About nativeyoga

I love Ashtanga Yoga and co-direct Native Yoga Center in Juno Beach, Florida with my wife Tamara.

Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn – Connecting the Dots – Yoga, Acupuncture and the Meridian Pathways

You can listen to the full episode for free here.

Todd McLaughlin

I’m really delighted to bring to the podcast today, Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn. She is an experienced acupuncturist. She’s a yoga teacher, she specializes in myofascial trigger point therapy and the practice of science of meridians. She has over 20 years of practice in the field. And she’s got an incredible Instagram page, I really highly recommend you go check it out. It’s at @erin_bodyaware. And then please go look her up on her website, which is scienceofself.com

I recently bought her book The Science of Self, Yoga, Pathways, Organs and Emotions off of Amazon. I’ll put a link in the description below for all these different sites. It’s really interesting. I have to admit, I’ve been reading it and applying some of the ideas during my own yoga practice. I love the way that she’s been able to bring attention to the use of visualization of the meridians while practicing the yoga poses. I really appreciate how she encourages feeling the energy pathways in the body based on our experience. Then having a little bit of guidance from her to know what the tradition of it all is, has been really fascinating. So for me, this is a huge honor to bring Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn on. Let’s go ahead and start. 

I’m so excited to have Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn here today. Dr. Rose Erin, how are you doing today?

Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn

I’m doing great. I’m sitting by my wood stove up in upstate New York.

Todd McLaughlin

Oh wow. It’s obviously a little bit colder up there than here in Florida. I am in my flip flops and in the air conditioning. 

Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn

Oh, wow. Right?

No, it’s very cold here. Yeah.

Todd McLaughlin

Oh, man. I’m really excited to have this chance to speak with you because I have your book, The Science of Self – Yoga Pathways, Organs and Emotions, and I’m enamored with it. I think what you’ve done with blending your acupuncture career with the yoga together and the visuals of the way that you use the meridian lines from the acupuncture and Chinese medicine system in relation to the yoga poses has been so interesting. I really love your book. I think it’s incredible.

Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn

Well, thank you. 

Todd McLaughlin

You’re welcome. And so so that all of our listeners are aware, you’re an experienced acupuncturist, you’re a yoga teacher, you specialize in myofascial trigger point therapy, and practice science of meridians. And you’ve had an opportunity to learn from your 20 years of practice in the field. And I’m curious, was there a lightbulb moment for you that your study and career path would unfold to where you are now?

Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn

There was a few but I think as far as combining the energy pathways, which we call meridians, in Chinese medicine, with yoga, those are two different systems. That happened for me, I think that was something that was sort of a seed for a long time, you know, seed and sprout. Where roads and I think when I was studying originally just trigger point manual therapy and yoga before I went to acupuncture school and learned the meridian system. I sensed there is some deeper connection that I needed to find with combining the myofascial pathways that I was learning with the asana. With yoga asana, with an understanding, sort of the emotional connection to it. Like why are these patterns in the body? And why does yoga asana work, to not only heal the body, but to release emotions? Anyone that practices yoga knows that it there is this relationship? Yes. Because you start crying in class sometimes, and then you feel better. Yeah. So I really just had asked my teacher who is Dharma Mitra, my yoga teacher. He’s a master. I mean he’s 83 years old now, and I was pretty close to him. I said I want to learn the energy pathways. And he’s a funny guy. I mean, he will say things like, really short, you know, and then later, you’ll figure out what it meant. But he just said, what you need to do, you need to get a book. He was like, I don’t know that stuff. But you should get a book. He told me to get the Sivananda book that has description of the nadis. And I was like, Oh well, I guess that was a stupid question. But I think he mysteriously put me on the path to go to acupuncture school and learn those pathways. Now every time I see him, he’s always like, are you still doing the needles? You know, acupuncture. And he asked me while I was in school, and yeah, he asked me just last week, are you still doing? And anyway, I think, as I studied the meridian system, which is really overwhelming, in the beginning, yes, it’s a massive amount of very detailed information about the energy pathways in the body. And so it was overwhelming. So I made up these meditations, which I could do during yoga and afterward that worked like body scans. Where you just follow them around the body.

Todd McLaughlin

I don’t want to say it. I guess I was gonna say the word imagination, but you use your power of visualization to body scan and follow the meridian around while you’re in the yoga pose?

Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn 

Exactly. That’s crazy imagination. Yeah. Because whether, I mean, my acupuncture teacher is also a master. And he’s like, it doesn’t matter if these pathways are real or not. You know what I mean? Like, people argue over these things. Like, are they useful? And so they are useful. And anyway, yes, it’s totally imagination, visualization. And as I was doing the asana that I’d been doing for years anyway, I was like, wow, I can feel these pathways. Wow. They’re on some level. They’re really real. Doorways unfolded and it opened a whole new world when I did that. 

Todd McLaughlin

Did that light bulb go off more when you started to apply what you’re learning from the Chinese meridian system more so than what you had learned and applied from the myofascial release pressure point work?

Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn

Well, the thing about the myofascial release, which is brilliant, and that’s what I had studied, the Travell and Simons’ text. That is what I studied when I went to massage school first.

Todd McLaughlin

Yeah, that’s a very dense text isn’t it? I have those books and they are amazing. For those listening that are unfamiliar with those texts I would like to mention that it is a big undertaking to study these. So that’s pretty amazing that you combed through those volumes and went deep into study of them.

Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn

You really do have to comb through them and I still have the original books that I had bought and they’re you know, heavily underlined. I was just like, wow, what is this? Crazy like that? Any I tell everyone to buy those and just spend the rest of their life reading them. 

Todd McLaughlin

They’re absolutely incredible in relation to trigger point and referral points, don’t you think?

Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn

Yes. Learning about things that it could do to mimic, or that could mimic those pain patterns. Like, you know, you may think you’re having a heart attack, but you actually have a trigger point in your rhomboids or something like that, or your pec major. Yes. And so that was just fascinating to me, but it has left out one component, mostly which, which was emotions. Like stress and anxiety or anger. Like, how did those things relate and what patterns do they specifically create? And that is what the Chinese system is masterful for. Because they understand the connection of those myofascial pathways to the specific internal organs. When you first hear that the liver is has anger, you know, or is associated with anger, people don’t buy it right away. But I explain it to people like, you know, the heart is related to love. Right? 

Todd McLaughlin 

Yeah. Everyone just sort of intuitively knows that. Because they feel it. Yeah. And that’s one that we accept that. Yet the thought of the connection between anger and my liver, that’s a tough one at first.

Dr. Rose Erin Vaughn

It is, you know, but then if you start to study it and think about it. Then you notice, like, when you get really angry, or there’s something that’s really irritating you that’s not usually there, you notice certain patterns in your body. Like tension around the right side of the ribcage radiating down the right side, or down the IT band or something or up into your jaw. And that’s the liver and gallbladder. The gallbladder pathway, but it’s related to the liver. And then it changes your life, you can’t go back once you see the connection.

Todd McLaughlin

Good point.

You can listen to the full episode for free here: https://nativeyogacenter.buzzsprout.com

Thanks for reading this blog post from this YouTube video. Check out: 👇
Native Yoga Teacher Training – In Studio and Livestream – for info delivered to your email click this link here: https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

New Student Livestream Special ~ Try 2 Weeks of Free Unlimited Livestream Yoga Classes  at Native Yoga Center. Sign into the classes you would like to take and you will receive an email 30 minutes prior to join on Zoom. The class is recorded and uploaded to nativeyogaonline.com ~ Click Here to join.

New Student FREE 30 Minute Yoga Meet & Greet ~ Are you new to Native Yoga Center and have questions that you would like us to address? Whether you are coming to In Studio, Livestream or Online Recorded Classes we offer a one time complimentary 30 minute zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a time that is convenient for you. Click Here

Native Yoga website: nativeyogacenter.com
Online Yoga Class Library: nativeyogaonline.com
Thai Massage info: palmbeachthaimassage.com
Native Yoga Blog: toddasanayoga.com
Instagram: @nativeyoga
YouTube channel: Native Yoga Center

Listen to the podcast here on our Podcast website: Native Yoga Toddcast

Please email special requests and feedback to info@nativeyogacenter.com

Lindsay Gonzalez ~ Yoga, Surf & Breathwork in El Salvador

You can listen to the full episode for free here.

Watch the podcast episode on YouTube Here.

Todd McLaughlin

Welcome to the Native Yoga Toddcast. I’m so excited to introduce to you Lindsay Gonzalez. 

Please check Lindsay out at her website, lindseygonzalezyoga.com. I’m gonna put multiple other links in the description below of places that you can find Lindsay. You can find her on Instagram, the handle @lindsaygonzalezyoga, you can also check out her yoga and surf retreat center in El Salvador Central America called Balance Surf and Yoga on a website called ElSalvadoryoga.com. They also have a website called sunzal.com. And there’ll be a couple of other links in there as well. 

I’m so pleased to have this chance to meet Lindsey and to talk about her life down in El Salvador taking people surfing teaching them yoga, as a birth doula and in leading transformational breathwork workshops and classes. And so with that being said, also, if you all enjoy this show, if at the end, if you can write a quick review and or leave a rating and review. I really, really, really, really appreciate it. Thank you. 

All right. So let me go ahead and let’s get into the discussion. Here we go. I’m so happy to have this chance to speak with you. This is Lindsay Gonzalez and Lindsay, you’re joining us from El Salvador. How are you today?

Lindsay Gonzalez

I’m doing well. Thank you so much for this connection.

TM

I’m really appreciative of my friend Alexandra, who lives down in El Salvador. She recently wrote me and said, “You’ve got to come do a yoga and surf retreat down here in El Salvador.” She sent me your information which led me to be able to get in touch with you. And therefore I’m so appreciative for you to take time out of your busy schedule. Can you tell me how your yoga journey began?

