The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Oct 26, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

191: Self-Care Tips to Fuel Your Business with Shunta Grant



With everything that’s been going on this year, life can feel quite overwhelming. It can be easy to fall into the trap of feeling like you need to “do it all” or you may be wondering "How can I ever get all of this done?". You may be setting some unrealistic expectations and put additional (unnecessary) pressure on yourself. This is exactly when you need to be taking time for self-care, just when it seems to be at the bottom of the priority list. Shunta Grant, an expert in helping women live life (and build businesses) on the OTHER side of busy, is on the podcast to explain why.


Shunta Grant is the Creator of the Best Today™ Brand, owner of Because of Zoe Designs, and host of the Business, Life & Joy podcast. She helps women clarify their needs and desires, and guides them toward their vision for the future with simple, actionable steps. Her unique frameworks have transformed hundreds of women from busy and overworked, to proactive, focused and intentional business owners, leaders and team members.


Having a routine for self-care and your business, can help to deal with some of the overwhelm, stress and tension you may be experiencing in these times. Shunta talks to us about why it’s so important to prioritize self-care especially when it feels like things are out of control, and shares some of her tips, tricks and strategies to create and stick to realistic routines that will help you achieve the life you want to live.


Key Takeaways:

[7:47] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Shunta Grant.

[9:53] What does Shunta do and who does she do it for?

[10:42] Shunta runs multiple businesses in addition to managing her two children at home, all in 3 days of work a week.

[11:48] Where should people start if they're feeling like something in their routine needs to change?

[13:43] What can we do when something goes wrong and throws our entire routine off?

[16:11] Shunta and Shannon talk through an example of a hypothetical situation where someone feels their mornings are crazy and that throws off their whole day.

[18:40] How does Shunta take time for herself even when she has young children?

[19:55] Set an intention for your morning and for the day ahead.

[20:40] How does Shunta deal with things happening unexpectedly?

[22:27] How does Shunta set up routines with her business, work and other commitments?

[24:25] How often does Shunta set goals for her business and personal life?

[25:53] What does Shunta hear from her audience in terms of how the Best Today Guide and Right Now Routine have helped them?

[30:43] What are some of Shunta's tips to trim some of the extra things out of her business?

[32:28] Shunta shares some strategies on how you can stick to your routines.

[35:38] Sundays are a good day to preview the week and get ready for things that are upcoming.

[39:22] What are some of the routines that Shunta maintains in her personal life?

[42:03] How important is a daily routine and what helps us to stick to those routines?

[44:29] Shunta has some tips and tricks for setting a routine that works.

[47:21] Find out more about the Right Now Routine and the Best Today Guide at the website.

[48:05] Shannon shares some of her key takeaways.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals



Quotes from this episode:


"There's a reason why you are experiencing everything you are experiencing, both good and the not-good." - Shunta Grant


"Let's identify the stuff that you don't like and let's cut out the thing that keeps causing it to continuously happen." - Shunta Grant


"Creativity comes from rest and play." - Shunta Grant


"Everybody needs routine and structure. It's not just for people with children, it's not just for married people, it's not just for people in the city, it's not just for people in the suburbs. It's for everyone who desires to have this peace and calm in their lives." - Shunta Grant


"A little bit of proactivity will add the peace and the time you're looking for." - Shunta Grant


"It's really training your brain to think about what you actually need to get done, and get out of the habit of just doing stuff." - Shunta Grant   

Apr 6, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

163: Collective Yoga Studio Model with Jenifer Parker



Yoga studios are run in many different ways, from a single owner who may or may not be a yoga teacher, to partnerships between different yoga teachers, and even franchises. On this episode, we’re exploring a different model for yoga studios with Jenifer Parker - the collective yoga studio model.


Jenifer Parker is the Director of Healium, a yoga studio within the context of a holistic health collective in Wellington, New Zealand that she has been running for 10 years. She has been a full time yoga teacher for about 20 years, and has run multiple collective yoga studios with different yoga teachers in different parts of the world in her yoga career.


A collective yoga studio is a unique model that Jenifer found worked best to address the challenges she was facing as a yoga professional. Through her experiences, she has collected a wealth of information on the legality and logistics of setting up and running a collective. She explains how a collective works, what you need to form it, as well as some of the details of the operations and what it really takes to run a yoga studio in this way.


Challenges help us think outside the box, and Jenifer’s experience is testament to that. If you have been looking for creative ways to think outside the box and create a very different yoga studio model, perhaps even something that could be applied online, this episode is for you.


Key Takeaways:

[7:30] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jenifer Parker.

[8:47] What does Jenifer do and who does she do it for?

[12:23] What is Jenifer's current model with her yoga studio and why did she choose it?

[18:55] There is sometimes a fear around yoga teachers working together, but there is more room for collaboration than we might think.

[21:59] Jenifer shares some of the details of her collective.

[27:15] A special message from our sponsor, Yomassage.

[29:29] Jenifer highlights some of the benefits of the collective yoga studio model to both students and the teachers.

[33:12] Jenifer eventually moved to New Zealand and had to sell her yoga businesses.

[35:01] The legal structure of a collective is very different. Jenifer shares some of her challenges in setting up the collective yoga studio model when she moved to New Zealand.

[40:40] Jenifer explains how she started her collective in New Zealand with one other yoga teacher, and how that model has evolved since it started a year ago.

[44:06] What has Jenifer's experience been as a yoga studio without premises?

[52:19] Being transparent with her community has helped ease the transition for Jenifer. She shares how the community has responded to the changes she's implementing going forward. 

[55:45] What are some of Jennifer's tips for yoga teachers who are considering starting a collective?

[59:10] How did Jenifer manage the legal side of running a collective yoga studio?

[1:01:24] You can always hire experts to help with the legal and accounting side of running a collective.

[1:04:52] Find out more about Jenifer's collective yoga studio by visiting her website.

[1:07:10] Shannon shares a few things that are helping her right now.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Yomassage


Quotes from this episode:


"The collective model ... creates less administrative work and more opportunity for people to work together and to have the outreach that they want." ~ Jenifer Parker


"We need everyone to solve the problems. We need all the generations of yoga teachers to solve problems." ~ Jenifer Parker


"The hardest thing is making sure that you have really clear communication with the people that you're working with." ~ Jenifer Parker

Aug 26, 2019


This episode is all about something Shannon often gets asked - the nitty-gritty details of how to teach private yoga. It can feel intimidating, and you may not know where to start or how to structure a private yoga session with a student. Shannon dives into exactly how she handles her yoga sessions, from scheduling the 1:1 class to after the session ends.

Shannon covers a lot of ground. Starting off with scheduling, pricing, policies around booking, cancellation, payment, and rent, she also touches on waivers, health information and questions to ask to get to know your student better. Find out how Shannon creates a yoga flow on the fly for the person she is teaching, how she approaches space to do yoga, and makes sure to fit in the actual yoga (including Savasana!) within the session. 1:1 yoga is different from group classes, and Shannon explains how to be in discussion with your client while working with them, homework she assigns, and how she manages accountability and follow up.

This episode is jam-packed with lots of information and actionable tips - it was designed to help you dive right into teaching private yoga, if you have been thinking about it and just weren’t sure about the in’s and out’s.


Key Takeaways:

[6:38] This episode is all about the nitty-gritty details of teaching private yoga.

[7:35] When and how can someone schedule a session with you?

[9:40] What is your price? Shannon highlights some elements to consider when setting your price.

[15:12] How does Shannon approach providing mats and props, and the amount of time she allows between appointments.

[19:12] Setting policies and rules is an important part of teaching private yoga. Shannon shares some of her tips around booking, cancellation and payment policies.

[20:48] Rent - how much are you able to pay for rent?

[22:19] The next step is doing the intake after someone books with you. Shannon dives into waivers and health information.

[24:54] A lot of yoga teachers get stuck when it comes to asking their students questions. What are some questions you can ask to find out more about your student?

[29:16] If you are helping a student with a specific symptom or problem, what and how much information do you require ahead of time to help you prepare?

[32:06] Shannon creates the yoga flow for her private students on the fly. She explains how she goes about doing this with some real-life examples.

[35:36] Shannon shares what it means to hold space to do yoga.

[38:31] How can you be in discussion with your student during a 1:1 yoga session?

[40:19] Shannon gives her students homework!

[42:07] The last aspect of teaching private yoga is accountability and follow up.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals


Quotes from this episode:


"Imagine your ideal week. When would you ideally teach 1:1 yoga?"


"I don’t want you to negotiate and earn less than your set hourly rate."


"You are ready to teach 1:1 yoga as soon as you graduate from yoga teacher training.”


“Set your price and your policies first. Then set up how people book with you.”

Aug 19, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

130: Make a Profit Teaching Private Yoga with Emily Sussell



Can you make a good living teaching yoga? A lot of us yoga teachers struggle with money mindset - we don’t like to talk about making profits, or think about sharing yoga as a business. However, that’s an important part of being able to bring yoga to others. You need to be able to sustain yourself first, before you can serve others. On this episode, Emily Sussell reveals how she makes $100,000 a year with her yoga business, and how you can too.

