The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

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Apr 27, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

166: When & How to Hire a VA (virtual assistant) with Sandra Booker



Running a yoga business is more than just teaching yoga classes. From scheduling and collecting payments, to sales and marketing, to promotion and logistics, we may find ourselves needing help with different elements of running a business. That’s where a Virtual Assistant (VA) can come in handy, but where do we start?


Sandra Booker is the founder of Any Old Task, where she provides small business owners with Business Support and Assistant Services. She specializes in workflow and process review, and helps streamline business processes and develop efficient workflows to keep things organized and on track. She also helps startup VAs generate the same kind of raving clientele she enjoys in her own business as part of her work at VA Studio. 


Do you really need a VA or you need to look at your own productivity? What should you look at before hiring a VA? How much would a VA cost? Where can you find them, and what are some questions you should ask before hiring? Sandra answers all of our questions about bringing a VA onto your team, and shares some of the benefits that having a VA on your team could provide.


If you’ve ever thought about bringing in help into your business but aren’t sure what that would look like, this episode will be an eye-opener.


Key Takeaways:

[10:33] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Sandra Booker.

[12:05] What is the work that Sandra does and who does she do it for?

[14:22] How can yoga business owners tell when they need to hire a VA?

[16:49] Sandra clarifies when someone might need an OBM vs a VA.

[18:09] How much do VAs charge?

[21:08] Sandra also teaches VAs how to build up their own practice.

[23:39] How specialized should your VA be?

[26:44] How can we prepare to hire a VA?

[29:31] It can be hard to give up tasks that we're so used to doing. How can we decide what to keep and what to give up?

[32:55] Shannon and Sandra discuss some of the benefits of having a VA on your team.

[39:15] What are some things we need to do prior to hiring a VA?

[43:31] Sandra has some tips around when you might start looking for a VA.

[47:50] Your job posting can include some screening questions to filter out applicants to hire.

[50:07] Sandra offers her prospective clients a call to assess if they are a fit for her VA services.

[52:43] How else can you find a VA? Sandra has some suggestions about how to find a VA who is a fit for you and your business.

[55:06] Sandra has a few final tips for anyone thinking about hiring a VA.

[59:08] Get in touch with Sandra via her website or email.

[59:38] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this episode.



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"What goals are you working towards right now? What do you need in order to achieve those goals? And what are you missing, what's holding you back?"


"Always be aware of what the goals of the person you're about to hire are."


"All-in-ones don't work. They don't work with shampoo, they don't work with VAs."


"If you have anything less than 10 hrs of work to hand off to somebody a month, you probably don't really need a VA yet."


Apr 20, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

165: Offer Online Yoga Masterclass with Shannon Crow & Amanda McKinney



Living in this crisis state of the global COVID-19 pandemic is becoming our new normal, and as yoga teachers, we are all trying to adapt. More of us are switching to offering yoga online, and this can be a challenge to most, if not all of us. Recently, Shannon got together with her biz bestie Amanda McKinney to host a masterclass on the topic of offering online yoga.


This is a replay of that masterclass in which Shannon and Amanda answer some of the questions they were receiving from yoga teachers who wanted to know how to get online and teach online in a really quick way. On this episode, Shannon and Amanda outline the first steps to get started in taking your yoga online and offering yoga to your students virtually.


Regardless of whether you’ve never done a live video on a social media platform or you’ve had some experience on video and want to offer group or 1:1 lessons on Zoom, or you want to go to the next level by putting your videos on YouTube - this episode is for you.


Key Takeaways:

[7:35] Shannon introduces the topic for this episode - a masterclass about offering yoga online.

[9:12] Offering yoga online is all about taking it step-by-step, starting with what you have.

[10:16] Level 1 - If you've never worked with video before, this is where you can start.

[11:24] Where should you start? Amanda recommends starting with live videos for a variety of reasons.

[13:06] Shannon has some tips about going live.

[16:56] Level 2 - You've worked with video before and are more comfortable with it, but you're looking for an option to work with students either 1:1 or in a group setting. This is where you can use Zoom.

[18:36] Shannon highlights how useful having a recording of your classes can be.

[21:50] How can you use Apple TV with Zoom?

[25:10] Should you be offering yoga for free or charging the same?

[28:01] Amanda suggests finding a partner to practice with Zoom before launching it to your students.

[31:50] What tech should you use to take your yoga classes online? Use what you have!

[33:59] The next level is using YouTube, which can be a fantastic resource.

[37:58] There are many benefits to YouTube but you have to decide what's best for your students right now.

[39:16] Shannon shares some of the feedback from yoga teachers who have started teaching online after this Masterclass.

[41:50] Shannon shares more about her new idea, The Connected Yoga Teacher Collective (TCYT Collective).



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"Start free, and start where you're comfortable." - Shannon


"What people really want is connection." - Shannon


"Don't assume that your students don't know anything about technology." - Amanda


"We do things for free all the time, but make sure that you are also taking care of your business as well." - Amanda


"Use what you have to figure out what you need." - Amanda

Apr 13, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

164: Deepen Your Yoga Practice with Barrie Risman



As yoga teachers, how can we deepen our own yoga practice so that we can teach from a place of authenticity? In between juggling our many commitments and responsibilities, particularly in this challenging time in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can often fall away from our own practice of yoga. However, we all know that there are so many benefits to having a regular yoga practice, and deepening it. Barrie Risman shares her new book, Evolving Your Yoga: Ten Principles for Enlightened Practice, on how to take your yoga practice deeper.


Barrie Risman has been a dedicated student of Iyengar Yoga for more than 25 years, and teaching for almost 2 decades. As the creator of The Skillful Yogi, an online practice and study community of yoga students and teachers from around the globe, Barrie offers a uniquely accessible, authentic and integrated approach to yoga. Her book, Evolving Your Yoga is a guide for teachers and students to deepen, expand, and integrate the benefits of yoga in their lives. 


We can go deeper in our practice without necessarily doing more or working harder, or even achieving more difficult poses. Barrie talks to us about how to stay interested in our practice, how to make time for personal practice and why that’s so important to being a yoga teacher. She also shares some tips on how to take your practice deeper, and really highlights that it's not just about doing more trainings and getting more certifications.


As all of us grapple with this current situation, this episode could provide some guidance on how to stick to and deepen your yoga practice.


Key Takeaways:

[7:06] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode.

[8:29] How did Barrie get started with yoga?

[10:52] What is the work that Barrie does now and who does she do it for?

[15:23] What is something that helps Barrie propel her yoga business forward?

[17:36] How can we deepen our yoga practice?

[21:41] Barrie recommends going back to what made you fall in love with yoga in the first place.

[24:00] Shannon shares how she incorporates self-reflection into her own daily practice.

[24:57] What are Barrie's thoughts on yoga teachers always reaching for the next training to feel like they're adequate enough?

[31:05] What did it look like when Barrie was a full time yoga teacher, and what brought in the biggest portion of her income?

[33:18] Barrie shares more about the membership aspect of her business.

[38:02] There is something for everyone in Barrie's membership - it's not exclusively for yoga teachers.

[39:40] What does it look like behind the scenes for Barrie in terms of making content?

[41:35] How do people in Barrie's group connect with each other?

[42:53] What helps Barrie make so much content?

[45:01] Barrie walks us through what a day and week look like in terms of her routine.

[47:14] Creating content is a lot about discipline and less about creativity - like yoga.

[51:40] What are some other tips that Barrie has for yoga teacher trying to grow their business?

[53:38] What are your key takeaways about how you can deepen your own yoga practice?




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"I really dedicated and prioritized time to going deeper into my own experience of yoga and learning from that, and trusting that as a source of wisdom."


"We can go deeper in our practice without necessarily doing more or working harder, or achieving more difficult poses."


"We need to really expand our ideas of what practice looks like, and just doing that helps us deepen our practice."


"The prerequisite for being a student of yoga is the willingness to begin again."


"The question is not if we're going to get disconnected from our practice, it's when, and how are we going to bring ourselves back once we've done that."


"Yoga is not just what we do. It's how we reflect and learn from what we do."


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

Mar 30, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

162: Fill Your Yoga Workshop with Mado Hesselink



Have you ever struggled to put on a yoga workshop? Maybe you’re hesitant to put on a yoga workshop because you’re worried about how to fill it. Perhaps you're excited to offer a workshop and just want to get started. Mado Hesselink, repeat guest on the podcast, is just the person with the insights on this topic.