LG

Oh, so it’s actually come full circle in a way. I was a young girl just out of high school and I moved to Costa Rica, and kind of did it on a whim. I thought, I don’t know if I’m gonna go to college right away. But I know I need to go and get better at surfing. And so I bought a one way ticket to Costa Rica, almost over 20 years ago. Wow. And I lived on the beach with these two women that were just a few years older than me. But they were both yoga teachers from California. And they were they’re doing the traveller thing. And they had a little tiny yoga room set up. And we would invite all the local surfers over and they would teach yoga. I had come off of a life of being an athlete. I was really flexible, so they said, “Lindsay, you have to be a yoga teacher. You’re good at this.” That was the first nudge. And it’s interesting that I’m back in Latin America at this point in my life, still doing exactly what they nudged me to do.

TM

Oh, that’s amazing. Yeah, very cool. So then I’m guessing in that 20 year period, you went back to the states and then had been traveling back and forth between US and Central America?

LG

US and all over, really. I went back to the states and I said, Well, I think it’s time, I was 21. I said maybe I should go to college. So I went to college, but I ended up spending all of my time in the yoga studio, just down the road. And you know, being from the East Coast, you may have heard of Charm City Yoga? It was in Baltimore for a long time. And they recently were bought by YogaWorks. But I trained at Charm City 20 years ago with Kim Manfredi. She’s given so much love and respect over the last 20 years. She’s really been a guide in my life. Then I’ve always had this love of surf. So, you know, I was back and forth between Central America and the US and different states that I lived in in the US.

TM

Nice. And how long have you been in El Salvador now?

LG

It’s been about six years. 

TM

Wow. And both you and your husband, is it Adrian? You guys work together and manage the whole center together?

LG

We do it all. Family life and work life.

TM

Nice. Do you have children?

LG

We do. Yes. Yeah, we have two little babies. Our son Luca is three and a half and our daughter, Olivia. She goes by Olivia Paloma. So she kind of has two names. But she’s one and a half.

TM

Nice. Congratulations. Did you both meet in El Salvador or here in the States?

LG

So funny enough, we met in Colorado, and he walked into my yoga class in the middle of winter. And I had just gotten back from leading a retreat in Panama. And I was telling my regular students about the event and how much I love visiting Latin America. He was just very kind and sitting in the back of the room. And he said, “Have you ever been to El Salvador?” And I said, “No, that’s the only place I haven’t been in Latin America.” And he said, “Oh, I should tell you about my project down there.” And we became friends. You know, it was a two year friendship before we before we started our romance. And he invited me down to El Salvador, actually, for a job. He invited me down to help him open and run the yoga retreat center, and really bring it to what it is now. And very quickly, we found that we would be great partners.

TM

That’s amazing. Very cool story. So what is it like running a yoga retreat center in El Salvador?

LG

Oh, gosh, it’s a lot of work. I think we have to prioritize time for surfing now, where before we did this, we would surf a lot. Yeah. But it’s, it’s really been such an amazing project to work on together. And now after being closed for about a year, we’re reopen. We have new rooms. We have a retreat here right now. 

TM

That is wonderful. 

LG

We have another small group of professional young surfers from Panama. So there’s a lot of life here, and a lot of good vibes. So it is a lot of work, of course, but the work is fun. I get to go surfing with the customers. So that was great.

TM

That is amazing. That sounds like the dream job for sure. Your center looks really beautiful. It looks like it has an amazing pool and rooms. I saw from looking at your Instagram today that you have a new cafe opening that is inspired and Balinese style architecture and decor. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

LG

Yes, so separately of each other. My husband and I both spent quite a few years going back and forth to Bali for different reasons. I was there to teach yoga teacher trainings and he was there to go surfing. Years and years ago he had a small jewelry business with his mother and they sourced a lot of jewelry from Bali. So he was spending time there and then finally we got to go to Bali together and when we were there together on our last trip right before the pandemic, we said this is it. We have to take as many pictures as we can and we have to remember this feeling and bring it to Latin America and then create it. We did it in a Latin American way. But I think the Balinese style is beautiful with hardwoods and natural fibers and lots of very intelligent details that make the stay feel luxurious and rustic at the same time.

TM

Nice. That sounds amazing. Did you find an architect and/or builder in El Salvador to build for you? Or is that something that you both were hands on with?

LG

Very hands on! We worked with a local architect. And we had fun meetings where we would come to her with all of these ideas, and then she would put it onto paper. And a lot of times, she would say the builders have never done anything like this before. So we’re going to be able to teach them a new skill. And that was an exciting project, even in regards to like the thatched roof in one of our buildings. The thatch is done in a Balinese style versus a Latin American style. So very different, very challenging. But it works. And it’s beautiful. 

TM

Nice. 

LG

We’re so proud.

You can listen to the full episode for free here: https://nativeyogacenter.buzzsprout.com

Thanks for reading this blog post from this YouTube video. Check out: 👇
Native Yoga Teacher Training – In Studio and Livestream – for info delivered to your email click this link here: https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

New Student Livestream Special ~ Try 2 Weeks of Free Unlimited Livestream Yoga Classes  at Native Yoga Center. Sign into the classes you would like to take and you will receive an email 30 minutes prior to join on Zoom. The class is recorded and uploaded to nativeyogaonline.com ~ Click Here to join.

New Student FREE 30 Minute Yoga Meet & Greet ~ Are you new to Native Yoga Center and have questions that you would like us to address? Whether you are coming to In Studio, Livestream or Online Recorded Classes we offer a one time complimentary 30 minute zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a time that is convenient for you. Click Here

Native Yoga website: nativeyogacenter.com
Online Yoga Class Library: nativeyogaonline.com
Thai Massage info: palmbeachthaimassage.com
Native Yoga Blog: toddasanayoga.com
Instagram: @nativeyoga
YouTube channel: Native Yoga Center

Listen to the podcast here on our Podcast website: Native Yoga Toddcast

Please email special requests and feedback to info@nativeyogacenter.com

Saskia Bolscher ~ Body Positive Yoga

You can listen to the full episode for free here.

Watch the podcast episode on YouTube Here.

Todd McLaughlin

I’m so happy to bring Saskia Bolscher on to the podcast today. Please check Saskia out on her website, which is yogawithsaskia.co.uk. Also you can find her on Instagram @yogawithSaskia_ and also on TikTok, same handle @yogawithSaskia, no underscore. 

I found Saskia through Instagram and I am really inspired by her posts. I find her message to be really motivating. I’m just going to read her intro on the homepage of her website. She writes “I’m Saskia, a curvy yoga teacher who’s passionate about making yoga accessible to anyone, regardless of ability, size or background. As someone who has continually experienced being the largest person in yoga classes, and teacher training courses. I know how difficult it can be to step into a studio class. But believe me, yoga is not just for flexible and thin people. I strongly believe that yoga is for everyone. And so I will make you feel welcome in my classes. I encourage modifying poses and the use of props to make poses work for your body, not the other way around. Yoga is for you.” 

So on that note, let’s bring Saskia on the channel. 

I’m so happy to have Saskia here with me today and Saskia. You’re joining me from London in England. Is that correct? 

Saskia Bolscher

Yes, that’s correct. Thank you for having me. 

TM

Of course, I saw you on Instagram and I love your message. So I really am excited for or thankful for you to take some time out of your day to speak with me. When we were getting connected, I realized that I only put in my timezone and then when it was taking us a second to actually connect I thought, “Oh no, maybe I wasn’t clear about what time we were supposed to meet.” So I’m so glad that it worked out. What time is it over there?

SB 

Actually, it is 6:45pm in the evening.

TM

Oh, that’s not so bad. It’s 1:45pm here. Perfect. That’s pretty reasonable. All right, cool. Thank you so much. And I’m curious if you can just get us started in the direction of what you’re passionate about? In your your teaching?

SB

Yes. Thank you very much for asking Todd. I have been a yoga teacher for almost four years now. And I have practiced yoga for much, much longer than that. I’ve always been sort of in a bigger body, I’ve always been curvy. And so I’ve always found that I’ve had to adapt my practice a little bit to fit my body. And I’ve always been quite conscious that I’ve often been, you know, the biggest person in a yoga class in my yoga teacher training. And for a long time, I felt that as a yoga teacher, I wasn’t good enough. Because I thought you know, you have to be thin, right? Because you see all these other yoga teachers, they’re all thin and flexible. And I was like, oh, you know, if I’m really want to make it then that needs to be my goal. But along the way, I’ve sort of come to realize that it’s good to have representation of different ranges of bodies. So I’ve actually twisted that around and sort of made it my goal to show that anyone can do yoga. And if you’re in a bigger body, you can absolutely do yoga. You may have to adapt along the way and use props. But I’m all for it. And I show that in the classes that I teach, and I show that on Instagram on TikTok. I make videos to show people how they can make yoga work for their body rather than the other way around.

TM

That’s cool. What type of response are you receiving?

SB

Very positive. Yeah, actually, only almost only positive. Yeah. People are very grateful to see how they can adapt poses by using a block or a bolster, or strap or whatnot. And also, I’m getting lots of messages from people similar to me or, you know, yogi’s, in a similar size body, saying, Oh, it’s so nice to see someone else who’s also bigger, who’s practicing yoga, who is a teacher. I’ve had a student in the studio, where I teach locally come up to me and say, you know, I’m so amazed, and I’m inspired. And now I’m gonna take a teacher training, because I know now that I, you know, I can also do it. So yeah, it’s been really, really cool.

TM

That is cool. How did you first get involved in yoga?

SB

Oh, that’s a good question. I get this question a lot. And I don’t really have a good answer to it. I think in I started going to yoga classes at the gym, I think like a lot of people and I think it’s a long time ago, and I just I enjoyed it. I mean, I enjoy moving my body. I enjoy different types of exercise like dance and, and other things. I was never into sports really. So yoga worked very well. I’m fairly flexible. Not super, super flexible. But enough. So to that, yoga felt good. Yeah. I just kept kept going. And over time, I got more and more into it. I started practicing more, took it a bit more seriously, went on some retreats, etc, etc. 

TM

Cool. What style did you gravitate toward? You mentioned  the gym, but do you remember the teacher that you had at that time? Or maybe there was multiple teachers? But was there a specific style or arrangement of postures that stuck out in your mind? Or sticks out?