Emily is a successful yoga teacher, business coach, and entrepreneur. She became a certified yoga instructor in 2013, and founded Private Yoga Brooklyn, a premium private yoga service in NYC. As other yoga teachers noticed her success and reached out to her for help in creating their own private yoga businesses, Emily was inspired to start Abundant Yogi Coaching, a business coaching institute for yoga teachers worldwide. In addition to coaching and mentorship services, she offers educational resources and coaching retreats to empower yoga teachers with tools to thrive financially and become more impactful as healers.

Finding your niche is a common theme on the podcast. Emily explains how teaching private yoga can be a niche on it own, and how to make the leap from teaching group classes to private yoga. She explains how she found her ideal client avatar, set her prices and marketed herself using branding on her website and SEO. Her biggest piece of advice? Motion over meditation.


If teaching private yoga is something you’ve given even a little bit of thought to, or if you just want to be able to make a decent income as a yoga teacher, this episode is for you.


Key Takeaways:

[6:35] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Emily Sussell.
[8:30] Where did Emily's yoga journey begin and how did she get to where she is today?
[13:56] What was the biggest thing for Emily that allowed her to shift from teaching group yoga to specializing in private yoga?
[15:38] What are some of Emily's tips around starting to specialize in teaching private yoga?
[18:22] Emily shares some advice around just taking the leap and going for it.
[20:42] How does Emily decide on the pricing for her yoga classes? She has a special equation!
[23:10] Emily believes it's possible to make a good income teaching yoga and teaching private yoga. She shares her insights into what that might look like.
[25:29] What are Emily's suggestions for attracting the right kinds of clients who can afford your fees?
[27:47] Shannon and Emily discuss niching down and specializing.
[30:36] How do packages and discounted pricing play into Emily's offerings?
[35:50] At what point did Emily transition from group to private classes?
[38:01] What is the most effective channel for Emily to get in front of her potential clients in terms of marketing and visibility?
[41:33] What does a 1:1 yoga session look like?
[45:38] What's the first step to take if you're looking to move in the direction of teaching private yoga classes?
[48:30] Check out the links for more information on insurance and waiver forms.
[49:18] Find out more about Emily's work via her Facebook group and her coaching website, Abundant Yogi.
[50:29] Shannon shares some of her key takeaways - she'd love to hear yours too!


Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals

Quotes from this episode:

"I fell in love with everything about working 1:1 with somebody in their home."

"One of the things that helped me make that transition [to specializing in private yoga] was honestly, deciding to."

"I realized that if I didn't choose something and commit to it, then I was just going to stay in this space of vagueness."

"When you're building a business and you're trying to move forward with growing something, don't get stuck in that place of constantly meditating what's the best way to do this."

"When we're creating marketing, we're not trying to appeal to everyone." 

Aug 12, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 129: Pelvic Floor 101 with Marie-Josée Forget



This episode is on one of Shannon’s favorite topics - pelvic health. It is one of the crucial parts of our body that plays many functions in our daily lives, but gets very little attention, until something goes wrong. Marie-Josée Forget, a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, is here to give us the basics on everything pelvic floor.


Marie-Josée Forget is a Pelvic Health Physiotherapist with 18 years of clinical experience. She currently teaches courses related to pelvic anatomy and health at Pelvic Health Solutions, and has developed a hand-drawn female and male pelvic floor model that is used as a teaching tool. Apart from her work as an instructor and public speaker on the topic of pelvic health, MJ runs a private physiotherapy practice where she treats men, women and children who have pelvic floor dysfunction.


The pelvic floor is a bit of a mystery to most of us. MJ helps us to understand a bit more about the anatomy of the pelvic floor and crucial role that it plays in various daily functions. Despite the common perception that the pelvic floor is weak and needs to be strengthened, MJ reveals that many people actually suffer from the effects of pelvic floor tension, rather than weakness. She also busts some common misconceptions and myths surrounding the pelvic floor


MJ also has some great suggestions on how yoga instructors and pelvic health physiotherapists can work together to better serve your students. Tune in to learn more about this remarkable part of our body, and how this information can help you and your yoga students. 


P.S. MJ Forget is the October guest expert in the Pelvic Health Professionals membership site!


Key Takeaways:

[7:24] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Marie-Josée Forget.

[9:26] What does MJ do and who does she do it for?

[10:14] MJ explains how she created her pelvic floor models.

[13:50] What is the pelvic floor, where is it, and what does it do?

[19:13] Do we guard with the pelvic floor under stress?

[20:16] Despite the importance and role of the pelvic floor in many of our daily activities, it is not a subject area that is often taught or discussed.

[21:30] There may be a perception in society that the pelvic floor is weak, and weakens over time. MJ explains more about the muscle and how weakness or tension may exhibit the same symptoms.

[24:56] MJ shares how yoga instructors can work together with pelvic health physiotherapists.

[28:08] What is it like to have a pelvic health physiotherapist do an internal exam?

[32:30] Shannon shares her experience of her first visit with her pelvic health physiotherapist.

[33:31] Shannon and MJ discuss how times are changing and people are recognizing the importance of pelvic health.

[37:01] What is the anatomy of the pelvic floor?

[43:30] MJ shares an anecdote of a study she was part of that revealed that women presenting with back and hip pain were predominantly tight, rather than weak in their pelvic floor muscles.

[46:03] One of the advantages of a practice like yoga is that it helps increase body awareness.

[49:40] The words and language we use as yoga teachers and pelvic health professionals is so important. There is a need for communication and education.

[51:07] What is the main thing that MJ wants listeners to understand and take away about pelvic health? She also busts some prevalent myths on the topic.

[57:22] Check out the links for ways to connect with MJ.

[58:03] What do you call the pelvic floor if it is holding tension or if it is weak?

[59:47] Shannon shares her biggest takeaway from this interview with MJ, and a little bit about the Pelvic Health Professionals membership site.


Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals


Quotes from this episode:

"People can really appreciate 'Oh, I have a whole bunch of muscles down there, I had no idea, and they're actually a lot more significant than I thought them to be.'"

"[The pelvic floor] still a part of the body we kind of ignore, and it's not until you start actually taking courses in pelvic health or doing yoga courses that we start to talk about it because of its importance."

"A muscle that's too weak can cause incontinence, but a muscle that's too tight also can cause incontinence."

"How great is it that we are getting now to the point where women are recognizing the importance of having a good evaluation and are seeking the care themselves!"

"We don't connect with our body very much. We disconnect, if anything."

Aug 5, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 128: Ayurveda, Doshas & Yoga with Angela Glaz



This episode is all about reconnecting the sister sciences, yoga and Ayurveda. We all learn about Ayurveda in out Yoga Teacher Trainings at some level, but a lot of us don’t know how to incorporate it into our classes, or even really how our doshas affect us in our lives and in our business. Angela Glaz has adoped a unique approach in building her yoga business with Ayurveda at its core, and she shares more about how you can bring Ayurveda into your classes too.


Angela is a 500 E-RYT, Ayurvedic Counselor and the Founder of Eka Yoga. She came to yoga in 2002 and since then, she has traveled to India twice to deepen her own practice and to study Yoga and Ayurveda. Most recently, she completed the Ayurvedic Counseling Program at the Kerala Ayurveda Academy. Today, Angela offers Ayurvedic consultations, Yoga and Ayurveda Immersive Courses, online wellness courses and an online holistic membership site, as well as group and private yoga classes.


What are the different doshas, and how do they influence us? Angela dives into the three doshas and their defining characteristics, and explains how we might see them reflected in our yoga practice, our lives and even in our role as business owners. She also reveals how she organizes her classes to go in line with Ayurveda, the technical aspects of offering people classes based on their doshas, and how her online membership site ties into her business.


Tune in to this fascinating episode to learn more about your own doshas, and how you might use this information to thrive in teaching, being a business owner and also living your life.


Key Takeaways:

[5:30] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Angela Glaz.

[6:59] Where did Angela's yoga journey begin?

[8:14] What has led Angela to the work that she does now? What does she do and who does she do it for?

[10:33] Is there a difference between yoga and Ayurveda or is it the same thing?

[11:52] What are the doshas?

[19:38] How do you know what dosha you are? How do you avoid seeing everything through that lens?

[23:48] What is something Angela has learned about the doshas that has really helped her as a yoga teacher?

[25:05] How can yoga teachers bring the doshas and Ayurveda into their classes?

[28:26] Angela shares some words of wisdom around attaching yourself or other people to a dosha.

[30:00] In Angela's yoga studio, people take classes according to their doshas. She explains how this works from a technical and organizational standpoint.

[32:12] When it comes to running a business, what are some things that would help the different doshas?

[37:18] People carry all doshas within them, but usually one is dominant.

[38:34] What is Angela's membership site about and what motivated her to start it?

[41:45] Angela shares a little about the videos she puts up online for her membership site.

