Bo Yoga®

Bo Yoga® blends the best of yoga, qi gong and meditation using a Balance Bar as a unique prop.

The Bo Yoga Story

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Bo Yoga began while I was teaching in a park in Chicago back in 2013.

I was teaching a Qi Gong class (pronounced Chee Gong) and brought along soft, flexible Bo Staffs to share some new moves with my students.

I was getting bored with the traditional 18 Joint Warm-up, and so we used the Bo Staffs as a stretching prop.

We lay it over our shoulders and twisted and rotated. We placed one end on the ground and stretched and balanced. We spun it in the air and through our hands and fingers.

We loved it!

We could use it for balance, alignment, and mobility. It allowed students with injuries, surgeries, or disabilities access to poses they couldn’t do before.

Our first class: Chicago 2013

The rave reviews started pouring in. People were recovering from old chronic pains. They were getting benefits far beyond what they were getting before.

I began to include the bo staff into my yoga classes to see if it would help our yogis too.

They loved it!

The Yoga Boga classes (as they were called then ? ) were soon the most popular in our studio.

I looked around for more videos or teachers who were combining yoga and the bo staff… and couldn’t find anything!

A sense of purpose and mission filled me with inspiration.

If I didn’t share this amazing discovery with the yoga world, who would?

I soon realized that none of the Bo Staffs I found were ideal for a yoga class.

Wood and metal were too rigid and unforgiving. Plastics were too soft and weak.

I tried using bamboo, metal, fiberglass, plastic, and wood.

After months of tinkering, I created the perfect hybrid of materials; a strong and durable core, soft foam padding, and sticky rubber tips.  It was flexible, strong, comfortable, and safe.

The was born!

For 2 years I tested and applied this fantastic new prop in my yoga classes, and found that it could assist and support many dozens of yoga poses and even inspired several new poses.

In 2015, I made the biggest decision of my life.

I knew that I was onto something important yet it would require all of my dedication to bring it into the world.

I quit the yoga company I was with for 10 years, packed all of my belongings in my hatchback, and asked my fiancé Roya if she would come with me to Oregon to start over.

I had no money, no home, no formal education.

Nothing but a pure, burning desire to share this amazing discovery.

We lived with my parents for a year while she went to school and I poured my heart and soul into my new company, .

In the years since I’ve traveled the world sharing this tool and philosophy to thousands of students and teachers.

My dream is that the Bo Yoga Staff becomes a staple prop among the bolster, the block, and the strap, helping make yoga more accessible to all.

Today, we have dozens of Bo Yoga Teachers from around the world and a rapidly growing online community on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

We’re so glad that you’re along for the journey!

Nate Guadagni,

Bo Yoga Founder

Baby Boomer Bo Yoga

How to teach Yoga to Boomers

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The Yoga Alliance / Yoga Journal Study in 2016 showed that:

  • There are over 40 Million yoga practitioners (up from 20 million in 2012) Double in four years!
  • 4 Million were 50+ in 2012 – 14 Million are 50+ in 2016 – Boomers are the fastest growing segment!
  • 74% of students have been practicing for 5 years or less – there are still lots of beginners.
  • 50% of practitioners are health conscious – they are open to other health related products or services.

There were several objections from those who don’t start yoga:

  • Perceptions of exclusivity
  • Yoga is for young people
  • Yoga is for flexible people
  • Yoga is for women

We’ve got to change that!

I want to show you why serving the older adult popular can be the BEST niche for your yoga business.

Fun facts about Boomers

  • Between the ages of 57 – 75 (in 2021)
  • They are the largest population in America (Millennials are close behind)
  • They are the wealthiest, and most active
  • They hold 70% of all disposable income in US (Nielson)
  • They do 80% of all luxury travel spending (retreats abroad anyone?)
  • They have the largest amount of health issues and problems (They NEED yoga!)

By 2030, there will be three times as many people over the age of 65 than there were in 1980 (this age group will continue to grow)

Here are a few of their top health issues:

Diabetes – Heart Disease – Cancer – Depression – Arthritis – Stress – Obesity

Yoga has been shown to help manage symptoms of all of these and perhaps prevent them.