Mado Hesselink has been teaching yoga since 2005, and training yoga teachers since 2010. She is the creator of Yoga Teacher Resource, and host of the Yoga Teacher Resource Podcast. Her focus is the places where business and yoga principles overlap, so that yoga teachers make a bigger impact with their teaching, and her mission is to help yoga teachers stay true to their values as they create their own definition of success. 


We may have toyed with the idea of teaching a yoga workshop, or attended a workshop ourselves that has inspired us to create our own, but it can be tricky to know when we're ready to teach a workshop. Mado shares more about the four categories of workshops and how to know if people are going to sign up for the workshop. Mado explains how to choose a workshop topic and title that will get people to sign up, her advice for yoga teachers scrambling to fill their workshops, and what we need to focus on to run a successful and effective workshop.


Workshops can be a fun and engaging way to connect with our students on a different level beyond just a yoga class - Mado has insights about how to make the most of it for everyone!


Key Takeaways:

[7:19] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Mado Hesselink.

[9:06] Why would yoga teachers even want to teach workshops?

[11:42] Depending on how you market the workshop, the perceived value can be a lot higher than a class that's more general and not marketed to a specific audience.

[13:31] Workshops helps deepen your connection with your most dedicated students.

[14:55] How can yoga teachers tell if they are ready to lead a workshop?

[17:25] What are some workshops that work really well? Mado highlights four that work really well - the Intro workshops, the 'Yoga +' workshops, the Deep Dives and the Experience / Celebration workshops.

[21:50] Shannon and Mado discuss which category Shannon's workshop falls into.

[22:36] How can we choose the topic for our workshops and determine what the title should be?

[26:54] How can we fill our yoga workshop and ensure that it works?

[30:12] What can you do if you take all the right steps and your workshop still doesn't fill?

[34:00] What are some other tips Mado has for yoga teachers trying to market their yoga workshop.

[39:19] Mado shares some tips for yoga teachers who are scrambling to fill their yoga workshops, and for people who want to call it quits after a 'failed' attempt.

[42:45] What does Mado have to say to yoga teachers who think that they 'really, really need to' fill a workshop?

[44:36] Mado shares more about her course for filling yoga workshops.

[46:21] Mado has a list of 100 yoga class themes and 100 yoga workshop ideas available.

[47:32] Mado leaves us with some final thoughts about workshops.

[48:52] What were your biggest takeaways? Shannon shares what has really impacted her from this interview.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


"We need to really switch our mindset in this time. Instead of thinking 'can I offer this online?' to switching to 'how can I offer this online?'." - Shannon


"If you hit on a topic that really resonates with the people that you're trying to teach, it can end up being a lot more per hour." - Mado


"Depending on how you market the workshop, the perceived value can be a lot higher than a class that's more general and not marketed to a specific audience?" - Mado


"Not every single person who would benefit from your workshop, not every single person who fits into your target audience is going to be able to attend." - Mado


"You have to go back to who is this for, and where do they spend their time?" - Mado


Mar 23, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

 161: Get Your Yoga Online in 48 Hours with Jennie MacGoy



The situation with COVID-19, the novel coronavirus that is spreading quickly across the world, is rapidly changing. Many places are on complete lockdown, with many more people practicing social distancing in the interest of safeguarding their health and that of everyone around them. In this context, in-person yoga classes may not be feasible or safe for the moment.


Jennie MacGoy has taken her yoga business online in just 48 hours, and on this episode she shares her experience and the insights she has gained from it. Jennie is a Yoga and Functional Movement instructor and an Accessible Yoga ambassador who specializes in working with people who are dealing with chronic pain. She typically offers in-studio classes, but in light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, she made the decision to start offering all of her classes virtually.


Transitioning from in-person classes to 100% online classes is not easy, but Jennie has managed it in just 48 hours. She explains how she made the first decision to switch to virtual classes, some of the technology that she is using in her classes, and the logistics of running online yoga classes.


We all need to change and adapt to this new situation - this episode is a great introduction to how to make the switch from in-person to online classes. Be sure to also check out the other resources around how to manage the COVID-19 situation in the links below.


Key Takeaways:

[2:47] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jennie MacGoy.

[5:52] Last week, Jennie sent out an email to her students saying they weren't going to be using any props. How did her students receive that, and how did Jennie manage her classes without props?

[10:05] Jennie's students weren't skipping the class because they were afraid. What made Jennie decide to move her classes online?

[12:55] How are Jennie's students' reacting to the Zoom classes?

[14:17] Jennie explains some of the tech behind running her classes virtually.

[20:48] How does attendance work for Jennie's classes?

[23:17] Schedulicity is waiving all fees for 3 months!

[26:13] Shannon and Jennie discuss how taking her yoga classes online is impacting her students, and her business.

[33:20] Where can you sign up for one of Jennie's classes?

[34:15] Shannon and Jennie brainstorm some ideas to create a sense of community in a virtual class.

[35:41] Is Jennie recording her virtual classes?

[37:25] Jennie shares some of the challenges she has faced in getting her yoga online.

[40:04] Shannon and Jennie share some of their thoughts around the evolving situation and how taking your yoga online may play out.

[42:19] Shannon reflects on this interview with Jennie, and the current situation.



Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity, Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training, and Yomassage


Quotes from this episode:

"How can I, in good conscience, continue to bring people together?"


"[My students] look forward to eventually all of us coming back together in person, but for now, it's fine."


"We have to go virtual." 


"I thought it was just much more important to jump in and start doing it."

Mar 16, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

160: Milestones of My Yoga Business with Shannon Crow



Where were you when you first began your business, and where are you now? Looking back on your journey as an entrepreneur and business owner is a great reflection exercise, and on this episode, Shannon shares her reflections and thoughts about her yoga business, and the milestones she reached along the way.


In doing this reflection exercise, Shannon goes to a time way back before the podcast was started. Even as a child, she had an entrepreneurial streak in her, and she shares some of the early lessons she learned from her first forays into entrepreneurship, as well as her first successes as a business owner running a garden market. She reveals how she eventually transitioned into becoming a yoga teacher, and subsequently a podcast host as well.


Shannon highlights some of the key milestones she reached (including some that she’s still working on!) along her business journey, including stepping into a business mindset, creating systems and processes, and even finding a niche and specializing. Shannon also reflects that none of it was ever a clear path, but everything has contributed to the business she has today.


This is an inside look into Shannon’s road map to creating her yoga business, but remember - everyone’s journey will be different. Special thanks to Isabel for asking this question that prompted the reflection!


Key Takeaways:

[2:51] Isabel asked: How do you know that your business has grown to certain levels or reached certain milestones? What are the different pieces that make your entire business, and how long did it take you to put them all together?

[3:35] Shannon's business journey began way before the podcast.

[6:14] Shannon gives a shout out to a few people.

[9:33] Take a moment to reflect on your own yoga journey. Where were you when you began, and where are you now?

[10:43] Shannon shares her backstory of how and why she became an entrepreneur, and her first business ventures.

[18:27] Shannon describes how she became a yoga teacher.

[21:04] Shannon's grandfather gave her some words of wisdom about saving, that have stuck with her.

[27:08] This episode is sponsored by YoMassage.

[28:19] The first milestone in Shannon's business is her business mindset.

[34:12] Another part of the business mindset is the money mindset.

[40:00] Milestone #2: Know your why.

[41:37] Milestone #3: Systems, processes and planning.

[43:07] For Shannon, accepting and asking for help was her fourth milestone.

[44:28] The last milestone is specializing and niche work.

[47:15] You're not alone in your journey as a yoga teacher and entrepreneur!



Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity, Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training, and Yomassage


Quotes from this episode:


"I had this lightbulb moment thinking, 'There are no other teachers in the world that can share yoga like I can'." - Shannon


"You are here to offer a type of yoga that no one else can." - Shannon


"It doesn’t matter what you make - it matters what you save." - Shannon


"Your message needs to be louder than all of the fears and roadblocks and learning that you need to do." - Shannon

Mar 15, 2020

I wanted to check in with all of you today and tell you about what we are working on to support you. There is a free masterclass to help you to take your yoga online. I also wanted to share why we are self-isolating now in our home.

Mar 9, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

159: Mindful Touch and Yoga with Tiffany Ryan & Katherine Parker



Do you incorporate touch into your yoga classes? Or do you enjoy touch in your classes but aren’t sure how to go about introducing it in your classes? Yomassage may be the answer you are looking for. This unique offering fills a niche in the health and wellness space, and seeks to combine the principles of yoga and yogic philosophy with the benefits of massage. 


