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Mary Sullivan is a lifelong learner and researcher who has been studying with Cate since 2004. She’s a mentor in the Living Ayurveda course and a blogger for Yogahealer. Prompted by her love of learning, Mary took steps to understand how to use social media to promote her business more efficiently and effectively. She recently shared what she learned in a blog for Yogahealer, and in this podcast episode, she chats with Megan Pintus about her findings and her approach to social media marketing.

What you’ll get out of tuning in:
  • Why it’s important to understand who your avatar is and what platform your avatar is using.
  • How to balance sharing and selling.
  • How to get organized and create boundaries around social media.
  • Why narrowing your focus is smarter than casting a wide net.

Links Mentioned in Episode: Favorite Quotes:
  • “When you look at social media, it can be the enemy of ease. So you can just fritter away all this time and not really benefit.” — Mary Sullivan
  • “For me, it’s a balance . . . I don’t want to overwhelm. So I look at what I can deliver that engenders me as an expert that is supportive to my community, that potentially invites them to seek me as an expert and develop and schedule posts based on that.” — Mary Sullivan
  • “I’m trying to communicate, in my sharing, the nature of who I am and how I can help without too much hard selling.” — Mary Sullivan
  • “It’s better to be a consistent presence on two outlets, like Facebook and Twitter, so that people who follow that get a real sense of who you are and what you offer, than this haphazard presence on multiple channels.” — Mary Sullivan
Guest BIO:

Mary Sullivan MS, KRM, AYS is a writer teacher and researcher by education and experience. Mary is a long time member of the Yoga Healer Community. Mary helps people identify and implement daily practices, habits and paradigms that build their wellness and resiliency. She writes and teaches classes on lifestyle medicine for people with Lyme disease and other chronic illnesses. Mary began Dare to Self Care in 2013, as an outlet to help others.

The post Social Media Overwhelm? Focus Your Energy to Enhance Your Results appeared first on Yoga Health Coaching.

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This week on the YHC Podcast, we are throwing it back to 2017 to when the YHC Podcast was first officially published (though it started years back with Cate on YouTube…some of those gems soon to come!). So, Step into the Fire with YHC Coach Alexandra Epple and Cate Stillman and take a moment to reflect on our collective evolution.

What you’ll get out of tuning in:
  • Encourage students and people around you to step into the fire to enjoy the transformation they have been dreaming of.
  • “Birth” your own program — it’s your “child,” and it’s an intense process.
  • Nurture your career, much like you’re its mother.
  • Find out if your clients are ready to commit — and get them to do it — by digging into their “pain islands” and “pleasure islands”
  • See how running your own business is like having a toddler
  • Understand the importance of talking with new clients one on one to tailor your course offerings and understand their pain islands
  • Learn why you can’t be a victim in your business
Links Mentioned in Episode:

Show Highlights:
  • 5:22 — Through action, transformation occurs and agni burns off to create lightness. Guidance, assistance, and community arise from these shifts, too.
  • 6:52 — The YHC experience is similar to motherhood. It requires constant attention and nurturing to grow into something that impacts students and communities.
  • 8:48 — It can take a long time, but it’s essential to shift out of victim mode and into creator mode.
  • 11:13 — If you don’t dig deeply into clients’ pain points, they won’t understand the extent of the transformation that is possible. Clients need to be directed towards their potential. Check in with their willingness to be guided to potential.
  • 13:08 — Focus on results, not the services that you provide.
  • 17:57 — Yoga teachers and Ayurvedic Practitioners have a tendency to want to be seen as perfect. And they are often perfectionists in how they show up as practitioners. Ironically Yoga teachers need less perfection and more transparency and authenticity to make attract clients and make a difference.
Favorite Quotes:
  • “I finally got to this point where ‘I know all this stuff now even about business, but I’m not doingit because I don’t have the support community…’ That’s when I decided to actually step into YHC.”
  • “You’re deciphering between the people who…are just wanting to stay at that cognitive level of knowing what they should be doing versus actually making the transformations.”
  • “Now I feel like I have this toddler at home, and I just have to attend to this toddler.”
  • “There’s no room for victim mentality here.”
  • “Willingness has a high vibration.”

 

Guest BIO:

Alexandra Epple is an Ayurvedic Practitioner, yoga instructor, Yoga Health Coach, bodyworker and badass leader. Her approach to health is super practical and down to earth. She supports mature women to transition through menopause gracefully and come out the other end feeling better than they ever have – vibrant, hot, juicy and lusciously healthy.

Her goal is to guide you through the nutrition and lifestyle jungle and, maybe even more importantly, overcome inner gremlins so you can finally stop procrastinating and boldly pursue what is right for you. She is the founder of Women Gone Vibrant, a podcast to revolutionize the way you think about your body and unapologetically create the next you. Connect with Alexandra through her websiteand facebook.

The post YHC Throwback – Step Into the Fire appeared first on Yoga Health Coaching.

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A new year has come with another 365 opportunities to align yourself to seasonal foods and traditional preparation. If you are ready to get back on the bus of deep nourishment and lost traditions, this recipe might be the inspiration you are looking for.

