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Episode 17: Niika Quistgard – Self Care Time! Ayurvedic Ideas for Staying Calm & Grounded

This week my guest is Ayurvedic practitioner Niika Quistgard. Niika (@AyurMama) is an internationally-recognized consultant, trainer and practitioner in Ayurveda and is the founder of AyurMama.com.

Niika was the founder and director of Rasa Ayurveda Traditional Healing Centre for Women in Kerala, India — a full-service Ayurvedic residential hospital — where women came from more than 50 countries for treatment and educational immersion at the source of Ayurveda.

When I first learned the basics of Ayurveda years ago, I found it phenomenally helpful. I’d been living my life oblivious to how the environment around me affected my sensitive constitution, which made me alternately anxious or grouchy or ungrounded more often than was necessary. When I say the “environment around me,” I’m referring to everything from the weather, to the company of the people, to the room I work in all day long.

After years of practice, the principles that I’ve integrated into my life are second-nature. And they guide the way I eat, the way I practice, and the simple rituals I do if I need some grounding.

For this episode, Niika offered specific self-care ideas for calming the vata dosha when it goes out of balance. Whether you’ve never heard the words vata dosha uttered or you already know your prakruti, this episode offers enough background about Ayurveda paired with creative self care ideas and reminders that it will be helpful to everyone. Here are some more details about our conversation:

* We start with the basics — What is Ayurveda?
* How the three dosas form the unique blueprint of your constitution
* The qualities of the vata dosha
* What are the common things we do that cause vata imbalance?
* Why is vata imbalance so common?
* A morning routine to stay grounded
* Food choices for high vata times
* How can you practice or teach yoga during times when vata is running high?
* A simple way to take the calm state of Savasana with you after practice

“We used to laugh about the magazine article checklists of all the things you need to do to be more beautiful. We don’t need the checklist. We need the motherly attitude of, ‘What’s going make the difference for you today to be your best self?'” — Niika Quistgard

Subscribe via: iTunes | Acast | RSS

RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
Everyone’s Different: What is your unique nature?
Dosha-Spotting at the Train Station
Nervous or Nourished? Moving Away From a Wired and Tired Existence
Niika’s new free online mini-course that includes the basics of Ayurveda and how this ancient science works with your mind and senses: Know Ayurveda
Niika’s second course, Know Your Nature, which dives deeper into finding your unique doshic blueprint.

MUSIC
Jahzzar — Flutter
ABSRDST — Chakra Reset Button
The Polish Ambassador — Chill or Be Chilled

WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! I’m learning that it really does help others find it and it helps me to know which episodes resonate with you! You can also follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast.

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Episode 16: Katherine Priore – Combatting Toxic Stress in Low-Income Schools

Hi everyone!

I started this podcast to provide inspiration and advice for practicing — but I also hope to highlight people in our community who are working hard to bring yoga to populations who might not ordinarily experience the practice. Katherine Priore Ghannam (@katherinepriore on Instagram) is one of those people and she’s my guest on this week’s episode.

Katherine is the founder of Headstand, a nonprofit organization that teaches yoga and mindfulness to kids attending low income schools. As a former school classroom teacher and a yoga teacher, Katherine understood the importance of creating a yoga program that was part of the school culture and she had also witnessed how stressful learning was for kids who were growing up in poverty.

She believed strongly that yoga and mindfulness techniques could provide children with tools to not only cope with their circumstances, but to thrive. In the past eight years, she’s seen how yoga has helped her students cope with stress, how it has improved academic achievement, and how it has helped kids transition to college and beyond. Here’s a summary of what we talk about on the episode:

* The definition of toxic stress and how it can inhibit a child’s ability to learn.
* Learning to see a child’s behavior as their way of communicating their needs, difficulties, and emotions.
* The importance of adult self-regulation when teaching children.
* The types of changes she sees in students from the beginning of the year to the end.
* How yoga and mindfulness have helped create cultures of compassion in the schools that Headstand serves.
* How the job has fueled Katherine’s optimism
* Katherine’s desire to see social/emotional learning and mindfulness integrated into schools everywhere.

