Adam Keen – On Yoga & the Quest for Meaning

I am so delighted to bring to you Adam Keen. Adam is an amazing Ashtanga Yoga teacher who is constantly seeking answers and finding the big questions. He has his own podcast called Keen on Yoga and offers instruction via his  online teaching platform. During this conversation we discuss topics like:

  • how to investigate yoga practice from the angle of self care
  • the true purpose of yoga and how to access it
  • Ashtanga Yoga in the modern world
  • the benefits of Yoga on mental health
  • and so much more

Visit Adam on his website: keenonyoga.com
Find him on Youtube here: ADAM ON YOUTUBE
Follow him on Instagram: Keen_on_Yoga
Enroll in his upcoming Yoga and Mental Health Workshop here.

You can listen to the full episode for free here.

Todd McLaughlin

I’m so happy to have Adam Keen here today. Adam, how are you?

Adam Keen

Fine, lovely to be here. Thanks for inviting me. It’s really always a pleasure to be the guest rather than the interviewee. I’ve always said to people that it is actually easier to be a guest than it is to be an interviewee. To be the interviewer is challenging. When I hear people critique my interviewing style, I always say, well, I’ll set you up with the podcast next time you have a go. Because it’s really not easy, you know, to get that balance, right. And I’ve done over 100 on the Keen on Yoga podcast. Yeah, maybe 150 interviews now, and I’m still still working at it.

Todd McLaughlin 

Oh, definitely. Well, on that note, you have your own podcast Keen On Yoga. I’m curious, who are your inspirations if you are to listen to another interviewer? Or who have you gained a lot of inspiration from other interviewing styles? 

Adam Keen

Yeah. It’s a good question. I only listened to the older ones. I mean, obviously, you know, we’ve got a shout out to Peg Mulqueen at Ashtanga Yoga Dispatch. She has been out there for several years now. I’ve gained a lot of inspiration from from Peg obviously. I have a lot of respect for Peg for doing and you know, starting what she did so early and getting it out there with all those teachers so early. So I listened to that over the years from when she started. You know, I listen to Harmony and Russell’s podcast. I find Russell hilarious. You know Russell is a very funny guy and a friend and I’ve had him on the podcast, I find him very funny. Yeah, I know, bits and bobs. I look at stuff, at different interviews on YouTube. Yeah. Is that alright?

Todd McLaughlin

That is all right. Good answer. I was just curious. Sometimes I think that if I want to learn something here, let me let me listen to some of the greats. So that is why I am curious if there’s some people that that inspire you? 

Adam Keen

Yeah. I mean, the thing is, and I don’t want to derail this to a talk about podcasts or the kind of ins and outs of being an interviewer. It is really hard thing. And you never know how hard it is until you actually do it, you know, because you want to try and get out of the way. And the difficulty is, if you’ve got something to say, like me, you end up getting too much in the way. So people I admire are able to ask the questions and somehow get out of the way enough. Because when you come in tune into someone, I know as well as anyone else, you don’t want to hear the interviewer. You want to hear the guest. Nevertheless, I tend to still speak too much in the podcast, and I always berate myself for this afterwards. I just wish I’d shut up more, you know. And so I suppose the people I respect are the people that have managed to kind of corral the interview and conduct it in such a manner that it feels they’ve guided it. Interviewers are like a great waiter, you know, seamlessly at the table. They’re never hanging at the table, and you don’t want them there. But they’re always on hand when you need them. I mean, in England  one you probably don’t know, maybe do? Do you know Jonathan Ross? 

Todd McLaughlin

I don’t. 

Adam Keen

He’s a famous interviewer. Yeah, he’s a famous English interviewer. He’s been around many years, and he’s quite good in terms of giving people space. These are on the BBC on television. 

Todd McLaughlin

Nice. Nice. 

Adam Keen

Yeah. So yeah, that’s cool. You go, oh, I appreciate that. 

Todd McLaughlin

When did you start practicing yoga?

