The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Jun 10, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

374: Teaching Yoga to Busy Parents with Naomi Gottlieb-Miller



How can busy parents find time for yoga in the midst of all the things they are juggling? How can yoga teachers make yoga more accessible to parents who are facing time scarcity? Naomi Gottlieb-Miller shares how her yoga practice changed when she became a parent and how she now uses this knowledge to share yoga with other parents.


Naomi is a mover, a maker, and a mom of 3 kids. She has been teaching yoga and movement since 2005 and is known for classes that are creative, playful, and strong. Naomi specializes in teaching short classes that pack a punch, making sure you can easily squeeze your daily movement into whatever pockets in your day you happen to have. On her website, Naomi offers classes that are 5 to 30 minutes to ensure busy parents (and anyone else short of time) can incorporate movement into their day, no matter what.


Naomi opens up about how her yoga practice changed drastically when she became a parent, and how that inspired her to teach much shorter classes online which can be just as good or even better than longer yoga classes! She shares how she has found success in her yoga business offering shorter classes, and highlights the importance of removing barriers that keep people from coming to yoga. Shannon and Naomi also discuss how we don’t all have the same amount of time, the high expectations we put on ourselves as parents and as yoga teachers, the double standards society sometimes puts on parents, and more.


Whether you are a parent who struggles to find time for your movement practice on top of your hectic schedule or you work with parents who tell you they don’t have time for yoga, this is a great episode.


Key Takeaways:

[0:37] Shannon introduces the topic for this episode - yoga and parenthood.

[3:43] This episode is sponsored by OfferingTree, Summer Biz Camp, and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[7:20] Claire Holloway, a member of Pelvic Health Professionals, shares a little about her experience in the membership.

[10:11] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Naomi Gottlieb-Miller.

[12:26] What does Naomi do and who does she do it for?

[18:15] Shannon reflects on her own parenting journey and how time felt scarce for her when her children were young.

[20:42] It can be hard for moms or parents to shake off societal expectations.

[26:39] What is Naomi's advice to yoga teachers who are struggling to find time for their own practice, and what can that self-practice look like?

[32:21] Naomi offers a 5-minute practice for an entire month.

[34:06] Taking away expectations and limiting your daily practice can make it feel more accessible.

[34:38] Shannon pops in to share a little about OfferingTree.

[36:09] What is one thing a busy parent or parent with an overstimulated nervous system could do to get started?

[40:04] What are some of Naomi's recommendations for people who are feeling low on energy and need motivation?

[46:07] How does Naomi charge for her classes, considering that they are relatively short?

[49:13] Naomi highlights that longer classes can be a barrier for many parents who simply don't have the time or resources to make that commitment.

[52:21] Shannon and Naomi discuss why people might feel hesitant about shorter classes.

[58:28] Get in touch with Naomi and learn more from her via her website and social media channels.

[59:32] Shannon reflects on how Naomi has been showing up and speaking up for peace in these difficult times, and her own process of dealing with grief after witnessing horrific news from Gaza.

[66:14] Shannon shares some details of upcoming calls inside Pelvic Health Professionals.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree, Summer Biz Camp, and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"Whatever I am doing for myself to move is good. It does not have to be 60 minutes or 30 minutes or even 10 minutes. It can be really short. And if that makes my body feel good, that is enough."


"Another thing that can be so hard actually, is that if our expectations for our practice are really high, ...we're never going to get anything done."


"Why are we putting value judgments on the length of time?"


"Your home practice does not need to look like the classes that you teach. Your home practice should look like what you need."


"We just need to reframe what we think is necessary for both home practice and what we teach."


"Motivation is fickle."


"We want to assign so much more power to yoga and to movement because we want things to be miracle fixes."


"I don't necessarily think that a 15-minute practice means that you're rushing things."


May 27, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

373: Yoga Philosophy for Parenthood with Claire Holloway



How can yoga philosophy support people in their parenthood or caregiving journey? Are the ancient yogic teachings still applicable to modern life? Claire Holloway shares insights about how we can tap into the wisdom of yoga philosophy to guide our actions as we navigate this phase of life.


Claire is the founder of The Centre of Bright Beginnings. She offers yoga, corrective exercise, and educational support for those embarking upon or moving through the journey of matresence – conception, pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting. Her work supports not only those identifying as mothers but also parents, caregivers, and parents-to-be. She studies and shares yoga through the lens of her personal experiences of becoming and being a mother.


In this episode, Claire reflects on her own postpartum journey and the challenges she faced that led her to do the work she does now. She breaks down how we can apply the teachings of ancient yoga philosophy to life today as parents, and shares practical tips on integrating yoga philosophy into our day-to-day activities. Claire also shares how we can moderate our energy as parents when so much of it goes to our children, how to avoid comparing ourselves with the “perfect parents” on social media, the many decisions that are connected to parenting and birthing, and more.


This is such a rich discussion for anyone who is a parent, future parent, caregiver, or if you support or know parents in your life.


Key Takeaways:

[0:06] This episode is about how yoga philosophy can support you as a parent or in some other capacity as a caregiver.

[3:41] This episode is sponsored by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals - and Shannon has some big news about Pelvic Health Professionals.

[9:11] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Claire Holloway.

[13:25] What is the work that Claire does and who does she do it for?

[17:02] What was Claire's postpartum journey like and what inspired her to focus on this time with parents?

[21:44] Things have changed a lot since yoga philosophy was written. How does it still apply to parenting today?

[25:44] How does Claire start to bring in yoga philosophy when talking to brand new parents?

[30:57] With social media, it is easy to compare ourselves to others and feel like we're not living a perfect life or being perfect parents. Shannon and Claire discuss how yoga philosophy can support us in those times.

[37:22] What other parts of yoga philosophy have supported Claire in her own parenting journey?

[41:09] What are some of the challenges new parents are facing now?

[48:15] Shannon and Claire discuss tapas and how that can show up in parenting.

[50:52] Birth trauma can be a big part of the parenting experience. How does Claire help people navigate that?

[55:46] Many new parents deal with a sense of isolation, even more so when they feel they are not living up to societal ideals. Claire speaks a little to this point.

[57:27] Learn more about Claire and her work via her website.

[61:03] Shannon reflects on her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Claire.

[62:47] Shannon shares some of the upcoming calls inside Pelvic Health Professionals, as well as how things are changing with the membership.

[67:12] Link - Shulamit episode

[68:18] Link - Claire's post



Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"It's just highlighting that there never is pro-balance and that we can stop beating ourselves up for not actually achieving much... Even that simple awareness can bring more compassion to ourselves. "


"The more out of control things feel, the more we cling to whatever we feel that we can control."


"One of the really underlying themes is about um taking the right action as opposed to stopping and not acting because of the fear."


"Yoga is about the opposite of that, about coming back from separation and isolation towards connection and community and unity."


May 13, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

372: Grow a Private Yoga Business with Dominique Gauthier 



Wondering how you can teach more one-on-one yoga? Curious if it is possible to turn 1:1 yoga classes into a full time business? Teaching yoga 1:1 and growing a yoga business teaching private yoga classes is not something that is covered in yoga teacher trainings but is so important! Dominique Gauthier shares how she has built a successful yoga business with 1:1; sessions.


