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Episode 6: Kathryn Budig – Body Positivity, Hard Work, & Aiming True

Hello Yogaland!

On this episode I talk to Kathryn Budig. Kathryn (@kathrynbudig) is an internationally celebrated yoga teacher and she’s just come out with her second book, Aim True: Love Your Body Eat Without Fear Nourish Your Spirit and Discover True Balance.

I’ve known Kathryn for about a decade and she’s the real deal — a gem in the yoga world. She’s hard-working, deeply knowledgeable, an adept practitioner, a compassionate teacher, and a creative, funny soul. In the course of our talk she shared:

* The story behind her “Aim True” message
* The surprising pose that was out reach for her when she started practicing
* Thoughts on body dysmorphia and creating healthier body image within the yoga community
* The importance of honing your craft instead of focusing on popularity
* Her favorite and least favorite yoga poses
* How she came up with the term “meat suit”

And many more interesting tidbits. I hope you enjoy it.

“I get comments like, ‘Oh it’s so great to see you be so comfortable with your body.’ I’m a size 4. If my size 4 body is viewed as something that isn’t tiny in the yoga world, we’re doing something severely wrong.” — Kathryn Budig

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Kathryn’s Web Site
Kathryn’s talk on body image: I Am a Real Woman & So is Every Other Woman
Kathryn’s Aim True Yoga Sequence
Kathryn’s Go To Energy Bar Recipe
6 Steps to Create a Simple At-Home Yoga Practice

Maty Ezraty
Jessamyn Stanley
‘Fat shaming’ doesn’t work, a new study says
Two studies link unhealthy weight to poor body image

Jahzzhar — Flutter
Ketsa — Milk
Nick Jaina — Don’t Come to Me

{photos by Cheyenne Ellis Photography}

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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Episode 5: Andrea Ferretti on Self-Acceptance in Yoga

Edited to add: I’ve been at a loss for words since the tragic shooting in Orlando over the weekend. I want to extend our deepest sympathies to the victims, their families, and friends.

I created this podcast long before these events. I don’t pretend to have the answers to our nation’s problems, but I think we can all agree that the amount of hatred teeming around the country right now is overwhelming and terrifying. You often hear the expression, “Love conquers hate.” If only it were that easy. I believe that the only way to truly love others is to love ourselves first. And in order to love yourself, you have to, on a basic, foundational level, accept yourself. You have to be willing to see yourself clearly and accept all of your flaws and perceived failings. Once you can accept your own missteps and still love yourself, you will more naturally accept others whether or not you agree with their opinions and choices. Self-acceptance, then, isn’t a selfish practice — it’s a vital practice that requires courage and honesty and practice. Most importantly, it can be of benefit to all beings.

This week’s episode is just a quick 5-minute listen — it’s an essay I wrote when I was dreaming up the podcast. It’s my intention and it’s inspired by Roxanne Gay’s book, Bad Feminist. Scroll down to listen. I’ve also written it out below the player. Hope it speaks to you.

“I may consciously or unconsciously stray from yoga’s principles from time to time but I’m learning to be OK with that. Because, after 20 years of practice, it’s still my guiding light. It’s a vital part of who I am and how I live.”

— Andrea Ferretti

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I started this show to celebrate yoga in all of its forms, to introduce you to people who have studied yoga deeply, who live their yoga, and who bring yoga into the current cultural landscape. These are people who live with passion.

But make no mistake, this podcast is not going to focus on how to live a “perfectly serene yogic life so that we can all do Handstands on the beach.” Because I spent more than 10 years talking to renowned yogis everyday – as an editor at Yoga Journal and, as we all know but often forget, that perfect life doesn’t exist and we don’t really want it to.

One of the biggest gifts of yoga in my mind is how it helps us understand that we’re all so similar, it helps us to remember our humanity. After all if you want to take the definition of yoga literally – yoga means to yoke or join and it’s a state that provokes a sense of union with all things.

But the shadow of the yoga community is that in our passion for the practice, for the asanas, for following the philosophy, we start to become obsessed with achieving, with this whole idea of self-improvement and with putting yoga teachers on a pedestal. I think this can actually make us a little self-involved and disconnected from each other – which is the opposite of the yogic state.

