There's so much to this practice and being a humble student is a great place to start, even if you're already a teacher."

 

"There is a diversity in this tradition [yoga] and an openness and kind of an agreement to disagree civilly and to have a different perspective from one another but to be on this path together."

 

"Should you be profiting from this practice that comes from a people who have been held down oppressed, marginalized and not centered?"

 

"When we look at power and balance, we can utilize our power when and where we have it to continue to empower ourselves, but also to lift up others."

Jun 6, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

275: Kicked Out of a Yoga Class!? with Shannon Crow

 

Description:

Have you ever been kicked out of a yoga class, or made to feel unwelcome, excluded, or shamed? It may feel shocking to hear if you have never had this experience, but sadly this is something many people in The Connected Yoga Teacher community have experienced.

 

In this episode, Shannon shares comments from members of The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook community describing their experiences when they were kicked out of a yoga class, or felt uncomfortable, ashamed, and rejected from the class, both because of yoga teachers and other students. 

 

This episode invites us to consider how we are showing up in our yoga classes and in the world with empathy, compassion, and understanding – and encourages us to think about how we can disrupt harm when we encounter it to create safer and more welcoming yoga spaces for everyone.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:55] Shannon explains the topic for this episode - how we don't want our yoga classes to go and how we don't want yoga students to feel.

[4:25] Shannon shares the inspiration for this episode - the experience of Shannon's friends who were kicked out of a yoga class based on their gender.

[7:50] One of the things that people shared was not being allowed to leave or drink water or modify something in a yoga class.

[14:05] Shannon shares an audio message from Aarti about not feeling welcome or feeling excluded from yoga.

[19:19] Shannon invites us to think about Aarti's experience and to reflect on our own actions in yoga spaces. 

[20:42] Shannon shares experiences from yoga teachers who have been turned away from yoga or discouraged from practicing it because of their size or age.

[22:35] Shannon shares a comment from community members who felt unwelcome for needing visual cues or modifications in a yoga class.

[25:23] Shannon shares an article Sinead wrote for OfferingTree.

[28:02] A community member shares two stories of not feeling welcome in a yoga class.

[33:17] Shannon reads a comment from a community member about their experience with non-attachment.

[35:35] Clique behaviors is another common theme that has made people feel unwelcome at yoga classes or studios.

[38:16] Trigger Warning: The next section of this podcast deals with sensitive topics like intimate partner violence and sexual assault.

[38:45] We may also make people feel unwelcome based on things we cannot see or know about them or their experiences. Shannon shares a comment and an audio clip from a community member talking about survivors of intimate partner violence.

[44:39] Shannon shares a comment and a clip from a male community member who felt unwelcome in his class of all women.

[50:10] We have no idea what people are dealing with as they walk into a yoga class with us, which is why it is important to have empathy, understanding, and compassion for others.

[50:42] Shannon shares a few more comments from people who have felt excluded in yoga classes.

[56:21] Shannon invites us to call out harmful practices we may encounter and reflect on our own practices as well.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"How often do people not feel safe or included in a yoga class due to gender?” - Shannon

 

"Why are we not allowing students or yoga teachers, yoga practitioners to modify?" - Shannon

 

"Why do we feel the need to control other bodies instead of letting them choose what they want to be doing, and not only choose what they want to be doing, choosing what they need to be doing?" - Shannon

 

"When we just pull out a tiny piece [of a culture] and place it on merchandise for sale or change the meaning, that's cultural appropriation. That's harmful." - Aarti

 

"We can learn from this, we can definitely take a look at how we are showing up to teach yoga to share yoga and look with a bit of self compassion and reflection as well." - Shannon

 

"We have no idea what people are dealing with as they walk into a yoga class with us." - Shannon

May 30, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

274: Self-Care for Caregivers with Jo Bregnard

 

Description:

One of the things every yoga entrepreneur needs is self-care. As yoga teachers, we are caregivers in some form. To care for others, we need to care for ourselves first. If you are thinking you don’t have time for self-care, or don’t like bubble baths or spas, this interview with Jo Bregnard will shed new light on the idea of self-care.