I was born and raised in the south. My family definitely loved to cook and I began to learn from a young age how to prepare food from scratch. Growing up I learned how to make fried catfish, grits, fried okra, and boiled peanuts.  We ate vegetables, and they were delicious. But I didn’t have the same affinity for them as I do today. I also wasn’t raised with any traditional food preparation around fermenting and preserving which would have added so many new characteristics and unique tastes to the plain-jane vegetables.

Rediscovering A Lost Art

Fermentation dates back thousands of years- each early civilization around the globe had their culinary specialty unique to the local ecosystem. This food preservation process is the ultimate collaboration with nature-  in geographic areas having poor sanitation, fermented foods have helped the locals fight food-borne illnesses.

After the advent of convenient, packaged, processed and even fresh frozen food, much of our shared traditions of preserving was set aside and forgotten.  When I began to explore my southern roots I found a love for the traditional recipes around preserving, pickling and fermenting. These are the time tested processes that keep the fresh flavor of the produce while introducing very healthy microbes to the food. You can think of this as our ancestor’s version of modern day probiotics. This global tradition of preserving and fermenting foods has been keeping our heritage healthy with small amounts of immune supporting microbes.

How Basic Fermentation Works

The most basic way to ferment is with salt. When salt is added to a jar filled with a produce item, it creates an environment where the good bacteria can begin to break down sugars into lactic acid, aka lacto-fermentation. The lactic acid begins to act as a preservative while adding deeper flavor. This process also prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria. It is a delicate dance between what is not enough and too much salt. If there is not enough then the pathogenic micro-organisms will have a great chance to take over and conquer the produce, leaving you with an inferior product that tastes down-right awful. Too much salt and no bacteria will begin to populate.

More Than Just a Pickle

Combining flavors, spices, and vibrantly colored produce is an art.  A delicate blend of ingredients that has the potential to please all of the senses, creating a state of euphoria and deep connection to nature. Food combining is about what works together-  a love for the intelligence of nature and goes deeper into appreciating the microbes and nutrients within the soil.

When we look at our ancestors they ate what was available when it was available because they had no other option. There is trust that nature is collaborating with us, supplying what we need to stay balanced all year long. When you adjust your food choices to meet that of seasonal availability and combine small amounts of fermented food in your diet, you are choosing to participate in the collaboration we have with nature, fostering the health of your ecosystem inside and out.

Fermenting Your Own Favorite Veggies.

What you will need

  • Your favorite seasonal organic vegetables. Root vegetable are great but don’t be afraid to get creative using different types of stalks and even hearty greens.
  • Salt
  • A few glass jars with tight-fitting lids.
  • Clean water.

How to do it.

  • Be sure your jars, lids and utensils and workspace are clean.
  • Lightly wash the produce. You want to keep as much of the good bacteria on the veggies as possible so don’t use soaps or sanitizer.
  • Cut the veggies into desirable pieces so that they fit into the jars nicely.
  • Dissolve 2Tbs of salt into a quart of clean water to make a brine.
  • Pour the brine over the veggies until they are covered, being sure to leave 2 inches of space from the top.
  • Make as much brine as you need to cover the amount of vegetables you wish to ferment.
  • Close the lids and let rest in a cool place out of direct sunlight.

How long does it take?

This depends on the temperature of where your fermentation is taking place. The cooler it is the longer it will take. The warmer it is, the faster the fermentation will take place. A good starting place is to check the flavor of your veggies at three days. They should begin to have a small amount of effervescence in the liquid and a slightly tangy flavor. From here it is all preference. You can halt or slow down the process by placing the jar in a refrigerator, or keep it going for longer.

Pro tip!

Always use clean utensils to grab your veggies when tasting your ferments. This will help prevent any pathogenic microbes from spoiling your goodies!

Another pro tip!

Try adding your favorite spices and herbs to create unique tastes.

The post Culinary Alchemy: The old ways of preserving your produce appeared first on Yoga Health Coaching.

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Wellness pros have a bad habit. They often downplay the kind of impact they can have and end up justifying a lower income. In her conversations with wellness pros, Grace Edison has noticed a “stickiness” around income. All too often, she hears, “It’s not about that.” They’re gifted at what they’re doing, but without the proper business model, packaging, and pricing, they’re not able to have the impact they want to have or the income they deserve. In this episode, Cate and Grace dissect the relationship between earning and having an impact.

What you’ll get out of tuning in:
  • How the right business model, packaging and pricing can help you have the impact you want and the income you deserve.
  • How to reframe your mentality around “sales” and realize that it comes down to helping people make better decisions about how to invest their money.
  • How working with groups of people, as opposed to one-on-one, can amplify your impact.
Links Mentioned in Episode:

Show Highlights:
  • The wellness industry is growing. More and more people every year invest in wellness. As wellness pros, we can help people make better decisions about how to invest their money in this diverse market.
  • Cate talks about how working with key “VIP” clients helped her fund projects with a bigger reach and a bigger impact.
  • Cate and Grace discuss the power of working with groups of people. Once you know how many people you can support in a group, you can design an offer that aligns with your income goals.
Favorite Quotes:
  • “There are more and more people investing in wellness of all socioeconomic categories. We are in a huge, growing industry.” — Cate Stillman
  • “There are so many people who are so gifted at what they’re doing, but they don’t have the proper business model.” — Grace Edison
  • “Most people don’t realize where they’re not investing well in themselves and where they’re making decisions that are costing them a lot more money.” — Cate Stillman
Guest BIO:

