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Everything posted by KristiSmithYoga

  1. I'm wondering how folks on this forum who have really embodied yoga as a way of life manage their (close) relationships with those who do not embrace yoga in the same way? For example, if your interpretation of ahimsa is to be vegan and your partner thinks spending $6/lb for "happy chicken" is beyond crazy, how do you reconcile it while respecting each other's views? Or, if you are serene when financial doom appears imminent, and your partner acts as though the first step to financial independence is to freak out about how screwed you are, how do you respond? I guess I'm wondering how you folks have found balance in your personal lives when you are close to someone who doesn't have a regular yoga practice (or alternative, such as a 12-step program, etc.). Personally, I just remain authentic and don't freak out (about finances) or I eat less meat to keep it affordable (as I won't buy the "unhappy" stuff...). But sometimes this leads to tension because it's interpreted as irresponsibility or lack of acknowledgement of our circumstances. For the record, nothing is dire, but things are far from ideal - it's more about not having enough income to live in absolute alignment with our values. I'm posing this question because I'm guessing that this has come up with at least some of you. Thanks in advance for your responses!
  2. In my teacher training, we had a lengthy discussion about this during our ethics section. We were essentially instructed to do what we needed to do to not bring this sort of energy into the studio. It greatly compromises the important teacher-student relationship, detracts from the yoga experience (despite how flattering it may be), and is grounds for all sorts of trouble. From my standpoint, your teacher appears to be in gross violation of the ethics of our profession, especially as many view yoga as a sort of healing/spiritual profession - there is a power play going on to some degree, even if it's subtle. My own teacher even limits his social contact outside of the studio so as to retain the professional teacher-student relationship. From a teacher's standpoint, I would do some energy clearing work before I allowed myself to adjust a student I felt an attraction to. I don't think it's a big deal to recognize that some students are physically very attractive - it's finding myself attracted to them that is the potential problem. I can adjust a hot guy, but if I am thinking that I want to hop into the sack with him, HANDS OFF!!! [Note that this hasn't happened] That being said, if I experienced this from your vantage point, I'm not sure how I would handle it. If it felt good, it would make it all the tougher! But regardless, it needs to be addressed in some way. Ditto Larry's advice. Also, it wouldn't be out of line if you felt more comfortable mentioning your discomfort to the studio owner. Or, you could choose to attend a different class. Good luck!
  3. These are beautiful, YogaMom! Congrats on the future gig, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you'll get more students soon
  4. Hey there! There is a really great blogger named Jenni Rawlings who has a lot to say on this particular subject ( Check her out! I don't have anything to add other than that there has been conventional yogic wisdom regarding asana that turns out to be limited to certain contexts. I think that this is one of those cases. BUT... That doesn't mean you will benefit from going crazy in the gym! If you get DOMS from your SLDL, you aren't exactly going to feel compelled to fold further into your forward fold. Just sayin' I'm not an expert, but I am married to a truly one-of-a-kind personal trainer (and former national level qualifying bodybuilder), and his hamstrings are bulkier than 99.9% of the population. Despite this, he's pretty darn flexible and would make an incredible yogi if he ever decided to go down that path *fingers crossed*. My point is that he defies conventional yogic wisdom in this do a lot of people. If I was going to use my time at the gym to complement my yoga practice, I would be placing a lot of focus on my back (right, yogafire?!). Pullups, rows, etc., because the back is underworked relative to the front body. At least that's my take
  5. This ^^^. I have to keep my personal practice separate from anything I record for this very reason.
  6. SJP42, your post really speaks to me. I have been doing a lot of contemplating lately - and a lot less sharing - about the direction that my yoga practice, social media presence, and blogging are headed. I find myself not wanting to post what is becoming an increasingly personal practice to me. I even find myself not being inspired by others' yoga selfies like I once was. In the end, we get to choose what our yoga is about and whether and/or how we want to share it. Keep doing what feels right to you! You can always do what others are doing in the challenges without posting pictures or updates if you want
  7. ALL of what Ashley wrote! I wish there was a way to bookmark this Traditionally, the material of the beads is chosen very intentionally. I doubt that most folks in the West consider this, and in many ways it probably doesn't matter much. But I wanted to mention it. I picked up a mala from a tiny shop owned by a local Tibetan refugee a few days ago, and I had to ask her what it was made out of, because it was not like others I had seen. It turns out that it was made from buffalo horn by Tibetan refugees living in India. Knowing a bit of history behind the specific mala I chose made it all the more special to me - kind of "activated" it in a way as Ashley described in the part about trying "om". I don't know where to go to buy beads, but I've come across a few sites that sell kits when looking for instructions on how to restring another mala. If you make one, post pictures please!
