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The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Helping yoga teachers to stay connected to information, entrepreneur advice and a community of supportive yoga teachers and professionals.
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Now displaying: July, 2023
Jul 31, 2023

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

335: Black Lives Matter is Yoga with Danielle Tridenti

 

Description:

Black Lives Matter (BLM) was formed ten years ago, and while many people jumped on the bandwagon and pledged their support for the cause a few years ago in light of the murder of George Floyd, it seems like BLM is getting “less popular”. It is important to continue this conversation about BLM and explore how it relates to yoga. Danielle Tridenti shares their experience in showing up as an ally for the cause.

 

Danielle is a facilitator of yoga, an embodiment coach, and an equity + inclusion group facilitator/consultant, who believes that cellular and personal change informs and affects institutional, collective, and cultural change. They have over 5000 hours of training in yoga, somatics, trauma informed care, anti-racism, equity + inclusion, as well as 20 years of experience in teaching and group facilitation, and 10 years as a mental health clinician and social worker. Currently, Danielle offers individual and group experiences, education/training, coaching, and consulting centered around embodying equity, LGTBQIA2S+ affirmation and inclusion, and solidarity with a trauma informed, intersectional, anti-racist, anti-patriarchal, and anti-oppression framework to individuals and organizations.

 

Recently, a student in Danielle’s class asked Danielle to remove their BLM shirt. Danielle shares more about how they handled that situation with the student and the studio they were teaching at, as well as their thoughts on why yoga is political. Danielle also explains why BLM and showing up as an ally is part of yoga. And discusses privilege, creating “safe spaces” in yoga, and how ahimsa (non-violence) ties into all of this.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:39] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Danielle Tridenti.

[8:12] What does Danielle do and who do they do it for?

[11:17] Recently, a yoga student attending Danielle's class asked them to remove their Black Lives Matter t-shirt. Danielle recounts the experience.

[16:21] How did Danielle follow up after the incident? What kind of reaction did the studio she was teaching at have after this incident?

[19:57] Why is Black Lives Matter yoga?

[26:47] What is Danielle's reaction to people who complain about how these discussions always feel "in your face" or that we are still having these conversations.

[34:34] Shannon pops in with a shout out of thanks to sponsor, OfferingTree

[37:01] What are some of the actions that people can take to support Black Lives Matter and create a world that is equal and just?

[43:01] What are some other resources yoga teachers can use to get educated and learn more about this topic?

[48:39] Learn more from Danielle by connecting with them on Instagram.

[49:28] Shannon shares some of her key takeaways from this conversation with Danielle.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"It's not my [Black Lives Matter] shirt that was making her uncomfortable, right? It was her beliefs that were causing this discomfort."

 

"The bigger issue is exercising your white supremacy and your racism."

 

"I believe that in teaching, I can leverage my privilege and practice co-conspiratorship and take a stand and take risks for folks who are historically erased and marginalized and oppressed and invisible and killed."

 

"Picking what you want and leaving what you don't - that's very privileged too."

 

"The bottom line is, if any of us are harmed, we're all harmed. We're all impacted. This is not a passive practice. It's an active practice."

 

"People who have marginalized identities can't just leave the oppression behind. It's just not possible."

 

Jul 24, 2023

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

334: Many Shades of Brown in Yoga with Anjali Rao

 

Description:

Conversations around race and identity in yoga, especially South Asian identities and the experience of South Asians in the West, tend to be uncomfortable. However, it is still important to give voice to the South Asian experience in yoga and to also talk about how yoga has been shaped by colonialism, capitalism and the Western interpretation of yoga as well as caste, religion, and race. Anjali Rao shares her insights about her experience of being brown in modern yoga.

 

Anjali is a South Asian yoga educator and practitioner who explores histories obscured by patriarchal and colonial narratives. She integrates yoga history and philosophy with storytelling, imagery, and poetry.

 

Anjali highlights that our identity is composed of different parts, which is why it’s important for discussions of this topic to be nuanced. She also emphasizes that South Asians are not a monolith and that our lived experience is influenced by our different identities. Anjali provides a summary of the history of yoga, and provides her perspective on how we can embody ahimsa, what social justice has to do with yoga, and much more.

 

Key Takeaways:

[6:03] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Anjali Rao.

[10:17] What is the work that Anjali does and who does she do it for?

[12:41] What are yoga teachers missing in the story of how yoga got to be where it is now?

[18:23] What is Anjali's response to people who try to counter bringing attention to our different identities by saying that we are all humans walking this earth and we are all yoga teachers?

[20:59] What makes being a brown yoga teacher so difficult and complex right now?

[25:36] Anjali shares her perspective on why it's okay to say "namaste" at the end of a yoga class.

[28:02] Shannon pops in to share a short anecdote of how OfferingTree has helped her to schedule guests on the podcast.

[30:09] How can yoga teachers start doing the work so that they are not simply doing certain actions as a token gesture but rather going deeper than that?

[36:14] Anjali shares a brief summary of the history of yoga.