[44:57] Who is Angela's target audience for her membership site?

[46:35] Angela shares some final thoughts and resources.

[48:19] Shannon leaves you with two final questions to think about.




Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals


Quotes from this episode:


"The concept behind the studio is to reconnect yoga and Ayurveda, because this gives practitioners a better idea of how to practice for their unique body type."


"Yoga is actually a tool to help us heal our body. It's part of Ayurveda."


"More people could benefit from understanding their unique body type and adjusting their diet, routine, exercise to find optimal health and happiness."


"The biggest thing that I'd like them to take away in their classes is really encouraging people to listen to their body."

Jul 29, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 127: Let Nature Theme Your Classes with Alee Link



Do you create your classes around a certain theme? Or have you been a part of a class where every pose and transition was intentional and flowed, and it left you wishing you knew how to structure your classes like that? Alee Link is great at intentional teaching, and finds the inspiration for her classes in nature - she shares how you can, too!


Alee Link attended her first yoga class when she was 12 years old, and in 2011, she completed her 200-hour RYT certification. In 2013, Alee and her husband founded River Flow Yoga and Wellness in Georgia, where she offers students yoga classes primarily rooted in Vinyasa (Flow) Yoga. She also created the MoonLIT Tribe app, which offers moon rituals, mantra, guided meditation and more for people looking to connect with themselves, each other, the planet, the stars, and everything around us.


One of Alee’s specialities is intentional teaching around a general theme for each class. She shares more about how she chooses her theme for each class, based on things that are going on in nature like the seasons, the placement of the moon, and the stars and what’s going on around her. Shannon and Alee also discuss the importance of intentional teaching, and why teaching classes around a certain theme doesn’t have to involve a lot of work.


If you’ve been thinking about where to get theme ideas for your classes, tune in to this episode to find out why you don’t have to look any further than the nature around us for inspiration and guidance.


Key Takeaways:

[6:18] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Alee Link.

[8:16] What does Alee do, and who does she do it for?

[9:43] Alee was only 12 years old when she went for her first yoga class. When did she decide to become a yoga teacher?

[14:15] What are some things Alee wishes she had known when choosing her first yoga teacher training?

[18:40] How does Alee teach intentionally and theme her classes?

[25:20] Alee shares an anecdote from her experience about the founding of the MoonLIT app, and how yoga teachers can use the app.

[31:37] Shannon and Alee discuss the importance of nature, not just in yoga but in other aspects of life.

[33:20] How much pressure does Alee feel in being intentional with every pose and transition in her teaching sequence? Does she communicate her intentions with her class?

[40:23] When leading yoga teacher training to new teachers, how does Alee guide them to create themes for their classes apart from just focusing on their own practice?

[45:08] How does Alee map out her classes?

[50:01] What is something Alee has learned in leading yoga teacher training?

[52:46] What has been a lightbulb moment for Alee's teachers in her training?

[58:11] Does Alee also incorporate things that are going on around us in the world, in terms of news, current events or politics?

[1:03:29] Get in touch with Alee on social media, check out the MoonLIT app, or visit her websites to find out more about her work.

[1:04:21] Shannon shares her greatest takeaways, and would love to hear yours!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"My purpose on this planet is to spread the message of connectivity."


"That's how I teach, is based on what's going on in the natural world around us and that is our greatest teacher."


"My greatest advice is to take the time to understand the natural world."


"Just giving yourself a little space and grace to explore, I think is the biggest thing."


"The natural world is happening around us regardless. So we can either jump into the flow, or force ourselves against it and resist it."


Jul 24, 2019

We have heard from a lot of yoga teachers in the last few weeks regarding the new standards released by Yoga Alliance. In this bonus podcast episode, Shannon Roche explains what this means for both yoga teachers and schools.

Links mentioned:



Jul 22, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

 Ep 126: Body Mindful Yoga with Jennifer Kreatsoulas



This episode deals with a topic that impacts so many of us and our students: body image and making peace with the bodies we have. In the USA, up to 30 million people suffer from an eating disorder, and worldwide, almost 70 million. Yoga can be a powerful tool to navigate the daily challenges of recovery from eating disorders, or even to help people accept their bodies. 


Jennifer Kreatsoulas is a certified yoga therapist specializing in eating disorders and body image. As an inspirational speaker and the author of Body Mindful Yoga: Create a Powerful and Affirming Relationship With Your Body, she helps others who struggle with their bodies find peace of mind with yoga and mindfulness practices. She also provides yoga therapy online and in-person, and coaches healthcare and yoga professionals.


For over 20 years, Jennifer has struggled with anorexia, and she reveals how that inspired her work in helping people who struggle with their bodies through yoga. Shannon and Jennifer discuss what words and cues can be triggering and some alternatives you can use instead, as well as the general language in our culture around food, fitness, and fashion.


Being mindful of our bodies and creating an affirming relationship with our bodies is not easy, but it is work worth doing. This episode will surely shed new light on some of our practices in cueing during yoga classes, and how to be more aware of the language that we use and that surrounds us.


Key Takeaways:

[5:25] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jennifer Kreatsoulas.

[7:18] Who is Jennifer and what is the work she does?

[9:35] What is an eating disorder?

[12:50] In the US, 30 million people are affected by eating disorders.

[14:26] What made Jennifer decide that yoga would be a part of her recovery?

[16:14] What are some examples of triggering words or actions?

[21:11] Jennifer and Shannon discuss the importance of educating and empowering students with the language you use, as well as bringing inquiry into the class.

[24:20] We're often told to love our bodies, but that is hard to do sometimes.

[26:18] Jennifer shares some of the language around body parts that can be sensitive.

[31:50] What are some other verbal cues to pay attention to?

[34:05] Movement in a yoga class may not come as easily to beginners as it does to us as yoga teachers, who have been doing it for years.

[35:51] What are some of the best practices surrounding body mindful yoga?

[40:34] There is so much power in our words - we need to be mindful of how our words can hurt ourselves, hurt others.

[45:01] Who is Jennifer's target for her book, Body Mindful Yoga?

[46:00] Jennifer also offers mentorship for healthcare professionals and yoga teachers.

[50:03] Jennifer shares some words of compassion for people who are not feeling confident in their bodies.

[52:13] Don't forget to get a copy of Jennifer's book, and do check out her website to learn more about her work.

[53:27] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this interview.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"[An eating disorder] affects people of all ages, of all genders, of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds."


"We're all learning how to love ourselves better, and we all have our obstacles to doing that."


"If we want to use that language, let's make it empowering and educate our students on what's actually happening in their bodies, and what it means."


"Find the language that resonates with you most authentically."

Jul 15, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 125: How to Get Unstuck with Shira Gura



Do you encounter a feeling of being stuck, as a business owner, or even in your own personal life? You feel like you can’t move forward, you can’t make a decision, and you may even have students who come to your yoga classes to help them get unstuck. Shira Gura, an expert in helping people get unstuck, has just the tools to help you and your students.


Shira Taylor Gura is the creator of The S.T.U.C.K. Method®, author of Getting unSTUCK: Five Simple Steps to Emotional Well-Being, host of the Getting Unstuck podcast, and creator of Consideration Cards. Shira’s own journey in feeling stuck in different areas of her life helped her discover tools to use to help herself and others.


With her five-step S.T.U.C.K Method, Shira coaches Shannon through some areas in her business that she has been feeling stuck. They discuss what it means to be stuck, why people often fall into the same areas of “stuck-ness” in their lives, and why it’s so important to take time to do this work on yourself.


This is such an informative episode with valuable tips and actions you can take immediately to get unstuck in your business or relationships, and to help others in your life get unstuck with things they’re struggling with. Tune in to the end to find out more about Shira’s special giveaway too!


Key Takeaways:

[5:40] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Shira Gura

[7:26] Where did Shira's yoga journey begin?

[9:57] How did Shira get started becoming a STUCK coach and educator?

[15:39] Shira used to blog every week about where she was feeling stuck. She shares one of her more popular stories that really resonated with her audience.

[19:34] How can you figure out if you're stuck?

[20:35] Shira talks through an example of where a yoga teacher might get stuck, and how they can use her method to get un-stuck.

[24:06] Shira coaches Shannon with her stuck-ness around starting her new venture, Pelvic Health Professionals.

[32:45] What are some tools Shira recommends to help you feel your emotions instead of avoiding them?

[34:51] Ask yourself 'what are the beliefs that are creating that emotion?', and how can you flip that belief?

[42:43] The last step in the method is to wrap up with self compassion.

[44:21] Shannon and Shira recap the S.T.U.C.K method.

[51:39] Get in touch with Shira via her website, and do check out her podcast and book too. 

[52:10] Shira leaves us with some final thoughts.

[54:09] Shira has a special giveaway!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"I was basically trying to use mindfulness to help me get out of the stuck spots, but ... I found mindfulness wasn't enough."


"I recognized that this tool was something for anyone and everyone who felt stuck in their lives and needed a tool to help them out."


