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Episode 149: How to Change Your Teaching Style Without Losing Your Students

This week’s episode is a continuation of last week’s discussion on how to cope with changes to your yoga practice and teaching style. Jason shares his more practical tips on how to change up your teaching style with grace. Something that is particularly challenging when your livelihood depends on an earlier approach.

We talk about:

* How Jason got started teaching in the Ashtanga tradition, and why he began to lose interest in that and move on to more technique-oriented approach

* A few pose techniques that Jason has changed his opinions on (and why). He talks about his approach to backbends, twists, Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge), and Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (Pigeon Pose).

* Why it’s a good idea to make changes to your yoga teaching schedule slowly over time. (Especially if you’re making a drastic change.)

* How to communicate your more subtle changes to your teaching approach to longtime students in a way that’s both diplomatic and respectful

RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Episode 148: Change Is the Only Certainty…In Yoga

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

1. LOLA is a female-founded company offering 100 organic cotton tampons, pads, and liners. For every purchase, LOLA donates feminine care products to homeless shelters across the U.S. For 40% off all subscriptions, visit mylola.com and enter the code YOGALAND40 when you subscribe.

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How to Teach Yoga Philosophy to Beginners

First a shameless plug: If you’re interested in learning more, check out my online course, The Art of Teaching Beginners. This course provides a complete blueprint for teaching new students and includes the ultimate four-week beginners’ series that you can teach in your local community.

Jason Crandell teaching yoga philosophy.

The yoga tradition is steeped in philosophy. However, teaching philosophy in an impactful, engaging, and concise way is incredibly challenging–especially when you’re working with beginning students.

Tips for Teaching Yoga Philosophy to Beginners

Here are a few tips — and if you’d like to hear me talk about this at length, you can listen to Yogaland podcast, episode 136, Yoga Philosophy for Beginners.

Keep themes relatable.

There are countless philosophical, spiritual, and humanistic themes that you may choose to teach your students. Whichever you choose, focus on keeping these themes easy to relate to. Use clear language and, when possible, relate these themes to the physicality of the practice.

Keep it brief.

Unless you are a seasoned at giving Dharma Talks – and, Dharma Talks are part of your teaching style – be brief when you discuss the philosophical, spiritual, and humanistic themes that you’re incorporating. It’s easy to become a little too tangential and lose track of time when you’re engaging in these conversations.

Use good timing.

I have found that the most effective time to incorporate these dimensions into the practice are towards the end of class. Most students will be arriving to class after they’ve just woken up or after a long day of sitting at work. As such, most students want to get into their body through movement as soon as possible. Students are typically more receptive to contemplative work toward the end of class since they have satisfied their healthy desire to move.

Be respectful of all belief systems.

Be mindful that students may have belief systems that are contrary to yours. It’s good to be an advocate for the philosophical dimensions that you want to teach, but take care that you’re respectful to other belief systems.

Yoga Philosophy for Beginners: Key Concepts

The most important philosophical concepts to teach your students include:

  • The asana practice is part of a massive, all-encompassing tradition that seeks to liberate practitioners from their limited notions of self. As such, there are several philosophical and existential elements that we want to introduce to our students.
  • Without compassion, students will be unable to look within. They will become too frustrated with the practice of Yoga and they will get in their own way. There is nothing more important than helping new students develop compassion for themselves and others.
  • The practice of yoga is meant to be a lifelong process. This is very different than what we’ve become used to in our modern world of quick fixes. Since yoga is a lifelong process and learning can go through peaks and valleys, it’s important to help your students be patient with themselves.
  • Perhaps, there is nothing more important in the pursuit of yoga than perseverance. As a student, you know how yoga has required–and, developed–your perseverance. Helping your students be steady in the midst of difficulty is one of the most rewarding aspects of being a teacher.
  • Satya, or honesty, is an essential element of the yoga practice. One of the most obvious ways this will play out as a new student, is when new students are confronted with their limitations. When confronted with limitations, students often get frustrated and either 1) pull back from their practice and have a negative self-image, or 2) push forward through discomfort instead of being patient and respecting their body. Teaching students to honor their limitations without retreating or pushing too far forward is one of the most valuable lessons you will ever teach.

For more on this topic, check out my newest online course, The Art of Teaching Beginners.

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Episode 145: Teaching Part-Time is Still Teaching – Listener Responses

The recent episode where Jason and I discuss teaching yoga part-time vs. making it a full-time career really struck a chord. I was surprised by the number of emails, direct messages, and comments that listeners sent my way.

As usual, you guys were full of insights. So for this week’s episode, I decided to share some of those comments as inspiration, motivation, and support for others who are fulfilling their dharma of sharing yoga.

RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Episode 143: Full-Time or Part-Time? Things to Consider as You Forge Your Teaching Path

Instagram handles from listeners who contributed to this episode:

@melissaahrens
@maria.odense.yoga
@emmacampbellstanway_yoga
@charissim_
@rhiannonkirbyyoga
@lesliekersha
@kristen_fewel
@wendywebbyoga
@lmoerdyke
@yogawithsarahj
@mattgillyoga
@the.inflexible.yogi
@rowenamittalyoga
@Iamkatiearnold
@nicolesciacca

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

1. LOLA is a female-founded company offering 100 organic cotton tampons, pads, and liners. For every purchase, LOLA donates feminine care products to homeless shelters across the U.S. For 40% off all subscriptions, visit mylola.com and enter the code YOGALAND40 when you subscribe.