Tiffany Ryan and Katherine Parker are co-founders of Yomassage, and they offer an innovative approach to wellness that combines yoga and massage therapy. Tiffany and Katherine come from very different backgrounds, but their paths crossed by chance and Yomassage was born. The classes they offered at the studio became so popular that they decided to offer trainings to other wellness professionals. Today, they offer a variety of Yomassage classes and trainings across the US to create affordable options for self-care through bodywork.


Tiffany and Katherine Parker join me to share more about how they came to discover this as their niche, how they serve their clients, and the benefits of Yomassage. They also highlight how yoga teachers can incorporate this area into their current yoga offerings to students and how mindful touch is different than a yoga teacher providing adjustments and assists.


If you’ve ever thought about incorporating more touch into your classes, or are interested in finding out more about how mindful touch can benefit your students, this episode is for you.


Key Takeaways:

[5:13] Shannon introduces her guests for this episode - Tiffany Ryan and Katherine Parker.

[7:32] What is Yomassage and how did Tiffany and Katherine create it? Tiffany shares a bit about her journey that led to Yomassage.

[11:27] Where did Katherine's yoga journey begin, and how did her work tie in with touch and massage?

[14:34] Katherine shares more about the trainings on Yomassage that they offer massage therapists and yoga teachers.

[15:12] There has been a lot of discussion in the yoga world about why it might be better not to incorporate touch into classes. What are Tiffany's thoughts on this?

[20:06] How does Katherine, as the studio owner, safeguard the interests of students coming in with regards to who wants touch and who doesn't?

[23:27] What is the process when students sign up for a Yomassage class?

[26:15] The training for mindful touch provides teachers with a framework for what is acceptable and what isn't.

[28:31] A word from our sponsor - Yomassage.

[29:43] What are some of the the recommendations, do's and don'ts for Yomassage?

[31:28] For a yoga teacher who would like to incorporate touch into their classes, what would be the best way to go about it?

[35:15] People need 10-15 minutes of touch daily, and Yomassage classes aims to provide this. How are the classes organized to do this?

[39:15] Katherine shares some of the details about the Yomassage and mindful touch classes.

[42:36] How much touch do people receive in a Yomassage session vs a mindful touch class?

[44:44] What are the training sessions like for Yomassage and mindful touch, for practitioners who want to include these as a part of their offering?

[48:17] Connect with Katherine and Tiffany via their social media pages to learn more about Yomassage.

[49:07] Shannon, Katherine and Tiffany discuss the importance of touch.

[51:28] Shannon shares her biggest takeaway from this interview.



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Yomassage


Quotes from this episode:


"The combination of the touch and the restorative yoga would be almost like receiving that savasana / feel-good touch throughout the whole class." - Katherine


"Touch is known and proven to help the body enter into the parasympathetic nervous system." - Tiffany


"Touch is so impactful, and it really can help people heal." - Tiffany


"It's really important to have this additional training that teaches you about touch, how to touch and to do it with consent." - Tiffany

Mar 2, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

158: Yoga Nidra with Kaya Mindlin



Something that is said to be as old as yoga itself, but which is less well-known and not as widely practiced is yoga nidra. Sometimes described as “yogic sleep”, yoga nidra can be a powerful healing technique. Kaya Mindlin, an expert on the topic of yoga nidra, shares more about this fascinating aspect of yoga on this interview.


Kaya Mindlin is a Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic Practitioner with 18 years of experience teaching yoga and nine years of experience training and mentoring yoga teachers. She is the co-Founder and director of Emeryville Yoga Therapy Center, and has created multiple programs for yoga teachers. She is passionate about the soft, slow, inward-oriented side of yoga that holds the purpose of yoga at its heart. Today, Kaya teaches yoga teachers in-person and online, through training courses, mentoring and private sessions in yoga therapy and ayurveda.


What does yoga nidra offer that other practices may not? Why is it especially needed in our modern society? What kinds of things can come up for students during yoga nidra, and how can we as yoga teachers hold space for that? These are just a few of the topics Kaya shares more about. She also talks about the best positions for yoga nidra, what a good yoga nidra script should include, and even has some special resources for you.


This is an excellent episode for anyone curious about the practice and benefits of yoga nidra, both as a teacher of yoga and to use in your own practice.


Key Takeaways:

[6:55] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Kaya Mindlin.

[8:43] Where did Kaya's yoga journey begin?

[11:17] What is Kaya's specialty now, and how did she find her focus?

[12:35] Kaya explains the pronunciation of 'nidra' and why the pronunciation matters.

[15:50] What is yoga nidra?

[17:24] What happens when people fall asleep during yoga nidra?

[18:17] How do we know when we've reached the state of yoga nidra?

[21:29] When can we access the yoga nidra state?

[22:40] Why is yoga nidra so important?

[24:35] What are some of the other benefits of the yoga nidra state?

[29:15] What are some things we might experience in a state of yoga nidra?

[32:46] Where would Kaya recommend that yoga teachers try out yoga nidra?

[34:56] Kaya has some resources available on yoga nidra.

[35:41] Kaya shares more about her offerings both online and in person.

[40:39] A lot of problems we see in people in modern society are related to sleep.

[45:10] What does Kaya wish yoga teachers knew about yoga nidra?

[47:24] Find out more about Kaya and her work at her website.

[48:33] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this episode.



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Toronto Yoga Conference April 2020


Quotes from this episode:


"Yoga nidra is an inner state. It is the deep sleep state with awareness retained."


"I train [yoga teachers] in techniques to open the doorway to that state, but there's no guarantee that it will happen, but whatever happens will be beneficial."


"We feel only ignorance, and simultaneously that ignorance is described as a mass of bliss."


"At a deep level, it's very appealing to us because we are starved for rest and relaxation, and we're really starved for sleep."


"Yoga nidra works at the subconscious level to resolve problematic patterns of thinking and habits, and it also goes all the way to the unconscious level."


Feb 24, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

157: Horse Wisdom Yoga with Fotini Chandrika Walton



You may have noticed that there has been a trend in recent years surrounding yoga and animals - puppy yoga, cat yoga and even goat yoga. These are variations of yoga where animals are present during the yoga  practice. Fotini Chandrika Walton offers her clients something unique - Horse Wisdom Yoga. 


Fotini Chandrika Walton is the Founder of the Big Red Barn Creativity and Wellness Centre Inc., a non-profit organization in Ontario, Canada where she offers an Equine Guided Wellness modality, Horse Wisdom Yoga®. Fotini was introduced to the Yogic lifestyle at 6, and officially began her yoga practice in 2004. Through a journey of personal transformation, Fotini uncovered the power of yoga in combination with the ancestral wisdom of Horses, where the non-predatory nature of the Horse and the principles of Yoga bring to life the ancient history of horse-human connection.


This is a very specialized form of combining time with horses and yoga. Fotini shares how it is more than just doing yoga with horses grazing in the practice area, and explains what a session with her and the herd might look like. We also dig into the challenges around describing what your unique yoga offering is to someone who has not experienced it before, and how Fotini approaches marketing in a very novel way.


This was a fascinating interview to learn more about how one yoga teacher is incorporating unique elements into their offering of yoga, and finding a niche that sets them apart.


Key Takeaways:

[5:55] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Fotini Chandrika Walton.

[7:21] Where did Fotini's yoga journey begin?

[10:42] What is the work that Fotini does now, and who does she do it for?

[14:40] How did Fotini really start working with horses and yoga in the same modality?

[16:45] It is difficult to describe the experience that Fotini offers and to explain what she does to someone. She shares more about how she explains it to others.

[19:34] How does Fotini explain her special niche in yoga to others?

[24:14] What "structured" marketing does Fotini do to get the word out about her business?

[28:10] How do Fotini and her horses work with clients?

[32:33] Fotini shares more about the training sessions she has lined up.

[33:02] Fotini outlines what an initial session would be like for a client. 

[37:57] Shannon and Fotini discuss what could come out of a session of Horse Wisdom Yoga.

[40:31] How often do clients work with Fotini?

[42:02] What are Fotini's prices like?

[43:52] What is Fotini's recommendation for yoga teachers who are interested in learning to facilitate Horse Wisdom Yoga?

[46:19] Learn more about Fotini and her work at her website.

[47:30] Shannon shares her experience with Horse Wisdom Yoga.



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Toronto Yoga Conference April 2020


Quotes from this episode:


"I feel like everything is yoga."