Dominique is a highly skilled and passionate yoga teacher, personal trainer, core & pelvic floor specialist. She is the owner of Body Mind Fitness based in London (Lambeth) Ontario. Dominique is dedicated to helping clients of all ages and fitness levels achieve their health and wellness goals, with a comprehensive approach to fitness that focuses on building strength, increasing flexibility, and improving overall health and well-being. She is a certified Core and Pelvic Floor Specialist, helping clients overcome common issues related to core and pelvic floor dysfunction, and works with clients in-person and virtually in private sessions and personalized small group classes for clients all over the world.


Dominique explains how she is able to make a living teaching only yoga. She shares how she advertises online to get new students, what her schedule is like, and how she teaches both in-person and online private yoga. Dominique also highlights how she managed the transition and why moving from teaching group classes to private yoga is not a quick shift. If you’ve been wanting to add more 1:1 yoga classes to your schedule, this episode is for you.


Key Takeaways:

[0:06] Shannon introduces her topic for this episode - teaching 1:1 yoga.

[3:58] Shannon introduces herself and gives a shout out to the podcast sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[8:42] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Dominique Gauthier.

[12:27] What does Dominique do and who does she do it for?

[15:28] Dominique shares more about how teaching one-on-one yoga is her main source of income.

[17:04] What was Dominique's process of marketing when she made the transition from teaching group classes to focusing on 1:1 classes?

[21:43] Dominique still offers consultation calls to potential students who might be interested in her services.

[24:24] Does Dominique teach 1:1 online or in person?

[24:48] Dominique explains how she structures working with 1:1 student, from the time they book a consultation call.

[27:38] If you're looking for an all-in-one software option, OfferingTree is the solution!

[30:36] Shannon and Dominique discuss the pricing of her 1:1 classes.

[31:11] What is Dominique's advice for a yoga teacher who is looking to make the switch to teaching more 1:1 yoga in their business?

[34:23] Dominique and Shannon share some inspiring anecdotes about why they do they work that they do.

[36:15] How does Dominique manage scheduling her 1:1 yoga sessions?

[39:21] There are ebbs and flows and busy periods and slow periods, even with teaching 1:1 yoga. Dominique reflects on how she manages these ups and downs in her yoga business.

[41:03] Find out more about Dominique and her work at her website and on social media.

[42:23] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Dominique.

[44:58] Shannon shares a review from a member of Pelvic Health Professionals.

[46:52] Check out the upcoming live calls in Pelvic Health Professionals.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"I really shied away from the idea of talking about 1 to 1 services and possibly part of that was a little bit of imposter syndrome."


"I find that especially as an entrepreneur, people want to know who you are as a person and that way they might trust you."


"For the most part, I try to give them that face-to-face, putting a face to a name. And I think it shows that you're going the extra mile for them."

Apr 29, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

371: Organizing a Yoga Retreat with Checka Antifonario



Have you thought about hosting a yoga retreat for a day, a week-end or longer? Retreats are a great way for yoga teachers to provide a new, more immersive experience to their students but planning and executing a yoga retreat can be challenging. Checka Antifonario shares her thoughts as an experienced retreat planner and host. 


Checka Antifonario is the founder of Yogaway, and she has been guiding yoga and mindfulness classes, workshops and retreats since 2008. She is deeply committed to maintaining a welcoming, inclusive, and grounded space for practice and community. When Checka is not teaching near home or online through her digital platform Anyday Yogaway, she journeys throughout the United States and abroad, leading weekend and week-long retreats. Checka also supports yoga teachers through her mentorship program for new or evolving Yoga teachers, as well as an in-depth retreat planner training. Off of the mat, she is passionate about being in nature and spending time with her dogs, goats and family!


Checka shares insights about the fundamentals of planning and organizing a yoga retreat. She gives tips on how to choose a venue for the retreat, the ideal group size, and things to consider when pricing the retreat. Checka also offers an insider view of how to organize a retreat schedule as well as how to build community among the participants of the retreat. If you have been contemplating hosting a retreat but aren’t sure how to get started, this episode is for you.


Key Takeaways:

[3:23] This episode is made possible by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[5:25] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Checka Antifonario.

[9:54] What does Checka do and who does she do it for?

[12:06] What is step 1 when it comes to planning a retreat?

[16:19] What are some tips Checka would give to a yoga teacher who needs to clarify their driving force for hosting a retreat?

[20:10] How long should a retreat be, especially for the first retreat that you host?

[23:42] What are some elements we might consider when planning the retreat schedule?

[27:07] What kind of group size should we be aiming for? What should the ratio of leaders or teachers to people attending the retreat be like?\

[30:09] Shannon pops in with a quick tip about how OfferingTree can support you in hosting retreats in your community or around the world!

[32:12] Checka and Shannon discuss pricing for retreats. There can be a big difference in costs between hosting your retreat at a retreat center vs self-hosting a retreat!\

[38:07] Checka shares some of her experience in terms of managing logistics, coordinating with retreat centers, and handling insurance.

[40:41] What are some hiccups that we could run into while planning and hosting a retreat?

[46:30] How can we form community and connections while we are on a retreat?

[52:14] Learn more about hosting yoga retreats from Checka by connecting with her via her website or on social media.

[53:04] Checka shares some final thoughts for yoga teachers who are feeling inspired to plan a retreat.

[55:36] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Checka about hosting retreats.

[59:00] Shannon shares a review about the yoga series with Tyler Arnason in Pelvic Health Professionals.

[60:18] Check out all the different yoga series available in Pelvic Health Professionals with a free month of membership!

[62:27] Shannon shares some final reflections about yoga and social justice.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"Just finding your own most authentic way toward building community because that's really the foundational piece that will make offering and running retreats so much less intimidating [and] a little smoother when you get to that process."


"What is your mission with the retreat?"


"Where I'm going to pour my passion and love and energy is where things are going to thrive, and with retreats, I think that's really, really true."


"Group size is very important because I do believe it affects the dynamic of things quite a bit."

Apr 15, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

370: Is Email Marketing Dead? with Meg Sangimino



Many of us are struggling with overflowing email inboxes and receive ever more emails daily. In this context, is email marketing still a relevant tool that can help your yoga business? How can yoga teachers use email marketing effectively? Meg Sangimino some insights.


Meg Sangimino is a yoga teacher and business expert. Her expertise is in helping wellness professionals implement sustainable business strategies. With a background in project engineering and a passion for wellness, Meg is your go-to for implementing essential (and efficient) systems that underlie a business that nourishes, supports, and fulfills the lifestyle that you want without spinning your wheels on social media or having constant technology headaches.


If you don’t already have an email list, you may be wondering where to start. Meg shares tips for effective lead magnets and freebies, and explains why email marketing doesn’t have to be cringe-inducing. She also gives some ideas about what to email your list, suggestions on how often to email them, and trends when it comes to effective email marketing for yoga teachers.


Key Takeaways:

[3:16] This episode is sponsored by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[5:10] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Meg Sangimino.

[9:39] What does Meg do and who does she do it for?

[10:18] Why do people cringe when they think about email marketing?

[11:20] There is a lot of value in the content yoga teachers create to market themselves, and sometimes they may not realize that.

[13:25] People go to social media for a different purpose than their email inboxes.

[15:55] How can yoga teachers get started with email marketing?

[19:23] If you have a freebie or lead magnet and nobody is signing up for your list, you could have two problems: 1) nobody is seeing it, 2) nobody wants it.

[23:11] Do not be discouraged if you put something out and it doesn't get the response you hope for!

[24:47] Shannon reflects on the freebies she has in her own business.

[25:15] You may get people who unsubscribe from your list, and that's okay! 

[26:25] What is Meg's advice to yoga teachers who feel like they wouldn't like to receive multiple emails about an offer, so feel uncomfortable sending emails to their list?

