Social media has an impact on all of us whether we are a yoga teacher trying to spread the word about your studio, or a student looking for a place to take a class. We have come to rely on Facebook, Twitter, the internet for information, and at any given moment, we find ourselves on either side of the marketing equation. As a business owner or instructor how do we navigate the social media world and use it to enhance our reach and develop a larger following? How do some people do it so well and others can’t seem to post a Facebook message that catches likes or shares?
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
Spending most of her professional career in marketing and sales, she has recently added some credentials that have created an interesting path for her. What she describes as a crooked path seems more like a convergence of passions that aligned when the time was right. Kirstin has combined her love of yoga, her creative eye in photography, her marketing skills, and entrepreneurial spirit to form her own business, Ripple Yoga Photography, formerly Ripple Infinity Marketing. It’s a unique combination of skills blended from different parts of her life that she truly and simply said “Yes!” to.
“A pivotal point in my life was beginning a yoga practice in 2013. It changed my life! Yoga, breathing, meditation have given me the ability to trust and love myself first so that I can better help others. I remember leaving a hot yoga class at Ignite Yoga Studio in Dubuque one evening and looking up at the stars and the universe and almost shouting I love how yoga makes my heart feel full of happiness – I want more!” She certified as a teacher in Core Power yoga flow, then a 20- hour training in Yoga for PTSD, and finally a 200-hour certification from Body & Soul. She teaches chair yoga in assisted living communities and senior centers in Madison where she now lives. She also designs classes for people with brain injuries and teaches yoga and meditation to the sales community.
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.
“I am someone who has always seen life a little differently. I see life as vibrant colors and varying shades of gray. After starting my yoga practice I would pay attention to the yoga photos that people posted on Facebook and Twitter and felt a sort of happiness.” It was through her family and friends that she got her official start as a yoga photographer. It began with an event for Molly Schreiber, kids yoga instructor in Dubuque. Then several events followed: a shoot for a YTT calendar project, another shoot for Deb May, a local yoga instructor, and then, after being hired as the Social Media Coordinator for Body & Soul Wellness Center, she found herself as the official photographer for all three yoga festivals. Other assignments followed with individual yoga photo shoots for Sadie Nardini and Erin McGuire. Her passion for this niche felt like the right direction and now, with hundreds of individuals and groups under her belt, she can include the official photographer for the Minneapolis Yoga Conference, Madison’s Free To Breath Yoga Challenge and four cover photos for YogaIowa Magazine.
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.
For more information about Ripple Yoga Photography, check out Kirstin Pope’s website at www.rippleyogaphotography.com. It’s filled with wonderfully creative shots. Look for great tips on her website for yogis planning to be photographed—what to do before, the day of, and then after you pose. Ripple Yoga Photography is a sponsor of the DYOF so check out her booth. Go HERE TO REGISTER for the 2017 Dubuque Yoga & Oneness Festival.
”When you heed the call to become something greater than yourself, you transform not only your own life but the lives of all those you touch.”
Talking to Jeff Masters you’d never guess that his career began many, many years ago, after all, he’s not even what you would consider middle-aged. Jeff’s career—you might say, “soul’s calling”--began at the tender age of 5 years old. His is an interesting story of circumstances and people coming into his life as if on cue to guide him and inform his work making him uniquely qualified to teach students how to navigate their soul’s calling, and, in a therapeutic sense, how to consciously release “issues in the tissues.”
Jeff will provide four workshop opportunities at the 2018 Midwest Yoga and Oneness Festival, May 4th-6th. Don't miss this great opportunity to meet Jeff and learn more about his work as an Integrative Yoga and Somatic Therapist specializing in assessing and treating somatic-based trauma, chronic pain, and neuro-energetic dysfunction. He has studied with many of the greatest minds in the mind/body science field.
Jeff describes his work as creating a bridge between the eastern art and science of yoga and the western understanding of medicine, consciousness and psychobiology. He explains that the mind and body are not separate elements and any separation is an illusion. The body is, in fact, “crystalized mind”. What Jeff does from a therapeutic perspective is engage the impressions that are crystalized into the tissues, that effect our behavior, our perceptions, and our consciousness and allow them to unwind and move into a changeable state so that the individual can work with them from a conscious, mindful place rather than being controlled and manipulated by them.
From a teaching perspective, he finds that the art and science of yoga is a path or formula for the liberation of our consciousness. Jeff's classes bridge eastern and western philosophy and knowledge in a meaningful way so that each student can connect with the lessons. “Yoga may feel uncomfortable to some people who think it’s a sort of mystical practice. But Yoga has concrete, pragmatic techniques that one can use that will create lasting and profound shifts in our perceptions, consciousness and reality. The story of your life is written into tissues of your body. Yoga allows us to lift the ink from the pages and rewrite or erase these stories.”