SB

It was hatha yoga at first. And I vividly remember practicing with ujjai breath, you know, in those first few classes, and I thought it was really cool. And it really added to the practice. And I hope as well that, you know, when I teach people in my classes that they are experiencing the same. But yeah, mostly Hatha Yoga. I  experimented with different styles, going to different teachers, different styles of classes. I’ve tried Kundalini. I’ve tried Bikram but wasn’t a fan. It’s a tough one for various reasons. We won’t go into that. Yeah, vinyasa, ashtanga. All different styles. And then further along the line, I discovered yin yoga and this is one of my one of my favorite styles now. It is really cool to practice and to teach.

TM

That’s how I found you. I thought, let me go into hashtag yin on Instagram and you popped up! 

SB

Oh, cool. 

TM

Yeah, I know, right? Sometimes when I do hashtags, I wonder like, “what the heck am I doing?” I mean, does this even do anything? It does, actually. It’s kind of fun to explore hashtags. It is such a great cataloguing system. You do a great job with your videos. I like the one that you did the most recent on Instagram that you we’re just kind of showing how to use a block to be able to get your spine straight. I’m curious, you’ve had a chance to practice in multiple styles and try different classes out and have gravitated toward yin. Is there a specific prop or modification that is your favorite? Something that you go to every single time that you like? 

SB

Yeah. So definitely when sitting in meditation, as you’ve seen in my latest IG Reel or TikTok video, I always set up either on blocks or on a bolster because it just allows you to sit, you know, up straight, and more comfortably. It doesn’t take any effort. And you can actually be in the pose with ease as we’re meant to be, right? Yeah. So yeah. Sthira Sukham Asanam. Yeah, stable and comfortable. But I think the main thing for me in making yoga work for my for my body and for other people who are in a bigger body is to make space for the body. So like in a child’s pose, taking the knees wide. Taking the feet a little bit wider, so that there’s space for the belly to go in between the legs. In twists, you know…. you can’t sometimes twist that far. So maybe like opening arms to help facilitate the twist. Things like that. That’s the main thing I would say. I always use props in all of my practices. If in a forward fold, if the floor feels far away, you know, put a block underneath. 

TM

Nice. 

SB

Things like that.

You can listen to the full episode for free here: https://nativeyogacenter.buzzsprout.com

Thanks for reading this blog post from this YouTube video. Check out: 👇
Native Yoga Teacher Training – In Studio and Livestream – for info delivered to your email click this link here: https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

New Student Livestream Special ~ Try 2 Weeks of Free Unlimited Livestream Yoga Classes  at Native Yoga Center. Sign into the classes you would like to take and you will receive an email 30 minutes prior to join on Zoom. The class is recorded and uploaded to nativeyogaonline.com ~ Click Here to join.

New Student FREE 30 Minute Yoga Meet & Greet ~ Are you new to Native Yoga Center and have questions that you would like us to address? Whether you are coming to In Studio, Livestream or Online Recorded Classes we offer a one time complimentary 30 minute zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a time that is convenient for you. Click Here

Native Yoga website: nativeyogacenter.com
Online Yoga Class Library: nativeyogaonline.com
Thai Massage info: palmbeachthaimassage.com
Native Yoga Blog: toddasanayoga.com
Instagram: @nativeyoga
YouTube channel: Native Yoga Center

Listen to the podcast here on our Podcast website: Native Yoga Toddcast

Please email special requests and feedback to info@nativeyogacenter.com

This is Why Yoga Makes me Happy

Yoga makes me happy because every time I practice, I feel lighter and more calm.

Watch this video so I can share with you reasons why I think yoga can make you happy too.

Before I started to practice yoga, I was very unhappy. I went through a very difficult time in my life. And when I started practicing yoga a little over 30 years ago, I noticed that I began to be able to change my negative thinking into positive thinking. And that simple shift created such a profound change for me in my life. So through a consistent yoga practice, Yoga has brought me tremendous happiness.

So you might be thinking, I’d like to feel some happiness, too. So I just want to share a few reasons why I think yoga can bring about more happiness.

The first reason that I think yoga helps to make me happy is breath and movement. The simplicity of practicing yoga, creating exercise, and coordinating the breath in the movement always has a profound effect on my nervous system, my mood and my general well being. Plus, yoga is designed to improve longevity. And it really is aimed at harnessing the fullness of our human potential.

The second reason yoga makes me happy is that it forces me to take my mind and place it on an object and an object of concentration. The practice of holding attention steady, at a single point of concentration has a profound effect on mood and overall sense of well being.

The third reason that yoga makes me happy is that every time I feel aches and pains, the yoga practice helps me to do something proactive to actually change the situation.

Four, I love sharing yoga. It brings me so much joy. The act of sharing the yoga practice brings me so much happiness.

And the fifth reason that I know yoga makes me happy is that it gives me a profound sense of purpose. Having a daily practice and staying consistent to my practice really helps me to stay focused on something that’s positive and consistent. Through this process of maintaining consistent practice, and really developing a sense of purpose gives me a reason to get on the mat every day.

I know that when I practice, I feel better. So the simple act of just getting on the mat no matter what can cultivate commitment. And whether it’s sitting on a cushion and practicing meditation or getting on the yoga mat and practicing yoga asana. If it’s just simply working with the breathing or, on some days I just lay down on my back and practice Shavasana.

By putting my attention into the practice and maintaining consistency gives me a sense of purpose. I believe that through sense of purpose, immense happiness is available for all of us.

That’s why I want to share the Yoga with you and make it accessible for you. You can join me every day here at Native Yoga Center via our two weeks free, unlimited live stream yoga special for those of you that are new to us here.

Check out the links below and join in and come practice. Just start breathing and moving and bringing your attention to a point of concentration. Start to observe how by taking care of your aches and pains and actually doing something proactive and the art of sharing and when you start to feel the joy and the happiness that comes from practicing yoga, your friends and family will feel that to.

You’ll get a sense of the fact that you’re spreading a little bit of positivity in the world, which double feedback loops into your own happiness. And also just keeping your focus and feeling a sense of purpose and all of these things included can be found by just simply getting on your mat.

So if you need some assistance or you need some help, just start practicing and we’re here for you.

If anything I mentioned here makes sense to you remember to leave a comment below and I will happily answer you back. Remember… just keep practicing!

Thanks for reading this blog post from this YouTube video. Check out: 👇
Native Yoga Teacher Training – In Studio and Livestream – for info delivered to your email click this link here: https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

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New Student Livestream Special ~ Try 2 Weeks of Free Unlimited Livestream Yoga Classes  at Native Yoga Center. Sign into the classes you would like to take and you will receive an email 30 minutes prior to join on Zoom. The class is recorded and uploaded to nativeyogaonline.com ~ Click Here to join.

New Student FREE 30 Minute Yoga Meet & Greet ~ Are you new to Native Yoga Center and have questions that you would like us to address? Whether you are coming to In Studio, Livestream or Online Recorded Classes we offer a one time complimentary 30 minute zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a time that is convenient for you. Click Here

Native Yoga website: nativeyogacenter.com
Online Yoga Class Library: nativeyogaonline.com
Thai Massage info: palmbeachthaimassage.com
Native Yoga Blog: toddasanayoga.com
Instagram: @nativeyoga
YouTube channel: Native Yoga Center

Listen to the podcast here on our Podcast website: Native Yoga Toddcast

Please email special requests and feedback to info@nativeyogacenter.com

Ross Stambaugh ~ Yogis Helping Yogis

I am pleased to introduce you to Ross Stambaugh in this podcast titled Yogis Helping Yogis. 

Visit Ross on his Instagram site here @ashtanga.yoga.ross
Find him on his website ashtangahub.com

Ross is a 20+ year veteran of Ashtanga Yoga, and is an authorized teacher who learned directly under the teachings of Saraswati Jois in Mysore, India. When he is not traveling internationally for workshops, he welcomes the opportunity to help all levels of dedicated yoga practitioners. He makes annual trips to India to continue his studies and has assisted Saraswati on multiple occasions. Ross seeks to preserve the traditional Ashtanga method by maintaining a daily practice, and has extensive knowledge in the areas of pranayama, philosophy (yoga sutras), and certainly asana.

You can listen to the full episode for free here.

Watch the podcast episode on YouTube Here.

Todd McLaughlin

Today I bring to you a special guest, Ross Stambaugh. His website is http://www.ashtangahub.com. You gotta go check him out on Instagram. He does a great job on his IG page. It’s at @Ashtanga.Yoga.Ross. I also want to give a shout out to Waleah Norton at Red Earth Yoga Center in Oklahoma, check her out as well at http://www.redearthyogacenter.com. She introduced me to Ross and both of them had a chance to practice in India together and she got me so pumped to speak with him. And she said you gotta bring this guy on your podcast. He’s great! I had a really nice conversation with him. I hope that you enjoy this. So on that note. Let me go ahead and push play for you here. 

I’m so excited to have the opportunity to speak today with Ross Stambaugh. Ross, how are you doing?

Ross Stambaugh

Fantastic. Thanks for asking.

TM

I’m so happy that you’re here. I received rave reviews from our mutual friend Waleah who owns Red Earth Yoga Center in Oklahoma. She mentioned that you have visited her there. Is that true? You went and taught some yoga workshops there?

RS

Actually, I taught my first official Ashtanga Yoga workshop with there. I met her in Mysore, India. And it’s kind of a funny story. She posted a picture of her standing in front of her apartment, and I knew exactly where it was. So I knocked on her door. And she answers, “Who is it?” And I said, Hey, you know, my name is Ross. We’ve talked to each other on, you know, I think at the time was on Facebook. She kind of looks out and she didn’t want to open the door. So she’s like, how do you know who I am? And then I said, Well, I put things together and I figured I would just come by and say hello. Yes. So but eventually, over the course of the next two months, we became fast friends. And she invited me to her studio and we we did a lot of yoga.

TM

That’s awesome. I know she’s a really great person. So I appreciate the introduction. Thank you Waleah. 

Ross, I noticed that your website is ashtangahub.com. So anyone listening I’ll put the links in the description below. So it’s gonna be really easy to find Ross and also you’re on Instagram. Your handle is @Ashtanga.yoga.Ross, which will also be down below. And I love your Instagram posts. Since I’ve gotten a chance to follow you. You do a great job with your posts. It seems like you’re having fun doing it, which is an art form in and of itself. And then in the process of going to your website and learning about you. You are an ashtanga yoga practitioner and teacher and you’ve studied in Mysore with Saraswati Jois, is that correct?

