Barbara Courtille – Helping Yoga Teachers become successful Yoga Professionals

I am proud to present to you this episode called Helping Yoga Teachers become successful Yoga Professionals with Barbara Courtille. Barbara has been practicing Yoga for 25 years. It is her longest and greatest love. Barbara said, “Making Yoga my professional career is the best thing I have done.” If you know that this is the life you want to create for yourself, she can help you to make it happen. Check out this episode to hear tips that Barbara shares to help yogis level up.

​Visit Barbara on her website here: https://www.barbaracourtille.com
Follow here on Instagram here: @Barbara_courtille_yoga

You can listen to the full episode for free here.

Todd McLaughlin

Welcome to Native Yoga Toddcast, I’m so happy to have you here. Today, I have the chance to bring Barbara Courtille onto the show. Barbara is located in Sydney, Australia. She was kind enough to coordinate her schedule so the times could work where we could be on the other side of the world and join up here for a conversation. Please check her out at Barbaracourtile.com. Also on our Instagram page, @Barbara_courtille_yoga. And on that note, why wait any longer? Let’s get to it. 

I’m so excited to have Barbara Courtille here today with me, Barbara, how are things going for you?

Barbara Courtille

Great, I’m really happy to be talking to you on the other side of the world, Todd, thanks for having me.

Todd McLaughlin

I know, I love the fact that we can communicate like this through a platform like zoom, and the spoken word of the podcast and that it’s really an easy way to actually go about communicating. I love it. It’s kind of amazing, isn’t it?

Barbara Courtille

Yeah. And I’m a big fan of podcasts. I listen to yours amongst many others, as my learning and keeping motivated and just finding out what people are thinking all around the world and connecting to other yoga teachers who are you know, my favorite people, basically?

Todd McLaughlin

I hear you! Can you give me a little bit of your background and relation to how you first fell in love with yoga?

Barbara Courtille

Yeah, I started back in the 80s. In the late 80s. When I was you know, in my early 20. I had a boyfriend who was a yogi. And I was more of an artsy kid. You know, I was into art. I always wanted to be an artist. And I did that for many years. But his thing was yoga and meditation. He traveled to India and he used to do Iyengar yoga and headstands and kriyas and all sorts of weird stuff to me back then. Yeah. And he’s the one who took me to my first yoga class, which was an Iyengar class. And that was not actually a great experience. Because my first class I was expected to do handstands and all sorts of things that my body was not happy to do. So I can remember the teacher who was an older woman, well, older, probably younger than me now, but at the time, she seemed to kind of shame me. You know, in the Iyengar way that they do. She would just say “get up, you can do this.” So it wasn’t a great experience, that first yoga class. So it’s kind of a miracle that I’m still doing yoga all these years later. And it’s basically my whole life. 

Todd McLaughlin

That’s amazing. Was that in Sydney? You’re living in Sydney currently? Where did you grow up?

Barbara Courtille

My early years, I grew up in Paris till I was 10. And then I came to Sydney. So I’ve lived in Sydney, most of my life.

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. Was that first class in Sydney?

Was that first practice session that you had with your boyfriend and Iyengar teacher in Australia, or was that somewhere else?

Barbara Courtille

No, totally in Sydney. Yes. 

Todd McLaughlin 

Gotcha. And then from there, if you were not enamored, and you walked away from that sounds like maybe you saying, “What in the world was that?” What then was your next step? Or how long was it before you had another yoga practice experience?

Barbara Courtille

I think after that I did some meditation. And that didn’t gel with me as well. It was very strict Buddhist meditation. So I didn’t have a great start to yoga, but for some reason, I think I ended up in some what were then called Hatha classes. Back then you used to do them like in church halls or at you know, the community center or whatever it was available. It wasn’t like the fancy yoga studios like your studio. There was none of that stuff back then. And it was very much in people’s lounge rooms and all that. So I think I probably found some much more mellow, lovely kind of teachers that weren’t gonna ask me to do anything nasty like turn upside down. It took me many years before I could do a proper handstand with all the proper, you know, structure that you need for that.

Yeah. 

Todd McLaughlin

Do you have a teacher that you can say that you credit your learning to or from? Or have you just learned from a whole bunch of different teachers along the way?

