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Finding Harmony Podcast

Finding Harmony Podcast

By Harmony Slater
What is yoga? How does yoga work? How will it improve my life? How can I deepen my personal practice? What strategies can I use to improve my life, increase my health and create wellness? How can craft a life that I love?
The Finding Harmony Podcast gets to the root of all these questions. Each episode is full of inspiration, humour, honest observations, and actionable steps that you can integrate to enhance your experience of yoga and develop a life you truly love.
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A Rebirthing of Self

Finding Harmony Podcast

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Sixteen years ago Russell called Hamish from Brighton and asked for his much needed help...  “What I am doing wrong, Hamish? I’ve only got 6 students. I don’t know if I can do this.”   Hamish answered with his usual affable enthusiasm, “You’re doing great! 6 students is great!”  That he even took the time to take the call is an example of Hamish’s heart. He really, truly cares for people.   A year later Hamish went to Russell’s wedding in Essex and read this poem there from the Isha Upanishad: “The Lord is enshrined in the hearts of all. The Lord is the supreme Reality. Rejoice in him through renunciation. Covet nothing. All belongs to the Supreme.” This sacred verse describes our beloved international treasure to a tee. Hamish Hendry is a friend to all of us. He’s so effortlessly dedicated to yoga and to the practice itself, that he makes his unearthly personal discipline both seem easily attainable and endlessly enjoyable. He has a mesmerizing and rich intelligence that makes yoga sound like it’s something easily explained down at the pub. And, as Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t really understand it.” What’s clear, is that Hamish most certainly does. He explains yoga, Sanskrit, philosophy, and his innumerable adventures with ease.  Our particularly favorite story was how he recounted being possibly the only person in the universe shot during an Ashtanga yoga practice: “I think I’ve been shot, Derek!” he exclaimed one morning in Greece during his studies with the Man of Bronze, the legendary Derek Ireland. It was a great privilege and pleasure to spend time with Mr. Hendry and we're sure you'll feel as we did, that it all comes to an end much too quickly. We hope you enjoy being a part of our conversation with this unique, humble, and goodhearted man. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HAMISH ASTANGA YOGA LONDON  I   PUSHPAM MAGAZINE  I  INSTAGRAM The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Find out more about HARMONY. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor  free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time.  It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind  support. MAKE A DONATION Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   Leave us a 5★ rating! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from  the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify -  Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:37:20
February 28, 2021
When Miles Smiles
This week we have a really good story for you. Most folks we talk to on the Finding Harmony Podcast seem hell bent on making an interesting life for themselves. Perhaps anytime you sit down with a friend and carefully examine why they are the way they are, their story and life becomes scintillating, effortlessly so, as they are just quite simply unique when being themselves. Sarah Miles, a Hypno-Therapist, an Ashtanga yoga teacher, a Celebrant, and Mortician.  She was also Russell’s apprentice in Brighton. You might hear it in Russell’s accent (as he can’t help himself) — He’s quite impressionable and their meeting came at a formative time for them both. We learned how she likes to directly face and immerse herself in those activities that scare her most, so she can explore and understand why it makes her feel a certain way, and ultimately, overcome that sense of fear or dread. This is, again, the main reason she is great teacher: She has touched the center of fear that this practice can bring up and is able to compassionately guide others through the darkness. We talked about her work as a Hypno-Therapist and the value it has in helping folks visualize through their own suffering, to be with themselves on the mat or otherwise. And of course ultimately, we talked about death. Mortality frightened Sarah and so in her typical fashion, she explored it by becoming a Mortician. She describes the first time she felt the flood of sensation overwhelm her when washing a dead body, and how it eventually became a spiritual ritual which she embraced. And what an enormous privilege it has become to care for the dead, and to help those who’ve lost their loved ones. Sarah is also a Celebrant, who not only walks beside those who are experiencing great loss, but also holds hands with those who are celebrating new life and love, officiating weddings, and helping to join lives together. She is the real salt of the earth - U.K. style - and we think you will find sitting with her to be a delight! FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SARAH MILES YOGA WEBSITE  I  CELEBRANT WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM  I  FACEBOOK The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT HARMONY Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support. MAKE A DONATION Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from  the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify -  Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:13:15
February 21, 2021
Chasing Dragons with Dr. John Campbell
Today’s episode is a lovely heartfelt conversation with an old friend in our Community Treasure, the ever elusive Dr. John Campbell. John did us a valuable kindness in opening the program with a Tibetan prayer for the Dead. It is with a deep sadness that a mentor to Russell and dear friend Eugene Ruffin passed away of CoVid,  shortly before this podcast was recorded. Valentine’s Day is Gene’s Birthday.  So we honor him with this prayer. John, Russell, and Gene founded the Jois Foundation together in 2011 with the hopes of providing under-served children with tools and techniques of yoga to help regulate their lives. Of course the three of them (and Harmony too for that matter) all deeply struggled as children and it wasn’t until they were adults that yoga became available to salve their childhood wound. It is an irony that the damaged are often the best healers. We spoke to John about his life, and how it all fell apart for him as he found himself seeking and using external substances to change the way he felt. And, of course the only way one can truly do that is is to sit and wait it out.  Things move of their own accord, especially if we stop adding twigs to the flame. Certainly pouring gasoline on the fire doesn’t help either. Even after practicing for decades, and finishing Advanced Series in Mysore with Pattabhi Jois, John found himself isolated, studying and writing his Ph.D thesis in Varanasi. Feeling alone, and confused in an alien environment, John found himself attracted to  the darkness… And eventually lost himself in cycle of addiction. After returning to the States he turned to alcohol, once again seeking to alter and change the feelings that were arising to the surface.  He was pulled into the downward spiral of secrecy and shame, hiding his growing addiction. We explored together the mind-body connection in relation to substance use and addiction, gurus, the big Self, and how the practice can create a cycle of chasing dragons.  Often, when we are involved deeply in a physically transformative practice like Ashtanga yoga, we experience deep openings that can leave us feelingly raw, slightly ungrounded, or destabilized. This might make one vulnerable to all kinds of unhealthy habits. In part, the value of the practice boils down to reducing our violent interaction within the world, and learning to cultivate more compassion towards ourselves as well as to others. Hang on until the end because you’ll get the delicious treat of hearing John’s Ashtanga Yoga Origin Story (which is a true delight!). LEARN MORE ABOUT DR. JOHN CAMPBELL INSTAGRAM  I   FACEBOOK The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support. Make a Donation Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from  the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify, simply click Here. 
