050: Grow Your Yoga Base [Part 2] with Shannon Crow
Welcome to episode 50!
We are so happy that we’ve been able to keep growing and connecting with so many yoga teachers to discuss a wide variety of topics relevant to the yoga teacher career path.
The Connected Yoga Teacher podcast and Facebook group has been brought to life by all of your support for one another, your humour and spirited discussions.
Thank you for all for your participation and feedback as it has provided much inspiration and momentum. You have helped to this little seed of an idea planted by Shannon Crow, who envisioned a supportive place for yoga teachers to raise each other up.
Thanks also to Rob, Laura and Samantha of The Connected Yoga Teacher team for so much of the work that goes into getting every episode to you.
As a gift to you, our listeners, a 50 episode summary has been compiled. It’s filled with key takeaways and actionable step for each episode. Keep an eye out for it in your inbox and if you are not subscribed to The Connected Yoga Teacher newsletter click here to sign up.
In Part 2 of Grow Your Yoga Student Base, Shannon continues to share steps to help you attract more yoga students. No need to tackle them all at once, simply do one thing and when you hit a comfort zone move on to another action item. Areas explored include connecting with students in and out of class, offering gifts and discounts and being authentic; because as Shannon says, you’ve got this! You have everything within yourself to attract the students who will benefit from your unique services.
12:30 Recap of Part 1 of Grow Your Yoga Base
14:20 7) Connect with students a) In class
17:25 ACTION ITEM: If possible place yourself at the exit and the entrance to greet and say goodbye
18:20 7) Connect with students b) Outside of class
23:20 ACTION ITEM: Get a list of your students and their contact information- their phone number, email and maybe even a mailing address
24:35 8) Posters and Business Cards
Keep posters with you and ready to pass out or put up. It’s handy to have a poster travel kit with you that includes a variety of ways to hang your posters such as tape and tacks.
Consider getting business cards to hand out or other creative way to pass on your information such as brochures and bookmarks.
ACTION ITEM: Create a poster or business card to have ready to pass out or hang up.
28:25 9) Get to know people’s preferences/check in
When you have a smaller class it’s a great opportunity to take the time to check in asking them what poses they enjoy and what parts of their bodies need some extra attention. You can incorporate the poses into your future classes each week.
ACTION ITEM: Choose 1 check in method and try it out in your next class
30:55 10) Offer the same thing every week. Offer something different every week.
It sounds contradictory but including the same poses can help students feel comfortable and internalize the poses and learn about these poses in relation to their bodies.
The opposite has its own benefit- adding a new thing will keep the students feeling challenged and increase their knowledge base.
“The opposite of a great truth is also true” –Gretchen Rubin
32:25 ACTION ITEM: If you generally do the same thing, add something new or tweak a commonly used pose. If you often vary your classes quite a bit try the same flow each week in a session.
33:10 11) Gifts, treats, offers and discounts
Some examples of gifts and treats: quote on a paper, a yummy treat (could be healthy or semi-healthy like organic chocolate or ginger chews, maybe even something homemade), pose cards, candles, something that works with the holidays such as an ornament a Christmas or chocolate on Valentine’s Day.
Some examples of offers and discounts: bring a friend for free, 5-class pass donation for a charity auction, punch card (with 10 stamps students earning them a free class), partnering with a local business or event (such as a free smoothie at a local eatery when you take a class).
34:30 ACTION ITEM: Bring a treat to your next class which may work with your theme.
34:35 12) Assists
While some people love touch while others feel uncomfortable. If you or your students aren’t comfortable with touch, there are other ways to assist. Savasana can be a great place to start. A couple of ways to ensure your student is comfortable with touch is by using consent cards or by classes that include assists as a main focus.
The Connected Yoga Teacher podcast episodes to check out on this topic:
36:00 ACTION ITEM: Learn one assist and practice it on another yoga teacher, your partner, friend or family member.
36:35 13) Strengthen your own yoga practice
Be the student. Attend other class to gain inspiration and nurture your own yoga practice. Attending workshops and trainings so you can continue to learn and grow as a yoga teacher.
TCYT podcast episodes to check out on this topic:
ACTION ITEM: Set a time and place to practice yoga.
41:00 14) Be authentic
Teaching what you know and be who you are. Don’t try to be like another teacher. You are unique and no one else can share yoga like you can.
ACTION ITEM: Pick 5-10 yoga poses to strengthen your cues and unique voice. You can record yourself on your phone or jot down some notes to help you determine whether your using cues that make sense to you and your own personal experience in yoga.
42:25 15) Use a theme
There are so many ideas out there for themes and the sky’s the limit! You can subscribe to the Yoga Teacher Central newsletters as it has relevant theme ideas each week. A few examples are: anatomy focus, 8-limbs, chakras, elements, summer solstice, full moon.
ACTION ITEM: Look at your calendar and see what’s coming up for you, sit in meditation or draw a card and see what pops up for you- it might be one word or setting an intention
43:40 16) Create an amazing class
You’ve got this, you’re already an amazing teacher! When you speak in your authentic voice and you define your yoga niche and plan something new or fun along with the consistent yoga offerings you are doing fine. Trust that the right students are coming to you at the right time.
ACTION ITEM: You are right on track and are now armed with 15 things to help you keep going. And for the days when it isn't feeling like the best class. Learn from it. Move forward with a deep breath. We have all been there and we have your back.
The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Page "What if I am getting bored with teaching?" thread- thanks to Shannon Elise sharing your authentic self with us
Canva- to make your own graphics
Here is an editable poster template Shannon made using Canva. Please make sure to make a copy before you edit it, so the original is there for others :)
Fiverr- to help you find a graphic designer to work for you
Relevant to 12) Offer Assists:
Relevant to 13) Strengthen your own yoga practice:
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
049: Grow Your Yoga Student Base [Part 1] with Shannon Crow
On today’s episode, Shannon wants to help you with one of the most frequently asked questions: how do I get more students to come to my class?
In part 1 of this 2-part episode, Shannon will take you through the steps that helped her grow her student base. Beginning with asking what is your ideal yoga class size to being patient and consistent as you build your students’ trust, Shannon shares 6 areas to consider with six actionable steps.
Don’t feel overwhelmed by the actionable steps, just start with one this week and find out how it can work for you as you build your student base.
6:15 1) What is your ideal yoga class size?
Consider: How many students do you need to pay for your time, rent, fuel? After expenses how much profit would you like to make? How many students can fit comfortably in the space?
7:35 Action Item: Once you have the ideal number of students in your head choose 1 of the 2 ways to visualize this:
Put it somewhere you can see every day
11:15 2) Registered sessions
If you’re concerned about having enough students to cover your space rental, registered sessions are a great way to know what your income and expenses are going into the session.
20:50 ACTION ITEM: Try running a registered session. See how it works for you, your student base and for the studio or rental space schedule
Offer something new and unique that you’re particularly passionate about.
A couple of examples: a 4-week beginner series or a 6-week back care yoga series.
22:00 3) Define Your Yoga Niche
ACTION ITEM: If you can define what your unique yoga is and who your ideal yoga student is then you already have done this work! If you feel stuck on either of those or if marketing and content creation is a challenge enrol in Define Your Yoga Niche: An Online Workshop or book a one-on-one Consultation Call with Shannon.
25:25 4) Create content that advertises and markets your yoga
26:10 ACTION ITEM: Do the (Free) 5-Day Content Creation Challenge
26:25 5) Classes to suit your students
Are your yoga classes accessible? Are the classes that will attract the community you live in?
28:50 ACTION ITEM: Find a way to check in with your students to see what kind of yoga they are looking for (email survey, phone call, talk with them at your next class).
If you don’t have students yet can you check in with people in your area? Attend some local classes to see what is popular, join or create a local Facebook group
Ask friends or ask on social media
Listen to Trevor Parks’ episode where Shannon asks Trevor a series of questions so he can define his ideal student
Sign up for the Define Your Yoga Niche: An Online Workshop
30:25 6) Be patient and consistent
Keep showing up for yourself and keep showing up for students. Don’t get discouraged if your class sizes are smaller at the beginning.
ACTION ITEM: Keep showing up to teach
While being consistent, be careful of yoga teacher burnout. It’s okay to take some time off or occasionally ask for another teacher to sub your class.