"If you're doubtful, if you're not sure if you're stuck or not, you probably are."


"Every emotion that you have, that is being created by a thought. Because thoughts create emotions."


"Those stuck spots, the recurring ones, will stay in your life forever until you learn the lesson you're supposed to learn from it."

Jul 9, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 124: Enneagram for Yoga Entrepreneurs with Sarajane Case



How much does your personality type influence how you share yoga and run your business? What traits or qualities might your students display, depending on their personality type, and how does that influence their experience of yoga? Sarajane Case is an Enneagram expert, and she shares just how you can harness the power of your personality to influence your business and life.


Sarajane Case is the founder of Enneagram & Coffee, where she works with people through online courses, in-person workshops and business masterminds. She uses the Enneagram as a tool for self-exploration, expression & entrepreneurship, and helps people build and nurture their relationships with themselves.


Learning our personality type is a great way to come to a compassionate understanding of who we are. Sarajane explains more about the Enneagram assessment, and the distinguishing characteristics of the different personality types. She also has some tips on how you can harness your personality characteristics in your own yoga business. Sarajane also recounts the experience of having her Instagram account go viral and why she focuses on Instagram as her main platform to reach her audience.


Whether you’ve always been curious about personality types and how they influence your work and business, or if you’ve heard about the Enneagram assessment and are interested to find out more about it, this episode is sure to be a good listen.


Key Takeaways:

[3:36] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Sarajane Case.

[5:27] Who is Sarajane and what does she do? She also shares a profound moment she experienced in her first yoga class.

[8:13] What is the Enneagram and what got Sarajane interested in looking at it?

[10:15] Sarajane shares a lot of small nuggets of information on her Instagram account, because all the information about your personality can be quite overwhelming.

[11:33] How can you go about finding out what type you are?

[12:54] Sarajane explains how people can see themselves as different types, and what that could mean.

[15:25] What are some of the main distinguishing characteristics of each personality type?

[19:56] How do people who have taken the Enneagram try to change certain aspects of their personality?

[21:41] How can the Enneagram help us as business owners and entrepreneurs?

[25:30] What type are yoga teachers most likely to be? What are their superpowers, and how might they feel out of balance in their businesses?

[28:50] Sarajane highly recommends for business owners who are growing their team to have their team members take the Enneagram to find complementary strengths.

[29:37] Sarajane already had a strong following on Instagram. When she started Enneagram  & Coffee, it blew up. What caused that?

[34:44] What are some of the things that have helped Sarajane build her personal Instagram account?

[36:15] Sarajane's business is mainly on Instagram.

[37:14] What are some resources business owners can tap into to learn more about the Enneagram?

[39:06] What are some of Sarajane's final thoughts on the Enneagram?

[41:29] Have you taken the Enneagram, or are you thinking about taking it? We'd love to hear from you!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"Everything about [the Enneagram] is internal. It's your motivations, it's your basic fears, it's your coping mechanisms."


"What the Enneagram shows us is that we're all just trying our best with what we have and what we've been given."


"I am very cautious with the Enneagram to express it in a way that is all about acceptance, and self-acceptance, and self-compassion."


"I think that I definitely lead with how can I benefit the people who are here. If you've agreed to follow me, I want to make sure that I'm leaving you better than you found me."


Jul 1, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 123: Habits for Health & Business with James Clear



How do you cultivate good habits that improve your life, and break bad habits that hold you back? On this episode, James Clear, author of Atomic Habits, reveals more about why habits are so crucial to your success and how to create, change and break habits that impact your business and life.


Apart from being a New York Times-bestselling author, James is the creator of Habits Academy, and international speaker. He combines ideas from a wide range of disciplines to create self-improvement tips for habits, decision-making, and continuous improvement, all based on proven scientific research.


James dives into the nitty-gritty of everything to do with habits - how they are formed, why they have such a huge impact on your health and business, and his tried-and-tested strategies for making small changes that will transform your habits and deliver remarkable results. He also shares hacks to help you reduce your social media usage and stop procrastination!


If you’ve been wanting to make your own yoga practice a habit, or if you need help creating routines to run your business better, this episode is full of tips that you can put into practice immediately.


Key Takeaways:

[5:57] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - James Clear.

[7:09] When did James' work with habits begin?

[8:43] What is a habit?

[12:59] Shannon and James discuss an example of how to create a habit that comes before a ritual or practice.

[00:15:14] Do habits need to happen at the same time every day, and do they need to be a daily practice?

[18:16] How can you hold on to your habits when you are traveling and the context is entirely different? Habit stacking can help!

[21:13] James gets a lot of website traffic and book sales around the New Year as people use their momentum of the fresh start to try to change their habits. What is his advice for people who want to change everything, and get overwhelmed?

[25:41] How does James approach failing to build habits or falling away from a practice?

[29:12] Perfectionism or wanting your habit to be perfect can kill your progress. James has some strategies to get past that, and how that ties in to identity-based habits.

[35:03] How can yoga teachers build habits in their businesses, particularly in areas like accounting or marketing?

[40:55] What kind of goals does James help people achieve?

[42:58] What are James' tips for people who tend to procrastinate?

[48:14] Shannon and James discuss rewards as a way to build habits, and if that could potentially turn into something negative.

[52:20] What can help people focus in the age of social media, email and constant distractions?

[57:53] Check out James' work and his book, Atomic Habits, at his websites.

[58:26] What is a habit James is struggling with right now?

[59:44] Shannon's biggest takeaway from this interview is the idea of casting a vote for who you are as a person through your actions. What's yours?




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"Time is just one element of context, and so habits are linked to a particular context."


"One reason why people sometimes struggle to build a new habit is that they're trying to build a new habit in their old environment."


"It's almost never the first mistake that ruins you. It's the spiral of repeated mistakes that follows from that."


"Every action you take is a vote for the kind of person you want to become."


"Just knowing your numbers gives you confidence in your ability to run the business side of it."


Jun 24, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 122: Productivity for Yoga Teachers with Amber De La Garza



Are you struggling with productivity and finding enough time to do all the things?  On this episode, Amber De La Garza, The Productivity Specialist, shares strategies to help you become more productive and achieve your business goals.


Amber is a sought-after coach, trainer, speaker, writer, and host of the Productivity Straight Talk podcast. She helps driven entrepreneurs execute actionable solutions to maximize profits, reduce stress, and make time for what matters most.


There seem to be an endless number of tasks that we have to do to run our yoga businesses, and not enough time. Amber reveals the four buckets of highly productive activities we should be focusing our time on, and some strategies that you can put into action right now.


Whether you’ve been feeling stressed and overwhelmed by the number of tasks you have to do to run your business, or you want to improve your productivity to give yourself more time to do the things that you love - Amber has just the tips, strategies and advice you need.


Key Takeaways:

[4:14] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Amber De La Garza.

[6:28] How did Amber get into the industry of productivity?

[10:47] Shannon and Amber discuss how she found her niche as the productivity specialist.

[12:08] What is productivity?

[14:03] Amber shares an example of how she incorporates productivity in her personal life.

[16:25] Amber breaks down the differences between productivity, organization and efficiency.

[21:02] Money mindset - how can yoga teachers not feel guilty about charging for their services?

[24:53] In your business, one of the four buckets highly productive activities is marketing and visibility.

[30:36] The second bucket is sales. Amber explains why making the ask is so important, and some examples of how to do it.

[38:21] The third bucket is servicing the client, but remember that it doesn't stand alone!

[41:25] Bucket #4 is leadership. Amber reveals how this ties back to buckets 1, 2 and 3.

[43:52] How much time should you be dedicating to each bucket of activities?

[44:54] Amber dives into some visibility activities she does in her own business.

[48:18] What's the best way to deal with other activities like answering emails and doing financials that aren't part of the highly productive activities buckets?

[52:01] Hiring out administrative work and activities that are not in your zone of genius is a great way to increase your productivity.

[57:40] Check out Amber's podcast and her website to find out more about her strategies for improving productivity!

[59:23] Shannon shares her own takeaways from this interview.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"I'm so busy working in my business, I have no time to work on my business."


"[Productivity] is a skill set that can be learned. And as long as you feel like you can learn something new, this can be something learned to help you in your personal and business life."


"[Productivity is] investing your best time into your best activities."


"At the end of the day, your business is not a business if it's not making money."


"Organization is not the same as productivity, and neither is efficiency."


"Not knowing that something is going to work 100% isn't a reason to not take action."


"The key to have this consistent revenue is to be consistent in all three of these buckets."

Jun 17, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 121: Yoga for Pelvic Health with Shannon Crow




Why is yoga such an amazing gift for pelvic health? How does knowing this information and using it change the way we practice and teach yoga? In this episode, Shannon shares more about one of her favorite topics yoga for pelvic health.


Shannon reveals her own personal experiences of going through three pregnancies and births with no idea about pelvic health, and how finding out more about the topic ignited her passion in the topic. She talks more about the four key elements of yoga for pelvic health - breath, alignment, movement and information - and why yoga makes such a difference.