RS

That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, um, about I think 2014 I took my first trip to Mysore and I’m a school teacher. So I had the summers off, and that’s when Saraswati Jois the daughter of Pattabhi Jois teachers out of her shala. I went there a couple of times for a couple of years. Several years actually, and just fell in love with the city. Fell in love with the temples. Fell in love with philosophy and of course, of course yoga.

TM

Righ! Mysore is an amazing city. What are some of the favorite things to do when there? Apart from the yoga?

RS

Yeah, I think, I think everyone, if they want to have a quintessential Indian experience, you have to get on a scooter. And you have to get lost in the city. And you have to try to navigate your way around the cows and the people in the temples and just get immersed in a culture that’s so very different from our Western eyes and ears and senses and everything.

TM

Nice. I agree. I did. No, actually, I did not rent a motorbike in India. I was a little timid of that. I’ve rented motorbikes in Thailand and in Indonesia. But when I was in India, I really just stuck with the rickshaw. And so that’s a bold move to get on a motorbike there. I applaud that courage.

RS

Oh, thanks. Yeah. 

TM

Have you ever had any close encounters there?

Waleah and I had a few. Yeah, she jumped on the bike. And, of course, she was holding her camera up, and I was waving and a bus I came like within a whisker of each other. Oh, yeah I did. My last trip. I was with my mom. And it was the last day and I was running her around Mysore. And I slipped on some gravel, and I  busted up my elbow. Long story short, I’m in the emergency room in there, and in front of us. I don’t know what happened. Or there’s a group of people there waiting. And like India, you know, money talks sometimes. And and I’m like, wow, I have a I have a flight to catch in like three hours. They won’t let me on the airplane. Because I needed to get some stitches. And so in my pocket, I had all my rupees left. So I had, I don’t know, maybe $20 and rupees. And I take it on my pocket. And I kind of wave it to the, to the nurse up there. And with that they they waved me in and I got the stitches. And I think I think it was maybe $40 or $60 US dollars in the end. Right and then out the door and I got on my flight.

TM

Yeah, amazing. That journey from Bangalore to Mysore is incredible. What city were you flying out of?

RS

I was flying out of Bangalore. So it’s a four hour drive from Mysore to Bangalore. So we have to jump in a taxi and then get that taxi to the airport.

TM

That’s an amazing trip, isn’t it? I remember the first time my wife and I went to Mysore in 2004. And when we got to Bangalore and walked out the doors and there was it seemed like at least 100 people all wanting to help us out. And that was our first like overwhelming, like, oh my gosh, what are we doing unique experience. That is amazing.

RS

You’re right. That’s what makes it so fun to go there. 

TM

I’m really curious, how did how did it evolve that you were able to invite your mom and your mom being willing to say yes to go to India?  How did that happen?

RS

Well, I would spend time there. So like I said I was school teaching and I had a few months off. And my mom just recently retired. And she’s always been, you know, a very quiet mom. But she’s always had a little adventure side to her. And she said, “Well, you know, can I come and see what you do you?” You talked about yoga, you practice yoga, you’re always talking, you know, you’re always doing yoga. Can I come and see what you do? And I said, Yeah, sure. So she jumped on an airplane and she hung out with me for almost three weeks. It was a great experience. 

TM

That’s so cool. What a great opportunity. Yeah, that’s amazing. When was last time you were in India, have you been there since 2019 or 2020?

RS

No, my last trip was 2018 at the end of the summer. And then of course COVID started to build. So I’ve missed out the last two seasons. Yeah, three seasons almost. And so but I’m hoping to return this coming July.

TM

Cool. Yeah. Nice. And I noticed that you said you’re a school teacher but you you teach art to the school kids.

RS

Yeah. I’m a middle school art teacher. I’ve been doing that for 22 years. Because this is 23rd.

TM

Wow, that’s really cool. Have you been an artist your whole life? Is that something that you were involved in when you were in middle school age and then progressed to wanting to go to school for it and now teach?

RS

Yeah, it was sort of the only thing I could get out of school with, I would, you know, I would take all the classes and in Junior High and in high school, and of course, college, I was a fine arts major for two years. I focused on like, traditional painting. I didn’t really have the aptitude for it, you know, I was okay. But I wasn’t. I was in a group of people that were better than okay. You know, they were they were really driven. And I noticed right away, I simply didn’t have that level of talent. But both my parents were teachers, and my sister’s a teacher, and all my cousins are teachers. So it just felt like, a thing to do. I enjoyed traveling, and I recognize that a teacher’s schedule would allow me to do that. So yeah, I’ve been a teacher. And I’ve been really enjoying it.

TM

That’s cool. You know, on that note, I have a daughter who’s in fourth grade. And as I was studying up and getting ready for this opportunity to speak with you, I heard her in the background. She had a substitute teacher, and she said, “All he did was look at his phone all day, he didn’t teach us anything.” And I gotta crack up. When I was in school, we didn’t have cell phones back in the old days, and, and I just thought, I just kind of cracked me up to think about a substitute, just like staring at his or her phone for the whole session. “All right, kids, just do what you want.” I’m guessing, though, that you take a really proactive role in the education process, can you share a story or two about what it’s like being a teacher and working with middle school aged kids?

RS

Ah, well, you have to be proactive, or else they’ll just eat you alive. They you know, I have such a spectrum of abilities and such a spectrum of maturity. And you have to be able to figure out how to engage each and every one. And, you know, sometimes there’s success, and often times, there’s trial and error, and we certainly fall in to the error of things. So I think that’s a great kind of segue into yoga, you know, recognizing when the external circumstances are not in your control, and you have to rely on a little bit of faith, and rely on a little bit of skill and a little bit of, of the unknown to get through the day. And hopefully, you have something left to give to children. To give to people that are not oftentimes willing to accept the struggle of learning. 

TM

Right? 

RS

Whenever we grow, especially in yoga, whenever we grow, we have to be okay with the struggle, which is certainly hard. Hard to do. Yes.

You can listen to the full episode for free here: https://nativeyogacenter.buzzsprout.com

Thanks for reading this blog post from this podcast episode. Check out: 👇
Native Yoga Teacher Training – In Studio and Livestream – for info delivered to your email click this link here: https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

New Student Livestream Special ~ Try 2 Weeks of Free Unlimited Livestream Yoga Classes  at Native Yoga Center. Sign into the classes you would like to take and you will receive an email 30 minutes prior to join on Zoom. The class is recorded and uploaded to nativeyogaonline.com ~ Click Here to join.

New Student FREE 30 Minute Yoga Meet & Greet ~ Are you new to Native Yoga Center and have questions that you would like us to address? Whether you are coming to In Studio, Livestream or Online Recorded Classes we offer a one time complimentary 30 minute zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a time that is convenient for you. Click Here

Native Yoga website: nativeyogacenter.com
Online Yoga Class Library: nativeyogaonline.com
Thai Massage info: palmbeachthaimassage.com
Native Yoga Blog: toddasanayoga.com
Instagram: @nativeyoga
YouTube channel: Native Yoga Center

Listen to the podcast here on our Podcast website: Native Yoga Toddcast

Please email special requests and feedback to info@nativeyogacenter.com
Please share this episode with your friends, rate & review and join us next time.

Lynsi Eastburn – Using Hypnotherapy to Inspire Fertility

I am pleased to feature Lynsi Eastburn on the Native Yoga Toddcast! 

As the creator of 3Keys® HypnoFertility, Lynsi is the world’s established expert in the field of hypnosis to promote fertility. She began professionally using hypnosis to facilitate pregnancy before anyone else had actively considered or pursued its benefits, when there was no information about it in books, when nothing could be found on the internet.

During this conversation Lynsi and I discuss how hypnotherapy, yoga and relaxation techniques can play a vital role in reducing stress and how this can positively effect fertility.

Visit Lynsi on her website https://hypnofertility.com to learn more.

You can listen to the full episode for free here.

Watch the podcast episode on YouTube Here.

Todd McLaughlin

I’m so happy to have Lindsey Eastburn here today. Lindsay, you have a website called Hypnofertility.com. I’m really excited to talk about your new book and but just to get started and so all of our listeners have a chance to get to know you. Can you explain to me what your method called 3Keys Hypnofertility is all about? 

Lynsi Eastburn

Yeah. Hi, Todd. Thanks for having me on today. Nice to see you. Thank you. So basically 3Keys Hypnofertility is actually how I use it these days to distinguish it from what’s become kind of a generic word for Hypnofertility. When I started working with this, I am a hypnotherapist, and I’ve been in the healing arts for a long, long time. And in general private practice, I started encountering women who are trying to get pregnant and hypnosis wasn’t known for helping with fertility at that time. And this was back in was probably 20 some odd years ago at any rate. And so hypnosis was really helpful. And people knew that it was, it was well known for childbirth and other things like weight loss and smoking, but not for fertility. And so what happened was people started coming in, for one reason or another that ended up being fertility connected, and I was able to help them. And even those who were given a diagnosis have 0% chance of ever getting pregnant or ending up getting pregnant naturally began working with me. 

TM

Wow. 

LE

So kind of long story short, I ended up developing a method because there wasn’t anything out there. And I called it Hypnofertility. And then just over the last few years, I have given it its own kind of designation of 3Keys Hypnofertility. It’s based on three keys to conception that I received in meditation about 27 years ago. 

TM

So while you’re in a state of meditation, this came to you? Can you give me a little insight into what that was like or how that came about? 

