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Accessible Yoga Podcast
36 minutes | Jun 15, 2021
039. The Connection Between Yoga & Activism
In Episode 39 of the Accessible Yoga Podcast, Amber Karnes sits down with Anjali Rao to discuss the connection between yoga and activism. Anjali Rao is a yoga teacher, social justice activist, multi-cultural training specialist, and a cancer survivor. She is an Indian American immigrant from Bangalore, India. Her work explores yoga philosophy and history integrating marginalized voices using storytelling, imagery and poetry. In this interview, Amber and Anjali discuss the history of activism in yoga, including how yoga philosophy and social justice are connected. For folks who are hesitant to step into the space of activism or call themselves an activist, this interview is for you. Anjali addresses the role of the activist and discusses how we can build capacity for resilience using our practice. Finally, she discusses her new course with the Accessible Yoga Training School, Yoga & Activism: A Blueprint for Collective Transformation, which is open for enrollment now! In this episode: Anjali introduces herself and talks about her work in the world How are yoga and activism connected historically? What is the lineage of yoga and activism? Yoga Is a container of practices, thoughts, concepts which can build capacity & resilience for activism Yoga helps us be aligned with our deepest dharma Yoga is about expansion of consciousness: what are you using your expanded consciousness to accomplish? How your social location is connected to your dharma Who is an activist? What “counts” as activism? How perfectionism and black-and-white thinking hold us back Rituals and practices that can anchor us in our purpose The importance of community for activists Anjali’s course, Yoga & Activism: A Blueprint for Collective Transformation, which is open for enrollment through June 19 A call to action for all of us Show notes and links can be found at accessibleyogatraining.com.
70 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
038. Addressing Transphobia and Creating Affirming Spaces
In Episode 38 Amber Karnes sits down with Tristan Katz and Maygen Nicholson to address a few common transphobic talking points and discuss how we can support our trans and gender expansive community members. Tristan and Maygen are both educators who focus on LGBTQ+ awareness, advocacy, and wellness at the center of their work. In this interview, Tristan and Maygen discuss gender identity, why we should all be invested in dismantling the gender binary, and why representation matters. They debunk many commonly held, harmful narratives about trans and gender non-conforming folks, and talk about action steps for learning and beyond. This conversation invites us to take a deeper dive into understanding gender identity and creating affirming space for our trans siblings. Note: This conversation was recorded in response to the March 22nd J. Brown yoga podcast interview with Katchie Ananda on the topic of “Gender Spectrum and Biological Sex.” Both J. and Katchie are cisgender individuals. The conversation they shared was rooted in biological exceptionalism, trans* exclusionary feminism, transphobia, homophobia, racism, and tokenization. We found it deeply hurtful and problematic and felt the need to address it publicly to stand in solidarity with our trans* and non-binary siblings. Get show notes, links to everything we discuss in the podcast, and subscribe here.
55 minutes | Apr 7, 2021
037. Transcending Trauma with Yoga
In Episode 37 of the Accessible Yoga Podcast, Jivana Heyman sits down with Zabie Yamasaki, M.Ed., RYT. Zabie is the director of Trauma Informed Programs at UCLA and is the Founder of Transcending Sexual Trauma through Yoga. Zabie has trained thousands of yoga instructors and mental health professionals on trauma-informed teaching and her new book Trauma-Informed Yoga for Survivors of Sexual Assault which is coming out this year. Jivana and Zabie discuss trauma-sensitive teaching practices that benefit every student that comes to our classes. They also discuss the role of the teacher, power dynamics, and walking the line between authenticity and healthy boundaries. This conversation invites us to consider ways we can shift our community spaces to create more safety and opportunities for rest. Get show notes, links to everything we discuss in the podcast, and subscribe here.
53 minutes | Mar 31, 2021
036. Making Yoga Philosophy Straightforward & Accessible
In Episode 36 of the Accessible Yoga Podcast, Jivana Heyman sits down with Daniel Simpson to talk about yoga philosophy and his new book The Truth of Yoga: A Comprehensive Guide to Yoga’s History, Texts, Philosophy, and Practices. Daniel is a former foreign correspondent who has gone on to study and teach yoga, meditation, yoga history, and yoga philosophy at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, Triyoga, and beyond. Jivana and Daniel discuss many concepts and themes from yoga philosophy including the role of ethics in yoga and how our individual interpretation of the teachings influences how we “live” our yoga. This conversation invites us to consider how we use self-study and practice to either retreat from the world or become a more conscious citizen. Get show notes, links to everything we discuss in the podcast, and subscribe here.
