First off, I've gone and done something out of character for me:
I've created… wait for it… a blog content calendar. It's true. After blogging for about 20 years, since before blogging was called that, I've finally done it. I'd been hearing about content calendars for years and even had a related WordPress plugin for awhile that I didn't use. After reading a couple of articles on Problogger, I decided to give it a try. It's a work in progress spreadsheet. Every day has a theme and I might or might not blog daily Monday to Friday.
Yesterday I gave you Promotion Monday, what's coming up in summits, webinars and other events. Today I give you Spirit Tuesday – posts related to yoga and meditation.
On to today's share….
My yoga journey
I'm no beginner to yoga.
I've been practicing yoga on and off for a long time. On and off.
In 2010 on my old blog I had a blog series about the 40 day yoga challenge I was doing at a local hot yoga studio (and other studios). The way I remember it, I'd get up before dawn, wait for a streetcar and go to a 6:30 a.m. class before work. Coincidentally, 6 years ago today I was on day 3, as I discovered when I jumped over to my old blog while writing this post. Before that I regularly attended classes at another hot yoga studio near where lived.
I attend The Toronto Yoga Conference & Show almost every year. I own multiple yoga mats (one specifically for hot yoga), a yoga block, a yoga towel for my hot yoga mat, and a yoga bag.
I haven't had a consistent yoga practice in a few years, though.
Recently, with my commitment to meditate every day for a year, I decided to throw yoga into it. Classes at a local studio (and there are many local studios) aren't in my budget right now so I turned to home practice. Home practice also has the benefit of being time efficient. I do yoga right before or right after I meditate, or I meditate, walk dog, yoga, and I meditate twice a day. In the last 10 days I've only missed one day of yoga.
At first I was doing my own routine, going with the flow, so to speak. Doing what moved me (pun unintended there, too), letting memory and intuition guide me. Then I got curious and went down the rabbit hole of Google, which took me to the website Greatist, where I found Brett Larkin and then went down the rabbit hole of her YouTube channel. I've watched a fraction of her videos. There are so many. (More on that below.)
I was familiar with other prolific yoga teachers – the yoga celebrities – and had some of their DVDs back when I used to use DVD, but Brett is new to me and I think I get what she's doing overall as a yoga business, because I've been watching the online business world for years. I've been on the periphery of it with blogging, content marketing, social media, working with startups and staying connected to the tech world.
Into yoga? Want to start a home practice?…
Why you should check out Brett
There's a lot I like about her. For example:
Yoga in bed.
Yes, she has videos in which she does yoga in bed. Morning yoga, bedtime yoga. In bed.
Yoga for everyone, all levels
I appreciate that a lot of her videos are suited to all levels because I might be a “level 1” in some poses but more advanced in others. I'm familiar with the poses, but my body is pretty tight and inflexible so I need modifications. Some days I feel like the tin man. I've almost been tight and inflexible so I can't blame age, but generally after doing yoga for awhile I see improvement.
She has videos specifically for beginners, that are accessible and welcoming.
Over 30 playlists on YouTube. 22 videos under the “Morning Yoga Classes ” alone. 50 videos under the playlist “15 Minutes or Less (Yoga for Busy People)”. 9 videos under the playlist “Free 20 Minute Yoga Classes”, including a video called, “Yoga for Constipation Relief, Cramps and Fatigue”. Playlist “Yoga for Beginners” includes a video “How to Modify Common Yoga Poses (Yoga Modifications)”. There's a video called How to Do Yoga in the Car, which is great for road trips. In other words, it appears that she has a yoga routine for every conceivable situation.
Ones I've done include yoga/meditation combinations that last under 20 minutes. That's efficient.
Brett Larkin's Facebook group seems fairly engaged. I've posted/commented a few times already today and the community was helpful.
In September and October she had the Chakra Challenge. Currently she's doing Yoga Sculpt. Her challenges include emails with yoga classes, meditations and podcasts.
I've done about 5 of Brett's videos and enjoy her instruction a lot. I feel challenged when I want to be and I feel safe because the instruction is thorough. She takes time without feeling slow. Her cues make a lot of sense. Her metaphors have metaphors and alternative metaphors. Sometimes instructor metaphors can be a turn off, like the instructor who once told the class, in a breathy voice, to make the pose feel “delicious”, causing me to consider my exit strategy from the small room.
She's got the knowledge, like and trust value. She creates high quality, valuable content. Her knowledge seems to extend beyond yoga into the areas related to yoga.
It's not just yoga instruction either. She answers fundamental questions such as, what to wear under your yoga pants.
A true online entrepreneur, she also has a monthly membership, which is really smart, and the price is low, which is also smart.
At $12.95 paid monthly, or $129 for the year (save 15% and get 2 months free), It's WAY cheaper than visiting a yoga studio and more convenient. You can't even attend a single class at a studio for $13. At least, not in my city.
I'm considering joining despite my moratorium on spending money on American products because of the exchange rate. (Sorry, Americans, but this Canadian is on a budget.)
Monthly membership includes
- Unlimited Downloads
- Member-Only Training Guides & Challenges
- Personalized Feedback
- Early Access to Content
- VIP Discounts on her specialty courses and more.
I've learned a lot about online marketing in the last few years and I can imagine what technology she uses for each part of her business. Her landing pages (Lead Pages), her sales funnels (ConvertKit?) her shopping cart (WooCommerce), etc. She's an amazing content marketer – or has an amazing team that does it.
Another reason she's a great content marketer: I feel that she gives so much away for free that you have to give her money for stuff out of the goodness of your heart. The exchange and knowing how much goes into each video. That's an excellent example of content marketing.
There's a distinct evolution of quality in her videos, from an empty studio with minimal equipment to professionally-looking shoots in her home. I like that. This is how it's done, people. And, being the content marketing nerd I am, I find myself wondering if she batched all her videos – recorded them in a short amount of time – or did it over a longer period.
The other thing that makes it convenient isn't really related to Brett: It's our home theatre set up with the Roku. The living room is my yoga/meditation space in the mornings and his man cave/entertainment room in the evenings. In the recent old days, I'd put a YouTube video on my laptop. When I started this current yoga practice I was watching YouTube videos on my phone in the living room – until this morning when I remembered that Roku has YouTube and now I can watch the YouTube videos on our big-ass projection screen.
I'll report back when I've done more.
P.S. This was my breakfast after, because I was craving a green (pink) smoothie with frozen greens and frozen berries and Genuine Health Fermented Greek Yogurt Proteins+.
*To be clear, I am not affiliated with Brett and I'm not being compensated in any way. I found her videos on my own and am telling you about them because one of my missions is to connect people with quality stuff.
Update: I create a YouTube video to go with this post: