The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Jul 4, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

279: Bowel Health and Yoga with Shannon Crow 



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!




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



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.




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



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.




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



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.



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



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.




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



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.




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



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!




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



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.




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



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 .




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



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.




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



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?




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



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.




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."


Apr 11, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

267: Thoughts on Belly Breathing with Shannon Crow



As human beings, we are always learning new information. Sometimes, this new information conflicts with our current beliefs or knowledge, so we need to be willing to dig in and explore this - and if we are wrong, to admit it and change our beliefs. This happened to Shannon Crow (she/her) with belly breathing.


You may have learned about the benefits of belly breathing in yoga class or yoga teacher training or even taught it to your students. However, it may not be the best practice for everyone. In this episode, Shannon reflects on how she came to change her views on belly breathing and how she now teaches breath to her students instead. She shares her own experiences as a yoga teacher and a yoga practitioner from what she has learned and then unlearned. If you have ever taught breathing in a yoga class, this episode is for you. 


Key Takeaways:

[3:14] Shannon introduces her topic for this episode and why she was inspired to share about it.

[4:58] Shannon shares a little about an upcoming online workshop she is hosting with OfferingTree.

[6:39] Shannon learned about belly breathing in yoga classes and in yoga teacher training. Eventually, she realized that what she knew or believed about belly breathing may not be correct.

[8:54] The more research Shannon did into belly breathing, the worse she felt for teaching it the way she was. She reflects on how she felt at that time.

[10:04] What happens when we take a breath? Where does the breath begin?

[13:24] What do we really mean when we say belly breathing?

[15:38] Some things associated with belly breathing can put additional pressure on the pelvic floor, and this may not be desirable for some people.

[20:46] We are always going to be learning new information, and as yoga teachers, we need to explore how we can move with grace to explain to our students why we have shifted certain things we teach.

[23:28] What are your thoughts on belly breathing? Share them with Shannon!


Chart that shows what happens when we breathe:





Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"The more research I did into this, the worst I felt for teaching the way I was teaching belly breathing."


"Something that we all need to embrace as yoga teachers is that we are responsible for how we're guiding our students."


"As long as I continue to listen and learn and grow as a human, I'm on the right track."

Apr 4, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

266: Social Location, Power & Privilege with Raudhah Rahman



What is social location and what does it have to do with teaching yoga? Many of us don’t often think about our identities, how they intersect, and how they afford us privilege and shape our life experiences. In this episode, we learn more from Raudhah Rahman (she/her) about social location and how it is relevant to yoga teachers.


Raudhah Rahman describes herself as connecting people with their voices whether that's through web design, teacher training or a yoga class. As a yoga teacher, Raudhah practices disruption as a way of creating conditionas of wellness for all of us. She is a self-taught website designer whose business, Wellness + Websites, was born after she lost her job as a yoga studio assistant because of the pandemic. Her main focus is providing websites & branding services to folks who want to embrace all of their identities and share their value driven work with others.


Raudhah explains what social location is, and where we use this as yoga teachers. She also shares more about the importance of recognizing and questioning our privilege and the responsibility we have when we hold privilege. From a yoga philosophy lens, Raudhah sheds light on how the 8 limbs of yoga intersect with social location, how we can deal with mistakes when we make them, and continue to learn and grow.


Key Takeaways:

[3:46] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Raudhah Rahman.

[7:21] Shannon gives a shout out to OfferingTree and to one of the podcast listeners.

[11:19] What does Raudhah do and who does she do it for? She shares her social location and how that led to the work that she does.

[16:27] What is social location?

[18:24] How does social location come into the yoga world and how can yoga teachers use it?

[24:26] What are Raudhah's thoughts on the pushback people sometimes have on discussing privilege or specific identities?

[30:59] What are some different identities we can think about when considering our social location?

[34:59] Citizenship is another element of the social location wheel that can play into a person's experience of the world.

[37:50] Shannon and Raudhah explore this idea of fighting for privilege vs. fighting for freedom.

[40:56] How can yoga teachers share these ideas or start to look at incorporating this into their messaging? It's not as simple as tacking on something to your website.

[46:16] Some of this work can feel shocking as we learn about things we didn't know but it is important to do. What are some tips that can help make this practice easier?

[54:34] What's the difference between being called in and someone just lashing out? How can we handle both?

[59:41] What are some other things that Raudhah wishes people knew about social location?

[63:00] Shannon chats with Raudhah about how she can ask podcast guests to introduce themselves with their social location.

[65:46] Shannon reflects on her takeaways from this conversation with Raudhah.




Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.


Quotes from this episode:

"Social location is a practice used to reflect on the groups you belong to because of your place of position and history and society." - Raudhah, quoting Michelle Johnson


[21:38] "If I don't begin to question that privilege that I have, because I've internalized it as normal, I may not realize the harm that I'm doing by normalizing certain actions I've taken or normalizing the actions that institutions have taken that marginalize those further away from power."


[23:45 - 23:53] "I think personal power really comes from disrupting the identities we've internalized."