53 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
035. Creativity & Trusting Your Own Voice
In Episode 35 of the Accessible Yoga Podcast, Jivana Heyman sits down with Linda Sparrowe to talk about creativity and finding our voice. The former editor of Yoga International and Yoga Journal magazines, Linda has been teaching, talking and writing about yoga for more than 20 years. She has a long and varied career as a writer, editor, speaker, and mentor in the holistic healing arena, with a special emphasis on women’s health. Jivana and Linda talk about how personal practice can help us find our authentic voice and how they each get into the mood to be creative. This conversation invites us to consider how we use our voice and our yoga practice and how we can trust our authenticity to express what we truly wish to communicate to others. For show notes and links, visit the Accessible Yoga Podcast page or episode 35 here.
50 minutes | Mar 17, 2021
034. Compassionate Leadership & Mentorship for Yoga Yeachers & Business Owners
In Episode 34 of the Accessible Yoga Podcast, Jivana Heyman welcomes Pamela Stokes Eggleston and Amina Naru to talk about compassionate leadership and mentorship for yoga teachers. Pamela and Amina are two yoga service leaders and the co-founders of Retreat To Spirit - a mentorship organization that helps yoga teachers realize their potential, build their businesses according to yogic principles, and learn how to support themselves with their practice on and off the mat. Pamela and Amina share how self-care and mentorship helped foster their yoga careers and talk about connecting to your “why.” Finally, they share details about their upcoming Retreat To Spirit Mentorship course here at the Accessible Yoga Training School, which opens for enrollment next week. For show notes and links, visit the Accessible Yoga Podcast page or episode 34 here.
47 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
033. Moving Yoga Studios Online & Resilience Through Change
In Episode 33, Amber Karnes talks with Anjali Sunita. Anjali is a yoga teacher, writer, Ayurveda practitioner, and the business owner behind Baltimore Yoga Village. In 2021, Anjali completely pivoted the Baltimore Yoga Village business model from two brick and mortar yoga studios to an online wellness ecosystem that platforms individual instructors and practitioners. In this episode, Anjali and I talk about pivoting to an online model during a pandemic, what the new business model is, and how others might consider moving to a more collaborative way of working. We discuss how our mindset around co-creating and co-working within our communities can be supportive rather than competitive. We also explore topics like resilience, failure, and why “starting over” can be a good thing, if we let it. For show notes and links, visit the Accessible Yoga Podcast page or episode 33 here.
53 minutes | Mar 2, 2021
032. From Guru To #MeToo
In Episode 32, Jivana Heyman sits down with Theo Wildcroft. Theo Wildcroft, PhD is a teacher, trainer, writer and scholar working for a more sustainable relationship between our many selves, the communities that hold us, and the world that nourishes us. Her research considers the democratization of yoga and the many different ways yoga communities are responding to concerns about safety in practice. In this episode, Jivana and Theo discuss post lineage yoga, the backlash against her work, and her new book, Post-lineage Yoga – From Guru to #MeToo. This week we explore: A deeper understanding of post lineage yoga How Theo decided to do the research and work she is doing How Theo has navigated backlash for the work she is doing How we can share power within our spaces and classes The importance of empowering students from the beginning The importance of learning outside of formal structures How Theo does her research
48 minutes | Feb 23, 2021
031. Q & A
Hey Episode 31: Q & A In Episode 31, Amber Karnes and Jivana Heyman sit down to answer questions submitted by our listeners and community. In this episode, we will discuss how the practice can support mental health treatment in a responsible and ethical way, scope of practice, the importance of collaboration in our communities, as well as a question about exploring practice while experiencing vertigo. This week we explore: How the practice can be used to support mental health treatment in a responsible and ethical way The importance of understanding scope of practice How important it is to build collaborative working networks in your community The importance of having clear descriptions for our classes The importance of destigmatizing mental health support within the wellness and yoga communities The importance of giving power back to students in our class spaces How to explore the practice during vertigo
60 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
030. Re-Imaging Our Work