The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group "Most Embarrassing Teaching Moment" thread- thanks to Joyce Slaughter for starting the discussion
The Connected Yoga Teacher FB Group "Looking for Music for Restorative Yoga" thread- thanks to Brittany Boersma who is most definitely not looking for cheesy spa music ;)
Shannon does NOT recommend Foundations by Kate Nash as a good yoga class song :)
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
Yoga Teacher Eating Disorder Education with Tabitha Farrar
On today’s episode, Shannon and Tabitha Farrar reflect on eating disorders, such as disordered eating and anorexia, and its relationship to the yoga world.
As Shannon notes, January is a busy time for yoga teachers. Many new students are influenced by the tradition of the New Year’s Resolution as a way to make a fresh start or establish new patterns (often eating better and exercising more), so eating disorder education is especially relevant at this time of year.
Tabitha Farrar is an eating disorder recovery coach who speaks and writes about effective and realistic recovery approaches for adults with restrictive eating disorders. Tabitha recovered from 10 years of severe anorexia and is passionate about helping adult sufferers find a sustainable recovery that works for them.
She is the author of Love Fat, numerous articles on eating disorders and the founder of 2 support forums. Tabitha is currently working on her second book, A Workbook for Anorexia Recovery. She also hosts The Eating Disorder Recovery Podcast and has founded Adult Eating Disorder Recovery (AEDR), a service that offers meal support and emotional support through text for those recovering from an eating disorder.
Tabitha shares her expertise to help dispel myths surrounding eating disorders. She also discusses symptoms of EDs, the seriousness of malnutrition, the danger of restrictive eating (such as cleanses and fasts), and what to do if you suspect a student suffers from an eating disorder.
3:45 Shannon’s Personal Wellness Goals for the New Year
4:55 Shannon’s thoughts on yoga and its relationship to eating disorders
7:40 Tabitha’s yoga journey
8:45 How Tabitha came to realize she had an eating disorder
10:25 What led Tabitha to her current career path- an eating disorder coach with a podcast Tabitha's Eating Disorder Recovery Podcast
12:00 What Tabitha wishes people knew about eating disorders
13:30 Myth around the idea of anorexia being a desire for control when in fact it’s a ”negative state relief” - a behaviour that helps manage anxiety to a level that is tolerable.
14:40 Not always easy to recognize an eating disorder but some symptoms include:
16:50 Another symptom that is especially relevant to yoga is the compulsion to exercise
19:00 A study revealed eating disorders can stem from genetics if ancestors migrated in response to famine- in migration eat very little and quickly travel over vast distances “have to keep moving”
Article: Adapted to Flee Famine: Adding an Evolutionary Perspective on Anorexia Nervosa by Shan Guisinger PhD
20:40 Malnutrition is a medical emergency
21:15 Tabitha’s wish for less emphasis on nutrition believing that as nutritional science has gained prevalence in our society it has been more detrimental than helpful
23:10 The yoga community should treat the body as a living organism and not like a machine
23:45 What can yoga teachers do to empower their students whether they know their yoga students have an eating disorder or not- Tabitha reads an email she received with thoughts on yoga teachers and eating disorders
25:20 Detrimental effect of yoga marketing, social media- e.g. can set unrealistic standards in the mind of yoga students or can encourage students to come to yoga focusing on accepting their bodies not changing them
27:05 The changes in Tabitha’s teaching after educating herself about eating disorders
29:20 Yoga and meditation as a tool for eating disorder recovery
30:45 Breaking down eating disorder statistics by age and gender and looking beyond them- e.g. eating disorders in males are underreported
32:20 If you notice some symptoms of an eating disorder in a yoga student do you approach them?
35:10 Helpful to for yoga studio managers to have some education in eating disorders so teachers can come to them if they’re concerned about a student
36:00 Danger of diets, fasting, cleanses, vegetarianism, veganism (any restrictive eating) in general and especially when struggling with an eating disorder
39:10 Being aware of language around eating and the body as a yoga teacher- criticizing your body is normalized in society, often a bonding activity
42:20 Tabitha’s final words to yoga teachers
44:05 How to find Tabitha if you want to contact her
45:00 Shannon’s closing thoughts
“I want you to understand that eating disorders are genetically based mental illnesses. They are not a choice. They are not ‘caused by society’ (although they are complicated and aggravated by society in a serious way). They are not caused by bad parents or a ‘need to control’” -Tabitha Farrar
Podcast: Eating Disorder Recovery Podcast (also available on iTunes)
Book: Love Fat -Tabitha Farrar’s eating disorder recovery story
Tabitha’s Blog Posts: The danger of veganism and EDs
Article: Adapted to Flee Famine: Adding an Evolutionary Perspective on Anorexia Nervosa by Shan Guisinger PhD
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
Downward Dog in Prenatal Yoga with Kim MacDonald-Heildant and Shannon Crow
Shannon met Kim MacDonald-Heildant at a prenatal yoga teacher training and they bonded over their enthusiasm for this area of expertise. Leaving the training with even more questions, Shannon and Kim decided to join forces. They felt that while every teacher and training brought them valuable experience, they wanted to expand on what they learned to incorporate the research and experience they’ve gained since.
Shannon and Kim co-founded Mama Nurture to provide a 100-hour prenatal yoga teacher training (PYTT) that spends more time on all the wonderful aspects of prenatal that are often only touched on in PYTT (e.g. postnatal and fertility) while expanding on anatomy. Their website also provides great resources such as articles, breath practices and yoga sequences.
Kim was drawn to yoga as a self-care practice and became even more enthusiastic about the practice when she became pregnant. She enjoyed her pregnancies and the way yoga enhanced her experience. This positive relationship led her to enrol in a 200-hour YTT followed by a PYTT and is now a certified children’s and prenatal yoga teacher. She is also a mother of 2, a teacher, co-owner and director of Gibbons Park Montessori School as well as the founder of Live Laugh Breathe Yoga.
Shannon and Kim found that one of the most common questions from yoga teachers in prenatal training is: “Can I teach downward dog to pregnant yoga students?” There are many opinions about this. Shannon and Kim are going to share their opinions which they emphasize are not meant to be a definitive answer. In fact, through listening to each other they’ve switched positions!
As Shannon and Kim say: “No one yoga pose is good for everyone. No one yoga pose is bad for everyone.” They explore reasons why downward dog is on their caution list and offer alternative poses that can provide some of the same benefits.
7:20 Kim’s yoga journey
9:00 What inspired Kim and Shannon to create their own prenatal yoga teacher training
10:45 Kim’s thoughts on prenatal and downward dog
12:25 How Shannon and Kim ended up switching their positions on downward dog in prenatal yoga
13:35 Article written by Kim and Shannon
14:10 Reasons Kim and Shannon caution, take out, or only offer downward dog as an option in their classes:
14:25 1) Unnecessary strain on the low back
15:45 2) Can cause or exacerbate heartburn and nausea
16:45 3) Most prenatal students are beginners and downward dog is not a beginner pose
18:30 4) Can irritate carpal tunnel which is common in pregnant women
19:20 5) It can cause baby to turn
20:40 6) Can increase round ligament pain
21:15 7) Can affect very low or high blood pressure
23:35 Kim and Shannon’s favourite pose for prenatal students- Puppy Pose
25:10 Kim and Shannon’s cueing for downward dog for a prenatal student that wants to attempt the pose
26:25 To stretch out the calf muscles- Modified Big Toe Pose
27:55 Bird Dog Pose
28:45 Legs Up the Wall
29:20 Half Forward Fold
30:50 Kim’s words of wisdom when it comes to incorporating Downward Dog- “Try to let go with what’s expected of you.” Observe your class, don’t be afraid to ask how it feels for your students, your students may do it because they feel like they should, not because it works for them
31:55 Kim and Shannon want to share their information and experience to help others make a more informed opinion about downward dog in prenatal- no absolute answer
33:15 Shannon’s closing thoughts- ask yourself what benefit do you want to gain from a pose?
MamaNurture Article: Can I Teach Downward Dog to Prenatal Yoga Students
Free Images Discussion on TCYT Facebook Group-A special thanks to Lindsey Larson for starting the discussion
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
Redefining Stretching with Jules Mitchell
Jules Mitchell is “a student for life”. She is a massage therapist, yoga teacher and educator.
