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Level-Up: From Um to Om with Jessie Dwiggins

Level-Up: From Um to Om with Jessie Dwiggins

. 2 min read

Did yoga teacher training prepare you to teach but miss the mark on how to teach in front of groups? Jessie Dwiggins can relate. She created from Um to Om to help other yoga teachers master public speaking and harness the power of their breath to speak with clarity, brevity, and preserve their energy.

Jessie Dwiggins is a yoga teacher specializing in the ABCs of movement so you feel better in your body. Her yoga know-how comes from her practice, certifications, and experience teaching since 2007 to classes ranging from 1 to 1000 people. She teaches creative, functional movement classes to help you shake off stress, build body awareness, and move well on and off your mat.


How often do you think your breath while teaching? Although we always remind our students to use their breath, we often forget about our own. In this level-up session, you'll learn:

  • How your breath creates your voice,
  • A pranayama practice to harness the power of your voice,
  • How to use the breath method for powerful teaching,
  • How to weave pauses into your communication as a powerful tool.

The Importance of Breath

What is your reason for teaching yoga? Perhaps you want to help your students feel healthier, calmer, or more grounded. Whatever the reason, for your intention to come through, your students must be able to hear what you say. As a teacher, you need to capture their attention and cut through their internal chatter.

However, feeling nervous is one of the most significant barriers to communicating clearly.

Your breath is closely connected to your nervous system, and when this system experiences a change or stress, this can change your voice. Your vocal cords restrict and result in the voice coming out a higher octave or with inflection at the end of a phrase.

To relax your nervous system and your breath, remember to breathe deep and pause between cues. This extra breath gives you time to talk, prepare what you say next, and stay present.

Bhramari Breath

Bhramari is the Sanskrit word for bee, which is very fitting for this humming breath practice. Bhramari breath will naturally stretch your breath out and allow you to check-in with how you feel physically, emotionally, and mentally.

How to do it:

1) Breath in until comfortably full.

2) On your exhale, breath out with a humming 'mmm' sound.

3) Do a few rounds.

4) Notice the vibration in your body and how your body feels.

The Breath Method for Teaching

The Bhramari Breath will prepare you for using the Breath Method. The Breath Method helps you save energy and keep the same pace as your students. It's simple: inhale deeply and use the exhale to push the words out of your mouth as you speak.

Practice this often, and you'll soon perfect it and feel more energized, confident, and calm while teaching.


Did you love these tips? Get more insights from Jessie and other instructors in our video-on-demand library. Happy watching!