LE

Yeah, for sure. Now it gets kind of spiritual spirit baby type of stuff. I started out kind of working with the art and science of hypnosis, so to speak. And then also, I’ve always been connected with spirit or mind body spirit balance. I am an intuitive empath. And so years ago, I was only supposed to have one child. My son is now 27. Now going on 28. He came to me as a spirit baby and said, “Hi, I’m coming to you, you need to have me make arrangements.” Yeah, yeah. And I thought, Okay, I’ve always been open to this type of thing. But at that time, I was like, wow, this is something, he sent me his name. And so I did have to make some significant changes, and I was able to welcome him into the world. So what happened was, I ended up in a in a class that was basically healing arts, sort of a crystal enhancement class and I was learning about crystals. It was meditation and it various spiritual things like that. We did an exercise to meet our guide, to meet a spirit guide. And so I did that exercise. And then at the time, we would do it in class, and we practice at home, with cassettes, if you can believe it. And we used automatic writing to tune into the spirit guide. So lots of people were getting a lot of different things with our automatic writing. Well, my guide showed up, who is an infinity symbol, basically. So I got a symbol. And then I got one word, and I kept getting this one word, and the word was meditate. And so day after day, week after week, I’m practicing with my meditation. I’m working on connecting with my guide, and I’m getting this word, meditate, meditate, meditate. So I’m like, can I have something else? What else can I have, some more words please? And so eventually, I did get another word, which was listen. And so then I would, I would get that every day. And so I would do my meditations. And I’d get meditate and listen, and then listen was the focus for a while. And then after, you know, another few weeks, I got the word Trust. And that’s all I got. Meditate, listen, trust. Well, this was prior to me trying to conceive this child who showed up and told me that he was coming into the world. And so I began to basically apply that because as I was meditating, or as I was tuning in, I was becoming clearer. I was obviously becoming calmer. And my, you know, just nervous system was much more balanced. I was creating that balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit and I was able to listen. I was able to hear directions or instructions, or just that knowingness. I mean, it really enhanced that. You know, my intuition. All of that type of thing. And then the trust was to trust it. You know that you’re getting this baby that I’m not supposed to have just kept showing up. Trust it. Right. Yeah, you’ve got him.

TM

Wow. That’s amazing. Congratulations. Your son is how old now? 

LE

He’s 27. He’s the musician that got me all set up with my microphone and livestream to do this interview. 

TM

It sounds really good. By the way. I’m so happy he did that for you.

LE

Yeah, he’s a good guy, that’s for sure. So

yeah, it’s just so interesting. And then when I talk about meditate, listen, trust, that even as I did my hypnotherapy training, as I worked with Reiki and other modalities, it really is the crux of that. And I realized that this was where I got in meditation, sort of this knowing that this is the three keys to conception, meditate, listen, trust. No matter what else is going on. If you can utilize these, it just helped on so many levels. And then I was kind of thinking about and I go, you know, that’s really the three keys to life. It’s not just the three keys to conception, however, it is totally the crux of the program, or the work that I do and meditate doesn’t necessarily literally mean meditate. So it can be obviously hypnosis since that’s what I do. It can also be like just being quiet going into the quiet, it can be walking in nature, it can be doing yoga, it can be doing, you know, bodywork or any type of self care really. It’s a time when you just shut off, you know, shut off the phone, shut off the screens, the TV, the whole thing, and even if it’s just for a minute or two minutes a day, but just have some quiet and people tend to not do that. And it’s gotten worse. You know, since before my son was conceived because now we have all this technology and phones. A lot of people, they want noise all the time. So it’ll be the TVs in the background or the radios in the background or, which is fine if you’re paying attention to it. Yet often it is used to block out listening to our own minds and senses. When I get up in the morning, I don’t want to hear anything. And I want to get my tea and I want to just, you know, talk to my dogs. And that’s kind of it, but I don’t want any noise going on. But a lot of people are kind of averse to that. They really do need to have background noise all the time. 

TM

That’s a great point. What I really liked about the serendipity of having the chance to speak with you is I had someone come in for a Thai massage, and she said that the only way she was able to get pregnant was because she started getting Thai massage. And that it relaxed her nervous system enough that she was able to have a baby. And that was the first time I heard someone say that to me personally. And so then not long after when I was able to get in contact with you, I thought that this would be a really interesting topic. I’m excited to hear different stories that you’ve probably have seen with your clients where they’ve tried everything. I know there’s a lot of different fertility treatments out there. Can you explain to me what some of them are? Or what people who come to you for assistance have tried? 

LE

Yeah, you’re absolutely right. And a lot of times with hypnosis, in general, we can often be the last resort for people. And the great thing is, it’s still effective. And it doesn’t, you don’t have to believe in it. A lot of times, people just, they’ve tried everything. At that point they think, I’m going to come to hypnosis, which is really how this kind of got kicked off, was people thinking well, what if hypnosis would help? And so people may be going through medical treatment, which can be quite costly. And it’s very invasive. And a lot of invitro fertilization, for example, they have to take a lot of injections and hormones, it’s really hard emotionally.

It requires like a full time job, people have to be at the clinic so often. And a lot of times, I don’t know, if I will, I probably would lean toward most times, many times, it does not work on the first round. And so they have to end up going through it again. And sometimes people have done eight or nine cycles of IVF, before they come to see me. And that was how it was early on. People were at a dead end. They didn’t have the technology they do now. People were getting these ultimatums. They’re either being told they are not a candidate for IVF, or any of these types of treatments and to go home and come to terms with being childless or adopt. Instead I was having these folks, they would come in and say, I believe that there’s a baby there. I feel it. I just know it. I know there’s a baby there. And I always could sense into that. And so I say, Yeah, I believe you. And let’s work with that.

You can listen to the full episode for free here: https://nativeyogacenter.buzzsprout.com

Thanks for reading this blog post from this podcast episode. Check out: 👇
Native Yoga Teacher Training – In Studio and Livestream – for info delivered to your email click this link here: https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

https://info.nativeyogacenter.com/native-yoga-teacher-training-2023/

New Student Livestream Special ~ Try 2 Weeks of Free Unlimited Livestream Yoga Classes  at Native Yoga Center. Sign into the classes you would like to take and you will receive an email 30 minutes prior to join on Zoom. The class is recorded and uploaded to nativeyogaonline.com ~ Click Here to join.

New Student FREE 30 Minute Yoga Meet & Greet ~ Are you new to Native Yoga Center and have questions that you would like us to address? Whether you are coming to In Studio, Livestream or Online Recorded Classes we offer a one time complimentary 30 minute zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a time that is convenient for you. Click Here

Native Yoga website: nativeyogacenter.com
Online Yoga Class Library: nativeyogaonline.com
Thai Massage info: palmbeachthaimassage.com
Native Yoga Blog: toddasanayoga.com
Instagram: @nativeyoga
YouTube channel: Native Yoga Center

Listen to the podcast here on our Podcast website: Native Yoga Toddcast

Please email special requests and feedback to info@nativeyogacenter.com
Please share this episode with your friends, rate & review and join us next time.

Michael Harris – Falling Down Getting UP – Overcoming Your Obstacles

Join in listening to this wonderful conversation I had with Michael Harris.

Michael has been telling “sit on the edge of your seat stories” ever since his first show and tell in grade school – some stories will make you laugh – others are quite tragic that could bring any listener to tears. He shares in his #1 book, Falling Down Getting UP,  how starting in 1987, yoga helped heal him from several near fatal predicaments. 

Today, Michael is a popular yoga teacher with three certifications from Erich Schiffman, Integral Yoga and Bikram Yoga. In addition, he is an author, lifelong entrepreneur and co-founder of Endless Stages – a company dedicated to help motivated yogis, healers and entrepreneurs get their personal voice, message and story out to the world.

You can download a free copy of his powerful book at www.michaelbharris.com/book or purchase at https://bookshop.org/shop/michaelharris.com

You can listen to the full episode for free here.

Todd McLaughlin

We’ll just so the listeners are aware you you gave me the best surprise ever because we had scheduled to do this podcast quite a while ago. I know we worked really hard at finding a date that we could both organize to make this work. Just prior to me hitting the record button, Michael, you reminded me that you and I had met in California, at Bikram Yoga Teacher Training. You were one of the teachers that were helping teach some of the classes at the training. I didn’t even know that was you when we were scheduling this appointment. So now the fact that I’m getting a chance to speak with you I am so exited. I remember you very clearly. I loved your classes! I felt like you were a grounding force in a really wild world. You know? I’m just now getting a chance to pick your brain and find out where you are at with Bikram yoga, and what you’re doing now. So on that note, can you just start telling me and filling me in on your journey? And I guess I’ll be a little more specific. Let’s go way, way back. Can you tell me the first time you start practicing yoga? What was the first yoga class you ever got a chance to take?

Michael Harris

Absolutely. You know, the first time that I took a yoga class was 1988. Yes. Or excuse me,1987. I had vascular surgery in November of 1986. I had blocked arteries. The doctors at the time suggested that they may need to amputate my leg. I was pretty blunt to them and saying that that wasn’t gonna happen. I ended up at a place called Pritikin Longevity Center, which is in Santa Monica, but no longer there. By the ocean right down on the boardwalk pretty close to the Santa Monica Pier. When I first got there, I was walking on a cane I could walk literally about 10 feet. Cane in one hand, my other hand on the wall. Well, I could barely walk. To make a long story much shorter. The doctors that I was seeing in Portland for my vascular disease suggested that when it hurt that I should not move my body. And not to walk. The doctor at the Pritikin Center said when it hurts, keep walking. In hindsight, it was a huge spiritual wake up call to me. It was one of a number of times that I can identify over the years. But that particular one, he says get up and walk and walk through the pain. He says I just want you to go out there on the boardwalk and start walking. Initially, I was pretty scared to. I was in serious pain and was nervous because the movement seem to make me feel more pain. Yet he said, “Yes, it’s gonna hurt.” And he says, “Just keep doing what you can do.” Well, here I am. You know, 1987 that was actually March of 1987. There was a lot of women on rollerblades. And here I am. I’m a sick man. And I don’t want to be a sick man. I want to feel strong and healthy. And I had already had a lot of self esteem issues and everything else that I’ve struggled with. And so I wanted to walk tall. So within two weeks, I went from walking 10 feet to two miles, unassisted without my cane without a wall. 

TM

Wow. 

MH

And the sheer process of moving my body. Of walking, going one foot in front of the next, helped to build new blood vessels in my leg and collateral blood vessels. 

TM

Wow. 

