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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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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 70: Jason Crandell — Advocate for Your Students & Don’t Make Sweeping Claims

One of my favorite quotes from Jason is,”I believe that we should embrace anything and everything that helps us and our students be well.” On this episode, we dive into the meaning behind that quote and why it’s important to advocate for our students to try other modalities if needed. There are times when yoga teachers feel pressured to know all of the answers or to make a diagnosis and there are also times when we unintentionally make our students feel guilty if they’re not finding healing in the yoga room. Jason dispels these ideas and helps teachers cope with not having all the answers.


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RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
10 Key Values the Best Yoga Teachers Possess

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If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some step by step instructions. Woohoo! So easy!

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Episode 69: Jason Crandell — You Have to Trust That Yoga Works

We all struggle from time to time with the question — “Am I doing enough?” This week, Jason and I talk about this question and this fear in the yoga room. His clear message: Trust in the process of yoga. And return to the fundamentals of what we’re trying to teach (and learn) in yoga: To hone attention and discipline so that we can remain steady in the face of stress.


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RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
10 Key Values the Best Yoga Teachers Possess

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If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some step by step instructions. Woohoo! So easy!

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Episode 67: MC Yogi — ‘Yoga made me resilient and strong.’

MC Yogi is a well-known performing artist — and perhaps one of the only rappers to write lyrics about Hanuman and Ganesha? — and is married to artist Amanda Giacomini who I interviewed on episode 45. Together, they’ve owned and been the primary teachers at the Point Reyes Yoga Studio in Point Reyes, CA.

On this episode, we talk about MC Yogi’s his new book, Spiritual Graffiti, which tells the story of how discovering yoga helped him overcome his troubled youth and brought his artistry to life.


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Pre-order Spiritual Graffiti (and get three free gifts!)

Thanks to MC Yogi for allowing us to feature his music in this episode!
Only Love is Real
Ritual Mystical (feat. East Forest)
Breathe Deep (feat. East Forest)

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If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some step by step instructions. Woohoo! So easy!

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Episode 66: Jessica Berger Gross — The Courage to Choose Happiness

Jessica Berger Gross is the author of the beautiful, moving, hopeful memoir, Estranged: Leaving Family & Finding Home. Jessica was raised in a seemingly typical middle class family in Long Island. But behind the scenes she suffered physical abuse from her father. She made the decision in her late twenties to stop communicating with her parents not knowing that the decision would become permanent. Now, 17 years later she’s written a memoir that Elle Magazine included in their guide to the “best books of summer,” and that Glamour called “gripping.”

Jessica was first introduced to yoga in high school and immersed herself in the practice after the estrangement. She practiced many different styles — Jivamukti, Baptiste, vinyasa — before settling on Iyengar as her chosen path. We talk about how yoga helped her reclaim her body, how it informs her choices now that she’s a mom, and how it kept her sane and inspired during the writing of this book.


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RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
Estranged: Leaving Family & Finding Home

WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some step by step instructions. Woohoo! So easy!

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