02:02:24
February 14, 2021
A Rebirthing of Self
On today’s podcast we are extremely delighted to welcome back Bibi Lorenzeti. Bibi came to us with an interesting topic that we were intrigued to explore: What happens to your self of self when you, as a new mother, become two people instead of one? Becoming a mother is often a difficult transition. Especially for women who are dedicated Ashtanga yoga practitioners before becoming pregnant. We gain a beautiful baby, but our bodies go through a very intense process, not only from the nine months of pregnancy, but also through delivery, and also with a sometimes longer than expected period of recovery. Our physical self changes dramatically, and our spiritual, emotional and psychological selves are all undergoing a significant transformation also. If your identity was wrapped up in being an Olympic level athlete and your entire day was absorbed with getting enough rest to combat excess inflammation so that you could improve your practice and perform your asanas again the next day, then it can feel like a bit of a struggle when you are suddenly consumed by the daily activities of feeding, nurturing, observing, and holding a child.  Your main focus suddenly shifts and you’re left with the question: Who Am I Now? Bibi and Harmony describe this process of letting go. Letting go of your idea of who you are, how you feel or look in your body, releasing your imaginary ideal birthing plan, along with any anticipation of how your body might feel after giving birth. They speak to how the practice changed for them and the importance of finding time for yourself. Ashtanga Yoga gives us a set structure; yet, once we become mothers, we have to let go of the structure so the practice becomes then a fluid moving thing. Which any serious practitioner knows is counter-constructive to that growth that comes with an organized and consistent lifestyle. Before pregnancy we tend to use the practice to transcend our current state, to reach some ideal goal, whether it’s enlightenment or fitness or purification. After giving birth, the focus shifts to a more internal space. We practice to find peace, contentment within the present moment, and to hold space for ourselves where we can learn to accept that things can never the same. We must create a place where we, ourselves, can feel nourished internally and cultivate the strength to build ourselves up again.  Harmony and Bibi discuss the inner turmoil of wanting things to be like they used to be, and recognizing that they will never be that way, coming up against obstacles of time, obligations, responsibilities, and fatigue. Yet, here they are, mothers, yogis, businesswomen, and beautiful beings. Bibi  Lorenzetti is a Level 2 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher & Holistic Health Coach, and now a Doula. Harmony Slater is a Certified Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, Life & Wellness Coach, and host of the Finding Harmony Podcast. LEARN MORE ABOUT BIBI: PERSONAL WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM  I  Birth with Bibi  I  ASHTANGA YOGA NEWBURGH The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind  support. Please make a donation and FIND OUT MORE at HARMONYSLATER.COM
01:29:23
February 7, 2021
Life Beyond Power Yoga
Very often our podcasts are a coming together of old friends, conversations which sometimes unravel into talking about something funny, strange, a little bit weird, or “culty,” just like we would be sitting at a chai-stand in Mysore, India. Sometimes though, we call on a person who looms much larger in our minds, a giant in our industry, whose life experience, we know, has fundamentally altered ours; just by the sheer courage of the choices made in their era. Beryl Bender Birch is one of those people. Without her, and without her books, Power Yoga and Beyond Power Yoga, how could we possibly “be here now” doing any kind of yoga at all? Yet, so magically and with great kismet, we find out that Beryl, and others like her, are just like you and I. That they came before us is an accident of birth only. The richness of their experiences mirror our own. Beryl told it like it was, and continues to tell it like is, and we were thrilled to have her acerbic sense of humor and enjoyed her salt-of-the-earth presence. Beryl tells us about meeting, traveling, and meditating with her spiritual guide, Munishree Chitrabhanu, a Jain monk. She also speaks candidly about Pattabhi Jois’ indiscretions while teaching in the classroom, as well as how she began her Ashtanga yoga studies with Norman Allen in NYC. You’ll hear finally, Beryl and Russell recount a time sitting with the Mindful Congressional Rep. Tim Ryan in San Francisco and being publicly harangued for cultural appropriation. With some side bars on the value of mind altering substances, Beryl congratulated Russell on being sterile… ‘a good start,’ she said, ‘on our population and environmental problems.’ This interview is provocative, historical, and sprinkled with a bit of magic. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BERYL BENDER BIRCH WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM  I  FACEBOOK The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support. MAKE A DONATION Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   Leave us a 5★ rating! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from  the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify -  Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:25:21
January 31, 2021
Yoga and Social Activism
If there is one thing we have learned this year it’s that no matter how uncomfortable we are, it’s always better to try and engage in conversation whereby we can learn our neighbor’s perspective. We should, whether it be our Trans or Trumpist family members, attempt to reach deeply into the wound that’s created a particular pattern and find compassion and understanding for hearts, that like our own, experience fear, grief, and pain. To that end, we’ve asked the ebullient Shanna Small onto our program to answer some very personal questions regarding her perspective on multicultural ethnicity and implicit biases. This sincere conversation will leave the listener in a precarious position of having to make different choices. And, these choices can impact one’s very sense of self and identity. Who I am? Where do I fit in? Am I doing enough to subvert white supremacy? How do I take a stand for justice and equality? How do I present myself on social media? Do I eat ice cream or no?  Vegan or vaccinated? Shanna very graciously allowed us a moment to be curious and sincerely engaged in a conversation about MLK Jr. and performative activism, what sits at the heart of ahimsa and social justice; whiteness, ethnicity, gendered language; and her passion for making the practices and teachings of yoga accessible to anyone who wants to learn regardless of age, income, ability, ethnicity, or mobility. If we look naive, we are.  However, we’re deeply grateful to Shanna for her generous spirit and enthusiasm, and for gentle, patient instruction. Shanna has a powerful voice that speaks to our highest truth as human beings. There was a time when the deeply racist phrase “white man’s burden” was acceptable.  Not ever any more. Today, you might say, the “Black Woman’s Burden” is this: Holding our civilization together. Shanna Small is a writer and Yoga teacher who speaks to the intersectionality of yoga and social justice.  She has practiced Ashtanga Yoga and studied the Yoga Sutras since 2001. She has studied in  Ashtanga in Mysore with Sharath Jois and finds joy in making the Ashtanga practice accessible for all. She is a  founding member of Yoga For Recovery Foundation, a non-profit that helps those recovering from addiction, trauma, and systemic oppression. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SHANNA WEBSITE  I INSTAGRAM I YOGA FOR RECOVERY FOUNDATION I Yoga & Social Justice Immersion with Shanna The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case.  If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support. MAKE A DONATION Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   Leave us a 5★ rating!
