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The Mentor Sessions

Updated 21 days ago

Alternative Health
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Francesca Cervero is a full-time yoga teacher and yoga teacher's mentor. She has been teaching yoga in New York City and Washington, DC since 2005 and the foundation of her teaching practice comes from OM Yoga Center’s style of alignment-based vinyasa. Her teaching is also inspired by the years she spent in physical therapy, a constant curiosity about anatomy and biomechanics, and her love of Buddhist teachings.Francesca believes that introducing more people to the deeply healing benefits of yoga has the power to completely transform our world and the best way to get more people practicing (mindful, therapeutic) yoga is to raise the bar of professionalism for yoga teachers. She hopes that yoga teaching can be a career path that is respected and allows for sustainable income. She believes that the responsibility is on us as teachers to be worthy of, and demand such respect. It is for this reason she has maintained a thriving business teaching 15 private yoga clients a week and added a full practice teaching and mentoring yoga teachers in The Science of the Private Lesson™.Here is the plan for The Mentor Sessions: Support + Strategy for Yoga Teachers--->Making the deeply healing benefits of yoga and its sister practices more accessible has the power to transform the world we live in. An important part of making smart, mindful, therapeutic yoga more widely available is for all of us to continue to deepen and evolve as teachers.I believe the depth that arises in teaching comes from inquiry and relationship, not from collecting information from gurus. I want the yoga world to have higher standards for quality teaching AND better support networks for teachers, and I want this podcast to be at the forefront of those discussions.I’m here to offer nourishing support to help you feel more confident in your teaching and realistic strategy to help you find more clarity on your career path.

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Francesca Cervero is a full-time yoga teacher and yoga teacher's mentor. She has been teaching yoga in New York City and Washington, DC since 2005 and the foundation of her teaching practice comes from OM Yoga Center’s style of alignment-based vinyasa. Her teaching is also inspired by the years she spent in physical therapy, a constant curiosity about anatomy and biomechanics, and her love of Buddhist teachings.Francesca believes that introducing more people to the deeply healing benefits of yoga has the power to completely transform our world and the best way to get more people practicing (mindful, therapeutic) yoga is to raise the bar of professionalism for yoga teachers. She hopes that yoga teaching can be a career path that is respected and allows for sustainable income. She believes that the responsibility is on us as teachers to be worthy of, and demand such respect. It is for this reason she has maintained a thriving business teaching 15 private yoga clients a week and added a full practice teaching and mentoring yoga teachers in The Science of the Private Lesson™.Here is the plan for The Mentor Sessions: Support + Strategy for Yoga Teachers--->Making the deeply healing benefits of yoga and its sister practices more accessible has the power to transform the world we live in. An important part of making smart, mindful, therapeutic yoga more widely available is for all of us to continue to deepen and evolve as teachers.I believe the depth that arises in teaching comes from inquiry and relationship, not from collecting information from gurus. I want the yoga world to have higher standards for quality teaching AND better support networks for teachers, and I want this podcast to be at the forefront of those discussions.I’m here to offer nourishing support to help you feel more confident in your teaching and realistic strategy to help you find more clarity on your career path.

iTunes Ratings

106 Ratings
Average Ratings
98
6
1
0
1

A gem for lovers of thoughtful movement

By hannahtopper - May 25 2020
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The Mentor Sessions sparks self-exploration, inquiry, and accountability in my commitment to continue to evolve as a student and teacher of yoga. Francesca has a beautiful and clear style of speech and communication, and truly invites listeners to take a critical look at how we as a community of teachers can serve each other and our students in a safe and effective way.

Great interview questions

By GastrocRock - Jul 04 2019
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This is a valuable resource for yoga teachers. Fracesca asks great questions.

iTunes Ratings

106 Ratings
Average Ratings
98
6
1
0
1

A gem for lovers of thoughtful movement

By hannahtopper - May 25 2020
Read more
The Mentor Sessions sparks self-exploration, inquiry, and accountability in my commitment to continue to evolve as a student and teacher of yoga. Francesca has a beautiful and clear style of speech and communication, and truly invites listeners to take a critical look at how we as a community of teachers can serve each other and our students in a safe and effective way.

Great interview questions

By GastrocRock - Jul 04 2019
Read more
This is a valuable resource for yoga teachers. Fracesca asks great questions.
Cover image of The Mentor Sessions

The Mentor Sessions

Latest release on Nov 10, 2020

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Francesca Cervero is a full-time yoga teacher and yoga teacher's mentor. She has been teaching yoga in New York City and Washington, DC since 2005 and the foundation of her teaching practice comes from OM Yoga Center’s style of alignment-based vinyasa. Her teaching is also inspired by the years she spent in physical therapy, a constant curiosity about anatomy and biomechanics, and her love of Buddhist teachings.Francesca believes that introducing more people to the deeply healing benefits of yoga has the power to completely transform our world and the best way to get more people practicing (mindful, therapeutic) yoga is to raise the bar of professionalism for yoga teachers. She hopes that yoga teaching can be a career path that is respected and allows for sustainable income. She believes that the responsibility is on us as teachers to be worthy of, and demand such respect. It is for this reason she has maintained a thriving business teaching 15 private yoga clients a week and added a full practice teaching and mentoring yoga teachers in The Science of the Private Lesson™.Here is the plan for The Mentor Sessions: Support + Strategy for Yoga Teachers--->Making the deeply healing benefits of yoga and its sister practices more accessible has the power to transform the world we live in. An important part of making smart, mindful, therapeutic yoga more widely available is for all of us to continue to deepen and evolve as teachers.I believe the depth that arises in teaching comes from inquiry and relationship, not from collecting information from gurus. I want the yoga world to have higher standards for quality teaching AND better support networks for teachers, and I want this podcast to be at the forefront of those discussions.I’m here to offer nourishing support to help you feel more confident in your teaching and realistic strategy to help you find more clarity on your career path.

Rank #1: 09: Useful Language + Our Scope of Practice with Guest Teacher Jules Mitchell

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The practice and study of yoga is so vast that the more we all continue to study and teach, the more this question seems to loom taller and taller: what exactly is the job of a yoga instructor? To process this out loud with me, I invited my friend Jules Mitchell for a chat.

Jules has been teaching yoga for a decade, but her knowledge base doesn’t end there. Jules holds a Masters in Biomechanics, is a certified massage therapist, and is currently writing a book about it all. Through carefully chosen language, a deep understand of body mechanics, and a patience and wisdom that only comes from experience, Jules shows us how a roadmap for how we might continue to evolve as teachers.  

Today, Jules and I will tackle the tough questions, ask plenty of our own, and talk a little shop. If you are feeling stuck in your teaching, or ready for some fresh inspiration, this episode is for you.

More in this episode:  

  • Jules talks about her initial training, and what brought her to study biomechanics and other disciplines.  
  • What her movement practice looks like when she’s on the road.  
  • We talk all about Jules’ book, Yoga Biomechanics: Redefining Stretching.  
  • Jules gives us a definition of biomechanics and we talk about how it should impact our yoga teaching.
  • Jules and I dig into the importance of the specificity of language and offering open-ended questions.  
  • We breakdown the distinctions between yoga therapists and yoga teachers.  