Jeff’s thirty-year career researching and practicing Somatic Therapies was influenced in part by experiences he had as a child growing up in California. He and his family were exposed to several supernatural experiences, as he describes them, and Jeff himself had several profound experiences as well. These events led him to the understanding that there was more to the physical world than simply what we see.
He understood that the world as we see it is not the truth of the experience, that there was a whole other level of existence beyond our limited perception of reality. This understanding opened him up to perceiving nonverbal and nonlocal intelligences. It was the start of what eventually became the foundation of his work. Only few years later, as if by coincidence, Jeff began meeting a series of influential people who were to become his mentors.
Thinking to toughen him up, Jeff’s step-father enrolled him in a martial arts class. Once Jeff overheard his teacher mentioning things like Tibetan Monks, levitation, and other mystical abilities from the far east, Jeff knew there was something more that needed to be researched and became one of the youngest readers to devour all the new age books he could find at his local bookstore. His unusual curiosity lead him to read about Yoga, meditation, mystical beasts, astral projection and crystals. At 8 years old, Jeff is arguably one of the youngest readers of “Light on Pranayama” by B. K. S. Iyengar.
Around this same time, while attending his martial arts class, he observed a gentleman doing Yoga and asked him if he would teach him. The man agreed only if Jeff would commit to 6 months of study and meditation. Jeff, still only 8 years old, started his classical yoga training, became initiated into transcendental meditation tradition, and began a lifelong study of the deeper practices of yoga.
At this same time, Jeff met the woman who would become his spiritual mentor. Taken with his knowledge of the healing properties of the rose quartz pendant she wore, his soon-to-be mentor invited him to a meditation group where an older, proper, English woman channeled the Ascended Masters. Again, this is hardly typical entertainment or education for the average 8-year-old. Jeff was the only male, and child, in the group. These experiences solidified his relationship with Joelle who became his life-long teacher and mentor, and a force which would shape his skills to calm the mind, go inward, and actively sense / channel energy.
Noticing Jeff’s interest in Chinese medicine and body work, Joelle introduced him to a local body worker who became Jeff’s somatic therapy mentor. A licensed massage therapist, she began teaching Jeff the rudimentary aspects and techniques of body work (massage, Trager therapy, herbalism and acupressure). Often, while working on clients as a body worker, Jeff would be simultaneously learning about perceiving and running energy, with Joelle present during the sessions.
These early teachers; the yoga teacher, meditation/energy worker, and bodyworker all took him as their student from the age of 8 years old until he was 16. At that time he graduated from high school a year and a half early, and, after an introduction from Joelle, began to work as a researcher in the lab of Marcel Vogel, a former IBM research scientist and then director of Psychic Research Inc. In Vogel’s lab, Jeff studied the structuring of fluids with consciousness using crystalline technology (this was long before Masaru Emoto’s work involving human consciousness and the molecular structuring of water). “Marcel was such a scientist and mystic ahead of his time. So far ahead that some people didn’t listen to him. Now, it’s become mainstream“.
It was during this time in the lab that Jeff began to catch a glimpse of his life's calling. His understanding of the “issues in the tissues” began to come into focus and crystalize - how life events get encoded in the liquid crystalline structure of our body and how consciousness effects all aspects of our psycho-biological and psycho-energetic experience. Awareness of his "internal environment and posture" became an even more basic training. In the lab Jeff was trained to be “neutral,” using mindfulness and consciousness techniques. Jeff was required to remain as neutral as possible as he conducted experiments so as not to inadvertently taint the samples with own his emotions or intentions - which would ruin the experiments.
"It’s literally a calling; a soul’s path. I was navigating the sacred journey of my life.”
It was through these amazing teachers that Jeff found his awareness expanded, his life shaped, and his life’s calling. “These beings gave me such a gift of their time, their knowledge and ultimately their love. There is no way I can ever repay what they’ve done for me except to honor them through my work.”
He acknowledges that his was not the normal route. “I believe that, as a therapist, apprenticing as a body worker since 8 years old, my life turned into a vocation. It’s literally a calling; a soul’s path. I was navigating the sacred journey of my life.”
Find out more about Jeff’s workshops and intensive throughout the festival weekend: The 5-Steps to a Radiant Practice!, Matri Bhāvana: A Spiritual Practice, Yoga & the Energetics of Trauma, Journey into the Lotus of the Heart by clicking HERE.
To learn more about The Masters Institute or Jeff's nonprofit organization, the SevaSoul Foundation, both facilities dedicated to vibrant health, wellness and the realization of the fully actualized human potential, visit www.TheMastersInstitute.net or www.SevaSoulFoundation.org. For more information about Jeff, his work, workshop/seminar schedule, and blog, visit www.JeffMasters.net.
Karen Kramer is a yoga instructor and festival blogger.