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67. Yoga & Boat Docks (featuring your host, Ashley Weber)

by Ashley Weber
May 25th 2021

Today it's just me your host delving into all things Yoga & Boat Docks! In this episode i share with you what I have learned and how teaching out on the water has made me a better yoga ... More

Hey friends. If you want to help support the show, please consider joining our official yoga and podcast. Patreon the great member perks such as exclusive stress relief, audio meditations live in yoga classes plus you can earn podcast merch over time. To find out more, please visit patreon dot com forward slash yoga and podcast. It's spelled P A T R E O N dot com forward slash Y O G A N D P O D C A S T. The link to check it out is also in the show notes your support is greatly appreciated now on with the show. Uh huh. Mm Yeah. Hey friends, welcome to the yoga and podcast. I am your host, Ashley Webber, a yoga and Pilates teacher who is living and learning and being a human every day here in beautiful austin texas and I am constantly curious about all things yoga and if this is your first time joining us a big warm welcome to you.

This podcast is an invitation to open up your aperture to how we might view yoga. Is it possible that yoga is more than something that you do on a piece of rubber but could it be infused into other aspects of our lives today we will explore the subject of yoga and Botox. It'll be just me pouring out my heart and soul for the love of teaching Murdoch yoga. In this episode I certainly did not invent boat dock yoga but I certainly am passionate about sharing what I have learned from teaching out on the water and I like to highlight why it's so much fun but also how I have grown as a teacher from teaching boat dock yoga and I hope my insights helped to inspire those who are just curious about Botox yoga. Maybe they want to take it as a student or perhaps even teach it. So let's grab a cozied beverage, sit back, relax and enjoy the episode, y'all, mm mhm.

Uh huh. Young girl, hey, friends as May is approaching. Um I've been feeling really, really sad and missing a lot of things as we all are because of the pandemic but things are starting to move a little bit more hopefully. And um and that's great and I've been really noticing how much I've been missing uh my boat dock yoga classes which I know I know boat dock yoga uh sounds so gimmicky doing yoga on a boat dock. What does that have to do with um yoga philosophy or our Botox in the eight limbs of yoga? Probably not. But it's it's something I've done on and off since starting my Yoga career which was six years ago.

And there's something about boat dock yoga to me that sort of started um started off my yoga career in a very passionate way. And I just I wanted to share in this episode some of the stuff that I have learned if you ever want to teach outdoors and you haven't yet or you want to teach specifically on a boat dock. I've I've learned a lot. I've learned a lot and and I know what what works and what doesn't thus far. And so this episode is about sharing that and it's also sharing like why it's so awesome to do yoga on a boat dock if you haven't experienced it for yourself, whenever things get back to where we can do yoga on a boat dock, I highly, highly, highly recommended. And so this whole Botox yoga thing began right at the very beginning of my yoga career, right? As I was graduating from my yoga training, my 200 hour, I would walk on town lake and it's if you don't know Austin texas, there's this big lake in the center of Austin and then there are all these trails around it and you can walk 10 miles around this lake and there's bridges and it's really happy and pretty and along town Lake you have uh Botox, imagine that.

And um and so I would walk quite a bit on town lake and um I just kept seeing these Botox and I just kept getting a really clear feeling of, oh, I need to teach yoga on a boat dock. And uh my genius idea was to uh add yacht rock music to it and call it yoga, two yacht rock on a boat dock. And I just thought that was the coolest thing ever, I was so excited to do that and um and what's kind of funny about it is um I don't particularly row or boat or hang out on Botox or I'm not even really into the water all that much. I'm not like, I'm not, I'm not a fan, I'm not a fan of the summer, I'm not a fan of anything that requires SPF and um I know that sounds lame and that's very unpopular to say that, but it's true, but for whatever reason, the Botox yoga thing just felt like, oh no, that actually sounds like something I want to do and something really fun, but it went against all things I usually like.