01:06:43
January 24, 2021
Lost Angels Yoga Club
In our 43rd episode we sit down with Spiros and Erica. On the surface this is an unlikely pair. What is perversely intriguing however, on speaking with these two, is how uniquely suited they are to each other. What shines through their every interaction is intelligence and insight. With every topic we brought up whether it was Los Angeles, the criminal justice system, the State of Ohio, the Tarot, or the Trumpist identity, they brought a profound sense of layered self-aware contextual discernment to their own thoughts, which compassionately penetrated to the heart of each complicated issue. This was truly one of the weirder interviews we’ve ever had the delight to showcase, if only to count the number of times Harmony and Russell were gobsmacked silent by revelations to cultural contexts and deeper meanings uncovered. We delved deep into Erica’s story and learned that she has been practicing yoga since she was a teenager. The practice has been the thread that has stitched together her adult years.  She trained as a social scientist in Medical Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley; and spent over a decade at the intersection of yoga and social justice teaching yoga, mindfulness, meditation, writing and art to incarcerated and at-risk teenage girls in the San Francisco Bay Area where she and Russell worked together on occasion. Spiros is a little harder to nail down. Not because he is Christian, but rather he is reticent and too humble to speak of himself. He is most fascinated by the nature of consciousness and speak eloquently on this subject, in addition to examining the culture and context of language, thoughts, and pretty much everything. We did learn that he began studying yoga and consciousness in his teens and initiated a diligent daily practice in 1993 in Taos, NM, under the tutelage of a Western Magickal group focused on yoga, breathwork, meditation, and chanting. During this time he used psychedelics to steer explorations, discovery, and reality. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SPIROS & ERICA WEBSITE  I  ALMANAC  I  INSTAGRAM  I  FACEBOOK  I  TWITTER The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation.  Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   Leave us a 5★ rating! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:38:01
January 17, 2021
The Mayor of Mysore
Every once in a while on this show we like to pull the blinds down (or the pull the curtain away) and show you what it really sounds like at the Chai Stand gossiping on Gokulum High Street in India. Tim Feldmann is hilarious (unfortunately for him not quite Jewish) and shares a very similar sense of humor to Russell. The two of them create their own little giggling world together and we are delighted to share this hour exploring Tim’s life with you! Tim appears to be a Dane. He comes from a nice, boring, Danish town that is unpronounceable to North Americans (believe us, we tried!) and he is a shining an example of how good and wonderful a boy can grow up to be when raised with loving parents. Tim is full of charm, and unlike most of our guests, had a childhood free of trauma or other secondary causalities. He became a dancer as he loved movement and was an energetic child, who had a fabulous mother that encouraged him in every way. His father, despite being an engineer, was astonished that his son got paid to work as a dancer in Australia, and thus, supported his dream wholeheartedly. However, after a fall of some 6 stories down a mountainside cliff, Tim found himself finally having to change things up and discovered yoga as an avenue for self healing.  You do sometimes have to hit rock bottom, and in Tim’s case, that was quite literal. Tim found that Ashtanga Yoga was a unique and interesting form and pursued it with hungry passion every since his first introduction. He was set on the yoga path by his first teacher Lino Miele and was Authorized to teach directly by the founder of the Ashtanga Yoga Method, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and his grandson, R. Sharath Jois. Tim’s humorous, straight forward yet profound teaching style makes him a cherished teacher in the Ashtanga yoga lineage, traveling extensively throughout Asia,  Australia, Europe and the Americas. He also founded the Miami Life Center with his wife Kino MacGregor, which continues to expand to this day! FIND OUT MORE ABOUT TIM FELDMANN WEBSITE  I   INSTAGRAM  I  MIAMI LIFE CENTER The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support. Make A Donation Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   Leave us a 5★ rating! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from  the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify -  Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:33:02
January 10, 2021
When Love Comes To Light
For the New Year and for the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius that it seems we’ve now fully entered… We have done the impossible for you! We’ve nailed down the spinning melodic kites that are Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor. What is truly incredible about these two is their enormous sense of self-awareness to the fishbowl world in which we all live. They know themselves and they see you, seeing them, and within this awareness Love comes to light. They become (as one of Richard’s books suggests) “The Mirror of Yoga.” It’s deeply uncomfortable to be human and to know our own weaknesses; yet, they manage to emanate grace and compassion throughout the kaleidoscopic lens of their lives. And in turn it reflects back on ours… Because, sitting next to someone— ‘Upana’ is how we learn. And we are able to raise our own vibration simply by being near these two souls. Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968, beginning with  one  simple sitting posture in the Zen tradition. He spent nine years in Asia studying yoga asana, Sufism, Sanskrit language, and Indian  philosophical texts; contextualizing them within the turbulent political times of that period in history. In 1974 Richard began working with B.K.S. Iyengar, with whom he studied precise alignment principles,  applying them to his own internally rooted experience of the forms.  Drawing from this variety of contemplative traditions, and from Buddhism, in which he cultivates a deep interest, Richard teaches the Ashtanga Vinyasa method of yoga as taught by his principal teacher, the  late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India Mary tells us about developing an eating disorder during her time in College, which led her to embrace the culinary arts as a way of mastering the beast that is anorexia, through food itself.  With both Richard and Mary we discus at length our Ashtanga Yoga culture and the pitfalls. We believe that you will find this hour with them as fascinating and engrossing as we did. Somehow time in their presence is never enough. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT RICHARD FREEMAN & MARY TAYLOR WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM  I  FACEBOOK The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. DONATE NOW Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   Leave us a 5★ rating! We love to read and respond to your comments - So drop us a note in the comments below and give us a shout out on IG! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:21:30
January 3, 2021
David Swenson: Surf and Turf
David Swenson is someone in the Ashtanga yoga circle who needs no introduction. He began his journey of Yoga in 1969 when he and his brother Doug were arrested for stretching in a small park at the end of their street in Houston, Texas. There were few sources for yoga at that time so they practiced from whatever books they could find. He tells us about how he met David Williams and Nancy Gilgoff in Encinitas, CA in 1973 following in brother’s spiritual yoga-surf journey. This naturally flowed into making a trip to Mysore, India, in 1977 to study directly with Pattabhi Jois, after subbing classes for David and Nancy in Maui.  We ask David about the behind the scenes of writing his book and making The Practice videos, from which he became recognized as one of the world's foremost practitioners and instructors of Ashtanga yoga. We ask some questions about his early experiences with the practice, and the reason why he continues to practice yoga each day, even after 50 years! David has been traveling and teaching workshops around the world for the past 30 years, and he is a genius for making the practice accessible to all levels. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT DAVID SWENSON WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM  I  FACEBOOK The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   Leave us a 5★ rating! We love to read and respond to your comments - So drop us a note in the comments below and give us a shout out on IG! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:25:21
December 27, 2020
Becoming Whole
