podcast

Prepare your favorite adaptogen-infused drink, get your diffuser loaded up with your favorite essential oils, and cozy up to me and some of my favorite people. We’ve got a lot to learn (self-actualization, people!) and I’m so excited to be on this informative journey with you!

Reiki Master Teacher, Yin Yoga Teacher, and TIMBo Lead Trainer Emily Peterson on resiliency after trauma, healing self and others, yin yoga, and making meaning out of suffering

This episode has been waiting in the wings for months (I try to spread out the themes for each episode release) and I’m so excited to finally bring it to your ears today. Emily is a good friend and one of my yoga mentors, and on a beautiful day in April she had me over to her home (which she affectionately calls “the tree house”). We had an amazing conversation underneath her lovely skylights with Mama Kitties keeping watch.

Emily’s vulnerability and honesty make this episode truly one of the most important I’ve engaged in thus far. She openly shares about her mental health struggles and how she worked through them to come out on the other side resilient and willing to devote her life to supporting others in a healing capacity. And yes, of course we discuss yoga, Reiki, and the magic of TIMBo.

At the end of the episode Emily mentions workshops that have already passed, and I chose not to edit that out so that you can hear about all the wonderful creative experiences she offers. Check out Coolidge Yoga’s website and Emily’s website to see what she’s up to in the near future, including upcoming Reiki trainings.

As I mention in the podcast intro, we discuss the seriousness of mental health issues, including suicide. If you (or someone you know) are in crisis or experiencing suicidal thoughts, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help to a close friend of family member, or call or text the Samaritan’s Hotline at (877) 870-4673, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255, or text the Crisis Text Line at 741741. Here’s what to expect if you’ve never called a crisis hotline before.

*Skip to 8:11min mark to bypass the intro and get to the interview

In this episode we hear:

  • About Emily’s background in Psychology and working in a residential site

  • How her past personal experiences influence how she supports the healing of others

  • How she models navigating the complexities of grief for her students

  • We discuss the importance of reducing shame and our shared need for authenticity

  • About the joy of “being a goofball” and ecstatic dance

  • How the TIMBo program supports survivors of trauma

  • How yin yoga helps the body process and move through emotions

  • Her relationship with nature and the universe

  • Her growing affinity of divination

  • How she melds her background in trauma work, yoga, and Reiki

  • A little about astrology and human design

Mentioned in this episode (aka, the “shotes”):

Follow Emily on Instagram
Emily’s Website
Coolidge Yoga
JourneyDance
the Yogi Therapist website
the Yogi Therapist on Facebook
Follow me, the Yogi Therapist, on Instagram

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Hear the episode on these platforms:

iTunes // Spotify // Google Play // Stitcher

Entrepreneur and Marijuasana founder Stacey Mulvey on the mysticism of cannabis, yoga under the influence, and feeling empowered to break free

Let’s get controversiallllllll!!

I know what you’re thinking: whoa, a therapist is releasing a podcast episode about marijuana?! Relax - I’m not endorsing nor condemning the use of marijuana, but this is a growing industry (punny!) and cannabis yoga is a thing now, just like beer yoga. It’s a controversial topic within the yoga-sphere and in the therapy world. While I am well-aware that research on the effects of cannabis is still young and limited due to federal regulations, more and more people are using it to alleviate symptoms of chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety, epilepsy, to overcome opiate addictions, and the list goes on. I don’t think you can go into any store today without seeing something that has CBD added to it! I know people who swear by it. In addition, I’ve seen first-hand the negative effects of marijuana on young developing brains (e.g., the onset of early psychosis). See what I mean? Controversial! I hope that listeners can come with an open mind and trust their own autonomy. This is a safe and nonjudgmental place, and everyone is absolutely entitled to any opinion they may or may not have.

I’m very excited to release this episode today, and I know you’re going to dig it as much as I do. I learned so much from my chat with Stacey, and I loved getting to know her and hearing more about her fascinating story. She is a really brave, cool, genuine, and empowered woman, and talking with her was so effortless.

I know you’ll love this episode, and I promise you don’t need to imbibe in cannabis to appreciate it!

*Skip to 6:07min mark to bypass the intro and get to the interview

In this episode we hear:

  • about Stacey’s background and how at a young age she broke free from the Mormon culture/religion

  • briefly about the research that continues to develop on the impact of marijuana use on mental health

  • how she came to teaching yoga through pole dancing, Callanetics and Pilates

  • the importance of understanding anatomy in order to teach

  • about Stacey’s upcoming yoga teacher training that she created for her company Marijuasana

  • recognizing the pros and cons of imbibing in cannabis

  • how Stacey created her business Marijuasana

  • Stacey’s “coming out” with cannabis

  • about Stacey’s experience being a female entrepreneur

  • about how yoga can be joyful

  • about the power of community with yoga and cannabis use

  • about her style of teaching

  • about Stacey’s views on cannabis as a drug and a form of medicine

  • the difference between Sativa and Indica and how not all marketing of their effects are accurate

Mentioned in this episode (aka, the “shotes”):

Marijuasana
Naropa University
Callanetics
Science of Yoga
Dr. Jared Kass at Lesley University
Jason Kilmer
What the heck are terpenes
Information for Stacey’s YTT that starts June 18th!
Follow Stacey’s company Marijuasana on Instagram
the Yogi Therapist website
the Yogi Therapist on Facebook
Follow me, the Yogi Therapist, on Instagram

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Hear the episode on these platforms:

iTunes // Spotify // Google Play // Stitcher

Meditation Guide Wilhelm Engelbrecht on creativity in meditation, the liberation of joy, and celebrating individuality and culture

We’re having a bit of a testosterone stretch here, eh?! Today’s guest is the magical and incredible meditation teacher Wilhelm, a fellow NSYA-er (keepin’ it in the fam, y’all) and a truly kind soul. While I’ve known Wilhelm for a couple of years now, I knew little of his personal life and experiences growing up in South Africa pre-and-post-Apartheid, and I have a lot of gratitude for all that he shares with us in this episode.