She holds a Master of Science in Exercise Science and Biomechanics from CSU Long Beach and teaches numerous workshops that combine the tradition of yoga (asana and pranayama) with her knowledge of biomechanics to educate teachers in a fun digestible way.
Jules practiced yoga for many years and at a certain point in her life felt the need to teach. The teacher training brought up so many questions for Jules that she says weren’t satisfactorily answered and realized she would have to turn to academics to answer them.
Jules came to realize and accept that there will always be a lot of questions that are unknown and one will always be learning. She tells her students at the beginning of her workshops that if they don’t leave there with more questions then she hasn’t done her job. Jules wants to impress upon yoga teachers the need to question more, the importance of scientific literacy, critical thinking and curiosity.
Shannon and Jules talk about how there are no bad poses, the importance of cueing (talking less and listening more), and questioning how poses are taught. Jules gives us an excellent example by discussing whether you keep your legs straight or bend them when performing a forward fold. Her explanation using scientific research illustrates the importance of science-informed teaching and the benefit of reading studies in a field that is ever-evolving.
Jules wants to help inform you to make your own choices as a yoga teacher, not to overwhelm you. She is working on an upcoming book tentatively titled Yoga Biomechanics: Redefining Stretching which moves far beyond what is generally understood about stretching. She explains the mechanical properties of connective tissue, the material science, the composition and architecture of tissue and emerging ideas and research along with yoga sequences. She hoping to release this information-packed book in 2018.
8:05 Jules' yoga teacher journey
10:15 An example of a question that Jules had that wasn’t answered satisfactorily in yoga teacher training
13:25 How Jules went outside the yoga teacher training for answers, but then brought information back to the yoga world
14:55 Jules' thoughts on stretching, range of motion and flexibility
17:15 Passive stretching, load and strengthening “strengthen to lengthen”
19:05 What does this look like for Jules as a yoga teacher?
“co-contraction” not so much focus on contracting some and relaxing others, how the muscles work together and how we don't need to work so hard to isolate them hopefully introducing adaptation
20:15 Restorative yoga and how it affects the tissues at a cellular level
22:25 How Jules uses research and at the same time works hard to avoid making huge assumptions
27:55 Language and cues that Jules uses now with more information- ask open-ended questions like ”How does it feel when your hand goes there?” How can we help people explore movement instead of making them afraid of it- say less, observe and let your students teach you.
30:20 Forward folds and hamstrings
33:05 Poses cannot be categorized as safe and not safe
36:40 How can we cue to enable students to pose the body as robust
39:10 What Jules feels is missing from yoga teacher training and importance of reading research studies using critical thinking
41:15 Social media and the pull Jules feels to answer questions there
42:50 Jules’ upcoming book: Yoga Biomechanics: Redefining Stretching
47:25 How to contact Jules
49:15 Shannon’s closing thoughts
Book: Yoga Biomechanics: Redefining Stretching by Jules Mitchell in 2018
Article: To Bend or Not to Bend (the Knees in a Forward Fold) by Jules Mitchell
Article: Question Everything by Jules Mitchell
Free Youtube Videos with Jules Mitchell
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
045: Creating Content with Shannon Crow
Shannon is going solo today to share with you something that she is incredibly passionate about- content creation. Content creation includes Facebook and Instagram posts, newsletters and websites and even books. It allows your ideal client to get to know you and the services you offer.
As an entrepreneur, Shannon has learned much about content creation through trial and error. She understands how difficult to know where to start. As a yoga business consultant, she has worked with many yoga teachers looking to grow their businesses and has learned much about what has held them back. Shannon has found that many get stuck in the process of creating and/or sharing their content so if this sounds like you, just know you are not alone.
Having worked with Shannon I can attest to her love of content creation and her knowledge of many social media platforms. Her intense curiosity keeps her informed of any emerging content platforms as well which lends itself to another passion of hers- sharing her knowledge with others. This episode is packed with information and inspiration to help you get started on creating your own content.
6:05 Content creation didn’t always come easily for Shannon- was often scrambling
6:55 Content creation became a Monday Morning Task
What is content? It’s anything you are creating such as text, audio, or video or even a combination of the three. 2 examples of content: 1) A post on your Facebook page, perhaps you add an image 2) A book is an example of content created over a long period of time, even years.
8:25 When you feel stuck
Some of the common reasons you feel blocked:
14:55 Five Keys of Content Creation:
15:05 1. Consistency
Some examples of consistent content are a weekly podcast, Facebook posts that you can schedule, monthly or weekly newsletters. People count on it and are reminded of you and your offering. Make space for content creation- perhaps Monday Morning
16:40 2. What is the goal of your content?
Increase your email list? Get students to attend your class? Why are you sharing content? This key is often skipped, but it is the one that will give your content focus.
18:55 3. Quality content -- what content do you gravitate towards? I love useful information and actionable steps
21:20 Shawn’s 5 Content Tips
23:20 4a. Create Content
Writer’s block? Write down your ideas in one place - mind map, scribble, draw it out - you will be surprised when you are working paper to pen how the brain will come up with different ideas. Ask where and when you write best.
24:20 Ideas for Content
31:10 4b. Call to Action
Are you asking people to do something? If so is it all the time? Aim for 20% of the time
80 / 20 rule -Amanda Bond talked to us about this on TCYT 031: Facebook Marketing for Teachers. For every 5 posts on social media have 1 call to action so you’re not asking people to sign up for your class on every post and providing great content gives them a chance to get to know you
33:35 5. Schedule, Share and Repurpose Your Content
On your own platform or take an article on website and share on an online publication, make sure to check rules but can often share articles from other sites. Build up a bank- have the option of re-posting depending on the platform.
36:40 5 Keys to Content Creation re-cap
37:20 5 Day Content Creation Challenge
38:15 An actionable step you can take today to begin creating content
Write down 5 ideas for content creation and share one
The Connected Yoga Facebook Group Thread: "To those who are not full-time yoga instructors, what is your other job?"
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
Accounting for Yoga Teachers with Hannah Smolinski
In part 4 of our 4-part Money Mini-series, we get accounting advice from Hannah Smolinski. Hannah and Shannon discuss accounting software, the difference between a bookkeeper, accountant and CFO, which expenses are deductible and much more to help you feel confident about the money side of your business.
Hannah has had an entrepreneurial spirit since grade school when she set up her first business making friendship bracelets. She loved counting her money, coming up with business strategies and even considering supply and demand.
So, it was no surprise she ended up working with numbers. Hannah studied accounting in her undergraduate studies and moved on to receive her Masters in Accounting at the University of Washington, followed by her CPA licence. After working in her field as an auditor and a chief financial officer of a small business, she felt the need to help people build their businesses up. Hannah decided to start her own business; BrightenUp Financial, a company that specializes in small business accounting and finance management.
As a takeaway from the Money Mini-Series, we hope tackling your money-related issues seems less overwhelming. When broken down into small steps financial mastery is within your grasp.
7:00 Hannah's journey into accounting and small business financial consulting
11:10 Accounting software recommendations
14:00 Difference between accountant, bookkeeper and a CPA
15:30 When to hire a bookkeeper
17:45 Having a business bank account is a must
20:30 What expenses are tax deductible?
36:35 What statement gives us a good idea of how our business is doing? Look your profit and loss statement and the difference between profit and revenue.
38:55 You can increase your profit in 2 ways- increase revenue or decrease your expenses
39:55 Keeping track of taxes you owe- ask for help from bookkeeper or accountant, or use an Estimated Tax form so you don’t end up having to pay more taxes than you can afford at the end of the year
43:00 Monthly check-in for your business
44:20 Cost of goods sold
48:40 How to work with Hannah
49:25 Shannon’s closing thoughts
Expenses you can usually write-off on your taxes :
Check with your tax professional about:
For the US: IRS Estimated Tax for Individual
Resources from Brighten Up Financial -e-book, articles, links to helpful tools
Other Money Mini-Series Episodes:
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
Have you thought about teaching yoga full-time but fear making ends meet? Steph Crowder, the Head of Member Success at Fizzle.co has created actionable steps to make possible what may seem like an impossible goal.