In the decades that followed the Korean War, over 250,000 Korean children were sent abroad, to be adopted by foreigners, for many reasons, but most prominently was the incredible weight of economic hardship facing these parents, and all of South Korea during those years. It is referred to as the Han Diaspora. Born in Daegu, South Korea to Korean parents, Hojung was given up for adoption at a very young age. She was adopted and raised by Flemish-Belgian parents in Europe, who, shortly after her adoption, moved to Madison, Wisconsin. And although she’s traveled extensively all over the world, and speaks several languages fluently, Hojung reveals that she has never truly felt like she belonged to any people, place, country, or nationality. Her initial introduction to yoga, as you’ll hear, was astonishingly cathartic. At the age of 16, she discovered Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, which led her to explore various Hatha Yoga traditions for the next 10 years, before beginning Mysore-style Ashtanga Yoga in 1999 in New York City, with Guy Donahaye. Hojung shares with us her incredible story about her personal search for identity and meaning. And her eventual somewhat tragic reunification with her birth parents. You can listen to a full account of her adoption story on a podcast episode recorded back in December 2018, on a podcast called: ADAPTED. We spoke also of the emotional concept called “Han” in Korean, which refers to a deep nearly indescribable feeling of sorrow, melancholy, or grief that seems to be an essential element of Korean identity.  A feeling Hojung felt her whole life, without being able to give it a name, until she began returning to her motherland, and reunited with her birth family between the years 2012-2017.  Hojung mentions a Korean film, Seopyeonje, where the story indirectly depicts this Han quality to the viewers. Hojung’s own story forces us to ask deeply profound questions like: What happens when your spiritual practices are unable to nourish you during a time of crisis? Where do you turn? What do you do? In this extra long Holiday Special, we are taken through an incredible journey of self-discovery.  We catch glimpses into how culture works to construct one’s identity, and how yoga can work to heal deeply unconscious wounds, when we become present to what’s arising. Hojung’s story is a deeply moving and emotional journey, where we are given the opportunity to come face to face with the reflection of our own self. Grab a warm cup of chai because this is one episode that will touch your heart and open your mind. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT hojung BROKEN WHOLE  I  WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation.  Listen to Opening & Closing music on Spotify Here.
01:57:52
December 20, 2020
Ashtanga Yoga Chile: In Living Colour
We sat down with our close friend Loreto Cortés recently. Russell asked her what it was like living in Chile during Pinochet and fascism. (Something that has been on his mind recently). Loreto said of that time in her childhood that: “In that time everything lacked colour. After Pinochet our world became brighter and filled with light.” We probed Loreto and her experience as an activist, artist, and yogi. We were fascinated by her universe. Loreto is an actor and as such she can reach her emotions easily. She lifts them and throws them up into the sky for us all to see like a kaleidoscopic prayer to the One True Goddess: the River of Time. We hear about one of her interactions with a manifestation of the Three Fates, who came in the form of a visiting stranger, traveling through Chile, who introduced her to Ashtanga yoga, right in her living room. And in that moment she knew that this is what she would do in her life. Soon after she happened to meet Paramaguru R. Sharath Jois, in Santiago, he handed her a business card (which she still has) and so like this in the dream time, the mountain girl came to Mysore. And, there she felt at home again. Now 49 years old, Loreto reflects back on her years of practice and the early days when she opened the first fully dedicated Ashtanga Yoga Shala in Santiago, Chile, 20 years ago. We are so delighted to share her radiant life and story with you. Loreto was the first Chilean authorized by KPJAYI, becoming a benchmark for Ashtanga Yoga in Chile and South America. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT LORETO & ASHTANGA YOGA CHILE WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM  I ASHTANGA YOGA CHILE The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support. MAKE A DONATION Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   Leave us a 5★ rating! We love to read and respond to your comments - So drop us a note in the comments below and give us a shout out on IG! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:16:09
December 13, 2020
Moon Yoga
Today it is our distinct honor and pleasure to introduce Sharon Moon. This is a one of Russell’s most revered friends, colleagues, his mentor, and teacher. Russell met Sharon in 1998 when he was 23 years old (younger than her grandchildren are now). Sharon was instrumental in pushing Russell towards studying the traditional method of Ashtanga Yoga in a real Mysore Room in NY. She has an enormous heart and has guided him over the years in his decisions. Sharon tells us about studying with David on the second floor of the the first Whole Foods Store in Austin, Texas in 1993! Sharon shares with us an incredible story of her first harrowing marriage to an abuser, her subsequent unwanted pregnancies, what an illegal abortion was like in the 60’s, and how she made it out alive.  Her next husband died in a tragic car crash that she witnessed firsthand. She spent the next chapter of her life getting strong, real strong, and cultivating deep inner healing on every level. She recounts meeting Swami Satchidananda, her initiation into Paramahansa Yogananda’s Self Realization Fellowship, and attaining a double Black Belt in Taekwondo. Sharon shares with us some of her experiences during her travels to Mysore, the UK, and Taiwan. But one of the most meaningful years of her life was the one she spent in the Kibera Settlements of Nairobi, Kenya, working for Russell as a yoga teacher, training new indigenous yoga teachers, and teaching 10,000 children a week. Something that Manju Jois, upon visiting her in Nairobi, catalyzed him to award her an Ashtanga Yoga Authorization on the spot. Sharon is an interesting duality, a Texan, Jewess, street fighter, and a deeply maternal great-grandmother full of a giant well of loving kindness.  We think you’ll enjoy this trip. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT SHARON ON HER WEBSITE The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support.  YES! I WANT TO MAKE A DONATION Don’t forget to leave a review!  ❤  And a 5★ Rating! We love to read and respond to your comments - So drop us a note in the comments below and give us a shout out on IG! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:22:49
December 6, 2020
Rogue Yogi: Escaping Samsara
We are delighted to share with you a conversation with our fellow podcaster Nathan Thompson: Poet, Journalist, Buddhist Practitioner, and self-taught Ashtangi, as well as the host of the Escaping Samsara Podcast. Nathan is a peculiar sort of Englishman. In that he is entirely self made. He seems to have created a career for himself by weaving together a colorful tapestry, in the way that Americans used to (or were assumed to have done in the old days). The English, as Russell will tell you, have the distinct notoriety of being quite class bound. Karl Marx himself said there was no nation more bound for revolution than Great Britain, or words to that effect. And yet, that is exactly what Mr. Thompson has done in remaking himself. He grew up near London, surprisingly in an Evangelical Christian culture, with many other thousands in his familial community to gather in   the happy-clappy spirit. However, coming down from these singularly peak experiences was humiliating in its own way. Russell pointed out that it resembled Peter Gabriel’s annunciation in Solsbury Hill.  How do we live in the meantime?  How do we just fold laundry after all that? Subsequently, in his teens Nathan tumbled headfirst down the deep tunnel of drug use and sank into a pattern of addiction. After a decade of darkness, he found his feet again through the practice of Vipassana Meditation in the lineage of S.N Goenka, a tradition that both he and Harmony share a connection with. Nathan again forged his own path creating a career as a traveling Poet,  which helped propel him on his ongoing spiritual quest to taste the nectar of pure, eternal, unadulterated bliss: the kind of thing you can fold laundry with. A friend asked him to teach English and so you will hear how he moved to Cambodia with a nonprofit organization, and found himself living in a Buddhist Monastery. Here wildly, out of this little hut, he flourished as a Journalist and head of the Foreign Press Club of Cambodia. Likewise, Nathan, taught himself the Ashtanga yoga practice in an idiosyncratic way, watching videos and trying all the postures from a single series all at one time. We touch upon the differences between being self-taught as a practitioner in this tradition verses having a teacher who will give you a pose and guide your practice, and how the desire to accumulate postures can become an addiction in itself. One of Nathan’s favourite interviews on his podcast is with Ajahn Achalo, an Australian Buddhist monk living in Northern Thailand, who emphasizes the importance of cultivating Metta Meditation, so that you can call upon loving kindness whenever you need to. FOLLOW Nathan & the Escaping Samsara podcast INSTAGRAM   I   WEBSITE The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support.  
