Complementary Classes to Add to Your Yoga Studio Offerings

My studio, Eighteenth Element Yoga offers a nice selection of trauma sensitive yoga classes. You’ll find a regular schedule of vinyasa, Yoga H.I.I.T., Warriors Flow, Mindful Resiliency Yoga, Zen Flow, Restorative, and Yin. Yoga is offered everyday. Additionally, we offer seasonal and special classes along with workshops.

However, one thing we’ve discovered is that there are other interests that bring clients to the studio. We discovered this via Tai Chi. One of our instructors really wanted to offer Tai Chi so we allowed him to teach it. We’ve learned that about half of the Tai Chi clients only go to Tai Chi and the other half take various classes, mostly slower moving yoga formats like yin, restorative, and sow for. So for us, Tai Chi is filling a niche and is here to stay on the schedule.

Shortly after Tai Chi, we introduced mat Pilates. This class is popular with clients who take regularly flow based yoga classes at our studio. They enjoy the focus on the core and it’s just something different. The nice thing is that it was a small investment in very light weights (2-3 lbs) and those squishy balls (think Bender Ball).

Next, we added what we call the Barre Element. Barre Element is a fusion of Ballet, Pilates, yoga, resistance training, Lotte Berk Method, and low impact cardio. No, it’s not a “true” barre class, but it has aspects of it. With this format, we were able to use the balls and weights that we already had. We added some 5 and 8 lbs weights, some weighted bars (Body Bar), gliding disks, and resistance bands. This class draws in outsiders and some of our yoga clients. We only have one class on the schedule so far.

Then we got a little crazy and added a Friday night belly dancing class. Let me tell you that’s a huge success. I really think it’s the instructor with this class. Our people just love her.

Finally, we just started offering private yoga therapy sessions. My business co-owner is trained in yoga therapy so this is her deal. With this offering, clients seem to be mostly outsiders more so than our class clients. I find this very interesting.

All in all, as studio owners, we are a business and to thrive, we need clients and people in our classes. So for us, lots of variety with our yoga offerings complimented with sprinkles of other formats such as Tai Chi, mat Pilates, and Barre is a growing strategy. We are fairly new and slowly building our client community.

What are some formats that pair well with your studio? Let’s start a dialog.



Posted in Barre, Community, Multi Mindbody Formats, Pilates, Tai Chi, Uncategorized, Yoga | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Candlelight Restorative Flow

It’s just around the corner…the dreaded time change switcheroo. This time it’s where we fall back an hour and revert to standard time. And I hate it! I really wish we wouldn’t mess with the time whether it’s to Daylight Savings time or Standard time. Just pick one and leave it alone!

According to research, the switching of an hour ahead or falling back isn’t good for our health. I particularly dread the fall back an hour since I work a 12 hour shift that day so I drive to work in the dark and commute home in the dark and there are no windows to look out during the day so I don’t get to see the sun and we’ll that’s depressing.

So I got to thinking that this is a perfect time to do a Candlelight Restorative Flow. The room only being lit by candles represents the shorter days. (I found battery operated candles, a set of 12 on Amazon that I’ll use).

Here’s the gentle format I’m going to use:

I’ve scheduled it for the Saturday prior to time change at 4:45pm. It will be a 75 minute class, starting in a seated pose (hero’s pose) that allows the class to ease into space, essence of the class, and introduce the 4-7-8 pranayama. We’ll do four cycles of 4-7-8 and then move to a gentle equal ratio breath. I’ll cue hands on heart and belly and borrow the “Elevator Breath” found in Julian Pranski’s book Deep Listening. Its a great grounding exercise that I love. Once we’ve arrived, we’ll continue with the equal ratio breath as we pursue gentle limbering arm movements.

As students incorporate the equal ratio breath in sequence with flowing arms, I’ll share this quote I found from Winston Churchill.

An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn is all that we ask in return for dazzling gifts. We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.— Winston Churchill  

Gentle Flow (10-20 minutes)

Hero’s pose to Child’s Pose

All 4’s to Cat/Cow Flow

Child’s Pose to Modified Plank Flow

Then lay on belly starting on a gentle Cobra…inhale into cobra, exhale turn head to the right, inhale into cobra, exhale turn head to the left.

Staying on belly, extend arms to Gecko arms (arms out like a push up but with hasta bandha) then a slivering Cobra.

All 4’s to Modified Side Plank with Flowing Thread the Needle Arms (both sides)

Yin Yoga Poses (20-25 minutes)

We’ll pursue some yin poses here, just a couple. (I’m still deciding which ones to do). Regardless, these will be true yin poses as described by

Since, we hold yin poses for some time (3-5 minutes), it is a great opportunity to explore dharma talk. While in these poses, I’ll revisit my theme of grounding and taking care of yourself as we adapt to Standard Time and enter into the hectic times of holiday preparation.