Connect with Jules online here.

Dec 18 2017

57mins

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Rank #2: 04: How To Deal With Schedule Drama And Chronic Re-Schedulers

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Do you have Schedule Drama? I certainly do sometimes! As yoga teachers most of us are freelancers, which means we run our own small business whether we realize it or not.

We piece together a teaching schedule and a business and a life one random class at a time. If you feel like your schedule is overwhelming or disorganized or changing all the time, I’ll tell ya…I think most of us feel like that.

There is a cyclical nature to this work, so there are busy seasons and slow seasons, and change is a constant possibility when you teach at many locations or work with several private clients. Impermanence is the only constant for EVERYONE, but in our work, the unsteadiness is heightened and exaggerated.

And in a field of work that REQUIRES we are well rested & well fed, grounded & focused, AND have time for our own spiritual practice, an unpredictable schedule can be a real detriment to doing good work. Having a relatively consistent schedule is an absolute blessing, but it is HARD to create for ourselves, right?

Today, I want to give you some of my tools to help you organize your teaching schedule and face some of the more difficult challenges of working with inconsistent private clients. Let’s dive into the details!  

More to learn in this episode:

  • Shifting into a consistent schedule is difficult, but not impossible.  
  • Having an ideal teaching schedule gives you a goal to work towards.  
  • My formula to help you decide when to keep classes and when to drop them.  
  • A pep talk to inspire you to keep that class you love that doesn’t have that many students in it.  
  • Diving into the case of the “chronic rescheduler.”
  • Meeting your student where they are to elevate their commitment to the practice.

A “Keep This Class” Formula - each class must meet 4 out of the 8 criteria below:

  1. This class is incredibly challenging to teach and I am learning so much.  
  2. I love the students in this class.  
  3. This class pays well.
  4. I love the material I get to teach in this class.  
  5. I am making good contacts for potential private clients and workshop participants.
  6. I love the studio space and owners of the studio.  
  7. This class is a seva offering that fills my heart.  
  8. This class is in a place and at a time that is easy and not draining to get to.  

Oct 19 2017

41mins

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Rank #3: 25: Yoga and The Pelvic Floor with Guest Teacher Diana Zotos

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If you don’t already know my good friend Diana Zotos I am so excited for you to meet her! Diana is a physical therapist and yoga teacher.  In 2006 Diana began her 7 year career at Hospital for Special Surgery in NYC, spending those years treating anyone from inpatient joint replacement patients to professional marathon runners.   She completed her yoga teacher training at OM Yoga in 2010.

Diana is also co-founder and co-director of Threes Physiyoga Method™  (TPM). TPM is dedicated to teaching yoga teachers applied anatomy and kinesiology, and bridging the gap through advanced teacher training between yoga teachers and the healthcare industry.  TPM also educates physical therapists and other medical professionals on the benefits and integration of yoga practices into traditional western medicine.

In today’s episode we decided to focus on the basics of women’s pelvic floor health and how that relates to yoga practice and yoga teaching.  You’ll hear:

  • How the alignment of the feet and legs affect the pelvic floor.
  • What teachers and students can do if they think they might have issues with their pelvic floor musculature.
  • When, how and why hip pain or lower back pain originate with issues in the pelvic floor.
  • Some things pregnant women and postpartum mamas can do to keep their pelvic floor healthy.
  • And so much more!

Learn more about Diana and Threes Physiyoga at their website, check out all their upcoming workshops, events, and advanced teacher training on their events page and follow them on social media on facebook  and instagram.

May 14 2018

40mins

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Rank #4: 29: The Power of Simple Teaching Guest Teacher Sarah Capua

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Have you ever taken (or taught!) a yoga class that was simple in sequencing but deeply powerful in its effect on you? Maybe you love teaching and practicing yoga in a simple way but you feel like you are the only one? Do you think that all your students want fancier, faster and more exciting asana classes?

Whether this describes you or not, I am so honored to introduce you to my old NYC buddy Sarah Capua.

Sarah is a yoga therapist and meditation teacher, a student of Buddhism and classical yogic practice, and a caregiver.  The heart of her practice is rooted in the tradition of T Krishnamacharya and TKV Desikachar, who emphasized individualized practice and believed that yoga should be adapted to foster self inquiry and personal transformation. She also studied meditation and Buddhist teachings with Michael Stone, as well as contemplative caregiving at the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, where she trained as an end-of-life doula. She lives in Beacon, NY and is currently in post-graduate training in chaplaincy under the supervision of Zen Buddhist Reverend Trudi Hirsch.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • What it means to embody our practice in our lives.
  • How we can let our practice and our values guide our decisions in how we structure our classes.
  • Specific examples of the ways we can use our personal spiritual practice to guide what we teach.
  • The deep power in simple teaching and how to offer simple classes confidently.

Learn More From Sarah:

  • Check out her website here.

Aug 06 2018

1hr 4mins

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Rank #5: 19: Integrating Spiritual Teachings Into Asana Classes

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This is a favorite, and quite personal episode for me. Today we are talking about integrating spiritual teachings into asana classes. This is a personal favorite because this is one of the parts of my teaching that has changed most dramatically since I began teaching in 2005.

When I was a new teacher most of my yoga practice focused on movement and asana, and I didn’t have much experience in a mature spiritual practice. As a new teacher at OM Yoga Center I began to study buddhism and while the teachings resonated very deeply with me, I wasn’t ready to share them from the teacher’s seat for a long time. I think this is common!

I know that many new teachers are moved and inspired by the spiritual teachings of yoga but are unsure how to interweave those teachings in a movement based practice. Today we’ll talk about my journey on my spiritual path, and when and how I integrate my secular buddhist studies into my asana classes. I’ll share some guides to help you find and settle into a spiritual practice that will come through in your asana teaching in a natural and authentic way.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

My teacher training, The Science of the Private Lesson™ How To Choose a Guru with JP Sears Serena’s studio in Chicago, Room to BreatheMy teacher, Ethan NichternMy teacher, Sara Avant StoverMy teacher, Tara Brach

Apr 02 2018

39mins

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Rank #6: 28: Hip Injuries and Yoga with Guest Teacher Ariele Foster

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Do you have hip pain? Today’s episode is all about the hip joint and hip injuries that are common in yoga practitioners. Many of you may already know this story, but I tore my hip labrum when I was 23 years old and I spent the first two years of my yoga teaching career walking with a cane and was in incredible pain.

I had a slow, but amazing recovery from that injury, and now almost 12 years later I am stronger, healthier and more pain free than I have ever been in my life! If you are in pain, or have students who are struggling with hip problems, this episode is for you!