"I am really authentic in how I present myself to the world, and I think that has been my greatest asset when it comes to 'marketing' my business."


"Your biggest job is to take care of you."


"Abundance is not always going to show up in the form of a monetary exchange." 


"I do believe that people become more intuitive the more they listen."

Feb 17, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

156: Define Your Brand with Rachael Kay Albers



What is your brand? Hint, it’s not just about the colors or images on your website. Figuring out what your brand is all about can be confusing, and it can be hard to think about how to differentiate yourself from other yoga teachers (especially if you don’t feel you serve a very specific niche). Branding expert Rachael Kay Albers has some tips on how to define your brand and stand out with your branding.


Rachael is a digital strategist, and Founder and Creative Director of RKA Ink, a branding, web design and digital marketing studio based outside Chicago. She helps thought leaders and visionary entrepreneurs all over the world stand out online with unforgettable brands. Apart from her work crafting epic brands, Rachael also hosts Awkward Marketing, a business comedy show blending fun-sized business advice with storytelling and sketch comedy.

From what your brand actually means, to why yoga teachers may struggle with a branding problem, Rachael has a wealth of information on finding, defining and sharing your brand. She also talks about the concept of reverse niching, how we can use that to find our ideal yoga students and how to stand out by taking a stand.


Whether you have a clearly defined brand identity or your brand is still a work-in-progress, this episode has lots of strategies to help you craft and refine your brand.


Key Takeaways:

[6:13] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Rachael Kay Albers.

[7:55] What does Rachael do and who does she do it for?

[10:26] Rachael describes herself as a rule-breaker - even when she got married!

[11:41] Why do "woo businesses" need to work on their branding? Rachael explains what branding means for yoga teachers.

[14:06] Where do "woo businesses" have a problem with their branding?

[19:34] How can yoga teachers deal with having to sell people what they want without being slimy or salesy?

[23:02] Rachael shares an example of how she helped her client figure out her ideal client and how that relates to the messaging and copy.

[26:46] Shannon and Rachael walk through an example of an ideal client for a teacher offering restorative yoga.

[30:58] How would knowing the ideal client translate into copy for social media or on a website?

[33:17] Rachael addresses the worry and concern that many business owners have about writing copy for specific people.

[35:20] Rachael recommends using your copy to direct your design.

[38:49] What is reverse niching?

[44:23] Branding has two jobs - to attract your ideal clients, but also to push away the wrong people.

[46:57] What other aspects of branding should yoga teachers think about to stand out?

[51:16] Rachael shares an example of how to turn a complaint or a pain point into positive content that serves your audience.

[54:35] The brands that really stand out are the ones that are willing to ruffle feathers and take a stand.

[1:00:45] Shannon and Rachael discuss the idea that there's a market out there for every kind of yoga teacher.

[1:02:51] Find out more about Rachael and the work that she does at her website.

[1:03:55] Shannon shares her takeaways from the interview. What was your biggest takeaway?



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Toronto Yoga Conference April 2020


Quotes from this episode:


"At its heart, your brand is how your customers remember you and experience you."


"At the end of the day, you don't get to say what your brand is. Your audience says what your brand is."


"The cardinal rule of branding and marketing: Sell them what they want, give them what they need!"


"Who am I not a good fit for?"


Feb 10, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

155: Yoga Teacher Q&A with Shannon Crow


This podcast was created to serve you, and to help you connect to information and feel supported as you navigate being a yoga teacher and an entrepreneur. On this special episode, Shannon answers some of the questions YOU have asked!


Courtney Butler Robinson has a question about burnout. Despite loving what she does, she feels like her schedule is overfilled and she is approaching a state of burnout. Shannon shares her own experiences with burnout, as well as some strategies to manage and avoid it.


Jessica Saunders has chosen to focus on growing her online yoga business. However, she needs some help in figuring out how to effectively engage her online audience, as well as how niching down can help her stand out online. Shannon has some tips on specialization, why the online space can be tricky to navigate, and some strategies to set yourself apart.


Do you have a question for Shannon? Leave her a voice message or send her an email!


Key Takeaways:

[1:39] This episode is a Q&A based on questions asked by yoga teachers from the community.

[7:44] Courtney Butler Robinson asks what Shannon's experience is with burnout and how she manages it.

[11:19] Shannon shares some strategies that can help avoid burnout.

[17:12] Check out Schedulicity's hot tip of the week.

[17:57] Jessica Saunders asks: What techniques are effective in engaging an online audience? Shannon shares more about how niching down can help you stand out.

[22:29] Marketing yourself online means that you have access to more people, but it doesn't necessarily mean that it's easy. That's why specializing is particularly useful.

[25:40] Ask yourself: What do you want to be known for - for now, not forever?

[28:59] Shannon would love to hear your feedback on this type of episode.



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Consultation with Shannon


Quotes from this episode:


"One thing to remember as the entrepreneur, as the yoga teacher - you are designing your own business."


"Start before you feel 100% ready to go."


"We are so much more likely to give a referral when someone is specialized."


"We have to really feel connected to something to make that our niche."


Feb 3, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

154: Bookkeeping for Yoga Teachers with Kelly Christian



It’s the middle of the tax season in the US and Canada, and it can be intimidating to think about getting your books in order, filing your taxes correctly, or choosing the right people to help you with this aspect of running your business! Bookkeeping and tax preparation expert Kelly Christian has some helpful information, tips, and tricks to manage some of the finer aspects of bookkeeping. 


Kelly is the owner of Kelly Christian & Company, and a Certified Professional Bookkeeper and Tax Preparer. She has over 18 years experience working with all types of small business owners and focuses on helping them create custom technology systems around their money to get their “money system” in place and their books under control. With a variety of packages from step-by-step help to custom set up, training and guidance, Kelly and her team help clients forget about their bookkeeping so they can focus on their business.


We dive into where to get started with sales taxes, what expenses you can write off in your business, and even the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant. Kelly also has some easy ways you can use technology to simplify and streamline the money side of your business, and some of the software you can use to make this aspect of running a yoga business easier.


Whether you already have your books in order and taxes filed, or if you’re worrying about how to get started on them, this episode will be a good resource.


Key Takeaways:

[5:44] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Kelly Christian.

[7:28] What got Kelly started in the bookkeeping industry?

[9:54] What does Kelly's business look like now? She shares a bit more about her team.

[11:13] What is the difference between a bookkeeper and an accountant?

[15:44] What are some things yoga teachers can do on their own to get their bookkeeping under control?

[18:50] When do you need to start charging HST (Harmonized Sales Tax for Canada) or GST (Goods & Services Tax for USA)?

[21:03] It is important to keep track of online payment methods to ensure payments, taxes and fees do not "get lost".

[25:07] Kelly shares her recommendations for Canadians looking for alternatives to Quickbooks, as well as some free options.

[29:57] What are the expenses yoga teachers should be tracking?

[34:16] What counts as expenses and what doesn't? Shannon and Kelly dig into some common expenses that yoga teachers ask about including yoga clothing, fuel for travel and home office expenses.

[42:54] It is important to find a bookkeeper or accountant who will be able to work with you in your particular business.

[46:11] Get in touch with Kelly via her website.

[47:44] Kelly has some final words of advice for yoga teachers thinking about their accounting and bookkeeping.

[49:25] Shannon shares an update on what she changed in her business regarding accounting and bookkeeping.



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Quotes from this episode:

"That's what you're ideally looking for - someone that has a bit more breadth than just someone that's just doing data entry. But if not, make sure you've got a really good relationship with your accountant or tax preparer."


"I would rather people use [a simple software] than nothing, but know that as you grow, you're going to outgrow it."


"Tracking is better than nothing."


"Get some solid systems. Don't unnecessarily move into a piece of software, a good spreadsheet works great."

Jan 27, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 153: Licensing a Yoga Teacher Training with Aruna Kathy Humphrys & Claire Matthews



As our yoga business grows and expands, one of the things that we may consider offering is yoga teacher training programs. However, it can be challenging to create your own curriculum and and there are many different aspects to consider. Aruna Kathy Humphrys and Claire Matthews have some insights to share on this topic and their unique business model.

Aruna and Claire are the founders of Ambassador Yoga. They have created and licensed a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training program that provides teachers with manuals and lesson plans to run their own YTTs in their own homes or studios. In addition to their work at Ambassador Yoga, Aruna and Claire both run their own yoga business. Aruna has been a certified yoga instructor since 1998, and is the Co-Founder, Director and Lead Teacher Trainer at Young Yoga Masters Registered Children’s Yoga School. Claire’s yoga journey began in 2002, and she is the Co-Founder and Director of Yoga Truly Studios where she teaches guided classes & restorative therapies.