 

Jo Bregnard offers self-care for caregivers through online movement and mindfulness classes, retreats in Vermont, and free selfcare resources. Jo became a yoga teacher in 2014, after a personal journey with caring for others, and then needing to be cared for. Through her experiences, Jo found ways to incorporate bite-sized self-care practices into her life from the different modalities she has studied over the years. Today, she helps other caregivers cultivate their own self-care practice and sustain themselves in the work they do.

 

In this episode, Jo shares her personal story of caregiving and receiving care, the difference between a sprint versus long-term care, and how yoga teachers are caregivers too. Jo explains what self-care can look like for different people and how to find time for self-care in our busy schedules and hectic lives. Jo also offers suggestions on how to take a retreat for self-care when you can't travel and more.

 

Whether you’re in a caregiving role or not, this episode is a perfect reminder for us about the importance of self-care and how we can carve time out for it.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:32] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jo Bregnard.

[6:18] What does Jo do and who does she do it for?

[7:07] What is Jo's response to people who say they don't have time for self-care?

[8:06] What led Jo to start doing the work that she does?

[14:13] Jo addresses the shame or guilt that people may feel at not being able to do a dedicated hour of yoga practice instead of a quick breathing technique.

[16:17] Why is it so important for us to refill our tanks through self-care?

[18:41] If you are wanting to build a self-care practice but are struggling, Jo has some tips for you.

[23:01] Shannon gives a shout out to OfferingTree.

[25:00] It can be easy and tempting to jump right into doing things when you first wake up in the morning, but it is immensely beneficial to take a few minutes for yourself first.

[26:58] What are some things that Jo recommends for yoga teachers who are in the midst of a sprint to work in some self-care?

[28:38] When we're talking about self-care to other people and doing it for ourselves, how can we ensure it is accessible?

[33:29] Jo offers a five-day mini self-care retreat. She shares how it works.

[35:43] Jo shares some final thoughts for caregivers.

[37:32] Shannon invites you to share a short self-care practice.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"At some point, you have to start refilling your own well in order to have enough to share with everybody else."

 

"What can I do and build [self-care] right into my day?"

 

"Your body knows how to take care of itself."

 

"The thing that I learned from the people that I work with is hey, we still need connection."

 

"You have permission for those quiet moments and to slow down. you have permission to take care of yourself too."

 

May 23, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

273: Yoga is a Revolution with Jivana Heyman

 

Description:

What is the ultimate goal with your yoga practice? How does yoga tie in with social justice and activism? How is yoga a revolution? Jivana Heyman is back on the podcast to answer these questions and to share more about his new book, Yoga Revolution: Building a Practice of Courage & Compassion.

 

Jivana Heyman, is the founder and director of the Accessible Yoga Association, an international non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to the yoga teachings. Through his work with Accessible Yoga, Jivana offers conferences, community forums, a podcast, and a popular ambassador program. He is also the co-founder of the Accessible Yoga Training School, and the author of Accessible Yoga: Poses and Practices for Every Body.

 

In this episode, Jivana explains his perspective on how yoga relates to social justice, and how our personal practice of yoga helps us show up and serve. Jivana and Shannon also discuss the power dynamic in teacher-student relationships, why we struggle with failure and how we can normalize it, what to do when the world feels overwhelming, and more.

 

Tune in to also find out how to win one of two copies of Jivana’s book as well!

 

Key Takeaways:

[4:28] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jivana Heyman

[8:35] What was it like for Jivana to write his second book?

[10:51] What does yoga have to do with social justice and activism?

[14:29] Shannon and Jivana invite you to consider what is the goal of your own practice.

[17:19] What are Jivana's thoughts on how some people view speaking out as unbecoming or not aligned with being a yoga teacher or the teachings of yoga?

[22:05] A live listener, Jessica, shares that for them, the ultimate goal of yoga is connection.

[24:06] Another listener shares about how yoga has helped them with patience and building community.

[27:07] Shannon and Jivana discuss a personal experience he shared in the book about how he dealt with his yoga teacher being accused of abuse.

[33:45] Shannon pops in with a message about a new update from OfferingTree.

[35:51] Jivana explains what he means by 'my liberation is tied to yours'.

[42:04] If we're all connected, we need to work on our connections to people we disagree with as well.