Um and so I proposed this idea of yoga to yacht rock on a boat dock to docs to Botox and the feedback I got from one was, that's a lot of box for one really long title of a class and they didn't like, they didn't like the idea. And there were also like, what is yacht rock? Well, if you don't know, yacht rock is that sort of soft rock music of the late eighties, early nineties, so steely dan toto River City band and I like that stuff. It's cheesy, but I like it. Uh, so that was my brilliant idea. So the first Botox I went to, we can call this a very popular boat dock, a very beautiful boat dock and they were like, no, and then I went to this, not so popular, not so well known boat dock and they said yes, so I went to the second boat dock and is kind of a boat dock that was kind of more hidden on the, on town lake And they were all about it.

They thought it was a great idea and I was like, okay, cool. Well you know something about me at the time, six years ago, my only background in teaching was primarily teaching one on 1 Pilates. And so my experience teaching a large group. I hadn't had much and so you have that and then you also have um, the advertising, I hadn't really had to hadn't learned yet how to advertise for yoga and nobody knew me in the yoga world and I knew no one in the yoga world except for you know, a small group of people that I was learning from in my training. And so starting that class yoga to yeah, rock on about dog was quite an ordeal because I had to establish myself online. I had to have a presence online. I I was the type who had deleted facebook like years before that. And so I was not into social media and then I realized I had to get back into it.

And I also, Another card that was stacked against me was having only taught one on 1 not knowing how to project my voice on in an open outdoor space on the water. Nonetheless. So if you've ever taught yoga outdoors or on the water, you know, that sound waves carry out out on the water and they have nothing to bounce back. There's no walls for your sound to bounce back into the space that you're teaching from. So you have to develop this sort of gutter role voice that happens way down um in your gut, like a diaphragmatic vocalization or breathing or I recommend looking up videos on Youtube for voice over, voice over warm ups. They really helped me a lot, but this, I didn't do it then I learned that later in life, but so my first yoga to yacht rock on the boat class was in this little um boat dock where nobody really knew where it was.

So, you know, you had to like also play like um, a bit of the, just being on the phone as people are coming to your class to like help people get there and then I didn't have a loud voice. So I taught the class and hardly anyone could hear me and combine that with yacht rock music. I had my little bluetooth speaker, so that was basically more noise pollution so they could hear me even less very well thought out. All right, so that first Botox class experience faded because like most outdoor classes, their seasonal, so by the time it got cool out, I was kind of moving on and then when the next year rolled around, it just felt like a lot of effort to get back into it and a lot of promoting that I wasn't yet ready for. Um, so I let Botox yoga kind of fall to the wayside for a few years, but then I got hired three years later, I got hired at sanctuary yoga and that's a local yoga studio in Austin.

They're one of the only non profit yoga studios in Austin. It's a really good organization, shoutout to Animal, a Foundation and Sanctuary. But they were affiliated with that, Remember that popular boat dock? I mentioned where I pitch my original yoga to yacht rock on a boat dock idea. So they were already doing classes with that popular boat dock and it's actually two docs because there is a rowing centre that launches their boats off these docks. The unique thing about this boat dock was, it's just out in the open, it's kind of in a touristy area, there's no shade whatsoever. So you're out on the water in direct sun. And so we had the class in the evening and that was a really popular class and also I didn't have to promote it because the studio promoted it for me. We had the little cafe upstairs would give us a discount for food and drinks and so after we would take the class, usually we'd all go upstairs on the patio and hang out and this was well before Covid, so we weren't, we weren't doing this during times, you know, that we're needing to be socially distanced, I just want to clarify that.

And then the thing about this boat dock was because it's in more touristy area. We had a lot of interesting things happen. There's more, there's more people, there's more foot traffic, there's more tourists. And so I had actually a really good experience with someone, a tourist. I was in the middle of teaching a class. Um, and he, this gentleman was taking pictures close by and it wasn't, it wasn't in your face, it wasn't direct. He was very respectful about it. And, and so I put everyone in the class in child's pose walked over to him and I said, hey, you know, if you're already taking pictures of me in the class, um, would you mind sending them to me? And so then he got the ok to be like, oh, okay, I can take pictures of this class going on. And these pictures just came out phenomenal. Um actually one of the pictures is um, part of the covered art for this episode. Um, and they're on my web site. So that was a really cool experience.