Grace Edison lives in British Columbia, Canada. She’s a mom of twin 8 year olds, a Yoga teacher, studio owner, and Yoga Health Coach — and she also works for Cate Stillman in Admissions at Yogahealer! More than anything, she loves to make people laugh and has a not-so-secret dream of doing stand-up comedy. Grace has a strong passion for empowering others to take their health and wellness into their own hands. She loves building authentic relationships, making people laugh, and creating supportive communities. After a long-standing relationship with severe depression, Grace has found deep relief through the habits of Ayurveda — and much credit is due to Cate and her Body Thrive program. After taking Body Thrive several times and jumping into Yoga Health Coaching, Grace came aboard the Yogahealer team.

The post Influence, Impact, Income and Your Wellness Career appeared first on Yoga Health Coaching.

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Are you overwhelmed by social media choices? I know the feeling! My recommendation? Dig in and get organized!

As an engineer- not a natural marketer- I knew that research was my best option for learning how to develop my social media strategy.  I wanted to use planning and organization to help me identify the most effective outlets to grow my business.

There are many options to choose from, and while social media marketing may be inexpensive in terms of cash, it can cost in time and effort. As a one-person business I want to invest my time well and see results. So I decided to dig in.

Get Organized Around Social Media Marketing

My first step to getting organized? I started to read and follow business sites that share social media marketing strategy. Every article I read had ample advice on how to make social media work for you, instead of you working for it.

There were 3 main ideas that stuck with me: avoid overwhelm, understand your target audience, and schedule purposefully. Let’s take a look at each of these strategies.

Spend Time Wisely Avoid Overwhelm

The first concept to consider? How much time do you want to spend on social media versus other marketing?

For an online business, social media reaches a wide audience and can be time well spent. Although Facebook has taken some recent popularity hits, 72 % of American adults still look at Facebook on a regular basis. This is a lot of people.

One strategy you can use to help you get a decent return on your time investment is using data to target your peeps and make sure you are engaging on the right social media platforms. Supporting 6 to 10 social media platforms can take a lot of time, even be a full-time job. If it is critical to your business to be present on all these platforms, make sure that you are getting help. Farm your social media activities out to social media scheduling software, a virtual assistant, or a social media support company to help lighten the load.

However many platforms your business is on, find a way to be consistent, insightful and on target for one, two, three or even 4 channels rather than a vague presence on six or more different social media outlets. Connect to your target audience and build your reputation as a trustworthy expert. You want your community to look forward to your posts, read them, and share them widely.

Identify Your Target Audience

Who is your target audience? Choose platforms based on the people you want to reach. Start by checking in with your community. Survey your email list and your facebook group.  Look into the most popular social media channels and determine which will work best for your community.

It can also be helpful to look to your competitors. Are they using Snapchat or Instagram? Are they getting engagement? Focus in on what you are trying to do and who you are trying to reach as you navigate your decision tree.

For instance, an avatar or target client for my community might be a mature suburban woman aged 45 -70  who has had issues with weight.  She wants to age with grace and come into healthy relationships with food and life. For this target group,  Facebook, You Tube, and Pintrest work well. Snapchat and Vine are not channels this type of client frequents. So even though I like their logos, I won’t be spending much time on their platforms.

Schedule Purposely To Grow Your Business

Many people use a spreadsheet or external support to align posts with business activity. They plan social media activity by the month quarter or year. By posting different types of content at different times, you can  improve reach to your  community, and optimize posts for each platform.

One option you can use to make scheduling simpler is a  Scheduling Tool.  A scheduler is software that allows you to implement automatic posting to your social media platforms. You load the content and schedule the time of the post and the software takes care of the rest. Sprout, Buffer, Hootsuite, Comum.it, and Tweetdeck are all scheduling tools for managing social media posting.  Some of these have free versions with basic functionality to help you get started. Others are paid.

If you are primarily posting from your website or blog, website plugins that share to multiple channels can be helpful. One downside is that most of them share to all sites at the time you publish. Easy Social Share, Social Warfare and Jet Pack are low or no cost and help automate sharing your website generated content and blog posts.

Platform Examples

Here are some examples of today’s most frequently used platforms.

Facebook

Facebook has a number of features that you can use to promote your work. Groups are fantastic for creating community and managing information exposure. You can join groups to see what works, then create your own group to share specialized information, build authority and engender trust.

High-quality visual content (aka pictures and videos) promote higher levels of engagement.

Make posts shareable- it shocks me how many people don’t- and encourage your community to share your offerings for more exposure and traction. Create, post and publicize events to build attendance. Place paid ads when it makes sense. Live video streaming is a super easy way to share info updates with your followers. Answer questions once a month in a “Facebook Live” of streaming video to help build your following.

Most importantly- keep your personal page separate from your business.  You may not want clients to see a post from your college friend about memories of all-night parties.

Pintrest

In Pintrest you create boards that are used to save posts, blogs and video content. You can then promote and share your boards. Set up a board for each course, or topic-specific boards.  I have one for each of my websites. Think of it as a bookmarking site for ebooks, tip guides, blog posts and recipes you want to share with your community.