[47:51] Jivana talks about failure as a practice, and the impact of our internal self-talk on ourselves.

[51:40] Shannon shares some comments from listeners.

[54:09] Going back to the theme of failure, Jivana reflects on how we should approach failure.

[55:58] What is the rainbow mind?

[59:11] How does building your personal practice tie in with being able to deal with the world when it feels overwhelming?

[63:29] How can you support someone in your life right now?

[66:37] Jivana's new book is available for purchase and Shannon is also giving away two copies to listeners!

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

“I’ve always always really found those connections between yoga and social justice and I wanted to share them.” - Jivana

 

“To me, social justice is wanting justice for others, actually just having compassion for others and caring about other people other than myself. To me that's directly aligned with the yoga teachings.” - Jivana

 

“What do you think the ultimate goal for you is with your own practice?” - Shannon Crow

 

"We are all intimately connected, and that's the point of yoga actually is to find those connections." - Jivana

 

May 16, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

272: Mental Health for Entrepreneurs with Shulamit Ber Levtov

 

Description:

Building a yoga business and being an entrepreneur in general can be stressful and it can take a toll on our mental health. Despite the benefits of being able to set our own schedules and having more flexibility, many entrepreneurs deal with feelings of anxiety and isolation - things not often talked about. Shulamit Ber Levtov (she/her) is an expert in this area and shares more about mental health for entrepreneurs in this podcast.

 

Shulamit is the Entrepreneur’s Therapist and co-founder of the Business Therapy Centre. She helps women-identified entrepreneurs uplift their mindset and pilot their emotions so they can overcome the anxiety and isolation of running a business, using both coaching and therapeutic tools. With over 27 years experience as an entrepreneur and more than 20 years of professional experience supporting women's mental health and personal growth, Shulamit is an expert at helping entrepreneurs with this. As a licensed trauma therapist, retired Yoga teacher, trauma survivor and award-winning entrepreneur, Shulamit brings a unique perspective and approach to supporting women in business.

 

In this interview, Shulamit talks about the importance of truth-telling around stress, trauma and mental health. She also shares why we are stronger with support, where to find that support, and how yoga and meditation can amplify (but not replace) therapy. Shulamit also explains why some advice we may commonly hear (like "relax" or "take a breath") may not be helpful for some, especially trauma survivors, and why having structures can be helpful for our nervous system instead.

 

This is a great episode for any entrepreneur and for humans dealing with the stresses of navigating life in general.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:49] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Shulamit Ber Levtov.

[7:06] What does Shulamit do and who does she do it for?

[7:53] Anxiety and isolation are common feelings entrepreneurs may have to deal with. Shulamit explains why talking about these experiences truthfully is helpful.

[11:33] How much should we normalize sharing about mental health and sharing the personal aspects of ourselves?

[16:01] Shulamit explains more about the nuances about sharing about the process and transition vs the details of an incident or difficult moment.

[16:57] It can feel really tough to ask for or seek out professional help like therapy. Remember - we are stronger with support!

[22:11] There is a myth that if you're doing yoga properly, you won't need therapy. What are Shulamit's thoughts on that?

[23:56] What other things does Shulamit wish that entrepreneurs and yoga teachers knew about caring for their mental health when they're struggling?

[29:47] Shannon pops in to share a bit of news about a new OfferingTree update.

[32:44] What is Shulamit's recommendation when we are dealing with moments of anxiety?

[38:49] Shulamit highlights the fact that taking a deep breath may actually cause more anxiety in trauma survivors.

[43:00] Structure helps the nervous system. It helps us trust and when we can trust, then we can relax. 

[43:16] Shulamit reminds us that being an entrepreneur is hard and there's nothing wrong with you if you feel isolated and anxious.

[44:24] Find out more about Shulamit and her work via her website and Instagram.

[46:16] Shannon reflects on her conversation with Shulamit.

[48:40] Shannon gives an update on Yoga Teacher Conf that she attended recently.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"I think truth telling is really important, especially around mental health because of the stigma that's associated."

 

"We are stronger with support."

 

"It's also important to bring in discernment around what kind of support and where do I ask."

 

"The antidote to isolation is to find a wide variety of different kinds of support and to use your discernment around what support is best for when."