[26:40 - 26:44] "Are we fighting for privilege? Or are we fighting for freedom?" - Raudhah quoting Alok


[49:49 - 50:00] "The way to practice is to start. And when you start, give yourself grace and start small."


Mar 28, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

265: Teach LGBTQIA+ Inclusive Yoga with Gabi Parkham 



We all want our yoga classes to be welcoming places for everybody, but sometimes, we unintentionally make some people feel excluded or unwelcome. One of those groups of people is the LGBTQIA+ community. Gabi Parkham shares how we can teach LGBTQIA+ inclusive yoga and create safer yoga spaces.


Gabi was born in Brighton (UK) and started practicing yoga during early childhood. She is passionate about finding equity and justice through yoga, consent in all aspects, and sharing yoga free from assumptions. Alongside teaching yoga, Gabi is an LGBTQIA+ equity educator and consultant helping yoga teachers and studios to make their classes more welcoming for the LGBTQIA+ community. Gabi runs regular online workshops about LGBTQIA+ "inclusion" and a 6 month online course for LGBTQIA+ yoga teachers to come together in community, learn from one another, and support each other. Gabi also co-founded Laviot, a social and supportive community LGBT+ Jewish non-binary people and women.


In this interview, Gabi explains what LGBTQIA+ means, the importance of sharing pronouns, and why creating spaces for this community is important. Gabi shares more about why it’s so important to get educated, then teach like there is a trans or non-binary person in your class all the time, and how to include that in marketing your classes. This is all part of a lifelong learning journey, and the work is always ongoing. Learn more about how to start creating safer, braver, and more inclusive spaces for LGBTQIA+ folks in your yoga class in this episode.


Key Takeaways:

[3:15] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Gabi Parkham.

[7:28] Shannon gives a shout out to OfferingTree.

[12:43] Gabi introduces herself and gives her social location.

[15:22] What does Gabi do and who does she do it for?

[19:16] Why is it important for yoga teachers to have LGBTQIA+ awareness?

[23:30] How does Gabi handle conversations about setting limits on offerings dedicated to LGBTQIA+ people?

[25:02] What does LGBTQIA+ stand for?

[27:07] Gabi isn't too keen on this wording. She explains why.

[28:29] How can we center the voices and experiences of people who have historically been marginalized?

[30:35] Shannon and Gabi explore what the world could be like if cisgender and/or heterosexual people took the time to explore their own gender and sexual identity and expression.

[33:40] What are Gabi's thoughts on pronouns?

[38:23] How can yoga teachers make it evident that they've been doing the work to learn about creating safer spaces for people in the LGBTQIA+ community?

[43:18] Gabi shares some examples of language that we can use and some steps we can take to make spaces more welcoming.

[49:15] Gabi and Shannon discuss a little about the use of masculine and feminine in the yoga setting, and why it's so important to be clear about what we mean with certain words we use.

[54:21] Gabi shares some final thoughts around creating braver and safer yoga spaces.

[57:01] Where can yoga teachers learn more from Gabi or other resources?

[60:44] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this interview.



Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.


Quotes from this episode:

"We want our classes to be welcoming and inclusive and as safe as possible."


"What I really would rather do is shift the focus and center the marginalized voices center the people who have been historically marginalized and minority sized"


"Learning about other people's experiences is a great place to start."


"Start teaching your class as if there is always a queer person, a trans person, a non-binary person in the room"


"Again, it's not easy, it's really hard to change this language and it takes practice and time and you will mess up and that's okay."


"Just because that's their intention doesn't mean that people inherently feel safe coming in."


Mar 21, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

264: Solve the Problem for Your Students with Danait Berhe



As a yoga teacher, do you think of yourself as a problem solver? In fact, our yoga offerings are solving a problem for our students, and we need to talk about what problem we’re solving to attract our dream students! In this episode with Danait Berhe, learn more about why it’s important to talk about the problems you solve, and how it ties in with your messaging.


Danait is the founder and messaging strategist of The Asmara Agency. With her award-winning full-service agency, Danait helps mission-driven companies craft compelling business, brand, and messaging strategies. She brings a unique perspective to her clients, integrating her background in analytical research, marketing, and branding to help her clients soar their profit and their impact. The Asmara Agency is also committed to making sure that more women, especially Black women, enter the world of entrepreneurship and not only survive, but build brands they can leverage as an asset in order to build + create generational wealth.


Yoga teachers are often hesitant to talk about problems in their messaging, but Danait explains how you can do so with empathy instead of agitation, and without having to resort to sleazy sales tactics. She shares how we can think about our yoga offerings as solving problems for people, the importance of finding a niche and getting specific about who you help and how, and more.


If you’ve been struggling with getting clarity on your message, this interview with Danait is a must-listen!


Key Takeaways:

[2:38] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Danait Berhe

[8:27] Shannon and Danait share a little about the sponsor, OfferingTree, and how they got connected because of it!

[10:04] What does Danait do and who does she do it for?

[11:20] What do people most often struggle with when they try to create their website or share their message in some way?

[14:39] A lot of yoga teachers don't want to focus on the problem. How does Danait address that?

