Kate Connell Potts is an online international yoga teacher’s teacher and a private yoga teachers’ best friend. She has mentored teachers across the globe, developed a successful online course, and authored the companion book The Art of Teaching Private Yoga. Kate joins the 2018 Midwest Yoga & Oneness Festival as a presenter for two sessions.
Weaving her skill as a professional yoga teacher and her experience in digital design, online marketing and program/course development, she will teach yoga instructors- or any wellness practitioner -the business basics of selling-out their private sessions in the ‘high-tech, high-touch age’. She’ll also present the art of teaching private clients and help teachers learn the ropes, or what she calls the "before, during and after of teaching." (Register for workshops with Kate Connell Potts: How to Create Sold-Out Sessions, and The Art of 1x1 Client Sessions by clicking HERE.)
Kate began exploring the private instructor niche right after graduating from her teacher training program. During her training the concept of private instruction was presented as transformative and profitable so there was no hesitation when the studio she managed closed and she needed to pivot quickly and economically into a new role as a yoga instructor. She positioned herself as an at-home private yoga teacher who helped people establish their personal yoga practice.
While making the transition from group to private instruction may seem easy enough, Kate points out that she learned through her experience establishing herself as a private lesson teacher that one-on-one instruction requires an additional set of tools. “While everyone can invest in the effort to do this work, everyone may not want to. One on one work is inherently more intimate and requires deep listening skills, consistent information gathering - through questions, feedback, and observations, -and a high level of intention to maintain a high degree of professionalism" in the field.
"BE UNAPOLOGETICALLY YOu"
by Julia Theisen, co-founder of the Midwest Yoga & Oneness Festival
Last year I was at a trade show in Denver, CO with Scott and we were gifted with two complimentary books from one of the publishing companies. I put the books in my bag and didn’t think about them for another couple of weeks. Unbeknownst to me, one of those books happened to be “Embodied Enlightenment” by Amoda Maa Jeevan.
I believe that the teacher finds you when you are ready!
Friends, this is the first time that Amoda will be teaching in the Midwest! This is an experience not to be missed. She will be accompanied by her beautiful husband Kavi.
The following link to one of her video teachings is an exceptional example of her message.
Click HERE for more information about Amoda Maa Jeevan’s sessions at the 2018 Midwest Yoga & Oneness Festival. For registration information click HERE.
Luke’s down to earth, accessible manner and genuine kindness could be attributed to his Midwestern roots, but is certainly cultivated with his adherence to the yoga lifestyle that has been a part of his life to some degree from a young age. As a popular teacher with a full schedule and busy family life raising two teenagers with his wife, he understands the importance of being grounded. Balance is what he considers a primary goal in the practice of yoga and is his overarching message in his teaching.
Some of you may recognize Luke from the widely popular publication from the Himalayan Institute Press, Yoga: Mastering the Basics by Sandra Anderson and Rolf Sovik. Published in 2000 it is still considered a valuable staple for teachers and students alike. Luke had already graduated from a bio-med program with highest honors from Marquette University and had been living at HI for two years when he was one of the models for that publication.
Recently Luke talked about his roots in the Midwest and his path to senior faculty at HI in Honesdale, PA and a bit more about the roots of the Himalayan Tradition that he teaches in workshops locally, nationally and internationally.
It’s interesting to see how his path unfolded starting from childhood. Luke grew up in an atmosphere of acceptance and diversity. His parents, described by Luke as “ex-hippies’, wanted to move from Milwaukee and open a community center for at-risk youth to get out of the city and spend time in the countryside. It was in this community setting that 8year-old Luke and his younger sister had much more exposure to many backgrounds and influences from people who came to live or spend time with them: a homeless man, a woman from Japan, a man from Africa, for example. “Our eyes were opened early in life” to cultures other than the more conservative viewpoint that they had been used to in Milwaukee.
