This is THE MOST essential wall drill you will ever do when it comes to learning to balance with good alignment. That said, it is also more dangerous because you don’t have a wall behind you. PLEASE do this with a spotter for the first few times until you are comfortable getting into and out of the posture at the wall. Falling is not an option here, it will not only result in injury but you will also lose all the trust you just built in yourself. SO use a spotter to support you, and then this drill will be one of those magic, eye-opening, body-enlightening experiences when done routinely.
PELVIC TILT WITH A “LINE”
Handstanders are constantly assessing their “line” because it is a basis for discovering tendencies and patterns. If we are aware of our patterns, then we can make incremental changes. The line becomes a basis for self progress. This way, you will be able to notice some results along the way. This IS important in your handstand pursuit because unlike most other postures, handstand results happen VERY slowly. Most people think it’s a matter of just knowing what to do, and then doing it — handstand is not that way. It’s a complete change of neurological and muscular patterns that have been building up over the course of your lifetime. I personally spent 6 years on pelvic tilt… 6 years just trying to gain control over my pelvis when upside down. On the outside, someone else could hardly tell, but I definitely could see and, more importantly, feel the differences, and that helped me to stay focused on my practice.
ADVANCED KICK SWITCHES
The first time I ever felt a moment of “I’m doing it!” happened in this exercise. Try to slowly transition and create a bit of hang time. Now to be honest, this requires a lot of practice. You will need to build your wrist strength and body awareness to keep yourself leaning forward into your fingers. GET STUBBORN with the lean — don’t allow your body to shift back into the heel of the hands, a major pitfall you will want to avoid. Secondly, it may take time until your hamstrings have enough flexibility to gain hang time in the L shape — lack of flexibility will result in the bottom leg always pulling you back down to the ground. In the meantime, while you build flexibility, you could always go back to practicing “jump to stag.”
As mentioned in Part 4, stag jumps are the preliminary practices to balancing L-Pose, which requires hamstring flexibility, wrist strength, and understanding your line. Your hips and top leg in this pose can indeed lean back toward the wall a little bit at first and not quite form a vertical line with your arms. This will help minimize the amount of lean that is required in the shoulders. In other words, if you counterbalance a little bit by allowing the top leg to go back slightly, it will help keep the bottom leg lifted, and it will minimize how much lean is required. ONE downfall of doing so is that it might throw off your awareness of your line. So be sure to continuously go back to practicing the “belly at the wall” and “pelvic tilt with a line” drills.
MORE DRILLS COMING SOON!
Thank you for your practice, and I look forward to sharing more drills soon. However, you now have the most essential drills that will lead you to balance. The rest will be slightly more advanced, so be sure to practice these routinely; 3-4 days a week is recommended if you want to achieve balance.
Probably the most important video of this training — come back to it over and over again! BE SURE TO HAVE A WALL BEHIND YOUR BACK. I did not have a wall in this studio that would work with the camera angle. Please do not do this without a wall — it is dangerous. Once you are balancing your handstand and able to cartwheel out (not taught in this training), then you will be able to do this safely without a wall. With a wall, you can focus entirely on the actions, without worrying about falling backward.
HANDSTAND JUMP FOUNDATIONS
To become familiar with having the hands be the primary base of support, we start with playful hops and jumps without any sort of balance necessary. These jumps will likely feel clunky and heavy at first, but with time you will develop the upper body strength and the appropriate amount of weight shifting that will allow you to feel light and free.
Crow Pose can be one of the best preparations for handstand when done with proper techniques. In particular, focus on your knees squeezing into your arms, which will trigger your deep core muscles to activate. This is important for straight handstand because the deep core needs to learn how to activate in order for the pose not to break at the spine. By this I mean that if the spine doesn’t hold like a column, it will send the hips and legs overboard. Additionally, this pose prepares the 3 main actions — Lean, Resist, Push — while being less vertical with the spinal column, and thus less fear provoking, than handstand.
No discussion about the yoga business would be complete without a conversation with Ava Taylor. Ava is the founder and creator of Yama Talent, which has played a massive role in shaping the yoga industry. Prior to Yama Talent, there were no standards for running a yoga business. Ava helped some of the biggest names in the yoga industry establish themselves by implementing key actions, organizing and streamlining negotiations and contracts. It is an absolute honor to have her step in and share her time, knowledge, and expertise with us.