  8. Maybe the flyer itself isn't doing your classes justice. You could try asking those that do show up what makes them want to take your class, and ask them what sort of flyer appeals to them. For example, if your flyer shows you doing a beautiful pose on the beach at sunrise, you may not appeal to kids who are probably more apt to wanting something that appears to be less serene and more playful. Ditto what others said, though. Your flyer and other forms of marketing could be perfect but that your area needs more exposure before it's ready to act. Best of luck!
  9. Hi Lauri! I'm sorry you are struggling, and the changes you mentioned are massive! Wow. I'm glad you found this forum. I'm the person yogafire mentioned earlier, and I've been there. We all have, in our own way, of course. But I was a signal mom...a (newly) single pregnant woman, so I can relate intimately to that. Things were so overwhelming in so many ways. Oh, I absolutely agree 100% with what everyone else wrote. Just to put it a Law of Attraction sort of thing out the beginning of my 2nd trimester in 2002 I was earning just over minimum wage at an organic grocery store when I wandered into my first yoga class, which happened to be a prenatal class. The teacher was an incredible woman who studied under the late BKS Iyengar, and she ended up not charging me for my classes (she was also my doula - for free - at Sage's birth)! I don't know where you are at or what the local resources are, but you never know who may want to take you under her wing. It happened to me without me seeking it out. I'm not sure what advice I'm giving to you here in this regard, aside from just allowing your spirit to be open to opportunities that may arise. Because they do. Candace's videos are amazing and are of great quality. Also, at this point in time, you might benefit greatly from a restorative practice, especially if you are fatigued. In the Chicago area, several studios that offer teacher training programs also offer free community yoga classes to give their newly minted teachers an opportunity to practice teaching. Perhaps your area has those types of classes as well. But, don't pressure yourself to do yoga! If you want to try to sneak a little in when you aren't in the mood to do it, try telling yourself that all you are going to do is a short series of sun three rounds of surya namaskar As. That will take you maybe two minutes. Do it in your pajamas and then allow yourself to go back to bed. If you find yourself wanting more after those three rounds, you can always do some more or pop in a YBC video. Just sayin'. Finally, yoga is so much more than the physical practice and maybe exploring Patanjali's sutras or other yogic teachings would help your spirit during these times. Seriously, yoga changed my life radically (yogafire already linked to part of my story in my yoga blog), and that was three years before I ever did a down dog. I'd be really game to chat/email or whatever my contact info (including cell phone) is on my yoga website in my profile and/or signature. Sending big hugs your way...I know this is a challenging time, but I can also promise you that there is a beautiful path just waiting to be discovered... Namaste.