 

Benefits to yoga teachers who teach Boomers

  • They are a large, underserved market
  • They are more loyal
  • More stable in income, relationships and location
  • They don’t change their lives as much, find something and stick to it
  • They are more tech savvy than you think:
    • 96% of baby boomers use search engines,
    • 95% use email
    • 92% shop for products and services online rather than shopping in stores
    • 60% of baby boomers spend time reading blogs and online articles
    • 82.3% of baby boomers belong to at least one social media site. (Source DMN3)

Facebook is by far the most popular social media site for baby boomers. (Source Colorado University)

Ok I’ve convinced you WHY you should teach them, now HOW to teach Boomers?

Modification, modification, modification

  • Find ways to modify poses and offer alternatives
  • Demonstrate the easiest version first, then work your way to more challenging (Not the other way around)
  • Think about what is the essence of the pose? How can they gain the benefit in a different way?

Use Props!

  • Using props is the default setting, not the extra option.
  • They need to Opt out of the prop, instead of Opt in.
  • People follow the teacher and they follow the crowd, take the pressure off them.
  • Make props normal not remedial.

Slow your roll!

  • One breath one movement is probably too fast (I’m talking to you Vinyasa!)
  • Up and down from the floor is challenging
  • Use Perceived Effort Scale not “as far as you can”. (Hold until you reach 80% fatigue)
  • You can still challenge students without straining them
  • Let students measure perceived effort rather than pose performance

Goals and motivation

  • They are less motivated to do the pose for the pose’s sake
  • They have more realistic and practical goals

Private Sessions

Boomers are perfect private session candidates.

  • They can generally afford it
  • They need it more than other students
  • They want it and appreciate the relationship more than you may realize

How to market to Boomers

The platform you choose is key.

Instead of making hilarious TikTok videos, meet them where they are!

  1. Email is still #1. Build your email list and keep in touch regularly. Don’t always sell, add value in each email.
  2. Referral from a friend. Make it easy to refer to you. Offer first-class-free-for-friends. They will bring them!
  3. Facebook: create engaging content, groups and events. Make a presence there for inbound inquiries.
  4. Community events (in person) Go to the local AARP meeting. Go to the Alzheimers Walk. Get involved!

Consider your message:

  • Do the models and images you show reflect their lives and concerns?
  • You may not be your target market, put yourself in their shoes.
  • Your sexy Instagram post may look great to others like you, but repel Boomers

Can you find older models and more diverse body types, ethnicities?

Let them tell the story!

Share stories from other Boomers who have benefitted (Testimonials with pictures)

Understand their needs and desires and challenges

Design classes, themes and sequences that can help them with practical issues like balance, lifting and carrying and hiking.

  • Build real relationships, find out about their family, travels or history.
  • Talk with them before and after class
  • Find out what they are struggling with and help them with it

I hope this helps you better serve this wonderful population.

What did I miss?

Let me know what you think in the comments!
Bo Yoga Swimmer Pose

Bo Yoga Swimmer Warm-up

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Every day, the majority of people find themselves stressed out and feeling overworked. 

Studies show that stress can lead to various ailments, both physical and mental, such as memory impairment, depression, obesity, heart disease, digestive problems, or autoimmune diseases (Legg, Ph.D., CRNP, 2018).

stress2

The state of being stressed compromises our productivity, happiness, presence of mind, and inner peace.

Later on in life, these “unseeable” negative effects manifest physically — externally, and internally.

Thus people are often recommended to find methods (until they come up with a personalized routine) to release stress.

 

 

Bo Yoga can be the answer! We have curated exercises that are meant to relieve the body of tension and stress. Coupled with meditation, Bo Yoga will certainly give you the chance to be more present, positive, and resilient — mentally, spiritually, and physically.

Keep in mind that Bo Yoga places very high importance on warm-ups. A good warm-up can jumpstart the cardiovascular system by increasing blood flow and raising body temperature. Moreover, these can also help reduce the likelihood of muscle soreness after working out.

Here is a good warm-up routine for your shoulders, chest, and back. 

SWIMMER WARM-UP

PREP:

  • Be sure to pick a Bo Yoga Staff size that you are comfortable with. If you are having a hard time with this exercise, we recommend you use a longer Bo Yoga Staff; it will be more flexible and will have a longer reach for your arm.
  • Be in an open area or a spacious room

LET’S BEGIN:

  1. Hang your Bo Yoga Staff over your shoulders behind your neck, with arms hooked on each side. 
  2. Do a rowing motion or a freestyle swimming motion.
  3. After about a minute, do the motion backward.

You can play around with the positioning of the Bo Yoga Staff on your shoulder. Bring it lower to have a different effect on your upper back or a bit higher with your arms closer to the middle to focus more on your shoulders. 

