My Favorite Podcasts

I figured I’d lighten things up this week, give ourselves a little break from information and news about the “Virus that Shall Not be Named.”

I’m a big fan of podcasts. I love listening to them when I’m cooking or cleaning. They are especially helpful when I’m doing a project like organizing a closet or when driving around town.

Most of the podcasts I listen to are set up like a talk show with guests. Some are like “60 mins” or “20/20” where they’re true life or investigative stories.

My favorite type of podcast is the “Series,” a pod cast story that has a beginning and an end. All the ones I’ve listened to have been true stories.  Some were fantastic. Some were okay. But there are a few series podcasts that were so memorable I often think back on them and even re-listen to them.

I hear about new podcasts either by word of mouth or they are recommended on another podcast I listen to.  I’ll always check out a recommended podcast. Some I enjoy and listen to for a while. Other I give it a couple episodes and then I drop it. Most I get tired of and move on to something different.

But there are a handful of podcasts that I never tire of. I find myself going back to them again and again when I want to listen to something. And I thought, maybe you would enjoy them too.

I’ve put a link with each description that takes you to the website. But you can easily go onto your podcast app on your phone and search the title of the podcast and check it out from there.

So, without further ado, here are Heather the Yoga Nerd’s favorite podcasts. (In no particular order.) Continue reading My Favorite Podcasts

“Return” – Part 3 of the Hero’s Journey Trilogy: COVID-19 Edition

Previously on “The Hero’s Journey Trilogy”…

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us, the heroes, to go outside of our comfort zones to face uncertainty, challenges, and dangers. If you missed Part 1 of the Hero’s Journey – “Departure,” click here.

It is in this journey of danger and challenge that we, the heroes, experience successes and failures. These experiences give us wisdom and rewards. If you missed Part 2 of the Hero’s Journey – “Initiation,” click here.

And here we are at “The Return.” Or are we?

Return – The Hero returns to their world with a reward for conquering their challenge. The hero is transformed and has gained wisdom and spiritual power over their world and the adventure world they survived.

The hero learns new things about themselves while on their adventure. They learn their strengths and weaknesses. They learn new skills. And the heroes in all the stories always learn a vital lesson: they can handle anything that comes their way.

These are the wisdom and rewards the hero receives at the end of their journey.

It was difficult to write this blog because I don’t believe we have reached this part of our Hero’s Journey, yet. We don’t know what the end looks like.

So what can we do about that now? Continue reading “Return” – Part 3 of the Hero’s Journey Trilogy: COVID-19 Edition

Ganesha Meditation

Hello Friends,

Thought I would share with you a guided meditation I recorded to help you during these uncertain times.

Find a quiet place in your home, sit comfortably, close your eyes and listen to the meditation.

I hope it helps! Let me know what you think in the comments!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/kj3w7c1lw45b75h/HeatherKGaneshaMeditation.MOV?dl=0

Stay Well,

Heather the Healing Nerd

“Departure” – Part 1 of the Hero’s Journey Trilogy: COVID-19 Edition

Everyone is going through a trying time right now. As I’ve been sitting in my home, under a self-imposed lockdown due to the COVID-19 danger posed by my history of asthma, I have pondered how to take advantage of this opportunity. I’ve always said to myself, as many of you probably have, “If I only had the space and time to do the things I want to do.”

Well, my wish has been granted, and it is a bit terrifying.

This wonderful and terrifying opportunity brought to my mind the Hero’s Journey. What is the Hero’s Journey?

Harry Potter, Warner Bros.

The Hero’s Journey is a pattern that many stories old and new seem to follow. The theory of the Hero’s Journey was made popular by Joseph Campbell. In Campbell’s theory, the hero of the story is taken from his ordinary day-to-day life to face challenges and return back to ordinary life victorious and with new wisdom. It is the pattern of departure, initiation, and return. Examples of this story pattern are Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, Harry Potter, Paul Atreides in Dune, Bilbo in The Hobbit, and Frodo in The Lord of the Rings.

So I have been wondering: How does the idea of the hero’s departure, initiation, and return fit into our current experience? Continue reading “Departure” – Part 1 of the Hero’s Journey Trilogy: COVID-19 Edition

What if I’m the Storm?

Do you have people in your life that annoy you? Maybe they have a personality tick, or a habit, or a way of speaking that annoys you.

Or maybe it isn’t a person. Maybe it’s just a pet peeve that anybody can do and it sets your teeth on edge.

For me, it is humming. I can’t stand it if I’m at, for example, the grocery store and someone is humming while they are shopping. I know it seems ridiculous. What harm is there in people humming? The harm is I want to grab them and say, “Stop it!”

But these people humming aren’t doing it with the purpose to get a rise out of me. Neither is the person that annoys you with their personality tick. These people, the Pet Peeve People, are just going about their lives.

Is it really fair that they become the object of our wrath?   Of course not! Continue reading What if I’m the Storm?

Surrender and Heal

In 2003, I was engaged to a very nice man we will call Allen. I have talked about this engagement before. As a recap, Allen had a six year old daughter. He also had a mother that considered the daughter her daughter. So, in his mother’s eyes, I was taking away her only son and her “daughter” she had a “special relationship” with. Furthermore, the daughter had ADD, and I was trying my best to create a healthy lifestyle for her to help with her ADD.