After learning more about pelvic health, Shannon started to incorporate some of the things she learned into her own yoga practice, and how she shared yoga with her students. She walks us through some simple examples you can practice, try out and share with your yoga students.


If you’ve been wondering about how to improve your pelvic health in some way or have students who have approached you with questions or concerns relating to pelvic health, this episode has some great information that will change the way you practice and share yoga.


Key Takeaways:

[4:14] Where did Shannon's passion for pelvic health begin?

[7:13] Shannon shares her first experience of meeting a pelvic floor physiotherapist.

[10:30] What are the four key elements of yoga for pelvic health?

[11:15] Element 1: Breath - How does breath relate to pelvic health?

[14:23] Element 2: Alignment - Focus on the yoga student in front of you and their unique needs.

[17:16] Element 3: Movement - Movement is a key element in our overall yoga practice, and also in pelvic health.

[19:41] Element 4: Information - Internal information is just as important as external information sources.

[23:10] Shannon explains how to apply these four elements to Bridge.

[28:49] Shannon shares more about rib cage breath vs belly breathing.

[30:53] Shannon no longer cues mula bandha / core engagement / pelvic floor engagement in her classes. Why?

[35:26] Share your thoughts and questions about these practices with Shannon, and check out her new offering around pelvic health!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"In the three pregnancies and births that I had, no one talked to me about pelvic health. I didn't even know about my pelvic floor."


"The four elements to yoga for pelvic health, and why yoga is such a great tool to use for pelvic health, ... are breath, alignment, movement, and information."


"There is this amazing information that comes from internal, and this is where we provide the space as yoga teachers for students to come to an awareness of what's going on in their body and their mind."


"There is never a time anymore where I am working with a group class and telling them all to engage their pelvic floor."

Jun 10, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 120: Teach Private Yoga Online with Yael Oppenheim



Have you ever wondered what it would be like to teach yoga online, live, in a virtual class via video chat with a student? We’re all using technology in a variety of ways in our yoga businesses, but Yael Oppenheim is taking teaching yoga to a whole new platform.


Yael Oppenheim is the founder of FitMyTime, a marketplace for remote personal fitness and yoga classes, founded in 2018. She was inspired to create FitMyTime when she realized there were no options available for people who wanted to work out from home with the guidance of a personal trainer or instructor. Since its launch last year, over 150 instructors have signed up, and the platform continues to grow.


Virtual yoga or fitness classes may seem unusual, but it definitely caters to a need in the marketplace for both students and teachers. Yael explains more about the platform, the business model, and some of the challenges as well as the benefits of using FitMyTime for both teachers and students.


If you’re thinking about expanding your offerings to include teaching online, or if you’re just curious about what it will feel like to share yoga from behind a screen, this episode is going to be an eye-opener.


Key Takeaways:

[3:07] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Yael Oppenheim.

[4:27] Where did Yael's yoga journey begin?

[5:45] What does Yael do now and who does she do it for?

[6:53] What is the platform, FitMyTime?

[7:42] How do teachers and students connect with each other virtually?

[10:49] What motivated Yael to start FitMyTime?

[15:02] Yael shares some of the challenges yoga teachers, fitness instructors and yoga studios face, as well as her own initial experience taking lessons online.

[20:14] How has the FitMyTime platform grown?

[21:10] How can yoga teachers apply to teach on this platform?

[23:00] Students also have the opportunity to try out different teachers on the platform.

[25:03] How do the payments work on this platform?

[26:34] Shannon and Yael discuss waiver forms, insurance for teaching online, and scheduling details of FitMyTime.

[29:47] How many students are on the platform?

[32:21] How has it been for Yael growing her business?

[36:01] Check out the platform on the website FitMyTime.

[36:39] Shannon and Yael discuss the different groups of people who might be interested in working out with personal trainers online.

[39:16] Shannon shares some of her key takeaways from this interview.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"FitMyTime is a platform, a marketplace, that connects yoga instructors and fitness trainers with trainees, with students from around the world for the purpose of an online, live yoga classes or fitness workouts."


"The platform enables people ... [to] find instructors for different kinds of workout types."


"One of the things that I learned is that the connection between the teacher and students, not only in yoga but in general, is really reliant on the chemistry between two people."


"It's a great way to find teachers on one hand, and on the other hand, it's a great way for teachers to expand their work opportunities."

Jun 3, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

119: Travel and Teach Yoga with Eva Hamilton



Have you dreamed of teaching yoga while you travel?? How can you create a feasible yoga business teaching yoga while traveling? If these questions have ever crossed your mind, Eva Hamilton is just the yoga entrepreneur you need to hear from.


Eva’s first yoga teacher training was in 2008, and since then she has completed multiple courses and trainings in yin yoga, restorative yoga, Thai yoga massage, and much more. She previously owned and operated a yoga studio in Canada, but in the past two years, Eva has traveled to several countries offering yoga teacher trainings, specialized yoga workshops, yoga retreats, online yoga classes and more. Her own practice is grounded in transforming feelings of anxiety into freedom, and she strives to help others to do the same in her classes.


Teaching yoga while traveling the world sounds glamorous and amazing, but it comes with its own set of challenges. Eva opens up about her own struggles with anxiety, and how she found her way to a path of teaching yoga while traveling. Shannon and Eva also discuss the practical aspects of moving abroad to teach yoga - finances, visa requirement, contracts and more, as well as what it’s like to teach yoga online.


If you’ve been wondering how to incorporate more travel into your yoga teaching career, or want to learn more about connecting with nomadic yoga teachers to bring what they have to offer to your yoga studio, this episode will be a real treat.


Key Takeaways:

[3:13] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Eva Hamilton.

[5:27] Where did Eva's yoga journey begin?

[8:42] How did Eva move from her realization that she had high anxiety and that yoga was helping, to wanting to travel the world?

[10:56] Where did Eva travel, and how did she deal with moments of high anxiety?

[13:03] In 2018, Eva traveled and taught in 5 countries. What were some of the things she learned along the way?

[15:00] Eva reveals more about the financial aspects of teaching yoga while traveling.

[18:35] Shannon and Eva discuss her transition into a more traveling path.

[19:56] What is Eva's advice for yoga teachers who want to become traveling yoga teachers?

[21:42] If you're considering moving abroad to teach yoga, it may be most beneficial to talk to a yoga teacher who is already teaching there to find out more.

[23:25] Eva shares more about her life in Thailand as a yoga teacher.

[25:32] What does Eva's average week look like?

[29:21] Do you feel like you're running away from something, or do you feel like you're running toward something?

[30:29] Making new connections has opened up new opportunities for Eva.

[33:32] Eva and Shannon dive into some of her challenges in teaching online.

[35:44] Eva shares some of her thoughts around competition in the yoga space.

[38:09] Get in touch with Eva via her website or on social media to find out more about her work.

[39:46] Share your questions in our Facebook group or in the comments!


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:

"I think I really made a strong connection to the practice in my first Savasana."


"I think a lot of people make the assumption because I was young that I was really attached to yoga as a physical practice, but for me it was always much more to do with this bridge between the mind and the emotions."


"I really believe yoga is not an answer in and of itself, but when we partner it with other forms of care, it can be extremely successful."


"A job letter is great, but get a contract before you uproot your life."


"It's a certain amount of stepping beyond the fear, trusting my intuition, but also do the work and the research and figure out what's going to make sense for you."


"Do you feel like you're running away from something, or do you feel like you're running toward something?"


"To me, what's the most meaningful part of teaching yoga is that human connection."


May 27, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 118: Planning a Yoga Conference with Allison Rissel



If you’ve ever attended a yoga conference, you can imagine how much time, money and effort goes into it. But how do you get started planning, marketing and executing such an event? What are some do’s and don’ts of planning a yoga conference? Allison Rissel, joins Shannon on this episode to dive into the nitty gritty of planning a yoga conference.


Allison became a yoga teacher in 2006, and uses her master’s degree in Exercise Science alongside her extensive anatomy and biomechanics training to work with a variety of clients. However, her passion lies in training yoga teachers to create their own yoga communities. She does this by offering yoga teacher trainings and a range of services to help yoga teachers bring their yoga conference dreams to life.


On this episode, Allison reveals all the things that go on behind-the-scenes in planning and executing a yoga conference. From the schedule of events at the conference, to marketing strategies to promote and advertise the conference, to hard lessons learned along the way - Allison shares all her insight and experience.


Whether you’re contemplating planning a yoga conference, or want to know how to become a vendor or teacher to make new connections within the yoga community and expand your reach, this interview is full of actionable tips you can put to use immediately.


Key Takeaways:

[3:40] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Allison Rissel

[5:10] What does Allison do, and who does she serve?

[8:18] What in Allison's background enabled her to feel empowered to create her first yoga conference?

[9:53] When did Allison host the first North Dakota Yoga Conference? How did it turn out?

[11:30] How long did it take for Allison to plan for the event? How long did she advertise the event?