And then we had this really weird, uh, I wouldn't say weird cat, but like really like fancy, probably instagram famous cat greeted us one day. So we were out, we're about to start class. And this cat like in a basically uh child stroller, you know comes rolling up. I mean the owners, you know, pushing the stroller and this gorgeous cat like didn't even look real, but just like beautifully um, beautiful eyes, you know, perfectly brushed, very outgoing, very friendly cat came up to us and um, and we were all like freaking out over this cat. Like, like it was, you could tell this cat was like fancy, like this cat has like fans. Um, so that was cool. But then, you know, you get sometimes not so cool things happen when you're exposed out in the open in a tourist area as you can imagine.

So, um, you know, for instance, you know, we're in Shiva sena, there were in a final rest pose and you know, there's some drunk people getting really rowdy. Um, not so far away or maybe they're on the other doc watching the sunset and talking loudly while you're trying to, you know, rest, get your class to rest. But that's just part of it. And I think everybody knows that like going into it. Um, but the reason why this dock was so popular was it overlooks this bridge called Congress bridge in Austin. And Congress bridge is famous for these bats flying out of the bridge at dusk and it's pretty magical if you've ever seen it before. It's, it's not maybe what you might expect for bats. Um, they fly in these very narrow rows all across the sky and it's, it's sort of hypnotic.

It's, it's actually very beautiful and magical. Um, and that's, that's like a sight seeing thing that people come to Austin to see the bats fly out of Congress bridge in the summer. So I recommend checking that out. So what was so cool about this class is as soon as we would get done, not every time, but most times you would see the bats and it was pretty magical and just a really fun way to end the night, you're already yoga stoned and then you have these amazing bats to flying in the sky. So that was, that was great. But then what was unfortunate about this 2nd boat dock class, it was a very active doc meaning people who row would use the docs all the time to launch onto the water and that wasn't a problem because we had to Botox and do yoga class on one and then you can launch your both off on the other until one day the boat dock, one of them broke was just kind of falling in the water and we didn't break it.

We just, I just showed up one day and so we only have one boat dock. Well that's when things got really stressful because um, you know, I then had to start and stop class sometimes because the rowers needed to launch their boat um there there um off the dock and, and usually people were pretty cool about it and everyone was pretty cool about it, but this one guy, I think it was the same guy every week. Um he had the type of robo that's really skinny and the oars are attached to it that you don't like take out the oars. And so almost every time he launched his boat he would like nearly smack my students with his oar like almost every single time. Like I like it. I don't know if he was being passive aggressive, but it was just kind of comical at a certain point. And so I was like, okay, all right, I don't know how much longer this is going to work out.

So the guy who oversaw the boat dock, the cafe owner and I decided it would be better to put the Botox yoga class at that location on pause, which leads me to the next boat dock that I soon found somewhat recently. I had brandy joe Perkins and Caroline Caswell, owners of earth commons on the show. Check out episode # 62. When you get a chance, earth comments is so much more than just an apothecary. They offer all types of things and they offer classes And I have been attending their virtual mystery earth class monthly and have been learning so much about herbs. This class has taught me about having a relationship with herbs versus kind of my old way of just memorizing what they do from a book. I have benefited greatly. Not only has my nervous system improved, but my digestive system has gotten better from the support of these herbs.

Fun fact this podcast is fueled by earth commons herbs. I have a warm cup of herbal tea with every interview, every recording, every editing session. Right now I'm drinking a combination of Tulsi and passion flower tea. Also as a ritual for producing each episode, I light a vetiver bundle and that helps with grounding. Earth commons is so affordable. They offer both really fun items and then they also offer medicinal products. So there's something for everyone when you shop there, you can check them out if you're in the Austin area at 8 13 Springdale Road or visit them online at earth hyphen commons dot com. I'll link all their info in the show notes. So you're just one click away from connecting with them. Remember when you support local business, you're also supporting your community as well as supporting a dream, now go get yourself some herbs and support yourself too. And we're back.