[21:31] Shannon shares an exciting message from OfferingTree.

[23:06] How can yoga teachers talk about the problem they solve in an authentic way, without seeming to be poking the problem more?

[28:36] What can yoga teachers do if they are struggling with their message? Danait has three questions to ask yourself to get clear on your message.

[35:47] You have to keep sharing over and over again, not just once and be done with it.

[39:54 - 39:54] Asking questions and getting to know your audience is a great way to get content ideas, but also to find people.

[40:58] The length of time it takes for someone to decide to buy something from you depends on the price of the offer.

[41:30] A quick message from Allison from the Yoga Teacher Conf.

[43:29] Timing is everything when it comes to promoting and selling an offer.

[46:45] What are some things that might make the process easier for yoga teachers who are putting together their website?

[53:29] It's important to get extremely specific with what you do and who you help, and why.

[56:40] What is your approach to yoga? Talking about your process helps to build trust.

[59:35] Danait helps a live listener get clear on her message.

[63:33] Find out more about Danait's work on Instagram or check out her website.

[65:48] Messaging is something that is always evolving and changing. That's normal.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Yoga Teacher Conf.


Quotes from this episode:

"Pricing can be solved by determining what is the problem we're solving and then how, how big of a problem is it for someone to pay and what are they willing to pay for that."


"What things do they need to know for them to be able to see that I am at the solution to that problem?"


"I believe that there is an empathetic approach to being able to solve problems without necessarily poking at the problem."


"We just want to call attention to the problem and then paint the picture of what's possible for them."


Mar 14, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

263: Optimizing Your YouTube Videos with Victoria Levitan



Are you using YouTube as a way to get people to sign up for your offerings? YouTube is a powerful search engine, and with the right strategy, you could be growing your audience, getting new students, and really leveraging this platform to increase your visibility. Youtube and Video Coach Victoria Levitan tells us all about how to set up and optimize YouTube videos for your yoga business.


Victoria has over 4 years of video marketing experience, and currently teaches small business owners how to create videos, use Youtube to grow their business, and what to say on camera so that it converts their viewers. She aspires to help people film videos that cultivate human connection and stand out with ease.


Victoria explains why yoga teachers should be on YouTube, and how to get started -  beginning with how to set up your own channel on YouTube! She also shares tips on setting up lighting, what to include in the video description, and how to get people to go from watching your video to signing up for your offering. Victoria has some advice on including a call to action in your videos, and promoting the video after you’ve created it! 


If you are new to YouTube and have been wondering how it could fit into your marketing strategy, or are looking to jump back into creating optimized videos on YouTube, this episode is made for you!


Key Takeaways:

[3:53] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Victoria Levitan.

[8:38] Shannon gives a shout out to the sponsor, OfferingTree.

[9:49] What does Victoria do and who does she do it for?

[10:32] What would Victoria say to someone just starting out with YouTube?

[12:12] Why is YouTube  a powerful tool for yoga teachers to try to get students?

[14:47] How can yoga teachers start their YouTube channel? Victoria walks us through the steps.

[16:59] What are some lighting options for yoga teachers when natural lighting is not an option?

[19:34] What is Victoria's recommendation for the video description on YouTube? What is most important there?

[21:33] What are Victoria's tips for having good audio?

[21:55] What does Victoria think that yoga teachers could be doing to really get people to watch their Youtube video and then sign up for a paid offering?

[24:09] How often should you be talking about your paid offerings on YouTube?

[24:50] What are some calls to action that Victoria finds to be effective in building a business?

[26:04] What other things convert people from watching a free YouTube video to signing up for something?

[27:41] When recording a video, is it better to record on Zoom and upload it to YouTube or record directly in YouTube?

[28:37] Setting up a YouTube channel and figuring out the tech of recording, editing, and uploading videos can be really overwhelming. What are some of Victoria's tips for people who are just starting out?

[30:45] What is Victoria's preferred editor for editing videos?

[31:51] Victoria shares more tips on getting people to move from watching the video to signing up for something.

[33:20] How can yoga teachers figure out what keywords to use in their YouTube videos?

[33:57] How important is it to put a legal disclaimer in a YouTube video, especially when leading movement and breath?

[35:16] How often does Victoria end up copying part of her video description for each video?

[36:11] What should yoga teachers know about artwork for YouTube?

[37:48] How can yoga teachers check to see what's working with their videos on YouTube?

[39:19] How important is it to regularly put out content on YouTube?

[40:11] Shannon and Victoria discuss batch filming and scheduling as an option to get consistent with creating content for YouTube.

[41:26] How long should YouTube videos be?

[42:53] Shannon shares about the upcoming Yoga Teacher Conf. There's also going to be a virtual option!

[44:24] What are Victoria's suggestions for music that can be used in YouTube videos?

[45:27] How can yoga teachers create a paywall on YouTube so only certain students can see our videos?

[47:51] How can yoga teachers get more views on YouTube videos?

[51:45] How should yoga teachers think about their YouTube strategy?

[55:17] How can you get your YouTube channel monetized?