I invited my friend Ariele Foster to join me in this conversation because in addition to being a doctor of physical therapy, yoga teacher since 2001 and an anatomy teacher for yoga teacher trainings, she also had a hip injury.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • The stories about our own hip injuries and subsequent healing. (There is hope if you have a hip injury!)
  • The anatomy and structure of the hip joint.
  • Specific poses and movements that increases the chances of a hip labral tears.
  • Some warning signs and sensations that a person might not recognize as a problem until after damage it done.
  • The relationship between “hip opening” poses, hypermobility of the hips and injuries.

Learn More From Ariele:

Jun 18 2018

1hr 3mins

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Rank #7: 12: Creating a Sustainable Movement Practice

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If you don’t already know her, I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Brea Johnson from Heart + Bones Yoga. Brea has been a yoga teacher for over 15 years and is also a certified Restorative Exercise teacher. She has the wisdom of someone who has been teaching for many many years and a friendliness that makes her teachings super accessible. :)

Brea feels that integrating functional movement is essential for a life long yoga practice for both you and your students and in this episode we’ll give you lots of ways to make your movement practice sustainable for the long term.

More in this episode:  

  • CrossFit and yoga? Can they coexist?  
  • The 4 Pillars of the Sustainable Yoga Practice
  • How Brea puts together her sequences {Hint: It’s less about sequence and more about intention}
  • How we both feel about interweaving spiritual practice with a movement practice
  • Why adaptability is important
  • How to integrate new things into your teaching without getting overwhelmed
  • Tools for teachers who want to add sustainability practices to their classes

Check out Brea’s website here and find her on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube!

Also, Brea has just launched a brand new online Sustainable Yoga Studio! With monthly or yearly memberships you can take yoga classes with Brea from anywhere in the world and experience a progressive approach to yoga that focuses on kind movements, supportive sequences, and playful yet challenging ways of moving. It is a great resource for teachers if you need a little sustainable movement inspiration!

Also, make sure to check out teachprivateyoga.com to get a 3 part video series that will help you teach better private lessons!

Jan 31 2018

1hr 10mins

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Rank #8: 47: How To Hold Space with Octavia Raheem

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Today I am THRILLED to introduce you to yoga teacher, writer, mama and studio owner, Octavia Raheem. This episode stands out as an all time favorite; the deep wisdom and beautiful words that Octavia shared felt like a salve for a wound I’d hardly even noticed was there.

This path of teaching yoga asks us to constantly look at ourselves in deeper and more curious ways, and to process that intense work with a fellow sister on the path offered a joyful relief.  Listen in and enjoy our conversation!

Octavia Raheem leads a yoga and meditation teacher training called Be Still, Then Move at her home studio, Sacred Chill {West} in Atlanta, GA and offers ongoing continuing education and mentorship to yoga teachers.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Octavia’s advice for new teachers just starting on their path
  • A conversation about what it means to “hold space”
  • How Octavia recommends teachers deepen their ability to hold space for their students
  • How to create community with your fellow yoga teachers
  • What happens when yoga teachers are in purposeful, empowering inquiry together
  • And more!

Learn More From Octavia and Resources mentioned on the episode:

Apr 09 2019

50mins

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Rank #9: 15: A Week In the Life (A Peek Inside My Daily Schedule and Rituals)

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This is a very special, unusual episode! While most of the episodes you’ll find here at The Mentor Sessions are either interviews with friends and teachers of mine, or short teachings that I offer myself, today we’re doing something different. I’m going to take you on a trip with me for an intimate, inside view of my life and teaching for an entire week!

It certainly feels vulnerable to share myself in this way, but I’ve learned so much from the mentors that I’ve been able to observe up close, both in their teaching and personal lives, and I want to pay that kind of offering forward.

So while you can’t be in the room with me while I teach {although this limited time video series is pretty darn close} in this episode I’ll give you all the intimate details of my teaching life, and you’ll hear...

  • all about my daily habits and routines that help me keep up my energy AND stay grounded with a busy teaching schedule
  • what I’m excited to teach in my group classes right now
  • the parts of my life and schedule I struggle with the most
  • all about how I met each of my private clients and a bit about what I do with each of them

Come on over to my Facebook group, let me know how this episode landed with you and what questions it brings up!

Feb 19 2018

1hr 28mins

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Rank #10: 64: Yoga for Arthritis with Dr. Steffanny Moonaz

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Did you know that arthritis is not one single disease, but a category of over 100 medical conditions that is actually the leading cause of disability in the US?? Before talking to Dr. Steffany Moonaz (and reading her book) I didn’t either! 

Dr. Steffany Moonaz founded Yoga for Arthritis after 8 years at Johns Hopkins University where she studied the effects of yoga for people living with arthritis. She now serves as the Director of Clinical and Academic Research at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, which offers the nation's only Masters of Science in Yoga Therapy. 

She continues to conduct research on the effects of yoga for chronic pain and joint conditions, and is joining us on The Mentor Sessions today to talk about making  yoga practices safe, welcoming, and appropriate for people with arthritis.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • some of the biggest myths about arthritis 
  • why the multifaceted practices of yoga are so supportive for people living with arthritis
  • what is lost when yoga teachers and researchers focus only on asana
  • the difference between chronic pain and acute pain as it relates to the brain
  • how chronic pain impacts the anatomy and function of the brain circuitry and what yoga teachers can do about it
  • how to teach yoga classes that are safe, welcoming and inclusive for people living with arthritis

Dec 03 2019

1hr 10mins

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Rank #11: 13: Obstacle As Path with Guest Teacher Cyndi Lee

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I am so excited about today’s episode because I get to bring you the wisdom of the founder of my own teaching lineage (OM Yoga) , Cyndi Lee! Cyndi is the first female Western yoga teacher to fully integrate yoga asana and Tibetan Buddhism in her practice and teaching.  In 1998, she founded OM Yoga Center in NYC, and that is where I took my first YTT in 2005.

In this interview we talk about what makes a good teacher, how to continue to evolve as teachers and what we can learn from the Buddhist principle of Threefold Logic: working with the ground, the path and the fruition.

Cyndi recently became a formally trained Buddhist Chaplain under the guidance of Roshi Joan Halifax and much of her work there centers around using yoga and meditation as resiliency practices. We talked about what it’s like to find refuge in our bodies, no matter the circumstances, and how we can offer that kind of teaching to our students.

In this episode we also talked about:

  • how some teaching principles are universal, no matter what you are teaching
  • Cyndi gives some advice for teachers who want to deepen their teaching skills
  • what it takes to have confidence in your teaching
  • having a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset
  • taking refuge in a body that has a lot of pain 

Trainings, Retreats and Online Workshops with Cyndi:

Cyndi’s WebsiteVery Special Teachers Retreat in New MexicoOnline Restorative Teacher TrainingMeditation Teacher Training coming summer 2018

Feb 05 2018

52mins

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Rank #12: 37: Q + A About Private Lessons with Francesca

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We are doing something new today on The Mentor Sessions! I’m reading some of the Most Frequently Asked questions I get about teaching private lessons and offering you my quick and dirty answers. Some of these topics very well may need their own episode, so please reach out and let me know what follow up questions you have.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • How to structure a private lesson so that it doesn’t feel the same as a group class.
  • How to deal with the boundaries of showing up for our clients through our own illness and hard times.
  • How to set a timeline with privates clients that relates to their goals.
  • My perspective on asking current clients for referrals and a tiny shift you can make in your relationship with your current students that could help you get more referrals!
  • What I think about scheduling software, including the only one I recommend.