“When I see my students overcoming such incredible odds and discovering their own innate gifts and talents and inner beauty — it’s so inspiring. It fuels me. I’m stunned by admiration and respect for our students.” — Katherine Priore

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RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
Headstand’s Web Site
Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris’s Ted talk: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime
Follow Headstand on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook
Golden State Warriors Steph Curry doing yoga with Headstand students
How Yoga in Schools Helps Kids De-Stress

MUSIC
Salami Junior — Get Me Out of America
Jahzzar — Cold Like This
The Polish Ambassador — Wonder Continental ft Beatbeat Whisper

WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! I’m learning that it really does help others find it and it helps me to know which episodes resonate with you! You can also follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast.

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Episode 15: Rebecca Katz – Nourish Yourself With Cancer-Fighting Foods

Hi everyone!

On this episode I interview one of my nutritional heroes, Rebecca Katz (@RebeccaKatzYum).

I grew up in a foodie family (I mean, I am Italian-American after all…) and I’ve been cooking and learning about food for as long as I can remember. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer (you can read all about it here), a dear friend (thank you, Joanie), sent me Rebecca’s book and I’ve been a superfan ever since. Here’s why:

* Her recipes are really. good. — I do not exaggerate when I say that every time I make one Jason raves. These days he’ll just say, “Is this a recipe from that Rebecca lady?”
* They’re easy to execute — I’m a home cook, not a trained chef.
* She explains the science behind healthy eating in a way that’s empowering and relatable.

And that’s why I wanted to do this episode. Weeding through information about food can be overwhelming and even disheartening. This episode distills Rebecca’s four-pillar approach to a cancer-fighting diet. And, if you take this approach, you have a shot at preventing other diseases, too (think diabetes and heart disease). On the episode we talk about:

* Rebecca’s background as a chef and nutritionist and how she came to write The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen
* Her new online course, which brings the book to life
* Anti-inflammatory foods, especially the ones we overlook like ghee! olive oil! ah-voh-cah-dohs!!
* Foods that regulate blood sugar and why they work the way they do
* Her recommended subs for refined sugar and why it’s important to have sweet treats sometimes
* Coffee. It ain’t so bad. (Yahoo!)
* How to reduce oxidative stress
* The little tiny foods we often overlook that can powerfully regulate NfKappaB


At the beginning of the interview, we talk about Rebecca’s background and what it took to create a book that references so many nutritional studies. If you want to jump right to the questions about the four-pillars, it starts at minute 15:30.

Did you know? There are more antioxidants in a 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon than there are in a 1/2 cup of blueberries.

Subscribe via: iTunes | Acast | RSS

RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
Recipes on Rebecca’s Web Site
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen Online Course
Rebecca’s Shrimp Stuffed Avocados Recipe
Don’t Fear the Fat — Why It’s Time to Add Healthy Fats to Your Diet

Rebecca’s Cookbooks:
The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery
One Bite at a Time, Revised: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends
Clean Soups: Simple, Nourishing Recipes for Health and Vitality
The Healthy Mind Cookbook
The Longevity Kitchen

MUSIC
Salami Junior — Get Me Out of America
Jahzzar — Cold Like This
The Polish Ambassador — Wonder Continental ft Beatbeat Whisper

WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! I’m learning that it really does help others find it and it helps me to know which episodes resonate with you! You can also follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast.

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Episode 14: Jason Crandell – Create a Home Practice You Love

Hi there!

This week Jason Crandell talks all about home practice. We get straight to the point and talk about:

* Where to start if you don’t know how to practice on your own
* Why it’s vital for yoga teachers to have a consistent home practice
* How your relationship to yoga practice changes when you become a yoga teacher
* His thoughts on pushing yourself to practice your least favorite poses
* The ways that your home practice can transform over time to support you in different phases of life and teaching.