I think the solution to that is to be vulnerable with each other. So. I’ll start. Sometimes I’m a bad yogi. I have a hard time remembering all of the yoga texts I’ve studied – and I haven’t studied enough of them. At night, when my daughter is sweetly sleeping, I’m not re-reading the Bhagavad Gita, I’m more likely watching Broad City or Downton Abbey.

I curse too often. I say “like” and “kind of” and “dude” too often. I loved my hair extensions more than I’d like to admit. And despite being an absolute believer and partaker in natural forms of medicine I ended up with a C-section. For a long time, I felt subtly or overtly disappointed in myself about these things. Simply put, I don’t anymore. And I don’t want you to, either.

Yoga has helped me with this. Yoga offers a container for all of the seeming contradictions of who we are. As Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa says, “Yoga is not a practice of self-improvement at all, it’s a practice of self-acceptance.”

So. I may consciously or unconsciously stray from yoga’s principles from time to time but I’m learning to be OK with that. Because, after 20 years of practice, it’s still my guiding light. It’s a vital part of who I am and how I live.

When I talked with renowned yoga teachers over the years, I often wished I could share these conversations directly with the audience instead of having to filter them through the editorial and magazine process. I always felt inspired by the realness of the conversations – much moreso than when I saw them in print.

So, I’m hoping to bring you those conversations, the real ones, that ones that get into life issues we care about. I’m hoping to make Yogaland a place that’s helpful, that speaks to many, and that’s uplifting. I know that you won’t agree with everything we say or think. That’s OK with me.

We don’t have to all believe in the same yoga – we just have to respect each other, to remain open, and to listen.

You can follow me on Twitter @yogalandpodcast for yoga, meditation, and health inspiration all week long. Next up on the podcast I talk to Kathryn Budig, Taylor Harkness, and Jason and I will be talking about injuries. The fun never stops around here people! You want to be the first to know about it!

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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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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)

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

Jahzzar – Redhead
ABSRDST — Chakra Reset Button
Josh Spacek — Dharma

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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Episode 3: Jason Crandell on Navigating Life as a Modern Yoga Teacher

Hello peoples!

In this week’s episode, you’ll get to hear the dulcet tones of my husband and I talking yoga. We had a great time and we covered everything from the concept of “yogalebrity,” to common misconceptions created by social media to navigating the life and work as a new yoga teacher.

Plus! Jason created some bonus content related to the episode, 5 Tips to Support New Yoga Teachers.

Enjoy it and let us know what you think in the comments. AND, if you have questions related to this episode that you’d like to ask Jason, please follow us on Twitter and tweet at us @yogalandpodcast.

“My concern is that we may think that social media is a more accurate reflection of an actual life than it is. It’s not a reflection of an actual life. It’s a very orchestrated reflection of someone’s life. We can’t expect our lives to be a reflection of this thing that is a curated, only partially real phenomenon.”
— Jason Crandell

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Episode 2: Stacy Meyrowitz – How Yoga Saved My Life

My guest on this episode is the incredible (and hilarious) Stacy Meyrowitz. Fourteen years ago, Stacy survived a massive brain hemorrhage. The trauma of long hospital stays, countless scans, and three brain surgeries left Stacy feeling completely out of whack and depressed. A full two years after the hemorrhage, Stacy quit her job and lost touch with her old social life.

Somehow Stacy got the idea to find a yoga class and she credits yoga with helping her piece her life back together. She’d never done yoga before the hemorrhage, but she found it utterly comforting. It challenged her brain to relearn lost skills and it helped bring her into a community of friends. You will absolutely enjoy listening to this incredibly powerful story of yoga’s transformative power.

“I remember being in my first Warrior II and thinking, ‘I could be here for the rest of my life. In this pose. And be very happy.'”
Stacy Meyrowitz

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What Happens to Your Brain During Meditation
Big Brain Benefits of Meditation
The Healing Power of Yoga for Brain Injuries

Thank you so much, Stacy, for sharing your story with us. A special thanks to Ali Zeigler for designing my logo and to DJ Bhakti Styler who helped me with the music for this episode. You can listen to him on soundcloud or, if you happen to be in Aspen, CO, you can check him out at Aspen Shakti Shala.

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.

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