[57:21] Victoria shares some final tips for people feeling like putting out videos regularly is a challenge.

[59:14] How do YouTube ads work?

[60:43] Find out more about Victoria and her work at her website.

[61:37] Shannon reflects on how The Connected Yoga Teacher Channel has grown in the last few years.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Yoga Teacher Conf.


Quotes from this episode:

"From a more strategic level, YouTube ultimately is a search engine...uploading to YouTube is going to help grow your search engine optimization. "


"You want to start with a call to action at the beginning section of your video."


"You should promote your videos more than once because it goes back to that repetition. People need to hear it or see it a couple of times before they realize, oh, I should probably check this out."


"I think people really enjoy and resonate sometimes with the less polished versions of videos."


"You have to look at Youtube and video in a way that will work for your business."


"We've got to fully optimize what you already have created and give your audience the time to take action on it."


Mar 7, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

262: Run a Successful Yoga Membership with Allie Van Fossen



How can yoga teachers successfully leverage the membership model in their business? In this episode, Shannon chats with Allie Van Fossen about how she built and grew her membership to 1000 members, and what it really takes to manage a membership fo that size.


Allie leads the Body Mind Soul Studio, an online yoga studio that helps people leverage a holistic yoga practice to create transformation in their lives, both on & off the mat. Her mission is to empower yoga students with on-the-mat tools so they can confidently lead an off-the-mat wholesome, fulfilling life. At Body Mind Soul Studio, Allisson offers quarterly courses, weekly live events, and a variety of yoga classes and teachings, all via a yoga membership program.


Allie shares the nitty-gritty details about what it really means to run a yoga membership. She candidly shares about the challenges in her latest launch and how she dealt with them, as well as her strategy to retain members. Allie explains how she uses YouTube as her main marketing platform, and gives us some great tips on what elements to include in our membership program, and how to decide what to charge.


If you've been thinking about starting a membership or if you have a membership and are thinking about how to improve it, this interview with Allie Van Fossen is going to help you along this journey.


Key Takeaways:

[3:17] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Allie Van Fossen.

[6:20] Did you know that OfferingTree makes it really easy to set up membership sites? Shannon gives a shout out to sponsor OfferingTree.

[9:11] What does Allie do and who does she do it for?

[10:20] Allie has a large following on YouTube, as well as a large membership. What was the process like building these platforms?

[14:15] Allie shares some of the things she loves about YouTube.

[17:08] For many yoga teachers, YouTube may feel like more of a challenge than Instagram. For Allie, it's the opposite.

[18:51] What is Allie's membership like?

[21:34] What do Allie's members have access to within the membership?

[25:35] For many yoga teachers teaching online right now, sign ups are lower than they have been for the past couple of years.

[27:07] The Yoga Teacher Conf is coming up soon, 22-24 April in Denver, Colorado. Shannon shares some details about the event.

[29:07] Allie recently had a launch that didn't go as planned. What happened and what was that like?

[33:48] What were some of the reasons why Allie's most recent launch saw only 50% of the usual rates?

[35:32] From a different perspective, people are also in an in-between zone and may not be emotionally in the right place.

[38:46] The third thing that contributed to Allie's disappointing launch was a collection of smaller factors.

[41:02] Allie's next launch is coming up in spring, and she's prepared for it.

[44:27] What does Allie's team do to help retention in the membership?

[51:39] Allie shares some of her tips for starting a membership.

[54:00] What is Allie's advice for people who are new to the idea of having a membership?

[59:34] Find out more about Allie and the work she does by visiting her website.

[62:41] Shannon shares her key takeaway from this interview with Allie.



Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Yoga Teacher Conf.


Quotes from this episode:

“YouTube is the primary traffic source that feeds our other revenue streams and I love it."


"It's been a massive learning lesson and ... being an entrepreneur, just putting yourself out there, letting yourself be seen and heard and be so visible, really requires you to go through your own metamorphosis."


"I started the membership really out of that desire to go deeper with my community."


"You can spend a lot of money getting people in the door, but then if they all leave just as quickly, you've got this really broken, leaky system."


"People say they want one thing, but they actually need something else."


"I'm finally embracing that entrepreneurship is experimentation and it can be joyous and fun, even when you've got tens of thousands of dollars invested."


"Go inward, connect with what has worked for you and been most moving for your own yoga journey as a student and let that be your springboard for creativity."

Feb 28, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

261: How to Grow Your Network with Allison Rissel 



You might have heard the saying ‘your network is your net worth’, and there’s no denying that building your network is important as a yoga business owner - both to get new students, and to deal with feelings of loneliness and isolation. But it can feel like a challenge to grow your network, if you’re in a new community, or in the virtual space, or even just because you’re introverted. Allison Rissel has just the tips on how you can grow your network in this episode.


Allison is the founder of the Yoga Teacher Conf, the ONLY conference just for yoga teachers. The Yoga Teacher Conf helps elevate, educate and inspire yoga teachers around the globe through affordable continuing education, community support and connection. Allison is passionate about helping yoga teachers become professional and powerful leaders, and you can really see this in all the work that she does to help bring yoga teachers together, as well as her work as an event planner for yoga teachers.