YouTube

Videos on YouTube are a way to share personality and expertise as you connect to your community. Video content has a high engagement rate and return on investment.  Look at videos that are successful to help plan the design of yours. Always include useful eye-catching content, your web address, images, tags, and a good title. This is a growing edge for me, so I am spending time watching YouTube videos instead of television.  Share your videos across your other platforms.

More than 93 percent of marketers are actively using video content, and more than 50 percent believe it has the best ROI among all types of content.  – Jawad Kahn

Focus Nets The Most Benefit

Before deciding which social media channels to be active on and what support you need, work out a clear plan and implementation schedule. Define your goals and be consistent. Social media takes time and an investment of your energy in order to build community and create leads to grow your business. Dig in, get organized, and reap the benefits.

The post Social Media Overwhelm? Focus Your Energy Enhance Your Results appeared first on Yoga Health Coaching.

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Before Nancy Wind enrolled in Yoga Health Coaching, she was a part-time yoga instructor and full-time speech language therapist. She learned about Yogahealer from her yoga teacher. She read Body Thrive in 2016 and decided to form a book group. She ran four rounds of her book group in a year and a half before she enrolled in Yoga Health Coaching in May 2018. The Yoga Health Coaching course has transformed Nancy’s personal life as well as her career. Listen in to learn how!

What you’ll get out of tuning in:
  • How dissatisfaction with your current work can be a catalyst for positive change.
  • How YHC transforms the meaningful work we’re already doing.
  • Why Body Thrive is a key component of Yoga Health Coaching
Links Mentioned in Episode:

Show Highlights:
  • Nancy describes her journey to Yoga Health Coaching.
  • Nancy tells us what she sees in future as her Yoga Health Coaching career evolves.
  • Nancy gives us her advice for finding inspiration for expanding our own wellness careers.
Favorite Quotes:
  • “I think that I just wanted to immerse myself in helping people make changes in their life that would improve their health and overall wellbeing.” — Nancy Wind
  • “What you’re seeing is all this expansion, and there is no fear or hesitation coming from you. And that is a powerful thing. . . . You know your capacity now, and you have all these tools.” — Megan Pintus
  • “I find something that I love, and I just want to share it with people.” — Nancy Wind
Guest BIO:

Nancy Wind teaches trail yoga. She loves bringing people outside and teaching them how to move their body and connect with nature. She enjoys hiking and foraging. Her keystone habits are meditation and plant-based diet. Connect with Nancy on her FB page and get more info on Nancy’s website.

The post YHC Coach of the Month: Nancy Wind appeared first on Yoga Health Coaching.

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When it comes to loving ourselves, there seems to be a deep resistance for a great majority of people. Many weren’t raised to feel comfortable with who they are, let alone feel a sense of love towards themself. When discussing this subject with people, there is often a sense of discomfort. Fear flits across their face. An awkwardness enters the conversation. And usually the topic quickly gets changed.

Throughout my career as a Wellness professional, I’ve seen the need for improved self esteem, confidence, and self-love in many of my clients. So why aren’t we talking about it?

I believe that it’s the one thing many of us are here to learn. To truly love ourselves. This is the common thread for so many people whom I have worked with over the past 30 years. And it’s one of the biggest factors that prevents them from healing their own lives.

So why do we cling so tightly to our choice to not love ourselves? Why does the declaration of love for one’s self seem taboo? For each person, there are different reasons. Family environment, social surroundings, economic status, gender, race, religion can all play a role.

Still, I feel there is a greater problem at play here beyond our personal environment. It’s the problem is that not loving ourselves has actually served us in some way. At some point in our lives, it became easier to go with the flow of lowering our self esteem. It feels safer to comply than to rebuke what the world around has implied is our reality. Even when that’s not true. In an attempt to protect us from the outside world’s opinions, we became part of the problem. And so, many go on feeling unworthy because, in some way, that has been what they were told they were. And then those messages became our beliefs about ourselves.

Here is some of the misconstrued thinking I have heard over the years;

“I don’t deserve to love myself.”

“A good person loves others first.”

“We should put others before ourselves.”

“We must please those around us, or risk ridicule and judgement.”

“I’d rather not rock the boat.”

“It’s easier to continue to hurt myself than to allow the world to hurt me anymore.”

These words are heartbreaking, yet I can relate because I used to believe some of these things too! But beliefs can be changed. I have since turned those false beliefs around and I am no longer afraid to love myself. It might be a long, slow road to accept and eventually learn to love one’s self. But iif I can do this then you can too.

It’s time to stop beating yourself up. Time to learn ways to accept and honor yourself. Learning to love ourselves is not an overnight job. A few years worth of effort may have to go in to reverse the damages done. And even then, some of the emotional baggage may still be carried with you. Yet, there is hope. You can learn to change how you feel about yourself. To see yourself as worthy, and loveable, and as enough just as you are.

We have been fed a lie by the world around us that we are less than whole. The first step is to acknowledge this. Then we can start to look for small ways to start bringing in practices to improve the way we feel about ourselves.Learning to care for your body, mind and spirit with nurturing movement, a healthy diet, self compassion and self forgiveness, are the best places to start. Keep things simple and choose gentle changes at first. Start with the suggestions below, and work with them for a while. Notice how they begin to shift the way you feel towards yourself over time.