Resources mentioned on this episode:

Dec 11 2018

34mins

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Rank #13: 16: Creating Truly Inclusive Yoga Spaces with Guest Teacher Amber Karnes

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I am so excited to share this powerful conversation with you. While many yoga studios proclaim that “Everyone is Welcome!” in their classes, in today’s episode we ask, “ Are we actually teaching our classes in a way that supports that message?”.  My friend Amber Karnes is whip smart, a powerful advocate and a seasoned yoga teacher. We didn’t hold back on any difficult or taboo topics in this episode on Creating Truly Inclusive Yoga Spaces.

In this episode:  

  • The difference between saying "everyone is welcome" and actually creating an accommodating space.
  • How to modify foundational poses to make them more accessible.
  • Examples of specific language Amber recommends teachers avoid in their group classes and what  you can say instead.
  • What to expect when teaching larger bodies.  
  • The best ways to level and name classes and the problem we see with All Levels classes.
  • How we can disrupt the cycle of a non-diverse pool teachers.
  • How I realized I could be contributing more to the diverse yoga culture I want to support.

Resources Mentioned in This Episode:

Mar 05 2018

1hr 7mins

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Rank #14: 43: Practicing and Teaching Meditation with Cyndi Lee

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Many yoga teachers want to have a meditation practice, or feel like they should have a meditation practice but don’t for some reason.  Other yoga teachers practice meditation but feel shy or uncertain about how to incorporate meditation into their teaching. We are very lucky to have Cyndi Lee (!) on the podcast today, talking us through everything that is important about practicing and teaching meditation in her Classic Cyndi Way: clear, steady, gentle and warm.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • the benefits of a meditation practice and why all yoga teachers should have a meditation practice
  • how to go about building a home meditation practice
  • Cyndi’s advice for teachers who want to commit to their meditation practice, but struggle to show up regularly for it
  • guidelines for sharing meditation in an asana class
  • advice for teachers who want to incorporate dharma teachings into their yoga classes

You can also check out our previous interview to get to know more about Cyndi and her incredible contribution to the yoga world in Episode #13: Obstacle As Path.

Check out all of Cyndi’s offerings:

Feb 26 2019

42mins

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Rank #15: 65: Marketing for Yoga Teachers with Nikki Naab-Levy

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What do you think of when you hear the word “marketing”? Does it make you think of sleazy sales tactics? Or does it remind you of all the things you think you are supposed to be doing, like social media and email lists, and make you feel immediately overwhelmed??

Whichever camp you fall into, this episode has something for you! Y'all have been asking me to talk about marketing for yoga teachers for YEARS, and I have resisted until now. I met someone who I am TOTALLY in agreement with when it comes to marketing and I’m so excited for you guys to learn from her. 

Nikki Naab-Levy is a Pilates teacher, licensed massage therapist, and certified functional strength coach with over a decade of experience helping clients build strength and overcome injury.  She holds B.S. in Exercise Science and B.S. in Magazine Journalism from Ohio University and when she's not teaching a sneaky hard Pilates class, you can find her using her journalism experience to help yoga and Pilates teachers find creative and effective ways to market their workshops, classes, and online programs. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • what marketing actually is and why it is important
  • the several phases of a yoga teaching career and the different kinds of marketing that is appropriate for each one
  • the main obstacles yoga teachers run into when they market their offerings
  • three simple things you can do right now to make your marketing more effective
  • some specific homework from Nikki and I to help you get started with some marketing basics if you’re not doing anything right now!

Jan 07 2020

1hr 1min

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Rank #16: 23: The Support / Challenge Matrix of Private Yoga Lessons

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It’s just you and I again on the podcast today! We are going to dive deeper into a topic I have mentioned several times on this podcast: The Support/Challenge Matrix of Private Yoga Lessons.

I hear all the time from teachers who are overwhelmed with all the possibility that comes with teaching private yoga. There are so many things to think about! I want to help you drop into your intuition in a grounded way so I created a framework to use as you assess your students and figure out what they need.

These are not diagnostics tools, because as yoga teachers it is outside of our scope of practice to diagnose or treat our students. That said, it most certainly is within the scope of our practice to teach a individualized practice that helps our students come into balance and that is what I’ll teach you how to do in today’s episode.

In today’s episode we will talk about the four elements that might be included in every private yoga lesson:

  • physical support
  • physical challenge
  • emotional support
  • and emotional challenge

I’ll share:

  • why I think these elements are all important to address
  • how to assess what is going on with your student on physical and emotional levels
  • specific examples of all these elements, and ideas for ways to bring them into the practice
  • why I take a hard stance against a lot of chatting in a private yoga lesson
  • what to do if a practice is challenging for physical AND emotional reasons
  • what is possible for both you and your students when you are able to support meaningful change in their lives

Apr 23 2018

24mins

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Rank #17: 32: Incorporating Non-Yoga Movements In Your Classes with Guest Teacher Cecily Milne

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It is becoming increasingly common for yoga teachers to bring movements and practices from outside the traditional yoga practice into their teaching. Are you one of these teachers? Do you want to be, but feel unsure about the most skillful way to bring non-yoga movements into the practices you teach?

At the forefront of this cultural shift we find Cecily Milne of Yoga Detour and I am so excited to have her on the podcast today sharing her wisdom with us.

An avid Ashtanga practitioner from 2003-2013, Cecily practiced under the guidance of senior teachers before becoming injured. This then led her to train with multiple movement enthusiasts including the Ido Portal team, Agatsu Inc and Dr. Andreo Spina, receiving her certification as both a Functional Range Conditioning Movement Specialist (FRCms) and a Functional Range Assessment practitioner.

Cecily is known for seamlessly integrating the knowledge gained from her strength and movement coaches into a yoga practice that is informed, accessible and above all feels good! She works as yoga “integrator”, leading her signature Move Well classes at Downward Dog Yoga Centre in Toronto and traveling around the world introducing people to the Detour method.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Why Cecily thinks it is important to integrate movements from outside of the traditional asana practices into yoga classes.
  • Some examples of the kinds of non-yoga movements she likes to integrate into asana classes.
  • A discussion about why many teachers have some trepidation about doing this and some supportive suggestions for them.
  • A discussion about whether or not it makes sense to keep calling our classes “yoga” when we start to bring in non-yoga movements.
  • And so much more!

Sep 18 2018

45mins

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Rank #18: 58: All About The Shoulder with Diana Zotos

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The shoulder is a notoriously complex and even injury prone joint, but we don’t have to be afraid of it!  Today we have Diana Zotos, our resident Physical Therapist, joining us on The Mentor Sessions to dive into everything yoga teachers need to know about the shoulder! 

