Skillful Means Podcast

Skillful Means Podcast

Spiritual nourishment for yoga practitioners and teachers.

Episodes

May 12, 2022 26 min

In the next few discussion episodes, Annie and Jen will explore some of the common opposites that show up in our practices spaces and in conversations among practitioners and teachers.

They start things off with the friction between purusha (unbounded consciousness) and prakriti (form/matter), which are outlined in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras as the framework for understanding our existence in the universe. How does one balance the...

Share
Mark as Played

This is the first practice in a series Jen is calling "Yin Shorts: Short Yin Yoga Practice Snacks with a Dash of Mindfulness."

Kicking things off, Jen focuses on the low back with three poses that will hopefully help you feel a little more mobile and comfortable in the low back. She'll also guide you through a survey of the three centers of your inner world: body, heart, and mind. 

Postures in this practice: 

  • sphinx
  • 1/2 but...
  • Share
    Mark as Played
    April 14, 2022 42 min

    Following on Annie's series of contemplative practices on the kleshas, Jen and Annie discuss how uncovering the roots of our "mental poisons" might guide us in navigating current events that feel particularly fraught. 

    Resources Mentioned on the Show:
    G.R.A.C.E.: Training in Cultivating Compassion-based Interactions via Upaya Zen Center
    The Lightmaker's Manifesto by Karen Walrond

    What We're Reading
    Small Wonder: Ess...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    In the last practice in our series on the kleshas (hindrances) Annie masterfully guides you through a contemplation of abhinivesha. Often translated as "fear of death," it can also mean "will to live." But it's the flavor of fear of abhinivesha, compounded by other kleshas such as raga (attachment) and dvesha (aversion), that abhinivesha creates so much suffering. In this gentle practice, you'll connect with...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    This month, Annie and Jen discuss how consequential our language is, particularly when cultivating a culture of inclusivity in our yoga and spiritual spaces. We see yoga communities as microcosms of general society, and we believe that the grassroots work we do in our small spaces rolls up into the more nourishing and equitable world we'd like to see in the world.

    Teachers, Books, and other References mentioned in this episode:
    ...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    Continuing our contemplations of the kleshas — t he causes of suffering — Annie guides us through a tender exploration of dvesha, or aversion. Noting that we tend to view our aversions as safety measures, Annie gently encourages us to widen our bandwidth of experience to include discomfort so that we don't waste precious energy that we could be directing towards growth and transformation.

    For repeat listens the meditation start...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    February 3, 2022 37 min

    Annie and Jen explore the nuances of Tapas (heat) and Santosha (contentment), two oft misunderstood concepts. Is tapas really about burning off impurities through vigorous practice? Is santosha a ticket to complicity?

    Have a listen and let us know what you think!

    ~ ~ ~

    What We're Reading:

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
    The Expanse Series by James S. A. Corey
    Grounded Spirituality by Jeff Brown

    ~ ~ ~

    Reach out to us on  ...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    In this heart-filled third of five practices on the kleshas – the causes of suffering — Annie guides you through the difference between love and attachment (raga), beautifully bringing to light how the suffering of our conditioned experience snuffs out the luminous essence and unconditional presence of divine humanhood.

    For repeat listens the meditation starts at 2:57. If your player supports chapter markings, you can skip ahead.

    ~

    ...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    January 6, 2022 40 min

    Jen and Annie excavate some themes and lessons from the hit TV show "Ted Lasso" including: the shadowy side of positivity culture, how much are we truly responsible for other people's wellbeing, the ways in which letting go of craving and aversion comprise the maturation process, and the sympathetic joy modeled in key characters' friendship. 

    They also share some everyday practices that'll help you find yoga in o...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    In this second of five practices on the kleshas – the obstacles that hide our true self – Annie unpacks a beautiful contemplation of asmita, egoism. More than just holding a high opinion of one's self, asmita is all about mistaking the ever-changing features of our existence as permanent and definitive. When we are able to see through this veil of separation, we move further from suffering and closer to our divine, wise nature....

    Share
    Mark as Played
    December 9, 2021 46 min

    Annie and Jen examine a problematic dynamic in yoga spaces where competition fuels predatory tactics that ultimately serve few people. They also discuss the commodification of yoga classes and how studios and independent yoga teachers can  come together in shared purpose and mutual support.

    ~ ~ ~

    What We're Reading:

    Better to Have Gone: Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville by Akash Kapur

    Lit From Within: Yoga, Teachi...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    The philosophical tradition of yoga suggests five root causes of suffering, known in Sanskrit as kleshas. While the  specific spins of our minds differ from person to person, these "hindrances" can be considered universal.