Make use of the Bo Yoga Staff as leverage. Keep your arms relaxed as you go through the rotating motions. As you go through the motions, you are actually pumping the muscles around your lungs and diaphragm which contributes to a better breathing pattern. 

Remember to breathe steadily as you go through this warm-up. Feel each sensation that arises. Slow down as you feel any tension to let your body open up and stretch.

This warm-up is a good way to start up your daily yoga routine as it prepares your upper body for any strenuous positions that you may do later.

Make sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and follow us on Facebook for more simple and easy exercises that can help you improve your healthy lifestyle.     

 

Photo on Visual Hunt

Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

   

Energy, Balance, Mindfulness

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As we age, we become more aware of our own mortality. Sooner or later, we start paying attention to things that wouldn’t have normally crossed our minds when we were spritely young teens, such as balance, aches, and pains (or preventing them altogether), and longevity in all ways, shapes, and forms.

People search for a goal or set of goals that may give them the motivation to maintain a meaningful life. Some may go to the gym, while others find solace in much simpler things, such as caffeine, specific snacks, or anything in between. What do these actions lead to? Whether we acknowledge it or not, we all strive to be happy and attain the highest quality of life possible.  In my journeys, through much discovery and unraveling, I have developed The Bo Yoga System; and I am very excited to share what I have learned through my experience as a Yoga Teacher with you.

Nate Guadagni Qi Gong Pose

Bo Yoga brings the best of yoga, martial arts, and dance into a comprehensive system that is practical, easy to learn, and fun. Yoga and martial arts have their own methods of teaching one of the most neglected, yet important practices especially during recent times — meditation.

Meditation will not only help us think clearer but also help us become more attuned with our own bodies. The better understanding we have of ourselves, the better we will be able to carry out our intentions. Bo Yoga is a way of living that focuses on energy, balance, and mindfulness.

 

 

The Bo Yoga system adds to and builds upon the long-proven benefits of yoga, martial arts, and dance. The main tool that we use in Bo Yoga is the Bo Staff — a stable and flexible prop that is used in most, if not, all aspects of each session. We use the Bo Staff for stretching, balance, and stability; an overall tool that will make your yoga experience easy and enjoyable.

4 Foot Bo Yoga Staff

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube Channel and check out our Facebook Page for videos and updates on how Bo Yoga can improve your healthy lifestyle.

 

Photo credit: donnierayjones on Visual Hunt / CC BY

Black Lives Matter Resources

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Below are resources we are using to take action, to educate ourselves and our children, to support those whose lives have been sacrificed and stolen, and, in this time of distress, to

Direct Action via Donation: 

Black Lives Matter

Bail Funds

Individual Memorial Funds

Community Resources:

Resources for Protestors

Self-education, Educating Others

Resources for Parents / Kids 

Sign a Petition

*We say thank you to Carey Lovelace of 2020Visions and Accessible Yoga for this extensive list of resources.

Sitting Too Long Bo Yoga

The counter-pose to sitting.

The counter-pose to sitting. 1280 720 Nate Guadagni

Relieve pain and increase your energy naturally.

If you work or study from home with a computer or watch TV everyday you are likely sitting for many hours a day.

When you sit for more than an hour or two, 3 things happen.

  1. Your hips become tight
  2. Your back and neck become hunched
  3. Your breathing gets shallow

These uncomfortable conditions lead to minor annoyances like headaches when you are young, but can lead to longterm problems like chronic pain and permenant disfunction as you age.

“Over 60% of Americans who died from an opioid overdose suffered from chronic pain.”
American Journal of Psychiatry 2017

The negative effects of sitting too long can be quickly reversed if you simply follow these 2 counter-poses to sitting.

A counter pose in yoga, is a pose that complements or balances the previous pose. For instance, after doing a back bend, a good counter pose is a forward bend.

If you are new to yoga, you can use a Bo Yoga Balance Bar to to assist with balance and to make the poses safer.

What are you waiting for?

Go ahead and stand up and try the poses and then share in the comments what you felt.

Group Triangle Bo Yoga

Buy Balance Bars in Bulk

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Thrill your students by equipping your classes with Bo Yoga Balance Bars.

Balance Bars provide assistance, resistance, alignment, and balance to make your classes safer and more accessible.

Don’t just take our word for it – listen to these happy teachers, owners and studio managers.