Barbara Courtille

I’ve learned from a whole bunch of teachers along the way. Yeah, I’ve never been a lineage kind of teacher either. I’ve explored different lineages. I think it’s just in my nature to try different things and find my own way. 

So I’ve done a lot of Hatha Yoga, then I went back to the Iyengar yoga, believe it or not. Then I was into Jivamukti Yoga for a long time. And then I was more into vinyasa. Then I was into Yin.  I was also doing sound healing. So I’ve done all this stuff, restorative yoga, and I just keep going and changing and learning as much as I can and incorporating what what resonates with me.

Todd McLaughlin

Wonderful. What does a practice session look like for you today?

Barbara Courtille

So this morning, I did some yoga in bed. 

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. 

Barbara Courtille

And then I got up and did a bit of asana practice, very simple. Plugging into the body noticing where our whole tension, which for me is generally in the upper body, so I do a lot of work on the upper body, opening the chest, opening the heart, I work a lot on the chakra system and the energy body. So I do some meditation to tune in some chanting to feel where the energy is flowing, where it might be stagnant, where it might be overflowing. And it’s from that observation that then direct my practice. So it will look different every day. But there are some things that tend to always be there, like the throat chakra is a bit of a weakness for me. I just had a little bit of manuka honey and did a bit of throat exercises before talking to you because it’s always a little bit weak. That part for me, yeah, the upper body, a lot of upper body, I’m quite strong in my lower body. I’m quite grounded, as by nature spend a lot of time in nature. I like to meditate in nature every day, if I can. If the weather’s good, so I’m lucky I live near some nature, Bush, we call it here in Australia. And so I’ll go and find a rock and I’ll do a bit of meditation. And that’s, that’s really my most nurturing practice meditation.

Todd McLaughlin

That’s cool. I noticed that you have a couple pictures or pictures of you practicing on a rock is that the rock that you’re talking about?

Barbara Courtille

That rock is called Swamis rock. It’s not where I live, but it’s where I go on retreat. So two or three or four times a year, if I’m lucky, I’ll go to the ashram which is not far from where I live. Maybe an hour away in nature. And that’s a particular rock where a swami here in Australia has been practicing for many, many years. So it’s got a lot of great energy.

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. Do I noticed that you are a yoga coach and mentor, when did that role come into play for you?

Barbara Courtille

I think it probably came into play fully when COVID came along. And when a lot of teachers suddenly had to become or realize that they were business owners, and that they had to find their own community, their own tribe and take charge of their own business or their own passion. Yeah, without relying on studios, or whatever they were relying on before that time. So that’s when a lot of yoga teachers, as you know, you know, kind of had a little bit of a pivot into becoming more business minded because they had to. Yes. So there was a lot of demand when COVID came along, when everyone was having, you know,

Todd McLaughlin

Yeah, that was pretty intense. Very intense. Wasn’t it? Amazing that now we can like talk like it’s past tense?

Barbara Courtille

Yeah, no, it’s great.

It’s really great to find wisdom. We survived on a lot of different levels. 

Todd McLaughlin

I agree.

Barbara Courtille

I actually think yoga teachers did exceptionally well if we can put them all in a group because obviously, we’re all different within that group. And as a tribe, I think they, from what I’ve observed, did really well in terms of like pivoting and changing, keeping their spirits up and keeping the spirits of all the people around them up? You know, it was It wasn’t an easy task. So congratulations to all the yoga teachers out there.

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

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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

Thanks for reading this blog post from this podcast episode. Check out: 👇
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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.

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.

Listen to the full episode here.

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/

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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
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Sara Webb – Meditation is Medicine

Engage your listening senses with this conversation I had the pleasure of having with Sara Webb. Sara Webb is an author, inspirational speaker, and meditation healer empowering seekers to go from stress to success. Her life mission is to inspire people to access the power within themselves by teaching pocket-sized meditation techniques to improve daily happiness so people can bring the best versions of themselves to their own lives.

Visit Sara’s website at www.sarawebbsays.com
Check out Sara’s new book here: Amazon – Balboa Press – Barnes & Noble

Listen to the full conversation for free here.