 

"Structure helps the nervous system. It helps us trust and when we can trust, then we can relax."

 

May 9, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

271: Yoga and Bone Health with Barb Elias

 

Description:

About 10 million people above the age of 50 in the US have osteoporosis, and 43 million have low bone mass, putting them at risk for osteoporosis. What exactly is osteoporosis and how can we improve our bone health with yoga? Barb Elias (she/her) is an expert in Bone Health and Yoga, and she has some answers.

 

As someone who was diagnosed with low bone density herself, Barb has had to navigate her condition with her healthcare team and has learned much from the experience. Today, she teaches yoga to students with concerns about low bone density and pelvic health. In her classes, she weaves in all of the information she is learning to create a really unique yoga practice. 

 

In this interview, Barb shares more about low bone density, osteopenia and osteoarthritis, who it can affect, and what she discovered in her own research. She explains some of the strength practices she has found to be effective for her and talks about the importance of rest in bone health. Find out how we can teach yoga in a way that is safe for these students and in a way that doesn’t promote fear around movement, but instead offers ways to strengthen.

 

Key Takeaways:

[3:22] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Barb Elias.

[6:42] How did Barb get into studying bone health and yoga?

[8:51] What did it feel like for Barb when she was diagnosed with low bone density?

[11:48] What did Barb discover in her research about movement, bone density, and how yoga could support her in this.

[17:17] What are some of the contributing factors for Barb's condition with low bone density?

[19:57] What are some strength practices that Barb has found to be effective that do not involve going to the gym?

[26:22] Shannon pops in with a quick message about creating a membership and how OfferingTree can support you in that.

[29:23] Why is rest important to bone health?

[33:33] What kind of progress did Barb see in the work she was doing personally to improve bone health?

[36:52] Barb shares some surprising statistics about common bone health diagnoses and how that has changed how she leads her classes.

[43:53] What are some changes Barb makes when doing a forward fold?

[47:12] What is Barb's advice to people who have been diagnosed with osteoporosis and think they shouldn't move out of fear of causing a microfracture?

[49:54] Find out more about Barb's work and connect with her via her website and check out some of the resources she mentioned .

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"The way our bodies process and use calcium relates to the energy cycle, to our breath. Every single time we take a breath, we use calcium. Calcium is part of the whole breathing complex."

 

"Parties that have strong muscles have strong bones because muscles or what reminds the bones to build and grow and remodel."

 

"The stronger I get in my body, The stronger I feel emotionally."

 

"Coming into menopause because of the changes in our hormones, for women especially, the degree of loss can really ramp up, up to 8% of our bones a year."

 

May 2, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

270: Hypermobility & Yoga with Libby Hinsley

 

Description:

The yoga we see in magazines and online often depict a contortionist style of yoga and it can give people the idea that only flexible people can or should do yoga. But what comes first – are more flexible people drawn to yoga or does yoga make us more flexible? Where does hypermobility come into all of this? Libby Hinsley answers these questions and more.

 

Libby Hinsley (she/her) is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Certified Yoga Therapist. She has extensive experience with yoga and physical therapy and in her clinical practice, she specializes in treating hypermobility disorgers and yoga-related injuries. Libby also teaches about anatomy in her membership program, Anatomy Bites. Recently diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Libby has a new book coming out on the topic called Yoga for Bendy People.

 

In this interview, Libby explains more about hypermobility and how it can affect people with this condition. She also shares why people with hypermobility often have tight muscles, how they can benefit from yoga, and some steps they might take to recognize if they have this condition and get it diagnosed. Libby gives yoga teachers some tips on being mindful of their verbal cues and some other things to be aware of with regard to hypermobility in a yoga class.

 

Key Takeaways:

[4:02] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Libby Hinsley.

[6:40] What does Libby do and who does she do it for?

[8:19] What is hypermobility?

[10:02] Libby was diagnosed with hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. She explains what it is and how it differs from Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder.

[12:08] What are Libby's thoughts on the idea that bendy people should do yoga?

[13:54] Flexibility and hypermobility are two different terms that are often used interchangeably.

[15:31] Why do people with hypermobility often have tight muscles?