01:20:45
November 29, 2020
Yoga and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
It’s American Thanksgiving this Thursday and we have so much to be grateful for. This conversation with Samantha Lucas reminds us all just how much we tend to take for granted every day and how an entire life can be forever altered within mere seconds. From polyglot to major (major league) baseball fan to motorcycle enthusiast, Samantha Lucas has a plethora of interests that have taken her on adventures across the globe. Her Ashtanga yoga practice though, never became more valuable than when she was laying in a hospital bed, face to face with a questionable future of whether she would ever be able to physically practice again. In the summer of 2016 Samantha suffered a catastrophic accident, losing her right leg below the knee. Nonetheless, Samantha has continued to practice and teach Mysore style Ashtanga yoga, finding strength and balance throughout the trauma and recovery. Depression was something that she had always struggled with; and yet, we heard the voice of someone who was completely focused on the process of recovery. A process that informs how she continues to seek improvement in her practice to this day. Her philosophy is that this practice is for everyone and through daily, consistent practice, everyone can grow and find strength no matter what challenges one might face. She believes that yoga is experiential and one can only grow through taking action. Truly focusing on the process of 'work without attachment to success or failure' is what Krishna advises Arjuna to attune his mind to when he  becomes paralyzed with despair seeing the battle before him. Samantha’s personal approach to Ashtanga yoga as a vital practice with this same vision is an inspiration for all of us to keep facing our own struggles, no matter what obstacles we face. Something Samantha refers to as  “inspiration porn.”  We think you will be delighted listening to this incredibly upbeat Lady, who has a world of experience and hard-earned wisdom to share. FOLLOW SAMANTHA LUCAS INSTAGRAM The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   Leave us a 5★ rating! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from  the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify -  Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:23:37
November 22, 2020
Music Is The Space Between Sound
This week we had the pleasure of sitting with one of our oldest friends,  Andrew Hillam.  It is always a surprising thing to chat in public and  this conversation was no different. We expected that Russell and Andrew  would slide into familiar scatological tropes but instead Andrew’s  insular and introspective nature shined through. We had a "quiet is the new loud" type of conversation with him on topics such as raising children in India, cooking in the flow state, and the comparison of playing music and chanting the shastras.  Something that Andrew says creates a peculiar vibration in his skull. If you’ve had the pleasure of tasting Andrew Hillam’s idlis then you know he has a special talent for cooking Indian food. However, that is not his only interest... Andrew is fascinated with all kinds of aspects of Indian culture. Besides being a Certified Advanced A Ashtanga Yoga teacher in the Mysore stye, he was a classical guitarist, who had previously pursued a PhD in immunology. if you can believe it!  (He recommends wearing a mask by the way). Andrew is eccentric in his obsessively charming pursuit of perfection. For Andrew, diving deeply into Sanskrit chanting filled a space for musical expression and his love of sound. It contains both a devotional and philosophical layer that connects chanting to the practice of yoga.  Chanting helps Andrew clear his subtle energy channels and increase that Sattvic quality (purity) within. Finding Ananta (infinity) in the space of the center of the heart, which is a birth place of sound and filled with the substance of bliss. The Mantra rises up from our awakened center. This was the profound heart of our conversation, learning that Andrew believes it is the friction between consciousness and matter that creates reality. Thus, music or chanting, is an opportunity to resolve the inherent conflict of our manifest reality. Yoga, says Andrew, is about relationship. God is what exists in all relationships, that’s where God lives between people. The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:11:34
November 15, 2020
Développés with Shelley Washington
In Ballet, the term développé means to "unfold," or  open outwards in a  “developing movement.” In this episode we sit down with Shelley Washington where she gracefully unfolds different aspects of her journey. When you are in Shelley’s presence you feel you are sitting with a star.  Someone who is deeply reflective and her essence shines through in every way. We were also love crushed by her in Mysore, India, even more so, because of her enormous heart and generosity towards us. In this episode, we spoke about what it means to be a star and how her remarkable career unfolded quite organically.  Shelley touches upon how her parents and grandparents made conscious personal sacrifices to create opportunities for their children, knowing that growing up in America would mean being marginalized as an African Americans. She shares with us some of her experiences growing up in a military family in American during the 1950’s and 60’s and the incredible grit she cultivated, which sent her soaring onward to receive some of the highest accolades one can attain within the world of dance. She also shares with us how the practice of Ashtanga yoga shifted the way she now teaches choreography to other dancers. At the age of 45, after a stunning career as a world class modern dancer, where she would train for 8-10 hours a day, Shelley accidentally ends up in a yoga class, and has to find an entirely new way to relate to her body and approach this new physical discipline.  How her practice has evolved over the past 20 years will surprise you! Read more about Shelley Washington on my website: HARMONYSLATER.COM  The Finding Harmony Podcast is hosted, edited and produced by Harmony Slater and co-hosted by Russell Case. A big heart of thanks to our friends, family, and students from around the world, who’ve generously supported this podcast through your comments, sharing, and financial donations. Your contributions have allowed us to keep our podcast ad and sponsor free. Creating, editing and producing each episode takes a lot of time. It is a labor of love. And would not be possible without your kind support. If you’ve enjoyed today’s podcast, please consider supporting our future episodes by making a donation. Every little bit goes a long way and we are immensely grateful for any and all of your support. DONATE NOW Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   And give us a 5★ rating! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:11:33
November 8, 2020
The Only Way Out Is In