Fizzle is a community for creatives, makers and entrepreneurs. Steph began as a member and loved the platform so much she envisioned a role for herself within the company. She applied for a small job and worked her way up to her full-time position.
Steph also hosts the Courage and Clarity Podcast and co-hosts The Fizzle Show which allows her to share her passion for helping entrepreneurs reach their potential in an otherwise often solitary pursuit.
Steph shares with us the importance of calculating your Minimal Viable Income (or MVI) which is the minimum you need to make, per month, to make ends meet. If while building your business you can earn this number there’s a good chance you can transition from your primary job to teaching yoga full-time.
When Steph isn’t helping people pursue their business goals, she’s hanging out with her husband and one-year-old-daughter, sipping wine and decorating her new home in Louisville, Kentucky.
7:40 How Steph got started on her entrepreneurial journey
11:55 What is Minimal Viable Income?
14:15 Your MVI is highly individualized and is dictated by numerous variables
18:50 When can I teach yoga full time?
20:00 The power of having a number for your Minimal Viable Income
20:35 Actionable steps to determine your Minimal Viable Income:
1 Fixed and Variable Expenses- determining the difference between your fixed expenses like rent, mortgage, car insurance, etc. and variable expenses that are based on habits like entertainment, clothes, groceries
23:00 2 Trimming the Fat- looking at the numbers and where you can reduce, challenging yourself on the expenses
25:35 3 Getting Creative- go further and ask yourself the question like: do you need 2 cars, can you change your living situation, etc. - means to an end, changes aren’t forever
29:15 4 Do the Math
34:15 4 strategies to consider if you need to hit your MVI quickly:
40:30 Does the MVI apply to those working full-time teaching yoga and feel like they’re not making ends meet?
43:20 How to contact Steph
44:30 Shannon’s closing thoughts
Steph’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Steph's Website: Courage and Clarity- Fizzle to sign up for 5-week free trial
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
042: Money Mindset with Geraldine Carter
Money Mini-Series Part 2 of 4
On part 2 of our 4-part Money Mindset Mini-series, Business Coach Geraldine Carter, founder of Focused Business Coaching, asks you to reflect to uncover your “money story”. Your money story comprises of messages you were given about money growing up, the emotions that arise when working through your finances, your comfort level around setting rates and much more.
Your story can manifest itself as money hang-ups such as avoiding financial matters, being paralyzed by anxiety when making business decisions, or believing that you’re unworthy of being paid for your services.
Geraldine Carter thrives on supporting entrepreneurs who are driven to make a positive change in the world while making a living. Geraldine has had first-hand experience as the co-founder of Climate Ride a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that organizes life-changing charitable events to raise awareness and support sustainability, active transportation, and environmental causes.
After travelling extensively and noticing the effect climate change has had on so many beautiful places around the world, Geraldine and her friend decided to create cycling events that bring awareness to climate change while raising money for charitable organizations. Climate Ride has grown to support 15 events around the world and is set to donate $750,000 to environmental and sustainable non-profits.
Geraldine breaks down the most important steps and tools needed to create a viable business. She emphasizes that it can be done simply so you are spending less time doing the books and more time doing what you love.
6:10 Geraldine’s relationship to yoga
8:30 Where do we begin addressing our money mindset hangups?
9:00 Notice your behaviours (often avoidance techniques) around money to find your “money story”
11:10 When it’s a good idea to hire someone to take care of your business finances
12:05 What should we be tracking when it comes to our bookkeeping? E.g. income, expenses, rates as they go up, how much it costs to put together workshops, etc.
12:55 Keep track of your time and energy- track how much energy you expend on various activities per hour- like creating workshops, teaching classes (including planning and travel time) to discover which activities have the highest value
15:45 Anxiety bubble around money is very common, it’s temporary and will decrease as you learn and use money management tools
16:20 How can you make your business more profitable? -start keeping track, being in service and being profitable- not either or. “You can be in service AND profitable. In fact, the more profitable you are the more you can be of service.”
18:00 How often should we be tracking our transactions?
19:20 Shannon shares her money mindset hangup and how she’s working on it
21:25 Almost everyone Geraldine has helped move through their anxiety around money has found that avoidance was much more painful than tackling the issue.
22:10 What keeps people from working dealing with their finances and how it interferes with your business growth
24:00 Setting your rates as a yoga teacher
25:50 Being conscious of giving free classes or lesser rates- is it a good idea?
28:20 Healthier ways to help those in need such as fundraising for karma passes, one-off scholarships, payment plans
30:15 Geraldine’s favourite tracking programs depending on volume: Excel (good for businesses starting out), Freshbooks, Quickbooks
32:15 Geraldine uses Apple Pages in PDF for invoicing “The simpler the better” Other options: Wave, Harvest, Quickbooks and many tracking programs also have an invoicing feature
33:00 MVP (Minimum Viable Product)- keep the bookkeeping and administration as simple as possible, you want to spend the least amount of time on this aspect, your service is what’s most important
35:00 Best way to help people with money mindset- programs (group or one-on-one) to help you stick with the process and breakthrough
36:00 Geraldine’s online and in-person course- next session in February 2018
36:25 How Geraldine got into this line of work
37:20 Geraldine’s work with Climate Ride was mentioned in Seth Godin’s Ted Talk
41:30 Shannon’s closing thoughts
YouTube Video: Ted Talk: The Tribes We Lead- Seth Godin
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
Natalie Eckdahl, MBA, has been a guide, supporter and cheerleader for Shannon on her journey to create The Connected Yoga Teacher podcast. Shannon hired Natalie for her services as a business coach, feeling she could use some expert advice along with an accountability partner. This helped Shannon immensely when taking on her vision to build a platform for yoga teachers.
Natalie is a business coach, professional facilitator, keynote speaker and host of the Biz Chix Podcast which iTunes featured as a top New Business Podcast in March 2014. She has over 20 years of business experience and works with female entrepreneurs to build their businesses through money mindset and social media strategies, all while recognizing her clients’ family and individual goals.
This year Natalie successfully created and ran a Biz Chix Live Event, a 3-day Leadership Training for Women Entrepreneurs and has another set to run next November 2018.
If you struggle with charging for your services as a yoga teacher you are not alone. On this episode Natalie and Shannon discuss the importance of finding your niche, defining your services a charity, hobby or business and charging clients for your services accordingly with confidence. Also covered is the concept of “passive” and “active” income along with the pros and cons of both business styles and many more nuggets of wisdom.
06:10 Is your business a charity, a hobby or a business- all are valid but intention should be clear
10:05 Feeling conflicted about charging yoga students for a spiritual, healing practice
11:10 Offerings you don’t have to charge for (articles, podcasts, etc.) are great but don’t need to do that in order to justify charging clients- your competence justifies charging for your services
12:10 Take a moment to revisit childhood messages about money, confront them, do you still agree with messages? Maybe agreeing with them without conscious thought and it may be shaping your business
13:40 Challenging the idea of “passive income” (online videos, books, etc.) as a gold mine versus what Natalie calls “active income” (consultation work, teaching yoga classes, etc.)
21:05 The fear around finding your yoga niche and the benefits of doing so
23:50 Shannon’s niching down process
24:45 Creating a niche isn’t about excluding others
25:45 Natalie’s niching down process
28:50 Adjusting your brand to your newfound niche- Natalie calls our worry around this “The Spotlight Effect”
33:00 It’s okay not to serve everyone, specializing helps attract clients
35:30 Naming and marketing your classes to attract the clients you are seeking to serve
39:15 Niching down allows your network (friends and family, business associates, etc.) know who they can refer to you
39:55 Natalie’s top money mindset advice for small business owners- open a business bank account, get a bookkeeper, and more to build confidence as a business owner
45:05 How to get connect with Natalie
46:50 Shannon’s closing thoughts
On today’s unique episode Patricia Fasciotti shares her experience with a unique marketing strategy. The discussion transitions into a consultation call with Shannon as she advises Patricia on how to move forward with social media marketing.
Patricia is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Yoga instructor, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Nutrition Coach all under the name The Wellness Concierge.
Patricia wants to expand her online offerings as she has found this teaching format a great fit for her life. Patricia is a mother of 2 kids and is looking for a work-life balance that will allow her the financial freedom to spend more time with her children.