So right after the 2nd doc uh broke and the owner of the cafe suggested we just take a break from Botox yoga until the that doc gets fixed again then you know the class was really disappointed. I was really disappointed And so I found a third doc and this doc. I'm actually getting a little bit emotional thinking about this doc because this was my most recent opportunity teaching boutique yoga and something about it felt very quaint and warm and and just a lot of hard energy I got from this boat dock, it was very, is a lot smaller than the previous boat dock and it had had walls, it was almost, it was like a little tiny house almost with three walls. And then the fourth wall was open and it opened out to the water, it had a tin roof And it held about 8-10 people um, if it was like mat to mat.

And so that, that held a lot less. We, I think we had like maybe 20 on the previous doc. And so because it was a limited amount of people could come. So the dynamic of the class change and then I had to even change the time because we had to accommodate what the Botox needed when they had an empty our, And so the class shifted from being 20 people in the evening on one side of the lake, Um, to now 8-10 people morning on a sunday, um, Instead of an evening on a Sunday, which is very different. I think it was 8:30 AM, which is kind of early and so very different crowd would be attracted to that time. And then also sanctuary was very open to the idea of just letting me go off and do boat dock yoga again on my own.

You know, there was just a lot of variables, variables and changing things and um, and so they figured, hey, I could just do this as my own little gig again And, and I thought I thought it would go really, really well, but I realized I had to advertise advertise all over again to a completely different student base, you know, a student base who's more interested in, you know, like a really early sunday morning class and previously I didn't have to worry about advertising. So I had to just get on my advertising suit and figure that out. And I had, you know, I had some classes were full, some classes had one or two people. It was just like how it started. Um, at the very beginning, my very first book dog class of kind of that fluctuated um unpredictable students, but it was great and there are little animals that would come up like little ducks would come up on the dock or little ducks would, you know, swim on by or fish.

Like it was just a really fun, It was a really fun experience and it feels like is unfinished. Like I'm ready to come back and teach again on the dock. And so what I love love about all this is I've always gotten a lot as a student going on yoga retreats. Um, one I'm pretty wound up person and for me to go on a vacation, it takes me a few days to get into that really relaxed rhythm and then you add yoga on top of, you know, yoga vacation. It really helps me reset on a really deep way. And I've always been drawn to yoga events like teaching and hosting yoga events because the level of, of reset that I received when I, when I go as a student is just, it's just, there's nothing like it. And so I love to provide that for other people. And I even work with a company that rents luxury houses to people um like vacation rentals in Austin and I go, I'm their yoga teacher and I go and I provide the yoga experience and it just makes me so happy because I'm connected to the times when I had that in my own life on my own vacations and, and it's just such a wonderful thing.

And so I think the draw to a boat dock yoga for me is it's like an hour of almost like a mini yoga vacation for just an hour. You just forget your worries and you're on this strange boat dock and something I forgot to mention about Botox. Not all of them are the same, but some if it's windy or if there's um currents in the water, the Botox is like moves and so you're doing yoga on this moving surface, it's really, really cool. So I want to recap some things mentioned in the episode about um dues and don't sor how to prepare if you're wanting to do your own boat dock yoga class, which I highly encourage you and highly recommend, you know obviously with covid protocol socially distance you know approve the boat dock is approved by whoever owns it first. I don't want to illegally occupy a boat dock and do like some illegal yoga class. It's not worth it.

So something to keep in mind is your voice and you know maybe work on having a deeper voice or coming from a deeper guttural place. I highly recommend that and their youtube exercises for that that you can search how to project your voice. I recommend bug spray, citronella candles, sunscreen. Maybe some uh sanitizer wipes or sanitizer. Um just because we're in The current times, this is May 2021. We're in pandemic times. So that might be a good idea. Note whether if the doc is covered or uncovered and let that help in determining what time of day you have your class. So um like I mentioned the uncovered boat dock, I had uh we did it towards the end of the day. So the sun wasn't directly beaming down on us because heat stroke is a real thing. So keep that in mind also have access to water and the restrooms.