[28:11] What kinds of freebies are working in the yoga space and what are some trends that Meg has observed in email marketing?

[32:17] What should yoga teachers write in their emails?

[34:35] How often does Meg recommend including a call to action in you emails?

[35:42] How often should yoga teachers email their list?

[37:11] It's important to continue supporting your list even when you are not selling anything!

[38:08] What is something Meg wishes she would have known when starting email marketing?

[40:50] Shannon pops in to share about OfferingTree, a great all-in-one software option especially for email marketing!

[45:07] Shannon and Meg discuss the popular options for email marketing platforms.

[49:01] Shannon reflects on her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Meg.

[50:47] Shannon shares some of the upcoming guest calls inside Pelvic Health Professionals.

[53:32] Shannon gives a special shout out to yoga teachers who have been and continue to speak out for humanity and Palestine.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"For listeners who are feeling drained and a little bit bogged down by social media, email marketing is a really, really solid alternative."


"Those of us in the wellness industry tend to be very averse to marketing ourselves."


"The fact that people are picky with who they give their email to is why email marketing is so effective."


"The more time we invest in growing that list, the more warm leads we have, the more we can promote when we actually have something to promote."


"We first have to be the consumer that we want to attract."


"The trend that I'm seeing is shorter and simpler are getting more downloads or more subscribers."


"Your tool for bringing people onto your email list, whether that's a freebie or something different, should be aligned with what you're going to offer them."


Apr 1, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

369: Struggling to Write Content is Normal with Billie Smith



If you have ever sat staring at your blinking cursor and wondered how to write an email, social media caption, or blog post for your yoga business when more important things are happening in your personal life or the world – you are not alone. Billie Smith recently faced this same struggle and decided to share their honest thoughts instead of their usual messaging.


Billie Smith is a queer advocate, trauma, abuse, and eating disorder survivor, who is shaking up the status quo and challenging conventional narratives in the wellness industry. They believe in discarding harmful ideologies like diet culture and spiritual bypassing, and are dedicated to creating spaces where individuals can authentically connect with themselves, free from judgment and expectation. Billie's approach to movement is all about empowerment, helping students tune into how they feel rather than how they look. With over 600 hours of training and a commitment to inclusivity, Billie's classes, workshops, and one-on-one sessions provide a safe space for those seeking to reclaim their bodies and their narratives. 


In this episode, originally shared as an email to Billie’s subscribers and then as an audio on their podcast, the Rebel Movement Podcast, Billie shares openly about their experience struggling to write an email about topics related to their yoga business while also grappling with other challenges. They talk about how difficult it can feel to hold multiple truths, balance self care and social justice work, and reflect on showing up authentically. 


Writing content can be hard when we are faced with balancing work, personal life, and tragedies in the world - if you are struggling because of this, this episode is for you.


Key Takeaways:

[3:07] This episode is sponsored by Pelvic Health Professionals.

[4:14] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Billie Smith.

[7:30] Billie shares a little about a newsletter that they sent out on 14 February and their process of writing it.

[14:40] Shannon pops in to talk about a recent call with Mary Reddinger inside Pelvic Health Professionals.

[16:17] Listen to a short snippet from Mary Reddinger about how she gets the bulk of her private yoga students. Get access to the full interview by joining the Pelvic Health Professionals membership.

[18:13] Billy highlights that it can feel difficult for us to hold all the things that are happening in the world and in our personal lives - what we are experiencing is not normal.

[21:12] We are all struggling to find balance lately.

[24:47] If you are using your platform to talk about Gaza or Palestine, unfortunately it is a risk.

[27:53] Billie talks about the importance of standing up for your values and staying true to them even in difficult times.

[31:02] It is important to take care of yourself even as you do social justice work.

[32:28] Shannon reflects on her own personal experience of speaking up about the harm taking place in Gaza right now.

[36:01] There are so many people who say they want peace and freedom for all people but are afraid to speak up. But we can make a huge difference if we all speak up.

[39:29] Do leave a review for the podcast and come hang out in real time with Shannon in the Pelvic Health Professionals membership!




Gratitude to our Sponsor, Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"Invalidating your own struggles is not gonna give you any more energy to help change the world."


"It's ok if you don't feel rage every single second of the day because like how are you supposed to do all your stuff if you do?"


"There's a struggle to find balance lately."


"[If] you've been having that feeling of doubting yourself or doubting, what is even the point of doing this anymore? I would just encourage you to check in with it and not take it as a sign that you're doing anything wrong in your life."


"I don't want my business to negate its values to make money. I don't want to sacrifice my values for profit."


"Find the balance between taking care of yourself and then doing social justice work."


Mar 25, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

368: Moving to a New City & Marketing with Jennie MacGoy



Have you recently moved or are you struggling to grow your yoga business? Have you been posting on social media and not seeing that time convert to students? Have you been thinking about switching your niche or taking a break? Jennie MacGoy has navigated a cross-country move and shares how she found success marketing her yoga business in a new city.


Jennie MacGoy opened her first yoga studio in Virginia in 2017 but moved to Southern California in 2021. Since making the move, Jennie has continued to teach gentle and chair yoga and movement to seniors in retirement communities, skilled nursing facilities, and memory care communities while also working 1:1 with older adults. Jennie strongly believes that older adults can live their best lives through physical activity, stress reduction, cognitive exercise, and social engagement and incorporates all of these into her yoga classes. 


In this episode, Jennie shares her challenging journey of rebuilding her yoga business from scratch in a new city and neighborhood. She openly talks about the struggles she faced, how she overcame them, and what really worked for her in terms of marketing her yoga business. Learn about pivoting in your yoga business and alternative options for marketing in this inspiring conversation with Jennie.


Key Takeaways:

[2:41] This episode is sponsored by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[4:55] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jennie MacGoy.

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

[10:24] What was it like when Jennie moved? What did she learn immediately and what advice does she have for other yoga teachers who may be navigating a move?

[13:02] What worked and what didn't work for Jennie when she moved?

[17:31] Jennie had to decide if she still wanted to teach yoga when things weren't working out for her.

[18:42] Jennie was not marketing on Instagram or Facebook. She explains how she marketed her services to her target audience.

[21:38] What kind of offerings is Jennie focusing on in her business?

[26:49] What are some things Jennie has learned from working with the population of older adults and/or people with dementia?

[30:36] Jennie reflects on what she gets out of teaching a mixed class of people with different abilities.

[34:09] Shannon gives a shout out of thanks to sponsor, OfferingTree.

[37:45] What is the population that Jennie works with in private sessions?

[39:05] Jennie had to make a big shift to continue her yoga business when she moved to a new city.

[41:11] Jennie volunteered with some organizations as a way of expanding her local network after she moved.

[45:27] What is something Jennie wishes she would have known sooner when she moved to her new location?

[48:17] We all struggle with different things at different moments in our business.

[52:26] Connect with Jennie via her website.

[53:50] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Jennie.

[58:36] Shannon shares a personal update about how it has been to stand up for things she believes in.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"One of the most important lessons that I learned was to be willing to pivot, ... be flexible."


"Words are so important and something that I have always been passionate about, but it comes really into play in these classes where you have people of differing abilities."


"It was a total mind shift in how it was all word of mouth."


"Don't underestimate the value of reaching out."


Mar 18, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

367: Money Matters & Budgeting with Jenifer Parker 



How do you feel about budgeting and money as a yoga teacher? What is your system for tracking income and expenses – is it working? How can you decrease your expenses and/or increase your income? These are some questions Jennifer Parker answers in this insightful money conversation.