While I myself practice different forms of meditation, mostly focusing on my breath, I’m no expert nor am I green in my practice. I’ve had some amazing experiences dropping into consciousness under Wilhelm’s guidance - I’m talking images in my mind of smatterings of bright colors, feeling energy flowing, tapping into my inner guide…it’s amazing. He is an incredible teacher who respects how personal the practice is, and aims to break down any barrier one may have to connecting to their own meditation practice.

If you’re curious to learn more about meditation and live locally, check out his upcoming workshop on May 11th: Beyond the Cushion: Meditations for the Moment workshop at Coolidge Yoga Brookline!

PS: One quick disclaimer, I meant to say this in the intro - this episode was recorded in early April at the onset of that annoying illness I had that caused me to skip a week of releasing an episode. I definitely sound sick, to me at least!

*Skip to 5:24min mark to bypass the intro and get to the interview

In this episode we hear:

  • How “where are you from” is a loaded question for him

  • How breaking his ankle brought him to yoga and meditation

  • How he strayed off the yoga teacher path

  • How event planning and meditation are closely related, in Wilhelm’s wise opinion 

  • On coming out as a young man in South Africa

  • How to reframe your 9-5 when you have a side hustle

  • His ritual before he leads meditation

  • How to begin meditating

  • How making tea can be a meditation

  • The importance of having a grounding ritual when you serve others

  • How Wilhelm keeps his chill

  • About the barriers he experienced when initially practicing meditation

  • How meditation aligns the body and the mind

  • How he plans his meditation teachings

  • Why standing meditations are a supportive option for people fearful of meditating

  • How meditation allows one to welcome every part of themselves, even the inner critic or rebel

  • How your affinity with Harry Potter can be a meditation

  • Using social media mindfully

Mentioned in this episode (aka, the “shotes”):

Wilhelm’s Beyond the Cushion: Meditations for the Moment workshop at Coolidge Yoga Brookline on May 11th
Apartheid in South Africa 
Episode 1 with Laura Ahrens
NSYA
Andrew Tanner
Rachel Bairstow
Dr. Lorin Roche and Camille Maurine
Kripalu
Buddha’s Brain
The Radiance Sutras
Nelson Mandela
Krista Tippet
Neuroplasticity
Meditation Made Easy
Harry Potter and the Sacred Text
Coolidge Yoga
Wilhelm’s page on Coolidge Yoga’s site
The Yogi Therapist website
Follow me, The Yogi Therapist, on Instagram

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Hear the episode on these platforms:

iTunes // Spotify // Google Play // Stitcher

Yoga Teacher Jeffrey Thomas on The Mandela Yoga Project, growing up as a Black man during the Civil Rights movement, & making yoga accessible to people of color & low-income communities

Jeffrey Thomas is living history. This wonderful man is a friend and sangha-mate of mine from my YTT, and I’m so grateful that Jeffrey agreed to allow me to interview him - this is one of the most important interviews I’ve done thus far. Jeffrey shares his experience of being a young Black man growing up in the south in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, and candidly shares how this has shaped his teaching today, as well as how his experience inspired him to create the Mandela Yoga Project.

It’s an honor to have sat down with Jeffrey, and it is truly an honor to call him a friend; this episode is truly incredible and I’m eternally grateful for Jeffrey’s willingness to share, his vulnerability, and candidness.

One final note, please consider supporting his Mandela Yoga Project here, any amount helps!!

*Skip to 6:58min mark to bypass the intro and get to the interview

In this episode we hear:

  • About Jeffrey’s upbringing as a young Black man growing up in the south during the Civil Rights movement

  • About his views on the commercialism of yoga and lack of diversity and inclusivity

  • How Boston could help make yoga more accessible to low-income and underserved communities 

  • How he believes diabetes saved his life

  • About his mission to make yoga accessible to everyone with his company The Mandela Yoga Project

  • How yoga helps him manage his diabetes and promote his wellbeing

  • How he views trauma informed yoga and the importance of it 

  • How Jeffrey believes the body can heal itself, as he is living breathing proof

  • How he decided to start his non-profit the Mandela Yoga Project, and his plans on bringing free trauma-informed yoga to people of color and underserved communities, led by members of the local community

  • About his experience being a black man in a predominantly white yoga community

Mentioned in this episode (aka, the “shotes”):

GoFundMe for Mandela Yoga Project
4 Little Girls film
Medgar Evers
Emmett Till
Yoga Alliance
TIMBo
Prison Yoga Project
Five Doors Yoga
Iyengar Yoga
Follow Jeffrey on Instagram
The Yogi Therapist website
Follow me, The Yogi Therapist, on Instagram

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Hear the episode on these platforms:

iTunes // Spotify // Google Play // Stitcher