After our discussion together, Joshua Canter of True Nature Travels and I continued to chat about the other elements of leading a retreat. In our first discussion, we spoke all about the lead and administrative action steps for running a retreat. We decided to have a second conversation about the other side: developing the experience. Joshua and I both share a deep love for the transformative power of retreat, and so together we dive in here to give you our favorite tips.
If you are interested in running a retreat, email Joshua and Team at: email@example.com -> put “Referred to by Matt Giordano” in subject line.
Hey all! Just wanted to share a bit of my experience as a brand designer in hopes to help you with that aspect of developing your brand. Matt gives some great tips and advice on branding and marketing so I wanted to expand on what steps you should start to wrap your head around.
A few things to understand first and why it is so important.
Whatever you do on whichever platform you choose, the most important thing is that you remain CONSISTENT. What that means is the logo is the same on every platform, The fonts are the same on every platform and the colors are the same on every platform. This is your STORY. And you want your story to be told clearly and consistently wherever people go to look for you. Your brand story and brand language become your identity that speaks for you when you’re not in the room.
Three Aspects of your BRAND STORY and why it’s so important:
What are your fonts? A font is your emotional voice. When people read different fonts your brain translates the shapes as tone of voice and conversation. How do you want people to hear you?
What are your colors? Your colors are the personality and energy you want to give (side note, the logo should be first designed in only black and white so you can understand the logo and then incorporate color. You will always need a black and white version, and best to make sure it looks good early on in all scenarios then to figure that out in the end.
The “graphic”, or the logo, is your identity and how you want people to see you (like an outfit). It’s what people say about you when you’re not in the room. At the end of the day, this is your brand Identity and it needs to reflect who you are.
I ask my clients a series of questions when starting to develop their brand story:
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
Like Matt suggested, ask yourself what other companies or brands you admire or love. It doesn’t have to be in the same industry that you are looking to work in (ie: doesn’t have to be a yoga brand). Try to pick out three things you like about what they do. It can be something as simple as liking how all their pictures are black and white. Whatever it is, it is something that speaks to you and can ultimately help you find your voice.
Then think about what it is that you want to tell people. What makes you different or unique and what is your elevator pitch? You have one minute to sum up your brand to sell someone on it. What will you say? These days, you really don’t have that much time before someone moves on to the next thing, so how do you share what’s important to you and what you do in one minute?
Your NAME may seem obvious but it needs to be something that can be spelled easily, easily remembered, easy to find. Start a Google search of names you may be considering and see what comes up for them. You want people to be able to find you and not have to remember a long name or spelling. I have had several clients who call themselves one thing and their website is something else, and it is just too confusing.
After you answer the above questions, the designer will be able to develop a story around those answers.
Decide on your name.
Buy a domain (they come with email addresses that can be linked through Google.)
Develop your brand story.
Apply it to a website.
Apply it to social media. (Make sure your designer creates logo variations and sizes for all platforms you may need. You NEVER want to stretch a logo to make it fit. It looks very unprofessional. So make sure you are given a brand guide and all logo variations., ie: bw, color, jpg, png, ai, pdf)
Stay current and relevant by posting content (doesn’t have to be all the time but should be consistent).
Fiverr is a great option for quick and cheap logos.
WIX is an amazing DIY website. You can even have a designer create your “template” and then it’s very simple for you to maintain and edit yourself. You can also start off with a basic site and then add on e-commerce as you go along. WIX also allows you to purchase a domain through them as well as set up your email.
DAFONT is a great resource for free fonts.
Vecteezy is a great resource for free graphic elements and if you’re feeling brave and want to try doing it yourself, try out a trial of ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR.
Square Space is a great option for easy e-commerce set-up, although I find WIX more intuitive but both offer trails so see which works best for you.
End of the day, the best option is the one you USE so make sure it’s something that you can be CONSISTENT on.
LOGO PRICING PACKAGES
Jenna has graciously put together two special packages for you and our crew here. Below are the options to choose from. Simply reach out to Jenna Jennashort@me.com directly and let her know you are in this training and are interested in discussing one of the following.