I was trying to force my will against something that, frankly, wasn’t going to change.

One morning, the mother/grandmother came by to pick up the daughter/granddaughter. I was still in bed. It is funny how you know the sounds and routines in your house. I could tell by the pause from when the front door opened and when it closed that the mother/grandmother had a “little conversation” with Allen. And my intuition knew exactly what the conversation was: she was upset at how I had “treated her” the night before at a family function.

And inside, something broke.

I realized that I was striving for acceptance in a family that didn’t like me. I was trying not to act like a mother while doing all the “mom” work. I was twisted in knots and not being myself. That break was me surrendering. I surrendered to the reality that I was sacrificing who I was in order to be with him…and it wasn’t working.

With reality of the situation hitting me, I realized I had two choices. If I stayed in this situation, I would not be who I was in 5 years. I would be someone completely different. And if I left, I would be breaking off an engagement and hurting someone I truly cared for, but I would be saving myself from destruction. Continue reading Surrender and Heal

Sighing is Healing

“Nothing can so pierce the soul as the uttermost sigh of the body.” ~ George Santayana

During a yoga class, a teacher said, “The body loves a good sigh.”

I did a big sigh and realized she was absolutely, 100% correct. I felt pretty good after that sigh.

When a yogi sighs in class, I can almost see the stress drain away from their body. They look a little lighter. And when I sigh in class, I, too, feel lighter.

When I’m teaching, I can always tell the pro yogis because they sigh. And those pro yogis aren’t always the ones getting into advanced poses.  To me, pro yoga  means that person gets the whole enchilada when it comes to yoga. They aren’t just there for exercise, or because they’ve been told it is a good thing to do for the body. Pro yogis understand they are there to release and heal.

And here’s the other important part. When these pro yogi’s sigh in class, it isn’t a quiet, dainty sigh. It is a sigh that starts as a huge inhale from the lungs and then asks the gut, “Hey, you want in on this action?” The sigh then releases as a full-throat, loud primal sound.

All of this led me to ask, Why do we sigh? Continue reading Sighing is Healing

Finding Your Muse

My new thing is paddle boarding, otherwise known as Stand Up Paddleboard, or SUP if you are one of the cool kids.

I was paddle boarding for the second time when I started observing how happy I was. Obviously, paddle boarding makes me happy or I wouldn’t have bought one. But, have you ever sat and asked yourself “why” something makes you so happy?

My logical brain says that paddle boarding should be a pain in the ass, especially for a girl under 5’ tall. Getting the 10’ board on the car and strapping it down, driving to the lake, getting the board off the car, carrying the 10’ board/paddle/sometimes with the dog to the water, getting it into the water, stepping into the water and getting dirty and wet…

This is not me. But it is a cool paddle boarder enjoying the water.

But I’ve noticed that when I step into the water with my bare feet before I hop on the paddle board, I feel this surge of thrill. A feeling that reminds me of being a child runs through me. I’m excited.

And then I get on the board and I’m off.

Despite the other people in the water paddle boarding and kayaking, it is very calm and peaceful to be on the water. And when you do encounter people, everyone is very nice. It’s a very casual, brief conversation. A brief hello, or a comment on the weather or how cute your dog looks paddle boarding with you, and then they respectfully move on, giving you your space to enjoy your time on the paddle board.

So I’m standing on my board, casually paddling through the water when I ask myself, “Why?” Why does this make me so happy? Continue reading Finding Your Muse

Dristi – Our Point of Focus

There is a saying in mountain biking – at least I’ve heard there is one because I’ve never been on a mountain bike in my life. The saying is, “Where you look, that’s where you’ll go.” The idea is that if you look at the big boulder in front of you that is what you will run into.

I try to use this expression in yoga as well. It is all too easy to look at the floor when you are doing balancing poses in class. Students don’t want to look up because it is harder. But looking up, looking straight ahead is where you need to challenge yourself. It is where you need to look in order to work your mind/body connection. And it is true, that if you are doing dancer and you are looking at the floor, the floor is where you will end up. Furthermore, looking down means collapsing your spine a bit. By looking forward, you are keeping a long, neutral spine. At least in poses like tree.

It is so easy to take short cuts in yoga. Looking at the floor in balancing poses is one of them. But if you look at the floor, you will never fly off the ground. Where you look is so important, there is even a name for it: Drishti. Drishti is the yogic term for where your point of focus is for your eyes. Sometimes it is straight ahead. Sometimes it is up at your hands.

But Drishti is also a metaphor for life. Continue reading Dristi – Our Point of Focus

Yoga is for Everyone!

Eight years ago, I went through yoga teacher training. During that time, I was practicing yoga like a workout. I knew how to meditate before or after class started because of my training in energy healing, but the class itself was not very spiritual. Classes were all about “chaturangas”…

… and “knee to nose” ab workouts.

To be fair, I was in pretty awesome shape during that time. But life moves on.

Many people spend their entire yoga careers practicing with the goal of being physically fit. But, you can do numerous things to become physically fit. Yoga does more than that. Continue reading Yoga is for Everyone!