Episode 30: Re-Imaging Our Work In Episode 30 Amber Karnes talks with Kelley Palmer. Kelley is a writer, creative, advocate, and yoga teacher who focuses on the service of making wellness spaces equitable, accessible, sustainable, and safe for Black, Indigenous and people of color. In this episode, Kelley and I talk about orienting ourselves toward race equity work in our current moment. We talk about what can happen when we use our imagination to creatively solve problems together, rather than getting stuck in guilt, inaction, or a sense of “it’s always been that way and is impossible to change.” We also talk about developing resilience for staying with the discomfort that conversations about race and equity can bring up. Finally, we chat about Kelley’s upcoming course, Race & Equity in Yoga, and let folks know what they can expect if they join. This week hear more about: How Kelley developed her upcoming course, Race & Equity: Disruption As A Practice How the demand for Kelley’s work has shifted in the last 12 months How Kelley is feeling about her work, the current moment and our ongoing responsibility The importance of understanding the legacy of oppression that has benefited some and made it unsafe for some to exist The importance of knowing we can feel more than one thing at a time How the word unity is being co-opted in this moment How we can reclaim our imagination when thinking about social justice action and solutions How Kelley is shifting to honor what feels like the best use of her energy What to expect in Kelley’s upcoming course, Race & Equity: Disruption As A Practice
51 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
029. Yoga & Law Q&A
In this episode, Amber Karnes talks with Cory Sterling of Conscious Counsel. Cory is a yoga teacher, practitioner, author, and an attorney, and he’s here to answer all our legal questions! (Or most of them, probably.) As Cory will tell us in the podcast, law in 2021 means communicating your expectations openly and honestly with heart-leading documents written in plain language. In this episode, we’ll talk about things like waivers, intellectual property, insurance, teaching online, LLCs, and much more. This week hear more about: The importance of using legal documents to clearly and honestly communicate expectations within our yoga spaces The importance of understanding your responsibility to students in your care The importance of understanding “the duty of care” and “the standard of care” The myth that waivers of liability do not protect teachers and studios The difference in responsibility for in person and virtual classes The difference between a waiver and a disclaimer for offering classes on different platforms How to legally create boundaries for consent for touch, assists and adjustments How to ethically navigate legal issues, complaints and accusations of harm The importance of finding the right insurance for you How different business structures offer different benefits and protections The difference between being an employee vs. a contractor
65 minutes | Feb 2, 2021
028. Power In Balance
Episode 28: Power In Balance In Episode 28 Jivana Heyman sits down with Susanna Barkataki. Susanna supports yoga practitioners to lead with equity, diversity and yogic values while growing thriving practices and businesses with confidence. She is founder of Ignite Yoga and Wellness Institute and runs 200/500 Yoga Teacher Training programs. Jivana and Susanna have an in-depth conversation about the philosophy and history of the yoga and social justice movements of India. This conversation explores lessons and takeaways from the traditions, practices, and movements of yoga to bring social justice and advocacy to the forefront of our wellness spaces. This week hear more about: How Susanna started piecing together her recently released book through, essays, articles, interviewing her family and community How social justice and yoga have always been connected practices for Susanna The importance of seeking social justice and activism as a part of yoga more and more How important service is in the tradition of yoga How non-violence and service led social justice movements in India’s fight for liberation How Ghandi and others modeled service and social justice as major part of the traditions of this practice How Susanna learned about movements and service during her time living in India How ancient texts, like the Yoga Sutras, gives us inspiration for social justice
62 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
027. Race & Equity
In Episode 27, Amber Karnes and Jivana Heyman sit down a few days after the attack on the US Capitol to dig into a personal conversation about race and the role they play in upholding white supremacy. They both share how the current events and political climate has impacted them and allowed them to do self study and tune into necessary self care. Amber and Jivana each talk about the importance of investigating how we are each upholding systems of oppression. This intimate conversation is an invitation to be mobilized towards action that supports a sustainable change. This week hear more about: How the attack on the US Capitol impacted Jivana and Amber How Amber centers care of self to ground and fortify The importance of being intentional with our media consumption The difference they noticed in how peaceful protesters have been treated at the US Capitol in contrast to what unfolded during the attack on the Capitol How Jivana was arrested while protesting at the US Capitol in the 90s Tools for grounding when anxiety, stress and sadness follow current events How support for Q’Anon within yoga communities is harmful The importance for white people to have uncomfortable conversations about race and injustice The importance of leaning out of guilt and centering action The importance of supporting the folks and organizations already doing the work instead of trying to lead change The importance of looking at your own daily life, community and practices to understand the power and privilege you might hold
48 minutes | Jan 19, 2021
026. It Is Time For a Reinterpretation
