In the first part of my interview with Dr. Timothy McCall, we talk about what it was like for him to receive his cancer diagnosis and how he thought about approaching his treatment, bringing together the very best of Eastern and Western medical modalities.
Everyday Sublime: Shedding Light on Yin Yoga and Meditation
Yin Yoga and meditation are refinements of awareness. The purpose of this podcast is to illuminate the theory and practice of Yin Yoga, Chinese Medicine, and meditation as three interwoven tools for apprehending the "Everyday Sublime." As Stephen Batchelor says, "the mystical does not transcend the world, but saturates it."
The themes of power abuse, toxic group dynamics, and victim blaming are important themes for anyone who occupies the space of a yoga mat or a meditation cushion in the modern yoga landscape. Matthew Remski explains what reform might look like as yoga culture moves forward.
The Jois family held tightly to its narrative of legitimacy until, well, they didn’t. And this is what is both eerie and fascinating about the recent developments in the Ashtanga community. Here we see, in real time, the efforts of an organization to “brandwash” its unfortunate history.
Although Yin Yoga looks quite simple, being an effective Yin Yoga teacher is not so simple. There are five primary reasons someone should invest in proper training if they plan to teach others the practice of Yin Yoga. Let’s go over each of them individually.
Before pausing for my summer break in August, I highlight some of the top episodes of the year so far, giving you a distilled recap of some of the conversations to catch up on or review again. I also announce the fall line-up and include suggestions for your summer reading.
For over three decades, Pattabhi Jois sexually and physically abused his yoga students, mostly women. This abuse happened in plain sight. To understand how this was possible requires an exploration of toxic group dynamics, methods of deception, and networks of complicity. Matthew Remski explains this all in his book, “Practice and All Is Coming.”
In our yoga and meditation practice, we often value the cultivation of attention and awareness. But how might we better design our environment to support the development of attention? How might this redesign reinforce the intentions of our practice?
“Pack your rain gear before you leave home,” says meditation teacher Oren Jay Sofer. In this episode, Oren explores how we can “pack” tools of stability, balance, and non-attachment, better preparing us to face the inevitable foul weather of life.
Talking shop with Sebastian Pucelle, we roll up our sleeves and discuss potential interpretations of the Sanskrit word “nirodah” and what those interpretations mean for your practice.
Sebastian Pucelle describes meditation as a process of purifying the mind. Meditation isn’t so much about attaining anything in particular as much as it is a process of letting go of things that distort and disrupt one’s life.
Often in meditation, students can get frustrated by their mind’s difficulty in following the meditation instructions. Sebastian Pucelle, the wonderful French Yin Yoga teacher, suggests that the two most important aspects of a meditation practice are one’s intention and attitude, not the specific technique, per se.
The therapeutic encounter between a practitioner and patient is, in many regards, the most important part of a healing relationship. This encounter is another way of referring to the placebo effect. But far from being ineffective, all good healers try to maximize this effect. According to Dr. Daniel Keown, acupuncture is one of the most sublime forms of the therapeutic encounter.
How alive are you? This isn’t a question that Western Medicine frequently asks, but according to Dr. Daniel Keown, this question is at the heart of Traditional Chinese Medicine. And the quality, quantity, and circulation of our Qi determines the potency of our “aliveness.”
What is Qi? What are the channels of Chinese Medicine? What is fascia? These questions and more are taken up by Dr. Daniel Keown, explained with lucid brilliance. For anyone interested in Chinese Medicine, this is a must-listen.
Talking about difficult topics is not easy. Often we get trapped in patterns of reactivity and experience a clash of viewpoints. Oren Jay Sofer offers ways to move past through these impasses in learning how to identify the underlying needs being expressed – the needs that connect us to our shared universal human longings. From this sense of connection, collaborative dialogue becomes possible.
All too often, meditation is seen as a panacea for all that ails us. But meditation practice alone is not necessarily enough to smooth out the strife in our interpersonal conflicts. For this we need training in communication strategy – ways to escape the blame game and move towards a deeper understanding of shared needs and goals. In this episode, Oren Jay Sofer lays about a mindful approach to nonviolent communication.
Bernie Clark shares how his thinking about exercise has shifted from an emphasis on mobility to an emphasis on stability. This is important to how we think about what we’re doing in all forms of physical yoga.
In our youth, we’re more Yang and need to work on strength and stability. As we age, we become more Yin, and therefore need to spend more time working on maintaining our mobility.
This retreat inspired me to try a few hacks with regards to my relationship to technology – to make my phone less of the pocket-sized slot-machine that it’s become, I’ve tried to restructure the design of my phone as well as my timeframe around using it. And I invite you to join me on these digital hacks for better well-being.
In the Season Finale of Everyday Sublime for 2018, I take stock of the past year and look ahead to 2019 – and pay tribute to two of my dearest teachers, Rodney Smith and Jack Engler, who are both retiring from their decades of teaching and service.