Take a moment.  Take sacred time for yourself every day. Numerous times.  Each morning, pause in the shower or bath, close your eyes and take a few slow breaths. Tell yourself that these few moments are for you only. There is no rush, you are worth this 30 seconds to pause and breath some kindness into your body. Assure yourself that even if you don’t know how yet, you are willing to feel loving thoughts toward yourself. – This is a very slow starting place, but it can be effective over time. Keep gifting yourself these few moments each day for as long as it takes until you begin to notice that you start to look forward to this sacred time of yours. Increase these moments over time and begin to bring them in more places throughout your day. At bedtime, during a lunch break, mid-afternoon. This practice can be very subtle yet powerful.

Massage your skin with oil. The art of touch is a very powerful tool for shifting how we feel towards our bodies. We can learn to forgive the body for its perceived faults and imperfections. For seemingly letting us down and not being the perfect image of what we thought it should be. And we can connect to the body to bring in healing and improve self confidence.

Choose an organic oil like sunflower seed oil, olive oil, or coconut oil. After you bathe or shower is an opportune time to massage your body. If you feel awkward about giving your whole body a rub down, then simply start with the hands and the feet. Lay out an old towel that you don’t mind getting a little oil stained. Don’t use your good towels. Sit somewhere comfortably – perhaps on a folded towel. Pour a small amount of the oil into your palms and rub the oil between the palms to warm it. You can add a little more oil later as you need it. Begin to gently rub the oil onto the feet or the hands. Use a soft touch to begin, and massage all the fingers and toes. Move on to gently wring the hands (or feet) with a firm squeezing action. Work to your comfort level with this. You may wish to close your eyes and soften your breath. With the eyes closed simply notice how this feels. If you are comfortable with your massage you may choose to move up to the wrist or the ankles, then even further up the limbs. Work up the body as far as you feel comfortable. Make sure not to rush your massage.

Devote time for this at least a few times per week. You can eventually increase to a daily morning and evening massage. This will also help you connect more deeply with your body. As your massage evolves, you can begin to tell your body kind things and thank it for all your body does for you each day. Breathing, pumping blood to your heart and so on. Forgive your body – or better yet, you can ask your body to forgive you for any harm you may have caused it in the past.Send some loving kindness into the cells and tissues of your body. And watch how this changes your feelings toward yourself over time. Self massage can be a deeply self loving method for healing emotion and pain.

Say, “Hello” to your mirror. How often have you looked in the mirror and cringed or criticized the face looking back at you? Probably many, if not hundreds of times.  Looking at our own face in the mirror is sometimes tough. Certainly most of us are not taught to look with love into the image staring back at us. This may be a difficult practice to begin, and yet this is a powerful way to open a more loving dialogue with ourselves.

You can use your bathroom mirror or a compact handheld one if you like. Begin by looking at your own eyes. Try to hold your own gaze for a count of 10. While you do this, offer a soft smile to yourself. Breathe. For some people this can be incredibly tough, so hang in there. This is big work.  Next, while still looking into your eyes, say these words to yourself, “Hello, (your name). I am willing to love you.” You may need many attempts over a few days or even weeks before you feel comfortable enough to move deeper into conversation with your mirror self.

When you feel ready, offer these words to yourself, “ I love you, I really, really love you.” Again, this may be very difficult, yet the effort over time is worth the payoff. As you become more comfortable with this exercise you may notice how it positively affects your self esteem and confidence.

Healthy Eating. This one may seem obvious, yet time and time again, I have come across people who haven’t realized the connection between how they feel mentally, emotionally and physically to what they are eating. Cleaning up our diet by removing excess sugar, fats and processed foods can have a rewarding effect on our overall health and mental well being. This plays out in how we feel in so many ways. From the common feelings of guilt for overeating, eating junk food and beverages, to the mood swings related to a sugar crash, or the anxiety connected with too much caffeine use. When we begin to cut back or eliminate unhealthy substances, we actually improve our mood. And our emotional state will shift as a result of stepping out of the self guilt cycle that many feel after choosing to eat junk that we know is not good for us.

Beyond consciously choosing to eat unhealthy foods and then feel bad about it, there are also chemical effects on our physiology occurring that you might not be conscious of. These side-effects can be detrimental. They stand in the way of our capacity to feel love towards ourselves by making us feel more lethargic, cranky and less patient. Combat these food-related cycles by adding in more healthy foods. Eat your veggies! Shift to bigger portions of vegetables and fruits, leaving less room on your plate for the other stuff. An increase of real fruit and vegetables into your diet, not canned, processed, or packaged ones, will boost your vitamin, mineral and fibre intake. Which improves your body’s ability to manage the hormones that affect your moods. This is a win, win situation. Not only can your body, then function better physically, your mood also improves too. It’s easier to feel good about ourselves when we are in a more positive mood.

Hold these practices close and keep them to yourself in the beginning. Think of your process as fragile and delicate. Be kind and gentle. Practice them consistently. And, over time, you can begin to move toward accepting yourself more and eventually liking parts of yourself, and then loving yourself again.

The post A Declaration of Love to One’s Self – Is that taboo? appeared first on Yoga Health Coaching.

