Online Offerings Cheat Sheet

I finally found some time to sit down after a few surprisingly hectic weeks of not officially working. Without my third grade teaching schedule, I’ve found myself fluttering about New York City, bopping from yoga classes to hanging out with friends I haven’t seen in a long time, to practicing other forms of self-care that are harder to come by during the school year. A friend reminded me the other day of the adage, “If you want something to get done, ask a busy person to do it.” With this newfound “freedom,” I’m learning that I need some more structure if I want to do this whole working-at-home / on-the-road-this-summer thang.

After a lovely breakfast at Friedman’s with the wonderful J, I now find myself at the Argo Tea on University Place with over an hour to spare before a class at Yoga Vida. It feels like the perfect time to share what I am up to this summer with the blog.

I am transforming and majorly extending both live workshops that I’m teaching at Harlem Yoga Studio into online courses through CourseCraft – a forum I am really loving for this kind of work. Here’s a bit of a preview, and a heads-up because if you register for the course to take it LIVE, there will be quite the discount.

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Cost: $99 

Live Student Discount: 20% off

Start Date: July 15th

 

 

 

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Cost: $50

Live Student Discount: 20% off

Start Date: August 1st 

 

 

 

Stay tuned for some promotional videos, samplers, and more to get you e-course ready. Please reach out to me in comments if you have ANY questions at all about the e-courses and what they will entail. I am still in the thick of the design process and would love to know what you think!

Book Review: The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga by Amy Ippoliti and Taro Smith

Yoga is the process of skillfully turning challenges, failures, hurts, and mistakes into opportunities. – Amy Ippoliti + Taro Smith

The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga: The Yoga Professional’s Guide to a Fulfilling Career (New World Library, June 8, 2016) by Amy Ippolitti with Taro Smith is a comprehensive guide to marketing yoga teaching as a sustainable business, while upholding the integrity that the practice demands. The book is part guide, part exercises and part memoir of Ippolitti’s and Smith’s already-achieved success as yoga business professionals. In fact, the second I received the offer to review this book in my email inbox, I immediately knew I wanted to write it…because I’ve admired Ippoliti’s work for years.
62ea9d1f-4979-4049-8a51-032bdb818944.jpgI was obsessed with the name and concept of her e-course, 90 Minutes to Change the World, even though I could not afford to take it when it was live. This book, however, takes that course and mass produces its most vital content because guess what? There’s room at the top for a whole lot of successful yoga teachers (and Ippoliti and Smith even take the reader through creating their own definition of success at the beginning of the book!).

There’s an irony in how, during the one time in my life I was making a living solely by teaching yoga, I could not afford to take that e-course. This irony is a problem, and one that Ippoliti aims to solve in her book. Here are my key take-aways for how to solve that problem, that I gleaned from reading this phenomenal book:

  • We need to make sure that our yoga business embodies the ethics that our yoga practice is about.
  • Yoga teaching is both an art and a profession.
  • Schedule everything in! Including self-care!
  • As teachers, we are responsible for being skillful, which means teaching to who is in the room and managing time well. 

With chapters like “Yoga Business Basics,” “Class Planning and Preparation,” “Presenting Yourself as a Teacher,” and “Social Media,” The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga speaks to yoga teachers at all levels, from the newly trained to the once-a-week teacher to those with their eye on national, multimedia reach.

“To be a yoga teacher is to embody what it means to have well-being in life, and in turn to impart that understanding to others,” writes Amy. “Trust yourself and your own authentic seat as the teacher. Carve out and claim the time to care for yourself, do your practice, and kindle your own fire. Then watch how your enthusiasm and energy can light up another’s fire. This is how we help wake up the world.”

The Art and Business of Teaching Yoga is an amazing and comprehensive take on all a yoga teacher needs to know to run their own business successfully, with savvy, and while keeping their integrity intact. Everything is full of the intention of usefulness behind it all. It has templates for creating your own yoga binder, marketing plans, and more. From a full guide for how to sequence a yoga class to how to gain control of your finances, Ippoliti doesn’t hold back. And, while being about business, it is not a book without heart.

When I finished reading this book, as I sat on my grandmother’s dining room table (this was most definitely my vacation read), lounging around in new Spiritual Gangster sweats and my “Hoosier Valentine” t-shirt (thanks, N!), I felt a jolt of inspiration flow through me. The first Yoga Sutra of Patanjali is “Atha Yogash Nushasanam:” “NOW, the practice begins.” I now feel able to apply that wisdom to my yoga teaching practice, as well as to my own practice on the mat. I feel inspired to create marketing plans for all that I am offering this summer, when yoga becomes my main business, versus my side job like it is during the school year. My computer has shared screens; one for the PDF of Ippoliti’s book, and the other for GoogleDocs: my own marketing plan buzzing with the excitement of being a container to help me teach and make a greater impact. I will not be letting go of this book anytime soon.

To order the book, click here.

For more information, check out Ippoliti’s website.

Top 5 Tips for Creating + Sustaining Your Own Home Yoga Practice

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In honor of both the workshop + e-course I am putting out this summer, I wanted to share my top five tips for upping the game when it comes to a true, awesome, DIY hOMe yoga practice.

  1. Set an intention. What do you want your own practice to convey about you? This intention is not static; it can and will vary. When I first began practicing, my intention was to be present and while it was great for me at the time, it is not super unique or personal. I now go by the three F’s (yeah, I know I love alliteration) – fierce, fun, and flowing. That is what I want my practice to convey about me. My yoga practice on the mat should be reflective of who I want to be off the mat.
  2. Music is an excellent motivator for a yoga practice. Mixing up the music is a way to not get bored, even when doing the same poses over and over again. It also makes a practice that can sometimes seem foreign to our bodies an integrated part of day-to-day life. Hearing a Top 40 song when in Warrior II just might make the difference between a serious frown and the joyful smile that is the goal of Yoga. Break down the parts of the practice and dissect what music is good for each part.

  3. Mix and match / don’t get bored. There are plenty of styles of yoga out there, from Jivamukti to Iyengar. Your job as a divinely unique being, is not to choose between them. It is, rather, to use discernment in creating a practice all your own by combining them. That’s right – you, too, can create your own style of yoga! It will emerge from your personal practice.
  4. Put your mat somewhere unavoidable. Allow your mat to be a physical reminder to practice yoga. Position it somewhere you walk by every single day (near your bed, in a doorway, in front of your closet, you get the picture).
  5. Chunk It Up. A home practice does not have to all happen at once. You can sync it up with the times of day to make it less daunting. Have 5 minutes in the morning when you roll out of bed? Use them for your sun salutations! Have 5 minutes at night? Use them for your forward folds. Feeling tired at work? Backbend in the hallway. Do whatever you need to do to make it seem like less of a big deal, and you’ll still reap all the amazing benefits!

The workshop I am teaching on June 25th at Harlem Yoga Studio will delve deeper into each of these tips. Register here!