Patricia’s multi-faceted approach to wellness is a gift to her clients and in order for her to reach those who could benefit from her services Patricia decided to offer a free 5-day Wellness Challenge to current and potential clients.
Patricia outlines to Shannon how she approached this marketing strategy and the benefits of offering this challenge and what she learned from it.
Patricia is a down-to-earth, warm personality who openly shares what has (and hasn’t) worked for her in this process. Shannon, through consultation, helps Patricia move through the fear of marketing herself further on social media platforms.
4:10 How Patricia got into yoga
08:00 Patricia’s online class membership- The Yoga Suite
09:35 The 5-day Wellness Challenge- a free offering that can be used to showcase your work to an audience
10:20 How her 5-day Challenge works
12:00 How Patricia prepared and marketed her 5 Day Challenge
14:45 Caution around creating Facebook ads
17:45 Patricia outlines Day 1 of Challenge and using Facebook Live
20:00 Patricia’s first Facebook Live video experience
21:50 Last day of 5 day Challenge- a time to celebrate and build excitement for an upcoming offering, offering prizes
24:30 Benefits of having a Facebook group page
27:30 Patricia asks about her social media presence and marketing strategies moving forward
28:50 Shannon asks Patricia what feedback she’s gotten from her clients
30:10 Shannon asks if Patricia’s “Big Why” of her yoga offerings match with her clients’ “Big Why”
31:40 If there is fear behind your hesitation to build your online presence with advice to move through the fear
36:30 Shannon guides Patricia through fine-tuning her online yoga offerings
37:20 Advice on deciding on number of clients to take on- limit on group numbers allows for more individualized attention and raising price for membership is valid, builds loyalty
40:20 Look at your niche, ideal student and where your offerings have gained traction in the past
45:00 Setting goals around getting new clients
45:45 Recognizing and rewarding clients that are most engaged
48:15 Sharing your business offerings on your personal Facebook page
49:05 One-minute videos, the importance of relatability in videos
50:30 Setting a goal for putting videos on Youtube
52:55 Closing thoughts with Shannon
The Yoga Suite- online membership program
TCYT Podcast 031: Facebook Marketing with Amanda Bond
Today’s episode is unique in that instead of one featured guest we have seven! Shannon reached out looking to answer a question asked on The Connected Teacher Facebook Group: What advice would you give your new teacher self?
Thoughtful and beautiful reflections were recorded by 7 yoga teachers who passed them on to Shannon so she could share with all of you while reflecting on her own experiences as a yoga teacher fresh out of yoga teacher training. What would you tell your new teacher self?
3:15 Betsy Brockett
4:45 Jamie Grollman
6:25 Kristina Kelly
9:25 Catherina Espinoza
10:55 Amanda Kingsmith
13:15 Lisa Zaehringer
15:30 Allie Bright
17:40 Shannon shares other advice from The Connected Yoga Teachers Facebook Group
To get in touch with featured yoga teachers:
Kristina's Website- Get Moving Fitness
Catherina's Website- Tu Espacio Yoga
Amanda's Website- M.B.Om (Mastering the Business of Yoga)
Lisa's Website- Synchronicity Wellness
Lisa on Facebook - Synchronicity Wellness
Allie's Website- Bright Java
Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity
Trina Altman took a Kripalu yoga class at Brown University and became intrigued by the practice. She became a yoga teacher in 2008 igniting her desire to research anatomy and movement.
The culmination of the knowledge she obtained has allowed her be a multi-disciplinary teacher; borrowing from many kinds of movement practices. Trina is very much focused on balancing her practice and teaching to include strength training along with stretching.
Trina’s passion for movement has led her to create Pilates Deconstructed®, an innovative interdisciplinary approach that fosters an embodied understanding of Pilates and its relationship to modern movement science.
Along with her 500-hour yoga teacher training, she is a STOTT Pilates® certified instructor, leads teacher training in Yoga Tune Up®, the Roll Model® Method and Rx Series for Equinox locally and Internationally.
Trina has presented at Kripalu and multiple conferences such as the Yoga Alliance Leadership Conference. She teaches online classes which can be found on her website as well as in person in Los Angeles at Equinox and The Moving Joint.
Trina’s teaching fosters body cognition and self-discovery that is firmly grounded in anatomical awareness. She builds bridges between the mystical and pragmatic and specializes in helping others to access their body’s tissues and their heart’s purpose.
9:25 Where Trina’s yoga journey began
11:45 How Trina began to consider the injuries that can be sustained while practising yoga
14:55 Importance of strength training
16:35 The danger of believing yoga is a fix-all
19:00 What does Trina’s balanced personal practice look like?
22:45 Trina’s concern about risk-prone movement in classes she’s attended
23:00 Trina’s experience with group classes (and taking a break from them)
25:25 Group class paradigm- pros and cons
27:20 What can teachers do in their own personal practice to build strength
29:40 How Trina teaches yoga (and how she takes from many different movement modalities)
32:10 What is the Feldenkrais method?
36:15 Trina’s online teaching offerings
38:30 How do we prevent injuries to our students?
40:10 Pilates- “the missing link”
44:05 Where you can find Trina in the upcoming months
44:20 Trina’s closing advice on preventing injury when teaching
47:25 “There is no one answer”
48:30 Group vs. private classes when it comes to yoga injuries
49:35 Four Principles of Teaching Movement: T.R.U.E.
T- total embodiment
R- regress to progress
U- understand underlayer
E- creating an Environment of Safety
57:20 Shannon’s closing thoughts
Mettaversity Course: Realigning Yoga: New Directions in Yoga Anatomy and Movement Research with Trina Altman
Yoga Deconstructed® Courses with Trina Altman
New York Times Article: How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body by William J. Broad
Book: The Science of Yoga: The Risks and Rewards by William J. Broad
Relevant TCYT Episodes:
Trevor Parks Yoga Playlists (can view if a member of The Connected Yoga Teacher FB Page)
Not #CrushingIt is Okay
Rachel East is a Certified Professional Coach and co-founder of Clarity on Fire with her business partner and best friend Kristen Walker.
Clarity on Fire Coaching was created based on Rachel and Kristen’s experiences with mind-numbing, unfulfilling work and their unwillingness to accept the status quo.
The coaching is geared towards millennials “who know what they don’t want but don’t know what they’d rather be doing”, which was how they felt coming out of college.
Rachel majored in Communications and Public Relations because she knew it was where she would flourish. When she graduated she gladly took a job she was offered as it was tough time economically (after the 2008 recession), and there was a lot of fear surrounding employment.
Rachel found her position as an Events and Promotions Co-ordinator wasn’t ultimately something she cared deeply about. In figuring out what she did want led her to pursue life coaching. It encompassed many of her passions including self-development and therapy.
The Passion Profile Quiz that Clarity on Fire developed helps uncover your passion (the content) as well as how it can be expressed in your ideal working environment (the context).
Rachel coaches a lot of self-defined perfectionists that are feeling burnt out. There is a mindset in society that we need to be busy to be worthy. Almost everyone struggles with this notion which is why Rachel’s message is so important.
Have no fear if you like your free time, don’t want to build an empire, aren’t a huge fan of social media, or, as Rachel puts it, you don’t want to be a #girlboss or ‘crush it’. There are many ways to approach being a successful entrepreneur.
Rachel’s wrote her blog post Confession: I Have No Desire to be a #girlboss out of frustration when she was feeling burnt out. There was a strong response from people from various professional backgrounds. She knew that she had hit on something that many felt but few articulated as it isn’t a prevalent societal attitude. Rachel and those who responded to her post discussed defining success and passion for yourself and adhering to your values to discover a working environment that will lead to personal fulfilment.
12:10 Rachel’s professional journey leading her to Clarity on FIre
15:25 Question from Julia, a member of The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group about passion and fulfilment
19:50 Quality vs. Quantity- how focusing on numbers can negatively impact your business and outlook
21:05 Re-defining what success means to you
23:55 Authenticity has a bigger impact than presenting an airbrushed image
24:55 Rachel’s blog post Confession: I Have No Desire to be a #girlboss and how it resonated with so many
28:15 How strong boundaries give you freedom as an entrepreneur
29:30 Business is one aspect of your life, avoid co-dependence. Our job and ourselves are two separate things.