  10. You so did speak to it already - I totally forgot about that post! My bad
  11. Ok, so Candace's response is way too long to quote, but I appreciate that she (you!) took the time to write it! I'm going to address Candace here for simplicity. I hate the ads and I am quite sure that many others do, but you create a ---- ton of high-quality free content. Because of this, I and presumably many of your other peeps tolerate the ads and will continue to do so (me without blockers...but man, they would be nice, lol).No matter what you say, when you have a sponsored post many folks are going to second-guess whatever it is you are telling them. When that sponsored post comes from a big company like Kohls, it's going to generate even more of that. But, you can't make everyone happy. For me, I don't get irritated with sponsored posts, but I rarely read them...but I also usually check back in with YBC or whatever blog it is within a day or two to see what has been published since that sponsored post. I probably would read it if I knew that the company was a tiny home-based-make-every-face-cream-from-scratch-in-her-kitchen sort of thing, but unless it jumps out at me like that...I know from experience how labor-intensive it is to blog and create videos (my 30-minute sequence entailed well over 10 hours of work...hence why I only did this once!) and it is a real job. You don't need to defend the legitimacy of your work to anyone!I'd like to offer a suggestion because I think that doing so will disarm most of those who give you a hard time about monetizing your blog...not that you need to (see #3). Sarah Wilson has a great post that is easily accessible (link is in my first post in this thread) and she unapologetically tells the world that her blog isn't a public service and that she earns income off of it by doing x, y, and z. She is able to blog because she earns money and she makes this very clear. Also, her being so upfront about it makes it easier to swallow the whole sponsored post and ads issues that creep up. I think it would be great if you did something similar. You are offering something that is readily construed as a public service, but you are trading 10 hours of your day to do so...and your time is just as valuable to you as your readers' time is to them. I don't understand why people think that yogis should donate their services when everyone else trades theirs for green pieces of paper (in the US, at least) that can be used to obtain groceries and avoid having bills sent to collection agencies...but you could educate them by producing your own similar post.Some bloggers focus on products so that they don't have to use ads to generate income. Maybe you've already thought about this, but the quality of your videos is top-notch, and you cue very well. And not that it needs to be said but you are beautiful (which I know isn't supposed to matter but we all know it influences peoples' decisions, etc...right?!) and that works well in your favor. I know that if you wanted to eventually switch directions that you could absolutely create products that would earn you more than your ads! I feel kind of lame recommending blogs about blogging to you because your blogging is way beyond mine, but I'm going to anyway and have tons of great resources for free or cheap about this subject (Guillebeau has a manifesto of sorts called 279 Days to Overnight Success, where he made like $45-50k/year off of his blog - no ads - 279 days after he started blogging...he documents what he did in around 79 pages if I remember correctly...his books came after this, and he is doing VERY well...I'm assuming he's surpassed 6 figures from his offerings). James Wedmore talks about the difference between free and paid content (it was in an email I received yesterday, but it's up on YouTube because he entirely focuses his business on YouTube traffic), and I just kept thinking about YBC when I was watching it! Anyway, I just wanted to mention those resources in case you didn't know about them.I share your blog with my friends and on my own blog a lot. I buy your products. I don't watch your videos very often because I do my own thing, so it's not likely I'll see the donation button on YouTube. But, I still think that you would benefit from a donation button in your sidebar. Just saying.Anyway, that's my 6 cents. I love your blog and I may not represent the average reader. I love seeing new readers on this forum - it's a great community space! Your app is great (but what happened to the website link???), and knowing why reviews help you I will write one. I was just being lazy. Btw (and finally!), I'm glad to hear that you are now starting to pay yourself!
  12. Yes! I won't be posting as frequently to as I am to, but I will still be posting to both. [I wish I could blog full-time like Candace!]
  13. Hey afriske! I only briefly glanced at your blog because it's late, but I dig what I saw! I'll check it out more later. I have two blogs - and (the latter is brand new). Anyway, I would love to know if any other readers have blogs. The Yoga Desa is a blog that one of Candace's readers has. We are both on Facebook, and I'm on Instagram (@kristismithyoga). ?
  14. My hands used to get really sweaty when I'd practice yoga. About halfway through my teacher training program they stopped getting sweaty for whatever reason...hey, I'm not complaining! Anyway... I tried using chalk, which definitely helped. I know other yogis that use it as well. I'm not sure where you'd buy it, but weightlifters and gymnasts frequently use it and so I'm guessing a sporting goods store would carry it. Three words: Jade yoga mats. They are made out of real rubber and are very different than the typical yoga mat. In my opinion are by far the best yoga mats out there. Good luck.
  15. I came across this on's the comments section that lead me to share it, and not the article itself:
  16. I tried the oil cleansing method, and it unfortunately didn't work for me (at least I smelled great!). I use either unfiltered pumpkin see oil or grapeseed oil on my face in lieu of a moisturizer and other products (I cleanse with a cheap cleanser from Whole Foods), and my acne is usually kept in check. Like Candace, I am of the opinion that food and things like candida can make a big difference. If I eat peanut butter for several days, my skin will break out. So unfair. Also, dairy and wheat can cause a moderate to severe acne-like reaction in some people...maybe strategically eliminating potential offending foods will help. Good luck - dealing with acne blows!