Restorative Yoga Pose (20-25 minutes)

Restorative yoga poses use a lot of props and are held even longer than yin poses so I’ll pick one or two. Dharma talk continues.

Then eventually moving to Constructive Rest Pose and Savasana.


I really like Anjali Mudra and this variation to close this class. It has three parts:

And I borrow from the Upanishads

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.” ~ Upanishads

Third Eye – Gesture at the third eye

Lips – Gesture at the lips

Heart – Gesture at the heart (I also close here with hopefully they’ve received exactly what they’ve needed in their minds, bodies, and spirits followed by my Namaste expression and bow).


I personally like music. I’ll be using ambient songs. Still exploring and putting together my playlist. Do you have any song suggestions?

So there you have it, my special class in honor to the fall back to standard time and the hectic times ahead. But it’s still evolving and if you have some constructive ideas, I’d love to hear them.



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Space Oddity was a hit for the late singer David Bowie with its popular lyrics “ground control to Major Tom.Take an opportunity to revisit the song and really listen and if you’ve never heard the song, definitely check it out.

An important concept in yoga is that of grounding. If you have a few yoga classes under your belt then it’s highly likely you’ve heard this talk of grounding. What exactly is it and why is it important?

What is grounding?

First off it’s a verb because we are hopefully doing it and it’s an adjective because we are feeling it. Thinking about it from a physical standpoint, it is about our connection to the earth or the ground. The concept draws on our mindfulness or really breaking down our awareness to how our body (the part of it that’s touching the ground which includes our yoga mat) feels on the ground. So in short, it is our awareness of our physical connection to the earth.

To encourage mindfulness, yoga teachers need to draw on details and be very descriptive as they explore being grounded. If for instance, the students are standing then the instructors would focus on the feet and more than likely explore pada bandha. Here is an example. Let’s bring our awareness to our feet. Drawing toes up, notice the prominence of the bones on the underside of our feet. Keeping toes lifted, bring awareness to our big toe mound that’s right under the big toe. See if you can gently press it down into the earth. Next, let’s explore the little toe mound under our baby toe and press it into the earth. Taking our heals and dividing them in half, let’s explore our inner heals and press them into the earth. Pressing our outer heals into the earth. Noticing these four corners of our feet as they press into the earth equally. Keeping this connection. Spreading our toes nice apart and gently lowering them onto the earth. Paying attention to each toe as it lands softly. Noticing any sensations that arise as we explore this connection. From there, we mindfully start to travel up the body pit stopping at key areas such as ankles, shins and calves, knees, hips, and torso. By doing this, instructors are painting a visualization that our body is a stable base and for a moment students will more than likely feel grounded.

Why do we ground?

Well, there are many reasons.

First, it’s a feeling of heaviness that is also energizing. When we notice how firm and stable our foundation is, we feel supported. As we push into the earth, there is the sensation that the earth pushes back. This is known as the ground force reaction or for short, rebound effect. The harder the surface is that we are pushing into, the stronger it can be sensed and since we are standing it reminds us to stand tall. By exploring this sensation, we are giving our monkey minds a specific task to do which feels energizing but also calming feeding into that zen feeling. (If you’re a yoga teacher revisit Yoga sutra 1.2, Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah which translates as “Yoga is the restriction of the mind’s fluctuations”).

Secondly, it’s important psychologically. It’s about feeling connected and connected to something so much larger than ourselves. It’s community and satisfying the need to belong. We are not by ourselves. We are rooted to earth which is our home that provides basic needs such as shelter, air, water, and food. And when we think like that, our problems might not feel so overwhelming. Think about any time someone has a problem they need to overcome. We as family, friends, and professionals often encourage folks to seek out support groups. Regardless of whether we are standing on our mat or battling a problem, support proceeds action!

Third, our modern busyness of “doing” and multitasking thus living on autopilot is a ground hog day nightmare that eventually gets the best of us. It makes us feel flighty and unconnected. It contributes toward negative things such as anxiety and depression. And we aren’t really doing anything real effectively. If we are trauma survivors this out of touch feeling/numbness can be heightened.

Why down vs. up?

We are programmed to think up. For instance a popular example is climbing up the corporate latter because and I quote “the only job where you start at the top is when you’re digging a hole.” However, nature doesn’t work that way. Nature moves downward. Think digestion or birth. How about a bird. A bird must push down onto a branch before it can fly. Then there are trees that let go of their leaves. Their leaves eventually fall down to the ground. Additionally, think about how an idea manifests. It starts in our heads as we imagine it. We then give it a story and relationship qualities with our heart. To focus on it, we center ourselves in our solar plexus. This process allows us to create and turn our idea into something.