Aruna and Claire share more about who can become a yoga teacher trainer, why you might want to register with Yoga Alliance and the requirements for that, and how licensing a training program works for them and the yoga teachers trainers they serve. They also have some advice on writing the curriculum for a yoga teacher training program and some resources around that..

If you have a yoga teacher training program, or have wondered what it takes to create a yoga teacher training - this episode will be a useful one.

Key Takeaways:

[8:14] Shannon introduces her guests for this episode - Aruna Kathy Humphrys & Claire Matthews.

[9:29] What is the work that Aruna and Claire do and who do they do it for?

[11:15] Claire runs her yoga teacher trainings on a different schedule than the usual system. She explains how it works.

[14:16] How did Claire and Aruna first meet and decide to put together a yoga teacher training?

[15:48] How does the licensing work in terms of other yoga teachers wanting to run their own yoga teacher trainings?

[18:10] How are yoga teachers screened for their suitability to run a yoga teacher training? Claire and Aruna discuss how the changes in the requirements of Yoga Alliance could impact the screening process.

[23:58] When yoga teachers buy the licensing program from Yoga Ambassador, how do they execute it?

[25:03] What are some things that Aruna and Claire learned when they first started licensing out their program?

[29:15] Aruna and Claire have had a few "Beautiful Mind" moments and share the experience of that.

[32:59] What were some things that were surprising to Aruna and Claire when delivering their teacher trainings?

[35:37] What is Claire and Aruna's advice to want to license their own teacher training programs?

[42:00] What are Claire and Aruna's thoughts on selling their manuals?

[43:32] How does the licensing work in terms of a yoga school's business name?

[46:28] How do Claire and Aruna deal with updating the manual?

[48:46] Claire and Aruna do a lot of the work behind the scenes for teacher trainers.

[50:34] What is Claire and Aruna's #1 tip about putting together a teacher training?

[54:03] There are plans for a 300-hr training in the works. Claire and Aruna share some of the considerations they have to deal with.

[57:10] Get in touch with Claire and Aruna via their website to find out more about their licensing program.




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Quotes from this episode:

"If you qualify with Yoga Alliance, then you would qualify with us." - Aruna


"They choose their price, they choose their schedule. What they do have to stick to is the trainer lesson plans, just making sure the right amount of time is spent in each educational category but how they deliver that is really up to them." - Claire


"I think the big learning was how to make the training experiential." - Aruna


"Use the thing to teach the thing." - Aruna


"Editing the manual - it is an ongoing process, also because there is always new information about yoga." - Aruna


Jan 20, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 152: Simplifying Facebook Ads with Claire Pelletreau



Facebook ads can be an incredibly powerful tool, if done well, but it can be tricky to navigate. What kinds of ads are effective? How can you target your audience effectively? How much should you spend on ads? Claire Pelletreau has the answers to these questions and more.

Claire is a Facebook and Instagram ads consultant, and host of the Get Paid Podcast where she asks tough money questions. By using a process of data gathering, analysis, strategy, and experimentation, Claire helps clients get real results from Facebook ads, and prides herself on simplifying the complex Facebook and Instagram advertising for her clients. She offers clients Done-For-You Ad Management and in-depth consultations, as well as FB ads courses and other resources for those looking to DIY their Facebook ads.

In this deep-dive interview about Facebook ads, Claire shares her expertise on how to use Facebook ads to target a location specific audience, the difference between doing ads yourself and hiring someone, and why video ads may be the most effective type of ads for yoga teachers. 

This episode is perfect for everyone, from someone who’s been dabbling in FB ads and wants to make the most of their ad dollars to the beginner who wants to know how to use paid advertising to boost their business.

Key Takeaways:

[7:09] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Claire Pelletreau.

[10:19] Claire makes a case for why Facebook ads are not just a good way to get new clients, but also to get back time.

[13:25] Claire walks through the process of re-targeting visitors to your website.

[16:09] Why are there dips and peaks in terms of site traffic and conversions and leads?

[18:18] How can yoga teachers get started with Facebook ads?

[21:42] Claire and Shannon discuss what a video ad would look like with an example.

[26:26] What are some of Claire's tips for what makes a good video ad?

[29:10] What are some of Shannon's hesitations when it comes to putting out Facebook ads? Claire addresses some of her concerns.

[32:32] Does Claire recommend doing ads for freebies?

[33:58] Claire and Shannon dive into how Shannon's podcast makes her money, and how to track different lead magnets from podcast episodes.

[39:57] What is Claire's recommendation for a video ad strategy?

[43:05] What should your budget be for Facebook ads, and how do you choose your audience?

[47:05] Claire highlights some of the things that Facebook doesn't allow in ads.

[49:28] Step 1: Get a tracking pixel on your website!

[50:23] What are some of Claire's offerings to help people with Facebook ads?

[55:04] Shannon shares her one action step from this interview. What's yours?




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Quotes from this episode:

"It's so funny how a bigger investment just makes us think that something's going to be better." - Claire


"You're working really hard to get in front of people, then let Facebook and Instagram ads repeatedly put you in front of them." - Claire


"One of the best ways to really spend a small budget is by putting video ads in front of brand new audiences." - Claire


"I think video is probably THE tactic to do for 1:1s in particular." - Claire


"If you're struggling to get people to buy to begin with, Facebook ads is not going to fix that." - Claire


"Identify the objections, and then create content that helps people get over them." - Claire

Jan 13, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

151: Male Pelvic Health & Yoga with Dr. Susie Gronski



Pelvic health is a recurring topic on this podcast, but most of the time, it is about pelvic health in general or particular to female-bodied people. However, pelvic health is something important to male-bodied people too, so on this episode Dr. Susie Gronski sheds some light on male pelvic health and the issues surrounding that.


Dr. Susie Gronski describes herself as “the physiotherapist for your privates”. She is a licensed doctor of physical therapy, board certified pelvic rehabilitation practitioner, and a certified health coach. On her podcast In Your Pants, Dr. Susie approaches the topic of pain, pelvic health, and sexuality with open and transparent conversations. Apart from providing 1:1 hands-on consultations with her patients to teach them how to be the expert in treating their pelvic pain, Dr. Susie is also a Registered Yoga Teacher, and brings that aspect into her work.


What are some of the concerns that male-bodied people have regarding their pelvic health, and how can yoga or PT help? In this interview, Dr. Susie addresses a variety of topics - from pelvic pain, to urinary issues, from how pelvic health relates to sexual function, to myths around pelvic health. 


If you know someone who is male-bodied, or are a male-bodied person yourself - this episode has great information that will be beneficial in understanding more about male pelvic health.


Key Takeaways:

[6:55] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Dr. Susie Gronski.

[7:53] What is the work that Dr. Susie does and who does she do it for?

[8:38] What has the challenge been as a female-bodied person addressing male body part issues?

[12:58] Be aware of the language and terms you use around the topic of pelvic health!

[14:27] What are some of the main issues that male-bodied people face with regard to pelvic health?

[19:10] Dr. Susie shares an anecdote of a patient she is working with.

[22:15] Pain is a very personal experience that varies greatly from person to person, and particularly with men, there is a lot of stigma around how they should act or seek help.

[23:50] Lower back pain can also be related to pelvic health. Dr. Susie explains how.

[26:29] How does the male pelvic floor function differently from the female pelvic floor?

[30:50] What is the relationship between between pelvic pain and stressful images or experiences?

[35:47] What are the benefits of going to see your pelvic health PT or going to yoga class for some of these issues?

[40:33] It is important to not always be focused on engaging the pelvic floor muscles but to maintain some balance to optimize function.

[45:52] How can we encourage men to attend a pelvic health class or a yoga class?

[47:50] When should men see a pelvic health PT for any issues they're experiencing?

[53:53] Dr. Susie recommends that people should see a PT who specializes in male pelvic health, and she explains why.

[56:19] What are some resources Dr. Susie recommends to find a male pelvic health specialist?

[58:13] What is Dr. Susie's podcast about?

[58:38] What is the biggest myth or misconception men have about their pelvic health?

[1:01:59] What are Dr. Susie's thoughts on hernias and exercise in male bodies?

[1:05:53] What were your key takeaways from this episode?




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals


Quotes from this episode:


"There's a lot of isolation and stigmatization and taboo around helping male-bodies."