And most likely if you got a boat dock and it's the type of doc that rents boats for people to boat out on the water. They're already gonna have facilities and water but the double check that you have access to them that you and your class have access into them And on top of that if for instance if you are near a cafe, like I had the cafe boat dock, they offered a discount. So they gave us a certain percentage off whatever we bought that day. And so I highly recommend that it's a way also to have your students linger and kind of build a community, get to know them. They had an outdoor patio was really nice and this was all way before the pandemic. So I don't want you to think that we were just all um not socially distant or no, this was, this was pre pandemic. Um I haven't taught about doc yoga since the pandemic and I'm really missing it.

So Other things to consider. Um I highly recommend that you send out an email either the morning of or 24 hours before everyone who to everyone who signed up and just have a, have a template, like a Google doc of basically rules directions. Um, what to bring, what not to bring. And so that would include please bring water a towel, you provide your own yoga mat if you get lost. Here's my number, please call or text if you're running late or lost. And um although it seems like a good idea to have a pet, like a dog on the boat dock with you actually, uh, I don't think that's, that's a great idea. I had a student and I never had to say anything. He he knew to be respectful of the group. So not everyone is okay with dogs unfortunately. And so he tied up his dog on a leash nearer the boat dock where he could still see his dog, his dog was close by, but he wasn't on the dock invasive around other students.

And so I would state that in the email and um, yeah, I would. Anything else like please bring a hat. This is an uncovered doc. Um, please bring sunscreen. Just little things like that. And then ideally and I didn't do this then and I wish I would have done it would have made life so much easier. But have a friend there to help you. Maybe even, You know, give them like $20 or buy them. Um, a kombucha to thank them. But have them help you check people in. If it's a bigger group, have them, maybe take a few pictures while you're teaching. Um, they can be on the phone helping people if they get lost while you still can greet people and help them, um, arrange their mats once the class starts and you teach inevitably people come a few minutes late and they're kind of flustered. Your friend can be there and help them get settled on their mat on the dock.

So having a friend can be really, really, really helpful. One last thing I recommend at the end of each class, have a newsletter. Sign up sheet and perhaps a bowl of candy or a bowl of chocolate. Well, maybe not chocolate because that might melt in the sun. But I think it's really important as a yoga teacher, as a contractor, as a, as an independent yoga teacher to have your own newsletter list and and continue to grow it. And if all you get is one or two emails, that's that's fine. And I do that at every single event I do. You'd be surprised at what a helpful tool it is now you have to do newsletters. I think a monthly newsletter is a really good thing. I think any more than a month can turn people off. But I think it's a really great way to stay connected to people. For instance, you know, nobody was expecting this pandemic. And um, but you know, I happened to have emails from my former Botox students.

And so if I wanted to start it back in the future, I would put that in an email, a newsletter, email and send it, send it to them and hopefully, you know, they'll come back. So I think the long game, if you, if you plan on teaching yoga long term building a newsletter mail email list now start now start small and I'll add up over time. And I would love to actually do a yoga and newsletter episode because I've learned a lot about newsletters. I mean, I only know the mail chimp stuff. I don't know anything else than that, but I think it'd be really fun to talk about. Well, if you want yoga and podcast to cover an episode on yoga and newsletters, I don't know, just just let us know via email or you can dM us and instagram uh yoga and newsletters. That might be a little bit nerdy, maybe a little bit niche, but if that sounds enticing, please let us know. Also let us know any other suggestions you might have for future episodes.