[42:34] How did yoga end up in the West in the way that it is shared today? Anjali talks a little about colonialism and the other factors that led to shaping the practice of yoga in the west.

[49:16] Shannon and Anjali discuss how we have lost a lot of the essence of yoga in our modern yoga studios.

[52:50] What are some baby steps people can take to do this work of liberation and opposing harmful systems?

[57:54] Anjali invites us to start normalizing saying we don't know something or that we made a mistake.

[60:08] Learn more from Anjali via her podcast.

[62:37] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"I think the nuances of who we are are lost in the dominant narrative of yoga."

 

"We don't have to shout out in that sense, but we have to know who we are and come from that space of self awareness and discernment."

 

"We're all human beings, but we have completely lived different lived experiences."

 

"We are really not tapping into the potential of yoga, not only for ourselves, but for really creating a community of compassionate, courageous people who can speak against harmful oppressive systems."

 

"There is so much potential in yoga as a practice of liberation, not only for the self, but for the collective."

Jul 17, 2023

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

333: Does Yoga Lineage Matter? with Kim Weeks

 

Description:

Many of us have learned, practiced, and taught yoga for years, but we are often unaware of our yoga lineage. What exactly is yoga lineage and why does it matter? Should we be teaching yoga without understanding the history of that lineage of yoga? How can we be more mindful of this in teaching yoga and communicating it with our yoga students? Kim Weeks shares her insights.

 

Kim has over 20 years of teaching, training, running businesses, and consulting in the yoga and mindfulness industry. In 2019, Kim began working closely with Dr. Sat Bir S. Khalsa, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School to create The Yoga Lineage Series for Yoga Alliance. Today, she continues that work on her podcast The Weeks Well podcast, which is about the modern practice of being your best self in your mind, breath, body, and brain.

 

Kim shares more about her yoga journey that led her to the work she does today, why knowing the origins of our yoga lineages is so important, and how to go about learning about our yoga lineages. She also shares her insights around the fear of discussing this topic and why it’s important to keep having these conversations.

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:41] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Kim Weeks

[6:06] Shannon shares a little about the yoga lineage she did her first yoga teacher training course in and some of her feelings around it.

[10:30] What does Kim do and who does she do it for?

[12:28] Was it scary for Kim to start her work around yoga lineages? She explains how she got started doing this work.

[20:37] Kim shares another reason why she wasn't afraid to start sharing about yoga lineages.

[22:41] Understanding yoga lineage is key to embracing the practice as a discipline sustainably over time.

[24:03] Kim shares some of her insights about the power dynamic in yoga contributing to fear around this topic.

[32:13] Shannon pops in with a shout out to Crunch's new  offering.

[37:10] Why is Kim so passionate about people knowing their yoga lineage? Why does it matter if it's all yoga?

[46:38] How can yoga teachers find out about their yoga lineage?

[50:28] It can be uncomfortable when you start researching and discover the abuses of power that may have existed in your lineage of yoga. How can yoga teachers approach these conversations?

[60:04] Learn more about the yoga lineages from the series that Kim did for Yoga Alliance (paywalled), as well as from Kim's website and podcast.

[72:11] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Kim.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"There's a lot of aspects of modern yoga that aren't sustainable over time because there's some super harmful things that have gotten kind of absorbed down through the patriarchy."

 

"[What] you might be also getting at when you ask about the fear, ...is the power dynamics and the abuses that have flowed through so many of these lineages."

 

"Lineage matters because it's like a map."

Jul 10, 2023

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

332: 5 Pillars of Powerful Teaching with Sheri Fisher & Lori Holden

 

Description:

Yoga teachers are often seeking ways to feel more comfortable, confident, and effective in their work teaching and as yoga professionals. Sheri Fisher and Lori Holden share the five pillars of powerful teaching to help us become better yoga teachers and professionals.

 

Sheri is an experienced yoga teacher who helps yoga teachers build confidence to bridge the gap between their Yoga Teacher Training and teaching extraordinary classes with ease and grace. Through professional coaching and group facilitation, she helps executives build their leadership bench, promote teamwork, and develop strategic plans to meet their organization’s mission. Lori has been practicing yoga since 2007 and is a connoisseur of truly inspiring yoga teachers. Lori is an adoption coach and expert in the complexities of adoption. She applies the principles of yoga in parenting her own two young adults (one with special needs), a lifelong journey that requires balance, flexibility, strength, and stability, and helps others to do the same.

 

Sheri and Lori share more about their new book Standing Room Only: How to be THAT Yoga Teacher, The 5 Pillars of Powerful Teaching from the Root to Rise Yoga Teaching Method. The book focuses on how to connect with your authentic inner teacher through Communication, Character, Connection, Commitment, and Consideration and Sheri and Lori share more about each of these pillars.

 

Two lucky podcast listeners will also get to win a copy of the book, so be sure to listen till the end to find out how to enter the draw!

 

Key Takeaways:

[2:14] Shannon introduces her guests for this episode - Sheri Fisher and Lori Holden.

