Today’s blog post is written by my yogi friend Alexandra Stone who attended my recent Social Media Workshop for Yoga Teachers.
Yoga teachers don’t have time for social media. We’d rather be teaching or doing handstands in the park. I mean, that’s why we left the desk job in the first place, well that and the whole Enlightenment thing. Yet, Soul Seed Media’s latest workshop ‘Social Media for Yoga Teachers’ was absolutely packed on a sunny morning in London.
Cheryl Anne Slater, director and founder headed up the workshop after flying fresh into London from Thailand a few days earlier. She had a tough crowd. As the yoga teachers fiddled with their Ipads and came up with all sorts of reasons as to why social media was too time consuming, Cheryl calmly led the group through an organised plan of action, simplifying the process for all of the shoeless wonders in the room. This is not an easy task. Social media is forever transforming and it is difficult to stay on top of trends making it all seem a little bit overwhelming. Yes, simplification was a good way to begin.
Lord Shiva knows we yogis like to keep things simple and social media seems to be the antithesis of all things straight forward. Cheryl talked the room through a weekly plan detailing how to manage social media and gave golden nuggets of information such as ‘scheduling posts’ on Facebook, and using Hootsuite on Twitter; all very valuable tools for those who have better things to do than sit at a computer all day quoting Ghandi and taking selfies.
As it turns out we don’t have to; just a couple of hours a week it takes to set it all up and send it all out and that’s it, done. You may have guessed I am a yoga teacher however I have a background in journalism and so not a novice. I wondered if I might learn anything new. The great thing is that there was a lot there for everybody to take home no matter what their level of understanding. Cheryl obviously knew her subject and spoke about it with authority. She was at ease in front of the room and explained things in an uncomplicated manner moving from one topic to the next whilst answering concerns.
When Cheryl didn’t know something she didn’t try and talk around it, she said ‘I don’t know’ which was wonderfully refreshing. Social media is a wide subject and since it doesn’t stay static it’s impossible to know everything. Only someone truly confident in their field has that kind of honesty. I trusted the knowledge she gave with an absolute certainty and it’s rare to have that kind of trust in a field that is generously proliferated with a large helping of BS. All of the advice given could be put to good use.
Yoga teachers don’t like anything that feels too business orientated. The commercial world doesn’t understand this so let me explain a little. Yoga is not a job to most of us, it is a path and a passion, it saved our lives and we want to share this gift with the world, to make it better. Commercialising yoga feels wrong, and it is wrong so it was comforting to have the social media workshop come at it from a different angle, a more heart centred focus. In the end social media is just another way to communicate a message and an efficient one at that when you have the right tools. Even the Dalai Lama has a Twitter account. It’s not about money or about becoming the next yogi superstar, it’s about getting the message of yoga to the world, to as many people as possible quickly and getting them to the mat. Of course, it’s also a sweet and lovely thing to be able to eat well and sleep in a comfortable bed without financial stresses looming large.
Us passionate yogis need to take care of ourselves so we can take care of everyone else and social media can help, plus, it’s free, like all the best things in life. Highly recommend Soul Seed Media to help you grow your online yoga tree, from a soul centred heart focused yogi’s point of view.
Join me for my Social Media Online Bootcamp starting Thursday 16th June.
Alex is a London based yoga teacher originally from Liverpool in the UK. Alex’s classes are dynamic and creative aiming to bring the student into a state of interconnection using discipline, philosophical teachings and humour; they are reflective of the many wonderful teachers and styles she has had the luck to cross as well as coming from a place of inner wisdom. In the rare moments that Alex is not practicing yoga she can occasionally be found on the standup stage, she is a published poet and her thoughts on yoga have been published in Yoga Magazine, elephant journal and Mind Body Spirit.
You can find Alex teaching across London at Frame Dance and Fitness Studio, Fitness on Fire, Yotopia and often at Lululemon. She is available for 1to1 private and group sessions in the London area www.alexstoneyoga.com