Whether it’s politics, pandemics, protests, or Ashtanga yoga, we’re all unavoidably immersed within a world of duality, or maya, meaning illusion, and it’s a game we cannot truly escape. Yoga however, teaches us to move through our lives as gracefully as possible, accepting the positive and negative, the accolades and losses, while rebalancing and reclaiming our sense of inner equanimity. We speak to Prem and Radha Carlisi, who speak to us about their personal history and how they’ve grown into the people they are today, and some of the events and circumstances that shaped their positions within our global Ashtanga yoga community. Prem and Radha very graciously spoke to us about their decisions to change their birth names, and introduced us to the story of their lives. What shines through their epic hero’s journey is how to come terms with tragedy and disappointment.  We spoke about the illusion of legitimacy… What can be seen as “the Game.” Fear is our greatest controller.  And understanding that we are all afraid… Afraid of loss, afraid of humiliation, afraid of the future; yet, when we choose to face and interact with these myriad situations we choose to get on the court and play the game. Radha spoke to us about the disappointment she felt about being caught between two worlds that were growing further apart. Finding herself located somewhere between the “old school” and the “new school” these factions within the global community ultimately lead her to rescind her listing on Sharath’s “official list,” after her husband (and Certified teacher) was excluded from the updated listing of recognized teachers in 2018. We are not the physical body, but we are so attached to it, and nothing demonstrates our attachments to this human birth more than losing something or someone we love. Prem, like anyone who has lived a full and adventurous life reaching the age of 65, has experienced several losses throughout his life, but nothing can compare to the awful, unexpected loss of his daughter. Prem shares with us his profoundly moving story about how the practice saved his life, and not only allowed him to forgive, but to befriend the one who was at the helm when the devastating accident took place. LEARN MORE ABOUT PREM & RADHA WEBSITE   I  INSTAGRAM   I   RADHA ON IG   I   FACEBOOK   I   DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY OF PREM’S BOOK Don't miss out on downloading my free Yoga-Mythology e-book! Click HERE to get your copy!  Be sure to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤  And give us a 5★ rating! We love to read and respond to your comments - So drop us a note in the comments below and give us a shout out on IG! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:28:02
November 1, 2020
The Art of Yoga
The Chinese have a curse “May you be blessed to live in interesting times.” Today we spoke with Timothy Lynch, an artist, father, philosopher, husband, activist, and deeply connected human being.  One thing we could all agree on was that these were certainly “interesting times!” Timothy Lynch spoke to us about the personal sacrifice he made.  Like in a giant cyclical wheel, the bubble of energy expanded… Ashtanga Yoga was triumphant and golden at the turn of the millennium, and all things seemed to arise and live inside of her as within Krishna’s cosmic bosom. Then, a decade after the death of Pattabhi Jois, the bubble exploded in the wake of #metoo. The chintzy shine was tarnished. The “now” big boss was humbled and, controversially, avoiding the proverbial elephant in the room. And, it was at this point that Timothy felt propelled to sacrifice his place within the lineage, and walk away from the official “authorized list” of recognized teachers. A very sincere and conscious choice, a stance taken as a personal protest to authoritarianism. "We were all punks first," Timothy said. And so he reminded us of our punk ethos when he took his name away. Throughout our conversation with Timothy, we were reminded of what Krishna says during his last teachings to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita: sarva dharmaan parityajya maamekam sharanam vraja    aham twaa sarvapaapebhyo mokshayishyaami maa shuchah  (BG 18.66) “Completely relinquish all forms of dharma, come to me as your only shelter. I shall grant you freedom from all misfortune — do not despair!” Timothy received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in Painting in NY and quickly became a gallery assistant at the world renowned (actually) Pace Wildenstein Gallery.  In the midst of this quite intense little job, which he describes as being akin to an emergency medical technician for paintings he came to Yoga. We touched upon the ephemeral quality of the asana practice and how it can be seen as making art with your body, like dance or music, it appears and then it’s gone. “Love is being able to see the qualities in someone else that they can’t see in themselves, and as a Mysore teacher it’s our job to support individuals to grow into a space where they can see themselves for who they truly are. “ Timothy publicly renounced his Authorization and liberated his consciousness to continue practicing on his own terms. We’re all in this together and love is what will get us through in the end. LEARN MORE ABOUT TIMOTHY WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM Find out more about Harmony Slater on her WEBSITE and join her Online Inside Membership. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤  And give us a 5★ rating!
01:19:28
October 25, 2020
A Round Table on The Advanced Practice
When we’re at home, most of us practice with a different intensity than we do in Mysore, whether it turns out to be more or less postures is another story. We spent an afternoon discussing what this looks like and why we do what we do with power couple Kate O’Donnell and Rich Ray from Ashtanga Yoga Portland Maine.  We talked about Advanced Asanas and our relationship to them both personally, as well as collectively. The first aspect we discussed is what sacrifices a person must make to practice Advanced Series on a regular basis, and barring those sacrifices, what then is Yoga and what is it for? Not all people can do these complex advanced postures. And yet, all people can practice Yoga. We discussed how exploring the minutia within a single posture can allow for the time and space to fully examine oneself within a posture, and how using asanas as benchmarks creates hierarchies of status (for better or worse). One thing we all seemed to agree upon is that all aspects of the body and mind can be examined in Surya Namaskar. Even simply examining your tongue might be enough to send your consciousness to other planes of reality. Rich Ray has been practicing meditation and yoga for over 20 years. He trained as a resident monk for 4 years at a silent monastery. He taught yoga and meditation at state prisons in California and New Hampshire and started a meditation program at a women’s county jail in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the director of Ashtanga Yoga Portland Maine. WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM Kate O’Donnell is the author of three Ayurvedic Cookbooks, including The Everyday Ayurveda Guide to Self-Care, The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook: A Seasonal Guide to Eating and Living Well and Everyday Ayurvedic Cooking for a Calm, Clear Mind: 100 Sattvic Recipes. She is a nationally certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and the founder of the Ayurvedic Living Institute. WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM Harmony Slater is a Certified Ashtanga Yoga Teacher, who has been teaching in the Mysore method for close to  20 years. Harmony is a strong presence in the Ashtanga community worldwide having founded two Yoga Schools in Canada. She has shared her experiences with the practice, pregnancy and childbirth in the books: ‘Yoga Sadhana for Mothers’ and ‘Strength and Grace: A collection of Essays by Women of Ashtanga Yoga.’ WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM Russell Case was the Founding Director of the Stanford Mysore Program for the last ten years. Prior to this he was the founder of the largest Mysore program in East Asia from 2005-2010, while living in Taipei, Taiwan. Since then Russell was project manager for the Jois Foundation collaborating with the child psychiatry team at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford University in undertaking the largest and most comprehensive longitudinal study on the effect of mindfulness and yoga on school age children in history. Currently he is focused on cultivating a robust career as a painter because yolo. WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM
01:30:36
October 18, 2020
On The Other Side of Darkness with Todd Boman
We were blessed today to catch up with our dear friend Todd Boman.  Todd and Russell were both born in the Pontiac Memorial Hospital in the 70’s. Probably right along side Madonna Ciccone, a neighbor.  Todd has a unique story to share. Growing up in Michigan as a young gay male is its own peculiar hellscape. He understood immediately (and by that I mean junior high school) that being gay in the 80’s and 90’s likely meant death from HIV/AIDS.  Surviving the darker side of this AIDS crisis in America was fraught with escapist behavior and that became yet another damned issue to try and survive.   Todd is here to tell you it gets better. The best thing you can have is good friends and mentors to teach you how to Live and Love. “Yoga is having the skills to put your life into action.” - Todd Boman We touched on themes of Addiction, Crisis, Recovery, Yoga, Mysore, and his particular fascination with Chicago Folk Designer Edgar Miller. “You are never alone, even though you might feel like it.”  Todd’s message to all of us managing addiction and mental health issues. LEARN MORE ABOUT TODD MYSORE CHICAGO  I  PERSONAL IG  I  MYSORE CHICAGO IG Find Harmony and download your free yoga-mythology e-book HERE Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤  And give us a 5★ rating! We love to read and respond to your comments - So drop us a note in the comments below and give us a shout out on IG! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:14:48
October 11, 2020
Grass Roots with Robert Moses
We were absolutely blown away when Robert Moses related the current pandemic of the Coronavirus to a powerful transformative goddess, Ma Corona Devi. In this way, we most certainly felt like it was a blessing of the Mother Goddess Corona Devi, that this esteemed teacher of yoga, Robert Moses, came on our podcast to share with us personal stories from his incredible lifetime on the spiritual path. Starting with being born in South Africa into a Jewish family, growing up during apartheid, to traveling through Europe in the 60’s on an architectural tour in a secondhand VW bus plastered with Lakshmi posters, and moving to Israel to become a renunciate Swami with the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Organization. He was first introduced to the method of Ashtanga yoga, as taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois, by the pioneer Norman Allen, in 1982. Norman had called him gruffly out of the blue, after twelve years of living in India. The rules of the Sivananda “Yoga Ranch” were that Robert was to teach Norman, until it became clear that Norman had something different to teach Robert. Robert began practicing with Norman in a small loft in NYC, along with another pioneer, Beryl Bender-Birch, who was learning this novel style of asana — something that was completely foreign to North America at the time. Robert Moses was the first person to show Derek Ireland Surya Namaskara, which started him on his journey to Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, and Derek in turn, taught John Scott and Hamish Hendry, propagating the Asthanga yoga community in Europe. Robert Moses shares with us the wisdom he’s learned about holding strong to the middle path, staying true to oneself, and connecting to something greater. I’m sure you will find this interview as historically fascinating and personally enlightening as we did. If you are interested in joining Robert Moses for one of his Pranayama Classes, his course on Vedanta or Hatha Yoga, he will be beginning a new session of classes THIS WEEK! Find all the details on his website. FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ROBERT MOSES WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM  I  FACEBOOK FOLLOW SATYA MOSES ON INSTAGRAM & PURCHASE HER CREATIONS FROM HER WEBSITE Find out more about Harmony Slater and Russell Case and their upcoming offerings at harmonyslater.com and download my free e-book on Yoga Mythology.  Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤ Give us a 5★ rating! We love to read and respond to your comments - So drop us a note in the comments below and give us a shoutout on IG! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:29:09
October 4, 2020
Can't Cheat Karma
Harmony and Russell are at heart amateur archivists of the emerging yoga punk scene that grew up in the heart of Generation X. For us Lisa Schrempp embodies everything that is cool about how we did things. Angry, disaffected, latchkey kids, having to make dinner by ourselves; we made everything in our world by hand because no one else was around. That’s punk. And that is Lisa Schrempp to a T. Lisa was a 17 year old human gazelle and modern dancer in Chicago. She received a scholarship to dance with the Alvin Ailey dance company, so she left Chicago and took off to the East Village Alphabet city (Needle Village), finding odd jobs, like working as a bartender, to help pay the bills. She didn’t take any shit and partied hard -- living the way she wanted. Eventually, she found her way to a 10 AM yoga class, (although 10 AM was a little early for her) and found herself practicing next a couple of sincere seekers: David Life and Sharon Gannon. Through her journey of over 35 years, in the ancient sciences of yoga and Ayurveda, Lisa found what she was searching for all along. “If I’m prepared for the world, I can be a healing balm.” - Lisa Schrempp Lisa walks us through her NY story and so much more in our podcast called “Can’t Cheat Karma.” Hear her thoughts on Gurus, Cancel Culture, Yoga Scandals, and the importance of the weekly oil bath,  she weaves a beautiful lesson of how we each have our own Karma to live out and how it effects our behaviors, but also gives us agency in the world to change our actions.  Find out more about Lisa Scrempp: WEBSITE   I  INSTAGRAM Join us for our Online Autumn Retreat October 2-4. Where I will be joined by Russell Case, Lara Land and Thimo Wittich. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤   And give us a 5★ rating! We love to read and respond to your comments - So drop us a note in the comments below and give us a shout out on IG! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:24:15
September 27, 2020
Ashtangorexia Nervosa