"The prostate has been blamed for a lot of male pain issues, but if you look at the research and the literature, the stats are about 95-97% of them have no correlation to an infection at all."


"Part of my role is to help them to be aware of that protective response, and question whether or not that's necessary for them in that moment."


"Sexual health issues, they often are intertwined with psychological or psychogenic components as well."

Jan 6, 2020

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

150: Start a Membership Site with Amanda McKinney



Have you been thinking about starting a membership site? Perhaps you’ve heard of membership sites and you’re wondering how you can start one as a yoga teacher. Shannon and Amanda McKinney both started their own membership sites in 2019 and dive into what it takes to start and run a successful membership site.


Amanda is a marketing coach for yoga teachers with a membership site, Marketing Yoga with Confidence, which focuses on helping yoga teachers to market themselves and their businesses authentically, without slimy, sales-y marketing. Shannon’s membership site, Pelvic Health Professionals, provides pelvic health advocates including physiotherapists, yoga teachers, fitness professionals and more, with updated information surrounding pelvic health.


Starting a membership site is not something either of them had considered, but eventually they did. They share their journey of why they started their membership sites, and what they have learned along the process. Amanda and Shannon also discuss some of the finer details of running a membership site, from doing launches, the technology and methods for content creation, and how to get started.


If you are wondering how this can be used by yoga teachers wanting to focus on more online offerings, or you’ve wanted to learn more about the inner workings of starting and running a membership site, this episode is for you.


Key Takeaways:

[5:28] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Amanda McKinney.

[7:19] What is Amanda's membership site and what got her started on that?

[11:56] Amanda was familiar with the technology for her membership site when she launched, but didn't have any of the content ready.

[13:16] Amanda and Shannon had the idea for a membership site at the same time. Shannon shares her journey of starting her membership site.

[15:45] Both Amanda and Shannon initially opened their membership sites and let their founding members guide the direction for the content.

[17:48] What is a membership site and how does it apply to yoga teachers?

[20:30] A yoga membership site has been called an "online yoga studio". Does this mean that students will no longer be going to classes?

[23:12] What are some of the different decisions Shannon and Amanda have made in creating content? They share some of their techniques and methods for conveying content.

[27:43] Shannon and Amanda discuss their platforms for their membership sites.

[29:26] Let's talk tech. What are some of the tech that Amanda and Shannon use?

[35:06] One of the things to manage is people feeling like they're getting left behind with the amount of content available on membership sites. Be careful with that!

[37:10] Another option is making your own customized platform for your membership site, but be sure not to go off on a tangent or invest too much before you need to.

[40:44] What's the best way to gather information from ideal clients?

[44:29] Be open to the possibilities of what your idea could become!

[49:31] Churn (people leaving) is a natural part of running a membership site. Do not become heartbroken or discouraged!

[54:12] Both Amanda and Shannon open and close the doors to their membership sites at certain times. Why have they chosen to go this route?

[1:00:57] Share your ideas for membership sites for yoga teachers or your own membership site in the comments!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals


Quotes from this episode:


"Listen to what your audience says." - Amanda


"The idea that my audience was asking for it was reason enough for me to figure it out." - Amanda


"If anyone's thinking about creating a membership site, in and of itself, think about who you want in there. ... At the beginning, it is really important to have quality." - Amanda


"I really try and help yoga teachers understand the power of online classes, because yes, it's different, but it's so impactful." - Amanda


"Use what you have, and figure out what you need." - Amanda

Dec 30, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

149: Yoga for Anxiety with Amanda Whiting



Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in the world, with almost 300 million people globally dealing with an anxiety disorder. This means there is a chance that one or more of your students may be dealing with anxiety, or even coming to yoga to help with their anxiety. How can you, as a yoga teacher, help them and what are some of the things to be aware of? Amanda Whiting has some insights on this topic.


As someone who has been managing her own anxiety since she was two years old, Amanda is no stranger to anxiety. Yoga has taught Amanda that through asana, breathwork, and meditation, anxiety can be more manageable, and an overall sense of wellbeing is inevitable. Today, Amanda helps others work through and manage their own anxiety and mental health conditions through a variety of yoga classes, workshops and retreats, as well as free meditations, yin classes and yoga nidra.


Amanda explains what having an anxiety attack feels like, and anxiety is a uniquely personal experience for each person. She shares how yoga can be a part of the prescription for mental health, why loving kindness and self-compassion is so important, and even what happens if someone has a panic attack in your class. Amanda approaches this sensitive topic with openness and heart, and this episode is full of so much useful information that all yoga teachers can use.


Key Takeaways:

[5:22] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Amanda Whiting.

[6:49] What is the work Amanda does now, and how did she get there?

[9:57] What does having an anxiety attack feel like?

[12:28] Amanda shares her thoughts about why anxiety exists.

[16:20] How has Amanda's experience with anxiety from such a young age informed the work that she does now?

[17:50] Amanda and Shannon discuss why "love yourself" is so difficult in practice.

[19:25] What are some ways we can change the neural pathways that make it difficult to love and connect with ourselves?

[23:51] Amanda shares her spin on the loving kindness meditation.

[25:51] How does loving kindness and self-compassion come in when dealing with anxiety?

[31:27] How can yoga teachers go about offering yoga for anxiety?

[34:11] Anxiety is a uniquely personal experience for everyone who has it, and it can manifest in different ways and forms.

[37:24] Why is yoga helpful for anxiety, and what are the other prescriptions for anxiety?

[43:20] What can yoga teachers do if someone has a panic attack in class?

[49:49] For the majority of people, anxiety is not something that can be fixed or cured or that goes away entirely, but something they live with and manage.

[52:20] Connect with Amanda via her website or social media to find out more or learn how you can work with her.

[53:14] Shannon shares some of the upcoming things to look out for.




Loving Kindness Meditation:

Bring your attention to yourself - without any parameters or exceptions - you as you are in this moment.

With this awareness of you, repeat to yourself:

May I be at ease.

May I open to what arises.

May I know that I am enough.

May I love myself just as I am.


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals


Quotes from this episode:


"[Anxiety] can be a byproduct of everything."


"We live in this right-away society, and I think that's really a blessing and a curse."


"We have so much ability to love others and have compassion for others, and yet, somewhere along the way, it's become that that's not okay for us to have for ourselves."


"If you are someone who is struggling with accepting and loving yourself and having compassion for yourself, you need to focus on you."


"Even though anxiety has become way more noticeable, it is still really not understood." 


"I don't allow the anxiety anymore to control my life, but that doesn't mean that it's not part of my life."


Dec 23, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

148: Stress Incontinence and Yoga with Melissa Dessaulles



Something that affects 33 million Americans, 3.3 million Canadians and almost 400 million people worldwide is a topic a lot of people aren't talking about - urinary incontinence. That’s a shocking statistic, and all the more reason to address this issue - expert Melissa Desssaulles is just the person to talk about it.


Melissa Dessaulles is a registered physiotherapist with extensive training in the management and treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction and perinatal health. Melissa is also the founder of Mommy Berries, which offers a postpartum program to guide new mums through the early healing phase in a way that promotes healing and recovery of the pelvic floor and core muscles. Apart from her physiotherapy work, Melissa also  dedicates time to raising awareness about common pelvic floor issues such as prolapse and incontinence through informative sessions.


Urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction is something that affects a lot more people than we think. Melissa explains the difference between stress and urge incontinence, why leaking occurs, abdominal weakness postpartum, and how yoga during and after pregnancy can help in addressing some of these issues. Stay tuned to the end to find out more about Melissa’s free resource for pregnant people, as well as for a very special discount on Melissa’s postpartum program, just for listeners!


Key Takeaways:

[5:00] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Melissa Dessaulles.

[6:45] Who is Melissa and what is the work that she does?

[9:18] Urinary incontinence and pelvic floor dysfunction is something that affects a lot more people than we think.

[11:37] Urinary incontinence or leaking is common, but it's not normal. Mellissa explains how she approaches the topic without making people feel bad.

[14:33] What is the difference between stress incontinence and urge incontinence?

[17:15] Melissa highlights some of the options available to people who have stress incontinence.

[20:51] How can yoga and the tools of yoga help someone who is dealing with stress incontinence?

[23:43] Listen to Schedulicity's hot tip of the week.

[24:48] What is Melissa's advice for people who are doing Kegels exercises and are still leaking?