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We are living in a VUCA world: volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. Wellness pros sometimes think that doesn’t apply to what they do, but it does. Navigating a VUCA industry requires shoshin – beginner’s mind and adikara – studentship. In this episode, Cate and Grace discuss how an open mind and an online community course can help you design a wellness career that aligns with your vision and values.

What you’ll get out of tuning in:
  • Why the first step to upleveling your wellness career is to admit that there might be a better way.
  • How an open mind and an online community course can help you design a wellness career that aligns with your vision and values.
  • Why having a conversation with someone else can help you identify what’s working and what’s not working in your wellness career.
Links Mentioned in Episode:

Show Highlights:
  • Grace talks about how she’s been guilty of a know-it-all mindset, assuming that her way is the best or only way.
  • Cate talks about how the wellness pros she sees personally don’t have a business model that enables her to get what she needs and them to get what they want.
  • Cate and Grace discuss the power of community and the advantage of having a conversation that helps you identify what’ working and what’s not working in your wellness career.
Favorite Quotes:
  • “If anyone really wants to be on a hard-core spiritual path, all they have to do is start their own business and be self-employed because it’s going to bring up every issue in the book. It’s going to bring up all your dirt. It’s going to bring up all your shadows.” — Cate Stillman
  • “Talk to Grace, if you haven’t already, because it just starts you thinking in a more productive way on what’s working and what’s not working so you can overcome what’s not working.” — Cate Stillman
  • “There’s no reason to give up on what your deeper dreams are.” — Cate Stillman
Guest BIO:

Grace Edison lives in British Columbia, Canada. She’s a mom of twin 8 year olds, a Yoga teacher, studio owner, and Yoga Health Coach — and she also works for Cate Stillman in Admissions at Yogahealer! More than anything, she loves to make people laugh and has a not-so-secret dream of doing stand-up comedy. Grace has a strong passion for empowering others to take their health and wellness into their own hands. She loves building authentic relationships, making people laugh, and creating supportive communities. After a long-standing relationship with severe depression, Grace has found deep relief through the habits of Ayurveda — and much credit is due to Cate and her Body Thrive program. After taking Body Thrive several times and jumping into Yoga Health Coaching, Grace came aboard the Yogahealer team.

The post Beginner’s Mind for Wellness Pros appeared first on Yoga Health Coaching.

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How are you going to choose your yoga teacher training?

Me? I fell into yoga teaching as a way to deal with being downsized from a career as an engineering manager. Yoga helped me to transition and heal. While my training worked out really well, I didn’t consider all the factors that I would, if choosing again today. Now that I have taught and know more about teaching yoga as a career, I have a better sense of what types of questions to ask.

Are you thinking about deepening your relationship to Yoga with training or by teaching?  I invite you to consider what you really want from your “YTT” (yoga teacher training) and the commitment you are willing to make.

Choose With Care

Selecting a training program is a big decision, like choosing a college or major.

Blessed to be steeped in the healing traditions of Ayurveda and yoga I have a profound appreciation for the training I have received. It is the secondary education for my heart and soul.  Over the course of my love affair with Ayurveda and yoga, I have gone from taking yoga teacher trainings to teaching in them. I still train to engage and learn.

Now that there are so many yoga teacher trainings to pick from, making the choice can be overwhelming. YTTs (yoga teacher trainings) include a range of certification levels, styles of yoga, and training in everything from fitness-based yoga to the science of yoga for spiritual evolution. Yoga teacher training is a significant investment in energy, time, money and the direction of your life. Here are some guideposts to help figure out what you want, choose a program to support your growth, and get the best return on investment.

Sorting Through Many Choices Do you really plan to teach yoga?

This is an important question to ask.  Do you plan to teach, or is this a deep desire to learn more about yoga?  Both are super reasons to take a YTT, but the reality of public class teaching should be a game changer as you sort through your options.

I wanted to teach, so I chose programs that would both deepen my study AND help prepare me to teach.  Some YTT’s add class observation and analysis requirements on top of the class time practice and homework.  Mine did. I sat in the back of yoga classes observing experienced certified teachers.  I journaled my observations- how the teacher introduced the theme, the choice of asana sequences, and other insights.

My program also required me to connect with an experienced teacher who could oversee and critique my teaching.  This was time incredibly well spent- the mentoring process elevated and refined my delivery in the classroom.  When making your choice it is worth asking how much coverage there is on the art and business of teaching.

Month Long Intensive Program or Weekends and Immersions

Yoga teacher training programs are offered as month-long intensives, weekend based programs, and everything in between. Your choice of program will depend on your lifestyle, your learning style, and your fitness level.

A live-away intensive program steeps you in the tradition of yoga, but your stamina, day job, and kids may not allow for 30 days away. You may not be ready for this intensive learning style. Two or three 10-day segments away, or 13 long-weekends may work much better.  I liken it to the difference between an intense summer course at college where you have 3 -5 weeks to cover the same material your would in a 12 week semester. Think this through before you pull the trigger.

Commuting, Travelling, and At-Home Programs

If you want to commute to a nearby program, remember that training can be rigorous.  Try to keep your drive time to 30 minutes or less. No commute at all?  Perfect!! A local program may be just the right fit for your work and life.

Again I liken the experience to commuting from home versus living on campus. When you stay at an ashram or retreat center for your training, your experience expands in ways beyond yoga. Friendships deepen and you are more likely to try new things.