Base Logo Package/ 350USD
Includes: Four Hrs total design time
Three design concepts
Up to two revisions
Downloads of eps (vector) and JPG file formats supplied
Color & BW version of logo included
125 ph Additional Design time
Dynamic Brand Consulting Package / 1800USD
Sixteen hrs total design time
One Finished logo + Secondary Icons (two finished variations; reconfigurable variation for multi use)
Five design concepts (for logo)
Social Media Logo files
Four color and BW versions of your logo included
Dropbox Access to all working files (downloads of eps (vector) and JPG file formats supplied)
Brand Guide + Development
Included Fonts + Font Files for your Computer (+web safe fonts)
Colors + Color Palate (Pantone, CMYK + Web safe font codes)
Guide and consultation for brand usage across all platforms
Stationery Package design
Business card design
(Print ready and editable files included – printing not included)
Social Media Brand Development
Instagram brand guide design development
Three Templates for social media consistency or Canva assistance + fonts to assure brand assimilation across all platforms
Includes two hours of additional consult/design time of your choosing
Having worked personally with Joshua Canter for a few years now, I was delighted that he was willing to share some insights with us on the topic of retreats. Joshua established one of the leading retreat companies to help yoga teachers minimize the back-end administrative tasks so we can focus on the experience we are building for our students. There are so many moving parts to running retreats, Joshua helps clarify what these elements are so that if you are running a retreat on your own, you know what to expect and can prepare accordingly.
Should you want to chat with Joshua and his team about running a retreat with True Nature Travels, you can do so by contacting them directly at firstname.lastname@example.org -> put “Referred to by Matt Giordano” in the subject and they will prioritize your inquiry and help you decide if running a retreat is the right move for you at this time. They have a non-biased approach because they only make money if you make money, so you can rest assured that they will ask you the appropriate questions in order to assess if this is the best move for you.
If it is, then you will be very satisfied with True Nature Travels as a company. They have been the best of the best, the most personal, and so skillful at guiding me through the process, keeping me on track and ultimately taking a tremendous amount of weight off my shoulders by doing so much of the intense admin, organizational work, functionality of website, logistics, and customer service before, during, and after the retreat.
This allows you will to focus on what’s most important- the retreat experience.
One of the most valuable skills to have as an online entrepreneur is video editing. It typically costs a tremendous amount of money to have basic video editing done for you and you wind up having to do the majority of the work by pre selecting the content you want edited. Most of the time all you really need to do for video editing is cut out the content you don’t want, add transitions, and titles and upload it to your respective channels. This is something everyone is totally capable of.
This was a request from many students coming into the training. I personally use multiple video editing services and software based on my particular needs, however they are all unique to apple computers and cell phones. So I did 2 days of research and tried out multiple platforms and software that were useable on all devices, and I narrowed it down to one service that is a low cost, high value, feature rich experience. Here I will walk you through how to use the platform for free, so you can learn how to do the most important actions with video editing. You may choose to use this forever for free or upgrade if it suits you. Of course once you learn how to use one video editor they are all very similar. I think this particular platform will likely be the “canva” of video editing, and it seems from my correspondence with their team that they might actually be the same company or in some sort of partnership.
In March 2020, I began using livestream services like IG Live, Youtube Live, Facebook Live, Twitter Live, etc. I gathered all my old smartphones and set them up on multiple camera stands. It took forever to set up each time and it was a mess because my internet couldn’t handle multiple livestreams. So I began researching solutions and found the terms simulcast and multicast. Turns out there were multiple services that made simulcasting and multicasting possible and much neater.
Now I only upload one stream and the service delivers it to multiple sources. This is amazing. Now I can go live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all at once. It is illegal to go live on Instagram this way, but you can do it using a free service called Yellow Duck. But you do that at your own risk; your IG account could get locked or banned by doing so. Going live on YouTube is great because the video stays there forever, if you wish ,and will gain traction over time with a good title and description. Going live on Facebook and Twitter will kick up the algorithms for you, making your regular posts more visible. MOST importantly, going live is a personal experience between you and your followers. This is huge for making connections, establishing trust, and potentially getting your offerings in the hands of students. Going Live ALSO provides a level of professionalism that only a few people are willing to step into.
Rebecca Rasmussen is the founder of InstituteofMovement.com, which is where she hosts her signature courses, namely Mindfully Move. After a lifelong career in professional dance and twelve years with the internationally renowned company, Momix, Rebecca was ready to transition away from dance, but her identity was wrapped up in being a dancer.
“Who am I if I am not a dancer?” This was a big struggle for Rebecca, but with time and persistence she not only was able to shift her identity and career, she has turned herself into a thriving entrepreneur. Her path has been very different from mine, and so is the way she approaches business, so I wanted to bring her on here to provide you with another viewpoint on running a yoga business.