Spiritual nourishment for yoga practitioners and teachers.
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...
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:
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...
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...
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:
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...
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!
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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
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Reach out to us on ...
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.
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...
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....
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.
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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...
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...
This week, Jen welcomes her new cohost Annie Moyer to the show. They discuss
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Find out more about Awakening Yoga Spaces: https://ww...
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...
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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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.
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.
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.