  17. Your form in the bottom pictures is great - your shoulders are even, and you look graceful
  18. That's awesome that you were approached to teach at your son's school! It says something about you and the energy you put out there I agree with yogafire about approaching it differently. What's your time worth to you? That being said, if you charge $5 a class and three teachers show up, you are probably going to burn out really fast. Why not put the teachers themselves in charge of figuring out the logistics? Determine what your time is worth to you, create a flyer and maybe an email with a great signature that highlights who you are and what you have to offer (like the bio your studio probably has for you), and have the teachers do the work...if they are motivated, they will work to make it affordable for them (and more exposure for you) I charge $100 for private clients, and that's based on the time value of money for me (I already work a full-time corporate job). If I wasn't already so damn busy, I'd probably charge less simply because I'd be hungrier...of course, if you charge too little you devalue the service you provide! It's definitely a tradeoff. The local studios pay about $25/class+ a bonus for exceeding a minimum threshold. That being said, if you normally get $30 from a studio class and if you would charge $100 for a private in-home client, you might choose a rate that is somewhere in the middle...and then offer a "special discount" to your son's educators. You know, like "normally $50, but special into price of $35" or whatever. My husband is a personal trainer and used to teach bootcamps at a place with no overhead (he bartered). He charged $20/class or $100/month unlimited (if I recall) and he offered roughly 5 classes a week. That's another option in terms of a business model. Please update this thread when you make a decision!
  19. I don't know what Candace's costs explicitly are, but I'm a blogger and I can tell you that there are a ton of costs associated with running a blog. Web hosting, email, design (I do my own, but I have to pay for plugins, services, themes, storage, and trade a LOT of my time), video and editing software and equipment, etc. I have to be honest in that I strongly dislike advertisements and sponsored posts on blogs, and they do negatively influence how much time I spend on blogs that employ them (including YBC). I totally understand why bloggers go the ads and sponsored posts route, though, and never hold it against the blogger. I am out of the loop and didn't even realize that I could block the ads! [Disclaimer: I won't be blocking ads, despite now knowing that I can]. I like how upfront Sarah Wilson is about how her blog earns money: And I love Chris Guillebeau's approach (and his blog!), which is limited to his own products and affiliate linking to products similar to his: But he doesn't hold it against bloggers who earn income from ads: Like everything else, readers (consumers) will ultimately dictate the direction that blogs go in terms of ads. I don't like the advertisements but I love Candace's content and come back for that. I've also spent a chunk of change here buying HER own products and services I do like the suggestion to make a donation option. A lot of website plugin developers add this option in order to support their free but valuable services, and I don't see why bloggers shouldn't, either. I'm with Robert about the subscription service for the same reasons.
  20. You sound like a yoga teacher to me. Just sayin'
  21. Afriske, I had a few final (mostly incoherent) thoughts... 1. The experience required of the teacher is going to be vastly different, depending on where you want to teach. "Yoga" means something very different to many folks...and the physical practice in a vacuum isn't hard to learn how to instruct. 2. Teachers should only teach what they know. I don't teach handstand because I haven't yet nailed it. I began studying yoga in 1999, but I wouldn't feel comfortable teaching a lot of the elements in my own practice - including many types of pranayama and many inversions - simply because I haven't mastered them enough to do so. Plus, knowing how to do something and knowing how to teach something differ. 3. In my opinion, the greatest hurdle an inexperienced teacher will face is being confronted with someone who needs extra care due to physical injuries or limitations, etc. In terms of safety, it doesn't matter if the person's back arm isn't parallel to the floor in warrior 2 (I blogged about this recently), but if a person has a bad shoulder or wrist and you move her into down dog you could cause some serious damage. Knowing how to deal with these sorts of things is absolutely crucial if you are going to teach, and a two-hour workshop isn't going to cut it. 4. The yoga landscape has morphed into something very different today than it once was. Students seek different things, and what is important to one student won't matter to another. Some students care very deeply about the less tangible characteristics of a class and a teacher, and you probably aren't going to be able to reach those students for many years. Other students just want a fitness class that allows them to stretch, sweat, and requires a yoga mat - in this instance, the teacher's training is essentially just needs to be on par with any other fitness class instructor's. A lot of students want something in between...which I'd guess is probably the majority of the students who take yoga classes. 5. You do not have to offer adjustments (and shouldn't if you don't know what you are doing), but many students expect them. 6. Teaching private clients may be a great way to go (once you have completed a training) when your experience is limited...they also happen to pay a lot more. I have a client who is elderly and has a litany of physical problems. We actually don't even do much yoga in our sessions! But, I am very well prepared for her because I am not trying to navigate a large class with several different ability levels, and one hour with her pays what three or four studio classes pays (plus no overhead, aside from insurance). 7. My wise teacher told me that a yoga teacher training program isn't going to really prepare you to teach - it's just the beginning. Be hungry to learn, humble so no one gets hurt, and always teach to the student where she's at. Sorry if this sounds like a random pile of crap. I guess the takeaway is that I'd really recommend soul-searching what it is that you really want to share with others, and what the yoga you want to share looks like. Knowing the answers to these questions will help you figure out your next move. There are a ton of ways you can share yoga with others (teach, blog, work the front desk at a studio, etc.).
