282: What's Missing? Yoga Class Notes with Kathryn Anne Flynn282: What’s Missing? Yoga Class Notes with Kathryn Anne Flynn

Have you ever been to a yoga class and noticed that something is missing? Perhaps it was the cues given, or the postures practices, or even the sequence of the class. There are certain key elements that we need to have to make a well-rounded yoga class and we might be missing some of them! Kathryn Anne Flynn shares her expertise on this topic and how we can make our classes more accessible to all.

Kathryn Anne Flynn is a teacher and student of yoga, meditation, Ayurveda, and psychotherapy in Ottawa, Canada. She is known for weaving together her fields of study and practice tools to meet life with a compassionate presence. Students of many generations call her their teacher and they are drawn to her inclusivity and authenticity. Kathryn is also the host of the Intelligent Edge Yoga Podcast, author of Teach Kind, Clear Yoga, and offers online practices as well as trainings, workshops, and retreats.

Kathryn shares her insights about some of the key elements missing from yoga classes (especially with newer teachers) such as silence, little joint care, and music and playlists, and gives us tips on how we can effectively incorporate these into our yoga classes to become better teachers and create a better environment for our yoga students. This is a really motivating episode to get inspiration about how to improve on your classes and create a better environment for our yoga students.

Key Takeaways:

[0:00] Shannon addresses the recent US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade.

[1:45] This episode is also sponsored by the Accessible Yoga Continuing Education Program.

[8:33] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Kathryn Anne Flynn.

[11:55] You can win one of Kathryn’s books simply by leaving a comment in the show notes!

[13:04] What does Kathryn do and who does she do it for?

[14:37] What got Kathryn interested in her work around psychotherapy and trauma therapy, from being a yoga educator?

[17:29] Kathryn is the author of Teach Kind, Clear Yoga. What was her motivation for writing the book and what feedback has she received about it?

[19:31] There are often trends in things that are missing from new yoga teachers’ classes. Kathryn reflects on how she made this observation.

[22:14] A reminder for people going through their yoga teacher training: Teaching yoga is never going to be as hard as it is in your training.

[24:01] Something that is often missing even from experienced teachers’ classes is silence.

“Reviewing your teaching can remain uncomfortable and it’s worth it.” ~ Kathryn Anne Flynn

[26:09] Another element often missing in yoga classes is little joint care.

[28:53] There is value in simplicity and repetition.

[32:33] A tip for new teachers – if you are nervous when teaching yoga, you can use music to support your teaching and create atmosphere in your classes.

[33:54] Shannon pops in to share a conversation she had with Sara Villamil about OfferingTree.

[36:11] Is music essential to a yoga class or can we teach without it? Shannon and Kathyrn share their perspectives.

[43:07] Kathryn shares some tips around what to consider when sequencing your yoga class.

“If you design your classes in a way that folks are safe doing the practice, you can have faith in the resilience of the human body – which means you can have faith in the potency of silence and restrain yourself to offer more space because people need silence so badly if their lives are super busy and loud.” ~ Kathryn Anne Flynn

[48:33] You can bring creativity into sequencing your yoga classes.

[50:16] Kathryn developed her own personal style of yoga because of the communities she worked with and paying attention to their needs.

[53:05] Kathryn highlights two types of postures that are often missing from yoga classes.

[59:30] What are some final thoughts Kathryn has for a yoga teacher who is feeling like something is missing from their class?

“I think it’s important to be able to teach and practice both with and without [music]. It’s just another tool that you need to know how and when to apply it.” ~ Kathryn Anne Flynn

[60:39] Get Kathryn’s book and connect with her via her website and social media.

[62:24] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this interview with Kathryn.


Gratitude to our Sponsors, OfferingTree and Accessible Yoga Continuing Education Program.

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