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Tag Archives: yoga teachers

Episode 46: Jessamyn Stanley’s Every Body Yoga

Hello Yogalandia!

This week, I talk to the super sharp and funny Jessamyn Stanley. Jessamyn is a world-traveling yoga teacher who has a new book, Every Body Yoga. I love Jessamyn’s story and she writes about it with such grace and humor in her book: A few years ago she decided to document her yoga practice on a brand new app called Instagram, having no idea that within a few years she would garner nearly 300,000 followers, many of whom begged her to become a yoga teacher. We talk about the evolution of her yoga practice from her early days as a Bikram yogi to a vinyasa teacher, how yoga studios can make efforts toward being more inclusive of different body types and capabilities,and her quest to stay grounded as she spreads her message that, indeed, yoga is for everyone.

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RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
Every Body Yoga: Let Go of Fear, Get on the Mat, Love Your Body, by Jessamyn Stanley
Jessamyn’s Instagram feed and her web site
Jessamyn’s Courses on Codyapp

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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!

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Episode 42: Maty Ezraty on Leading with Communication and Love

Maty Ezraty is a genuine pioneer of yoga in the U.S. One of the original co-founders of YogaWorks, Maty is a true teacher’s teacher. On this episode, Maty shares stories from her early days as well as how her practice has changed with age. She also shares her approach to mentoring teachers and students, which is an alchemy of communication, love, and meeting people where they are.

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RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
Learn more about Maty and find her schedule on her web site: MatyEzraty.com

MUSIC
Velella_Velella — 3 To The 6 To The 0
Podington Bear — A1 Rogue
Shana Falana — Cloud Beats

WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! I’m learning that it really does help others find it and it helps me to know which episodes resonate with you! You can also follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast.

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Episode 41: Deborah Burkman — You Are Enough

In this age of insta-celebrity and everyone chasing their 15 minutes of fame, it’s refreshing to talk to a long-term, successful yoga teacher. Deborah Burkman is one such person. She’s been teaching for 17 years, in many settings, and loves her job. She’s not famous and, at this point in her life and career, she’s grateful for that.

We talk through some nitty gritty logistics, e.g., how long it took Deb to feel confident and financially stable in her teaching and how she crafts a balanced schedule for herself. But this podcast has some great reminders for trying to find contentment in any career path. One of her main messages: Find your purpose and come back to that. And know that who you are is enough.

Subscribe via: iTunes | Acast | RSS

RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
MoveWith.com: Take audio classes with Deborah online. Sign up by 4/10 and enter code PRESSPLAY-DB for 30 days free!
Deborah Burkman Yoga
Video Classes with Deb on Yoga Journal

MUSIC
Jahzzar — Charity
Jahzzar — Yesterday

WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! I’m learning that it really does help others find it and it helps me to know which episodes resonate with you! You can also follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast.

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How to Survive the Worst Yoga Class You’ve Ever Taught

Jason Crandell teaching yoga | How to Survive Teaching a Bad Yoga Class | Jason Crandell Yoga Method

We’ve all had the same gut-wrenching, heart-breaking thought at some point while teaching a class, ‘This is not only the worst class that I’ve taught, this is the absolute worst class that has ever, ever been taught in the history of yoga.’ In fact, the qualification “at some point,” is me being generous. We’ve all (yes, ALL) had this feeling more than a few times.

Since you’re a consummate professional, highly-trained in objectivity and managing your emotions, you probably finished class without burying your head in the bolsters or breaking into self-absorbed tears. But, honestly, what do you do with this voice, this feeling of not being fully engaged or clear when you’re teaching? (What do you do when you’re convinced that you just taught a really bad yoga class?)

Well, let’s start by looking at the facts:

It probably wasn’t as bad as you think

Seriously, it probably wasn’t as bad as you think it was. Teaching yoga is a raw, vulnerable experience and sometimes you beat yourself up about it. People often talk about the importance of being authentic. What gets left out of this discussion is that being authentic means showing who you really are and expressing what you truly care about. Wearing your heart on your sleeve isn’t always easy or pleasant — especially if you feel that you aren’t communicating or engaging well. When this happens, your inner narrator may be telling you that it is much, much worse than it really is.

Even if the class was as bad as you thought, well…

You just taught a truly bad yoga class–the worst class in the history of yoga? OK. It’s time to let it go and move on. This is what you’d tell someone else, right? If class was truly lousy, chalk it up to being human. You’re not a robot and even the most accomplished professionals have off days. If you don’t watch sports, it’s time to start in order to get some perspective. Not every top-notch pitcher throws an excellent game every time. In fact, none of them do. And, thankfully, yoga students are infinitely more kind in the midst of an off night than sports fanatics (especially if you live in Philadelphia).