2. If you’re like me and you wear your gym or yoga clothes 6 or 7 days a week, you want to look put together. My life has changed since Fabletics became a sponsor of the podcast. Their styles are super adorable and affordable. Get two pairs of leggings for $24 when you sign up to be a VIP. Go to fabletics.com/YOGALAND to take advantage of this deal, get exclusive discounts, and more.

3. Warby Parker offers boutique glasses at a revolutionary price. Glasses start at $95, including prescription lenses. Lens options include anti-glare, anti-scratch coatings, and even blue light filtering coatings. Download the Warby Parker app on your iPhoneX to try on glasses virtually. Or, get 5 pairs shipped directly to you so you can try them on in person with the In-Home Try On Kit. To order your free in-home  try on kit, go to WarbyParker.com/Yogaland.

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Episode 144: Ouch! How to Handle Your Sore Sacrum

For almost three years, Jason has resisted addressing your questions about the sacroiliac joint (SI) — mostly because it’s such a complex topic for a podcast. But today! I wore him down. He addresses a listener question about the mysterious sacrum and the soreness that so often comes along with yoga practice.He talks about:

*Why, why, why?? do we so often experience sacral pain in yoga

*What is often happening to the sacrum when we experience pain flare-ups

*The role that the piriformis can play in SI soreness

*How to alter your yoga practice to get out of pain for good

RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Episode 43: Q&A with Jason – Sacrolliac Pain, Tailbone Cues & Wonky Knees

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

1. LOLA is a female-founded company offering 100 organic cotton tampons, pads, and liners. For every purchase, LOLA donates feminine care products to homeless shelters across the U.S. For 40% off all subscriptions, visit mylola.com and enter the code YOGALAND40 when you subscribe.

2. If you’re like me and you wear your gym or yoga clothes 6 or 7 days a week, you want to look put together. My life has changed since Fabletics became a sponsor of the podcast. Their styles are super adorable and affordable. Get two pairs of leggings for $24 when you sign up to be a VIP. Go to fabletics.com/YOGALAND to take advantage of this deal, get exclusive discounts, and more.

3. Warby Parker offers boutique glasses at a revolutionary price. Glasses start at $95, including prescription lenses. Lens options include anti-glare, anti-scratch coatings, and even blue light filtering coatings. Download the Warby Parker app on your iPhoneX to try on glasses virtually. Or, get 5 pairs shipped directly to you so you can try them on in person with the In-Home Try On Kit. To order your free in-home  try on kit, go to WarbyParker.com/Yogaland.

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Episode 143: Full-Time or Part-Time? Things to Consider as You Forge Your Teaching Path

teaching yoga full-time or part-time | yoga quote by Jason Crandell

In this episode, Jason breaks down what he sees as some of the pros and cons of teaching full-time vs. teaching part-time. The bottom line is this: There’s not one right choice, but no matter whichever direction you choose, there are some challenges to overcome. (And if you’re considering becoming a yoga teacher because you think it would be an easy, relaxed lifestyle, well, you might want to reconsider.)

Here are a few of the things we discuss:

* Jason debunks the myth that yoga teachers have an easy work-life balance and explains why it’s so challenging to make a living as a yoga teacher.

* How being a yoga teacher has changed in the 20 years Jason’s been teaching.

* One of the biggest mistakes Jason sees yoga teachers make when they market themselves. Hint: It has to do with social media.

* Part-time teacher? Say it loud and proud.

RECOMMENDED AND RELATED LINKS

Episode 121: Ideas for Building Your Business (And Your Confidence!) as a Yoga Teacher

Episode 87: Jason’s Sequencing Philosophy, Thoughts on Retaining Students & Hip Impingement

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

1. LOLA is a female-founded company offering 100 organic cotton tampons, pads, and liners. For every purchase, LOLA donates feminine care products to homeless shelters across the U.S. For 40% off all subscriptions, visit mylola.com and enter the code YOGALAND40 when you subscribe.

2. If you’re like me and you wear your gym or yoga clothes 6 or 7 days a week, you want to look put together. My life has changed since Fabletics became a sponsor of the podcast. Their styles are super adorable and affordable. Get two pairs of leggings for $24 when you sign up to be a VIP. Go to fabletics.com/YOGALAND to take advantage of this deal, get exclusive discounts, and more.

3. Simple Habit is a 5-minute meditation app. They have super short, doable meditations that you can do everyday. It’s available on iOS, Android, and the web. Since it’s an app, you can easily track how many minutes of meditation you’ve done in a month, browse from over a thousand different topics, create playlists, and set daily reminders. It’s super convenient and will keep you in the habit. To try Simple Habit for free for a month, visit SimpleHabit.com/YOGALAND.

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