Donna Triangle Bo Yoga
Donna O’Neil Teacher at Eugene Yoga, Eugene, OR

“I’ve been teaching yoga for 22 years, and am aging along with my students.
What I’m loving is that the Balance Bar can help people who may not be able to balance well, or to hold a pose very long, to be able to maximize the benefit.
Learning to lighten up the touch on the bar as confidence builds in the student gives them the opportunity to work their core and build strength and stability.”

Mariana Krstevski, Owner of Essential Evolution in Highland Park, IL

“My students love Bo Yoga and the Balance Bar!

 It gives them an opportunity to experience the full benefits of the poses that they may not be able to feel on their own due to lack of flexibility, balance or range of motion. 

They feel great afterwards and tell me how much it helped them release tension and feel more relaxed. 

It is a treat to see their reaction and faces light up when they find their balance in an Asana that they normally couldn’t do!

Personally I love the versatility of the Bar and enjoy crafting fun and unique classes for students of all levels.”

Balance Bars can also be sold in the lobby to students who want to practice at home or have their own personal prop.

Balance Bars come in 3 sizes: 4ft / 5ft / 6ft

In an average class:

75% of students use a 5ft Balance Bar

20% of students use a 6ft Balance Bar

5% of students use a 4ft Balance Bar

The 5ft BB is the most popular size and fits most people.

The 6ft BB is ideal for students who are close to or over 6ft tall or who are very stiff and need the extra length and flexibility that it provides.

The 4ft BB is perfect for kids or for those in a chair or wheelchair. It is too short to use for some stances and not recommended as the only option.

Balance Bars are made with a durable PVC core, soft foam skin and rubber traction tips. This provides the stability needed to bear weight yet the flexibility to conform to excess pressure. The traction tips keep students safe on wooden or vinyl floors to prevent slipping. They are easy to clean and store in small spaces, corners, closets or in a large basket.

Questions? Request a custom quote for wholesale prices of Balance Bars by emailing Nate@boyoga.com

Bo Yoga Teacher Training

Become Certified to Teach

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Learn how to incorporate this revolutionary new prop to your practice and classroom.

What is it?

YACEP Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider Program
  • The Bo Yoga Certified Instructor Course is an opportunity to deepen your practice, expand your profession and serve your community.
  • It qualifies you to be able to teach Bo Yoga and apply the Balance Bar to any yoga or fitness system with confidence and competence for free or for profit.
  • An accessible, self-paced distance learning program.
  • YACEP (Yoga Alliance Certified Educational Program) which gives Yoga Alliance teachers Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Who’s it for?

  • You are a Yoga, Qi Gong, or Pilates Instructor, Personal Trainer, Physical Therapist, Chiropractor, Massage Therapist, Doctor, Social Worker, or Counselor who wants to offer a great tool to your clients or patients.
  • You want to help your friends and family improve their balance, energy and mindfulness.
  • You are a dedicated student who wants to take your personal practice deeper.

What’s in it?

40 Hour Course includes:

    • 5 Hours Pre-Course curriculum.
    • 25 Hours Main Training over 5 Weeks
    • 10 Hours Post-Course curriculum.
    • Comprehensive materials, videos, community connection and resources.
  • Five-year License to teach Bo Yoga®, use its branding and be featured on the Bo Yoga website.
  • Lifetime membership to the Bo Yoga Instructor Network.

Who’s teaching it?

Nate Guadagni – RYT-500 Founder of Bo Yoga® has taught yoga, qi gong and meditation full time for over 13 years. He has managed six successful yoga and wellness studios in three major US cities.

Nate is the creator of the Balance Bar, a unique and innovative prop that makes mindful movement accessible to more people. He is the author of Bo Yoga: 7 Essential Values to Energize your Life and produced 3 DVDs and numerous online courses.

He regularly teaches in national yoga festivals such as the San Diego Yoga Festival, the Sedona Yoga Festival and the LA Yoga Expo.

Nate currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his love Roya surrounded by the Pacific Northwest splendor.

What will I learn?

  • Become an expert in the main uses of the Bo Yoga Balance Bar:
    • Alignment / Balance / Rotations / Spins / Martial Arts / Myofascial Release
    • Learn how to apply the Balance Bar to any yoga style, fitness system or group of people.
    • Relevant Anatomy / Physiology / Pathology
  • Instructor Skills
    • Safety / Sequencing / Observation / Speaking / Pacing / Cues / Adjustment / Demonstration / Class Management / Music / Lights / Temperature / Props
  • Business Principles and Skills
    • Marketing / Professional Communication / Student Management / Online / Networking / Content Creation / Technical Skills

What can I do with this training?