MH

So as those new vessels were being built, in addition to that, the popliteal arteries where the primary blockages were began to heal as well. So not only was I getting the collaterals, I was also getting the popliteal artery to begin to heal. So answering your question about the first yoga class, the first yoga class was at the Pritikin Longevity Center. Now, granted, it wasn’t a very vigorous class. It was mostly for people in rehabilitation of some sort. It was really known more for weight loss. Although I wasn’t heavy, I’ve never really been heavy in my life. So losing weight wasn’t my challenge, they actually wanted me to gain weight. But there’s also a plant based facility at Pritikin Longevity Center. So they said I can eat as much food as I want. So I was walking, I started doing some yoga classes in the basement, and I was eating all the plant based food I could possibly eat.

TM

Nice. 

MH

Yeah, it was good. 

TM

Well, that’s incredible! That’s a really great story in terms of endurance and overcoming, like you said, that fear of working into the pain. Having that question like, “what do you mean…..walk more?” That whole transformation process of pushing through that. I’m curious, from taking yoga in the Pritikin environment there. What was your next step in relation to seeking other types of yoga? What was the evolution? How did it evolve from here?

MH

Yep. Well, I was living in Portland at the time, so I was just down there for the Pritikin Center. And when I went back to Portland, I started going to a yoga class at the gym. Because I was doing the gym, I was doing the treadmill. When I first started doing the treadmill, actually, was at Pritikin Center. I was going point three miles an hour.  As slow as the treadmill would move. That’s how slow I was going. And I was struggling. But I did more at the gym. And I was also walking in a park near my house as much as I could, but they had a yoga class there. And I would not call it a gym yoga, you know, however you want to perceive that to be, but it was a wonderful class. And at the end, they did candle gazing and I really liked it. When they would have me do downward dog. I would fall out of it. I couldn’t do much. But it led me to another general hatha yoga class. Diane Wilson was quite important for years. And I started taking her class. And I’m kind of jumping here ahead a little bit. I started doing Ashtanga Yoga. I saw a flyer for Yoga for Skiers. And I hadn’t skied for years because my condition and I want to get back to skiing. Somebody named Beryl Bender Birch was in Portland teaching and I thought, well, I’m gonna go to this thing and see if I can start skiing again. Well, I had what some people would call perhaps a kundalini experience and feeling the sensations in my body. Like tears flowing and just like opening up. Through this process and diving into Ashtanga I did a lot of stuff with David Swenson and a guy named Clifford. A lot of people don’t know who he was. He was one of the really early people. Nancy Gilgoff. I got a lot of time with her over in Maui. 

TM

Isn’t her place amazing? When you gotta look for the tomato sign when you’re driving up country on Maui? Everyone tells you like look for the tomato farm sign and then pull it you’ll find the house of Zen right? Is it called House of yoga and Zen or house of Zen? What a great little setup. That little wooden barn kind of yoga studio structure on that farm. Wow, studying with Nancy is like a real treat. That’s amazing. That’s cool, Michael.  I love David Swenson. I’ve never had a chance to practice with Beryl Bender Birch, but she’s a bit of a legend in the Ashtanga vinyasa world as well.

MH

Yeah. And a little bit more in synchronicity with Nancy. I don’t like staying in motels or hotels. So I was looking for a place to stay in apartment, a house something to rent. I rented this place. And you know, this guy named Gary and I called him and I said, Oh, do you know that Nancy? He says, oh, yeah, and that was about it. Didn’t say much. Well, when I got there, and it was rented apartment in his basement, do you know who Gary Kraftsow is?

TM

Oh yeah, he’s one of the famous teachers of Viniyoga. 

MH

One of his primary teachers was really close to Desikachar. I had no idea when I rented this place who it was. So here I am staying at Gary Kraftsow’s house. Also studying with Nancy. Wow. It was just like, you know, I mean, totally immersed.

TM

That’s right. When I lived on Maui for a year, and I remember seeing that he had a center in the upcountry area when I started looking into yoga. I never went but I remember his place was associated with a bodywork studio that always looked so interesting to me. That’s really cool. I can imagine that. Yeah, you’re staying with Gary, you’re getting your butt kicked with Nancy and in a good way. So at this point, I’m thinking you’ve made a pretty radical transformation from holding on to the wall walking 10 steps, if you’re hanging out with these yoga legends? Were you “back to normal” at this point? Where are you at at this phase?

You can listen to the full episode for free here: https://nativeyogacenter.buzzsprout.com

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Nona Mileva – Tapping into the Yoga Well

Check out this discussion I had with Nona Mileva. Visit Nona at her website wellyoga.net. Nona is a Certified Life, Wellness and Health Coach, Yoga Teacher and Educator, based in Jupiter, FL, United States. She works with a wide range of clients, from variuos backgrounds and age, via in person,  phone or Zoom sessions. Her coaching is holistic. It entails all aspects of the client’s life – emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual , as it authentically reflects the most important human needs. She focuses on the therapeutic modalities and applications of Yoga as a practice and discipline that enhances health and wellbeing. 

You can listen to the full podcast episode for free here.

Todd McLaughlin 

I’m so happy to have Nona Mileva here visiting in Native Yoga Center. We get to do an in person podcast! Nona, How are you doing today?

Nona Mileva

I am good. Thank you so much for having me. Good to see you.

TM

Same as well, I got to meet you, Nona, because you came into Native Yoga Center very enthusiastically inquiring about yoga teacher training a few years ago. You completed our 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training which brought you into like the RYT 500. realm. And you also are involved in teaching in Stuart at a place called District 108, in Stuart, Florida. Also at the Powerhouse Gym in Stuart. You also teach therapeutic yoga in some of the local retirement communities. You have recently completed getting your PhD in health psychology. And you’re currently working toward Yoga Therapy Certification. Which you said will be completed in December 2022. So you’ve been very busy…. And that’s something that I really admire about you is you love to study. You put a lot of time and energy into reading and studying. And you’re you’ve expressed a lot of interest and enthusiasm for the history and the philosophy of yoga. And so that’s why I’m really excited to have you here today. Because I can just pick your brain a bit and see what kind of like “Top hits” have made it onto your playlist for yoga philosophy and yoga history. And so on that note, what is something that you have read about and or practiced or studied recently that’s caught your attention that you’re excited about?

NM

How I love how you you’re beginning this conversation? Thank you for the intro firstly. Yes, I have been busy. And this is just, what can I say, my mode of functioning, learning, being always curious about things and topics. So my latest educational conquests, so to speak, or interests have been since COVID. Which, as you know, was to some extent, a traumatic experience. Then from a different perspective, it opened new doors. It made us more creative, looking for opportunities to keep doing what we love doing, which for us is yoga, obviously if we are talking about it. I have begun studying and doing a yoga philosophy course, of course is online, with Professor Edwin Bryant. He’s one of the most renowned names among Hindu researchers and philosophers and translators in the field. He’s at Rutgers University in…. I think it’s New Jersey or New York. So what he started doing is to record all his lectures, and then putting them up online for free. 

TM

Wow!

NM

Absolutely amazing, isn’t it? 

TM

Yeah. 

NM

Yeah. It always amazes me when people share their knowledge with such immense generosity. So that got me into the groove of daily or twice a week. Sit down through those lectures or just doing my thing and listening to them. And pretty much it’s all the six directionals, the schools of various philosophical discourse and the man is a very knowledgeable teacher and scholar. He knows a lot about everything. His focus is bhakti. He is initiated in this tradition. 

TM

So can you explain bhakti to us?

NM

In the discourse of yoga, bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion. It’s the kind of yoga that is being practiced as a devotional yoga. Practitioners direct their attention, their energy towards a benevolent worship of a deity. In this case, usually Krishna is the the subject of the affection. There is lots of mantra and chanting. There’s lots of dancing and singing, praising, praising the Bhagavan. So think of the Bhagavata Purana, those ancient texts. All the Krishna stories, by the way, they’re amazing, amazingly entertaining and interesting stories. If anyone really wants to learn more about them, just go read them. They’re with tremendous sense of humor also created so many years ago. Yeah, so we would sit through those, he would just open the texts, and to about 300 people there, either live or from the recorded lectures will be listening and then following the stories, he would stop you with comments. And this, this goes for every subject. Whether you want to learn about like Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, whether you want to learn about Vedanta sutras, or Nyaya but more the stories of Krishna. So that’s what I kept doing for about a year, then he started doing live svadhyaya sessions every Friday. 

TM

I’m imagining that there might be someone listening that doesn’t know any of the Sanskrit terms. So that’s why it might just stop you every now and again and let you define some of the words. So if someone’s listening, that’s like a brand new listener slash just coming into the yoga fold. There’s a lot of Sanskrit terms that once you start to learn them, it gets easier and easier. Once you learn one, you learn another and before you know it, you can listen to these really in depth conversations about the yoga history and philosophy and know exactly what’s going on. But in the beginning, it’s really common to feel like a “fish out of water,” or have no idea what they’re talking about. So on that note, can you define what svadhyaya is to keep everyone up to speed?

NM

Yes and once you get to actually work with those terms, it becomes kind of a second nature. And you don’t think that yes, there are people who still haven’t gotten there. So apologies again. So the idea is the concept of studying. So it could be defined as a studying about the self. That’s the obtaining of self knowledge through a variety of practices. But it is it does become by itself a practice. It could be even a spiritual practice. So you get to define it as for example, spending time with the sacred texts. So you sit down and you study, you read the text from the Upanishads, or from the later Puranas, or you open Patanjali yoga sutras and this is your weekend. Yeah, this is your weekend. What are you doing? I’m doing yoga psychology, how I’m just staring at Patanjali, sutra number, whatever. Trying to figure it out to study is that concept of the bhaktis. For the wisdom, another, I’m drawing attention. I’m throwing another Sanskrit word in Sangha, which means pretty much your social group. Yeah. What is your community? Yeah, let’s hang together with like minded people. Yep. And do our thing. What is our thing? We’re reading the scriptures. Yeah. Or in my case, I’m listening to someone much more knowledgeable. And they read it. And he’s reading the scriptures. He’s commenting on them, we get to ask questions.