Whether you’ve recently moved and are wondering how to get a job teaching yoga in a new town, or perhaps you want to meet other yoga teachers or studio owners and grow your online network - Allison shares so many great tips and tricks in this interview. She also talks about how to manage the discomfort that can arise from being in a new social setting, and how to build meaningful connections online. Tune in to find out more!


Key Takeaways:

[4:51] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Allison Rissel.

[10:08] What does Allison do and who does she do it for?

[11:22] What was Allison's first reaction when Shannon said she wanted to interview her about networking?

[13:07] What is Allison's advice for people who may be feeling like connecting with others is not that easy?

[16:50] For many people, even those who love connecting with others, being in a new social setting can feel uncomfortable. How does Allison deal with that discomfort?

[21:28] Allison shares a little about the Yoga Teacher Conf, happening April 22 to 24 in Denver, CO.

[24:28] How can getting caught up in the details of going to the event impact us at an event?

[26:28] What are some of the measures in place at the Yoga Teacher Conf to ensure the safety of event attendees?

[30:25] How can yoga teachers build their networks at events like these?

[32:47] Shannon is doing a whole-day workshop with Amanda McKinney at the Yoga Teacher Conf.

[34:25] What are Allison's tips for yoga teachers who are looking for ways to network online?

[38:55] Shannon shares how she has connected with people on social media just by asking a simple question.

[40:46] Shannon and Allison discuss some options for finding your biz bestie.

[42:57] Allison shares some of her tips for yoga teachers who are in a new town and are looking to connect with people in their own community.

[46:25] Shannon and Allison chat about what their experience at the Yoga Teacher Conf is going to be like.

[47:48] Shannon is curious about how introverts feel at networking events and how they deal with it.

[49:50] Allison shares some details about the pricing and rates to attend Yoga Teacher Conf.

[51:08] Shannon reflects on her takeaways from this conversation with Allison.


Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Yoga Teacher Conf.


Quotes from this episode:

"Over the last year, what I've learned is actually [my network] is so intrinsic to everything I do."


"The best way to break the ice is to give a compliment."


"Often we think of networking as promoting ourselves and that's not what it is at all. Networking is about building a relationship, it's about listening to the other person, learning about them, and then telling them briefly maybe about yourself and finding ways that you can work together."


"Most people want to just genuinely connect with someone."


"I think we've all realized that we actually need to build online networks."


"Often I think of social media as talking at people but we can actually still really listen on social media."


Feb 21, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

260: I Feel so Alone as a Yoga Teacher with Shannon Crow



As a yoga teacher, do you feel alone or isolated? If you do, remember that you are not alone in this experience – and that there are ways to counter this loneliness and isolation. In this episode, Shannon Crow (she/her) shares more about her own experience feeling alone as a yoga teacher, as well as how she managed to overcome these feelings.


Shannon Crow is the Founder of Pelvic Health Professionals, as well as the host of The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast and community, which is celebrating its fifth year of podcasting this episode. Shannon became a yoga teacher in 2006, and she shared what it was like for her as a new yoga teacher losing that sense of community she had experienced during her Yoga Teacher Training. Shannon shares some of the common reasons why yoga teachers may feel isolated in their career, as well as helpful tips to deal with these causes of isolation. As someone who has built and nurtured a supportive community of over 11,000 yoga teachers, Shannon also shares her tips on how to find or create such a community for yourself.


This episode is perfect for anyone who has struggled with feeling alone as a yoga teacher, and will surely help you find and build a supportive community for yourself.


Key Takeaways:

[2:51] The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast is celebrating 5 years of podcasting with this episode!

[4:48] Being a yoga teacher can feel very isolating, and it's normal to feel alone!

[8:36] Shannon reflects on her experience when she became a yoga teacher in 2006.

[11:23] Shannon gives a shout out to Offering Tree, sponsor of The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast.

[13:35] Why does it feel so isolating to be a yoga teacher?

[15:51] The key to dealing with "competition" from other yoga teachers is to find your niche and specialize to serve a select group of people.

[16:36] Another reason why yoga teachers can feel isolated is imposter syndrome.

[18:59] Being a yoga teacher can be isolating because it is mostly solitary work, especially since the pandemic began. That's why finding or creating a community is so important.

[23:53] Having a supportive community around you can also help promote each other in the work you do and lift each other up.

[28:16] How can we form connections with others and grow our network?

[31:41] What happens when yoga teachers don't have a supportive community around them?

[33:09] Where can we find these communities?

[35:44] Shannon shares some of her tips for creating a community and strengthening a community you are a part of.

[41:49] What are your thoughts around building community?




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Yoga Teacher Conf.


Quotes from this episode:

"The next time that you go to sign up for a yoga teacher training, [ask yourself]: Are you doing it because you need the knowledge and the skills and the information or are you doing it because you want to be back in with community?"


"All of us at some point experienced imposter syndrome, even if it's just for a short moment when we go to put a workshop or a course together and we think, ‘oh my gosh, who am I to teach this?’."


