Marni Sclaroff at The 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference

This post is a part of a series introducing the presenters of our 2019 yoga conference, (March 22-24, 2019) sharing more about them, our own perspective and intentions for their involvement, and how their unique offerings contribute to the larger conference experience.

Marni_action2.jpg

Professional Bio

Marni Sclaroff is a yoga and meditation teacher, spirit guide, and wellness mentor, with over twenty years of experience in the healing arts. She leads workshops, retreats, online courses, mentoring programs, and teacher trainings throughout the US and abroad. Her yoga classes are a unique blend of soulful inspiration woven into functional body mechanics, with a side of light-hearted playfulness, and earth based spirituality.

I recently bought a book for Maile titled “On Writing: A Memoire of the Craft” written by Stephen King, where in the brief description on the back of the book it ends with the sentence “Life isn’t a support-system for Art. It’s the other way around.”

This sentence makes me think of Marni’s teaching style. To me, her teachings seem to come from someone viewing yoga as a support system for life, but not the reason for life.

I have come to have a great appreciation for teachers who genuinely strive to meet students where they are in their practice, while also carrying with them a very real depth of knowledge.

At the conference this year Marni worked to create a special collaboration with Mindy Bez that I’m really thrilled about. One of the greatest joys of the conference is that it’s a place where people meet with and reunite with their friends. Last year Marni and Mindy struck up a friendship and this year will be teaching an intensive on Friday titled “Soul Family-The Power of Yoga Friendships”. They begin describing their offering with the following:

In the Buddhist Tradition, Sangha, or spiritual community, is one of the central pillars of support for the practice. Our friends become our mirrors, our support, and they become our teachers.. In our spiritual friendships, we learn how to hold a space for each other to be vulnerable, to trust, and to wake up. In this workshop, we will explore the beauty of relationships that are dedicated to supporting your highest self. 

There are many customers of the conference who shared stories with us of how the conference has for them become a place to nurture their friendships. This intensive was made with you in mind!


You can learn even more about the workshop Marni will be teaching at the 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference, along with dozens of other presenters bringing hundreds of workshop hours, at https://tulasoftware.com/myc2019. Join us at The Most Comprehensive Yoga Conference in the Nation, March 22-24, 2019.

Tanya Boigenzahn at the 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference

This post is a part of a series introducing the presenters of our 2019 yoga conference, (March 22-24, 2019) sharing more about them, our own perspective and intentions for their involvement, and how their unique offerings contribute to the larger conference experience.

tanya_action.jpg

When you casually ask around the Minneapolis Yoga Community something along the lines of “hey so who’s one of your favorite instructors?” you almost always hear the name Tanya Boigenzahn.

The quality of her instruction is praised by students and teachers alike, and she is also a past presenter of the conference. So it seemed natural to ask Tanya to present and I’m thrilled to say Tanya is returning this year! At the 2019 conference she’s teaching “Anatomy, Asana and Adjustments” as a part of the Yoga Therapy Track, as well as an additional workshop, “Tantric Yoga Demystified”, where she describes how she’ll teach that Tantra is a complimentary practice to both Yoga and Ayurveda.

The hardest part about the conference for me in many ways is only being able to bring in so many presenters each year. In some respects I feel Tanya presenting at the conference again has been a little overdue so I’m excited that she’s back this year. Her teaching is appreciated by so many and it’ll be fun to be able to introduce new students to her as well.

Professional Bio

Tanya Boigenzahn is the Founder and Executive Director of Devanadi School of Yoga & Wellness as well as Thai Yoga Bodywork, LLC, empowering people with authentic and time-tested tools and teachings to help reach their highest potential. With 25+ years on the yoga mat and 30+ years on the meditation mat, she is a multi-certified yoga teacher honored to be one of the first ParaYoga® Level III Teachers and Certified Four Desires Trainers in the world recognized by her teacher, Yogarupa Rod Stryker. She also regularly studies with Indu Arora, and completed her Ayurvedic Yoga Therapy program in 2015. Tanya also continues to study Sri Vidya, Ayurveda, and Vedic sciences regularly with Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, James Bailey, and many others.

As a Certified Yoga Therapist, Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist, Thai Yoga Bodywork Therapist, Certified Healing Touch Practitioner and Reiki Master/Instructor, Tanya uses this experience to help deepen students’ knowledge of the traditional practices of healing and wholeness. She is also the forthcoming Executive Director and a registered Instructor with Thai Healing Alliance International (THAI), and offers one of the only multi-level certification programs to learn the art of Thai Yoga Bodywork outside of Thailand.


You can learn even more about the workshops Tanya will be teaching at the 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference, along with dozens of other presenters bringing hundreds of workshop hours, at https://tulasoftware.com/myc2019. Join us at The Most Comprehensive Yoga Conference in the Nation, March 22-24, 2019.