In terms of yoga and Ayurveda, it all started when his 1year-old sister had recurrent earaches. Conventional treatment didn’t help and so his mother sought the help of a natural health practitioner. One appointment and eight dollars later the earache never returned. The homeopathic, ayervedic healer became their family physician, and, it turns out, the link to the Himalayan Institute. This healer had spent time at the Himalayan Institute and introduced Luke’s parents to systematic meditation, yoga, and relaxation techniques that became a part their lifestyle.
By the time Luke was a Junior in High school he knew that he wanted to go to medical school. “I wanted to help people and I thought being a physician was the way to do it.” Luke went to Marquette, earned straight A’s, had excellent references and experience in the field but didn’t score high enough in all four sections of the MCAT. He scored high marks on all sections except the reading portion. He was a slow reader and that presented a challenge in the reading portion of the test and kept him from scoring high enough to get interviews for a medical program.
In the summer after graduation, faced with studying for a third attempt at the and wanting some time away, Luke went to the Himalayan Institute with his father who was attending a workshop by the spiritual head of HI, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait.
“Every person I talked to (at HI) was like a long-lost friend; every bite of food was like nectar. I’m a scientist and this was a bit much.” Luke had a chance to sit down with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, who asked Luke to move to the HI. Motivated by the nurturing atmosphere and thinking it would be a great place to focus Luke moved, studied, took the MCAT for the third time and, remarkably, received the exact same scores as the first two attempts. Talking to “Pandaji”, the person who would become his teacher and great mentor, he asked Luke “Do you want to be a doctor, someone who helps a hundred people, or do you want to be someone who helps a hundred doctors?” With that, Luke was put into the training program by Tigunait himself, and, from the desire to want to help as many people as he could, Luke didn’t become a physician but started on the path to learn all he could, become an influential yoga teacher and ultimately become a senior faculty member.
This path may seem as though it unfolded easily for him but “as meant to be” as it was, that doesn’t mean his path and spiritual work was easy. “We all have opportunity and mine was unique to live at the HI under Pandaji’s guidance and tutelage, but it wasn’t easy. Tapas is not the easiest or the most comfortable way, but it’s what brings us spiritual fervor, builds our will and determination. We have to have good company, ‘sat sangha’, otherwise it’s too easy to stick with the old habits until we hit crisis mode and realize we need to change.”
What is the basis of the Himalayan Tradition?
“It’s a practice based on Raja Yoga. Its goal is to use all the understanding and practice of yoga, health and well-being – ayurveda and tantra - to create the most accessible path for people to follow to achieve freedom and fulfillment in this life; to live a life of meaning and purpose. Because there are so many different people, there are many ways, using specific tools and techniques of the philosophical foundation that is supportive of the human. You can approach from any path and get to this understanding that we are here for a certain reason. We are here for a certain time. We are here to achieve a certain purpose and dharma. All of this, I’d say is the Himalayan Tradition.”
What is your goal in teaching the workshops and classes that you teach?
No matter what the topic, whether it’s foundational work, mula bandha, postures, mediation or mantra, whatever I teach, if there’s one philosophical, overarching goal, that I really shoot to disseminate it is BALANCE. It’s through this practice we can learn to balance ourselves in our busy lives. Through the practice we can create stability and grounded-ness to be balanced.
Luke will teach a Friday intensive: From Sthira and Sukha to Bhoga and Apavarga (5 CEUs) and several workshops throughout the weekend including Stoking the Light of Compassion and Power: The practices of agni sara, nauli kriya, and surya bhed, Prana Samvedana,: The pranic subtle counterpart of breathing, and Mantra and Meditation for Peace. Visit the registration page here. To see Luke Ketterhagen’s bio, go here.
AMODA JEEVAN, JANUARY 19, 2018
In my role as a spiritual teacher, I meet an incredible variety of people who seek truth. Some of these people have been longtime seekers, some have sat with countless spiritual masters, and others are curious newcomers. They are young, old, and everything in between. They are from all walks of life. I have met yoga teachers, therapists, artists, entrepreneurs, firemen, builders, mothers, fathers, grandparents, and many more. Although I teach primarily in the Western world, I also receive numerous emails from people in other parts of the world, such as Africa and the Middle East. What unites this broad spectrum of people is the burning desire to discover that which is deeper than surface reality. What does it mean to awaken in the midst of ordinary life?