  • Enrich your current practice or share it with friends.
  • Teach Bo Yoga group classes or apply the Balance Bar to your existing system.
  • Lead Private Sessions with new tools and skills.
  • Start or expand your own business or practice.

When, where and what’s included?

Check the next training schedule and view parts of the Instructor Manual HERE.

Delivered live, online. All you need is a device and wifi.

Includes:

  • Instructor Manual
  • Lifetime access to Bo Yoga videos and training materials
  • Lifetime access to the online Bo Yoga Instructor Network

What are the Pre-Requisites? 

  • Have your own Balance Bar

To Receive a Bo Yoga® Certificate you must have:

  • 200 Hour RYT training or another teaching certificate (Pilates/ Personal Trainer, etc)
  • If you want to take this course for personal enrichment and not use the Bo Yoga brand in your marketing you don’t need any prior training.

What’s it cost?

40 Hour Certification Course: $500

Payment plans are available by request.

What’s do graduates say?

Donna ONiel Bo Yoga

“I’ve been teaching yoga for 22 years, and am aging along with my students. 

What I’m loving is that the Balance Bar can help people who may not be able to balance well, or to hold a pose very long, to be able to maximize the benefit.  

Learning to lighten up the touch on the bar as confidence builds in the student gives them the opportunity to work their core and build strength and stability.””

— Donna O’Neil, 67  – Yoga Teacher

“I really just love training with Bo Yoga and I love sharing it with others. I feel the best probably since being a little kid. And I have a purpose to work towards, which is important! 

Teaching Bo Yoga has brought me joy, wisdom, health, strength, purpose, friends and teachers to deepen my growth.

Bo Yoga Merilee Sitting Twist

This passion for Bo Yoga has given me a new lease on life! I anticipate teaching for the rest of my life. 

I’ve never felt more connection, sharing and love than I do right now. Thank you!

— Merilee Novinson, 70
Retired Finance Manager

I’m in! How do I register?

  • Click HERE to go to the registration page.
  • Receive a confirmation email with further instructions.

I’ve got more questions…

Great, please e-mail me:

Nate@Boyoga.com

I look forward to hearing from you!

“I don’t know about you, but teaching yoga is not something that I envisioned myself doing when I was a kid! I only knew that I had a strong passion and interest in self-development and self-discovery and the stories of enlightened yogis and monks who have found the deepest bliss and unconditional love through the inner journey resonated with me deeply. I knew in my heart of hearts that if they could do it, so could I and anyone else for that matter. As I grew up, I saw the incredible suffering that the Yoga Sutras say is caused by Avidya, ignorance. Ignorance of the divine nature and interconnection of all humans and life forms. Ignorance of the power that we have regardless of what others do or don’t do. Ignorance of the solutions to all of our problems which are available at all times when we know where to look.

I used to envision the spiritual path as a long and winding road, or a huge mountain to climb. I used to think it was somewhat romantic or the result of superhuman effort and sacrifice.

The great living sage Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says that the spiritual journey is only about 18 inches… “just as far from your head to your heart.”

Bo Yoga is, in essence, a path back to our true nature. One of many, not the first and certainly not the last. As we become more friendly and loving to ourselves, we can be the same way to others. As we recognize our own value and potential we can see it better in others and in the world. Bo Yoga will grow or shrink as much as we do and support the awakening of the planet as much as we awaken ourselves.

Nate Guadagni headshot

I hope that Bo Yoga helps you and your students gain the power, passion and purpose to live a life guided by your Dharma and illuminated by your inner light.”

Namaste, Nate

Sara Russell Skills for Change Wisdom 101

Sara Russell Interview

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Wisdom 101: Relationship Anarchy and Skills for Change Coach

Sara Russell is a Skills for Change Coach and relationship anarchist. She explains in the interview.

Vortex Shoulder Strech Bo Yoga

Bo Yoga Vortex Shoulder Stretch

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Starting Position:

Hold the Balance Bar above your head as if you are hanging on it.

Action:

Bring the Bar down to your front and then keeping your hands in 
a loose grip revolve all the way around your body in a circle.

Repeat in the other direction.

Focus Points:

Shoulders, arms, and back. Upper body joints.

Adjustments / Notes:

If it’s uncomfortable to circle your body, separate your hands wider apart and loosen your hand grip.

Time / Repetitions:

30 Seconds each side

Bo Yoga®