In Episode 26, Jivana Heyman sits down with Justin Micheal Williams, an author, transformational speaker, and top-20 recording artist who has become a pioneering voice for diversity and inclusion in wellness. Justin Michael immediately opens up and shares about navigating a tough upbringing, self doubt and following his dreams. Justin Michael also talks about meditation as a practice that frees us to feel all of our feelings and emotions. This conversation offers fresh perspectives about meditation and its place in our personal practices, wellness spaces and social justice movements. As a special treat Justin wraps this conversation by offering a guided meditation for us all to enjoy. This week hear more about: How Justin’s upbringing and childhood create a pattern of overachieving How a moment in his dorm room led him to stop looking for fulfillment and happiness outside of himself How navigating the death of his grandmother opened him to following his dreams How we can think about our purpose vs career How perfectionism shows up harmfully in wellness spaces How oppression shows up in wellness spaces The importance of decolonizing our wellness practices The importance of releasing certain misconceptions about meditation The importance of developing practices that allow us to sit with all of our feelings and emotions How meditation can support post traumatic growth
65 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
025. Real Stories from The Accessible Yoga Training Online
In Episode 25, Jivana Heyman sits down with four Accessible Yoga teachers to talk about the Accessible Yoga Training, how the training impacted their teaching, and how they are carrying the mission of Accessible Yoga into their work. Natasha Williams-Chaoua, Sarah Nuttridge, Marc Settembrino and Jacquie “Sunny" Barbee each share where they are located, about the work they do, the communities they serve and how taking this training transformed their perspectives of the practice. This conversation gives insight to the benefits of joining our Accessible Yoga Teacher Training as well as some possibilities you might sense for yourself if you further accessibility in your teaching practice. This week hear more about: How the training shifted their perspectives as a yoga teachers and yoga students How they each came to find the teachings of Accessible Yoga How to incorporate props into our teaching Tips for making your classes/offerings more accessible How teaching Accessible Yoga has transformed and inspired them Their collective hopes for more and more teachers to take the Accessible Yoga Training
50 minutes | Jan 5, 2021
024. Q & A
In Episode 24, Amber Karnes and Jivana Heyman sit down to answer questions submitted by our listeners and community. First, Jivana and Amber talk about the ways that we can offer accessible classes in the new virtual landscape while taking into consideration the impact of the pandemic on teaching yoga. Jivana shares a list of his favorite texts for studying yoga philosophy, and finally, Amber and Jivana give some tips on how to include philosophy and self-study in your classes. This conversation was an invitation for Amber and Jivana to answer questions from listeners and share some of their favorite learning resources. This week we explore: How they each feel about the pandemic’s influence on the year and the pending vaccine How to support students with an accessible yoga class in the virtual landscape The importance of having grace and compassion for ourselves as teachers we learn to navigate the virtual teaching spaces The importance of making sure your class descriptions provide clear indications of things like who will be served, the types of movement and what they can expect from the class The importance of asking your students for feedback on the classes you offer as a learning tool The importance of continuing our studies of yoga philosophy How to build time into your class offerings for check ins, talking about the philosophy of this practice and cultivate a community learning space.
49 minutes | Dec 29, 2020
023. Creating Solidarity & Building Community
In Episode 23 Amber Karnes sits down with Karin Carlson, yoga teacher, community advocate, and founder of Return Yoga. Through Return Yoga’s teacher training program and community outreach, Karin and other local teachers work in domestic violence shelters, jails, youth crisis centers, mental health contexts, and substance abuse treatment centers. Karin and Amber jump into a conversation about the ways white folks do harm when they rush to diversify their studios without actually understanding or investigating the problem. Karin shares quite candidly about her experience of charity versus solidarity and the ways it continues to cause harm in under-resourced communities. This conversation invites us all to consider how we build truly authentic communities, sustainable movements for change, and work in solidarity with communities outside of our own. This week we explore: How activism was ignited in her home city of Minneapolis and exposed harm from the local yoga community and a lack of awareness about the role white folks in those spaces should play in community care How harm occurs when we rush to “fix” a problem in a community we are not apart of and do not fully understand the problem and our role to play in coming up with solutions The importance of understanding the difference between solidarity and charity How the yoga community still focuses on the business of making money instead of equitable solutions and real shifts in culture The importance of learning to sit with discomfort, grief and other strong feelings, especially for white people How the attention once focused on social change have shifted and lost momentum as the pandemic continues The importance of understanding how “whiteness” causes harm to BIPOC communities around this country How important it is to ask “How can I be of service?” and listen to the answer from the communities we wish to serve How Karin went about creating a community to share this practice with through authenticity and honoring her lineage How Karin developed her “Anti 200 Hour” program How the pandemic is going to permanently shift how yoga and yoga teacher trainings are being offered How Karin has been able to develop community connection in virtual spaces