Diana is the co-founder and co-director of Threes Physiyoga Method™ which is dedicated to teaching yoga teachers applied anatomy and kinesiology, and bridging the gap through advanced teacher training between yoga teachers and the healthcare industry. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • an overview of all the bones that make up the shoulder, including a deep dive into the scapula
  • a description of the many joints that actually make up the whole shoulder complex
  • the over AND underuse issues that come up in yoga practitioners
  • some things that yoga teachers can do in class to encourage healthy and full use of the shoulders
  • a quickfire Q+A about rotator cuffs, thoracic outlet syndrome, frozen shoulder, sore serratus anterior and overused trapezius muscles 

Oct 01 2019

57mins

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Rank #19: 62: Q + A About Private Lessons with Francesca #2

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Teaching yoga one-on-one requires a totally different skill set than teaching group classes and these unique skills are left out of most teacher trainings so if you have lots of questions about teaching 1x1 lessons that makes sense. I’ve been a full time yoga teacher since 2005, teaching 15-25 private clients a week for most of the last 14+ years so I’ve got plenty of experience in this realm and am so happy to answer your questions! 

In this episode I do a Quickfire Q + A and answer these questions:

  • Is it rude if I bring a swiffer and clean my student’s practice space?
  • What should my cancellation policy be? And does it have to work both ways?
  • Do you have an initial assessment/interview session to get to know your client and their needs?
  • How do you best serve a client that you feel would benefit from a slower paced practice that always asks for a more challenging, faster pace class with difficult poses?
  • What is the protocol for raising rates on existing private clients?
  • What does it mean to meet students where they are?
  • And more!

Nov 05 2019

41mins

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Rank #20: 59: ROM, Neuroscience + Yoga with Garrett Neill

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Dr. Garrett Neill, or Dr. Yogi Gare as he’s known online, is a Chiropractor and a yoga teacher and I LOVE following his work on social media. He shares tons of helpful information for yoga teachers and holds the space for really interesting conversations for our community. 

In his work with patients Dr. Garrett employs Chiropractic Manual Therapies, Soft Tissue Techniques and Corrective Exercises that emphasize stability, strength, and efficiency to ensure his patients are capable of moving in the best way possible. He writes and lectures about anatomy, biomechanics, & neuroscience and how they relate to yoga and he teaches weekly yoga classes. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • all about the difference between Active Range of Motion and Passive Range of Motion why it is important for yoga teacher to understand the difference between the two
  • a discussion of the three main barriers to range of motion that show up in our joints
  • some of the reasons the body might “tighten” and limit our range of motion
  • what we should we be thinking about in terms of how we teach movement when it comes to creating stability
  • how mobility and flexibility are different from one another

Learn More From Garrett:

Oct 08 2019

1hr 3mins

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78: Injuries + Teaching Yoga with Monica Bright

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If you’re a yoga teacher who’s had to teach while working with an injury, this podcast episode is for you! Or if you see the same injuries over and over again in your students, there are tons of nuggets of wisdom here for you too.  Monica Bright is a master yoga teacher in the areas of anatomy, self massage, injuries and recovery strategies. She is also currently teaching full time while recovering from her own shoulder injury. She has a wealth of knowledge to share based on both study and personal experience and I can’t wait for y’all to learn from her! 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • all about the shoulder injury Monica is working with, including the diagnosis, therapy and interventions she’s had and how her recovery is going
  • how her current shoulder injury has impacted her teaching
  • the injuries Monica most commonly sees in her students and how she works with those injuries in class
  • the injuries that are more prevalent in people who’s only form of exercise is asana and the kinds of modalities she recommends they add into their movement practice
  • advice for yoga teachers who are currently working with an injury
  • why it is so important to let our students have their own experience and a framework to do that consistently

Learn More From Monica:

Nov 10 2020

52mins

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77: Letting Go of Alignment (And What To Teach Instead) with Derek Cook

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I think many of us would agree that a strict, dogmatic focus on alignment in asana doesn’t really serve our students, but the question you may be asking next is... what do I teach then? If I’m not telling students the right or wrong way to move their body, what am I teaching them? How do I communicate information about movement without taking away my students' agency?

My friend Derek Cook is here to take us on a deep dive into anatomy, biomechanics, and pedagogy as we attempt to answer some of these questions!

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • overarching themes we see in lineages that have an emphasis on alignment
  • how bodies grow and change, the role trauma plays, and why that matters to yoga teachers
  • what changes when we look at how a body is ORGANIZED as opposed to how it is aligned
  • a breakdown of many of the most commonly used aesthetic cues and when they make sense to use and when they don’t
  • how Derek decides what to teach! 

Learn More From Derek:

Oct 27 2020

1hr 10mins

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76: I Opened A Virtual Studio!

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I am so excited to announce that my virtual yoga studio Stillness + Movement is officially open! This episode will take a deep dive into how I ended up creating a virtual yoga studio (it was kind of accidental!), what is so different about the way we teach, and how I recommend teachers listening set up something similar much more cheaply than the custom registration platform I had built! 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • why I wanted the studio to have an “old school” structure
  • the distinctive way we are teaching virtual yoga (hint: we do it sitting at a desk! No fancy camera, mic or lighting required)
  • who our classes are for and what students can expect
  • how I connected with the teachers who are teaching at the studio and what makes them each so special
  • what I recommend if you want to host your own virtual yoga classes, but don’t want to build a custom registration platform! 

Resources Mentioned:

Oct 13 2020

1hr 13mins

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75: Where Do We Go From Here? with Amber Karnes + Susanna Barkataki

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Creating and connecting with community has been one of my most important practices this year. I have a weekly Sunday night Zoom hang out with my best friends from college. I’m in a quarantine pod with my parents and have dinner with them most weeks. I have regular Slack and text chats with the Stillness + Movement teaching team. Checking in, venting, processing, uplifting, fantasizing and being together keeps me awake, grounded and grateful.

The Where Do We Go From Here? series here on The Mentor Sessions has been such a great excuse to get some of my favorite yoga teacher colleagues on Zoom to process together, and out loud, where you can all listen in!! 

This is the fifth and final episode in the series, for now, and I can’t wait for you to hear it! Susanna Barkataki and Amber Karnes are some of my most treasured yoga friends, and just talking to them lifted my spirits. The work they are both doing in the world is vitally important and they do it with such clarity and compassion. They inspire me and I know you’ll feel the same way! 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • What has been hard for Amber and Susanna this year, and what they have lost
  • An important conversation about who is missing from our spaces and why 
  • Why online teaching is working well for the three of us and some things listeners can do to make their online teaching feel more sustainable
  • The ways in which teaching online has made things more accessible 
  • When we each think we might teach in-person again

Resources Mentioned In This Episode:

Learn More From Susanna:

Learn More From Amber:

Sep 29 2020

59mins

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74: Where Do We Go From Here? with Theo Wildcroft + Matthew Remski

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This is the fourth episode in the Where Do We Go From Here? series here on the podcast and in this episode my guests and I acknowledge some of the particular challenges American yoga teachers are facing in the midst of COVID-19 and our country’s semi-shutdown. We talk about the future of brick and mortar yoga studios, the challenges of teaching online, the difference between performing and teaching and creative ways YTT’s are pivoting and the new accessibility that offers. 