[19:40] Shannon and Libby discuss the common message people with hypermobility get around needing to strengthen their muscles.

[21:18] What should people who might be hypermobile do? Libby describes some of the common symptoms people might face with hypermobility.

[25:24] The prevalence of hypermobility may be around 20% of the population and this number may be overrepresented in yoga.

[29:16] Shannon shares some feedback from a yoga teacher who is using OfferingTree for her website.

[32:01] Libby shares some of the main aspects of her book on what yoga teachers should be aware of in working with hypermobile people.

[38:44] How does Libby approach her clients dealing with hypermobility to convince them to change the way they practice?

[41:10] What are some things Libby has learned in the process of writing the book that she wishes more people knew?

[47:45] Shannon reflects on what could be happening in yoga classes with very bendy people.

[49:33] Libby's book also helps people reflect on what our verbal cues are encouraging or emphasizing.

[50:37] Find out more about Libby, her work, and order her book via her website.

[52:05] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this interview with Libby.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"What we consider it means to be good at yoga is very much tied to an aesthetic that glorifies hypermobility and it's a problem."

 

"Everything about yoga so commonly pushes people to go as far as they can in a posture as if that's the goal and that is not going to be helpful for a hyper mobile person."

 

“Let's make the practice about the practitioner. Instead of trying to push this practitioner into this certain type of practice, let's just build a practice that is actually for this person, that's about this person and that really supports that person."

 

"Momentum is easy. That's not a problem. It's the control that's hard."

 

"I remind people your yoga practice is actually for you and that usually really kind of wakes people up a bit like, oh, you mean this isn't a performance for someone else."

 

Apr 25, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

269: Yoga Philosophy & Colonialism with Shyam Ranganathan

 

Description:

As yoga teachers, we learn a little bit about yoga philosophy in our YTTs, but yoga philosophy is much more than just the 8 limbs, or the brief summary we may have come across in our studies. Dr. Shyam Ranganathan (he/him) is an expert in yoga philosophy and in this episode, he shares more about this topic, as well as how colonialism has influenced what we understand as yoga philosophy.

 

Dr. Shyam Ranganathan is the founder of Yoga Philosophy, and a field-changing researcher on the study and translation of philosophy, especially South Asian philosophy and Yoga. He holds an MA in South Asian Studies, and an MA and PhD in philosophy, and is a member of the Department of Philosophy, and York Center for Asian Research, York University, Toronto. Shyam is a translator of the Yoga Sūtra, and founded his organization, Yoga Philosophy, to provide support for those interested in answering the question - What makes something yoga?

 

Shyam explains how learning about philosophy helps us to get along and why not all opinions are equally good or right. He also shares more about how Europeans misunderstood things when they studied the communities they colonized and how that showed up in the yoga sutras and how they are translated. This continues to influence how yoga is taught and practiced in the world, today, especially in the West. He also gives us insight about the yamas and social justice, choices and responsibility, ahimsa, dharma, self-governing and Ishvara Pranidhana. This is a really rich conversation that all of us can learn from.

 

Key Takeaways:

[3:48] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Shyam Ranganathan.

[6:45] Shyam shares his pronouns and explains how to pronounce his name.

[7:36] What does Shyam do and who does he do it for?

[8:46] What got Shyam interested in the work of studying philosophy?

[10:48] Shyam was born in Toronto, yet felt that he didn't fit in. He talks a bit about that experience.

[13:00] Shyam believes that philosophy enabled him to get along with people without having to agree with them.

[15:06] There are several polarizing issues in the world right now. Shyam highlights the fact that just because we are okay with disagreement doesn't mean there are no right answers.

[16:07] Where did Shyam's journey with yoga philosophy start?

[22:14] Shyam clarifies the role and impact of colonization in the interpretation of yoga sutras.

[31:49] Shyam shares an example of the two different ways of relating to what you contemplate.

[37:00] Shannon and Shyam discuss the linguistic model of thought and how that has influenced different situations and scenarios in history and in the present day.

[40:26] Why is it not yoga when we go in and try to make other people conform to our systems?

[44:08] How does the idea of choice and responsibility connect to the eight limbs?

[49:18] Shannon gives a shout out to OfferingTree.