    In this contemplative practice with Annie Moyer, we’ll focus on the first of these culprits, avidya (ignorance), which is a misunderstanding of our true nature — a confusion between what’s eternal and wha...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    November 11, 2021 39 min

    This week, Jen welcomes her new cohost Annie Moyer to the show. They discuss

  • Annie's unusual yoga beginnings, 
  • her yoga guide stars, 
  • her thoughts on what yoga students are seeking in a post-pandemic world,
  • and Annie's work with Awakening Yoga Spaces, a non-profit coalition of yoga and wellness communities committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the yoga world. 
  • ~ ~ ~

    Find out more about Awakening Yoga Spaces: https://ww...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    November 4, 2021 12 min

    So it happens that impermanence has found its way to Skillful Means Podcast. Jen teases some updates and says adieu to Sarah Jane who is stepping back (but not away) to expand her work in a number of exciting – and needed – areas.

    Find out more about Sarah Jane's upcoming programs at https://www.sarahjaneshangraw.com

    She will soon be offering a  Mindfulness for Yoga Teachers Course, and several End of Life Programs including a D...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    Frequent bouts of stress and anxiety create physical tension in the body. When stress persists, we can "forget" how to relax, a common source of chronic pain.

    In this practice, Jen prompts you to alternate between tensing and relaxing different muscle groups to help you not only release chronic muscle tension, but also get more familiar with the difference between what tension and relaxation feels like.

    Progressive Relaxati...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    Of the many reasons to practice Yin Yoga, working with the energy body  is one of the most alluring. Yet, this ephemeral force can be elusive for many practitioners.

    In this guided practice, Jen takes you through a short series of gentle and accessible Yin Yoga poses while directing your attention through the physical realm and into the subtle body.

    The practice follows a brief introduction at 1:24. If you podcast player supports c...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    In the Second Foundation of Mindfulness, the Buddha outlines practices for working with feelings.  Not quite the same as emotions, feelings are the visceral, body-based responses to circumstances before the mind turns them into emotions. 

    In this guided practice, Jen helps you to establish a neutral anchor with the breath before exploring the preferential tones - also known as hedonic tones - that arise in response to how we feel f...

    Share
    Mark as Played
    September 17, 2021 15 min

    With this meditation, Sarah Jane takes the instructions “Pause, Soften, and Connect,” which are often delivered at the beginning of a meditation, and stretches the time we spend with each one. 

    With occasional instruction, she illuminates the possibilities each of them points to: With “pause,” the shift from everyday mind to mindfulness; with “soften,” receptivity and the ability to stay with; and with “connect,” growing our interna...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    Unfortunately for humans, our nervous system's stress response only has two settings (on and off) even though we understand degrees of tension. Whether we feel the pressure of a work deadline or an existential threat, our body responds the same way.

    However, we can "hack" the stress response with body-based tools that tell the nervous system that we're OK.

    In this episode, Jen guides you through a simple and powerfu...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    Equanimity is a steadiness in heart and mind that has a spacious feel. It is “being with” rather than “reacting to” present-moment experience, which makes possible the beat between stimulus and response. We can choose what we do next rather than impulsively react. Thus, equanimity supports agency and choicefulness.

    Also, it balances the three other “Divine Abodes”or “Immeasurable Qualities” so valued in Buddhist tradition: loving-k...

    Share
    Mark as Played

    Popular Podcasts

      Current and classic episodes, featuring compelling true-crime mysteries, powerful documentaries and in-depth investigations.

      Crime Junkie

      If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’ve found your people.

      Morbid: A True Crime Podcast

      It’s a lighthearted nightmare in here, weirdos! Morbid is a true crime, creepy history and all things spooky podcast hosted by an autopsy technician and a hairstylist. Join us for a heavy dose of research with a dash of comedy thrown in for flavor.

      Stuff You Should Know

      If you've ever wanted to know about champagne, satanism, the Stonewall Uprising, chaos theory, LSD, El Nino, true crime and Rosa Parks then look no further. Josh and Chuck have you covered.

      Sympathy Pains

      Hosted by Laura Beil (Dr. Death, Bad Batch), Sympathy Pains is a six-part series from Neon Hum Media and iHeartRadio. For 20 years, Sarah Delashmit told people around her that she had cancer, muscular dystrophy, and other illnesses. She used a wheelchair and posted selfies from a hospital bed. She told friends and coworkers she was trapped in abusive relationships, or that she was the mother of children who had died. It was all a con. Sympathy was both her great need and her powerful weapon. But unlike most scams, she didn’t want people’s money. She was after something far more valuable.

    Advertise With Us

    For You

      Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.

      Connect

      © 2022 iHeartMedia, Inc.