Jenifer Parker has been a yoga teacher for more than 21 years and is a qualified instructor in 4 lineages: Kripalu, Sivananda, Krishnamacharya, and Thai Yoga. She meets students where they are, teaching a traditional, integrated approach. In general she teaches within the Krishnamacharya lineage, but offers a unique insight into the similarities and differences in practice across lineages. Currently, she offers private lessons, corporate and private group classes, and a few public community classes in Te-Whanganui-a-Tara, Aotearoa (Wellington, New Zealand).


In this episode, Shannon and Jennifer dive deeper into money matters and budgeting for yoga teachers. Jennifer explains how to get consistent with our budgeting, how to adapt it to our needs and our yoga business, and why it’s so important for yoga teachers. She also shares some ideas on how to make more money as a yoga teacher and tackles some big mindset blocks yoga teachers may face when it comes to money issues.


Key Takeaways:

[0:28] Shannon takes a moment to recognize the harm that is taking place in Palestine right now.

[4:13] Shannon briefly talks about her topic and guest for the episode.

[5:15] Shannon introduces herself and gives a shout out to the sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[8:47] Kathleen Pratt shares a little about the ongoing online yoga series, Nourish Your Nervous System.

[10:13] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jennifer Parker.

[15:49] What does Jennifer do and who does she do it for?

[18:36] Jennifer shares a little about where she is located.

[19:44] Why is Jennifer so passionate about talking about money in relation to teaching yoga and being a yoga teacher?

[25:47] What are Jennifer's thoughts on budgets?

[32:04] What kind of tools does Jennifer use when it comes to creating a budget?

[34:08] What actions does Jennifer take when she's looking at her budget every week?

[37:26] Jennifer shares some tips that can help with the mindset part of creating and following a budget.

[40:34] What are some ideas for yoga teachers to make more money?

[46:49] Having a clear goal in mind will help you move in the right direction.

[48:23] Shannon pops in to give a shout out of thanks to sponsor, OfferingTree.

[51:21] What are some other ideas for making money within yoga?

[58:17] Jennifer recommends talking to your landlord about subdividing the physical space you are using for yoga classes if the rent has gone up.

[62:23] We have to get comfortable talking about money!

[0:00] undefined

[63:18] Jennifer's advice is to tap into your networks.

[74:37] Shannon shares some reflection questions you can journal on.

[75:37 - 75:50] Questions:

[78:42] Shannon shares an audio message from a podcast listener.

[81:11] Support the podcast by making a donation or signing up for one of the offerings!




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Reflection & Journaling Questions:

  • How can we navigate the often unpredictable landscape of income and expenses while staying true to the practice of yoga and the purpose of our work? 

  • How do you personally approach budgeting as a yoga teacher?

  • Have you found success in tracking your income before your expenses, and if so, how has it impacted your financial stability?

  • What methods have you used to increase your income beyond teaching classes?

  • Do you prefer using budgeting apps or spreadsheets, and why?

  • How often do you check your bank statements, and what insights have you gained from this practice?

  • In what ways do you see parallels between budgeting and yoga, particularly in terms of consistency and adaptability?

  • Have you been able to build a buffer of savings, and if so, what strategies have helped you achieve this?

  • When do you think it's appropriate for yoga teachers to consider taking on part-time work, and how can one navigate the potential stigma associated with it?

  • Have you ever negotiated rent for your teaching space, or explored alternative venues? What advice would you offer to others in similar situations?

  • Lastly, how do you harness the power of your network and student referrals to grow your yoga community and increase your teaching opportunities?


Quotes from this episode:

"It's OK to make income teaching yoga.'


"It's really helpful if people can actually sit down and look at the numbers and then make for themselves a clear decision. Is this something that I want to do full time all the time or is it something that I just wanna do sometimes?"


"Let's talk about different ways of approaching the financials of this business that are based in living our values rather than just ‘I made a beautiful abundance collage and the universe will take care of me’."


"The first step of budgeting is: what are my costs?"


"The budget will work for you if it works the way you work."


"If you're in a place where you can say I'm not gonna be too proud, all of a sudden now there's infinite opportunity."

Mar 11, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

366: Get Okay with Making Money with Chioma Njoku



Is making money yoga-like? How is making money aligned with the principles of yoga? How do you balance making money as a yoga teacher with keeping your offerings financially accessible to people? Chioma Njoku shares her insights on these questions and more.


Chioma is the owner and Chief Mindful Operator at the Mindful Bookkeeper, and host of the Cheers to Your Prosperity podcast. By integrating the lessons she has learned from her own financial struggles and her professional experience as an Accountant of 18 years and Financial Coach, Chioma helps entrepreneurs and small business owners keep more of their hard-earned money in the bank without sacrificing the things that make life enjoyable.


In this episode, Chioma dives into the nitty gritty details of the money and finances aspect of running a yoga business. She talks about how bookkeeping software can help us with our finances, how to track payment fees, how to check your financial reports with intention, and why creating money practices is like practicing yoga. Tune in for Chioma’s tips on how to be consistent with money and shift your money mindset.


Key Takeaways:

[2:23] This episode is powered by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[3:58] Kathleen Pratt shares a little about the upcoming yoga series: Nourish Your Nervous System.

[5:12] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Chioma Njoku.

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

[10:42] What does it look like when Chioma works with someone?

[12:47] Chioma addresses the idea that making money is yoga. It's okay to make money.

[15:24] How can yoga teachers balance the need to get paid with keeping their yoga classes accessible to people with limited funds?

[17:54] Chioma shares a little about the saviorism she encountered in 2020, when people invited her to attend their yoga classes for free because she is Black.

[21:09] Chioma talks about bookkeeping and what that means for yoga businesses.

[22:11] How often should we be looking at our money?

[24:34] What's a good starting point for yoga teachers who are not tracking their income or their expenses?

[29:06] Shannon pops in to share a great article that Sinead from the Connected Yoga Teacher Team wrote for OfferingTree.

[31:02] Shannon and Chioma chat about different software that is available for bookkeeping and tracking income and expenses.

[33:25] How does Chioma recommend yoga teachers look at their reports?

[35:18] What are some things yoga teachers can do to cut their expenses or increase their income?

[39:34] What are some other roadblocks yoga teachers often run into around mindset?

[42:57] How can yoga teachers work on their money mindset and get comfortable with money?

[46:33] Chioma shares some final thoughts for yoga teachers around money and running their own yoga business.

[47:56] Check out Chioma's podcast to learn more, and visit her website to connect.

[49:19] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Chioma.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"What we can do is offer our service and give them the opportunity to rise, to come to us, to take a class. Believe me, when someone gets something out of something, ... we will invest, we'll figure it out." - Chioma


"It's not our job to save them. We can present our service. It's up to them to say yes or no." - Chioma


"You are in business. Doing your bookkeeping is important to your business." - Chioma


"It's more of just getting into the habit of looking at that report and what it is to me, it's setting expectations for your business." - Chioma


"It's good to have conversations and questions about your money because there are little ways that you can save money." - Shannon


"Let's try not to discount a service. We're teaching people to not value yoga." - Chioma

Mar 4, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

365: How to Teach Accessible Yoga with Jivana Heyman



How can we make yoga more accessible? From financial accessibility to the language we use in teaching, from offering modifications to supporting students who don’t follow our lesson plans, making yoga accessible encompasses many different things. Jivana Heyman shares his insights.