During this conversation we discussed:

  • the importance of daily meditation
  • her passion for public speaking in the corporate environment
  • how to build trust after being harmed
  • how Sara has been able to recover from little “t” and BIG “T” trauma in her life
  • the role recovery has played in her healing journey
  • her books and her writing process
  • the importance of yoga practice in her life

And so MUCH more!

Remember to visit Sara’s website at www.sarawebbsays.com
Also don’t forget to check out Sara’s new book here: Amazon – Balboa Press – Barnes & Noble

Below is an excerpt form the conversation I had with Sara.

Todd McLaughlin

What is an example of a public speaking event that you’ve done recently.

Sara Webb

I’ve done all manner of things. I do a lot of corporate events, working directly with business owners and managers in order to help their staff deal with stress. I mean, a lot of times, we don’t realize the great power that we have with our breath. 

If we can realize that when we’re in that fight or flight mode, that we’re not breathing properly, we’re not breathing from the belly. That’s a physiological, ancient physiology that we have carried over from when we were hunters and gatherers. You know, this autonomic nervous system that we have breeds for us, and beats our hearts and controls our sweat glands and salivary glands and blinking. But when the sympathetic nervous system is activated, that’s what we typically call the “fight or flight.” We begin chest breathing from the upper part of our chest, which is really great if we need to actually fight or flee. 

But when it’s traffic and deadlines, and our bosses and our spouses and our kids, it can really build up and flood our blood with cortisol. We’ve heard some about that, and people are now pushing pills to get rid of cortisol when really, if we could just get in touch with what’s going on in our bodies, and learn how to belly breathe we can fix this problem. This is such an easy, portable, free way to tap into what’s going on in our bodies. And then people can learn how to process stress and actually ground themselves in where they are, especially in the workplace. 

We have to work around people who maybe aren’t our favorite people. And so I do a lot of corporate trainings during the week. My wife is a dentist and so I got started doing that at her corporate gatherings. I do conferences and private conferences. I’ve done sweet 16 parties. I mean, I’ve spoken at sober retreats, you name it, I’ve done it. And I really just enjoy interacting with people in that way. Where they always come away and they say, wow, I really think I learned something new. I think that there’s a couple of simple facts that most people don’t understand about meditation. 

Because as I mentioned, that’s my real passion. I kind of trick people into learning about meditation by talking about stress, because meditation is that wonderful way for us to get rid of our stress. And I am just such a seeker, I wanted to know, why is it that meditation works. And I’ll give you a couple of facts….. all around us at every single moment, it doesn’t matter if we’re on top of the hill, or in a busy street the scientists have calculated that we have access to about several billions of bits of data. And the human brain is pretty amazing and can process around 11 million bits per second. But we’re only conscious of between 40 and 50 of the 11 million bits per second that our brains and our bodies have access to. So I did the math there, that means we’re conscious of .04% of everything that’s actually being processed by our brains and our bodies. And 99.96% of everything that’s available to us is being processed by our subconscious. 

Now we have five senses. And we have 11 million sensory receptors, the 10 million or so of the sensory receptors are dedicated to one sense, our eye site. So if you want to access to 99.96% of information that’s already inside of you shut off access to 10 million of the 11 million sensory receptors, ie. close your eyes and go inside. That’s where the magic is, that’s where the subconscious can begin to bubble up. 

Because we’re literally getting into the brainwaves where our subconscious lives, if we only stay in beta and beta is stressed, then we’re not going to ever be able to have access to that. The only time during waking hours when we drop into that subconscious state, which is the theta wave in between alpha and delta, which is where most meditation is. Deep sleep is theta. 

When some people are stressed, they like to drive, or they like to go and work on something that is repetitive. That’s because when we drop into repetitive things our subconscious is in control because you don’t have to think about it anymore. That allows the subconscious to bubble up, but our eyes are still open. And so think about how much more powerful it is to actually close the eyes, and then go inside.

Todd McLaughlin

Yeah, good point. That’s interesting. Can you give me an example or an idea of when you decided or felt that you wanted to heal the trauma that you had experienced? Was there some sort of catalyst that I mean, I’m guessing that there probably was something inside that said, “Okay, I realized something has happened. But I’d prefer just not to look at it.” What was the catalyst that helped you to turn that corner and feel like you wanted to be brave and process and heal and go through the therapy to come out the other side?