We are open to whatever our audience wants us to cover. So if you're on the fence about taking about doc yoga class or you want to teach it, but you're not really sure like what you're going to get out of it. I have four reasons why I absolutely love teaching both duck yoga that I want to share with you. And the first one is probably the most obvious one. It is fun, It is fun and it is not a deep philosophical yoga class, although it could be, I mean, you could teach it that way, but as I mentioned earlier, you know, there's no Botox in the eight limbs of yoga, There's no Botox in the upon a shots, like there's nothing philosophical about it. It's just fun and it's more of an experience um than anything else. The next reason is kind of goes back to the first reason that it's fun. It's beautiful. So in general, at least from the Botox, I've been on everybody, I've been on, it's been really beautiful and um either it's in the morning and the sun just came out and the water is really still like glass or its end of the day and the sun setting and you get to be a part of that sun setting as you're doing yoga and you get to see the, the sky changed in all the colors and it feels like you're in a postcard and I can look back and remember each Botox had its own unique beauty to it.

And and I kind of like the balance of your in nature, but there's also like a little bit of feeling like you're in the city, so you know, you're not so far out in the country that it feels isolating, but you have just enough nature that it feels really soft to be in the city. And I think that's why people are really drawn to town lake in general. You have just that really nice amount of nature. And then I mentioned the bats, you know, they would fly from Congress bridge into the sky and that was really beautiful. If you've never seen a bunch of bats fly in the sky, you might not think it's beautiful, but it was very strangely hypnotic. So the beauty and then another reason and this reason would be if you want to sort of amP up your teaching skills is to expect the unexpected and I personally had to let go of my inner perfectionist, my inner control freak before I talk about doc yoga ever.

My first yoga teaching ever was in a garden, that was another outdoor experience and we had a lot of struggles with ants, ants that would buy you. And so every time I've taught outdoors in the beginning of teeth, in my first you know, few years of teaching yoga, it was very, very hard for me because I was such a control freak, but I've, I've learned to let it go and it actually makes you so much better because you learn to let that go, but you also learn to adapt and that that is a great life skill. So if you are a control freak, if you are a perfectionist and you are teaching yoga, this might be a really fun challenge. And if, if you're cringing right now at the thought of like I don't want to be around the unexpected, you know, maybe look at that and think like, well maybe that's coming up because maybe it might be a nice challenge and I'm I'm not acting like there's a bunch of catastrophes that happen when you teach a class, it's just a lot of unexpected things happen because life is moving all around you when you're out in the open, for instance, a common one that will happen, probably most likely if it's an operating boat dock where they dock boats on and off, like they rent boats.

Well, you know, quite common. You have to stop the class so they can dock their boat back on and then you start classic and so it's stuff like that. And then the last thing, which is probably my favorite thing is you'll be with a great community of people. So I'm a firm believer is in like for me, what makes me the happiest in my own life is when I am connected. So when I'm connected to myself, when I connect to nature and when I connect with my community and in biotech yoga, I'm doing all three things at once. Well, I mean, I don't know, I guess I connect to myself before and after, you know, when I'm teaching, I am connected to myself, but it's really, it's not about me, it's about the class, you know, So I guess throughout that, you know, hours before hours after all three boxes are ticked off. But people generally who are attracted to both doc yoga there into a healthier lifestyle there, they appreciate what you're doing.

They they appreciate that you're um your teachings that there's a little bit of that nature elements that they appreciate nature in general. So it's a very positive experience and the people who like to have fun and who are outgoing, you know, trying new things open to trying new things usually. So those are some really great reasons in my, in my opinion on why you should consider either taking Botox yoga or teaching Botox yoga in the future. Mm Oh mhm. Mhm I hope you enjoyed today's episode about yoga and Botox with me, the host. Maybe this sparked some interest in trying out boat dock yoga for yourself or maybe even start a class of your own in the future. If you are in the Austin area, I definitely see myself teaching boat dock yoga again soon and I'll keep you posted via this show. When that happens.

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The theme music is performed by ali holder, sound engineering and mixing by Bentley, the cat, guest booking and social media by Chloe the kitty. Remember that this podcast is for absolutely everyone. If you are a human living on planet Earth, you might benefit from listening to yoga and podcast. See you next week. Mhm. Yeah, mm mm mm. Yeah. Okay.

67. Yoga & Boat Docks (featuring your host, Ashley Weber)
67. Yoga & Boat Docks (featuring your host, Ashley Weber)
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