Avanti Kumar Singh at the 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference

This post is a part of a series introducing the presenters of our 2019 yoga conference, (March 22-24, 2019) sharing more about them, our own perspective and intentions for their involvement, and how their unique offerings contribute to the larger conference experience.


avanti_headshot.jpeg

As a student of yoga, I often find myself both intrigued by, and skeptical of, the way in which people in the yoga community talk about healing. Intrigued, because I have felt first hand some of the healing powers of yoga, and intuitively, many of the teachings make sense to me.

Skeptical though, because sometimes people make claims that aren’t backed up by science, which haven’t been or can’t be replicated in clinical trials, and communicated with a tone that often seems to suggest yoga and diet can cure every disease.

So I was thrilled when Indu Arora, who designed the entire yoga therapy track and worked with us to invite presenters for the track, invited in Dr. Avanti Kumar Singh.

The more I read about Dr. Singh on her website, and the more videos I watch of her speaking, the more excited I became about her presenting at the conference.

It is vital, in my opinion, that we understand both the possibilities, and limitations, of different healing approaches. What’s exciting about Dr. Singh, from what I’ve learned so far, is that she’s not teaching an “either / or” approach. Instead, it’s an integrative approach. Taking the best of what she’s learned from her medical training, and what she’s learned about yoga, meditation, lifestyle and diet, she advocates for a wholistic healing approach.

Dr. Singh now works at the Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago where she “provides faculty with an opportunity to explore the theoretical principles, clinical practices, and evidence related to complementary and integrative therapies.”

We are very fortunate to have someone with the depth of knowledge Dr. Singh brings. At the conference she’ll be teaching two workshops - one as a part of the Yoga Therapy track and both of them centered around healing, and in particular, the power that lies within each of us to bring healing to ourselves.

Professional Bio

Avanti Kumar-Singh is a physician who, after medical training in emergency medicine, began a journey to find her joy again- and to help people truly heal. Realizing that you can “quit your job but you can’t quit your calling”, Avanti set out to discover what really makes people healthy and what predisposes them to illness. She is now on a mission to evolve the conversation and to create a movement in which medical professionals reclaim the “art” of medicine and become heart-centered, healing catalysts that practice true medicine and support self-healing in their patients.

Over the 20 years of her training, study and research, Avanti has shared her expertise with Fortune 500 companies, elite undergraduate and graduate institutions and at prestigious industry and medical conferences. She has also been featured in the Huffington Post and was a member of upwave.com’s review board—Turner media’s former health and wellness entertainment brand. Avanti is currently the co-lead facilitator of the Faculty Scholars Program in Integrative Healthcare at the OSHER Center for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.


You can learn even more about the workshops Avanti will be teaching at the 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference, along with dozens of other presenters bringing hundreds of workshop hours, at https://tulasoftware.com/myc2019. Join us at The Most Comprehensive Yoga Conference in the Nation, March 22-24, 2019.

Initial Lessons Deploying Virtual Audio Attendances at Tula Yoga Studio

Tula Yoga Studio started using virtual audio attendances a couple months ago, and we wanted to take some time to outline a handful of the initial lessons Maile and her team learned getting things to the point as we head into our full production rollout of the feature.

First, the Philosophy and Initial Student Feedback

If you’re going to use this feature, it’s worth understanding the philosophy behind it’s creation and why it exists. Online classes are becoming more popular, and with this feature, we think studios have a unique opportunity to be both the physical and virtual destination for their students interested in doing yoga. We believe it will help retain existing members, help encourage people thinking about becoming members to join, and hopefully result in more people doing more yoga through your studio.

We’re thrilled that we can say many students at the studio have written to Maile thanking her for providing this feature. As we had hoped, there is definitely a population of students that genuinely appreciate being able take a virtual class with an instructor they’re familiar with in real life.

Image via Amazon

Image via Amazon

Recording Classes and Uploading Audio

Initially, we thought the instructors might use a bluetooth mic hooked up to their phones and they’d upload the files to dropbox or something. And, we were thinking maybe they’d have a lapel mic with a receiver clipped to their clothing. And this can work. Many presenters at conferences are used to wearing mics and receivers. But also, this is hardware designed to do this exact job.

After doing a bunch of testing and playing around, Rhiannon found wearing the mic to be pretty annoying, and as well little things could cause the audio to go a little haywire. And, things can get sort of clunky when you’re bringing in multiple people, all using different devices, all with a different level of familiarity with dropbox, vs. google drive, vs some other storage and then sharing the files.

So we learned that at least at Maile’s studio, it’s a lot simpler and easier to use dedicated hardware. We chose to use the Sony UX 560 after checking out Wirecutter for the best voice recorder.

