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

“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?

All About Food

I’ve been thinking a lot about food this week. Which has brought up some revelations and questions.

On Monday night, I taught a workshop on Mindful Eating. (For more information on Mindful Eating, click here.) The whole workshop revolved around the idea of being present while eating. As a society, we like to be distracted while eating. Most of the time it is in the form of a digital screen watching a show or reading social media. Which led me to wonder, “Is food really that boring? So boring that we need to be entertained in some way while eating?”

During the workshop, we practiced mindful eating. Everyone filled their plates with various bits of food to observe. We all took a minute to get centered and grounded, then started to eat. I guided them to first look at the food observing its color, its texture, its smell. They were then guided to take a bite and observe the flavor as well as the texture and sound. From there, everyone proceeded to eat mindfully for another 10 minutes. My conclusion from all of this was:

  • Crunchy food is really noisy.
  • Food isn’t boring.
  • Instead, it was a bit lonely to be eating in silence. Especially in a room full of people.

 

Also on Monday, I started a two week online cleanse called “The Conscious Cleanse.” Click here for more info on The Conscious Cleanse. I participated in this cleanse a couple of years ago. I think it is a brilliant program for many reasons.

First, any diet type can participate. Even if you are vegan or paleo, you can participate. The basis of the program is eating clean – no sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, etc. So, if you are a meat eater, you can eat all the meat you want and if you are vegan you can eat all the beans you want.

Second, the cleanse focuses on being kind to your body. You eat foods in a combination that is easiest to digest. Vegetables easily digest through our bodies, so you may eat vegetables with anything. Meat, grains, nuts and seeds should be eaten separate from each other. The body uses a significant amount of our energy for digestion when eating the traditional American diet. So, the idea is to lighten up the digestion load so the body puts more energy to other functions like releasing toxins and healing.

Finally, you can eat as much as you want. The cleanse is meant to help you become more aware of your cravings and eating habits. They don’t want you to starve yourself.

After a week of being on the cleanse, I have come to a very significant conclusion. Continue reading All About Food

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!

I am the monster. Goo Goo Gajoob!

Since the beginning of the year, I have been trying to walk a new path in my life. A proactive path where I create my own life. If this sounds common, or ridiculous, please know that for a 9 on the Enneagram this is terrifying. As a 9, I like to merge with others. I am comfortable helping people live their lives. Which means, I’m not great on living my own life.

This might seem odd to you coming from me. Me, who took a risk and left the corporate world to become a massage therapist when everyone else told me it was a bad idea. But I’ll let you in on a little secret…sometimes 9s look fear in the face and say, “Don’t care.”

Continue reading I am the monster. Goo Goo Gajoob!

Failure = Success

“What would you do if you knew you would succeed?”

Ever wonder who originally said this? Thanks to Quote Investigator, I discovered the original quote was from Robert H. Schuller, but the wording is different. “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” (If you want to read the whole Quote Investigator article, click here.)

That saying has always put my teeth on edge.

My new-found interest in this saying came about from an awesome yoga class. The teacher, named Jack Cuneo, took this saying and pointed out that it wasn’t very yogic. He said that all of the important growth we have in our lives comes from failure. Jack suggested we flip the phrase for a different, more yogic perspective. “What is worth doing even though you know you might fail?” Continue reading Failure = Success

The Gifts of the Personalities of the Enneagram Series – Type 1 The Reformer

When discussing the Enneagram, we often talk about the struggles of each number. I thought it would be fun to discuss the gifts each number brings to us. In Enneagram wisdom, each number has a strength that society needs. Furthermore, if we were to incorporate all 9 of the personality gifts into our own behavior, we would reach enlightenment. Over time, I’ll be dedicating a blog to each personality.

We’ll start with Enneagram Type 1 – The Reformer.

The Type 1 personality looks at the world with idealism. They see all that is wrong with our world and want to make it a better place. That better place can be within their own family, neighborhood, work place or the country. Of all the personalities, 1s have a strong inner sense of right and wrong. This sense of justice is expected of themselves and of the world around them.

Hence, one of the big gifts Enneagram 1s bring to our world is Integrity. Ones will not expect of others anything they would not expect of themselves. And through this, they walk through the world being what they wished the world would be.

Because of this strong integrity, 1s have a sense of will power stronger than any other number. Once they know what is expected of them, they will work their hardest to fulfill and exceed those expectations. This sense of right and wrong, integrity and will-power makes them the ideal person to have on your team.

Continue reading The Gifts of the Personalities of the Enneagram Series – Type 1 The Reformer

The Devil is in the Details

“The Devil is in the Details” – Problems or difficulties that result from the unforeseen nature of unexamined details. A catch hidden in the details.

Medical gallery of Blausen Medical 2014

Many moons ago, a chiropractor (who will remain anonymous) was trying to adjust my back and did something to my right sacroiliac joint. (To be called “SI joint” from here on out. If you don’t know what the SI joint is, click here.) When the chiropractor did the adjustment, it was very painful and I instantly felt a burning sensation. I went to a yoga class right after and it burned through out class. My SI joint has never been the same.

Over the years, it would get worse and then better. But over the past 3 months, it was just getting worse. I would avoid twists and that would help, but it just wasn’t going away. I finally decided I needed professional help. Continue reading The Devil is in the Details