  22. Hi Heidi! I'm an RYT-200 and am sending a big welcome from the northern burbs
  23. Hi afriske! That's awesome you are inspired and want to teach! I followed yogafire's link to Candace's blog and have to say that I absolutely agree with what she wrote. Everything. Here's my two cents: 1. Regarding YA registration... I'm a newly minted RYT-200. I debated even registering with YA because in most instances it's not needed (from my experience in the Chicago area). The caveat is that studios and gyms may be hesitant to hire a teacher who isn't experienced, and the RYT designation may allow you to get in an in when you otherwise would not. 2. If you go the online route, I would suggest talking to local yoga teachers about the possibility of mentoring with them in some way while you are completing the training. Maybe there is something you could barter (a skill, babysitting, etc.), or maybe you can volunteer at the studio in exchange for the opportunity to learn hands-on adjustments and practice teaching what you're learning to other teachers in order to get constructive feedback. 3. Watch a lot of yoga videos, take a lot of classes, and practice developing your own yoga teaching voice. Practice instructing yourself out loud. 4. Film yourself practicing yoga and evaluate your form (ideally combine this with #3) I think that you can learn how to instruct and cue without doing an in-person TT (Rachel Brathen aka "Yoga Girl" did, although she eventually enrolled in a program), but you will have to find a way to overcome the fact that you aren't getting feedback, which is super important. I would suggest that you work yourself through Mark Stephen's "Teaching Yoga" before enrolling in a program because it will give you a good foundation and a sense of what to consider when deciding between programs. Another consideration has to do with what kind of yoga you want to teach (and practice). Some studios aren't going to be excited about a Core Power or YogaFit program, whereas the box gyms probably won't care in the slightest. Ultimately, though, if you are a motivated student and seek out opportunities to supplement your official training, it probably won't matter where you study. Just know that programs differ wildly in what they offer and how they offer it, and this difference is likely to be most pronounced as it applies to the philosophical elements. Finally, maybe a module-based training is a potential compromise? Wanderlust and Shiva Rea (and probably others) offer them. The benefit of these two particular options is that they appear to be very solid programs, and the modules can be completed over a longer time period. You can pay for one module at a time, and the fact that you are enrolled in such a well-known (and arguably respected) program would probably give you an easier in at the local studios and gyms even while you are still training. Anyway, teaching yoga isn't rocket science, but you do need to practice in front of teachers and peers who can provide constructive criticism. If you plan to offer adjustments (you don't have to do this, btw, although expectations regarding them vary greatly) you need practice doing so as well. Hope this helps. Namaste!
  24. This made me laugh I had never heard of monkey pose until my teacher training program...but most of the teachers at the local studio seem to refer to arha uttanasana as monkey pose. It reminds me of half moon pose and warrior 3, as both have multiple interpretations.
  25. Get a clicker from the pet store and a bag of small treats. Just keep them handy until opportunity strikes. The SECOND your dog stretches into down dog, click the clicker, say "do down dog" (or "take a bow" or whatever) and give him a treat. Try to do this every time you catch him stretching for a while. Then, try saying the command when he's doing something else and click the clicker and reward him if he does it. That's how our dog trainer trained Sirius to down dog (she trained him to "take a bow", but we changed that quickly) We have a catahoula leopard mix, and they learn tricks pretty quickly...