Teaching groundedness.

My spell check doesn’t think groundedness is a word, but I’m going with it. Grounding should be a key focus as you create a sacred space for your students. It does all the above stuff, but it also makes people feel safe. Safety is a basic need and until it is established, nothing will happen! (Explore Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). If you are teaching, trauma sensitive yoga, never skip including grounding as you create the space! Part of the trauma experience is that they’ve lost that grounded feeling.

Groundedness, especially if you’ve made it your classes’ theme, should be revisited throughout the yoga practice. Ways to do that include strategically placing quotes, drawing onto nature’s references such as a tree or walking barefoot on the beach, using grounded words as you cue such a root or dig, and it could even be the music you play. Throughout the class also means at the end. It can be incorporated into final relaxation, but it should be one of the last things you do before you give your namaste salute so they walk away with this all to important feeling.

Rooted in love and light,



P.S. Now that you’ve read this. Listen to David Bowie’s song. I feel as the earth is telling Major Tom to stay connected. And I’d love to hear if you’ve come across some other songs…

Posted in Being grounded, Creating Yoga Themes, Learning, mind-body connection, Trauma sensitive yoga, trauma-sensitive yoga, Uncategorized, Yoga, Yoga for PTSD, yoga lesson plan ideas, yoga teacher training | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Post Fourteener Restorative Yoga Sequence

Colorado is home to a lot of mountains classified as “fourteeners.” That is these mountains boast elevations of fourteen thousand something feet above sea level. The tallest mountain in Colorado is Mt Elbert at 14,433 feet and the shortest fourteener is Sunshine Peak coming in at 14,001. I have a fantastic view of a fourteener from my home, Pike’s Peak at 14,110. There are also a ton of thirteeners as well.

It doesn’t matter whether you hiked a thirteener or a fourteener, they both can be quite difficult to summit. First of all, they aren’t easy! The air is thinner, you’re exposed to high winds, sun, maybe altitude sickness, and perhaps all four seasons of weather. And more often than not, the routes to the top collect quite a few miles with steep grades in addition to snow.

As you climb and hike up, your mind plays games (especially if you are beginner) with you encouraging you to quit and you feel all your muscles at work to include all those involved with breathing. As you near the top, you gain a renewed sense of determination. When you arrive, there is a huge sense of accomplishment. You did it! You are elated! You enjoy the view! Maybe look for the geological marker on the summit. Take lots of pictures and maybe video to include one of you holding your summit sign (just make sure you bring your sign back down with you). Meet new friends on top. And you have a snack!

Then it is time to go down. In general, you’d think going down would be easier and of course faster, but on a fourteener, more often than not, you’re dealing with loose rock (talus) and scree. You don’t want to dislodge any rocks because that can quickly turn into a very dangerous situation. You have to be careful where you step because a miss step will involve a fall. Obviously some falls can have major negative results other than a minor cut or bruise. There is slippery snow even in the summer. Often the loose rock and scree is with you until you reach the tree line around 12,000 feet. On top of this, going down is hard on the knees and you’ll feel that right away! When you finish, you’ll probably be very excited to see the trailhead parking lot area. After a very long hike, the parking lot is a welcome site!

After all that hiking, you’ll want to take off your gear, pull off your hiking boots/shoes, and put flip flops or something else comfy on. Before you sit in your car for the long ride back to where you came from, it is smart to do some stretching. I highly recommend that you stretch out your quadriceps and calves in particular. Do each side. Use your car or a tree to assist you as you stretch since you probably won’t feel like balancing.

Nothing fancy about these tried and true stretches!

* Standing Quad Stretch – Pull one foot up and back towards your butt
* Runner’s Calf Stretch – Put hands on car or tree, step back in a lunge and press that heel into the ground
* Hamstring Stretch – Put one foot on your bumper or rock, bend at your hips, and reach towards your extended leg
* Standing Figure Four Stretch (Standing Pigeon) – Put your hand on your car or a tree, bend knee and place ankle on standing leg’s thigh, and lower hips as if you were going to sit.
* Chest Stretch – Interlace fingers behind back and lift arms up