[13:17] How many teachers did Allison have sharing at the conference? What was the schedule like for the conference?

[15:12] Who were the attendees at the yoga conference?

[16:32] What has Allison learned along the way?

[19:29] What did Allison change or implement in her business after her consultation call with Shannon?

[23:58] Allison breaks down some of the numbers from her conferences.

[25:26] How does Allison ensure that 75% of the conference participants have signed up by the end of the Early Bird promotion?

[27:30] Shannon and Allison discuss Bismarck, North Dakota.

[29:27] What does Allison's preparation look like the week before the conference?

[33:37] What is Allison doing during the conference?

[35:36] How does Allison theme her conference?

[37:52] Allison explains more about how she attracts teachers, vendors and participants to her conference.

[39:30] How did Allison manage to turn a profit in the first year of running the conference?

[42:08] Allison shares how the conference acts as the top of her funnel.

[43:25] Find out more about Allison's yoga conference in 2019 by visiting her website.

[45:58] Share a conference you love, or any questions you have for Allison!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"I saw the impact that yoga had, and that yoga teacher trainings were having in the towns I was at, and it was incredible, and I really wanted to spread that across the whole state."


"I saw the impact that yoga and yoga teacher trainings were having in the towns I visited. It was incredible and I really wanted to spread that across the whole state." (revised Sam)


"I don't know if it's something I could have done by myself, but having two other team mates really helped motivate me and really helped bring this whole dream to reality."


"The biggest thing I wish I would have known beforehand is how much time and money is really involved."


"I want to make other teachers feel really empowered and start their own businesses."


"No matter how well you plan, that week before, something's going to go wrong and there's going to be a lot of work to do."

May 20, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

116: Pain Language with Shelly Prosko (Part 2)



How important is communication and language when working with yoga students, especially those who are dealing with persistent (chronic) pain? The answer is - extremely. We don't want our yoga students to become fearful of movement, or trigger a pain response with our cues or tone.This episode is a continuation of the conversation from last week with Shelly Prosko on the topic of pain language in yoga.


Shelly is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist, author, international speaker and educator with over 20 years of experience in the field. She is also a Pain Care Yoga Trainer, and works to expand knowledge and education on topics surrounding persistent (chronic) pain, pelvic health, compassion and professional burnout. She is currently co-authoring the textbook, Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain.


On the previous episode, Shelly shared cues that empower our yoga students instead of using cues that instill fear of movement. This week, Shannon and Shelly discuss the importance of self-compassion and the language we can use around that, as well as

how we can make yoga "safe" - both by creating safe spaces and through the use of our language. Shelly shares more about the topics covered in her upcoming book, and why alignment is so important as a part of yoga.


This conversation is such an eye-opener and will surely provide you with a new perspective on language, how we communicate with cues in a yoga class, and how it all ties in to the way we serve our yoga students who are dealing with persistent pain.


Key Takeaways:

[3:50] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Shelly Prosko.

[4:35] Shelly shares more about the idea of having self-compassion and the language around that.

[6:21] What is an example of how someone might practice self-compassion?

[11:27] As a yoga teacher, you want to help people find their own luxurious experience.

[17:32] What is Shelly's book about?

[20:36] What is "safe" yoga, and how can we achieve it?

[27:19] Shelly breaks down the different aspects of language that we should be mindful of.

[31:49] Shelly speaks more about the power of intention and visualization.

[35:11] Shelly briefly touches on the topic of alignment in yoga.

[43:08] Find out more about Shelly via her website, social media and YouTube.

[44:11] Join the conversation by leaving a comment or joining our Live Q&A call.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:

"I just would like to encourage people if they're interested to learn more about self-compassion and the language surrounding that, and then that will help you cue."


"As a yoga teacher, you want to help people find their own luxurious experience."


"The big question is well, how do you create a safe space? We talk about that a lot but how do you do it?"


"Let's cue alignment, but let's cue it to give [the students] a variable experience.”

May 13, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

116: Pain Language with Shelly Prosko (Part 1)



When people turn to yoga in search of healing, they often carry with them a lot of pain. As yoga teachers, it can be challenging and frustrating to know which words to choose when communicating with our students and giving cues, particularly for those who are dealing with persistent (chronic) pain. In part one of this two-part interview, Shelly Prosko joins Shannon to talk about this topic in a way that makes it playful and fun.


Shelly is a physiotherapist, yoga therapist, author, international speaker and educator with over 20 years of experience in the field. She is also a Pain Care Yoga Trainer, and works to expand knowledge and education on topics surrounding persistent (chronic) pain, pelvic health, compassion and professional burnout. She is currently co-authoring the textbook, Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain.


Shannon and Shelly discuss the concepts of pain and some of the science behind pain  (hint: it’s not a ‘thing’, it’s a phenomenon and an experience!). When guiding a yoga class, some words we use innocently may either be empowering or triggering - Shelly shares more about some words to avoid, and her suggestions for alternatives.


This episode is full of Shelly’s tips and strategies for being more aware of language when guiding a yoga class. Whether you’re teaching a trauma-informed yoga class or just want to be more conscious of how your language can trigger and alleviate pain responses, you’re sure to learn something you can apply to your own classes right away.


Key Takeaways:

[4:43] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Shelly Prosko.

[5:36] What got Shelly interested in the topic of pain language?

[9:58] Shelly explains the connotations of 'chronic' pain vs 'persistent' pain.

[13:09] It's important to have self compassion and not get too caught up or stressed about always choosing the right words.

[15:39] What do the terms 'neuroplasticity' and 'bioplasticity' mean?

[19:03] When people get overwhelmed with language, they shut down - that's why it's important to keep conversations about language playful and exploratory.

[21:16] How can language turn someone around from their negative pain story into sometime more empowering? Shelly shares an example.

[25:23] How does Shelly approach changing the language used around pain - through explanations, or a gradual shift in language?

[29:27] What are some of Shelly's cue considerations around pain language?

[34:31] Shelly shares some alternatives that she prefers to use in giving cues.

[43:23] What are some other "dos-and-don'ts" when it comes to communicating in your yoga class?

[48:51] What is your main takeaway from this interview? Share your thoughts!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"For people in pain, that have been suffering from persistent pain or chronic pain for a long time, there can be certain changes in the brain and the nervous system that makes the nervous system more hypervigilant, ... or more sensitive."


"We have to also respect the lived experience of pain, meaning what are people in pain saying?"


"Our whole being potentially has the capacity for change."


"Pain is the output of the human."


"The output of the brain is the pain experience, and pain is not a thing. It's a phenomenon, it's an experience."


"With the giving the permission, just be cognizant about are we creating an environment that gives people the sense of safety, confidence and the courage."


"You don't have to tell people what to do or what they should be doing. You're just providing this experience, you're more their guide."


May 6, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

115: The Polyvagal Theory and Yoga with Dr. Ginger Garner




We all know that communication and language are important in a yoga class. But it’s not just about giving instructions and guidance about breathing or poses - it’s also how we communicate. The timber and volume of our voices, music or chanting in the class, even certain words, can have an effect on other people, but also ourselves, and it creates an internal response for both parties. This is all part of the polyvagal theory, and Dr. Ginger Garner joins Shannon on this episode to explain how this theory can influence how we teach, communicate and hold space as yoga teachers.


Dr. Garner is a trained doctor of physical therapy, licensed athletic trainer, professional yoga therapist, published author, and renowned educator. She strongly believes that health and healthcare should be approached holistically, and founded the Professional Yoga Therapy Institute®, the first yoga therapy certification for healthcare providers in the world.


The polyvagal theory, the wandering nerve, the use of sound, music, cues and communication in a yoga class, chronic pain - Shannon and Dr. Garner dive deep into these topics and more. Dr. Garner shares examples from her multi-decade career about the use of polyvagal theory in treating chronic pain, and highlights some tools yoga teachers can put into practice in their own classes.


Whether you want to improve how you communicate with your yoga students, or be more aware of the impact and influence something as simple as your voice could be having on your yoga classes, this episode is full of great information.


Key Takeaways:

[2:56] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Dr. Ginger Garner

[4:17] What got Dr. Garner into yoga, and what was her first experience with yoga like?

[6:49] What is the main work that Dr. Garner does?

[9:14] What is the polyvagal theory?

[15:33] The polyvagal theory involves the vagus nerve, which Dr. Garner calls the wandering nerve. Why is it called that?

[21:28] How does polyvagal theory apply to how yoga teachers cue and communicate in a class?

[24:00] What does it look like when yoga teachers are trying to create that safe space?

[27:14] In what way can yoga teachers use sound in their classes to affect vagal tone?

[28:39] Shannon and Dr. Garner discuss eustress and distress and some examples.

[30:56] Dr. Garner explains how sounding would play out in a yoga class.

[33:26] What could be therapeutic for someone may be disassociating for someone else. Dr. Garner highlights some examples of this.

[37:43] What does breathwork have to do with the nervous system?

