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Tag Archives: meditation

Episode 71: Increase Your Happiness, Curiosity, & Connection With Self-Compassion

High self-esteem used to be regarded as a vital component to happiness. But it’s fallen out of favor in the past decade. Research — much of it led by Dr. Kristin Neff — has shown that self-compassion is a more effective way to increase optimism, happiness, curiosity, and connectedness. This episode talks you through the research and offers three very practical ways to incorporate self-compassion in your yoga practice and life.


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RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
LOVINGKINDNESS MEDITATION
A lovingkindess meditation is a great way to generate compassion — or at the very least, a benign, friendly feeling — toward yourself and others. The traditional teaching is done seated, but as a personal note, I’ve found that it works well during walking meditation.

1. Sit comfortably on the floor with your legs crossed or in a chair that supports your spine.
2. Close your eyes and take a minute to focus on your breath. When you feel ready, repeat the following phrases to yourself or out loud:

May I be filled with lovingkindness.
May I be safe.
May I be peaceful and at ease.
May I be happy.

3. After repeating the above phrases to yourself for about 5 minutes, pause. Think of someone you love and conjure an image of that person. Then repeat the phrases above, focusing on that person. Instead of “May I be filled…” you can change the pronoun appropriately or use their name.

4. After about five minutes, you can try to extend lovingkindess to all beings — regardless of how you feel about them personally and regardless of whether or not you know them. The idea is to extend this kind, open-hearted practice to everyone.

5. When you’ve finished your meditation, notice how difficult or easy it was to offer lovingkindness to yourself vs. the person you love vs. extending it out to all beings. Everyone is different and every day is different. Remember that you don’t have to get meditation “right;” it’s simply a practice to commit to on a regular basis and concentration gets easier with time.

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Episode 65: Lizzie Lasater — Taking the Longview of Yoga Practice

Lizzie Lasater teaches the pleasure of deceleration through Restorative yoga workshops and digital trainings. Lizzie is the daughter of venerated yoga teacher Judith Hanson Lasater, so I was keen to pick her brain about how yoga was (successfully! without rejection!) passed onto her.

Lizzie also offers great tips for incorporating Restorative Yoga into everyday life. And, as she’s witnessed both of her parents growing older and benefitting from lifelong yoga and meditation practice, Lizzie talks about the importance of taking the longview with asana practice.


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Episode 52: Gina Caputo on Strengthening Your Awareness & Emotional Support Bananas

Gina Caputo has so much to offer to Yogaland: In addition to practicing and teaching yoga for nearly two decades, she’s been on the ground floor of opening and managing three different yoga schools — Sacred Movement in Venice, California, Kansas Siddhi Yoga Studio, and and The Colorado School of Yoga in Boulder, Colorado. Gina also has a FANTASTIC sense of humor. One of my favorite things she says in this interview is, “Be sincere, not serious.”

On this episode, I asked Gina to share her thoughts and stories about self-awareness practice, specifically her recent experience of doing a 10-day silent meditation course. Spoiler alert: She made it through 10 days of silence! But not without some support from a banana or two.

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RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
Gina’s full post about the meditation course: Tales from the Cushion
Gina’s website: ginacaputo.com
Gina’s school: The Colorado School of Yoga

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Episode 22: Rachel Brathen – Staying True to Your Values in the Face of Success

You might know Rachel Brathen as “Yoga Girl” on Instagram — she’s one of the original yoga insta-stars and has 2 million followers. Two million! That’s crazay! And yet, despite this quick rise to fame, Rachel is incredibly down-to-earth and not afraid to say that the superficial side of social media can suck the life out of a person from time to time. I wanted to know what makes Rachel tick, so I tried to dig into how she’s become the teacher (and student) she is today.

Rachel and I talk about:

* How a 10-day Osho meditation retreat changed the course of her entire life
* Her initial yoga practice, which was therapeutic and aimed toward healing debilitating back pain
* How pregnancy is changing her practice
* Why she has never started hocking products like yoga pants for other brands
* Whether or not she considers herself to be fearless
* The ingenious model behind her 109 Global Mission trips
* Her surprising advice for navigating social media as a yoga teacher

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RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
Rachel’s book — Yoga Girl
Rachel Brathen Yoga Lifestyle
oneOeight
109world
Island Yoga
St. Pepper’s Friends

MUSIC
Gillicuddy — Adventure, Darling
The Polish Ambassador — Camino Rojo
Velella Velella — 3 to the 6 to the 0

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Episode 4: Sally Kempton – Ideas, Insights, & Self-Inquiry Practices for Fear

I have a distinct memory of the very first time I meditated. It wasn’t my first attempt, rather it was the first time I felt surrender and contentment that I hadn’t yet experienced. It was in a decidedly unglamorous setting — I was sitting in a folding chair in an overly air-conditioned hotel ballroom. What enabled my experience of meditation was the teacher — Sally Kempton. Sally is a uniquely powerful meditation teacher who has a deep understanding of the human experience and offers loving, practical, doable practices for the emotional states we all face.

This week Sally (@sally_kempton) shares her insights and self-inquiry practices for coping with an emotion we all face from time to time — fear. During our conversation, she shared so many great ideas, among them:

* The simple power of exploring challenging emotions during meditation to help you cope and feel happier in daily life
* How to find fear in your body and create space around it
* A practice for holding and comforting yourself
* The importance of finding a meditation teacher or, at least, friends who you can talk to about the obstacles and fears that come up during meditation
* The power of mantra when you’re facing fear

“Asking yourself the question, ‘How can I serve something higher than my own ego?’ is a really powerful way to overcome fear as you walk through life.”  SALLY KEMPTON


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SALLY’S BOOKS AND GUIDED MEDITATIONS
Meditation for the Love of It
Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses in Yoga
Doorways to the Infinite: The Art and Practice of Tantric Meditation
Sally’s Chakra Meditation on Yogaglo (I mentioned in the episode): Align Your Chakras (30 Minutes, Level 1)

SALLY’S ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING LIST
The Fine Arts of Relaxation, Concentration, and Meditation by Joel Levey
Meditation: The First and Last Freedom by Osho
Zen Mind, Beginners Mind by Shunruyu Suzuki
Meditate by Swami Muktananda
Meditation for Beginners by Jack Kornfield

MUSIC IN THIS EPISODE
Jahzzar – Redhead
ABSRDST — Chakra Reset Button
Josh Spacek — Dharma

THANK YOU FOR LISTENING!
If you like what you hear, please feel free to write a review on iTunes! If you share your URL, I’ll be able to get back to you and say thanks. You can also follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast.

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