Making yoga accessible is at the core of the work Jivana does. He is the founder and director of Accessible Yoga, an international non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to the yoga teachings for people of all abilities and backgrounds. He is also an author, and his latest book, The Teacher's Guide to Accessible Yoga, was recently released (listen in to find out how you can enter to win a copy!).


In this episode, Jivana shares how we communicate yoga has evolved over the years, although yoga philosophy remains unchanged, and how accessibility is a part of that.  He also talks about figuring things out as new teachers, overcoming imposter syndrome and why maybe a little bit of imposter syndrome is not a bad thing, and many other aspects of making yoga accessible, including how to maintain a yoga practice even when we don’t have time!


Key Takeaways:

[3:52] This episode is powered by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[4:52] Kathleen Pratt shares a little about the upcoming yoga series: Nourish Your Nervous System.

[5:58] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jivana Heyman.

[10:05] What is the work that Jivana does and who does he do it for?

[11:15] How can yoga teachers find that balance between being paid for their work enough to make a living and making sure people can access their classes financially?

[13:56] Pay-what-you-can models and tiered pricing models are some options to increase financial accessibility.

[15:36] What are some other main things Jivana covers in his new book?

[18:43] Shannon and Jivana discuss the idea that there is one best/correct way of doing a pose in yoga. This is not true!

[20:13] The general public has a very different idea of what yoga is than how it can actually be practiced.

[24:30] What are some new things Jivana has learned recently about making yoga more accessible?

[27:31] How does Jivana address situations in his classes where a student gives another student a hands-on assist?

[30:20] Jivana is giving away two of his books! Leave a comment in the show notes to stand a chance to win a copy!

[30:40] Are you signed up for the OfferingTree newsletter? They offer a free workshop or webinar every month for teachers!

[31:53] It can sometimes feel that as we learn more about making yoga accessible, there is always yet more to learn.

[34:36] Yoga has remained the same for millennia but how we interpret, communicate, and share it with people has changed and evolved over time.

[38:40] How yoga is taught has evolved over time but the yoga philosophy has not.

[42:13] It can be tempting to want our yoga practice to be perfect, like we experience at a yoga retreat, but how can we apply yoga to our real day-to-day?

[46:38] What are some tools we can use to bring yoga into our lives?

[50:28] Shannon and Jivana discuss other ways we can bring yoga into our busy lives.

[53:50] We can hold opposing things as true at the same time.

[56:05] Jivana shares the ABCs of yoga: Agency, Boundaries, Collaboration.

[62:27] How does Jivana handle situations where students don't do what everyone else is doing?

[68:08] Many yoga teachers deal with imposter syndrome. Jivana addresses this.

[74:08] Join the giveaway for Jivana's books by leaving a comment and find out more about his work and the books at his website and on Instagram.

[75:43] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this episode.

[79:08] Shannon shares some of the upcoming events in Pelvic Health Professionals, including Nourish Your Nervous System.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"Mostly the studio model doesn't really work for making yoga accessible."


"I just don't think advanced yoga is advanced asana anymore. That's not the point."


"As a yoga teacher, you're not simply just channeling the teachings in a pure way, you have to be interpreting them."


"The question is, how do you make them resonant and applicable to this moment for your students who are in front of you today?"


"I don't think yoga practice is just about my personal enlightenment or the goal of becoming that. Rather, it's about becoming of service to the world and to others."


"I would say a little bit of imposter syndrome is actually healthier than too much ego."


Feb 26, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

364: 7 Years of Podcasting with Shannon Crow



It has been 7 years of podcasts on the Connected Yoga Teacher podcast with Shannon Crow. While it is a time of celebrating the consistency and the amazing connections that have come from the podcast, Shannon shares some of her reflections about her recent situation, both personal and on a broader scale.


Shannon has been dealing with emotional heaviness, sadness, and heartbreak, on top of a cold. She shares how current events like what’s happening in Gaza have been affecting her emotions, especially because of the silence of many people in the health and wellness world. She talks about some things that are helping her through this time and how she is working through the anger and emotions she is feeling. Shannon also invites us to explore how we can start seeing the connections between us and how we can support ourselves as we navigate these challenging times.


Key Takeaways:

[0:02] It's the 7th year anniversary of the Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast!

[4:23] This episode is supported by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals, but you can chip in to keep the podcast going too!

[7:05] Kathleen Pratt shares a little about the upcoming Yoga Series she is hosting in Pelvic Health Professionals - Nourish Your Nervous System.

[9:26] Shannon guides a short breath exercise.

[10:22] Shannon checks in with herself. In addition to dealing with a cold she has been feeling some heaviness, sadness, and heartbreak.

[15:14] Shannon has also been feeling angry about the silence from many people in the health and wellness world.

[18:13] One thing that has made a difference for Shannon is seeing the yoga teachers who are speaking up and supporting the Palestinian cause.

[21:06] Shannon talks about some ways she is working on processing her anger.

[25:10] Shannon shares two messages that have held her and kept her steady.

[27:39] Shannon gives a shout out to Jivana Heyman's upcoming collaboration with OfferingTree - Chair Yoga is Real Yoga.

[29:22] Shannon reads another message she received after sharing Rula's episode.

[34:14] How can we start seeing the connections between us?

[37:08] The upcoming yoga series, Nourish Your Nervous System, is a great course for anyone who has been feeling stressed.

[38:33] Shannon shares some other upcoming events and offerings you can check out.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"I am so grateful to those of you who listen to multiple episodes. It's really a complete honor and the podcast exists because of you."


"I want to be able to speak up against harm and oppression because I feel like that's part of yoga."


"We can speak up and make mistakes and be in community."


"In society, we are not taught to get comfortable with anger."


"I am just so grateful when I see a comment on a post that we've made or a podcast that we've done or a message in support of the work that we're doing here on the podcast."


"In these connections, we realize how connected we really are."

Feb 19, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

363: Build a Full-Time Yoga Career with Mary Reddinger



Teaching private yoga is a topic that often comes among yoga teachers. Questions like about finding and retaining private students, the difference between group classes and private sessions, and how to make sure private students are getting what they need are common. Mary Reddinger shares her insights.


Mary is a full-time yoga teacher and mother to two boys, ages 9 and 5. Mary has practiced yoga on and off for many years, but integrated it into her life after her first pregnancy when she started really seeing the benefits of yoga. Mary also shares a little about her journey to working with perinatal students – she currently teaches prenatal yoga, postnatal yoga and private lessons. In addition to her yoga teacher training, Mary has also studied under Francesca Cervero about The Science of the Private Lesson.


In this episode, Mary gives us a detailed look at her full-time yoga career as a private yoga teacher. She shares how she got started teaching private yoga lessons, what helped her retain her students, how she structures classes with private students and how she manages her schedule as a mother and yoga teacher. Tune in to learn all about the art of teaching private yoga lessons.


Key Takeaways:

[0:17] Hang out with this episode's guest, Mary Reddinger, in Pelvic Health Professionals!

[3:08] This episode is sponsored by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals!

[3:44] Check out the upcoming yoga series with Kathleen Pratt - Nourish Your Nervous System.

[6:16] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Mary Reddinger.

[10:53] What does Mary do and who does she do it for?

[11:55] How did Mary build up her private classes as her main business? How did private students find her?

[14:37] What challenges did Mary face after she completed her yoga teacher training in teaching 1:1?

[16:43] What did Mary find were the best ways to get the initial few students booked?

[17:44] How has Mary managed client retention after the initial set of sessions with a student?