A day or two after hiking a fourteener, try this restorative yoga sequence to lessen the sensations and muscle soreness!
1. Start standing in MOUNTAIN POSE. Find a deep equal ratio breath that will evolve into Ujjayi.
2. Inhale, lift those arms overhead for EXTENDED MOUNTAIN. Exhale TWIST right extending arms out to the front and back of the room. Inhale EXTENDED MOUNTAIN. Exhale TWIST left. Inhale back to EXTENDED MOUNTAIN. Interlace fingers, exhale SIDE BEND right. Inhale up. Exhale SIDE BEND Left. You can repeat a few times.
3. Inhale EXTENDED MOUNTAIN. Place palms together and as you exhale, slide hands to heart for ANJALI MUDRA. Next, place hands on backs of hips as if you were sliding hands in pockets. Soft, gentle BACKBEND, inhale. Exhale to MOUNTAIN. Inhale to EXTENDED MOUNTAIN. Exhale swan dive into FORWARD FOLD. You can use blocks and either way keep knees soft so hands are grounded into the mat or blocks. Stay here for a few moments. Inhale HALF LIFT. Exhale FORWARD FOLD. Do a few of these.
4. Stay in HALF LIFT, bend knees a lot and allow your torso to come to be fully supported on your thighs. Allow your arms to RAG DOLL. If you like it better, you can place your hands in the crooks of your elbows. Gently sway side to side staying supported on your thighs the whole time. Come back to center and place hands on mat or blocks for FORWARD FOLD.
5. Step back into DOWNWARD FACING DOG. Let your heels sink down. This should feel good after hiking. Peddle your feet for WALK THE DOG. Linger in one side as long as you like. Then return to DOWNWARD FACING DOG.
6. Shift forward into PLANK (your variation). Exhale into CHATURANGA to your belly. Use two yoga eggs or one block and push them into your sternum for a SUPPORTED SPINX POSE. Allow the butt to soften with legs hip distance apart. Stay here for a moment.
7. Remove the eggs or block and slide up into ALL FOURS. Slowly pursue a few CAT and COWS. Come back into ALL FOURS and find THREAD THE NEEDLE. Do each side and don’t rush. When finished, sink back into CHILD’S POSE.
8. Come out of CHILD’S POSE and find DOWNWARD FACING DOG. Lift your Right leg to the ceiling for THREE LEGGED DOWNWARD FACING DOG. If you’d like, bend your right knee and STACK YOUR HIPS for a gentle hip opener. Square up your hips and bring the right foot between your hands, drop your left knee onto your mat for a KNEELING LUNGE. From here, lift your left arm overhead, rotate your torso towards the left and then reach over your body. Undo your reach and rotation. Place your hands on the mat, framing your foot. Option to lift left knee and to come up on ball of foot. Twist torso into forward leg. Right hand can stay on right thigh or reach up towards the ceiling for DRAGONFLY TWIST. Come back into your lunge, step back into DOWNWARD FACING DOG again and do the other side.

9. If you are feel OK, add this next part in. If not, skip it and move onto step 10. From DOWNWARD FACING DOG, lift right leg up for THREE LEGGED DOWNWARD FACING DOG. Draw that knee into the chest and place the foot between the hands. Step in a little with your left foot and place it firmly on the mat with all four corners grounded. Orient your toes forward, allow hips to square, and place hands on hips. Hinge forward at the hips and as you exhale sink as deep into the pose as you feel comfortable for PYRAMID. Stay folded for as long as you like. Inhale lift your torso up, step back with your left foot to find a WARRIOR I stance. Inhale your arms up, exhale arms down, behind your back, and interlace fingers. Inhale lift the chest and pull your knuckles towards the mat. Exhale, forward fold, keeping hands interlaced. You can keep arms on your back or perhaps lift them slightly off your back but still keeping fingers interlaced. Sink head down towards your mat and keep your shoulders on inside of your forward knee for HUMBLE WARRIOR. Inhale brings you up and undo your hands. Exhale, cartwheel back to your mat and step back into DOWNWARD FACING DOG. Do your other side.

10. Inhale, look towards your hands, exhale walk towards them to find FORWARD FOLD. Inhale HALFWAY LIFT. Exhale back to FORWARD FOLD. Inhale reverse swan dive up into MOUNTAIN POSE.

