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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: January, 2024
Jan 29, 2024

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

360: Nature Meditations with Ray Zott

 

Description:

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.

 

Links:

 

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."

 

255

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

 

Description:

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.

 

Links:

 

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

 

Description:

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.

 

Links:

 

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

 

Description:

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!

 

Links:

 

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

 

Description:

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.

 

Links:

 

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



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