Learn More From Matthew:

Learn More From Theo:

Other important resources:

Sep 22 2020

1hr 53mins

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73: Where Do We Go From Here? with Jules Mitchell + Arundhati Baitmangalkar

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It is now September of this unprecedented year, and there is so much that is unknown about our future and our world. When I asked my friends Jules Mitchell and Arundhati Baitmangalkar to join me for this conversation about what happens next, particularly in the yoga world, they both cautioned me that they didn’t really have many answers to my questions. “That’s okay!” I said. “It’s not important to give people sure and concrete answers, those don’t really exist in the best of times anyway. It’s just important to have conversations about what comes next out in public!”

So I’m very excited to bring you the third episode in the Where Do We Go From Here? series here on The Mentor Sessions. In this episode you’ll hear Jules, Aru and I get really honest about what these last six months have been like for us, and our best guess about what our work might look like a year from now. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • a honest conversation about the joys and challenges of teaching online
  • how the events of this year might change the yoga world permanently
  • what our work might look like a year from now
  • what makes us feel hopeful about the future
  • some suggestions for yoga teachers and studio owners as we continue to move through this challenging season

Arundhati Baitmangalkar (she/her)  is an Indian immigrant yoga teacher, studio business owner, podcaster  and Bollywood choreographer. Based in Seattle, Arundhati has been teaching for 14 years, owns 2 studios businesses. Named as one of the top 20 POC yoga teachers to watch out for by Yogawalla in 2020…Arundhati focuses on merging the eastern and western worlds of yoga authentically through her teacher trainings, her weekly ‘Let’s Talk Yoga’ podcast and other offerings. Her mission is to empower other yoga teachers like her to not only live their yoga but also thrive by building successful career around it.

Jules Mitchell (she/her) MS, CMT, RYT is a Las Vegas based yoga teacher, educator and massage therapist. She blends the tradition of yoga with her extensive study in biomechanics to help teachers develop their craft and empower them with education. She regularly contributes to yoga teacher training programs and leads workshops worldwide, balancing the somatic aspects of yoga with the most current exercise science. Bringing the most useful and applicable pieces of that science into the yoga community is her passion, even when it invokes a discerning analysis of tradition. Her book, Yoga Biomechanics: Stretching Redefined, is now available through Handspring Publishing.

Learn More From Arundhati Baitmangalkar:

Learn More From Jules Mitchell:

Sep 08 2020

58mins

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72: Where Do We Go From Here? With Crystal McCreary + Monica Bright

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So much has changed in our world in the last several months, and the questions I keep asking myself are:

If everything is going to change, what matters most?

If we are never going back to the old way of doing things, what do I want to create in the new world?

I’m so excited to host a series here on The Mentor Sessions called, Where Do We Go From Here?  where I get to ask leaders in our yoga world these exact questions. The feedback about the first episode has been great. Someone said this, 

"I think that the format of the three of you having a convo is really beautiful and effective. There was a casualness which actually made the conversation go deeper I think than if it had just been one persons’ thoughts."

Today my guests are Crystal McCreary and Monica Bright and I can’t wait for you to absorb their wisdom and insight!

Crystal McCreary (she/her/hers) is a Lead Yoga, Mindfulness and Health Educator & Teacher Trainer with 13+ years of experience in instructing yoga and mindfulness to people of all ages. She has a passion for implementing comprehensive wellness programs within schools and organizations to foster compassionate and equitable communities and sustainable work environments. Crystal’s expertise is derived from a lifetime of harnessing powerful embodied, contemplative tools necessary to navigate the unique challenges of living as a Black cis-woman in an inequitable world. She has facilitated trainings for many organizations that aim to support the social and emotional wellbeing of youth and adults including and she currently works full-time in the Health Department at The Dalton School in New York. Crystal is excited to soon release a yoga and mindfulness resource for children with the support of Bala Kids

Monica Bright (she/her/hers)  is a master yoga teacher in the areas of anatomy, self massage, injuries and recovery strategies. With over 2000 hours of training in yoga & human movement, she continues to cultivate a deep love for the human body. Monica has co-led multiple Yoga Teacher Trainings, facilitates workshops on movement and injuries prevalent in yoga, leads anatomy trainings and hosts yearly international Yoga Retreats. She created and manages an online yoga membership with access to her video class library, instructional videos, audio classes, and playlists and keeps in touch with students all over the world.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • how Monica and Crystal made quick pivots in their teaching practice this spring
  • the big changes they both think we will see in the yoga world next year
  • what they think their work might look like a year from now
  • some changes they both hope we are going to see in the next several years
  • recommendations for listeners to consider as our world continues to change

Learn More From Crystal:

Learn More From Monica:

Aug 04 2020

1hr 11mins

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71: Where Do We Go From Here? With Jesal Parikh + Bryn Chrisman

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So much has changed in our world in the last several months, and the yoga world has been forced to pull in and take a pause. While many brick and mortar studios are closing and there are other related sad endings, I think we are also in a time ripe for positive and much needed change.

If everything is going to change, what matters most?If we are never going back to the old way of doing things, what do we want to create in the new world?

These are questions I have been asking myself, and I’m so excited to introduce this new series here on The Mentor Sessions called, Where Do We Go From Here? In this series I have paired up teachers and thought leaders in the yoga world so I can ask them these exact questions. My first two guests are Jesal Parikh and Bryn Chrisman.

Jesal Parikh (she/her/hers) is a yoga teacher, movement educator, podcaster, author, and disrupter working on creative solutions for equity in yoga. She is one of the co-hosts of the Yoga is Dead podcast and is the Co-Director of Yoga Teachers of Color. Jesal's mission is to uplift those of us who are feeling isolated and marginalized by the yoga industry.

Bryn Chrisman (she/her/hers) is a student, teacher and educator of yoga & body-mind practices and the founder and operator of Yogamaya Yoga Studio in New York City which opened in 2010.  As a teacher, Bryn offers creative movement explorations guiding students to witness wonder, feel empowered and be more aware of themselves.  As a studio operator, Bryn always wants to “do better” and provide education where students learn and teachers teach in an uplifting and fun atmosphere.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • what has changed for Jesal and Bryn since March of 2020
  • what predictions we have for the yoga world in the next six months
  • what is lost when teaching yoga virtually
  • what is gained when teaching yoga virtually
  • what is most important about brick and mortar spaces and when we think we’ll be gathering in them again
  • what changes we are hopeful about in the next several years

Mentioned in this episode:

Learn More From Jesal:

Learn More From Bryn:

Jul 07 2020

1hr 25mins

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70: Yoga, Human Rights, and Accessibility with Jivana Heyman

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I’m really grateful to bring you this interview with Jivana Heyman, the founder and director of Accessible Yoga, because his voice and leadership is SO needed right now. Jivana has specialized in teaching yoga to people with disabilities with an emphasis on community building and social engagement. Out of this work, the Accessible Yoga organization was created to support education, training and advocacy with the mission of shifting the public perception of yoga.