Certain questions come to the forefront of the dialogues in my meetings over and over again. Mostly they are questions about the relationship between awakening and the body, love and intimate relationships, money, work, and creativity, as well as questions and concerns about the suffering of the world.
Traditional spiritual teachings have all emphasized the cultivation of an inner state of stillness that awakens us to the truth of our being-nature. And they say this is achieved by turning away from worldly activity. While the recognition of our essential nature as this being-ness is indeed the foundation of awakening, what was relevant thousands of years ago is not so relevant today. It seems that a transcendent experience of enlightenment is not enough these days; people need guidance and support in embodying the light of awakened consciousness in every aspect of their lives, as fully functioning human beings in the modern world with all its complexity.
In my new book Embodied Enlightenment I speak directly to the new paradigm of awakening that is emerging amid challenging times today. What is needed now is not more of the ancient spiritual wisdom passed down through the ages, but a cutting-edge conversation that acknowledges this wisdom as the foundation of awakening and then goes beyond that to include a dialogue about topics traditionally excluded from spiritual teachings. Some of these topics and questions include: What’s the difference in the way awakened consciousness is expressed in men and women? What happens to sex in awakening? Is there such a thing as an enlightened relationship? Does physical well-being matter in awakening? How do we live selflessly in the modern world? How can money and spirituality be friends? This is uncharted territory. What is coming alive in the minds and hearts of those I meet with is an increasing helplessness in the face of escalating world horrors and a desire for personal empowerment and spiritual awareness. There’s an urgency to end the insanity, both within and without, and to find peace in our hearts and on earth at last.
Enlightenment or awakening (I use the terms interchangeably) is no longer a secret reserved for mystics, nor a luxury indulged in by privileged westerners seeking to become “more spiritual.” Awakening is a necessity if we are to survive and thrive in a world gone crazy with ego’s voracious appetite for “me” and “mine”. To rise above this erroneous identification with form (“my body”, “my thoughts”, “my feelings”) and recognize the eternal truth of an inner dimension of formlessness is to evolve out of ego into an enlightened consciousness. But if this enlightenment is to be of any use, it needs to come down from the mountaintop and get its hands dirty in the marketplace of human affairs. It’s in the darkest places — where it hurts, where there is fear, where we are triggered — that we either choose to succumb to the reactive mechanism of ‘fight or flight’ or have the courage to rest deeply in an unbounded openness that brings an end to the war both within ourselves and within the world. It’s right in the midst of political opinions, religious dogma, social rights and wrongs, and in the push and pull of intimate relationship that we are offered the opportunity to awaken out of the dream of separation.
Many spiritual seekers who experience a glimpse of enlightenment believe the world is an illusion. While this is true at the absolute level of pristine emptiness prior to form, the attempt to transcend the world and its messiness often leads to an “existential numbness” that is mistaken for spiritual liberation. There’s no real peace in this, but a subtle and pernicious war that perpetuates both inner and outer conflict. If awakening is to be more than just a state that comes and goes, if it is to be an ongoing reality with a very real impact on our everyday world, there must an intimate meeting with the depth and breadth of feeling that arises in response to the vicissitudes of our human experience. In other words, the light of awakened consciousness must filter out from the mind into the heart.
It’s right in the midst of the raw tenderness of the heart — those places where old patterns of withdrawal, closure and self-defense may have a grip on us — that the cloud of denial and avoidance can be transformed into the clarity of unbounded acceptance. It’s right in the midst of revulsion, regret, shame, and horror that we are called to surrender to what is here as the naked truth of our experience. When this surrender happens, over and over again, eventually the heart overflows with the light of awakened consciousness which then pours into the belly and comes to rest in an uncompromising embrace of both the waves of phenomenal existence and the ocean of inner stillness. It’s at this point that enlightenment is embodied. And it’s at this point that a new world can be born.
