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

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

Registered Nurse, Yoga Teacher, & Ayurvedic Health Counselor Lauren Massalas, RN on Ayurveda & modern medicine, holistic health, & living in harmony with nature & the seasons

Lauren Massalas doesn’t know this, but she has a really special place in my heart as she was the catalyst for my applying for YTT with NSYA at Coolidge Yoga back in 2017. We met at an event at YogaWorks and exchanged info so I could pick her brain about NSYA…and the rest is herstory!!

Lauren is definitely a super cool and incredibly talented chick. She is a PACU nurse, a yoga teacher, and an Ayurvedic Health Counselor based in Boston, MA. She has a magical way of making Ayurveda, a 5000+ year old medical science, seem completely seamlessly accessible to integrate into a modern lifestyle. As a health practitioner and yoga teacher, she is influenced by western anatomy and physiology, yogic philosophy, and Ayurvedic wisdom, a unique mash-up that allows Lauren to stand out from the crowd in every aspect of her career.

*Skip to 3:19 to bypass the intro and get to the interview

In this episode we hear:

  • about Ayurveda and what it is, for those outside of the yoga-sphere

  • how Lauren took a winding path to Ayurveda

  • what to expect from a session with Lauren as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, and she shares a brief case study

  • how Ayurveda and western medicine can work together

  • how to avoid dampening your digestive fire and how that fire is “supreme in the long game of longevity”

  • about the importance of a morning routine, how to start one, and why you should stop drinking cold water

  • how to incorporate Ayurvedic health tips into your daily life

  • how Ayurveda helps individuals fully live in their body

  • the importance of the body’s elimination process

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

Coolidge Yoga
Lauren’s Ayurvedic Spring Cleanse workshop
NSYA
Goldie Graham
Kripalu
Vega Vitality
Follow Lauren on Instagram
Lauren’s website
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 and owner of Black Fox Yoga Katherine Cota MacDonald on using social media in an intentional way, embodying yogic philosophy, and how yoga is for every body

Today’s guest is my lovely friend Katherine, a local Maynard-based yoga teacher. I’ve known Katherine for years, as she is married to one of my best friends from high school (Hi Steve!!), and of course we’ve bonded even more over our affinity for yoga!

I honestly don’t know how to best convey the amazingness that is all that Katherine shares in this episode - she is a lovely, intelligent, strong, beautiful woman who lives fully and consciously in alignment with her yoga. She consistently engages with life in an intentional and authentic way, always finds the good and beauty in others, and embodies the foundational principles of yoga. She’s also got an incredible way with words, as evidenced by her informative posts on her blog! I feel lucky to know Katherine and call her a friend. I know that you’ll love this episode as much as I loved chatting with Katherine! I think we could’ve talked for like, hours more, haha!

In this episode we hear:

  • about Katherine’s view on authenticity in yoga and on social media

  • how she came up with her company name “Black Fox Yoga”

  • how yoga must celebrate all bodies in yoga

  • about Katherine’s views on “yogalebrities”

  • about how Katherine approaches teaching beginners in yoga, and why she doesn’t use props in those classes

  • how to cue efficiently in a yoga class

  • how to stand out as a yoga teacher

  • how to identify and manage ego as a yoga teacher

  • how to live your yoga with intention and integrity

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

CorePower Yoga
Elliot of Change.yoga
Alexandria Crow
Be the Love Yoga studio, where Katherine teaches
Ye olde Empath quiz (because clearly I’m on a mission to help people learn that they’re possibly an Empath)
Katherine’s website Black Fox Yoga
Follow Katherine 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