I recently spoke with the sweet folks at Kapwing, a cool app that lets you quickly edit video for posting online, about how we use digital storytelling at the studios. I found the app when I was looking for a way to crop a video to square for Instagram and add captions. Here’s the result:
My newest video available at Yoga Vibes is a special treat for you: it’s restorative yoga! If you aren’t familiar with the practice, prepare to fall in love. It’s long holds of fully supported poses with the goal not to stretch but to let go completely. (If you find letting go tough, start off with one of my short movement practices to burn off your high-end energy and you’ll settle down more easily.)
Restorative yoga is a gentle practice of restful poses that are designed to encourage the body and mind to fully relax. In this practice with Sage Rountree, you’ll move through 4 restorative postures—a heart opener, twist and a forward fold—to encourage balance and release tension. Make sure you’re cushioned, warm, and cozy, and remember, it takes skill to be still! Notice the thought patterns that emerge, and direct your attention back to your breath. Feel free to add your own favorite calming music as a soundtrack.
Please have two blocks (or throw pillows), one bolster (or bed pillow), and one to three blankets (or beach towels). Optional: sandbag (or rice bag), and an eye pillow. Get creative with whatever props you have handy to support your body as you sink into this series of restorative postures on the floor.
In this course, as in the book, we offer you down-to-earth advice on how to make your teaching more lofty while staying relatable. We discuss:
finding your authentic voice
where to look for inspiration
what to do when you’re not inspired
exercises to help you determine what matters to you and how you can share best with your students
You’ll also get bonus themes, links to poems and songs cited in the book, and lively discussion from Sage, Alexandra, and your peers.
When you sign up for the course, you’ll receive instant, lifetime access to an hour of audio discussion and numerous workbook prompts, templates, and bonus completed themes that together will leave you confident to inspire your students more.
Work at your own pace and at a time that’s convenient for you, and use your lifetime access to review the materials (and comments) at your leisure. We look forward to engaging with you there—you’ll get out of the course what you put into it, and we are excited to respond to your comments and share together.
Alexandra and I had a wonderful visit to the Greensboro Bound Literary Festival last weekend, full of sweet surprises. Among them: author gifts including delicious homemade cheese straws, a host of interesting people who turned up to hear about Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses, and this amazing art from Hannah Barnhardt, @wandering_witness:
Meet Deanna Velazquez, one of the newest certified Sage Yoga for Athletes teachers. Deanna has a deep well of expertise in fitness. She has worked as a group fitness instructor, a personal trainer, and of course a yoga teacher. She’s lived in a range of interesting places, too, from Alaska to Austin to, briefly, Raleigh, which meant I had the pleasure of having her in my Monday class in Carrboro.
Deanna has just settled in Eatontown, New Jersey, so if you’re in Monmouth County or along the Jersey shore you can check out her wonderful teaching. As you can deduce from her experience, she’s confident and warm and really understands the needs of an athlete in yoga class. Her sweet sense of humor shines through in her teaching. You can tell she understands that athletes can find surprising challenges in both the mental and the physical practice of yoga. As a bonus, she isn’t just good with grownups, she teaches yoga for toddlers—and that’s a whole different skill set from teaching tightly wound athletes!
If you’re in or near the Piedmont Triad, please join Alexandra DeSiato and me at Greensboro Bound on May 19. We’ll be talking about our cowriting process and our latest book, Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses, and we will lead some street-clothes-friendly, mat-free yoga for festivalgoers. No tickets required, but if you want to see Zadie Smith, Ani DiFranco, and Rhiannon Giddens, you’ll want to get yourself some tickets.
Where: Upstage Cabaret, Triad Stage, 232 S. Elm St., Greensboro, NC
Please join Alexandra DeSiato and me on Tuesday, May 14, to celebrate the release of our book Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses. We will be at our favorite local bookstore, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill. Starting at 7:00 p.m., we’ll talk about our cowriting process, discuss ways to add depth to movement classes, and offer some friendly yoga sequences you can do in street clothes. And, of course, Flyleaf will have copies of the book for you to buy and for us to sign!
We hope to see you then.
When: Tuesday, May 14, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Flyleaf Books, 752 Marking Luther King Jr. Blvd., Chapel HIll, NC
In association with our forthcoming book, Alexandra DeSiato and I are offering a weekend workshop/retreat for teachers of every level and background to learn to lead movement classes with inspiring themes. Join us this autumn at Kripalu—you’ll leave excited to take your teaching to the next level in support of your students.
Teaching Yoga Beyond the Poses: Create Inspiring Classes for All Students
Friday–Sunday, November 22–24
Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, Lenox, MA
For yoga teachers of any background
A well-themed yoga class uplifts students and shows them the true connection to heart that yoga offers. Learn to integrate themes, ideas, and inspiration into your class to help your students feel more connected. Whether you’re a new teacher who now feels comfortable with poses and is ready to weave in more, or an experienced teacher who feels like your classes have hit the doldrums, you’ll get all you need to uplift your students.
In led classes, journaling, and group exercises, we will explore mindful themes to elevate any class for every student in a way that feels individually authentic. You’ll leave with a host of ideas that will keep you and your students inspired every day.
If you’ve been teaching for a while and haven’t made the space and time for continuing education and fellowship with colleagues, this is a great opportunity for you to enrich your teaching and your students’ experience. Think of it as summer camp for you.
Our summer training is especially designed to be friendly to travelers. We offer our core curriculum in chunks interspersed with some of the other requirements, so you can best learn with a rotation of teachers.
This summer includes
Sequencing Yoga Classes and Teaching Yoga to Athletes with me
Core Curriculum with Mira Shani: Alignment 1 & 2, Assists 1 & 2, Theme Integration, and Language Refinement
Here, Core Curriculum teacher Mira explains her offerings.
How do I get there?
Carrboro/Chapel Hill is two and a half hours’ drive from Charlotte, Richmond, and Wilmington. You can fly to Raleigh/Durham International Airport (RDU) and, if you stay downtown in Carrboro, get by without a car.
No! If there’s a particular module that interests you, come for that. (Obviously, you’ll need to do Alignment, part 1, before Alignment, part 2, and the same for Assists.)
Yoga and Positive Psychology and Teaching Yoga to Athletes both welcome non–yoga teachers. My Teaching Yoga to Athletes intensive regularly has gym teachers, personal trainers, physical therapists, coaches, and interested yogis enrolled.
What if I decide later I want more?
You can sign up for the entire training at any point and retroactively receive credit for the modules you’ve already completed.
Cristina lives in Oakville, Ontario, where she participates in many sports, with a special interest in rock climbing. Her background includes everything from synchronized skating to league volleyball, so she is especially sympathetic to athletes in all sports, and she has seen the huge benefits yoga has brought to her body and mind.
As you can deduce from Cristina’s diverse background in sport, she is also comfortable teaching in many different styles, from yin to slow flow to faster flow classes. She really shines in her classes for athletes, where her authenticity makes her a kind and understanding teacher as her students find tightnesses. Her sweet voice and presence give her students the chance to meet their bodies where they are, instead of feeling the need to push to achieve some arbitrary external shape. This is really critical for athletes in yoga class: they need someone who will encourage them while dissuading them from their more competitive urges. Cristina is just the teacher to do this.
If you’re in Ontario, lucky you: Cristina is moving deeper into her speciality working with athletes of all sports. See her beautiful website at Conquer the Crux.