[28:59] What are some circumstances when people might be more likely to experience stress incontinence? Melissa explains why stress incontinence in pregnant people or just after having a baby is normal.

[32:50] Men also experience incontinence issues.

[33:32] What happens to the pelvic floor muscles during pregnancy and delivery should be treated like an injury and addressed accordingly.

[35:20] Who can Melissa help from the standpoint of physical therapy, and when would she refer them to other options?

[38:34] Yoga can be a powerful tool to help with body awareness and empowering people on their healing journey.

[43:15] Find out more about this topic and Melissa's work on her website, Instagram or join her online program.

[48:17] What were your key takeaways from this episode?




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals


Quotes from this episode:


"It's common, but it's not normal." - Shannon


"Every muscle needs to be able to move to do its job well." - Melissa


"What we work on is we find out why YOU are leaking so we can tell you what your muscles are doing and see what your habits are, and then maybe give suggestions." - Melissa


"I don't think we would see so much incontinence persisting if we just acknowledged that those muscles have been through something." -Melissa

Dec 16, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

 Ep 147: Core Myths with Lauren Ohayon



At some point, either as a student or teacher, we have heard the phrase "engage your core". Some people are even conditioned to think that they should do this all the time! In actual fact, doing this is not as beneficial as we think it is, and it can be limiting to function and movement. Lauren Ohayon is an expert on the topic of core and pelvic floor issues, and on this episode, she busts through some of the common myths about core strength.


Lauren Ohayon is the founder of Restore Your Core, an online program addressing pelvic floor and core dysfunction, and helps thousands of women globally through her online programs, and Facebook groups. Lauren is internationally recognized for specializing in core and pelvic floor issues, and has 20 years of experience teaching yoga, pilates and functional movement. With her comprehensive exercise programs that are designed to be effective, safe and sustainable, Lauren focuses on helping people exercise well and move efficiently to gain core strength and ideal pelvic floor function. 


When it comes to the core, many people assume that all core exercises are created equal, but this isn’t the case. Lauren reveals the differences between different core exercises, and busts through some other myths around building core strength. She also explains what the core really should be doing and when, and dives into the issue of intra abdominal pressure, and conditions like prolapse and diastasis.


This is a hot topic that will benefit all yoga teachers, both in your own practice and in cueing certain poses, so be sure to tune in.


Key Takeaways:

[5:53] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Lauren Ohayon.

[7:22] What does Lauren do and who does she do it for?

[8:42] When did Lauren start focusing on pelvic health and the core?

[10:58] What is the core, and what is the core not?

[13:08] Shannon and Lauren discuss their interpretations of the Core Four.

[19:46] It is not always important to name muscles or dive into the anatomy to help people.

[21:45] We often hear the phrase "engage your core". Lauren explains why this is not always helpful, and sometimes it can even be limiting to function.

[25:10] Lauren explains the specific type of breath that engages the core, and why it engages the core.

[27:57] Lauren highlights the difference between engaging your core and bracing your core.

[30:54] Why have we gone so off track with our breath and how the core is working?

[34:41] Lauren shares an analogy that she has learned.

[36:46] What are some of Lauren's favorite core strengthening movements and poses?

[40:04] Lauren shares some of her variations for boat pose

[44:24] What are the three Bs that Lauren brings attention to?

[47:22] What is something Lauren wishes yoga teachers would know about the core?

[51:27] Connect with Laura on her websites or her Facebook groups to learn more.

[52:21] What was something you picked up from this interview? Shannon would love to know.



Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"Your core is really the integrated function of your whole body."


"In core function, one of the main elements of core function is that our core is designed like any other muscle in our body, to be reflexive, automated."


"If your core is not kicking in, ...whatever it's not doing, ... tightening it is not going to teach it to get there."


"To me, "engage your core" means to do a very specific type of breath. Your core will naturally pull in with that."


"We don't want excessive tone anywhere in our body. ... More tone is not always better."


Dec 9, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

 Ep 146: How to Empower Your Yoga Students with Yonnie Fung



As yoga teachers, we want our classrooms to be safe spaces that empower our students and maximise their choice, but this may not always be the case. People may come to our classes wanting us to tell them what to do and trust that it's our job to know better, and also, some practices in yoga may erode empowerment, take away student agency, and undermine safety.


Yonnie Fung recently wrote an article on this topic, and what it means to teach inclusive, safe and ethical yoga. She is the founder of Yoga with Yonnie, an award winning yoga and movement space in Beijing that focuses on small classes, non-commercialism, integrity and cultivating real human connections. Yonnie values a collaborative learning environment over an authoritative styles, and seeks to help students and clients in discovering what they need to feel well and whole. 


Some common practices in modern yoga fall short of what we want to achieve. Yonnie and Shannon dive into why replicating inherited behaviours and practices from past generations may not necessarily be appropriate, and how yoga teachers can move away from dis-empowering their students.


This episode is in no way about shame and blame. We often look back at the things we could have done differently as newer yoga teachers, and that work is sometimes uncomfortable. Listen in if you would like to learn more about how we can move forward as yoga teachers to empower our students and increase their agency in our classrooms.


Key Takeaways:

[4:59] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Yonnie Fung.

[6:15] Where did Yonnie's journey with yoga begin?

[9:44] What made Yonnie decide to become a yoga teacher?

[12:05] What is the work that Yonnie does now?

[18:53] What prompted Yonnie to write her list of how we might be unintentionally harming our yoga students?

[23:16] Did Yonnie expect her article to go viral? She shares her experience with publishing her article.

[25:36] How did Yonnie develop her list?

[26:21] Shannon highlights some of the things that stood out to her from Yonnie's list.

[26:43] One of the items on Yonnie's list is participating in power structures. Shannon and Yonnie discuss the power dynamic that exists in a yoga class.

[34:06] Yonnie shares a powerful experience she had during her yoga teacher training that has influenced her way of teaching yoga.

[37:37] It is a common thread in many settings where the teacher is expected to know the student better than the student knows themselves!

[38:26] This week's hot top from Schedulicity!

[39:15] Yonnie highlights how teachers making adjustments to students' postures is not empowering.

[41:28] What are some of the ways that yoga teachers can move away from dis-empowering their students? Yonnie highlights how the language that we use can be the simplest place to start changing.

[48:37] What is Yonnie's response to yoga teachers who want to say as few words as possible in their classes?

[50:10] It can be challenging for students to learn how to listen to their body. Yonnie explains more about interoception and how this ties in with trauma and yoga.

[53:45] Yonnie and Shannon talk through an example of how this might play out in a class.

[57:19] It takes a lot of pressure off the teacher if we understand and accept that the students are the experts of their own bodies.

[1:02:01] Yonnie has subsequent follow-up articles that she has written on this topic.

[1:05:26] Get in touch with Yonnie via her website or on Facebook.

[1:06:18] What are some techniques you have learned to empower your yoga students? Share them with Shannon!



Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals.


Quotes from this episode:

"There wasn't one single incident. You could say that there were lots of little incidents and it happened very steadily over a period of time that suddenly hit critical mass." 


"It was encouraging to know that I wasn't alone, and that other people had these frustrations and concerns."


"Yoga at its best is an empowering path."


"We're practicing disembodiment from a really young age."


"I think it's very important to distinguish the promise of yoga and the potential, from the actual delivery as it plays out."


"It doesn't matter how good your intentions are as a teacher."


"You can have all the best intentions in the world, but if you are not empowering them to make choices for themselves, you will have impeded their recovery."


"We are actually experts of ourselves."


"Having the question is so much more valuable than having the answers all the time. Answers are just easy ways to shorten the lifespan of the inquiry."


Dec 2, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

145: Before You Open a Yoga Studio with Shannon Crow



Have you always dreamed of opening your own yoga studio? Or are you tired of never being able to set your schedule exactly how you want it, and think that opening your own studio would solve those challenges? Perhaps, you’ve already made up your mind to open a yoga studio and are looking for guidance on how to go about it. Shannon Crow dives into all these and more, on this episode.


Having managed multiple yoga studios in the past, and been approached by two yoga studios to purchase a yoga studio, Shannon has no stranger to the topic of opening, running and managing a yoga studio. She has used a 3-stage process to ask herself if this path is right for her, and on this episode, shares exactly how you can walk through the process too.


This episode is meant for anyone who has dreamed of opening a yoga studio or anyone who is currently "living the dream" of running a yoga studio. Touching on everything related to opening a yoga studio from what your dream of an ideal yoga studio looks like, to the various models of yoga studios that you can consider, to the questions you should be asking yourself, this episode is a great place to start if being a yoga studio owner is on your bucket list.