[21:49] Does Mary do mostly online or in-person classes?

[22:47] What makes Mary's private sessions different from the group classes?

[26:02] Shannon pops in to share some exciting news about OfferingTree.

[27:59] Does Mary take notes when she is teaching 1:1?

[29:13] Mary explains why she goes to the student's home rather than having them come to her or meeting at a studio.

[34:00] What kind of responses or feedback does Mary get from her students about private sessions?

[38:03] How does Mary manage her schedule and find balance between teaching yoga and showing up for her family?

[43:06] Find out more about Mary and her work via her website.

[43:06] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Mary.

[50:15] If you would like to support the podcast, do leave a review or make a financial contribution!




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"The number one thing I have done to create a full schedule of private students is to tell people that I am a private yoga teacher."


"A lot of yoga teachers do not share that private sessions are something they offer."


"Really the first year of working with a new private student, it's about building your relationship with them and it's about building trust."


"Part of yoga as a practice is noticing what comes up when we are distracted and then what do we need to do to come back."


"In terms of what we're teaching, you can truly make a yoga practice that serves that student that day in the body and the mind they are showing up with that day."

Feb 12, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

362: Yoga in Times of War & Violence with Molly Nixon



Over 110 million individuals have been forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations. As yoga teachers, we might be seeing people who are refugees in our yoga classes — and we need to know how we can support them, even if we don’t know their status. Molly Nixon shares her perspective and experience about how yoga can support us in times of war & violence.


Molly Nixon is the Director and Trainer for Yoga Mandala Project, a grassroots initiative cultivating a community of care among refugees and those serving them around the world while providing tools to support mental-health through yoga and other embodied modalities. As a trauma-informed yoga teacher and teacher trainer, Molly believes yoga is an effective way to support the well-being of refugee communities, and can help to foster dignity, compassion and a sense of a shared humanity. She has spent the past eight years weaving together her passions for yoga, travel and service in the heart of the humanitarian sector while co-creating sustainable projects in Greece, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.


In this episode, Molly shares her experience of losing her closest friend to violence in the Middle East and how yoga not only supported her in dealing with the grief and trauma in that moment, but also moved her to bring the healing tools of yoga to refugees, genocide survivors, and aid workers. She explains how supporting refugee communities is part of yoga and how we can help, even if we don’t have plans to move to a refugee community and start teaching yoga. Tune in to find out how you can support the work of the Yoga Mandala Project and more.


Key Takeaways:

[0:07] This episode goes beyond just teaching yoga in refugee communities.

[4:54] Shannon introduces herself and gives a shout out to sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[7:32] Kathleen Pratt shares about the upcoming yoga series in Pelvic Health Professionals: Nourish Your Nervous System

[8:50] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Molly Nixon.

[10:45] What does Molly do and who does she do it for?

[12:12] What does it look like when Molly goes to a refugee camp?

[14:11] Molly shares a little about how she started doing this work.

[16:09] Yoga supported Molly through the grief and trauma of losing her friend to violence in Syria.

[16:58] How did Molly deal with people in her life who were discouraging her from doing this work?

[18:42] Molly provides some context about how yoga teachers partner with the Yoga Mandala Project.

[23:20] Connections can be really powerful. Molly shares a little about why connection is a part of the mission of Yoga Mandala Project.

[26:44] In light of what is happening in Gaza, Palestine, what is Molly's response to people who are saying that we should be focusing more on the hostages instead of what the people of Gaza are experiencing?

[30:50] How is all of this related to yoga?

[33:30] Shannon pops in with a quick message about OfferingTree - especially if you dread updating or working on your website!

[34:53] How can you sign up for a trauma-informed training? How relevant is it to yoga teachers?

[39:08] Shannon and Molly discuss what people who are menstruating in Gaza are going through now with no access to menstruation products.

[41:15] What would Molly say to someone who says all this information about Gaza is triggering?

[46:39] What was one thing from yoga that helped Molly in the aftermath of her friend being taken?

[50:42] Connect with Molly via the Yoga Mandala Project website or email.

[52:45] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Molly.

[54:58] Come hang out in real time in the Pelvic Health Professionals membership!




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"The intention behind our work is to create ... community and a culture of care among those experiencing war and violence."


"For me, it really comes down to looking at the intentions of yoga and offering that and making it accessible to people experiencing stress and other impacts of trauma."


"There's all sorts of ways to make a difference even if you can't be on the ground in a refugee camp."


"I think connection is the only way forward for humanity."


"Yoga is not about gymnastics on the yoga mat. It's about living these, living the Yamas and the Niyamas."

Feb 5, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

361: Connect to Nature & Your Roots with Tracee Stanley



What is our relationship with nature? How do we connect to our roots and our ancestors? Why is all of this important and relevant to yoga? Tracee Stanley shares her insights.


Tracee Stanley is the author of Radiant Rest: Yoga Nidra for Deep Relaxation and Awakened Clarity and The Luminous Self: Sacred Yogic Practices & Rituals to Remember Who You Are. She is also the founder of Empowered Life Circle, a sacred community and portal of practices, rituals, and Tantric teachings. Tracee is devoted to sharing the wisdom of yoga nidra, rest, meditation, self-inquiry, nature as a teacher, and ancestor reverence.


In this episode, Tracee talks about her journey in seeking a place beyond all sorrow through yoga, and how this is different from turning inward and blocking out external suffering of others. She also shares her perspective on our relationship to nature, how to change it into one of reciprocity and cultivate a real connection through rituals. Tracee also explains our deep connection to our ancestors and how we can tap into their wisdom and learn from them through our practice.


Key Takeaways:

[1:10] A snippet from this interview with Tracee Stanley about how nature can help us, our loved ones, and our communities.

[1:42] Shannon expresses gratitude to Tracee for not shying away from some tough questions and gives a brief introduction to herself and her work.

[6:10] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Tracee Stanley.

[8:28] What does Tracee do and who does she do it for?

[11:59] Tracee shares a little about turning inward to find this place beyond sorrow, and how it is different from simply ignoring what is going on in the world.

[14:50] What is the place that is beyond all sorrows?

[16:23] How does getting out in nature help people come back to themselves?

[19:21] What are some of the rituals and practices to start connecting with and being in a reciprocal relationship with nature?

[21:27] Shannon reflects on how her relationship with her garden has changed since 2020.

[27:11] Shannon pops in with a message about OfferingTree.

[28:38] Tracee talks a little about our connection to our ancestors.

[32:05] Tracee shares her experience of connecting to her ancestral realm.

[36:22] Shannon talks about looking up her own settler ancestry. Tracee reflects back some insights about this process of reclaiming our roots.

[41:09] What are some of the rituals that Tracee does now that help her?

[44:35] Check out Tracee's book on her website.

[45:06] Tracee has some final words of advice for people who are feeling worn out.

[46:28] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Tracee.

[48:39] What's coming up in Pelvic Health Professionals and the podcast?




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"If we know that we can also touch into a place that can be revealed to us through stillness and practice. That to me is very hopeful because it becomes an inner resource that we can always go to."


"One of the things that happens when we want to look away and pretend it's not happening is that we're not acknowledging this idea that we are all connected."


"We actually, as human beings, have to take this respite of rest at some point, whether it's seasonal or whether it's during the day or whether it's because the cycle of the news has carried us to a place where we need to take a moment or a day to rest or more than one or two days. But we have to listen."


"Can we, instead of resisting this cold, resisting this time of fallowness, can we welcome the beauty that the snow brings and the cold brings?"