TM

Was that the difference? So actually, let me back up a little bit. Is that something that anyone listening can go to Edwin Bryant’s

Website. And by the way, at the end of the podcast, I will be happy to provide you with all the resources and links and the names that I’m throwing in here. So you can post it through your audience and I’ll be so happy for people actually go there and look up at this stuff because there’s so much available in the way of information out there that we just are not aware of. Yeah. So EdwinBryant.org, very cool website. It’s connected to the Rutgers University. As a matter of fact, the last study I did with him was on the Bhagavad Gita. I think it was… I forgot which ones, my memories also don’ serve me always. But starting four weeks from now, we are he’s doing a six week or an eight week course on Bhagavata Purana. He loves the back story. So that kind of yoga, devotional yoga, the yoga of love there. There’s a lot of kindness and love and compassion about this concept. I just was even listening to someone who has devoted pretty much his life and passion to that. Yeah, I think it’s amazing.

TM

It is amazing. 

NM

It obviously takes cultivating it over a long period of time. Little by little before you know it, you understand these stories a little better. It makes sense. And that’s cool. 

TM

So it sounds like the interaction process with that particular training method you enjoyed. Was that the first way you started listening to his philosophy teachings not interactive? And then that the svadhyaya ones was where you could maybe type in questions into the chat box. Is that how that was going down?

NM

Yeah. So you can do either, you can buy the pre recorded lectures, the lectures for students. We are a neutral audience, we have no access to the direct communication, we watch the recordings. But because the content is all out there, you can watch it at any time you want to watch it. The Friday sessions are live sessions, but he also records them and then post them online. So if you miss a Friday because you really want to go for that happy hour Friday, then you can watch it or listen to it the next day.

Listen to the full episode with Nona for free on our podcast site here.

Thanks for reading this blog post from this podcast episode. Check out: 👇
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New Student FREE 30 Minute Yoga Meet & Greet ~ Are you new to Native Yoga Center and have questions that you would like us to address? Whether you are coming to In Studio, Livestream or Online Recorded Classes we offer a one time complimentary 30 minute zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a time that is convenient for you. Click Here

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Listen to the podcast here on our Podcast website: Native Yoga Toddcast

Please email special requests and feedback to info@nativeyogacenter.com
Please share this episode with your friends, rate & review and join us next time.

Conversation with Eric Shaw ~ The Sacred Thread of Yoga Philosophy

Ever wonder if there is more to yoga than yoga postures? Join my guest Eric Shaw for a discussion around his new book called Sacred Thread: A Comprehensive Yoga Timeline: 2000 Events that Shaped Yoga History.  Eric’s teachings and passions have been influenced significantly by his teachers, in particular Shandor Remete and Rod Stryker. You can visit Eric on his website at prasanayoga.com and you can purchase a copy of Eric’s new book on Amazon here.

During this conversation we discussed:

  • the history and philosophy of yoga
  • the timeline associated with modern yoga
  • the origins of yoga in relation to the archeological findings at Mohenjo-daro
  • Eric’s experience with Iyengar yoga
  • What yoga was like on the West Coast of USA during its peak
  • Yoga as a global realization vs. a cultural specific identity

and quite a few more topics.

You can listen to the full podcast episode with Eric Shaw on our podcast site here.

Todd McLaughlin

I am so excited to have the opportunity to join in conversation with Eric Shaw today. Please find him on his website, prasanayoga.com. You can click the link in the description to easily access his work. He is the author of a book called BKS Iyengar and the Making of Modern Yoga. And he has also just released a new book called Sacred Thread: A Comprehensive Yoga Timeline: 2000 Events That Shaped Yoga History. 

Eric Shaw

Yeah, yes. 

TM

Thank you, Eric. And I’m so happy to have this chance to speak with you. I love yoga philosophy. And you’ve done a lot study. And on that note, can you fill me and the listener in….have you gotten your doctorate degree yoga studies?

ES

No, I’ve done a lot of a lot of academic work. I started a doctoral program in 2004, finished my studies in 2011 and pretty much got the knowledge base that I desired at that time. I was able to parlay that into practical purposes. It’s kind of like I feel like it’s something I want to do that is like climbing Mount Everest. 

But yeah, I didn’t get it done at that point in my life. I could talk all day about why it didn’t happen. Yet I did get a master’s degree out of it and I got a knowledge base. It was quite useful for me for writing work and lecturing work in the yoga world.

TM

Nice. Well, when you had to write a thesis for your masters, what did you base your thesis on?

ES

I based it on the life of BKS Iyengar. I did a very deep study of him. Partly because his followers were so prominent in the Bay Area where I was working in San Francisco. And because that system, according to my training was so alien to me. I was so confronted by it. Iyengar’s system, as everyone knows who studied it, it’s arguably the most comprehensive yoga system out there. You know, unless you went to some ancient system, perhaps as far as the modern systems go, it’s complexity, it’s philosophy, it’s understanding the body and the way that it’s set up structurally to function. The Iyengar view of function in yoga is very clear and vastly articulated. So the people who teach it, have a pedagogy, a pedagogical style, a teaching style, which is strangely aggressive. That’s to say, all those things were quite confronting to me when I arrived in the Bay Area in 2004. After training in Kripalu Yoga and other forms of yoga, which were much more meditative, and much more I thought holistic based. Pranayama based in spiritual aims. Here I was faced with this very physical culturalist yoga, which some people from that tradition might argue with me as characterizing it that way. But to me, it was so body centric and so awesomeness centric. That I think it’s kind of strange to say in the year 2022, because yoga has become more and more and more body centric. I mean, it’s been a processes happening for hundreds of years. But it seems like it’s only been accelerated. It’s come into the American context. But for me, that was difficult. And part of my working that out, to write this mono focal paper on my anger.

TM

Wow! Let me back up so I can get a timeline of your history of practice. When did you start practicing yoga? What was your first introduction to the yoga world?

ES

It’s kind of an interesting, funny story, given my history. My parents were ministers. And they were very open minded liberal ministers. They come from the west coast. So it’s very much different from the south where I’m living now. Yeah, yeah. Me talking about Christianity in this part of the world. But where I came from, they were liberals, they were, you know, anti war protesters. They were raging leftist. So I did get a political orientation in my Christian experience, but it wasn’t a right wing one, it was a radical left wing. So that was my background. And so there was a certain openness there to intellectuality at all levels. So when I told my parents I was an atheist, they didn’t bat an eye. When I told my parents that I was into Eastern traditions and studying Buddhism and meditation, they didn’t bat an eye, you know. So that became my practice very early on in my early 20s, and very much a life saving practice, because my mind was kind of out of control. And it may still sound that way. But meditation helped me control my life. And I dove right into meditation and have maintained that practice to this very day. 

TM

Got it. 

ES

So like, I did some early investigation in Buddhist traditions. And it wasn’t till the early 90s that I joined Siddha Yoga, which is the Hindu tradition, I actually did that in the midst of a time I was studying Christianity and a Religious Studies degree in many Minneapolis, Minnesota. But that kind of opened the Hindu world to me a little bit. And then when I started practicing Hatha Yoga in 2000, then I started to investigate Hinduism more properly and understand how different it was from the Buddhist tradition. How much richer, how much more embracing of the human experience and all of its aspects and even culture in all of its aspects. And so it was incredibly compelling to me, given my background and it pretty much became a gestalt experience for me, I just dove right into it.

TM

Wow. You made mention of the appreciation for Iyengar tradition and Iyengar’s guru being Krishnamacharya. Did you investigate other practices with any other teachers under that lineage?

ES

Yeah, actually with quite a few. I mean, the Bay Area, as I said, was a hotbed of strong Iyengar teachers. So it was easy to study with strong teachers who not only came to town to teach, but who were residents there. So my chief preceptor was Tony Briggs and he had a relationship to Shandor Remete, who was my primary teacher. A teacher I’d met actually was still in Portland, Oregon and before 2004 started studying with Matt Hewish at the time, who was a primary follower of Shandor. Strange to talk about Shandor in the Iyengar context, because few people even know that he studied with Iyengar. He actually stayed with him for 20 years, extremely long time and he was actually the president of the Iyengar Federation in Australia. But he made a jump to  embrace of martial arts and Bharatanatyam yoga, or rather Indian dance and he integrated into practices that he claimed to have learned at the Chidambaram temple in India into a new form that he called Shadow yoga. He’s continued to evolve his forms and change the names of them, but I learned from him and his teaching was profound and very vinyasa based, very movement based. But he was an Iyengar teacher. And then Tony. Tony had worked with Shandor, or so that was my connection with Tony. But Tony was a classic Iyengar teacher. I mean, he was gonna put you in a pose and hold you there and break it down into all its constituent parts in which muscles are engaged, and released and yada, yada, yada. So that training and another with Ramadan Patel and other big names in the Bay Area helped me understand asana and the alignment perspective, which I feel is, is very, very important. I mean, it’s at so many levels. But then I also worked with Paul Grilley, who was into kind of destroying the whole alignment concept. So I got a lot of a lot of input around yogic philosophy and yoga practice in those years that are invaluable.

TM

Amazing, just to touch upon what you just mentioned, I’ve enjoyed watching Paul Grilley’s work around anatomy and yin yoga, can you explain how Paul’s philosophy shatter that existing idea of alignment that you were studying? Can you tell me what that means? Or what that sounds like?

