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Episode 140: Embrace Your Imperfect Best with Jason Freeman

Jason Freeman quote | Yogaland Podcast

This week’s episode is a special interview with public speaker and yogi Jason Freeman. Jason has a speech impediment due to cerebral palsy, which he was born with. He talks about how being different impacted him from an early age and how his yoga practice helped him to embrace his “imperfect best” as he puts it.

Also on this episode is Jamie Martin, Jason’s yoga teacher, who shares her insights about how to create an inclusive environment in the yoga room.

This episode is a must for anyone who’s ever felt like an outsider and everyone who hopes to make yoga studios a more welcoming place for people from all backgrounds and abilities.

Here are some highlights:
*How Jason F. ended up in his first yoga class, and how the practice of yoga helped him learn to accept himself and feel better in his body

*Jason’s advice for yoga students about how to feel more comfortable and connect with their teachers

*Jamie speaks about how to help all students feel welcome and included and not singled out for their different abilities

*We talk about the many  ways yoga teachers can make a lasting impact on their students without ever knowing it

*Plus, Jason talks about how Handstand became a goal for him, and what shifted once he finally learned to do the pose

RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Get a transcript of this episode

Jason Freeman website

Jason Freeman TEDx Talk

Jamie Martin Lee’s website

Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best by Jason Freeman

Jason Freeman sizzle reel

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Summer Series 2018: Staying Sane (and Enjoying!) Social Media

teaching yoga quote | social media yoga | yoga podcast

If you’re like a lot of yoga students, you probably feel a bit conflicted when it comes to social media: You want to spend more time in the present moment, but you also love how social media makes you feel connected with the people you love and what’s going on in the world.  It can be so hard balance social media and yoga, allowing you to  enjoy the best social media has to offer without feeling like a slave to technology.

In this yoga podcast episode, Jason and I share some practical tips on using social media for yoga teachers (who need to use it as a marketing tool and as a way to connect to their students) and yoga students alike.

We talk about:

* How to stop comparing yourself to the edited highlight reel you see of others’ lives on social media

* Creating healthy boundaries around how and when you use social media

* What yoga teachers can do to stay authentic on social media and use it to nurture the relationships they have with their students

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RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Summer Series 2018: Andrea and Jason Share Their “Hard” and “Easy” Poses

The Yoga Hustle: An Insider’s Guide to Survival

WRITE A YOGA PODCAST REVIEW 

If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some step by step instructions. Woohoo! So easy!

SHOUT-OUT TO OUR SPONSORS

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Episode 100: Easy Ways to Improve Verbal Communication with Jason Crandell

improve verbal communication skills

When I first started taking yoga classes from Jason many years ago, I was struck by his voice. He has a voice that draws you in. It’s soothing and encouraging. He speaks in a measured, comfortable pace. And he’s a clear, succinct communicator. In essence, he’s a natural when it comes to verbal communication.

This week, I ask Jason to share how he’s developed this skill set.  And, although this episode is specifically geared toward yoga teachers, the ideas we here apply to everyone. We all have times when clear verbal communication is vital — in client meetings, with our loved ones, during presentations — and some of us struggle with it more than others. My hope is that you’ll gain confidence and clarity from this episode.

We talk about:

* Why improving verbal communication might be the most important skill for yoga teachers

* Using each class you teach as a practice for personal growth to improve verbal communication

* The struggles we (Jason and Andrea) have when it comes to speaking in front of a group

* How choosing one or two takeaways for your students  can dramatically improve verbal communication and your teaching

Subscribe via: iTunes | Acast | RSS

RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Verbal Cues for Yoga Poses – The Easiest Ways to Immediately Improve Your Verbal Communication

Common Errors in Manual Yoga Adjustments – And How to Fix Them

WRITE A YOGA PODCAST REVIEW

If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some step by step instructions. Woohoo! So easy!

SHOUT-OUT TO OUR SPONSORS

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Survivor’s Guide to Teaching Yoga When Life Throws You a Curveball

Yoga Teaching Tips for When Life Throws You a Curveball
Nearly six years ago, my daughter Sofia-Rose was born. She brought me happiness I could have never imagined. She also obliterated my home practice beyond all recognition for more than a year.

Before she was born, I was so hopped-up on adrenaline, oxytocin, and optimism (not always my strength) that I didn’t think her birth would change my practice. In fact, I was delusional enough to think that her birth would inspire even greater dedication to my practice. I thought her presence would be my shot at a complete renewal, a total overhaul in which nothing could get between my mat and me.

Yes, I love her to the point that it makes me tremble. Yes, parenting has taught me more about patience, breath, and love than the rest of my life combined. No, I wouldn’t trade her for the world. But did my practice stay the same? [email protected]#l no! Not even close. My asana practice crumbled to a shell of its former self and I grew a Dad-bod like you wouldn’t believe. Even more to the point of this post, my teaching temporarily suffered with these changes. Now, it’s better than ever since I have more life experience to draw on (and I’ll share some of the yoga teaching tips I learned below). But, I didn’t see this at the time.

Everyone goes through different chapters in life. Everyone faces curveballs. And, like a good curveball, you usually don’t see them coming. Being a yoga practitioner and yoga teacher doesn’t inoculate you from life. It just provides you with insight and skills that help you manage the complexity of the human condition.

Since we all face unforeseen circumstances from time to time that affect our practice and teaching, it’s important to know how to stay honest and authentic in your teaching when your life gets (even more) complicated.

Here are some practical yoga teaching tips to work with:

1. Don’t Press Too Hard

When baseball players are in a slump, they sometimes perpetuate it further by pressing—or, becoming overly eager to make something happen. This undermines their ability to relax and respond to the game in a skillful way. I’ve noticed the same thing in myself at times. When my teaching becomes stale, I often overcompensate by trying too hard. I get too wordy, too complicated, and too hurried.

If you’re going through a challenging phase in your teaching, try this tip instead: Step back slightly and let the practice shine. Minimize the impulse to overdo and trust that the practice itself will be enough for your students.

See also 5 Ways to (Re)Inspire Your Yoga Practice

2. Be Transparent Without Being Overly-Indulgent

Never make class about you and what you’re going through. After all, the students are paying you—you’re not paying them for group therapy. At the same time, it’s nice to be relatively transparent and to acknowledge what’s happening in your life (at least in limited doses). Students appreciate the reminder that you’re a real, flesh and blood person—and, that yoga is a practical, accessible practice for everyone (at all times). It’s likely that many of your students have experienced what you’re currently going through and this may help them connect to your teaching even more deeply.

3. Don’t Radically Change Your Class or Teaching Style

It’s important to be consistent with your students. When teachers go through a significant transition in their lives, they sometimes make abrupt stylistic changes to their teaching. While it’s important to be relatively transparent, it’s also essential to provide a consistent experience for your students. If you’re a teaching a vinyasa class, don’t randomly teach a Yin or restorative class because you’re tired or overwhelmed. Sure, you can play with the pace, but be responsive to your students and provide them with the class that they came for.

4. Practice – Even If It Looks Very Different Now

My practice was shorter, milder, less frequent, and less focused for 18-months or so after Sofia was born. But I still practiced. I still connected to my breath and did the occasional Sun Salutation. I still did some shoulder and hip openers most evenings. I also made sure to have one slightly more intense practice each week. Instead of being attached to the way you were practicing before the curveball came across your plate, do whatever you can to survive the storm—and do your best to savor it.

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