Sara Webb

Great question. I mean, I’ve always known about what happened. It’s just that I repressed it, I told my sister I did not go to the police, I barely told anyone much less dealt with it myself. When I began to get sober, which started in the end of 2018, I didn’t actually succeed with continuous sobriety until the end of 2019. So it took me a little over a year, almost a year and a half to actually be sober, and then an event would happen and we have this in the general collective that like, alcohol can be used to de-stress, which is an absolute lie. It actually causes stress in the body. So it took me a little while, but once I started playing with sobriety and had bouts of sobriety, I realized most poignantly that I needed alcohol in order to be intimate with my now ex husband. And I knew what even though I was gay, through college and a little bit after college, I called myself bisexual, and I only dated women, but I repressed that because I wanted to have a baby and I knew that my very strict Southern Baptist parents would not accept me for who I am. And to this day, they do not accept me for who I am. So in answer to your question, yeah, when when we get sober a lot of people deal with anger that is kind of unexplained. They’re just not really sure why, but it’s because we have been repressing by drinking. And then we have no outlet to numb with. I didn’t have that initially. 

But what I did have was when I got re-married, and we started blending households, because I have a biological child, she has two you know, that’s, that’s no joke. And I started noticing that my go to response was anger, which, and I put out a reel on this recently, you know, usually anger is, is not actually a primary emotion, it’s a secondary emotion. And it indicates that there’s hurt underneath either sadness or fear usually. 

So I started seeing a transpersonal interpersonal hypnotherapist in order to deal with the anger. And that’s when memory surfaced. And I was able to deal with them in a really beautiful way. It wasn’t immediate, and it certainly wasn’t easy. But healing requires injury and healing hurt. The result is always worth it.

Todd McLaughlin

Wow. Well, I appreciate you being so honest and sharing your story. That’s incredible. I think it’s empowering, because I know that there’s obviously a lot of us who probably have experienced trauma. Well, I guess, like you said, there’s the “big T” and the “little t.” So would you say that everybody has had some sort of “little t” trauma? Like, for example, someone made fun of us on the playground? A million or two different things that have happened could have happened. How many of us have experienced the “big T” trauma? What do you think the percentages are? I mean, like half the world, a third of the world, one in 100? Because I just wonder that sometimes it seems like I don’t know that anybody could get through life without having some type of “big T” experience. But maybe that’s because if I do have experience, then I think well, maybe probably everyone has. Perhaps it’s a smaller minority a smaller group of people that have. Do you have any insights into that?

Sara Webb

I wish I had the statistics! I’m definitely going to look it up. But even if we just look at, like, reports of sexual trauma with women, it’s one in three. And I didn’t report and I know a lot of other people who didn’t. So if you just look at that, it’s a high percentage. And and let’s not diminish that “little T” trauma. 

Because it’s all relative, and vibrationally, if we just look at it. So everything that happens in our lives before the development of the prefrontal cortex would start around the age of 10. So everything from pretty much ages, like four to eight is when our brains are in that meditative state, we haven’t gone up into beta. Around the age of 10, is when we really fully start to inhabit beta. 

Everything before that our brains take in as beliefs, basic beliefs about how the world is so for somebody like me, I saw people drinking, I grew up outside of New Orleans. I mean, drinking is just what people do. And I’m sure that’s for a lot of the world, you know, it’s just it’s very common. And so one of the beliefs that I had is that alcohol is safe. And if you have a “little T” trauma, “big T” trauma, some uncle that habitually made fun of you, a person on the playground who did something that could be seen as traumatic when it’s done, even once or twice, we can carry that vibration that belief with us into our adulthood and continue to attract those things into our lives. Because it’s something that we need to heal.

So it doesn’t matter if it’s seemingly small, it might be perpetuating itself as to a lack of abundance in our lives or a thinking that no one likes us. Then that can continue to play out in the workplace. And, you know, social groups, it doesn’t matter where it is. Because we’re basically here to heal.

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.