Over the past 25 years, Jivana has led countless yoga teacher training programs around the world, and dedicates his time to supporting yoga teachers who are working to serve communities that are under-represented in traditional yoga spaces.

In this episode we cover:

  • how Jivana’s early experience as an AIDS activist informs his teaching today
  • the relationship between Accessible yoga and human rights
  • what practice looks like when it expands beyond the physical
  • creative ways to adapt postures so they work for many different bodies
  • accessible versions of sun salutations
  • positive changes happening in the yoga world

Learn More From Jivana:

May 19 2020

1hr 11mins

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69: Teaching Yoga Online

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These are intense, unprecedented times. I know so much about your day to day life has changed in the last few weeks. As yoga teachers, our work has become quite challenging. But if you (and your students) have a computer and an internet connection, it is possible to stay connected with your students, continue to teach and continue to make money if your family depends on your yoga teaching income like mine does. 

This episode was pulled from a video training I shared, along with many other resources, on my blog. You can find all the videos and other resources I mention there

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • all the different ways you can teach online and the ONE way I most recommend
  • how to support our students in taking the plunge to practicing yoga online and how to onboard a new student
  • what to keep in mind while you're teaching, and why I recommend using almost exclusively verbal cues
  • the equipment I recommend using for teaching yoga online
  • and more!

Apr 21 2020

50mins

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68: Teaching Yoga in Corporate Settings with Samantha Harrison

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NOTE: We recorded this podcast episode months ago, and life was different back then. I decided to release this episode for y’all now anyway for three reasons: 1. I thought it might get your creative juices flowing if you find yourself teaching non-traditional yoga classes...2. Sam is being treated as an employee by some of the companies where she teaches and will still be paid, even if the company is closed, so corporate gigs can provide some good stability.... And 3. I thought you might be interested in listening to some yoga-related content that isn’t about the virus or teaching online, just as a change of pace.

Teaching yoga classes in workplaces can be a great way to bring yoga to a population who otherwise might not have access to it, AND an awesome way to create well-paying teaching opportunities for ourselves. 

BUT...these teaching gigs can feel elusive and hard to find! Plus the logistics of managing these contracts can feel tricky even when you do make a potential connection! Teachers ask me for advice about this topic all the time, and honestly, it’s just not my specialty. 

Luckily I know an AMAZING yoga teacher who is an expert in finding and teaching corporate yoga clients. Samantha Harrison teaches alignment-based vinyasa and gentle yoga in Greenville, North Carolina, and has been able to fully support her whole family (kids too!) teaching corporate and private yoga clients.  

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • how Samantha landed her first corporate client
  • all the different Class Format Options and the pros and cons of each
  • who to contact at a company and what to say in the initial reach out
  • how to write a proposal and a contract and what to include in those documents
  • who should pay for the class and how to accept payment

Mar 23 2020

1hr 1min

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67: Evolving as a Yoga Teacher- A Live Mentoring Session

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Today you’re going to hear a live, unedited 1x1 mentoring session! 

I love connecting with teachers in 1x1 mentoring sessions because I get to listen deeply to the challenges they are facing and together we troubleshoot solutions to their biggest teaching conundrums. While the questions we ponder might seem small, I have seen, again and again, how holding space for teachers to think critically about their teaching can have a significant impact. Supporting teachers in being in compassionate inquiry about their teaching practice transforms not just their teaching, but their careers and their lives.

I invited Mary Reddinger to join me on the show today because she is super smart and asks great questions!  She has been a part of my teacher’s community for a long time, and took The Science of the Private Lesson™ with me last year.  She has been teaching since 2018, but she teaches seven group classes and four private clients each week and she speaks about teaching like someone who has been teaching much longer! 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • what I recommend teachers do to help connect with private students when we don’t see them consistently
  • the best way to work with students who have particular pose goals in mind, especially if that goal pose doesn’t seem appropriate 
  • If we should communicate changes in our teaching priorities to our students, and if so, how and when
  • some advice about “finding a niche” in your teaching (and why my recommendation is a little different from most!)

I think this conversation will be super useful for all you teachers who are wondering how you can grow and evolve in your teaching even more skillfully!

Feb 18 2020

59mins

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66: An Intro to Low Back Pain with Jesal Parikh

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Back pain is complex and many students end up in yoga classes because they heard it would be good for their "bad back" so I’m super excited to share the wisdom of my friend Jesal Parikh with you today. 

Jesal has been teaching yoga since 2010, is the co-creator of the Yoga is Dead podcast and serves as a volunteer for World Spine Care Yoga Project. She has a strong background in anatomy, kinesiology and biomechanics for yoga teachers and teaches these topics in several yoga teacher trainings. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • a basic overview of the anatomy of the spine and related structures
  • the most important role a yoga teacher can play in supporting someone working with low back pain
  • specific guidelines for teaching students with lower back pain
  • the most skillful and least skillful cues yoga teachers use when it comes to addressing low back pain in group classes
  • and so much more! 

Learn More From Jesal:

Jan 21 2020

59mins

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65: Marketing for Yoga Teachers with Nikki Naab-Levy

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What do you think of when you hear the word “marketing”? Does it make you think of sleazy sales tactics? Or does it remind you of all the things you think you are supposed to be doing, like social media and email lists, and make you feel immediately overwhelmed??

Whichever camp you fall into, this episode has something for you! Y'all have been asking me to talk about marketing for yoga teachers for YEARS, and I have resisted until now. I met someone who I am TOTALLY in agreement with when it comes to marketing and I’m so excited for you guys to learn from her. 

Nikki Naab-Levy is a Pilates teacher, licensed massage therapist, and certified functional strength coach with over a decade of experience helping clients build strength and overcome injury.  She holds B.S. in Exercise Science and B.S. in Magazine Journalism from Ohio University and when she's not teaching a sneaky hard Pilates class, you can find her using her journalism experience to help yoga and Pilates teachers find creative and effective ways to market their workshops, classes, and online programs. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • what marketing actually is and why it is important
  • the several phases of a yoga teaching career and the different kinds of marketing that is appropriate for each one
  • the main obstacles yoga teachers run into when they market their offerings
  • three simple things you can do right now to make your marketing more effective
  • some specific homework from Nikki and I to help you get started with some marketing basics if you’re not doing anything right now!

Jan 07 2020

1hr 1min

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64: Yoga for Arthritis with Dr. Steffanny Moonaz

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Did you know that arthritis is not one single disease, but a category of over 100 medical conditions that is actually the leading cause of disability in the US?? Before talking to Dr. Steffany Moonaz (and reading her book) I didn’t either! 