Alone a youth runs fast, with an elder slow, but together they go far. - Luo Proverb


"Don't reinvent the wheel. Look at other communities for inspiration."


"What's the big ‘why’ for your group that makes it unique?"


Feb 16, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

BONUS: Yoga Teacher Conf April 2022 with Allison Rissel



The Yoga Teacher Conf is happening 22nd April to 24th April, 2022, in Denver, Colorado! It's an in-person conference with over 40 different classes over the three days. There are also pre-conference workshops and other activities lined up to help elevate, educate and inspire yoga teachers from all around the country. 


In this bonus episode, Shannon chats with Allison Rissel, organizer of the Yoga Teacher Conf to get more details about the event. Allison shares more about the activity line up, rates, and what's included in the ticket price, as well as the different themes planned for the conference. There will also be pre-conference workshops for people who are traveling in early, or who want to learn more about a particular topic, including a workshop Shannon is hosting with Amanda McKinney - Scattered to Clarity Workshop: Setting Your Business Goals for 2022. Early bird registration ends on March 4th, so get your tickets soon to enjoy the early bird rates!


See you at Yoga Teacher Conf!




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree.


Feb 14, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

259: Yoga in Schools with Crunch Ranjani


Should yoga be taught in schools? Recently an Alabama law banned yoga in schools and, inspired by a discussion in our Facebook group, our team member and resident writer Crunch Ranjani (she/her) wrote a fantastic article exploring all the elements of this debate. In this episode, she talks all about her process in creating the article, her research and her personal experience as a South Asian born to a Hindu family.

Crunch  is a content creator for purpose-driven health and wellness professionals. She believes that we need more diversity, equity, and inclusion in our communities - so she loves working with business owners who do too. She helps them create valuable content that makes a positive impact in the world so that they have more time and energy to create change in their communities. 

Crunch helps us to understand all the elements of the conversation around yoga and religion, including whether Sanskrit is a religious language, the connection between Hinduism and yoga, and why dividing out parts of yoga to make them more palatable to a white audience is harmful. 

This is an open and honest conversation about cultural appropriation, the importance of having these discussions as yoga teachers and of understanding how our actions can be harmful to the tradition of yoga, and to the South Asian yoga teachers and students in our communities. 

If you have wanted to learn more about cultural appropriation in yoga, or if you are new to this conversation and want to understand more, this is a great episode to understand the nuances of this important topic.


Key Takeaways:

[4:45] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Crunch Ranjani.

[8:37] What is the work that Crunch does, and who does she do it for?

[10:04] What did it feel like to write an article on yoga in schools? 

[11:39] Is the ban on yoga in Alabama schools still in place, and why is it there? 

[12:55] What highlights about yoga in religion came up during Crunch’s research?

[13:34] Crunch explains some of the links between Hinduism and yoga.

[15:45] When this thread was posted in our Facebook group, there was a lot of discussion around why Yoga might be connected to Hinduism, and understanding more about how cultural appropriation has worked. Crunch talks more about that. 

[18:32] Shannon pops in with some ways that our sponsor OfferingTree can help support your yoga business, especially with time zones and Zoom links. 

[20:28] One of the things that was put forward in the Alabama bill was to allow yoga in schools but to ban using Sanskrit. How did Crunch feel about that? 

[21:01] Crunch shares which other languages are connected to religions and why it feels like a double standard.  

[22:12] Is there a separation between church and state in all US states or just Alabama? 

[25:41] Why is it that yoga is not allowed? Is it based in fear and if so, why?

[28:10] If we allow some parts of yoga to be taught, could that be seen as progress? [32:55] Crunch explains why separating out parts of the practice of yoga is harmful. 

[34:57] Why could the practice of gifting statues of Hindu or Deities as part of our yoga practice also be harmful? 

[36:08] Crunch shares a great analogy on how we can and do change behavior when someone feels harmed or hurt by our actions. 

[37:24] Shannon pops in with a quick message from Allison of the Yoga Teacher Conf to hear more about the social justice sessions that are taking place at the Conf. 

[39:13] How does Crunch feel about the article now it is out in the world and what would she like readers to take from it?

[40:02] Please leave comments below the article, beneath this podcast episode or in the Facebook group to share your takeaways on this topic. 

[40:48] To find out more about Crunch’s work, or to hire her, you can find her through her website, or message or follow Crunch on Instagram.


“It seemed to be that a lot of people were conflating yoga with religion because it has historically Hindu roots.” Crunch Ranjani 


“The whole idea that Alabama is legislating certain aspects of what parts of yoga are ok in schools, and what parts are not, is what is really problematic about this whole bill.” Crunch Ranjani 


“To me, it seems really strange that you can say that a language is religious or not religious, because to me language is a way to communicate with people, it is not necessarily religious in and of itself.”  Crunch Ranjani 


“This is not progress, it is a form of cultural appropriation.” Crunch Ranjani 


“If you are not sharing yoga in all of it’s forms, why are you even calling it yoga?”  Crunch Ranjani 


“Who does this law benefit, and who does it harm?” Crunch Ranjani 


“Should we not consider this pain and this harm over the benefits that white people will get from practicing a simplified version of yoga?” Crunch Ranjani 


“Maybe it is worth questioning personally, for anyone that feels that fear -  what exactly are you afraid of?” Crunch Ranjani 


Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Yoga Teacher Conf


Feb 7, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

258: What Does Science Say About Yoga?