33:15 How Rachel defines passion
35:15 Looking at your job as a journey, not a destination. The danger of grasping too tightly, resisting evolving, growing, or even pursuing a different career path.
39:00 Knowing the difference between the ‘fertile void’ and being afraid of putting yourself out there- fear vs. intuition.
43:05 The Passion Profile Quiz
44:40 Understanding your time and money values
52:05 Setting limits in your business to suit your personality
Blog Post: Confession: I Have No Desire to be a #girlboss by Rachel East
Instagram White on Rice
The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast 030: Rituals to Start and End Your Day with Puja Madan
Shannon is very excited to have her friend Shai Plonski on the podcast who also happens to be her very first Thai Yoga Massage teacher.
Shannon and Shai know from experience that Thai Massage can enhance a yoga teacher’s
offerings in a multitude of ways such as building a stronger bond with their students, strengthening their hands-on assists, and providing new workshop and revenue opportunities.
Nowadays Shai is the best-selling author of Compassionate Touch: Giving Massage for Optimal Health, Thriving Relationships & Spiritual Awakening. But back in 2001, Shai came to realize that he was not content to work behind a desk and felt a calling to do something more meaningful, connected to Spirit, and with his hands.
Working for a carnival for the summer to earn money for university had Shai working at a booth making wax molds of people’s hands. He has carried the feeling of this experience with him,
having found the connection and trust he had to establish within seconds profound. The power of touch has been a major theme in Shai’s life ever since.
Another seed was planted when Shai travelled to Asia. He was intrigued by the practice and was eventually exposed to Thai Massage when volunteering at the Omega Institute. A teacher
invited him to sit in on her class and he saw that the practice blended so many principles that mattered to him like connection, compassion, yoga, and the healing power of touch.
Shai’s passion for sharing the practice with others over the past 15 years has led him to teach at some of the largest yoga centers in Toronto and around the world including upcoming courses at
the Kripalu Center and 1440 Multiversity.
He has also authored or co-authored 15 manuals and books on the practice of Thai massage, trained over 3300 practitioners and 100 teachers in this healing art and is the founder of the Still Light Centre.
[9:40] Shai's journey into Thai Yoga Massage
[15:05] Shai’s first exposure to Thai Massage through a workshop
[16:20] What makes Thai Yoga Massage unique?
[16:50] 3 Principles of Thai Yoga Massage
[17:25] Shai's brand new book - Compassionate Touch
[19:20] How Thai Yoga Massage can compliment your yoga business
[21:30] Metta - loving kindness and compassion
[23:55] Complementary to Yin, gentle and restorative yoga classes and yoga retreats
[27:05] Meditative nature of Thai Yoga Massage
[28:00] Still Light Centre teaching style
[30:50] How to learn Thai Yoga Massage
[37:50] How Shai got his name
[41:30] Bringing Thai Massage into your home
[43:35] Massage is a norm in some cultures and families
Gentle Yoga with Thai Massage Assists at Tone Studio, Owen Sound, Ontario
Gratitude to Our Sponsor -- Schedulicity
The prospect of yoga teacher training in a warm climate in the middle of winter sounds amazing to most of us. Maxine Iharosy thought so too when she was offered a spot in the Shakti Initiation: All Women’s Leadership Training. She was lit up by the possibility.
However, taking stock of her finances led her to feel she had to decline the offer.
One of the program’s teachers told her not to give up on the opportunity and mentioned that other students in the past have used crowdfunding in order to attend. At first, Maxine felt there was no way she would feel comfortable asking others for money but through the guidance of Robin ( her mentor in this process), she realized that attending this program could benefit her AND her community.
Maxine realized that through leadership training, teachings, and insight into another part of the world, what would benefit her could benefit her others. She would be asking for a gift (financial help), and in exchange would bring back renewed energy and passion for teaching and insight into another culture.
Maxine is a wonderfully community-minded, spiritually connected being with a passion for travel, the outdoors, and teaching yoga that connects her life experiences, readings and storytelling to the practice.
As her role as the Tone Studio manager comes to a close, her focus will be shifting towards more personal offerings for classes, private sessions and workshops with the vision of bringing some of her greatest passions together- nature, community and yoga with Inner Wilderness Yoga.
Maxine also serves as an administrator and teacher for the Sarana Institute, which is committed to bringing mindful and self-compassion training to others. This summer Maxine was part of the team that offered The Young Adult Program to Sarana Springs in Chatsworth, Ontario. The program gave young adults (aged 18-30) the chance to connect with nature, mindfulness, and learn leadership skills.
Maxine is so grateful for all those who supported her through the crowdfunding process. It increased her awareness of the interconnectedness between student and teacher and teacher and community and wholeheartedly recommends this process if you are willing to be vulnerable and do the hard emotional, physical, and spiritual work.
7:00 The beginning of Maxine’s crowdfunding journey
9:10 The giving and receiving aspect of Maxine’s experience- the teacher/student balance
10:55 What allowed Maxine to ask for help- the mindset she adopted in order to ask, confronting self-doubt and pride and looking to where the root of those feelings are coming from
12:30 Asking herself: Who am I to ask for money? How will my training benefit others? Acknowledgment that yoga isn’t as validated as other health-related professions in society or even sometimes in the mind of the teacher.
14:00 Practical aspects Maxine’s crowdfunding process
16:25 The gifts Maxine offered her contributors based on the amount of the donation
17:25 How Maxine emotionally processed the donations
19:00 Did Maxine have a backup plan if her goal wasn’t met- the power of intention and belief
20:25 How she felt when she met her goal- fears and questions and the most difficult point of her journey to Bali
23:00 Processing (still) the financial and emotional support she received
23:30 The hard prep work for attending the Women’s Leadership Training and the work while attending the training
24:35 Feedback from supporters when Maxine returned home
26:15 How it built relationships with her supporters and students outside of her yoga classes
27:00 The clarity crowdfunding and training brought to her life and her feelings of responsibility to the community
28:25 The ‘hats’ Maxine wears in her work life
29:35 Maxine’s teaching style
30:30 Sarana Institute Young Adult Program
31:20 Vision for her personal yoga offerings with Inner Wilderness
33:20 Advice to those considering crowdfunding
35:55 Keeping in touch with your contributors
38:00 Shannon’s closing thoughts
Maxine’s Website: Inner WIlderness Yoga
Blog Post: "Comparison of Crowdfunding Websites" by Inc.com
Gratitude to Our Sponsor -- Schedulicity
Have you struggled with the business side of yoga? Most yoga teachers do, fearing that selling themselves is ‘icky’ or maybe not in line with the principles of yoga.
Amanda Kingsmith works with yoga teachers to break through these financial blocks. As a yoga teacher with a business studies background, she is the perfect coach for those struggling with their money mindsets, business terminology, and seeing the worth of their services.
Amanda is an enthusiastic world traveller who is keen on avoiding the tough Alberta winters. She has travelled to over 50 countries and 6 continents. From her first yoga teacher training in Bali, she was hooked. When she began teaching she struggled to shape her yoga business to make a living (despite her business background) and wondered if maybe others were struggling too.
This led Amanda to create the M.B.OM (Mastering the Business of Yoga) podcast, which has 60 + episodes to its name. She decided she would ask those whose businesses she admired her many questions. Instead of asking them out for coffee, she decided to produce a podcast and share the wisdom she gleaned with others.
9:15 Amanda’s yoga journey
11:25 Mastering the Business of Yoga (M.B.OM) Podcast
14:40 Struggles Amanda hears most often
14:55 Letting go of what you think you “should” do
15:20 Being intentional with your business and what you want from your YTT, what do you want out of this yoga career, try many things but at the end of the day do what feels right and makes you happy
16:40 Meditate, journal or reflect in a way that works for you. Consider the many paths there are to choose from, some that may have never been travelled.
17:20 Do you need yoga to be a business?
18:40 Mixing business with yoga; an often uncomfortable aspect for yoga teachers. Do you consider what you do a business? Work on reframing your perspective on selling your services in order to move away from unsavoury sales stereotypes
20:00 “Sales funnel”- putting yourself out there and what you have to offer (newsletters, social media, etc.) in a way that is low pressure and encourages your clients to access your services
23:05 Reframing business terms for the yoga industry, learning what they mean and how they can help you run your business with an understanding that you can work in the yoga industry using ethical business practices and that honours karmic and yogic principles
24:15 How can yoga teachers work towards a healthy money mindset? How to work as a full-time yoga teacher, for example, and live a comfortable way and feel good about making income from yoga.