Key Takeaways:

[2:05] This episode is all about opening a yoga studio.

[2:35] If your dream is to open a yoga studio, start by defining what that looks like.

[3:41] Another way to approach this is to ask yourself what are the things that are really bugging you about your current situation.

[5:09] Check out the hot tip of the week from Schedulicity.

[6:55] Shannon shares some ideas for yoga studios and invites you to think outside the box!

[11:48] Shannon does a quick recap, and reveals a little bit of her background with yoga studios before diving into some tough questions.

[14:41] Do you like the administrative side of running a yoga business?

[16:44] Do you love managing people?

[20:32] Do you love competition and collaboration?

[22:27] Do you love being responsible for a whole group of people?

[24:55] How much do you love thinking about the smallest details?

[27:02] Your yoga teachers are your brand, but the entire yoga studio also has a brand.

[28:28] Having a yoga studio means that you're tied to a place. Are you ready for that?

[29:57] As a yoga studio owner, you have to take into account legal and insurance considerations.

[32:45] The last consideration Shannon would like to highlight is around schedule.

[34:51] How does listening to this episode make you feel about opening a yoga studio?

[37:48] Share your thoughts with Shannon!



Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Pelvic Health Professionals


Quotes from this episode:

"If your dream is to open a yoga studio, let's first define what does that look like."


"At the beginning, we opened with that dreaming part, and now, I want to hit home some reality pieces that come in when managing a yoga studio, when owning a yoga studio, when running a yoga studio."


"When we have responsibilities, we have to set those healthy boundaries."


"With a yoga studio, you are tied to a location."


Nov 25, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 144: Get More Website Visitors with SEO with Meg Casebolt




These days, it has become a necessity for any business, including yoga businesses, to have a website. However, it's not enough to just have a website. We need to make sure that our websites get found by people who are looking for what we offer, and that’s where SEO comes in. It sounds scary and intimidating, but is so critical to getting more visitors to your website, and Meg Casebolt breaks down just how you can get started with making your website more SEO-friendly.


Meg Casebolt is an SEO strategist, Google Ads consultant, and (currently inactive) certified yoga teacher. She came to yoga in 2001 as an exercise routine, and has been practicing ever since. After receiving her certification in Bhakti Yoga, she taught yoga for 2 years from 2014 to 2016, before transitioning into her current role, so she has a unique and intimate understanding of yoga businesses. Meg describes herself as the “Supergirl to your SEO strategy stress”, and since 2013, has been helping business owners show up in search results, get more leads & sell more products with intentional, strategic content.


It's important to start with the basics, so Meg explains what SEO is, and why optimizing your website for search engines is so important. She shares how to set up your website to help you get found on Google (both as an industry expert and a local teacher), as well as why Google Analytics and Google Search Console can be such powerful tools. Meg also has some insight into specializing and niching down, and how that can help your website rank in Google.


If you are looking for some great advice on steps you can take immediately to update your website and make it Google-friendly, this is the episode for you.


Key Takeaways:

[5:36] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Meg Casebolt.

[7:20] Who is Meg and what is the work that she does?

[8:15] When did Meg become an SEO specialist?

[12:37] What do yoga teachers need to do to help their websites get found? Set up a Google My Business profile!

[17:03] Another thing you can do to stand out is to get reviews!

[19:05] Meg explains why it is so beneficial to have a Google My Business account, regardless of whether you have a physical location or not.

[22:36] The next thing to look at is your website. Meg recommends Google Analytics and some other handy tools to help you get started.

[25:36] What is the difference between Google Analytics and Google Search Console and what kind of information goes Google Search Console provide?

[29:10] How often should you be checking in on your Google Analytics and Google Search Console?

[30:39] Shannon shares some details about the things that surprised her when Meg did an analysis of The Connected Yoga Teacher website.

[34:18] How can you put out content that is SEO-friendly so that people can find your website?

[37:32] What are some tips for tailoring your content to boost your page ranking in search results?

[42:52] It is important for you to list the location of where you are teaching yoga on your website!

[44:33] What are some things that Meg has noticed about how yoga teachers can improve their SEO?

[46:23] Tip: You have to be found for one thing, before you can be found for everything.

[48:17] Start small and work on these aspects that Meg has covered before diving in more to avoid overwhelm!

[52:56] Meg and Shannon discuss outsourcing SEO to a professional.

[55:35] Get in touch with Meg via her website or Instagram.

[56:10] What is the action step that you are going to take to improve your SEO?




Gratitude to our Sponsors Schedulicity and Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Quotes from this episode:


"How do you make sure that the traffic that is coming to you is converting into a subscriber, or a sale, or in your case, a student?"


"I'm going to start again with looking at what's working. That's always what I do first."


"One big component of Search Engine Optimization that Google's really concerned about is making sure that your website runs smoothly, that it's mobile responsive."


"Google looks at your site on a phone before it looks at it on a desktop."


"The first thing that you need to do is know what people are searching for."


"The best place to start for SEO content is with keyword research."


"When it comes to writing for search, I want you to focus on being clear, and not on being clever."


"Let your geography be your superpower!"


"Nobody goes out of their way to write reviews unless they're mad at you."


"We're really quick to complain, and we're not so great to share praise, but when you ask for the review, people will give it to you."


Nov 18, 2019

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 143: Should I Start a Non-Profit? with Jessica Kinsey



In your journey of starting your yoga business, you may have asked yourself, “Should I start a nonprofit or for-profit?” There are certain differences between running a yoga non-profit and a yoga business for-profit, and certain things to consider that can help you decide which would be a better fit for your aims and goals. Jessica Kinsey is an expert in the area of nonprofits and social enterprises, and has some insights to share.


Jessica Kinsey is the Founder, CEO and Social Impact Strategist at Prodigy & Co, a company dedicated to helping impact-driven organizations create business strategies that will help them achieve their mission. A serial entrepreneur who has founded multiple companies, Jessica now partners with non-profit and for-profit organizations to help them develop their services, expand their reach, scale their impact, and build sustainable revenue streams. 


Some yoga teachers want to start a nonprofit because they don't want to take people's money or market themselves. Jessica explains why sales and marketing are still essential parts of a non-profit organization, and some of the key differences you need to consider in structuring your yoga organization. She also shares ideas on how to get more donations, and ways to make the biggest positive impact on your community, whether you have a for-profit business or non-profit organization.


This episode is a great listen for anyone who is interested in starting a non-profit yoga organization, or if you’re just looking for ideas on how to better serve your community while running a sustainable business.


Key Takeaways:

[5:03] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode - Jessica Kinsey.

[7:12] What does Jessica do?

[8:34] Jessica also works with for-profits to help them figure out how to build social good into what they're doing.

[12:29] Jessica and Shannon discuss the situation of yoga teachers wanting to start a nonprofit because they don't want to take people's money or market themselves.

[15:55] What are the benefits of having a nonprofit?

[18:54] Nonprofits need to have a board of directors who do have a significant say in the decisions concerning the organization.

[21:21] Jessica raises a few more considerations when it comes to starting a nonprofit.

[22:53] What are some of the questions Jessica would ask a yoga teacher who is interested in starting a nonprofit?

[26:23] Shannon and Jessica work through a specific example from Shannon's experience about helping others in need.

[31:12] Two things to keep in mind: 1) The money needs to come from somewhere, 2) The person / organization providing the money is often thinking 'what's in it for me?'.

[34:59] What are some questions yoga teachers or yoga studios should ask themselves if they're thinking of starting a nonprofit?

[37:51] What are some of Jessica's suggestions for yoga teachers who have a for-profit business and want to give back to the community?

[43:13] How does Jessica recommend that yoga teachers maintain a balance between sustaining their business and themselves vs. giving back to society?

[46:46] Get in touch with Jessica via her website, social media or email to find out more about her work.

[48:55] Shannon shares her key takeaways and would love to hear yours!




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training


Quotes from this episode:


"I believe that people who are doing good in the world deserve to do well, and that more money means that you get to do more good."


"More often than not, you're asking somebody to give money for something that just makes them feel good, and they're not really getting tangible value out of it."


"You're still selling something or asking for money, it's just in a different kind of way."


"You still have to get the word out about what you're doing, whether or not your class is free."


"Not everything that is putting social good out into the world is 100% sustainable on its own."


"You've got to take care of yourself first and you have to be able to pay your bills and make a living, otherwise you can't do this work at all."

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