Adam Keen

Yeah, straight into that one. When did I start practicing? It was in 1999, I think when I started I was at university. And I’ve told this story many times, but I’ll tell again, the obvious backdrop of how I started is that I was depressed. I was studying philosophy, as most students of philosophy are. Probably, I don’t know, what comes first? The chicken or the egg? You know, like, whether the propensity is there with a philosophy student to be depressed. It ends up you know, they call it a counselor, the therapy area of the university. So I was in therapy. And then the teacher said, the therapist said, well, you know, you and everyone else in philosophy here is depressed as well. So, I find that kind of funny, but I also found that kind of concerning. The people that come into philosophy, obviously, are the people that had questions about life. We’re using the vehicle of lucid thinking, you know, rational thinking, to work those big questions out, and it didn’t work out. And that was what shocked me. Because, you know, as an 18 year old, when I went to uni, you know, I thought it would work out. I really thought that you could think your way out of your problems in life, you know. And what I realized is that you couldn’t do that. And so I started with movement practice. I thought I was going to be tai chi but that conflicted with my night life at uni. That class was on a good drinking night and so I didn’t do the tai chi. And there was a yoga class that was on a different night, there was, you know, it was a free night, you know, non drinking. So I thought I’d go on to that. But there’s something in maybe I intuitively thought there’s something in the body, right? If it can’t be done through the mind, it must be something in the energy of the body, that’s throwing up these negative thought patterns that I’m suffering from. I thought that could maybe be changed, like a, you know, rewiring a, you know, electrical thing or, you know, like reconditioning a car engine or something. There’s something wrong with the engine, you know, that’s making these thoughts happen, rather than the other way around. Thinking that if you could think more clearly, you know, then then everything would be okay. So, I stumbled into yoga classes. Most people do. It was a hatha yoga class. It was slow, but it was challenging at the time, I was not really in good shaper. You know, as you’re not when you’re in that that period of time when you’re kind of late teens and early 20’s. You generally kind of suddenly fall off the bandwagon. You know when you’re a bit younger. I was into football, I was into martial arts, at that certain age, you kind of you just let it go. I think when women get involved we’re not really, not that it’s their fault, but they come on the scene and then that encourages bad behavior on your part. Then more drinking and reducing the the things you should do so. So that was my life at that time. Outside of philosophy, and I was not in good shape. And I found yoga to be incredibly challenging even in the easier class. I remember doing bow pose, Dhanurasana. And finding that was very, very painful. Same with forward folds. That also was incredibly challenging, almost unbearably painful. Yes. So I wasn’t flexible. I wasn’t flexible at all. It just kind of struck me though that after the first class yoga was something that I had to do. Just for my own mental health, it felt like it was definitely the right thing to do. In terms of the responsible thing to do. To take care of myself, you know, because at that time, I was also prescribed antidepressants, I was on them, you know, and I’m not gonna say anything about medication. There’s a whole lot of debate out there about medication. So I felt though that I didn’t want to be on it forever. I felt that it wasn’t something I wanted. Maybe I felt I could maybe do without them. But I couldn’t maybe just come off it just like that. So that was a really another really fundamental reason to get to that yoga class and try and do something for myself. Rather than just, you know, go to the therapy and get the prescription. With that method I felt rather disempowered. I felt like I was out of control. And the yoga made me think, basically, on a basic fundamental level that I was doing something that put me back in control. Taking control of the situation, you know. But then on my plan to get into Ashtanga Yoga or, or become good at it, you know, the asanas, that kind of happened. Just because I had to be dedicated for the mental health reasons to be quite honest with you. Yeah, I did it every day. From 15 minutes a day, and expanded to 30 minutes a day. And then I expanded it a bit longer. At that time in England, yoga was the generally the domain of like, a certain middle aged lady. At this time, you know, not necessarily the case now, but at the time, it was, like an older lady who made the mainstay of these classes. They basically kicked me out in the end. The attitude at the time was that yoga was not really for a young guy. I was 19 or 20 as a bit feisty, you know. I was pushing buttons with the questions I was asking. 

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

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: 👇
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.

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.

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