26:15 Being afraid to charge enough money for your classes can leave you feeling burnt out and resentful.
28:55 What are the most powerful marketing tools for yoga teachers?
-business cards (carry your card and perhaps others for referrals)
44:15 What does Amanda wish she knew as a new yoga teacher? What is imposter syndrome? The danger of comparing yourself to others.
46:35 How to work with Amanda
Gratitude to Our Sponsor -- Schedulicity
Shannon met Dr. Sinead Dufour at a pelvic health workshop for yoga teachers as part of the MamaNurture prenatal yoga teacher training. It was through Sinead that Shannon discovered she had Diastasis. Shannon talks about how some of the yoga poses done after she gave birth were contributing to her condition.
Diastasis is not widely understood in prenatal and postnatal health. It has been falsely understood as the separation of the abdominal muscles (it is even implied in the name) when it is actually the overstraining or damaging of the linea alba tissue.
It was after giving birth to her twins that Sinead discovered significant gaps and misconceptions in the health care system and fitness community that left women without the tools needed to take care of the pelvic health. She felt strongly that she needed to be part of the solution.
Sinead has been a practising physiotherapist for about 15 years, with a PhD in Primary Health Care. Her extensive studies also include training in obstetrics and urogynecology. She is a professor in the Health and Science department at McMaster University and is the Director of Pelvic Health at The Womb.
Among this episode’s points of discussion are: the role the linea alba plays in Diastasis, Dr. Sinead Dufour’s leadership in up-and-coming research on DRA to establish common practice principles, and what can be done to prevent this condition.
8:55 Sinead's journey to becoming a leading Pelvic Health expert
10:50 What is Diastasis? A common misconception about Diastasis.
Diastasis or Diastasis Recti Abdominus (DRA)
12:25 Linea alba’s role in pregnancy and Diastasis
15:30 New study by top 22 Diastasis experts in Canada in order to establish practice principles experts can agree on
18:10 Delphi Process with 3 phases setting the practice principles
20:45 Diastasis related to manometric pressure system
manometric pressure system- the pressure system modulated by the core four, inclusive of the linea alba and the glottis (think the concept of intra-abdominal pressure)
19:10 Dr. Sinead’s research study
20:10 What experts are saying: what is Diastasis and how should we manage it?
23:00 Prenatal - how can we prevent Diastasis?
25:15 Importance of continuous breath
28:45 Encouraging students, not to breath hold (and why they may be doing so)
31:00 Empowering language - What can students do instead of what can't it do
32:15 Listen to the body - pain or struggling in a pose
33:05 Intrapartum (during childbirth) considerations
37:35 Prenatal yoga teachers are the ones who can advocate, inform and empower those who are susceptible to diastasis or other pelvic health issues
38:25 When to refer a yoga student to a pelvic floor physiotherapist
40:00 Postpartum (4th trimester) - "critical healing period"
5.Optimal load transfer at linea alba
45:25 Later diastasis- watch out for doming or invagination (reverse doming)
46:10 Front loading poses: bird dog, plank - when can we do these?
47:30 Any incontinence issues - because Diastasis is a pelvic floor dysfunction
48:50 How yoga can help with the internal pressure system and nervous system
49:55 Autonomic nervous system tension affects the connective and visceral tissue
50:45 Benefits of a yin yoga style
51:40 Fertility yoga series at The Womb
52:50 Increased inter-recti distance is normal in pregnancy
53:45 Diastasis has nothing to do with the inter-recti distance (the width between the rectus abdominis muscles)
57:20 How to test for Diastasis at home
58:40 How a yoga teacher can help assess linea alba during a pelvic floor contraction
1:00:25 Another Diastasis assessment- digital pelvic floor contraction (highlights how integrated the linea alba is with the pelvic floor)
1:01:25 Yoga teachers are in a great position to get ahead of the curve to spread new information discovered through research (before it will be widely taught)
1:05:50 Inter-recti distance as an assessment needs to be thrown out- as people get better and more functional the distance can actually increase proving that inter-recti is meaningless
1:06:55 The general preface statement that will be published in their research document
1:08:50 Preface statement for assessment of DRA
1:10:10 How to work with Dr. Sinead Dufour
Relevant TCYT Episodes:
Gratitude to Our Sponsor -- Schedulicity
Kathryn Bruni-Young is a mover, educator and creator. She grew up studying yoga with her mother (Diane Bruni) which organically shifted into teaching yoga classes and workshops together.
Kathryn Bruni-Young has been a yoga and movement teacher for the last 10 years. She suffered from repetitive strain injuries and turned to physiotherapists, personal trainers and other experts from other movement disciplines to create her own teaching style.
Inspired by all she gained from her strength training education. Kathryn founded the Mindful Strength Center, (formerly known as the Cornwall Yoga Studio). Mindful Strength blends strength, mobility and mindfulness. Kathryn leads teacher training, online courses, and workshops throughout Canada and Europe.
Kathryn is being drawn to the world of Trauma Training and has been influenced by those doing research in this field. She is truly a woman with many facets who is excited to share all she has learned to enrich the lives of others.
7:45 Kathryn's Yoga Journey
10:00 Benefits of strength training
12:05 Balance of flexibility and strength training
15:15 Do we need to go to the gym? “Sensory sensitivity”
17:55 Examples of strength training at home
19:00 How to modify push-ups
20:15 Does Kathryn still call herself a yoga teacher?
22:05 Rotator cuff injury
25:30 Kathryn's library of IG posts
26:50 Strength training for repetitive strain-totally different movement
28:25 Muscles and fascia and their response to load
28:55 Variety of strength training options
29:45 How should a yoga teacher start incorporating strength training into their lives?
31:20 How to find a strengthening mentor, even as a kickstart to your training
31:50 Working on your own using YouTube videos, books starting with simple movements
32:45 Working with various professionals (physios, trainers, etc.) even a couple of times to get the ball rolling, get some basic information
33:25 Importance of having variety in strength training so it is well-rounded and balanced so you’re not doing repetitive movement in this area
33:55 Practice movement on your own before incorporating it into your classes
35:00 How to work with Kathryn- new online courses available
37:40 Kathryn's mindful strength class layout
41:55 How to add strengthening to a more traditional yoga class
44:45 What she calls her classes and how her students reacted to the introduction of strength training into her yoga classes- key slowly building strength into the class
50:10 Your unique yoga offering cannot be replicated
51:05 Her first certified training with Ito Portal -not beginner friendly but lots of great insight
52:00 Trauma training (somatic experiencing) in the strength building field-
53:20 Kathryn's Yoga Teacher Training offerings and an Online Mindful Teacher Training is in the works!
Yoga Journal Article: The Future of Yoga: 15 Millennial Yoga Teachers to Watch
Trauma Healing Training founded by Peter Levine
Trauma Center at Justice Resort Institute founded by Bessel Van Der Kolt
Life coach - Barb Elias
Personal trainer - Miranda Smit
Gratitude to our sponsor Schedulicity
Amanda Bond, “Bond” as she is known, is an expert when it comes to Facebook ads. With a fiery, authentic spirit she guides her clients so they can get the most of this marketing tool. Always an entrepreneur at heart, she started her career as a social media manager and has taken on such positions as the VP of marketing for The Toronto Yoga Conference and Show.
Bond chose to take the wealth of knowledge she gained in her over 12 years of experience in corporate sales and marketing to focus on ad marketing creating her business The Ad Strategist.
Bond’s down-to-earth manner simplifies the sometimes overwhelming task of marketing yourself on Facebook. In this episode she breaks down the elements of creating an ad and shares such wisdom as: money doesn’t necessarily mean more results, the difference between your personal and business Facebook page (it’s an important distinction), and the recommended percentage of sales based posts to non-sales based posts that focus on your message.