See also 5 Ways a 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training Will Advance Your Career

Remember that the students are having a different experience than the teacher

Are you ready for some ego-busting news? Students are not hanging on your every word or vibe. Students are paying attention to you but they’re also having their own experience. They are doing yoga, not just listening to you pontificate. Trust that even if you didn’t deliver your most soul-stirring class, your students had the opportunity to breathe, move their bodies and have their own experience. Even more, they probably feel better after class than they did before class.

A few more things to remember when you bomb

-You’re human and you’re teaching a live class. This means you’re going to trip over your words, feel energetically flat, forget the second side of a sequence, and mismanage your time on occasion.

-You have the opportunity to learn and grow from your mistakes. Be as objective as possible about what didn’t work in your class and learn from it. As teachers we’re committed to growing and learning — which means that we’re not already perfect.

-Breathe in the challenges of teaching your class and your flustered emotions; then breathe them out and let them go.

-Be comforted by the fact that all teachers go through this, including the most popular and most well-respected teachers. In fact, my advice is to get used to moments like this because they never stop — you just get better at contextualizing them and letting them go.

See also 5 Tips for New Yoga Teachers

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5 Ways to Stay Healthy, Safe, and Grounded While You’re Teaching

Before we get to the post, a quick, shameless plug for my upcoming trainings. You can join me live at my 500-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in San Francisco, London, or Hong Kong. I also have three separate online teacher trainings, focusing on arm balances & inversions, sequencing, or anatomy.

Teaching Yoga Tips | Stay Grounded while Teaching | Jason Crandell Vinyasa Yoga Method

As yoga teachers, we’re committed to the wellbeing of our students. After all, our bottom line is to help people reduce their suffering. We even commit to ongoing, continuing education to help provide more skillful service. Yet, we often ignore how easy it is to injure ourselves–or become overly stressed out and ungrounded–when we teach. No, our job isn’t too dirty and there are plenty of other vocations that carry much greater risk. But teaching yoga presents plenty of physical and emotional challenges. Here are a few ways to keep yourself healthy, safe and grounded while you teach.

Yoga Teaching Tips: How to Stay Grounded, Safe, and Healthy

Limit Demonstrations

It seems safe, easy and effective to demonstrate postures in class. You just pop yourself into an arm-balance, backbend or twist to visually express what you’re teaching. The problem is that you’re cold, a little adrenalized, and focused on the outward appearance of the pose—oh, and you’re probably always doing your demos on the same side. Sure, there is a time and place for demos, but the list of injuries that occur from seemingly simple, innocuous moments like these is frighteningly long. So, if you need to demonstrate please remember not to max yourself out. Check yourself if you realize you’re trying to impress your students. And, when it’s appropriate, have one of your students provide the demonstration since they’re already prepared for the posture that you’re teaching.

Be Mindful When You Give Adjustments

When I teach trainings, I ask students to raise their hand if they’ve been injured while receiving an adjustment. Unfortunately, 35-40% of the room usually raises their hand. If I were to ask a room full of teachers how many of them have injured themselves while giving an adjustment, I’m willing to guess that the percentage would be similar. Giving adjustments can compromise your body if you’re not focused on your own alignment and sensations. You can also make matters worse for yourself if you’re already experiencing a knee, lower-back, or shoulder injury and you ignore them while teaching. Providing good adjustments is nice, but give yourself permission to prioritize your own safety and comfort in the process. If you’re overly fatigued or nursing an injury, it may be in everyone’s best interest to take the day off from giving yoga adjustments.

See also  Verbal Cues for Yoga Poses: Immediately Improve Your Communication

Remember to Breathe

Every time you tell your students to breathe, pause and take a breath yourself. Doing this will help you stay grounded, relaxed and focused as you teach. Staying grounded, relaxed and focused will make your classes even better and help stave off fatigue and burnout.

Trust the Power of the Practice

Yoga teachers (including myself) have a tendency to be very critical of themselves. When we’re overly critical or lack confidence in our ability to teach, we start to over-effort. We forget that the yoga class is NOT all about the teacher. It’s about the transcendent, timeless experience of doing the practice. In order to stay grounded, relaxed and comfortable as a teacher, you have to trust that the practice is inherently transformational and that you’re simply facilitating your students’ experience. You’ll stay happier and healthier if you let the students’ practice do the majority of the work.

Be Kind to Yourself

Teaching yoga can be an emotional rollercoaster—and, it will certainly expose aspects of your personality and ego that other aspects of the practice don’t. Be mindful of your inner-narrative and practice kindness towards yourself. Doing so will decrease stress and help you weather the challenges that arise

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