This device is great because the instructor literally just clicks the record button, and places it on a table in the studio. It’s designed to capture audio, filter out background noise, and it plugs into your computer via usb when you’re ready to upload the file to Tula.

Conveniently it also automatically names your audio files according to the date and time of the recording, and when you run out of space it automatically recycles through, overwriting the oldest files first.

I was reminded of the benefits of dedicated hardware during this process!

Of course, your mileage may vary. If everyone at your studio uses the same tech, and you’re already sharing dropbox files, well then maybe a different solution will work for you. For Maile though, this seemed to be, by far, the closest “plug and play” solution they could find.

Recruiting Teachers to Record Audio

Something that’s proven to be a little more difficult than I had anticipated was getting instructors interested in recording their classes.

Some instructors simply are uncomfortable having their classes recorded, because the act of recording can possibly change the class. Others are interested in having their classes recorded, but first wanted to get into place contracts saying that they owned the audio, and the studio could use it for as long as they were contracting there. While others wanted to be able to make sure any revenue was shared fairly in the event any particular recording became popular. And others still were fine recording but wanted to get paid a little more for classes they are recording.

Ultimately, what it comes down to, is as the studio owner you’re asking the instructor to take on some extra work when they do this, and it’s worth thinking about in what way you want to compensate them for this work, what your budget is, how many classes you want to make available, and proceed accordingly.

For now, Maile has Rhiannon recording two classes per week on a set schedule. This allows Rhiannon to know exactly which classes she’s going to record and prepares accordingly. From there, Maile plans to bring on another 2-3 recordings per week. The last thing worth mentioning is that she’s already seeing that it’s the students driving instructors to participate by asking them to do so.

Our advice: start with a couple classes a week, consistently, that your students can count on being available. From there, market it and promote it to your student base. It seems that sparking the initial interest in the students is what will drive the rest of the adoption of the feature at your studio.

Marketing!

As with everything else, you have to share with your students that this is a benefit they can take advantage of! Maile has been doing a lot of promoting of the feature not only online but with signage in the studio, and in the welcome email triggers that go out to all the new students. As students exit the studio, this is a sign Maile has up just to the left of the door to ensure they see it!

Looking Ahead

We’re thrilled about the initial reception of this feature, from both our customers and from students. We think this feature is one of the finest expressions of who we are as a company, and the degree to which we’re working to empower studios. As with all our features we will continue to learn, refine, iterate and enhance but as things look now, this is one of the most impactful features we’ve ever launched.

Carly Brown at The 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference

This post is a part of a series introducing the presenters of our 2019 yoga conference, (March 22-24, 2019) sharing more about them, our own perspective and intentions for their involvement, and how their unique offerings contribute to the larger conference experience.


Carly Brown_headshot.jpg

“She saved me.”

I was talking with one of our conference customers between workshops last year, when the topic shifted to how we had each gotten into yoga, and a woman shared with me the above about her instructor, Carly Brown.

Over the course of our conversation I heard the story of someone who had experienced deep loss and grief, and yet found themselves in a comfortable place, through their yoga practice, and in particular through their work with Carly. (I try to be aware of things not necessarily meant for the internet so I’ll refrain from going into any details).

Naturally, when time came to plan for the 2019 conference I asked the student for an introduction.

I’m thrilled I can say Carly will be presenting two workshops at the 2019 conference, one on The Art of Letting Go and another on The Art of Making Time.

Carly also owns a studio in Dryden, ON, bringing with her the perspective of both an instructor and studio owner. We can’t wait to see Carly, and hopefully you as well, at the conference!

Professional Bio

Carly Brown has been teaching Yoga for the past 9 years under the watchful eye of her Guru, Shri Prasad Rangnekar and other esteemed teachers. Her teachings are always student-centred, helping others connect to their own light, wisdom and bliss within. Often playful, but always sincere to the traditional teachings of yoga, Carly has a way of providing a great balance of her knowledge in anatomy, yoga philosophy and life experiences in a way that sparks a light in anyone present. Carly often guest lectures and speaks on various Yoga/Mindfulness topics around Canada. She is the creator of ShineOn! an empowerment program for 7-14 year old girls and her Simplicity Training for Inner Peace program which helps adults realize their true potential. Carly is also a Yoga Therapist, has her degrees in Kinesiology and Education and is an associate teacher of the Yogaprasad Institute 200hr & 500hr yoga teacher trainings. Carly is the recipient of numerous local awards for her community-centred studio Lokah Sangha Yoga in Dryden, ON.


You can learn even more about the workshops Carly will be teaching at the 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference, along with dozens of other presenters bringing hundreds of workshop hours, at https://tulasoftware.com/myc2019. Join us at The Most Comprehensive Yoga Conference in the Nation, March 22-24, 2019.