5:20 Amanda's journey
7:10 Connection to Toronto Yoga Show
8:40 What to do before spending anything on Facebook ads
11:45 Sharing yourself vs. selling yourself- sharing what you do, what journey you’re on, who you are
12:50 What percentage of posts should have a call to action (sales) and what percentage should be about sharing your message? How telling stories about your clients and directing your services to a specific client can bring more sales
17:20 Difference between personal Facebook profile and yoga business page? What you can include on each page without signalling to Facebook you are selling yourself on your personal page.
19:20 How do you get people to like your Facebook page? Consistency and refinement of your message as you go will attract loyal followers.
21:05 Bond’s first Facebook ad expenditure
21:40 Keep in mind we are not our businesses, that we don’t become that product or service.
23:15 First step when we are ready to advertise on Facebook and why boosting is not THE answer and referring to the Facebook marketing platform “Facebook Blueprint”
25:00 3 Cs Framework that Amanda and her team use
27:35 Overcoming the objections that our customers have when they buy from you
28:20 What are the benefits your audience will miss out on if you are not selling your product or service?
32:20 Meet your audience at the beginner level
33:35 What stories are powerful to share the benefits of yoga e.g. transformation stories, encourage them to be a curious beginner, don’t have to be perfect
34:35 Being vulnerable and relatable - show up as yourself, encourages them to be human because you present yourself that way, put yourself out there consistently not constantly, “a messy journey of consistent action”
36:05 Facebook live is scary! Remember that you have a piece of knowledge, a nugget of wisdom to share with others, being fearful prevents you from sharing knowledge with those who would benefit
37:50 What Amanda would do with Facebook if she was a full-time yoga teacher:
39:30 How to work with Amanda- changing gears to work with those getting started in their businesses that don’t necessarily have a big ad budget
Bond’s Website: The Ad Strategist
Puja Madan was living in India on a 12+ year ritual journey with yoga and meditation when in 2009, she felt intense abdominal pain while attending a yoga class. Following up with a doctor, she discovered that she had a large fibroid tumour. Puja says this was her “aha moment”. Her medical issue was a catalyst for change as Puja determined her work life was less than fulfilling. Feeling drawn to another path, she moved from India to the US. She went from using her MBA to work for tech startups to creating her own coaching business.
With warmth and humour, Puja shares her vision to teach women in leadership positions. She wants women to know that they hold value beyond what they accomplish in a tangible form. Puja wants women to stop measuring themselves against the expectations of society in order to nurture and appreciate their complex selves. Puja believes that beginning and end of day rituals can be a powerful means of honouring your many facets.
As Puja says on her Puja's Wild Radiant Woman Website: "I spark the unseen potential and feminine power of visionary women to be the change agents the world so desperately needs.” She believes strongly in a balance of yin and yang energy in leadership positions and is pleased to see the old values and systems designed for men are evolving to incorporate feminine values such as mindfulness and collaboration.
Puja is currently living in Orlando, Florida, holding in-person retreats and playshops. She also coaches women from around the world via Skype and does talks, inspiring many. Additionally, she is the bestselling co-author of Unleash Your Inner Magnificence and 365 Ways to Connect with Your Soul and the author of articles in several publications such as MindBodyGreen, The Huffington Post, and ElephantJournal.
8:10 Puja's yoga story
11:10 Embracing a new value system as entrepreneurs based on mindfulness, collaboration, and self-care
15:30 Rituals and mindfulness while you grow your business- personal energy and boundaries are deeply rooted in
17:00 Start of day self-care ritual
Every being is made of 4 rooms: step into your 4 Rooms each day to at least air them
Setting intentions for the day: a word or phrase that guides you that you can return to
19:15 Daily word / intention / mantra, Puja likes to do it right after meditation, awareness to it and
Today's top priorities- top 3 things and do these first
22:30 If you feel like you don't have time to fit in self-care- where are you leaking energy non-revenue generating activities, 23 minutes to come back in zone, it is possible to re-organize your business and personal priorities to create more time
25:10 How a personal practice can impact our relationships - at home and at work
26:55 End of day rituals:
Reducing forms of clutter- emails, computer desktop, etc.
34:05 How to connect with Puja
34:55 Middle of workday - regular check-ins: Are you feeling grounded? Holding onto any stress?
35:25 Running a yoga business with the entrepreneur mindset, seperate mindset from teaching yoga.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” -Ghandi
Gratitude to Our Sponsor Schedulicity
To purchase Puja’s books: Unleash Your Inner Magnificence and 365 Ways to Connect with Your Soul
Today’s episode is a consultation call with Trevor Parks, who is a yoga teacher from Covington, Georgia. He teaches classes that are inspired by his Ashtanga teacher training and weaves philosophical themes, pranayama, meditation, chanting and music through his classes.
Trevor’s introduction to yoga did little to inspire his now deep connection to the practice. He was deterred by the very aspects that he now embodies such as abstract spiritual thought and poetic language. In time, Trevor returned to yoga when looking for answers about himself and the world around him.
Trevor shares that yoga is everything to him. He is either studying yoga philosophy, sequences, or doing his own practice.
After over 7 years practicing and over 3 years teaching, Trevor is at the point where he’d like put himself out into cyberspace in order to attract students compatible with his teachings and has asked Shannon to help him with his ‘About Me’ page for his website.
Trevor has so much he wants to say and needs some help putting all his thoughts into words that will connect with his potential students.
Book that inspired Trevor to pursue yoga: Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
Would you like to create or update your ABOUT ME page?
Click here to receive Shannon's worksheets.
Gratitude to our sponsor Schedulicity
Dr. Ariele Foster, based in Washington DC, has been teaching yoga for 16 years. She was inspired by her grandmother Lilo Foster, who taught yoga until the age of 87. Lilo was one of the few Jewish survivors in Germany from World War II and became re-acquainted with the healing power of yoga after her immigration to the US.
Ariele, finding herself enamored with anatomy, became interested in physical therapy after a profound experience as a physical therapy patient. She studied hard to become a doctor of Physical Therapy, becoming a licensed physical therapist in 2011.
Ariele has had many yoga teachers approach her about making the same transition- from yoga teacher to physical therapist which led her to create Yoga Anatomy Academy. As Ariele says “... [it] has been popular beyond my dreams. It’s really organically attracted so many students.” Yoga Anatomy Academy also provides anatomy courses for yoga teachers.
Ariele kindly shares with us her incredibly rich and informative 10 Principles of an Anatomy-Informed Yoga Practice (available as a PDF download,) which covers a range of considerations for yoga teachers such as; when to refer students to other professionals, re-thinking asanas and the importance of functional movement, and the balance between flexibility and movement.
This multi-tasking, multi-talented woman has founded a forum for discussion- Yoga for the Planet, inspired by her interest in environmental concerns,continues to teach yoga classes and also offers private sessions, workshops and courses, yoga retreats all while practicing as a physical therapist.
Note: Physiotherapists, Physical Therapists, ‘physios’- all the same profession. Different areas use different titles.
9:10 What sparked Ariele’s interest in anatomy
11:50 From teaching yoga to becoming a physical therapist
12:30 Advice to yoga teachers interested in becoming a physical therapist
16:30 The importance of referring your yoga students to a physical therapist when experiencing pain
21:00 Cost can be a hurdle when one is considering physical therapy- how to put that in perspective
23:30 Ariele’s position teaching anatomy to yoga teachers, belief that there needs to be a baseline of understanding
24:20 Principle 1 - Any Pose Can Harm. Any Pose Can Heal.
25:05 Principle 2 - Every Body is Unique.
25:45 Principle 3 - Think Critically “Don’t emphasize the alignment of the pose higher than the individual”
27:35 Cueing Warrior 1 using critical thinking
28:45 What is functional movement?
28:05 Principle 4 - Most Yoga Asana is Specialized, Not Functional Movement
30:55 Principle 5 - Flexibility is No Good Without Strength
33:25 Principle 6 - Variety is the Spice of Life
34:30 Principle 7 - Safe Strength Building Comes from Progressive Loading
37:25 Principle 8 - Listen to Your Body Works 50% of the Time
41:20 Principle 9 - Readily Refer Out
44:20 Principle 10 - Honor Both the Science and “Mystery”
45:35 How to study with Dr. Ariele Foster
Ariele’s Personal Teaching Website: Sacred Source Teaching
PDF: 10 Principles of an Anatomy Informed Yoga Practice by Dr. Ariele Foster
Gratitude to our sponsor Schedulicity