11. Find a wall and stand facing the wall about arm’s distance away. From here, using the wall find DANCER’S POSE. Pull your heel up towards your hips and if you feel OK, slide supporting hand up the wall. Hold. Then with the same leg as you come out of dancer’s pose, place your ankle on your supporting thigh for FIGURE FOUR. Start to walk your hands down the wall as you start to sit turning this into SUPPORTED STANDING PIGEON. Do the other side.
12. Come away from the wall. Straddle your legs out just past shoulder distance. Orient your feet forward and place hands on your hips. Fold down and place hands under shoulders for WIDE FORWARD FOLD. Linger here. Then when ready, walk your hands backward till your fingers are in line with your heals. Flip your hands around so you fingers are pointing behind you. Flatten palms into your mat. Gently put body weight into the balls of your feet. Linger here. To get out, even out your body weight into your foot, flip your hands around, and walk them back under your shoulders. Place your left hand under your face, lift right arm out to the side and gently TWIST. To increase your range of motion, bend your opposite knee. Untwist and return hand to mat. Do the other side. When done, place hands in your hip crease and hinge up. Step together.
13. Prep for LEGS UP THE WALL. Put a folded blanket next to the wall. Orient yourself on the blanket and drift your legs up the wall. Stay here for as long as you’d like.
14. Come out of LEGS UP THE WALL POSE gently. Keep your blanket as a pillow for your head. Grab two blocks or two eggs. Lay on your back for CONSTRUCTIVE REST POSE. Place your feet on the blocks or eggs allow them to be at a slight angle that flows with your feet. Knock your knees together. Place your fingers to include thumbs on the soft part of your belly for PEACEFUL LAKE POSE. Imagine your knees as the fourteeners you recently hiked and your belly is a peaceful lake where all ten fingers are little boats floating on tranquil lake. Allow your breath to soften so your boats don’t have turbulence. Find your natural rhythm of breath. Perhaps you close your eyes. Stay here a while.
15. When you are ready, slowly come into a comfortable seated position. Find GARUDA MUDRA. Imagine the majestic eagle that sores the mountains. Give yourself an embrace and thank your body for the journey it just took. Find ANJALI MUDRA and close your practice.

Hopefully, you feel a lot better after this restorative sequence. It is not meant to be power yoga or a vinyasa, but rather more of a slow flow, gentle sequence! After all, you just hiked a fourteener. Maybe sooner rather than later, you just might be inclined to hike another, after all hiking a fourteener can be quite contagious. Colorado has 58 to hike and climb.

Perhaps, I’ll see you on a summit sometime.


Visit Eighteenth Element Yoga and practice with me.

Posted in Deep Stretching, Hiking and Yoga, Outside Fitness, Stretching, Uncategorized, Yoga after hiking a fourteener, Yoga Flows | Tagged | Leave a comment

Salutation to Earth Day 2017 Yoga Class

I teach all sorts of yoga classes at a variety of locations and I’m always looking for ideas and themes. Another year has passed and just around the corner we celebrate a special day called “Earth Day.” Earth Day is always on April 22 and this year it happens on a Saturday. For this day or about this time, I like to celebrate earth in my yoga classes.

Spring time is a fond time for me and around mid to late April, it actually starts to behave more and more like spring here in Colorado. The world around me is coming to life with trees and flowers blooming and grass turning green. My neighbors are outside more and like them, I’m itching to be outside on especially nice days and it can be really rewarding if I can practice yoga surrounded by nature.

As I just mentioned, I like exploring ways to bring “Earth Day” into my classes during this time of year. One constant concept I’ll return to is that of “Grounding.” I’m pretty comfortable with teaching grounding as I teach a lot of trauma-sensitive yoga and its a pretty important theme. To enhance grounding, I’ve discovered therapeutic grade essential oils like Frankincense and Balance (grounding blend by doTERRA). If my class is open to essential oils, I have them hold their hand out as I go around and shake a drop or two in their palms. I encourage them to smell the oil and to put it where ever they want on their bodies. My folks tend to like this approach. Most folks opt for the oil but I have one or two who are cool with the aromatherapy but don’t actually want the oil on them.

Earth Day/Week Class

This year, I thought I’d incorporate all the “salutations” I know into class. My class is pretty familiar with Sun Salutations (A, B, and YogaFit’s hybrid of the two). On full moon days, I sometimes have incorporated Moon Salutations. I’ve used both the Ashtanga version and the YogaFit moon salutation versions in my classes.

So here’s my plan.

Grounding Theme. I like talking about connections, rooting, pushing down before we fly… those sorts of things.

Start with Child’s Pose (with one Egg Block under forehead) then slowly massage rock forehead on Egg. [(I use 3 Minute Egg Yoga Blocks. You can get them on Amazon plus I’ve gone to Jason’s training (creator of the blocks)].

All 4’s then Cat/Cow Flow then evolve into Sunbird Flow.

Transition into Downward Facing Dog and allow for feet pedaling and knee bends. After that Forward Fold interlaced with Half Lifts a few times. I then like to have them move from Half Lift into really bending the knees and draping/supporting their torsos on thighs and allowing the head to hang. If they feel comfortable, they can rag doll their arms or fold hands into elbow creases and gently pendulum side to side while fully supported. After a few, returning to Forward Fold then transitioning to Mountain Pose. From there, I often invite a few side bends just because I think they feel great.