Embodied Enlightenment is an invitation to discover this new world … by devoting yourself to living the truth of your awakening in every aspect of your life. It’s an unending invitation because the embodiment of enlightenment is not static but an ever-deepening intimacy with life itself. If you are willing to wholeheartedly embrace this invitation, then perhaps this book will support you in the fulfillment of a life lived in the infinite openness of awakened consciousness.
Click HERE to see Amoda's workshop schedule. Amoda's bio can be seen HERE. For festival registration click HERE.
I am sharing this post as an offering to those who may be experiencing discomfort or anxiety as a result of the tumult of duality unfolding in the world around us.
Whether it’s the condition of the world or perhaps even our own lives, the one place in which we can take refuge from the storms of the outside world or the inner tension of our mind, is within our dedicated practice or sadhana.
Our sadhana is a vehicle that, through our humble efforts, it is able to transmute the present and impending darkness into light. It is within the refuge of our sadhana, that we bear witness to the small (and potentially huge) ways in which our practice impacts our lives.
In modern times, when the tides of darkness arise in the form of strife or subjugation, many feel hopeless and confused about what to do in order to make a meaningful difference. Fortunately, the ancient Sages have left us with very specific formulas to transmute this darkness and bring about balance. The beauty of this process is that is starts within and ripples outward. First, transforming our own lives and then extending outward – transforming us into nexus points of light, aarti lamps, which then shine their divine light into the world.
When joined together in concentrated practice, this collective light feeds and ignites global and universal transformation. Our sadhanas become one.
Thank you all for your commitment to your practice, to your journey, for who you are and all you do.
I look forward to sitting in sangha and sharing practices with you all!
May we work together uniting our strength for the good of humanity.
Oṁ Sahanā Vavatu
Oṁ Śānti Śānti Śāntiḥ
"May the Lord protect us together.
May he nourish us together.
May we work together uniting our strength for the good of humanity.
May our learning be luminous and purposeful.
May there never be any animosity amongst us;
May there be peace, peace, perfect peace."
Join Jeff Masters at the Friday intensive or one of the sessions during the festival weekend. Click here for more information.
Jeff Masters LMT, C-IAYT, E-RYT, MPCT, Msc. (Hon.), an Integrative Yoga and Somatic Therapist, specializes in assessing and treating somatic-based trauma, chronic pain, and neuro-energetic dysfunction. He has been researching and practicing Somatic Therapies for over thirty years.
Jeff is the founder and director of The Masters Institute and the SevaSoul Foundation, Arizona based organizations dedicated to vibrant health, wellness and the realization of the fully actualized human potential. He is an international speaker, teacher and author. For more information about Jeff or the Masters Institute visit www.JeffMasters.net or www.TheMastersInstitute.net.
Kirstin Pope has three words for you…and they’re FREE! Content. Clarity. Consistency. She will present her tips at a free lunchtime workshop open to all festival attendees on Saturday 1-1:45 p.m. The Power of the Share: Using the Three “’C’s” of Social Media Marketing will be a hardy dish of the stuff we need to know to boost our online presence, share our mission as instructors, and add to the bottom line in our yoga business. As Kirstin explains, we share our intentions, our knowledge, our hearts in the studio with our students, let’s learn how to convey that in a message that can then be shared online, creating a ripple of awareness with more “shares” and expanding our message. She’ll explain how to use the three “C’s” help us hone our message.
Kirstin is the perfect person to guide us through the marketing maze as the Social Media Marketing guru and Official Photographer of the Dubuque Yoga & Festival. She’s the magic behind our online presence, creating text, managing images, posts and video content and creating buzz to increase web traffic. She has learned that there are many ways to get business. She explains that the easiest and least expensive is to have someone tell someone else about your product and services by sharing a good review. “People in the holistic arena aren’t always comfortable or certain how to market what they love doing and the social media funnel is hard to navigate.” Tune in to her tips and learn more about the “power of the share.”