ES

Yeah, yeah. And it’s a good story. I think for anybody who wants to be a serious practitioner of yoga, I think it’s important to understand alignment principles, particularly from the Iyengar perspective, but it’s also very important to understand their limits. And Paul has done the spade work, he’s done the deep work in defining those limits. And I’m just shocked that so few people know his work, because it’s utterly revolutionary. Even if you don’t have Iyengar as a conversation partner for it. So Paul Grilley, you know, he’s ostensibly known for his work in yin yoga. And that’s how I first understood him and met him in yoga was my actually my teaching practice early on, because he was one of the first major teachers I met in Portland, Oregon. I wrote a small profile for him for a local yoga magazine, and we got to be friends. Then he was in an early video company making videos on yoga, you know, and when DVD still existed. A group of people there in San Francisco, who I met and hung out with, and then Paul was a part of that group, and he came down to do yoga videos there. And so he wrote, when I was there in San Francisco, and he recorded his Yoga Anatomy DVD, in which he distills all of his knowledge around bony limits in the body. So it’s the skeletal structure of the body, which determines which poses you can get and in which you can’t. And that’s, I know, that’s a very black and white statement. But it’s actually quite true that the soft tissue, of course, creates limits that we can push through in the attempt to attain any given Asana. And that’s what Iyengar practices are based on. That there is a limitless potential to achieve anything in yoga. Paul Grilley’s work debunked that theory in a way showing that bone structure does create limitation as to how far we can push into a posture. What he really determined and demonstrated directly in that DVD by comparing different human bodies, that the length of your bones, the orientation of the bones, in a given joint, the way it spirals out of that joint, the way it engages with the next joint in the chain determines whether or not any given poses even available. And that’s for a yoga teacher, who is attempting to guide students of different shapes and sizes into positions, proposes knowledge that is absolutely critical. Particularly if you’ve been trained in Iyengar yoga, because it does not integrate that knowledge. In fact, it’s kind of philosophically opposed to it.

Listen to the full episode with Eric Shaw for free on our podcast site here.

Thanks for reading this blog post from this podcast episode. Check out: 👇
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New Student Livestream Special ~ Try 2 Weeks of Free Unlimited Livestream Yoga Classes  at Native Yoga Center. Sign into the classes you would like to take and you will receive an email 30 minutes prior to join on Zoom. The class is recorded and uploaded to nativeyogaonline.com ~ Click Here to join.

New Student FREE 30 Minute Yoga Meet & Greet ~ Are you new to Native Yoga Center and have questions that you would like us to address? Whether you are coming to In Studio, Livestream or Online Recorded Classes we offer a one time complimentary 30 minute zoom meeting to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a time that is convenient for you. Click Here

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Carley Smith – Yoga & Healthy Eating with the Fairy Gutmother

I had an amazing conversation with Carley Smith about gut health during this podcast. 
Carley Smith, aka Fairy Gutmother, is a Nutritional Therapist, Certified GAPS Practitioner, and Registered Yoga Teacher. Carley became interested in health and nutrition after being diagnosed with Lyme disease and using food as medicine emphasizing gut health to help heal. 

Visit Carley’s website at fairygutmother.com You can also follow here on IG here.

During our conversation she spoke about:

  • How she was able to heal herself from Lyme disease through 
  • how she was able to learn what foods are best for her
  • how yoga has played an integral part in her healing process
  • why she is passionate about helping others
  • and so much more!

Below is a portion of the transcript from our conversation. Remember you can listen to the full episode for free here.

Todd McLaughlin

I’m so excited to have Carley Smith here with me in studio today. And Carley is a nutritional therapist, a certified GAPS practitioner and a registered yoga teacher. And she will explain what the GAPS practitioner is here in a moment. But Carley, thank you so much for coming in.

Carley Smith

Thank you so much for having me.

TM

Well, it’s a pleasure. I’ve had the chance to meet you from taking classes here. I then learned that your career is helping people with gut health and that you have a website called https://www.fairygutmother.com. Correct? And also, we can find you at the same handle on Instagram @fairygutmother. I’m guessing the other social media channels are under the same name very as well? So on that note, can you tell me what your specialty is what what you focus on when helping people?

CS

Sure. So I work with people to help them restore their health through the gut. That is through diet and lifestyle changes. I truly believe gut health is the foundation for our health. It’s where nearly the entire immune system is located. So basically helping people to optimize the health of the microbiome, putting, you know, bringing in different foods that help do that. And then supplements as well.

TM

Nice. And you’re also a registered yoga teacher. So are you currently teaching classes?

CS

I’m not currently teaching but I do weave yoga into my protocols with my clients. I think it blends very nicely in with gut health, because it’s kind of that lifestyle aspect. I tell people gut health is not just a diet, it’s a lifestyle. Stress is just as damaging on the gut as junk food. And that’s what clinical research actually says. So I love the way that yoga brings in that way to mitigate our stress levels, but also kind of gives the gut a little internal massage, helping to kind of increase that motility and just overall health of the gut.

TM

Nice. Have you always been, air quote a “health nut?” Or did you have something happen to you in life that kind of pushed you in the direction of paying extra attention to your health?

CS

Yes. So I’ve always been interested in health and nutrition and I always thought I was healthy but I ended up getting Lyme disease in 2014. Well, I’ll back up, I was probably sick for a year or two before that I finally found out and was diagnosed in 2014. But my whole experience was why I completely shifted the way that I view health and wellness. And like I said, I thought I was healthy. But after learning about gut health where nearly your entire immune system is located, and you know, I implemented a gut healing protocol. I was able to completely reverse my symptoms from Lyme. Based on just focusing on gut health completely changed my perspective on health and wellness, and what’s important and what actually is healthy as it relates to the gut.

TM

Wow, when you were diagnosed with Lyme disease, what was the treatment that was prescribed to you via the Western field?

CS

So at that time, it was mainly just antibiotics. So you go on a heavy dose of antibiotics for a prolonged period of time. And that’s basically the route I took at that time. I really wasn’t aware of any alternative therapies that are out there. So now I’m so much more aware of different modalities and treatments that are available for Lyme. But at that time, it was just straight antibiotics. And then that felt like it was doing more harm on my body than good. Because you’re obviously you’re killing the good and the bad bacteria with that. So I went off of all that medicine. And that’s when I started doing research and learning about gut health.

TM

Nice. What did you start implementing? What were some of the first things that you began to utilize in your research and study?

CS

So the first thing I did was the GAPS diet, which stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. And so that’s really all about healing the gut. It’s an elimination and reintroduction diet. So you’re eating a lot of nourishing foods that help to heal the gut lining, and then obviously, eventually repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria. So you’re cutting out a lot of, obviously, any processed foods and sugar, things like that. But you’re really just focusing on bone broth, which was a huge part of my healing journey, animal meats and proteins and cooked vegetables. Foods that are going to be very easy to digest. And then as time goes on, you can slowly start incorporating more foods and more raw foods.

TM

What were the main symptoms that you felt when you had Lyme disease? It sounds like you had Lyme disease for over a year before diagnosed? What were the symptoms you were feeling? When that was happening before you even knew what was going on?

CS

Yeah, I mean, it honestly felt like my body was abducted by an alien. Like I had absolutely no control over my emotions. I forgot where I lived, driving home from work. And that’s really when I had to kind of just confine myself to my apartment. I couldn’t really leave. I was scared. Like a brain fraught with fog. I was like completely disoriented. I had no clue or recollection of where I lived. I didn’t know where to turn to or where I was. There was a whole neurological and cognitive dysfunction and I was just completely affected. 

TM

Are those common symptoms that most people that have Lyme disease experience? 

CS

Yes! A lot of brain fog, mental illness and loss of cognitive function. That’s a very big part of Lyme disease. And that I think is one of the hardest things about Lyme is that it is so difficult to diagnose and why it’s so misdiagnosed. Because there are so many symptoms of Lyme, in connection with that I also had a lot of issues with my hormones. So I was menstrual bleeding for about four months straight, and no one could figure out what was going on. The doctor just eventually told me to go lay at home in bed with my feet up. And that’s not a very common symptom. So I think it’s hard to, for people to get diagnosed, because there’s so many different things that people experience. I never noticed a tick bite, or anything like that. The thought is that perhaps I had that several years ago, and then a long period of stress weakened my immune system. And that’s when the disease flourished.

TM

When you started taking the antibiotics, did you feel a little better? Did that work on some level?

CS

It might have a little bit, initially, but I really was so sick that I couldn’t tell. And then there were so many other issues that kept popping up from the side effects of the antibiotics, that it felt like they were doing more harm than good. So it was hard to kind of pinpoint and truly that dietary change of shifting more towards a gut healing protocol was where I felt the biggest shift in my health. My memory was one of the first things to come back. I started to think more clearly I felt like I had a better control over my emotions. I was able to recall more information and just just felt better overall.

TM

I’m just I’m trying to replay what you said. So you started with bone broth and eliminated almost everything else. You start off with bone broth as the basis for the diet? And then you said slowly implementing easily digestible foods like animal protein? And greens as well and vegetables, fruits, or no? Are you trying to eliminate carbs, the sugar from the carbs and that type of thing? 

CS

Yeah, so it’s basically on the veggie side, it was a lot of winter squashes, and everything is cooked. I know…. nothing raw, it’s a little bit harder to digest those foods, than the cooked meats and vegetables. That was a big thing, the animal proteins, what you’re looking to do with the proteins in the bone broth is really extract all those nutrients that help to support and heal the gut lining. So with those animal fats, and proteins are one of the most important things that you can do to help with that.

TM

So being a yogi, and into yoga culture, where we are pressed in the direction of a “Ahimsa”, or non violence and vegetarian diet. And what are your thoughts regarding implementing animal proteins? In relation to that theory and approach that one should be vegetarian?

CS

Yes, so you can absolutely still focus on gut health, with a more vegetarian approach. And I have a recipe for a vegetarian broth on my website. And basically, what you’re thinking, what you want to think about is pulling those nutrients from those vegetables that are helpful in healing the gut lining, and one of those is L glutamine. You can even just buy L glutamine in a powder form. And that’s very helpful in maintaining the integrity of the gut lining. So you can make a broth with lots of those vegetables like carrots, and beets, very high and L glutamine. Thinking again, about extracting those nutrients. One of the biggest proponents for gut health or components of gut health is fiber. So fiber feeds the good bacteria in the gut. So once the gut is healed, and a way to maintain that optimal gut health is just by, you know, adding in more fiber into your diet. In fact, the entire plate really should be plant based, lots of fiber, and then you can fill in, you know, the remaining parts of that. But as far as the animal base, I mean, for me that really helped. Those animal fats and proteins were one of the biggest things I think that helped my cognitive function and repair the gut lining. But if that’s not something that fits in, and I will note that it’s important to make sure that you’re sourcing those sustainably and that the animals are pasture raised and grass fed. Work with a local farmer and rancher is super important. But if that’s not something that works for you, that doesn’t mean that you still can’t heal the gut. There are other ways to get those nutrients.

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