Sun Salutation A (maybe add a little variation) – Do a few times.

Pit Stop in Mountain Pose.

Sun Salutation B – Do a few Times.

Pit Stop in Samastitihi (Equal Standing Pose).

Allow for Balancing Poses. I think Tree Pose and Half Moon are great options.

Moon Salutation (I’ve chosen YogaFit’s version because it is shorter than the Ashtanga version and I have time to flow through it a few times).

Transition to the Mat.

Earth Salutation (I’m only going to do one. I’m using the one I wrote about a while back for another Earth Day Celebration, but adding some transitions and variation that in my opinion allow it to flow a little more smoothly. Here is the link, if you want to check it out: Earth Salutation).

Then transition into Constructive Rest Position. Allow for Supine Spinal Twist and then giving my yogis their choice of final resting positions.

Usually, I close with Anjali Mudra, but for this class, I’m going with Garuda Mudra and as they are in it, reading the passage on page 103 of “Mudras: Yoga in Your Hands” by Gertrude Hirschi and ending with those Positive Affirmations.

You can make this class a Vinyasa style, teach it YogaFit style, or do more of a slow flow. It works great as one hour class but if you teach longer you can spend more time in flow sequence repetitions, flow breakdowns, or use the Ashtanga Moon Salutation Variation since it’s longer. I taught it this past Tuesday up at the Air Force Academy and they loved it.

If the weather is nice and you have the option, have class outside. If you teach inside, maybe use a nature inspired playlist.

So this is my plan, as I’ve said, I’ve already tried it out on one of my classes and it works nicely.

Use it if you’d like.





Posted in Beginner yoga, Community, Community Yoga Practices, Creating Yoga Themes, Essential Oils, Exercise, Fun, Moon Salutation, Outside Fitness, Spring, trauma-sensitive yoga, Uncategorized, Yoga Flows, yoga lesson plan ideas | Tagged | Leave a comment

Frequently Asked Yoga Questions

As a studio owner, I get tons of questions from various people. It varies as to who asks, but generally our askers are folks who have never tried yoga, new in town but yoga practitioners, or some type of therapist.

Here’s our list for Eighteenth Element Yoga.

  1. This one is always asked. What are your prices?

Its a great question. People live within budgets and yoga does have a reputation of being pricey. But, it doesn’t have to be. At Eighteenth Element Yoga, we feel yoga should be assessable to all but still reasonable for our staff and studio. When you pay for a yoga class, your money supports the studio and goes towards paying the instructor.

Currently our Walk-in = $8

5 Class Package = $30

6 Month Unlimited Classes (Autobill) = $60

2. I’m not flexible.

Ok, this is more of a statement, but we get it a lot. Flexibility is not a requirement to go to yoga. At Eighteenth Element Yoga, we’ll meet you where you are with in your range of motion and work within it. We have numerous props that are available so you can have the yoga pose fit “your body” not forcing your body into some pose.

A well rounded fitness program consists of cardio, strength training, balance, and flexibility. Yoga depending on the style can be a low impact cardio class. You’ll use your own body weight to build strength. We always incorporate balance training. Yes, you’ll stretch but again within your range with or without props.

3. What do I wear or what should I bring to yoga?

Wear comfortable clothes you can move in. Think about your shirt. We do incorporate poses where your shirt could ride up. If that might bother you, consider one you can tuck in and still move or something more form fitting. You don’t need shoes. Yoga is practice barefoot.

As far as bringing stuff. Bring a water bottle and a small towel. If you have your own yoga mat, bring it. If you don’t, no worries. We have mats, straps, blocks, bolsters, strategic padding for sensitive areas, and blankets. All are available to you.

4. Where are you located?

This is important. We want you to find us. Eighteenth Element Yoga is in a tucked away corner and away from the business of the city.

5050 Edison Ave, Ste. 115

Colorado Springs, CO 80915

We are in a green and white tucked away office building with a butterfly statue in the courtyard. We are on the first floor. If you need a handicap access, the west entrance (closest to Asian Pacific Market) doesn’t have steps.

We are just off Platte approximately a 1/4 mile away from the Powers Intersection. If on Platte coming from Powers, head west (toward) the mountains. Shortly after Powers, you’ll go across the Sand Creek Bridge, immediately turn right onto Babcock and left onto Edison. We are the driveway right after Calvary Chapel. If you are coming from the west (Academy Blvd), head east on Platte. Turn left on Wooten and immediately right onto Edison. You’ll pass the Asian Pacific Market. We are next to the market on the east.