If you are off to a destination, this can be a great adventure. There are wonderful programs all over the world.  Want some travel adventure as part of your training? Pick a teacher you know who heads off to an exotic destination to lead their teacher training.

Gotta Love Working With Your Teacher

Take at least one short workshop with the main teacher before signing on the dotted line for a YTT. You want to know you can connect to and learn from this person before you make a major energetic investment. I love teachers who make me strive, think and laugh. How about you?

Specialization Who are you called to help, to teach?

Often you will need to take a 200-hour YTT before you specialize, but some programs slant towards understanding the needs of a specific population. If you are drawn to help teens it makes sense to take a training that gives you insights on how to help them. Otherwise, follow up your YTT with specialized training. Sub-specialties include:

  • Restorative Yoga
  • Trauma recovery
  • Elder Population
  • Kids or Teens
  • Therapeutics
Certification/Registration & Level

Programs can range form 200 to 300 hours or more. I am not a fan of less than 200 hours for YTT training if you want to teach.  It’s important to take a weekend workshop or even a few before you   on a  YTT to measure your interest and commitment. 200 hours creates a container to learn in. You need time and space to open to transformation.

One exception to less than 200 hours of training is programs segmented in parts that add to 200 hours.  Anusara trainings separate the program into 100 hours of study and immersion followed by a segment on teaching as part of a two hundred hour YTT.

Certification or Monitoring bodies.

YA (Yoga Alliance) and the CYA(Canadian Yoga Alliance) are two of the big organizations that set standards for yoga teacher trainings in North America.  Choose a 200 hour + program that lists the topics explored and meet standards set by the school of yoga or a certifying body.  Make sure you understand what will be covered.

Swaroopa, Anusara, Svivanada, Power Yoga, Iyengar and more all have program standards for 200 YTT. When you go to a specific style of yoga school and complete the requirements you are certified, make sure you can also register with YA or CYA at the 200 hour level.

4 Programs That Have The Goods For A Great Training

Himalyan Institute

The Himalayan Institute (HI)  offers 200 RYT and advanced teacher training in yoga and Ayurveda as well as slew of specialty classes.  Their teacher trainings have the Yoga Alliance  stamp of approval.  The programs are taught in 10 day segments and you stay at the ashram(spiritual community). Open to all styles of yoga, HI teaches yoga and deepens your spiritual connection to the practice while they prepare you to teach.

HI has the energy and clarity of a community holding and sustaining a 10,000 year living tradition of yoga.  Rather than a specific style you are invited to connect to the essence of yoga and apply the tools of yoga for your own growth while you learn to teach others. You feel the power and support of this tradition all through your training and beyond.

HI is an ashram and offers immersion programs. You go to learn yoga and learn to teach. An added benefit is you are immersed in a spiritual community.  When you leave the training you have active support and community to lean into and continue to learn from.

Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm  

The Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm is a spiritual community and working farm that offers a YA approved 200 Hour program as well as advanced teacher trainings, and specialty courses and immersions. The programs are offered in California at the farm, in Vietnam, and at other travel destinations.

Teachers travel to the ashram specifically for the teacher training. The spiritual essence of Yoga is taught through a combination of practice and inspirational lessons. A teaching certificate from the International SYVC (Sivananda Yoga Vendenta Center) is awarded upon successful completion of the course.

 

Down Under School of Yoga  

This school offers 200 hour and advanced Iyengar yoga teacher training as well as specialty courses. Down Under is a Yoga Alliance approved school. The advanced Iyengar programs require that applicants meet specific requirements. All trainings are weekend based programs which allow you to stay locally or to commute.

Down Under opens its 200 hour YTT to everyone, but the focus is on Iyengar and Ashtanga styles.  The teachers have a deep, deep base in Iyengar, Ashtanga as well as Slow Flow yoga. Down Under is a yoga school as well as a studio.  Based in the Boston area, this is a great destination to enjoy while training in a weekend format.

YogaMaze

Noah Maze and his wife founded YogaMaze school. It offers a 200 hour and advanced teacher training, as well as specialty courses.The programs teach yoga and teaching yoga at a high level of excellence and completeness. These programs are for commuters and working people. They are weekend based training programs.

The school offers training programs in multiple locations including, California,St Paul Minnesota and Berlin,Germany. The teachers travel to teach in the different locations.Theory and practice of Yoga, Yoga philosophy and the art of teaching are the focal points of YogaMaze programs.

Choose Engage Learn Grow

The right YTT is an amazing journey of growth and a changemaker for your life.  Most push you to expand your boundaries.  You find a deeper experience of yoga, new ideas, beliefs, community and long term friendships. Find the program that is right for you and take the plunge.

The post How to Hack Your Yoga Teacher Training Selection appeared first on Yoga Health Coaching.

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You want to help people feel better. I get it. In helping professions, it is what drives us- seeing others learn how to help themselves and feel better in their bodies, minds, and lives. But, as a helper, we run the risk of burning out if we do not focus our attention on taking care of ourselves first. Believe me, from personal experience I can tell you about burnout and the effects it can have on every aspect of your life.