"When you get lost in what you're doing for work, and if you would even do it for free, then you're doing your passion. That's what I'm doing." -Kirstin Pope
So why yoga photography? She admits that it’s a unique pairing. Her father introduced her to photography when she was 13 years old. He gave her a camera with some black and white film and told her to go out and take photos of things that made her happy. After playing all day with light, angles, shutter speed, she watched as they developed the rolls of film in his studio and her images magically developed. She was hooked. After years of shooting with him -- family events, sports, nature--she feels that he is the one that taught her what being in the moment truly means.
Surprisingly I wasn’t the first yogi to express reservations about being photographed. As a yogi and photographer Kirstin is ready to address this fear. Her tips for getting ready for the shoot come from a place of knowing yoga, how to guide people into poses and always with an eye for aesthetic. “It’s a necessary part of my process,” she says, “to help people peel away layer of fear when being photographed. “It’s helping people be a better version of themselves.” Which she loves doing. It comes through in the images that she creates.
Headstands, arm balances, most inversions take yogis right to their edge; that point where challenge and excitement meet discomfort and fear. According to Meg Rima, owner of Ignite Power Yoga in Dubuque, certified Baron Baptiste Power Yoga Teacher and assistant trainer for the Baptiste Institute Team, learning inversions and experiencing that edge is right where life begins and the rewards are greater.
You don’t have to be a Baptiste-style yogi to get there, especially at the Dubuque Yoga & Oneness Festival. Meg’s arm balance workshop is open to all-levels, especially those who simply want to explore stepping out of their comfort zone in a safe, non-judging atmosphere. Meg’s Sunday workshop, Healthy Arm Balances and Inversions, offers a structured practice to learn the foundational alignment of the poses, how to work up to them, and develop new insight as you step up to your point of discomfort and discover what’s possible.
“Baptiste Power Yoga is designed to be accessible to all and all are welcome in this class. Be ready to step up to the edge--wherever that is--and go for it!”
Building community with her clients is one of the hallmark components of her practice as well as “empowering others to shine bright,” as Meg says. “Sometimes we have to peel off the layers but this practice that we do helps us renew our physical vitality, and the work we do through inquiry and meditation helps us fire up any places we are feeling stuck, so that we can get out there and live big.”
Another vital component for Meg, and the Baptiste style of yoga, is what she termed “True North Alignment.” She describes the true north concept as “a whole system of where to put what body part to get what’s true to your body”. And, she assures us, this works the same when we’re upside down.
Although there is a sequence that is common no two classes are the same since instructors are taught to teach to what is right in front of them-to whomever shows up to be taught. She wants beginner students in her classes to feel welcome. That’s no different in this workshop which is appropriate even if you’ve never gone upside down in a yoga class before. “I want people to leave this workshop having been empowered. Typically that means having faced their fear.”
The defining aspect of yoga for Meg, though, goes back to integrity. “If there is one thing that is at the foundation of the practice it is integrity, that is, for example, in our practice, standing in our true north, aligning our body in a particular way, and also standing in what we believe, what we stand for, who we stand for, that can be really freeing for people when they walk out of the studio, to be aligned with what they stand for.”
Kristi has worked with professional athletes for over 25 years, coaching gymnastics - with her own kids on the national team - and working side by side with her husband in their sports medicine health and wellness facility. Her education is in physiology and kinesiology, and, with her husband “Dr. T”, conducts teacher trainings, immersions and workshops and they teach applied anatomy, physiology and neurology all over the world.
I first met Kristi Taylor in her handstand festival workshop. She was at the door welcoming everyone with a big smile and lots of sparkle. Literally. She had glittery, shimmer on her face and chest which was a signal to me that I was in for some fun – and I had the time of my life! I was not a “hand-stander” so I went into this a bit apprehensive. She assured me that even if I couldn’t do a handstand that she “wanted ME!” She promised with great enthusiasm and emphasized that her workshops are for everybody regardless of ability or inability or level of fear. “Turn fear into fun!” which is exactly what happened.