5. What facilities do you have?

We have bathrooms and a water fountain just outside of the studio. You can change clothes or use the restrooms. We don’t have showers. As for personal belongings, please bring them in the studio. We have hooks for your jackets and purses. Your belongings will be safe.

6. What classes do you have for newbies?

We gear our classes towards you. We are very adaptive and trauma-sensitive. If you have special needs please let us know so we can work within your needs. (Scoliosis, bulging disks, fibromyalgia, anxiety, PTSD, missing limbs, wheelchair…) If you are just beginning then let me point you towards our “Back to Basics,” “Beginner Yoga,” “Slow Flow,” “Mindful Yoga Resiliency,” and “Restorative Yoga” classes. We also offer a workshop series of “Body Awareness” where we focus on specific areas of the body. So far we have “Healthy Hips = Happy Hips,” “Honor Thy Back,” and “Sciatica: Pain in the Butt and Leg.” We have class descriptions on our website under our section called “Classes.”

7. How do I sign up for classes?

We have a couple of ways. First, you have to fill out our waiver (a one time deal), but then you can register online (preferred method) or just show up for class where we will register you and take payment. If you register online, you’ll guarantee your space and sometimes it can be cheaper (especially for workshops). We have two approaches. One, download our Eighteenth Element Yoga app (looks just like our logo), create a profile, check out our schedule, then sign up. The other approach is to go to our website, click on “Sign Up Now” to view our schedule and reserve your spot. When you register online, you can pay online from the convenience of your phone or computer and then just arrive at the studio.

8. Which yoga classes are trauma-sensitive?

At Eighteenth Element Yoga, our slower limbic based movement classes are trauma-sensitive. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, we’ve made it easy to identify them. All of our trauma-sensitive classes have a * next to the title. If you attend our “Mindful Yoga Resiliency” class, we recommend you also work with a therapist.

9. Do you have daycare? Can I bring my kids to yoga?

We don’t have daycare. Older kids are welcome to take yoga with their parents (just not Mindful Yoga Resiliency or Yoga For First Responders). We have fun kid friendly yoga mats. We ask that if you do bring your children that they do yoga and not run around the studio so they aren’t disruptive to our folks. We also have special kids yoga classes called “Kids Artistic Asana” which we do twice a month. We also occasionally host a teen/tween girls day.

10. How often should I practice yoga?

The more you practice yoga, the better you’ll feel. Yoga is a mind-body approach to wellness which means there are several approaches. You’ll exercise your body four ways (low impact cardio, strength training, balance, and flexibility). You’ll learn breath awareness. Breathing is a huge part of yoga. Several breathing exercises are introduced and explored and all are intended to enhance or self-sooth your yoga practice or reduce anxiety. Additionally, we work on your positive mind. The way you think affects how you feel. Yoga is big on Positive Affirmations, Positive Philosophies, Self-esteem, and the practice of Gratitude. We also offer opportunities to explore meditation, yoga Nidra, and iRest. You can do all of this at Eighteenth Element Yoga.

So start out maybe going twice a week. Gradually increase your yoga practice.


These are the most common questions we receive at Eighteenth Element Yoga. Hopefully, these answer your questions or concerns. However, feel free to ask other questions.




Posted in Beginner yoga, budget, Uncategorized, yoga newbies | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Helpful Hints for Yoga Teachers Who Want to Get Teaching Gigs

As a yoga teacher and a yoga studio owner, I have had the opportunity to interact with hundreds of yoga teachers. Some teachers are well established and others are inexperienced having just graduated from a yoga teacher training. Overall, I have two perspectives: that of a yoga teacher and as a studio owner. While this topic is searchable online, I don’t feel people are being reached, the subject isn’t explored in depth, or maybe people just aren’t interested in bettering themselves. Who knows. Regardless, I’ll give you my perspective because I’ve experienced some pretty ballsy moves by some people. These are the kind of moves where you go “wow, did that just happen?!?!” and all you can do is shake your head. Yep, those kind!

If you are a yoga teacher; established or not, there is a high possibility you might want to get a teaching gig or add teaching opportunities. Why  wouldn’t you? You paid, thousands of dollars and spent countless hours learning how to be a yoga teacher so its likely you want to practice what you’ve learned and maybe even help others.

I’m betting that is the case.

As a yoga teacher, you can find numerous places to teach. You can teach in a gym and it really doesn’t matter what type of gym either. You can teach in churches, community centers, and recreational centers. Businesses even offer opportunities too. Perhaps you teach at a coffee shop or store that sells yoga merchandise. Of course, it doesn’t stop there. There are tons of corporate opportunities with giants such as USAA insurance or hospitals. If places don’t offer yoga, you can create opportunities to offer it. For instance, you can teach privates, hold classes in your neighborhood, or home. And of course, last but not least, you can teach at a yoga studio.