[43:19] Shannon shares an anecdote about her student who was suffering from chronic pain.

[44:06] People can get stuck in a circle of chronic pain, and then turn to yoga as a means of breaking that cycle.

[46:08] What are some tools that Dr. Garner suggests to overcome negative pattern?

[55:15] Why do we forget to breathe in a way that helps us?

[1:01:25] Shannon and Dr. Garner discuss the importance of integration of fields of study for more effective treatment.

[1:03:53] Find out more about Dr. Garner and the work she does by visiting her websites - links below.

[1:06:27] Shannon shares her biggest takeaways from this interview.



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"How I use yoga, how I use polyvagal theory, how it all comes together is to create a safe space for people who are in a lot of pain."


"When I'm teaching yoga teachers or I'm teaching healthcare providers to use yoga, ... I want them to be able to create a therapeutic landscape that is conducive to creating safety for that person."


"Sound can be a trigger, but it also can be a eustress, a positive stressor."


"Using sound as therapy and music as medicine is in its infancy still."


"Our biomedical system is quite broken."


"[Yoga] alone doesn't fix it, and [surgery] alone doesn't fix it, but together, it will. It can."

Apr 29, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

114: Compassion Fatigue with Diane Liska




As yoga teachers, we come across people who come to yoga in search of healing, and we help to guide their experience and help them in their healing process. But this can take a toll on us, and lead to burnout and compassion fatigue over time. Diane Liska has some strategies for how best to develop resilience to compassion fatigue and evolve in our own professional practice as healers.


Diane is a Registered Psychotherapist with over 10 years of experience in the mental health field, specializing in the areas of trauma, attachment and neuroscience. She became a Certified Yoga Teacher in 2015, and now focuses on combining her expertise in the two fields to help her clients navigate personal challenges and connect with their inner resources to cultivate wholeness, resiliency and a strong body-mind connection.


In yoga-informed psychotherapy, Diane uses yoga and other somatic or body-based therapy practices to weave into her work of psychotherapy. She shares more about the differences between burnout and compassion fatigue, and some of the symptoms to look out for. Based on her experience, Diane suggests some exercises and strategies that increase resilience against compassion fatigue, and some tools you can use to overcome it.


If you’ve ever experienced times when you fall away from your own personal practice, or if you’re looking for tips on how to avoid compassion fatigue, this episode will give you the tools to build resilience against and overcome compassion fatigue.

Key Takeaways:

[3:15] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Diane Liska.

[5:13] Which came first for Diane, psychotherapy or her yoga journey?

[6:25] Why do we suffer from perfectionism?

[8:40] What propelled Diane forward in her yoga-psychotherapy journey to where she is now?

[10:17] What does Diane do?

[11:21] What kind of clients does Diane work with?

[11:47] What is compassion fatigue, and how is it related to burnout?

[16:04] Shannon shares a personal anecdote of working with victim of trauma.

[18:11] Diane briefly explains polyvagal theory.

[22:33] What are the symptoms of compassion fatigue?

[26:00] Diane shares some of her recommendations on how to prevent compassion fatigue.

[31:50] Diane gives an example of what co-regulation would look like when working with a client.

[32:38] Diane touches on the concept of compartmentalizing, and why it's not an effective method.

[35:49] Another suggestion to combat compassion fatigue is to maintain your own personal practice.

[38:11] Responsible healing that can also protect against compassion fatigue comprises of two aspects: self care and self awareness.

[40:55] Shannon and Diane talk about the scope of practice as yoga teachers, and how compassion fatigue factors into that.

[42:48] How many roles of care are you taking on? That plays a part in compassion fatigue as well.

[45:43] What are some other tools that can be helpful?

[48:38] What are some things that are not helpful if you are suffering from compassion fatigue?

[51:10] When is it important to reach out outside of ourselves for help?

[54:23] Get in touch with Diane via her website to learn more about her work and to work with her.

[55:51] Shannon highlights her biggest takeaways from this interview with Diane.



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"I found yoga really helpful for me at that time to address and help soothe some of my perfectionistic tendencies."


"I find that burnout and compassion fatigue very often get lumped together, and they're actually different. They can co-exist at the same time, but they are different."


"Compassion fatigue is different [from burnout] in that it's actually a form of trauma."


"As healers, we are holding space for and bearing witness to a lot of pain."


"Compassion fatigue is a result of healthy working physiology in the body."


"Serving ... is supporting an individual to fill their own needs and to heal themselves."


"We need to have this dual awareness of both of our experiences at the same time, to combat against compassion fatigue."


"The beauty of the nervous system is that it's extremely resilient."


"Connection is medicine."


Apr 22, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

113: Pinterest to Promote Your Yoga with Kate Ahl



How important is Pinterest to your yoga business? If you’re like some of our yoga teachers, a significant portion of your website traffic may be coming from Pinterest - but it’s not the same as other social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook. That’s why we have Kate Ahl of Simple Pin to share more about how you can use Pinterest to promote your yoga business.


Kate Ahl is the Owner and Founder of Simple Pin Media, a Pinterest management company that helps business owners manage their Pinterest accounts and presence so they can focus on running their business. She also hosts the Simple Pin Podcast, where she shares useful actionable tips and strategies that can help you DIY your Pinterest marketing.


Shannon and Kate dissect how often to pin, what kind of content to pin, and even the kinds of images and fonts to us. She also answers some of Shannon’s questions around personal vs business accounts and resharing pins to other social media platforms. Kate also reveals why Pinterest functions as a powerful search engine, and why it’s such a great platform to tap into new markets.


If you’ve been wanting to create more awareness for your yoga business, or have been wondering how to connect with people across different generations, Pinterest may be your answer - and this episode is just what you need to dive right in.


Key Takeaways:

[2:24] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Kate Ahl.

[3:36] What does Kate do and how did she get started in this business?

[5:09] Pinterest is not so much of a social platform like Instagram or Facebook, but it's more of a search engine. Kate explains what this means.

[7:40] What is Kate's suggestion for the workflow on Pinterest?

[9:34] Is there a ratio of your own pins to someone else's pins?

[11:20] Kate breaks down the idea of pinning daily on Pinterest, and some tips on pinnable images.

[14:47] How much text is too much text?

[18:30] Kate comments on the practice of creating 10 pins for a particular piece of content.

[19:21] What is Kate's advice for people who want to pin images that are not from your article? She walks us through an example.

[21:47] What are Kate's thoughts on re-sharing pins to Instagram and Facebook?

[23:49] What are Kate's tips for the beginner who wants to use Pinterest to grow their yoga business?

[27:40] When it comes to websites and Pinterest, should you be creating images on your website with Pinterest in mind?

[30:27] If you are into DIY and want to learn more about Pinterest marketing, check out Kate's podcast, Simple Pin Podcast.

[31:10] What are some things to consider before hiring out your Pinterest marketing?

[32:20] What is Kate's intake process for taking on new clients, depending on where they are in their Pinterest journey?

[35:06] What are Kate's packages priced at?

[37:02] Shannon and Kate discuss what the different generations are using Pinterest for.

[39:23] Kate leaves us with some final thoughts about Pinterest.

[41:25] Shannon shares the actions she's taking as a result of this interview with Kate. Share your Pinterest strategy with Shannon in the comments.



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"We often refer to Pinterest as a search-and-discovery platform, and the joke is that it's the introvert's platform."


"You're building awareness of your company through your knowledge, through your articles that you're writing."


"If somebody comes to your Pinterest page or profile, do they understand who you are and what you represent?"


"You want to see your Pinterest boards as a curated resource for your audience."


"Consistency is best."


"I think the biggest problem when we're doing Pinterest images and we're not graphically-inclined, is we spend hours overthinking it."


"Just jump in with both feet, play around, and don't overthink it."

Apr 15, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

112: Niche Down to Market Your Yoga with Amanda McKinney




Picking a niche is something that can be scary to a lot of us. Particularly as yoga teachers who believe that yoga is for everyone and that we can help everybody, we feel that picking a niche excludes people we want to help. But have you ever thought that specializing is the best way for you to bring yoga to more people? Amanda McKinney is a Marketing Coach for Yoga Teachers, and on this episode, she explains exactly why niching down is the best way to market your yoga.


Amanda provides online courses and group coaching to help yoga teachers market themselves authentically, so that they can earn a living sharing yoga with others, without the burn out that comes with catering to everyone. She has some great information on why it’s so important for you to specialize, and some practical strategies to help you discover your niche.


In this episode (which was also a Live Q&A session!) Amanda tackles difficult questions from yoga teachers, like how to decide which topics to blog about, and how much time you need to market a yoga retreat. She also offers advice on dealing with mindset issues around niching down, and some tips on marketing yourself as a yoga teacher.


Whether you’ve been a yoga teacher for years, or are just starting out on your yoga entrepreneurship journey - Amanda’s insights and tips on niching down and marketing are sure to help you in your business. Tune in to also find out more about the 3-day content challenge and joint group coaching by Amanda and Shannon!