We all know about the benefits of yoga, but maybe we’ve wondered about the science behind it all. In this episode, Dr. Mary Flaherty shares the knowledge she has gained from reading thousands of research papers about the effectiveness of yoga, answering the question – Does yoga work?


Mary is a psychologist, researcher, academic and yoga teacher, and the author of Does Yoga Work: Answers from Science. Mary has been teaching yoga for over 20 years, and practicing for many more. With almost 40 years of academic and research experience working in universities in Australia, Japan, U.K., Ireland, and Singapore, Mary’s parallel interests in yoga and science come together in this book which answers some of our most common questions in an easy-to-understand way.


Mary shares some of the salient pieces of information that have come up in her research, including what science has to say about inversions during menstruation, yoga and fertility, the measurable impact of yoga on individuals, societies, and communities, and more. Mary also elaborates on the importance of having a healthy skepticism, and bringing an open and critical mind to any research or information shared about yoga.


This is a great interview for anyone who has ever wondered whether yoga has been backed up by scientific studies!


Key Takeaways:

[4:25] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Mary Flaherty.

[5:41] Shannon is giving away three copies of Mary's book, Does Yoga Work?

[8:01] What is the work that Mary does and who does she do it for?

[10:10] What was Mary's inspiration for writing the book Does Yoga Work?

[11:39] What is the overall answer to the question "does yoga work?".

[16:52] Mary talks about her experience sifting through thousands of research papers and also reading through meta studies.

[18:13] Defining yoga is difficult, but the research seems to point to the fact that yoga that integrates different elements (like pranayama and meditation) is consistently superior to yoga that focuses solely on asana.

[20:38] Shannon pops in with a quick message from Allison of the Yoga Teacher Conf about staying up to date with professional development for yoga teachers.

[22:20] How can we develop a healthy skepticism?

[23:34] Mary highlights two interesting pieces of information she came across in her research relating to inversions during menstruation and yoga's impact on fertility.

[26:59] It's important to learn from different sources, and keep an open mind.

[29:35] There are some aspects of yoga that science isn't able to measure yet, such as the subtle body, spiritual experiences, and self fulfillment.

[34:37] Shannon gives a shout out to Offering Tree's amazing customer support team!

[36:15] Mary wrote her book to be really accessible and digestible for the average person.

[40:16] Mary shares more about her experience writing the book.

[46:23] Get Mary's book and find out more about her work via her website.

[51:43] Leave a comment on the show notes page to stand a chance to win a copy of Mary's book!

[53:26] If you would like to learn more from Mary, join the Pelvic Health Professionals membership site!




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Yoga Teacher Conf.


Quotes from this episode:

"The way that the research was presented, it wasn't just tests on psychological measures ...subjective measures, but also physiological measures like at the molecular level, at a cellular level, we could see changes in hormones, all towards the positive."


"Scientific research shows that yoga is not just good for us as individuals, but at a broader level for society."


"The thing that I found running through a lot of studies was that the sense of community that yoga created was wonderful."


“In terms of effectiveness from the scientific research, when pranayama and meditation are integrated with the asana practice, the effect was much much more superior. "


"We should question the science. We should question everything. Science is just one way to know the truth."


"Knowing about the science behind yoga gives us more confidence when we talk to students."


Jan 31, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

257: Meet OfferingTree with Alex & Eddie



OfferingTree is a company that is dedicated to helping yoga teachers build their yoga business and supporting them as they grow and serve more people. An all-in-one platform which provides a website, scheduling, payment processing, email marketing, online video / course hosting, memberships/packages and more, OfferingTree also shares monthly educational webinars, a weekly blog with extensive tips and resources, and other training opportunities. In this episode, Shannon chats with Eddie Arpin and Alex Haley, two of the co-founders of OfferingTree.


Eddie is the CEO of OfferingTree and works on a little bit of every part of the business. His background is in engineering, and has a passion for staying physically and mindfully fit. Alex is one of the co-founders of OfferingTree, and also teaches meditation retreats at meditation centers throughout the United States. His background is in law, business, and the wellness industry. Alex knows first-hand the complexity and struggles of professionals within the health and wellness industry, particularly around the overwhelm of managing a business while being present for his clients. 


Eddie and Alex share more about how OfferingTree was born out of discussions about the challenges health and wellness professionals face in running their business. They also talk about some of OfferingTree’s guiding principles, why collaborating and communicating with their users is so important, and how OfferingTree is set to grow in the future. Tune in to find out more about this amazing company and how they’re supporting yoga teachers in their businesses online.


Key Takeaways:

[5:50] Shannon shares a little about OfferingTree, the sponsor of this episode, and introduces her guests, Eddie Arpin and Alex Haley.