No matter where you might want to teach, you are looking for a job! It is the same as looking for any other job. Yoga is no different. Please treat it as such!

To increase your chances of actually securing a yoga teaching gig, I offer some advise. (Both my business partner and I have worked in the corporate world and we still do. We also happen to own a yoga studio). These are my expectations of a potential employee.

  1. Have a professional resume! Submit it (email, online, snail mail, walk-in)
  2. Be knowledgeable about the yoga studio, business, gym… (What is their mission statement? What type of clientele do they work with? Even better if you are part of our community).
  3. Be prepared to sell yourself. Be humble! You are looking for the job. The employer doesn’t need only you when there are several other instructors looking for opportunities too.
  4. Come prepared! Be able to talk about what is on your resume, about the studio, and how you could be part of the team. Have copies of your certs, Yoga Alliance registry, insurance, and samples of workshops that you can show me. Also, know ahead of time, if you’ll be doing a demo class and be prepared for that. (If I consider you, I will make sure you are legit).

Here is what I am not going to do as a studio owner! These are deal breakers!

  1. I’m not going to chase you. If you can’t make the time to meet with me at the studio where you’ll potentially teach then you aren’t the right person for my team. That right there tells me a lot about you as a reliable teacher! Plus, remember, I have several instructors to choose from. You aren’t my only hope.
  2. No one is a diva or rock star in my book and you especially as a newbie aren’t going to get preferential treatment at my studio over my established staff. Yes, I’ve heard it all before about how you pack the studio at where you currently teach. Guess what, chances are extremely high that your so called following isn’t going to follow you to your new location. Sure maybe one or two might, but not the whole studio and those onesies won’t show regularly either. I call this the “BAMBI” effect. (I’m prior Air Force and that means “back at my ‘last’ base I…”).  No, you’ll have to essentially start from scratch and build your class and earn clientele. Just like everyone else had to.
  3. It is my studio and I’ll tell you where I have teaching opportunities. Guess what, this is how the real business world works. As a studio, believe it or not, we’ve done the trial and error thing and have learned what does and doesn’t work. Plus, us studio owners talk. Overall, it is perfect if one or more of our class timeslots work for you. That definitely would be a win-win. Eventually, you might work your way into a timeslot that you’ll love. But know this up front, I’m not going to shuffle my studio schedule or staff around just to accommodate you. That is not how it works. I know my clientele and studio pretty darn well.
  4. I’m not going to entertain extreme left field ideas. If what you want to teach doesn’t fit our business model, I’m going to say no. For instance, if I don’t offer “Arial yoga,” why would you preach that on and on to me? Or that you want to offer a workshop that runs way over our typical workshop price points that our customers are used to seeing. There are legitimate reasons why we do and don’t offer certain classes or even prices. One top reason is insurance.
  5. You are there for the clients. You’ll teach to who is in the class. It is not up to you to decide who can and can’t take your classes. At Eighteenth Element Yoga we have clients with adaptive needs to include missing limbs and wheelchairs, those with PTSD and anxiety, and lots of newbies. Yoga is for every single person.
  6. I run the studio’s budget and we pay what we pay. If you don’t like it, no one is forcing you to take the job. Plus, if I do consider giving you more money, it will be because you’ve proven via steady performance how valuable you are to my team. You’ve got to show me!
  7. No your little kids can’t run around my yoga studio while you perhaps teach! I have a trauma-sensitive studio who caters to traumatized people. I don’t run a day care and no I’m not watching your kids.

These are just some common expectations. At least they mine. Yes, I had to say it! Probably others too.

One last note… If you are a nearby acquaintance who has never or rarely comes to my studio and are ballsy enough to say, “I’ll come to your studio if you hire my friend so I can come to her classes,” that doesn’t set the right tone for your ‘friend.’ Just saying! Yep, had that happen too!

I don’t want to end on a negative note. If you are part of my team you are a VIP in my book. I will work hard to mentor you and build you up. For instance, I offer more teaching opportunities (workshops, classes, YTTs…) if you desire them. I don’t want you to have to work at six different places just to make a living. I bring training to the studio so you don’t have the expenses of travel. I do give pay raises. I consider and often get what yoga accessories you want or need for your classes. That and more happens at Eighteenth Element Yoga Studio.




Posted in Community Yoga Practices, creating a new yoga studio, How to get hired as a yoga teacher, Lessons Learned as a Yoga Studio Owner, Looking for Yoga Teaching Opportunities, Preparing for a yoga job interview, Uncategorized, Yoga, yoga studio, yoga teacher training | Tagged | 2 Comments