Key Takeaways:

[2:43] Shannon introduces her guest - Amanda McKinney.

[3:35] Who does Amanda work with, and what is the work that she does?

[4:41] Amanda explains the story behind why her website focuses on yoga teachers as business owners.

[7:33] Why do yoga teachers need a niche?

[9:03] Amanda shares her journey of how and why she niched down in her own business.

[9:43] How specific does a yoga niche need to be?

[11:47] What are some of the roadblocks that stop people from niching down?

[14:39] Having a specific niche helps people give you referrals.

[16:50] How can you discover your yoga niche?

[19:30] Listener question from Valeria: How do you identify the topics that clients want to hear about if you host a yoga-focused blog?

[25:20] Listener question from Sue: If I'm marketing a retreat in September, how soon do I start putting the info out there to market it? How early is too early?

[29:32] What does marketing mean as a yoga teacher?

[35:50] What do you do if you can't decide between two or more really good niche ideas? How do you pick?

[37:52] How can yoga teachers combat the feeling of 'Who am I to do this?' when picking their niche?

[40:56] What is Amanda's advice for yoga teachers who feel like they need to be ready or perfect before they start on their business journey?

[44:26] Listener question from Kristen: I'm having a hard time describing trauma-informed yoga in a way that makes sense to other people.

[47:59] How long does it take to develop or find a niche?

[52:05] What's Amanda's response to people who say that niching down has been a challenge?

[55:10] What is the work that Amanda is really excited about right now?

[58:34] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this episode.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"So many yoga teachers are not told and informed, they are a business owner once they graduate with their Yoga Teacher Training Certificate!"


"I will have walked the path that my clients and students walk, which I think is the best way to get to know your target audience."


"Yoga is for everyone, and that actually makes the point of niching down more important."


"As soon as you narrow down and focus on one particular thing, it takes away that competition."


"For every $500 that the retreat is, you need 90-days lead time."


"Knowing that there is no other one like you out there, that you will attract the people who will learn best from you."


"The more you can say it, the clearer it's going to be."


"Knowing what you don't like is just as important as knowing what you like."


"Attracting the right person to work with you is important, but repelling the others is just as important."

Apr 8, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

111: Teaching Children's Yoga with Shakta Khalsa




Have you ever shared yoga with children? If you have, you might have realized that teaching yoga to adults, and sharing yoga with a room full of children are completely different. Shakta Khalsa is a leading expert on children and yoga, and on this episode the “fairy godmother” of children’s yoga shares tips and strategies for teaching children’s yoga more effectively.


Shakta is the Founder and Director of Radiant Child® Yoga,  an internationally-known training program for teaching children’s yoga and working with children consciously. She is a parent, Montessori educator and a yoga professional recognized by Yoga Journal magazine as one of the top five Kundalini Yoga teachers in the world. She has also authored multiple books, and produced  albums and award-winning DVDs


On this episode Shakta shares her journey to yoga through Kundalini yoga, and explains how that formed the basis for her to start sharing yoga with children. She explains the differences between teaching yoga to adults vs children, as well as her unique strategies and tips for working with children. She reveals the inspiration behind some of her books, shares tips on how you can go about writing your own book, and talks about her own challenges in running and scaling a yoga business.

If you are involved in children’s yoga in any form or fashion, or if you need some tips on running and scaling a yoga business, or if you need inspiration to write a book, you will surely get lots of great nuggets of wisdom from this interview with Shakta.


Key Takeaways:

[3:47] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Shakta Khalsa.

[5:55] Shakta shares the experience of her first yoga class in 1972.

[7:39] Who was Shakta's first Kundalini yoga teacher?

[9:11] What was Shakta's journey of becoming a yoga teacher?

[11:52] What did Shakta's friends and family think when she went down the path of being a yoga teacher?

[13:51] Shakta was also a Montessori teacher. She explains how she realized she should be sharing yoga with children.

[18:31] Shannon and Shakta discuss how to share yoga with children - what works with adults, doesn't work with children!

[19:42] What is the basis for the book Fly like a Butterfly?

[22:45] Shakta explains how she uses yoga to control the class when sharing children's yoga.

[24:48] How does relaxation in a children’s yoga class, for example, look different from the adult Savasana?

[27:18] What made Shakta think that children can begin yoga?

[30:08] When children go through a phase of resisting yoga, Shakta has a set of yoga warrior cards she uses.

[31:44] What are some of Shakta's biggest tips for teaching children's yoga?

[35:08] What are some things to consider when deciding which children's yoga teacher training to take?

[38:23] Shakta teaches a 200-hour Radiant Child Family. She explains more about the course.

[40:45] What is Shakta's advice for someone who is struggling with mindset issues around treating yoga as a business?

[45:17] What has Shakta learned about marketing and scaling up her yoga business?

[50:41] What helps Shakta to write a book?

[57:42] Learn more about Shakta's work and check out her training sessions on her website.

[58:36] Leave a comment to stand a chance to win Shakta's book or the Yoga Warrior Cards.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"I don't know any paths of yoga that had a formal teacher training like that. It was basically you lived your yoga."


"The yoga that [the child] had been doing for those five years, that that yoga was the crowning glory of her Montessori time."


"For [the children], it's just fun. But they're using all the yoga tools."


"We use the yoga to control the class."


"You can try to stop a rushing river, but you aren't going to stop the rushing river very easily, so why not go with the flow of it?"


"How do you playfully, and still honoring the child's desire to move their bodies and be joyful, how do you take that enthusiasm and then organize it and we do that all through the yoga."


"When you start early, [yoga meditation] is just as normal as brushing your teeth every morning. It just becomes normal."


"It's important to have form to it, structure and form, and then bring in the fun element as well."


"Inspiration, information - those two things together make a really good book."

Apr 1, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

110: Create a Yoga Proposal Package with Lisa Zaehringer




If you’ve ever wanted to share or promote a unique yoga class or workshop, I’m sure you have wondered how best to convey your offering to the yoga studio owner, or even where to begin in reaching out to studios. Lisa Zaehringer, after having to go through this process every 2-3 years, shares more about what goes into the yoga proposal packages she sends to yoga studios, as well as her 7-step process for reaching out to studios.


Lisa is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher, whose work as a yoga teacher complements her profession as a mental health counselor. In her yoga business, she supports mothers of all ages as they reconnect with themselves, reclaim rest, and practice compassionate self-discovery. Her unique workshops and courses include the Sacred Motherhood Restorative Practice, Sacred Baby 8 Week Course, and Sacred Pregnancy Weekend Retreat.

As part of her transient military lifestyle, Lisa was having to move every few years, and she had to find an authentic, creative way to be able to approach yoga studios in her new hometowns where she had zero credibility - a yoga proposal package. She explains the different elements that make up the package, and also reveals step-by-step, how she reaches out to studios.

Whether you’re wanting to create a yoga proposal package to get some clarity about your yoga niche, or you just want to be prepared to take advantage of any new opportunities that may arise, this episode is full of great tips you’ll be able to use.


Key Takeaways:

[3:34] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Lisa Zaehringer.

[4:39] What is Lisa's background, and what is the work that she does now?

[5:18] What prompted Lisa to develop her mini-retreat for mothers, Sacred Motherhood Restorative Practice?

[8:09] Shannon and Lisa discuss how she found her purpose in her motherhood journey.

[9:29] What does Lisa's workshop look like?

[11:49] What motivated Lisa to create her yoga proposal package?

[13:25] Lisa shares more about the challenge she faced in getting yoga studios to understand her unique offering.

[14:11] What is in the package that Lisa provides? The first element is the Proposal.

[16:43] The second piece is the suggested schedule and themes.

[18:03] The third document Lisa includes in her package is a personalized flyer.

[18:59] The next item in the package is the Sequence of Events.

[19:40] Where does Lisa get the images for her package?

[20:55] The last piece of the package is A Gift of Gratitude.

[22:06] Where does Lisa begin to approach a yoga studio? She walks us through the 7-stage process.

[27:32] If multiple places accept Lisa's offering, does she then have to choose between them?

[29:40] What stands out is that throughout this process, Lisa is the one who is choosing, and she has been able to do this because of her clarity in her niche.

[31:27] Lisa shares some of her struggles around marketing her yoga offering.

[33:42] What are Mama Projects?

[37:03] Lisa has some final words of wisdom about creating packages for your yoga offering.

[40:47] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this interview.



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"I believe that that's where connection happens - when vulnerability is met with compassion."


"I wanted to find an authentic, creative way to be able to approach yoga studios in the new hometown where I had zero credibility."


"There's some doubt and fear that bubbles up each time [I approach a yoga studio], like, is anybody going to get this? Is this going to make sense to anybody?"


"[It's] just those little things that say I really care about the time you're putting into reading this."


"Where ever this is meant to happen, is where it's going to happen."


"The universe is always conspiring in our favor."


"I felt like it's a mutual interview, so I'm interviewing [the yoga studios] as much as they're interviewing me."


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