As a former sexual abuse trauma counselor for children and teens, I had a choice to make. I could make some major changes in how I took care of myself or I could live a life full of compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma, inflammation, poor coping and numbing, and damaged relationships. For burnout prevention, good health habits are key.

Burnout is a term that has been thrown around a lot in the last few years, but in the helping profession, it is seen as a very serious issue that can require a long, slow journey to heal. Research in the field of mental health shows that the probability of burnout for professionals is pretty bleak: “as many as 2 out of 3 mental health workers may be experiencing high levels of burnout.” Burnout is also a state that does not happen overnight. It is a slow, divisive, and non-discriminating process that will steal your joy, passion, and energy.

It can feel selfish as a helper to express when we need time to take care of ourselves. We have dedicated our time and energy to helping others. But, we also know (and we often say it to our clients) that if we don’t help ourselves, we can’t help anyone else. In the medical field, we are seeing that burnout occurs due to not only the high demand of people in need, but also due to the high expectations that are placed on doctors and nurses to be able to push through and handle erratic hours, inconsistent meal times, and the physical demands of the job. However, anyone in a helping and wellness role is also at risk for burnout if helping others takes priority over self-care.

Coaches and practitioners can fall into the same personally unhelpful patterns of putting the needs of others over their own. Taking time regularly to check in, notice what the body is asking for, and scheduling self-care time will allow all helping professionals to keep going at optimal levels.

Practicing the daily habits of dinacharya is an effective way to overcome and prevent burnout as we engage in the crucial practice of uncompromising self-care. Studies done on burnout recovery/prevention and the recommendations made for doctors, nurses, and mental health therapists all fall into line with these habits of dinacharya. Giving ourselves permission to focus on getting our minds and bodies back into sync with nature’s rhythm is just what the doctor (or mental health professional) ordered.

Let’s take a look at the recommendations for burnout recovery and prevention and how those recommendations align with practicing the ancient science of dinacharya:

  1. Get enough sleep. When I was acting as a sexual abuse trauma counselor in a residential treatment facility for youth, I was emotionally and physically exhausted every day, but I could not sleep. My nervous system was fried and my poor sleep hygiene habits made “winding down” nearly impossible. Going to bed early teaches us ways to honor the body’s natural ways to get ready for sleep and how to support those rhythms.
  2. Make exercise a priority. Moving the body can help the mind and the body cope with mental, emotional, and physical stress. Exercise can balance anxious energy, clear stagnation, clear the perspective, and allow a time-out from everything else that is going on. The habit of Breath Body Practices teaches how to vary exercise modes and intensities to meet the individual’s needs.
  3. Eat whole, nutrient-filled foods. Plant Based Diet teaches us about using food as fuel and focusing on feeding our cells with prana-filled plants and well-sourced, organic meats if meat is in our diet. In addition, Earlier Lighter Dinner teaches us to work with our body’s ability to digest and assimilate the food we take in and the habit of Healthier Eating Guidelines educates us on eating seasonally and giving our digestive system a break between meals.
  4. Meditate. When our nervous system is fried and our minds seem to be in overdrive, meditation can seem challenging, but imperative to help reboot. The good news is that there are many different types of meditation, so again, we want to find the version that fits best. Research shows that the benefits of meditation are many, including rewiring the brain, reducing inflammation, and directing us toward more happiness.
  5. Take a break from technology. Creating a night time routine in alignment with our body’s need to wind down from stimulation and meditation both correlate with unplugging from the constant influx of information, expectations, and blue light that come from our society’s addiction to technology and screens.
  6. Look for opportunities for self-discovery and nurture a positive view of yourself. In the habit of Self-Massage, we are learning how to literally get in touch with ourselves and to become friends with our bodies. We are learning self-love and nurturing ourselves with both self-compassion and oil. With the habit of self-massage, we have an opportunity for self-discovery built right in to our daily schedule.
  7. Setting boundaries, use support, and reframing one’s view of the work to find more meaning can all be addressed in the habit of Easeful Living. As humans raised in our competitive and judgmental society, we often take on the belief that things “have to be” difficult and that we will be “good enough” when something outside of us occurs or deems that we are. Recognizing how we make things harder on ourselves can shift everything. Giving in to impossible expectations, allowing ourselves to be taken advantage of, and putting the job before ourselves can lead to burn out quickly. We can begin to isolate and feel like no one else could possibly understand. When we are burned out and feeling fried, it can also be difficult to see that we are making a difference in what we are doing and to find the meaning in continuing at all. Taking care of ourselves first, reaching out to make connection with others, and reframing our perspective around finding value in our work all come when we believe that we can live with more ease.

Regardless of your exact role as a helping professional, we must attend to our own needs to be able to effectively attend to the needs of others. In addition to the habits of dinacharya, things like spending time in nature, scheduling time for activities that bring joy, and connecting with others who can relate to what we are experiencing are all helpful ways to stoke the inner fire of joy and health without burning it out.

We must remember that burnout didn’t happen overnight and it certainly won’t be resolved overnight, so using the practice of Kaizen allows us to take it one step at a time to and recognize that the small changes will add up to big progress. If you are experiencing symptoms of burnout, you are not alone and things can get better. Take some time to look at your daily habits and make one small change this week toward supporting your own natural rhythm.

The post Shine brightly, don’t burn out appeared first on Yoga Health Coaching.

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