Dr. Steffany Moonaz founded Yoga for Arthritis after 8 years at Johns Hopkins University where she studied the effects of yoga for people living with arthritis. She now serves as the Director of Clinical and Academic Research at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, which offers the nation's only Masters of Science in Yoga Therapy. 

She continues to conduct research on the effects of yoga for chronic pain and joint conditions, and is joining us on The Mentor Sessions today to talk about making  yoga practices safe, welcoming, and appropriate for people with arthritis.

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • some of the biggest myths about arthritis 
  • why the multifaceted practices of yoga are so supportive for people living with arthritis
  • what is lost when yoga teachers and researchers focus only on asana
  • the difference between chronic pain and acute pain as it relates to the brain
  • how chronic pain impacts the anatomy and function of the brain circuitry and what yoga teachers can do about it
  • how to teach yoga classes that are safe, welcoming and inclusive for people living with arthritis

Dec 03 2019

1hr 10mins

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63: Self Care is Bigger Than You Think with Gracy Obuchowicz

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The term self care is ubiquitous in our world today and since yoga practice is an important part of self care for some people the topic comes up for us yoga teachers quite often! Also, it can be difficult to practice good self care as a yoga teacher running all over town trying to make ends meet, so I am really excited to introduce you to my friend Gracy today! 

Gracy Obuchowicz is a Washington, DC-based group facilitator, retreat leader and self-care coach and a very good, real life friend of mine! She is also a certified Integral Facilitator, a 500-hour registered yoga teacher, and a continuing scholar of Ayurveda.

She has written a book about self-care called selfcarefully that covers a wide range of topics and the relationship they have to self care including self-care & setting boundaries, self-care & soaking grains, self-care & the patriarchy, self-care & the moon, self-care & consumerism and self-care & perfectionism, just to name a few! 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  •  how the phrase self care originated and became part of our everyday language
  • some thoughts about the criticism that self-care is consumerism thinly cloaked as wellness and that self-care individualizes systemic problems
  • some of Gracy’s foundational self care practices
  • a self care growth edge for Gracy 
  • and the one self care practice she recommends to the yoga teachers all the time!

Nov 19 2019

44mins

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62: Q + A About Private Lessons with Francesca #2

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Teaching yoga one-on-one requires a totally different skill set than teaching group classes and these unique skills are left out of most teacher trainings so if you have lots of questions about teaching 1x1 lessons that makes sense. I’ve been a full time yoga teacher since 2005, teaching 15-25 private clients a week for most of the last 14+ years so I’ve got plenty of experience in this realm and am so happy to answer your questions! 

In this episode I do a Quickfire Q + A and answer these questions:

  • Is it rude if I bring a swiffer and clean my student’s practice space?
  • What should my cancellation policy be? And does it have to work both ways?
  • Do you have an initial assessment/interview session to get to know your client and their needs?
  • How do you best serve a client that you feel would benefit from a slower paced practice that always asks for a more challenging, faster pace class with difficult poses?
  • What is the protocol for raising rates on existing private clients?
  • What does it mean to meet students where they are?
  • And more!

Nov 05 2019

41mins

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61: Rethinking Yoga Teacher Training with Cecily Milne

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I’m honored to call Cecily Milne a friend. She is thoughtful, smart and an amazing force for change in the yoga world.  As the creator of Yoga Detour, she is seen as a yoga “integrator”, helping people bridge the gap between the yoga they already love and the other things, like strength and mobility, they're becoming increasingly curious about. You can find Cecily teaching digitally through Detour Method Online and traveling around the world introducing people to the transformative power of intentional, inquiry-based learning and movement.

To hear more about Cecily and her approach to incorporating “non-yoga” movements into asana classes listen to our previous interview on Episode # 32!

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • a conversation about yoga teacher education and critical thinking
  • what might be missing from many yoga teacher training programs and how we can add it back in
  • the hallmarks of high quality teaching in yoga and movement spaces 
  • the most important skills a yoga teacher needs to develop and the best ways to do that

Learn More From Cecily:

Oct 22 2019

47mins

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60: A Union for Yoga Teachers

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A large group of yoga teachers at YogaWorks in New York City is working together to create a labor union that would be the first of its kind. (!) This is what they have to say about it, 

We are Yoga and Mindful Fitness Educators. We’re coming together to have a voice in our industry, raise industry standards and create a more equitable and sustainable profession for all. Our goal is for employees, students, and businesses to thrive.”

I’m excited to share their work, stories, hopes, and goals with you all. This is a big deal. In Episode #56 (Avoiding Burnout: Self Care, Boundaries + Daily Routines) one of the first things I said was that as a culture we don’t really value care work and making a living as a yoga teacher (and staying healthy and sane yourself) can be really tough. That episode focused on the daily rhythms of life and what yoga teachers can do to keep their wells full. I’m excited in this episode to talk about the wider world we inhabit and how we can work to create a new culture, one that values the kind of work yoga teachers do. 

In this episode, you’ll hear from Markella Los, Toya Williford, and Julie Dohrman and we’ll talk all about:

  • the inception of the Unionize Yoga campaign
  • when it became clear that a union was what was needed
  • how unionizing will help all the teachers at YogaWorks (and beyond)
  • how unionizing helps the studio and the industry as a whole
  • some of the biggest union myths out there (and we’ll correct the record)

Learn More From Unionize Yoga:

Oct 15 2019

50mins

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59: ROM, Neuroscience + Yoga with Garrett Neill

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Dr. Garrett Neill, or Dr. Yogi Gare as he’s known online, is a Chiropractor and a yoga teacher and I LOVE following his work on social media. He shares tons of helpful information for yoga teachers and holds the space for really interesting conversations for our community. 

In his work with patients Dr. Garrett employs Chiropractic Manual Therapies, Soft Tissue Techniques and Corrective Exercises that emphasize stability, strength, and efficiency to ensure his patients are capable of moving in the best way possible. He writes and lectures about anatomy, biomechanics, & neuroscience and how they relate to yoga and he teaches weekly yoga classes. 

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • all about the difference between Active Range of Motion and Passive Range of Motion why it is important for yoga teacher to understand the difference between the two
  • a discussion of the three main barriers to range of motion that show up in our joints
  • some of the reasons the body might “tighten” and limit our range of motion
  • what we should we be thinking about in terms of how we teach movement when it comes to creating stability
  • how mobility and flexibility are different from one another

Learn More From Garrett:

Oct 08 2019

1hr 3mins

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iTunes Ratings

106 Ratings
Average Ratings
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A gem for lovers of thoughtful movement

By hannahtopper - May 25 2020
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The Mentor Sessions sparks self-exploration, inquiry, and accountability in my commitment to continue to evolve as a student and teacher of yoga. Francesca has a beautiful and clear style of speech and communication, and truly invites listeners to take a critical look at how we as a community of teachers can serve each other and our students in a safe and effective way.

Great interview questions

By GastrocRock - Jul 04 2019
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This is a valuable resource for yoga teachers. Fracesca asks great questions.