The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

164: Deepen Your Yoga Practice with Barrie Risman



As yoga teachers, how can we deepen our own yoga practice so that we can teach from a place of authenticity? In between juggling our many commitments and responsibilities, particularly in this challenging time in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, we can often fall away from our own practice of yoga. However, we all know that there are so many benefits to having a regular yoga practice, and deepening it. Barrie Risman shares her new book, Evolving Your Yoga: Ten Principles for Enlightened Practice, on how to take your yoga practice deeper.


Barrie Risman has been a dedicated student of Iyengar Yoga for more than 25 years, and teaching for almost 2 decades. As the creator of The Skillful Yogi, an online practice and study community of yoga students and teachers from around the globe, Barrie offers a uniquely accessible, authentic and integrated approach to yoga. Her book, Evolving Your Yoga is a guide for teachers and students to deepen, expand, and integrate the benefits of yoga in their lives. 


We can go deeper in our practice without necessarily doing more or working harder, or even achieving more difficult poses. Barrie talks to us about how to stay interested in our practice, how to make time for personal practice and why that’s so important to being a yoga teacher. She also shares some tips on how to take your practice deeper, and really highlights that it’s not just about doing more trainings and getting more certifications.


As all of us grapple with this current situation, this episode could provide some guidance on how to stick to and deepen your yoga practice.


Key Takeaways:

[7:06] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode.

[8:29] How did Barrie get started with yoga?

[10:52] What is the work that Barrie does now and who does she do it for?

[15:23] What is something that helps Barrie propel her yoga business forward?

[17:36] How can we deepen our yoga practice?

[21:41] Barrie recommends going back to what made you fall in love with yoga in the first place.

[24:00] Shannon shares how she incorporates self-reflection into her own daily practice.

[24:57] What are Barrie’s thoughts on yoga teachers always reaching for the next training to feel like they’re adequate enough?

[31:05] What did it look like when Barrie was a full time yoga teacher, and what brought in the biggest portion of her income?

[33:18] Barrie shares more about the membership aspect of her business.

[38:02] There is something for everyone in Barrie’s membership – it’s not exclusively for yoga teachers.

[39:40] What does it look like behind the scenes for Barrie in terms of making content?

[41:35] How do people in Barrie’s group connect with each other?

[42:53] What helps Barrie make so much content?

[45:01] Barrie walks us through what a day and week look like in terms of her routine.

[47:14] Creating content is a lot about discipline and less about creativity – like yoga.

[51:40] What are some other tips that Barrie has for yoga teacher trying to grow their business?

[53:38] What are your key takeaways about how you can deepen your own yoga practice?




Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from this episode:


“I really dedicated and prioritized time to going deeper into my own experience of yoga and learning from that, and trusting that as a source of wisdom.”


“We can go deeper in our practice without necessarily doing more or working harder, or achieving more difficult poses.”


“We need to really expand our ideas of what practice looks like, and just doing that helps us deepen our practice.”


“The prerequisite for being a student of yoga is the willingness to begin again.”


“The question is not if we’re going to get disconnected from our practice, it’s when, and how are we going to bring ourselves back once we’ve done that.”


“Yoga is not just what we do. It’s how we reflect and learn from what we do.”