[51:04] One of the three kriyas is ishvara pranidhana. Shyam unpacks what this really refers to.

[56:10] What are the other two kriyas?

[58:43] How is yoga connected to social justice? What do the niyamas have to do with social justice?

[64:48Shyam explains that fear is trauma and it's the result of a bad decision based on people's experiences.

[67:41] Where do the eight limbs of yoga fit in?

[72:21] What does Shyam mean when he talks about sovereignty?

[76:51] Find out more about Shyam and his work around yoga philosophy on his website.

[77:29] What is something in terms of yoga and philosophy that really has Shyam's interest right now?

[80:00] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this interview with Shyam. What were yours?

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"What I loved about philosophy immediately was that it was a way to get along with people without having to agree."

 

"Just because we're okay with disagreement doesn't mean that there are no right answers. Disagreement doesn't mean that everybody's opinion is equally good."

 

"The actual practice of yoga is something more basic and the eight limbs are there to help you practice. "

 

"After that colonial moment, people have to identify with imposed religious identities in order to find a place in a colonized world and that's where we are today."

 

"Whereas the external world (nature) can be explained in terms of causality, persons have to understand themselves in terms of choice and responsibility."

 

"When you meet up with people who advocate violence, you have to appreciate that that's a result of trauma."

 

"There's no yoga practice that isn't informed by trauma."

 

Apr 18, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

268: Yoga for Survivors of Sexual Assault with Nikki Adams

 

Description:

Content Warning: This episode contains mentions of sexual violence and may be upsetting for some listeners.

 

Sexual abuse is a huge crisis around the world, directly impacting a significant portion of the global population, and more broadly speaking, affecting everyone. Nikki Adams is on the podcast to share with us more about this topic and how yoga, particularly trauma informed yoga, can be an option and entry point for healing for survivors.

 

Nikki is a trauma-informed yoga teacher, and owner of Beauty for Ashes Wellness Cultivation. She helps survivors of childhood sexual abuse empower themselves to trust love and heal their bodies. Through wellness and yoga, Nikki creates an inspirational, safe space for survivors to naturally breakthrough the stigma of childhood sexual abuse. She draws on her own personal experiences and the healing techniques that have helped her in her healing journey to help others.

 

Nikki shares how yoga helped her as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and explains why all yoga teachers (and humans) need to be trauma-informed. She also offers advice on what poses help and what ones may be triggering, how to hold space with compassion for everyone, why giving choices and the language we use is so important, and how we can re-assessing our yoga spaces from a trauma-informed lens.

 

If you have ever taught a yoga class for humans, this episode is for you, because we have all experienced some form of trauma in our lives.

 

Key Takeaways:

[4:31] Content Warning: This episode contains mentions of sexual violence and may be upsetting for some listeners.

[5:04] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Nikki Adams.

[7:30] Shannon gives thanks to OfferingTree for sponsoring the podcast and shares about a new article they posted!

[11:24] What does Nikki do and who does she do it for?

[11:44] How did Nikki realize that yoga fits really well in helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse?

[14:20] Nikki firmly believes that every yoga teacher should be trauma informed.  What is the importance of that?

[16:00] How can yoga teachers respond if a student tells them that they are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse? What should they know in that moment?

[18:28] How does yoga help survivors of sexual abuse or trauma?

[20:35] What has Nikki learned through her work with survivors and using yoga as a way to heal?

[22:21] How did Nikki decide that she wanted to focus on serving survivors?

[25:50] How can survivors start to find healing through yoga?

[28:34] What does Nikki wish all yoga teachers understood?

[30:56] How can we hold space for the people coming into our yoga classes?

[32:07] How does Nikki work with groups of survivors and what does that look like?

[36:58] Find out more about Nikki and her work on Instagram and via her website.

[38:32] Shannon reflects on her conversation with Nikki.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"Being able to not have to speak about what happened to me and being able to process through my body - It was very important, a very important part of my healing journey and I wanted to share that with other survivors."

 

"Healing and starting the healing journey through yoga is possible."

 

"Start with yourselves. We've all been through something and maybe starting to use more gentle cues and think about how you want to be treated… Show yourself grace, show yourself compassion so that it can come out into your class."

 

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