If you’re interested in training with Jason, he’s offering an advanced level training, broken into three modules next year in San Francisco. You can do all three next year, or one at a time as your schedule allows. Click here for the details.

“If you’re trying to be consistent with a home practice that soothes you and feeds you and inspires you, then start with the stuff that you resonate with. If that’s what makes you feel motivated and inspired, then that’s what you should stick with.” — Jason Crandell

Subscribe via: iTunes | Acast | RSS

SEQUENCING INSPIRATION
The Art of Yoga Sequencing E-Course
Yoga for Life: A Journey to Inner Peace and Freedom, by Colleen Saidman
Yoga: Awakening the Inner Body, by Donald Moyer
Moving Toward Balance: 8 Weeks of Yoga with Rodney Yee
Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving Into Stillness, by Erich Schiffman

SEQUENCES FROM OUR BLOG

FOUNDATIONAL SEQUENCES

Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar A)
Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar B)
30-Minute Whole Body Sequence
30-Minute Morning Sequence
Evening Wind Down
Immune Booster
Two Core Yoga Routines
Ease into Urdhva Dhanurasana
Open into Hanumanasana

SEATED POSES

Quick Hip Openers
Fold into Lotus Pose
16-Pose Sequence to Help You Progress in Compass Pose
Parivrtta Janu Sirasana

INVERSIONS

The Perfect Shoulderstand Prep
Refine Your Headstand
A Shoulder Opening Sequence to Forearm Balance

ARM BALANCES

Twist into Eka Pada Koundinyasana I
Pigeon + Chaturanga = Eka Pada Galavasana
Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)
Bakasana (Crow Pose)
Parsva Bakasana (Side Crow)
Build Your Vasisthasana (Side Plank)

MUSIC
Salami Junior — Get Me Out of America
Jahzzar — Cold Like This
The Polish Ambassador — Wonder Continental ft Beatbeat Whisper

WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! I’m learning that it really does help others find it and it helps me to know which episodes resonate with you! You can also follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast.

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Episode 13: Claire Missingham – Finding Flow and Having Faith

Hello, Hello —

I am so excited to share this week’s podcast with you and I can 100% guarantee that this guest has the most beautiful voice/accent of anyone I will interview. My guest is London-based teacher, Claire Missingham. Claire has over 16 years teaching experience and and runs a successful yoga teacher training program having trained over 125 teachers in the UK in the past few years. She is a Senior Teacher at triyoga, Europe’s leading yoga studio, and teaches worldwide. Claire is also a triathlete, competing regularly in Sprint Distance Triathlons after learning how to swim and cycle only in the past couple of years since turning 40!

I got to know Claire (@claire_yoga) well when Jason taught a TT in London a few years ago and I just adore her. She’s thoughtful, funny, and a devoted mom and she has a fascinating life story that led her to yoga — from her family’s practice of Sufism to her years leading a professional dance company, we piece it all together and talk about:

* Her spiritual childhood and the effect it had on her
* The importance of modeling self care and practice time for your children and family
* Her creating magic workshop (which I wish I could take!) and some of her ideas for carving out creative time
* Creating monthly themes for classes (and practicing with the flow of the moon!)
* Shradda or faith — How yoga helps us feel faith through tumultuous times

“Whatever reason people came to yoga in the first place, often the reason they’ll stay is a blossoming flower of faith inside of them. It’s faith that they’re not alone and that there are other people who believe what they do.” — Claire Missingham


Subscribe via: iTunes | Acast | RSS

RECOMMENDED & RELATED LINKS
Claire’s Web Site
Practice with Claire on Yogaglo
Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience

MUSIC
Salami Junior — Bacon Street
Tours — Enthusiast
The Polish Ambassador — Center For Kids Who Can’t Dance Good

WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! I’m learning that it really does help others find it and it helps me to know which episodes resonate with you! You can also follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast.

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