50 minutes | Dec 22, 2020
022. The Trans Yoga Project
The Trans Yoga Project is a collaborative effort supporting Trans* people's spiritual wellness through community (re)education, advocacy within the yoga and wellIn Episode 22 Jivana Heyman welcomes M Camellia and Puja Singh Titchkosky to learn more about the mission of the Trans Yoga Project.ness industries, community building, and creating guided practices by and for Trans* and non-binary people. M and Puja share deeply about how their collective began their work together and how the shared values of the groups have led to this new project. M and Puja talk about the subtle and overt ways that assumptions and language can make yoga spaces feel unwelcoming, unsafe, and inaccessible. This rich conversation invites us all to investigate how we may be creating harm and inaccessibility for Trans and Non-Binary folks and reminds us of the responsibility we each have to shift, learn and advocate. This week we explore: How the Trans Yoga Project is cultivating spaces that allow Trans folks to thrive and find access to safe yoga and healing spaces How collaboration created this new project and leads how they work together How language can make yoga and wellness spaces harmful to Trans folks How making assumptions about our students leads to misgendering and other harmful experiences How the layers of assumptions, social conditioning and discrimination make yog and wellness spaces inaccessible The importance of developing a practice of using and respecting pronouns; yours, others and strangers The importance of examining the unnecessary practice of gendering that happens in our yoga spaces (for ex. Bathrooms, changing rooms, pose cueing) The importance of investigating and engaging gender in our own experience How M leaned into investigating the stories of gender and got a grounded understanding of herself The importance of understanding the expansiveness of gender as a step towards understanding and inclusivity This week’s question: How are you creating space for gender exploration?
47 minutes | Dec 15, 2020
021. Empowering Students Through Mentorship
In Episode 21 Amber Karnes welcomes Francesca Cervero, private yoga teacher and teacher’s mentor. Francesca gives insight into how she built her career and offerings as a teacher and mentor. Amber and Francesca discuss the ways we build trust, depth and understanding for ourselves and our students on the journey of self discovery using the tools of this practice. This conversation holds space for us to examine the ways teachers can empower and educate our students in group and private yoga and wellness spaces. This week we explore: How Francesca grew her teaching practice and business How Francesca started mentoring other teachers How Francesa created her podcast How students and teachers can benefit from ongoing private sessions How supporting students can expand our perspectives as teachers How to build a supportive teaching practice to best serve your students How to build a trusting bond with students The importance of inquiry vs aesthetics in teaching physical posture How to re-imagine progress for ourselves and our students How to empower and educate students beyond the physical accomplishments often attached to this practice in current yoga culture. The importance of observing students during practice, instead of practicing alongside them How Francesca shifted to virtual teaching in response to COVID-19 and how it has impacted/shifted her offerings
64 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
020. How Chair Yoga Democratizes Asana Practice
In Episode 20 Amber Karnes and Jivana Heyman sit to talk about chair yoga and how it can be used as a tool to democratize asana practice. We begin with a conversation about how lineage and “guru culture” are shifting as abuse is being revealed. Jivana and Amber also talk about the way dominant culture conflates health and wellness as a basis for a human being’s worth and value. They each share about the ways that this belief keeps folks from understanding the potential of chair yoga and creates more ableism in our yoga spaces. The conversation also talks in depth about how chair yoga can be used to serve folks in diverse bodies who have different needs from the physical practice. This week we explore: How the end of “Guru culture” through the revealing of ongoing abuse is shifting yoga culture How we continue to have a collective focus on extreme physical asana How Amber thinks about her learning lineage in yoga How Jivana thinks about his Guru and lineage How toxic diet culture and dominant culture have influenced who we see as an expert or “yoga celebrity” How props like chairs are still seen as less than in mainstream yoga spaces How we uphold health as the basis for value in others, on and off of the mat How the sutras talk about our care, feelings and thought about our bodies The importance of creating right relationship with our body and spirit through acceptance How to easy use a chair to make the other limbs of the practice accessible to anyone How the chair can be used as a prop to support postures, making them more accessible This week’s question: What is the right relationship with your body?
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