There were some who could and many who couldn’t, but wanted handstand to either be a part of their practice or simply reduce the fear of attempting this inversion. Kristi was able to teach to all levels and focused on giving us exercises to get there eventually if that’s where we wanted to go. Seriously, the fun was in the trying and the teamwork and connections that were made with people I didn’t know before I walked into her “playshop.” “If the description of the workshop brings up fear that you can’t do it, I want you! I know how to work with you.”
That goes for her Acro- Yoga workshop as well. She hopes you fall in love with the partner practice just as she did the very first time she tried it. You don’t have to have a partner to participate because you’ll meet others in the workshop. “I love that it’s an opportunity to know and connect with another soul. It’s magical in that it’s an opportunity to collaborate our energies, without any words. It’s powerful. It connects communities. People in these workshops will meet friends for life. People will experience powerful emotions.”
Another opportunity to connect powerfully is with Thai massage, a workshop that Kristi is known for worldwide. In this workshop people will learn how to give and receive this beautiful form of yoga massage which will incorporate aromatherapy and, again, no partner needed when signing up for this course. “They’ll get powerful tools to share with others and learn how to create an experience beyond relaxation—total bliss!”
Kristi will co-teach with her partner and husband Darren in their workshop Hands of an Angel: The art and science of assisting. This workshop will teach assisting with love, and concrete skills for safe, effective, and empowering hands-on assists. Dr. Darren Taylor is a certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner, and former pro hockey player. A yogi himself, “Dr. T” has treated and rehabilitated yoga practitioners and professional athletes for over 20 years. Together the Taylors own and operate Global Body Health, a clinic that specializes in sports injuries, healthy lifestyles, injury prevention, healing and yoga. They use many modalities to optimize healing and get people back to enjoying their active lifestyle.
Laughter, love, connection and collaboration with exuberance seem to be the common thread in everything Kristi teaches. She loves the concept of connecting on a deep level and facilitating that experience for the greatest good. Her philosophy and skill at building connections have served her in profound ways and recently have inspired a new professional credential to add to her list: Music. This collaboration includes Dr. T and musical guest at the 2017 DY&OF, Michael McGlone.
Michael McGlone is a close family friend of the couple. He is an avid yoga student and attended Kristi’s Acro-Yoga Playshop in New York City. They connected “on a deep level and now he is part of our family”. He recently taught Darren how to play the guitar. Michael has been a mentor to the Taylors on their musical journey, supporting them in their writing and collaborating on the music. Kristi is glowing in her description of Michael McGlone and can’t wait for festival attendees to experience his talent in a live performance. You may recognize him as an actor on TV and in film (he won critical acclaim at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival Best Film Award Winner, The Brothers McMullen) he is a singer, songwriter, actor, author of 6 novels, and a yogi in the Baron Baptiste Power Yoga style.
The Taylors began writing music and collaborated with Michael McGlone for their first song written in January of last year which is called, Thank You, Again; a song about being and living deeply rooted in gratitude, living a life of integrity and loving each other. The three have continued to collaborate on lyrics and music which Michael will perform at the festival.
It sounds like the music career is here to stay. “My husband and I have been married 20 years, and what brought us together was music and laughter. Now, 20 years later it’s still about music and laughter. Music will be a huge part of our future.” They are currently working on the screenplay for a movie inspired by the song they co- wrote, The Hammer, which is Darren’s inspiring life story.
“Do what you love, love what you do. Life is short and we don’t know how long we’re on this planet so I’m going to be really clear and do what lights me up, what brings me love and joy. We are blessed to do what we love. I love working with patients, I love teaching and empowering people and I love music so that will all continue. In all of my workshops there will be loads of fun, love, laughter and music. That just goes everywhere.”
Karen Kramer is a yoga instructor and festival blogger.
7 Windows Of Communication
Baptiste Power Yoga
Dr. Darren Taylor
Mind Body Connection
Moody Cow Jar
Peace Out Corner
Piano And Yoga
Positive Body Movement
Social Media Marketing
The Power Of The Share
Yoga For All
Yoga For Feet