"For most of us, I think that has been lost or forgotten or we feel that it's not important. And yet all of the prayers of our ancestors, all of their memories, all of their knowledge is living in our DNA and it's part of who we are."


"I can't tell anybody what to do. This is why practice is so important because practice, when we get still and silent and we rest, gives us the answer of what is ours to do."


"It really doesn't have to be big, but one little increment of movement in a positive direction can be so helpful."


What is our relationship with nature? How do we connect to our roots and our ancestors? Why is all of this important and relevant to yoga? Tracee Stanley (she/her) addresses these questions and shares insights about rituals we can practice to go deeper.

Jan 29, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

360: Nature Meditations with Ray Zott



Meditation does not have to be just sitting down and being still. There are other ways to meditate, including being out in and connecting with nature. Ray Zott (she/her/they) talks about how nature offers her a sustainable mediation practice and how she helps others meditate in nature too.


Ray is a yoga therapist whose greatest joy in their work is connecting people to nature. She has worked as a park ranger for 12 seasons in a variety of national parks and is currently also building out a retreat center in Costa Rica. In their work, Ray supports all kinds of folks through yoga therapy, nature, and boundary work.


In this episode, Ray shares more about how she discovered this unique niche for her yoga therapy work after her experience supporting her husband through his traumatic brain injury. They explain why connecting to and with nature can be the perfect meditation, especially for those who find it difficult to sit still, and offer ways to find connection to nature even if we live in cities or urban settings. Shannon and Ray also discuss the healing powers of nature, spiritual meanings we can find from being out in nature, and how we can turn to nature for lessons and guidance in difficult times.


Key Takeaways:

[2:02] This podcast is made possible by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[4:25] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Ray Zott.

[7:09] Ray share's a little bit about her morning routine.

[8:24] What is the work that Ray does and who do they do it for?

[11:02] How did Ray's work with being in nature and nature meditation start?

[14:01] What does meditation in nature look like?

[16:18] What are some guidelines Ray offers for meditating in nature?

[18:32] Shannon and Ray discuss where inspiration for their yoga practice and yoga therapy comes from.

[21:10] What are some ways we might find connection with nature if we live in a city or suburban area?

[26:37] Shannon pops in to share some of the struggles she is having with her Wordpress website, and why she prefers OfferingTree.

[29:31] Shannon has recently been feeling an immense gratitude for her life right now, while also experiencing guilt about what is happening in Gaza. How does Ray deal with this?

[32:45] Shannon has been turning to nature to help her deal with a lot of grief.

[36:49] We can learn a lot from nature and we don't have to know all the tree names or plant names.

[39:25] Shannon and Ray discuss finding spiritual meaning in nature.

[41:24] How else does the practice of connecting with nature impact Ray or the people she works with?

[47:02] Ray and Shannon contemplate whether part of the healing power of nature comes from how we experienced it in our childhoods.

[48:22] Check out Ray's podcast on Apple Podcast and Spotify.

[50:58] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Ray.

[56:25] Hang out online in real time with Shannon in Pelvic Health Professionals.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"I use nature and meditation as a way to practice. And that's sustainable for me."


"I feel like my relationship to nature has changed so much and that it's just being in it, just being present for it."


"All nature is sacred. All nature is holy, whether it's the dandelion growing out of the crack in the sidewalk or the ornamental tree in the yard. It's all so beautiful and important."


"Wherever we are in the world, we can tap into nature."


"The more we turn to nature, the more we will get clarity on our part and our roles and how we participate and how we heal our communities who are turning to us."



How can we meditate in nature? Ray Zott (she/her/they) shares how to connect with nature as a way to meditate, why it can be a more sustainable practice than sitting still, and ways we can learn from and be supported by nature in difficult times.

Jan 22, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

359: Ahimsa in Times of Conflict with Rula Wardeh



One of the most important yoga teachings is ahimsa, usually translated as non-violence or non-harming. How do we practice this in times of conflict like the one we are witnessing now in Gaza, Palestine? What can we do to make a difference? Rula Wardeh shares her perspective on the obligations we all have to show up during times like these.


Rula is a Palestinian yoga teacher, who studied yoga in Canada. She lives in Jordan, an hour away from the Occupied Territory of West Bank, Palestine. She has family and friends in Gaza and her yoga students are all Palestinian. Rula introduced Yin Yoga to Jordan in 2012 and she now leads a unique Yin Yoga immersion course in Jordan & Cairo. Rula is also one of the directors and founding members of the NGO Yoga Mandala Project which provides refugee communities in Jordan with psychosocial Yoga and trauma related sessions.


In this conversation, Rula shares what her experience has been like holding space for Palestininans as Gaza continues to be bombarded and held under siege by Israel. She speaks about yoga activism, how she draws on the teachings of yoga and the 8 limbs for support as she continues to speak up for ceasefire in Palestine, and what yoga teachers can do in these times to make a difference.


If you have been wondering how you can show up and practice ahimsa as a yoga teacher in times of conflict, this episode is for you.


Key Takeaways:

[2:05] This podcast is sponsored by OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.

[2:55] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Rula Wardeh. This episode originally aired as a live conversation in December 2023.

[5:22] What does Rula do as a yoga teacher?

[8:16] Shannon shares some context about the 1948 Nakba in Palestine.

[10:38] Rula shares how she started serving the population of urban refugees.

[13:03] How has it felt for Rula to hold space for Palestinians or people who have family in Palestine? What has she learned from the experience?

[21:08] Rula speaks to her experience of yoga activism: How do we implement what we have learned and what we teach in yoga?

[25:26] We can start feeling disconnected from what is happening in Gaza when we only focus on the numbers. We need to also focus on the individual, personal stories coming out of Gaza.

[28:55] What can people do when it feels to dysregulating to look at the news?

[32:38] Rula explains how we can practice ahimsa in times of conflict.

[36:17] We can draw on teachings from the eight limbs of yoga to guide us in how we should show up in times of conflict.

[41:18] Shannon shares a comment from a live listener: How we feel is quite frankly irrelevant in the face of people being murdered. We should not be centering our feelings, especially not on social media.

[41:58] How can you seek out the real truth and not fall into the trap of confirmation bias?

[44:00] Watch the rest of this full interview with Rula on YouTube.

[44:35] People are not their religion, their culture, or their government. We need to be mindful of conflating those.

[46:47] What should we do if we're afraid to speak up or if we spoke up and got attacked?

[50:10] Shannon reflects on her biggest takeaways from this conversation with Rula.

[56:29] Hang out live with Shannon inside Pelvic Health Professionals.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"At the end of the day, we know this as yoga teachers - that we are all connected." - Shannon


"Anger was an agitation, [it] was asking us for action more than sitting down on the mat." - Rula


"That's the dilemma. It's not about us. Why am I taking care of myself right now?" - Rula


"How can we do less violence?" - Rula


"By your silence, you're hurting. You're doing more himsa than ahimsa."


Jan 15, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

358: Community and Communication with Shannon Crow



Many yoga teachers are dealing with tiredness, overwhelm, sadness, and many other difficult emotions as we navigate living through the active genocide taking place in Palestine. Community and communication can be a good solution to dealing with these heavy emotions and the challenges of consistently showing up for causes we care about.


In this episode, Shannon reflects on what has been helping her as she faces some of these big emotions. She shares how being out in nature, doing yoga, and meditating has been helpful to get clarity and different perspectives. 