[6:43] What is the work that Sheri does and who does she do it for?

[8:08] What does Lori do and who does she do it for?

[9:41] Does being a powerful teacher have to do with your personality and who you are as a person, or is it something that can be changed? What is some pushback Sheri has encountered on that?

[11:01] How does Lori see these five elements apply to other aspects of life beyond yoga teaching?

[14:14] The first pillar of powerful teaching is communication. How can yoga teachers improve our communication?

[17:13] It is so important to have compassion for yourself when you make mistakes, because that is how we learn.

[18:57] The second pillar of powerful teaching is character. How does this show up?

[23:57] The third pillar of powerful teaching is connection and it is like the heart of the five pillars. Sheri explains more.

[25:57] As someone who attends yoga classes, Lori shares her perspective on the importance of connection.

[27:35] What are some tips Lori and Sheri have for bringing people back for the practice?

[28:27] Shannon pops in to share a phone conversation she had this week.

[32:27] The fourth pillar of powerful teaching is commitment.

[35:57] Part of the commitment piece is also your commitment to marketing and selling your services as a yoga teacher.

[41:17] The last pillar of powerful teaching is consideration.

[45:59] What is some feedback Lori and Sheri have received about the book and were there any surprises for them in doing the research for it?

[49:24] Get your copy of the book via the website RootToRiseYogis.com.

[50:10] Enter the draw to win one of two copies of the book!

[51:17] Learn more and connect with Sheri and Lori via their websites and social media pages.

[52:42] Shannon shares some of her big takeaways from this conversation with Lori and Sheri.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"We all come with our own gifts and our own experiences and then ... it's up to us with how we pull all that together and express that as yoga teachers." - Sheri

 

"Am I showing up with my own confidence, with my own gifts, with my own awareness? That's when you become that yoga teacher. And that's what's magnetic." - Lori

 

"Character is the one that’s taking the class beyond just an exercise class and creating a yoga experience." - Sheri

 

"Our teaching becomes an expression of who we are and where we are on our yoga journey." - Sheri

 

"It's not sales, it's being helpful." - Sheri

 

Jul 3, 2023

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

331: Exploring Nature Through Asana with Alison Zak

 

Description:

Spending time in nature can be a part of your yoga practice, but how can you find a deeper connection to nature through asana? Alison Zak is passionate about this topic and joins Shannon in this episode to share her perspective on how we can understand, respect, and learn from nature through our yoga practice.

 

Alison is an author, yoga teacher, wildlife conservationist, and (a self-described) animal. She loves to encourage her students to find connection with themselves, their fellow human and beyond-human beings, and with nature through yoga.

 

Alison shares how we can use our yoga practice to honor nature and connect with other beings and why it is so important to seek connection with other animals. She also shares a little more about how we can take inspiration from nature for our yoga teaching and personal practice. Alison offers some practical advice for finding your authentic teaching voice and also has a special surprise for one lucky podcast listener!

 

Key Takeaways:

[0:00] There's a book giveaway in this episode!

[0:48] Shannon gives a shout out to sponsor, OfferingTree.

[3:44] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Alison Zak.

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

[9:14] Why is it important to bring in the connection between yoga and nature and animals? What benefits does it offer?

[13:16] Many people experience fear or cognitive dissonance when dealing with different animals. Alison shares an example.

[14:49] Alison gives some examples of how she thinks about and reflects on different animals while doing her own yoga practice.

[18:28] What are Alison's reflections on pigeon pose?

[22:44] How does Alison find that connection to animals in her yoga?

[26:45] Not everyone has the same access to nature to observe animals and wildlife. What does Alison recommend in those situations?

[30:39] Shannon has some news from the team at OfferingTree.

[32:11] What inspired Alison to share the book and who is it geared towards?

[35:18] What are some events Alison put together to promote the book?

[36:19] Some people may feel hesitant about making animal noises. Why is that, and how can we work with that?

[44:00] What was the most enlightening or hardest thing for Alison about writing a book?

[48:42] Alison is giving one of her books away to a podcast listener!

[49:20] What is one thing Alison wishes yoga teachers knew about connecting more with nature?

[50:02] Stay in touch with Alison via social media or her website.

[51:11] Shannon shares her biggest takeaway from this conversation with Alison.

 

Links:

 

Gratitude to our Sponsor, OfferingTree.

 

Quotes from this episode:

"How many hundreds or thousands of times have yoga practitioners and teachers practiced cobra pose? So many. But rarely ever [do they] think about the animal that it's named after."

 

"We can just get curious about what that animal's life is like and how they perceive the world. And then, that is the thing that helps us to just realize how connected we are to other beings."

 

"I hope that that connection that we feel with other animals through a yoga practice, for example, leads to treating them with more compassion in our interactions with real live animals that we share the planet with."

 

"Writing is a really healing process."

 

"I will go back to the importance of knowing that we are also animals. We're not separate from the pigeon or the cobra or the scorpion. When we connect with these other animals, we are connecting with ourselves because we're all interconnected."

 

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