Episode 1: Amy Ippoliti – Meditating with a Manta Ray

I am so thrilled to launch the very first episode of Yogaland! I’ve been wanting to do this since I was interviewing well-known yoga teachers almost daily as an editor at Yoga Journal. I would often get off the phone buzzing with excitement and wishing I could share the raw conversations.

So, here it is! And, it’s the first one — the first time my “ums” and “likes” can’t be erased the way they are in print. But I’ve decided not to wait until I get this perfect — I’m learning as I go and trust that you will practice compassion!

In honor of Earth Day this week, I talked to well-known yoga teacher and environmental activist Amy Ippoliti (@amyippoliti) about her project to raise awareness for marine life. Amy is known for bringing yoga to modern-day life in a genuine way through her clear instruction, intelligent sequencing, and engaging sense of humor. Amy’s writing has appeared in Yoga Journal, Mantra Magazine, Mind Body Green, prAna Life, and Elephant Journal. She has appeared on the covers of Yoga Journal and Fit Yoga and the underwater yoga images with marine animals that you see below have been featured on Yahoo.com and GrindTv.com. She is a pioneer of yoga education, cofounding 90 Monkeys, a school that’s enhanced the skills of yoga teachers in 64 countries. Since the age of 14 she has been a champion of earth, ocean, and animal conservation.

“It’s not about getting on my mat and getting a yoga butt. I do my yoga practice to benefit others—so that I’m a better person and a better leader. Ultimately, this is for something so much bigger. We need to stop the destruction and start getting people to appreciate the planet. That’s why I’m on my mat and that’s why I’m in the water right now.”
Amy Ippoliti

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Amy Ippoliti swimming with a bottlenose dolphin

Amy Ippoliti in Lotus with a whale shark

Amy Ippoliti swimming with a manta ray

Amy and I talked about a few documentaries in this episode that are worth checking out:

The Cove
Racing Extinction

We also talk about her soon-to-be-released book:

The Art and Practice of Teaching Yoga: The Yoga Professional’s Guide to a Fulfilling Career

Taro Smith
Shawn Heinrichs

Six Ways Amy Wants You to Help with Our Oceans
Amy Ippoliti: Ocean Conservation and My Encounter with a 1500 pound Manta Ray
More photos of Amy on YogaJournal.com

Thank you to Amy and Taro Smith for permission to include these photos. 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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  1. This is fantastic! Congrats on the new podcast, Andrea & Jason. I’m a huge fan of [intelligent] yoga podcasts and will look forward to listening and sharing yours with students.

    Thanks for continuing to create smart, thoughtful, down-to-earth content. I appreciate what you both bring to the yoga world.

    • Thank you Rachel! <3 <3

  2. I loved this interview and shared it with my group:
    Libre De Basura/ Litter Free… my anti littering campaign in Panama. Thank you creating this new forum for sharing.

    • Thank you so much, Alison! I’d love to hear more about your campaign. I will take a look at your FB page! Best, Andrea

  3. It would be most helpful to those of us who are deaf or hard of hearing if you could provide a transcript of the podcasts.

    • Hello,
      Thank you for that suggestion! I was thinking about doing transcripts and hadn’t thought about that aspect. I will work on getting this done! Warmly, Andrea

  4. Thank you Andrea and Jason. Amazing that you start with the podcast! I will be your listener for sure 🙂

  5. Finally got to listen-you’re a natural; I can’t wait for more!

    • Thank you so much, Kath! I’m sincerely excited about the next one! Should go up next week. Love you.

  6. Love the your new podcast! I’ve listened to a few of your episodes- really awesome! Looking forward to more. Also, just shared this episode in our FB group for yoga teachers planning retreats. Thank you for the inspiration. namaste

    • Yay! Thank you so much for sharing and for listening, Renee!!

  7. Loved this! So excited for your new podcast series. We adopted our daughter from The Marshall Islands (google it!) in December and seeing how fragile life is on a tiny speck of sand in the middle of the ocean has changed me FOREVER. I am becoming passionate about saving our seas and living more sustainably so that my daughter’s beautiful island home isn’t swallowed by rising sea levels, and that hopefully one day, the gorgeous beaches of The Marshall Islands won’t be covered in rubbish. I am a yoga teacher myself and definitely feel the same as Amy, that activism is a beautiful way to make your yoga practice something for the greater good.


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