It is also easier to keep going when you have community to support you in doing the work. Shannon talks about the different places she has found community, including a Discord server called Yoga Teachers for Change. In times like these, community and communication are what we can lean on and draw strength from.


Key Takeaways:

[5:09] Shannon reflects on how community and communication have come up for her recently.

[8:07] Many yoga teachers that Shannon has spoken to have shared feeling many heavy and deep emotions. Shannon shares what helps her get through those tough days.

[10:17] Shannon shares her experience of drawing inspiration from nature.

[12:34] Shannon pops in to share a complaint she has about Wordpress, and why she prefers OfferingTree instead.

[15:31] Shannon reflects on the clarity and different perspectives that sometimes become available when you spend time in nature, do yoga, or meditate.

[17:36] Shannon shares more about the Discord server called Yoga Teachers for Change.

[19:11] With a collective community, you can lean on each other for support and take it in turns to keep the torch burning.

[23:15] Shannon has also talked about the importance of community in a previous episode with Linda Sparrowe.

[24:49] Shannon highlights some other community initiatives that you might be interested in.

[27:40] Keen to hang out with Shannon in real time? Check out the Yoga for Pelvic Cancer series with Tyla Arnason.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"What I know is that in my heart, I'm going to keep living in this world that I know is the world that I want to be a part of where we are all connected and we can make a difference."


"Look for the people who are up for communicating right now, who are talking about this, who feel safe to talk about it, who can take this on."


"I know that many yoga teachers care about this deeply and are searching for that community. And it's a nice feeling."


"I could feel in that moment that what I really needed to focus on was community and communication and the connections were really the answer."


"How can you find and/or create community for yourself or for others in your community, a community that's going to support you or maybe you are creating a community that's going to support others?"


"If you've been feeling isolated and alone, you're not alone."

Jan 8, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

357: Pay-What-You-Can is Working with Shannon Crow



Have you tried using the pay-what-you-can model in your yoga business? Shannon recently implemented this model for an upcoming yoga series in Pelvic Health Professionals and was amazed that it has worked!


In this episode, Shannon shares more about why she decided to implement the pay-what-you-can model for the Yoga During a Pelvic Cancer Diagnosis: 6-Week Online Series with Tyla Arnason. She talks about how setting it up with OfferingTree was so easy and the best part - that they’ve already met the minimum required to pay the guest teacher and not lose money, even without extensive marketing!


Pay-what-you-can for yoga teachers can be an option. It is one way we can disrupt systems that are not serving us and our communities. Shannon invites you to consider how you could implement this in your yoga business or disrupt harmful systems in other ways.


Key Takeaways:

[4:14] One of the offers Shannon is sharing now is Tyla Arnason's Yoga for Pelvic Cancer workshop. It operates on the pay-what-you-can model and it's working!

[7:32] Even with minimum marketing, Shannon has been able to get enough signups to meet the minimum required to pay the guest teacher!

[9:35] Shannon shares how easy it was to set up the pay-what-you-can model with OfferingTree.

[11:10] Shannon reflects on how she has approached pricing in her yoga business and the recommendations she has given yoga teachers in consultations too.

[14:22] What questions do you have about the pay-what-you-can model?

[14:55] Shannon shares some ways you can hang out in real time.

[17:07] Crunch, who does the show notes for the podcast (hi!) is hosting some workshops around travel for inner work. Check them out!




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"We decided to try something we've never done before with a full yoga series. We made it pay-what-you-can and I am so amazed with how it's working."


"What can we do in our own business to really start to disrupt these systems that don't feel great?"


"What if we make our offerings more accessible while we still get paid so we can keep doing this work?"


"I hope that you are finding moments of joy and peace as we move into this new year together."



Jan 1, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

356: How Silence Feels for a Yoga Student with Suzanne Miller



Since October 7 2023, Israel has been retaliating to the attack by Hamas by indiscriminately bombing Gaza, resulting in thousands of Palestinians being killed, many more injured, and almost the entire population of Gaza being displaced. In light of this genocide, how are yoga teachers reacting? How are they holding space for their students? Suzanne Miller is a long-time yoga student who shares her experience, particularly about the silence from yoga teachers in this situation.


Suzanne has been practicing yoga as a student since around 2000. She has taken classes of different yoga lineages and currently practices at a studio that does vinyasa flow in a hot room. She is a lawyer and works in-house at a US-based global corporation. Suzanne is also a single mom and occasionally teaches law school at nighttime.


In this conversation, Suzanne shares more about her experience going into yoga classes where the teacher was simply not acknowledging what is happening in Gaza, Palestine right now. She speaks about her feelings of disconnection and why this interaction felt more jarring and isolating in a yoga space. Shannon and Suzanne discuss what yoga teachers could do to hold space for their students, how our yoga practice can give us tools to navigate these challenging situations and conversations, and why it is so important for us to be having these difficult conversations.


Key Takeaways:

[2:47] Shannon shares that the upcoming Yoga for Pelvic Cancer series with Tyla Arnason is on a pay-what-you-can model -- and it's working!

[5:51] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Suzanne Miller.

[7:49] Suzanne shares a little about who she is.

[9:23] Shannon provides a little context about the situation between Israel and Gaza. Suzanne shares how it feels for her as a yoga student going to classes now.

[15:24] Suzanne did not share with her yoga teachers the disconnection she is experiencing and reflects on how it is a result of her "encoding" as a white woman.

[17:32] Shannon invites Suzanne to consider how the interaction with her yoga teacher differs from a similar interaction that could happen at the grocery store.

[20:46] Shannon and Suzanne discuss the things that could happen if yoga teachers started addressing the genocide in Gaza in their classes.

[27:00] How would yoga teachers know how to navigate this?

[28:28] How does Suzanne feel about yoga teachers who say they don't want to talk about politics or war in their classes?

[31:22] Doing all of this difficult, uncomfortable, challenging work is easier when it is done in community.

[33:32] Shannon and Suzanne discuss how yoga philosophy is weaved in (or not) into the typical yoga classes.

[36:04] Shannon pops in to share a little about OfferingTree, how she uses it in her own business, and how they are aligned with Shannon's values.

[40:56] Yoga teachers don't often bring yoga philosophy into their typical classes, so what are some things that they could say to help their students feel seen in their classes?

[45:47] Suzanne shares a little about bringing yoga into law spaces. Small actions can have a huge impact!

[49:15] What if people did more yoga or brought more yoga teachings into their lives? What if people exercised more compassion and empathy? What if there were more love?

[54:38] Shannon and Suzanne discuss inclusivity and making yoga spaces feel welcoming to everyone, and the importance of speaking up.

[60:41] Shannon and Suzanne reflect on the history of their own settler colonial states.

[65:05] This is a flashpoint for yoga teachers who are hungry to mobilize their practice, to put their yoga in action.

[67:08] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this conversation.




Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"Even in times of great difficulty of my life, I feel like I can show up at a yoga class, not even talk to other people, but practice in community."


"It has been very surreal to show up [to yoga classes] in the middle of a genocide. And no one's talking about it."


"This is all from a place of empathy and yet also we, we need to do better."


"That's the whole purpose of yoga for me is to meet discomfort with breath and awareness."


"Any time we're turning away from suffering, is that because we're just unable to sit with that discomfort? And if so, yoga is a wonderful way to practice that."


"I think the solution is going to be in community."


"If you can put your ankle behind your ear, but you're a jerk off the mat, you're not practicing yoga."


"I really do think that the small tiny conversations that we have and the tiny things that we say as yoga teachers and humans can make a big difference." - Shannon