[9:16] How did Alex and Eddie come together to start OfferingTree?

[11:00] OfferingTree was born from a problem Alex was having at a yoga studio he worked at.

[12:26] What else were Eddie and Alex juggling in terms of OfferingTree?

[15:05] Alex and Eddie are trying to grow the OfferingTree community. How are they going about that?

[17:32] Part of how the OfferingTree community has grown is through partnerships.

[20:04] What were some situations when the obstacles in their way seemed too much?

[24:54] Alex shares more about the vision he had for OfferingTree before it was created.

[27:38] How has Eddie's initial vision for OfferingTree changed with the reality of what has been happening?

[29:54] If you are thinking about signing up for OfferingTree, Shannon has a discount code for you!

[31:40] OfferingTree also provides its audience with educational content. Alex explains why they decided to include this.

[34:43] What are some of the features that are in the works for OfferingTree?

[37:25] Listeners - Leave a comment about what features you'd like to see from OfferingTree, or reach out to the OfferingTree team directly!

[38:35] Alex and Eddie reflect on their experience working with so many yoga teachers and share something that has surprised them.

[42:59] Allison from the Yoga Teacher Conf has a message to share with you.

[44:19] Eddie shares a bit about how the OfferingTree team is growing.

[48:04] Shannon shares some closing thoughts.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Yoga Teacher Conf.


Quotes from this episode:

"We thought we could make their lives a lot easier and kind of decrease the burnout with OfferingTree, so that was sort of the main focus for the software." - Eddie


"We are perfectly imperfect. We are always a work in progress and I really like to remind myself that the origin story for OfferingTree is so connected to how we operate." - Alex


"We understand that so much of practice, life, and work is relational." - Alex

"Creating that sense of community has helped us tremendously and it's something that was maybe a little bit surprising, but we're reflecting back on it, [and] we're just really grateful for it." - Eddie


"How do we look at ourselves and how do we value our efforts and energy and our time?" - Alex


"It's the founding team right there at" - Alex

Jan 24, 2022

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

256: Switching to a Rental Studio Model with Tammy Fulton



Your yoga business can change over time, but making shifts in business can be scary and challenging - and also rewarding. In this episode, Tammy Fulton shares more about her experience making two big shifts in her yoga studio business, and how that has impacted her, her business, teachers at her studio, and their students.


Tammy has been doing yoga since 1997, and is currently the owner of Yoga Sublime Studio and the Sublime School of Yoga. Her studio is housed in a building over 100 years old that she and her husband purchased 6 years ago. Tammy is a E-RYT 200 registered yoga teacher and Continuing Education Provider (YACEP) with Yoga Alliance. She currently teaches Meditation, Gentle Flow, Restorative, Hatha & Yin Yoga with a focus on yoga and meditation for stress reduction & healthy aging, as well as co-leads a RYT 200 Teacher Training at her studio.


Tammy made the decision to shift to a rental model for her yoga studio at the start of the pandemic. She reflects on why she had to make the shift in her business and her process of sharing this change with teachers and clients at the studio. Tammy also transitioned from class passes to registered sessions. These two changes have made a huge difference for Tammy in her life and business, and she shares how the changes have positively impacted teachers and students at the studio as well.


Key Takeaways:

[6:02] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Tammy Fulton

[9:15] Shannon gives a shout out to OfferingTree.

[10:58] Tammy reflects on her conversation with Shannon in March 2020.

[12:40] Tammy shares a bit about her journey to starting a yoga studio and her studio model at that time.

[15:20] What made Tammy decide to switch to a rental model for her studio?

[16:48] How did Tammy approach the conversation with her yoga teachers around the change?

[19:14] How does Tammy feel about how the switch has played out for her yoga business?

[20:19] Tammy also transitioned to a registered series format for her classes and this has produced many benefits for her, her teachers, and the students.

[21:29] What is the system Tammy currently has in place for her rental model?

[23:10] How has this shift impacted Tammy's income, now that she doesn't have to market for other teachers at her studio?

[25:32] What are some things Tammy learned along the way in making the switch to the rental model?

[27:16] Now that Tammy is running a rental model for the studio, how are things for her in terms of workload?

[29:25] What is a baby step Tammy recommends for yoga teachers looking to create more balance in their life?

[32:26] Did Tammy face any pushback from students at the studio when she implemented the changes?

[34:13] What does Tammy have in mind for her future as a yoga teacher?

[35:22] Find out more about Tammy and the classes she has to offer by visiting her website.

[35:43] Shannon shares her takeaways from this interview with Tammy.

[38:10] Shannon is offering a new group program. Get the details in the link below.



Gratitude to our Sponsor, Offering Tree.


Quotes from this episode:


"I almost had to grieve this decision myself first before I could go to my teachers." - Tammy


"We feel that our students are more committed, that they're getting more out of [the classes] because they are committing." - Tammy


"I know that any income I make isn't subsidizing anything else." - Tammy


"Switching to that rental model made all the difference. Everyone was then generating more income with less headaches." - Shannon


“That's the kind of student I want. Somebody who values what I do and is prepared to pay." - Tammy

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