When Shannon read Kimma Stark’s thought-provoking blog post: What the World Needs Now is NOT ANOTHER YOGA TEACHER, she knew she wanted her on The Connected Yoga Teacher to share her perspective. Kimma, with great love and respect for those who own and/or manage yoga studios, questions the churning out of yoga teachers through the yoga studios who provide trainings in order to make ends meet.

With Kimma’s experience managing four different studios she knows how difficult it is to create a business model that will ensure a studio’s financial success. What she questions is the effect these trainings can have on the industry, the teachers and the students.

Shannon and Kimma also discuss the limitations of a 200-hour yoga teacher training, yogi trainings versus YTTs, the importance of always learning and finding inspiration as an established yoga teacher, embodying your teachings and much more.

For Kimma, teaching yoga is her full-time profession and says it has been “most rewarding, challenging, and meaningful work she has ever done.” She was intrigued by yoga from her very first experience, trying a hot yoga class in 2000. She moved on toward traditional formats and began teaching in 2008. Her teachings are grounded in yoga philosophy, anatomy and physiology.

She teaches private and group classes in Gentle Flow Vinyasa, Hatha, Yin, Restorative, Prenatal, and Kids Yoga classes along with Thai Massage in Cascais, Portugal. She has an Essential Elements retreat planned in Portugal for June 2018.

[9:40] Kimma’s early experience with yoga

[13:30] Kimma’s first teacher trainings

[15:30]  Kimma’s early career in the high-paced corporate world of marketing and advertising

[17:10] What led Kimma to write her article: What the World Needs Now is NOT ANOTHER YOGA TEACHER

[20:20] Kimma’s experience as studio manager and the business model of offering yoga teacher trainings as a way to make ends meet

[22:45] Alternate trainings such as yogi trainings for those interested in delving into yoga but not necessarily teaching and the pressure to teach coming out of your first YTT

[26:05] Kimma’s move to Portugal and travels to Thailand and how teaching yoga can be a nomadic lifestyle

[29:45] On continually learning and evolving as a yoga teacher and how students can sense when yoga teachers are embodying the yoga they teach

[31:18] What 200-hour YTT Kimma would recommend

[33:12] Other considerations when choosing a yoga teacher training and approaching yoga with an understanding of the light and dark (the yin and yang)

[35:00] Why Kimma feels a 200-hour YTT is not enough

[37:30] What would Kimma tell aspiring yoga teachers who have obstacles, such as distance and time, about taking a yoga teacher training and why Kimma has a concern with online training when starting out

[39:44] The effect of studios offering yoga teacher trainings to make ends meet instead of offering unique teachings and the idea that teaching yoga is a service

[44:30] Kimma’s advice to teachers wanting to teach full-time  

[46:28] How to contact Kimma and her upcoming retreats

[49:18] Shannon’s closing thoughts and key takeaways


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