Bibi Lorenzetti is (obvious to anyone who meets her) a star. We are  absolutely delighted to have her on the podcast.  But one thing you will find, as Madonna put it, when you are a star there is probably something  wrong with you. And, like Russell and Harmony, Bibi shares body dysmorphia and has suffered with anorexia nervosa. The urgency to “progress” at the physical side of the yoga practice, often comes at the expense of one’s health, which is traced more deeply to an old feeling of insecurity. We talk about these issues, as well as the lengths we have gone to combat this insidious genetic disease, and how we have found healing from it as well. Bibi discusses her transient childhood, arriving in Houston from Italy, with zero English language as a 10 year old. This was followed by a move to Spain as a 16 year old, where her body blossomed and her anorexia exploded. Eventually, after many years, she settled into a place of health and healing through her relationship to Barbara Verrochi and Kristen Leigh at the Yoga Shala in NY, where she dedicated herself to the practice of Ashtanga yoga. Bibi, very honestly discusses how even at the height of her powers in the Ashtanga yoga practice, while finishing Third Series, the dreaded "Ashtangorexia" continued to haunt her as she contemplated having a child. It never really fully disappears… but we can learn to see it for what it is, a negative thought pattern. Her decision to mindfully and consciously sacrifice herself to motherhood is an inspiration. And all of the lessons and awakenings that have come from allowing this new transformation to organically unfold has truly been a gift beyond anything she could have imagined. Bibi  Lorenzetti is a Level 2 Authorized Ashtanga Yoga Teacher & Holistic Health Coach. She received her blessing to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2014,  from the KPJAYI Institute in Mysore, India, where she has had the honor  of assisting R. Sharath Jois multiple times over the years. She taught  at the Shala Yoga House in New York City for over 6 years and is now the  owner of her own Shala in Newburgh, NY: Ashtanga Yoga Newburgh (AYNBNY). Bibi has been featured in Glamour Magazine, and in the Netflix Michael O'Neill documentary 'On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace.'   LEARN MORE ABOUT BIBI: PERSONAL WEBSITE  I  INSTAGRAM  I  ASHTANGA YOGA NEWBURGH Join us for our online AUTUMN YOGA RETREAT October 2-4. Where I will be joined by Russell Case, Lara Land and Thimo Wittich. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤  And give us a 5★ rating! We love to read and respond to your comments - So drop us a note in the comments below and give us a shout-out on IG! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:11:39
September 20, 2020
Yoga and the Art of Porsche Maintenance
We had the great pleasure to interview our good friend, partner of Harmony’s dear friend Lara Land, the amazing Thimo Wittich. What strikes people about Thimo is his wonderful kindness and good humor. He is very much a sadhaka, like Rolf Naujokat and Swami Agehananda—all Good Germans. Ultimately, just good people that seek to heal the world through mindfulness practice. Thimo sat and discussed a wide range of topics with us: The Ancient Catholic Carnival of his home town Cologne “Köln”, the anti-religious upbringing he shared with his widowed mother, and the ethics of being a Good Porsche owner.  Throughout all of this he seeks to bring Bhavana—the cultivation or “bringing into being” of mindfulness to all aspects of his life, including how he cares for his baby daughter, Hannah. “We are cultivating all the time, bringing things into being.” He says. You must create a clear intention in what you want to cultivate and use Metta — loving-kindness, as a practice to help heal our brokenness as individuals in society and as a global community. As a Jew, Russell was initially very apprehensive about even having a German on the show.  (This is very much tongue in cheek!) We did, however, ask of Thimo on how we, as Americans, can learn from the racist upheaval of Post-War Germany and what was it like for Lara’s old German-Jewish family to bring Thimo in their lives and vice versa.  These very personal topics are approached from a spirit of true curiosity and with much mutual love. Peel Back The Layers with our Autumn Retreat October 2-4. Join myself, Russell Case, Lara Land and Thimo Wittich for our AUTUMN YOGA RETREAT ONLINE. Thimo  Wittich is a writer, publisher and a yoga and mindfulness meditation teacher. He has been studying Yoga and Buddhism for over 13 years. His main field of interest is the study of the Dharma as found in the earliest Buddhist texts and the transmission of these valuable teachings into this day and age. Thimo  has taught Meditation and Yoga at Land Yoga and assisted his teacher at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. Thimo is the co-founder and editor of evidero.de a German online magazine for a conscious, sustainable and healthy lifestyle. This fall he is teaching an online Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course for Land Yoga as well as a social distant, limited enrollment in person MBSR course at Streamside Yoga. He is also leading daily meditation and a special course on early Buddhism for our online Autumn Peel Back the Layers Yoga Retreat. For further information about his schedule please see his website.  Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from  the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify -  Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:08:30
September 13, 2020
Kiki Says It All
From her early origins in a full Opus Dei Catholic school in England to landing the part of Ariel Sharon the Israeli stripper in the blockbuster movie Striptease to becoming a leading figure in the Ashtanga yoga community and now holding the Guinness World Record for the longest held downward facing dog,  Kimberly “Kiki” Flynn has lived a fantastical life. As student of Lee Strasburg’s “Method” School of Acting in NYC, she also began learning Kundalini yoga in 1982. Shortly afterward, she was recruited by the CIA for her linguistic skills (the first of three attempts). Kiki became a student and teacher of Ashtanga yoga in the early 90s at Jivamukti Yoga. Shortly after Sri K. Pattabhi Jois came to visit on at teaching tour in 1993, she made her way to Mysore and quickly became the Doyenne of an ever growing group of new students who continued to gather year after year to learn from Pattabhi Jois. She was our personal Sanskrit tutor and guide to all things culturally appropriate in India. Ms. Flynn presciently opened her first yoga school in chic Silverlake, Los Angeles in 1996. She has since led workshops and events throughout North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. As a wellness coach and private yoga teacher, her clients include Oscar and Grammy award winners, Pop Queens and crowned royalty. Kiki also creates transformational yoga programming for individuals and  communities with Multiple Sclerosis, Spinal Cord Injury, TBI, PTSD and  other neurological and mobility related concerns. She has taught and coached 1000s of students, and 100s of teachers and yoga school owner/entrepreneurs. She recently launched and produces Kiki TV, a cloud based center for Wellbeing, Yoga, and Optimal Living with 100s of hours of video-on-demand, live Zoom classes, Sanskrit, chanting, tutorials and inspiration. Try a Free 10-Day Trial. She  is also passionate about coaching yoga teachers and wellness professionals to entrepreneurial success and 6-figure incomes. Find out more here. Learn More About Kiki: Personal Website   I   Kiki Says YouTube Channel   I   Instagram   I   Facebook DON'T FORGET!  Registration closes for my upcoming  Pranayama Course Friday September 11. Sign up for this unique opportunity to deepen your practice with me and receive 1:1 coaching. Peel Back The Layers with our Autumn Retreat October 2-4. Join myself, Russell Case, Lara Land and Thimo Wittich for our AUTUMN YOGA RETREAT ONLINE. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans, with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here. Be sure to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤  Give us a 5★ rating!
01:31:36
September 6, 2020
Time For A Breathing Break
In this episode of Finding Harmony, we’ve decided to take a little "Breathing Break." We wanted to share some funny stories and talk about our experience with the fourth limb of the eight-limb yoga path: Pranayama.  During these especially stressful times, we felt it was important to share with you some of the many benefits that cultivating a regular breathing practice can have on your body and mind. If you want to learn more about practicing the 4th limb of yoga: Register for my online Pranayama Course that starts Sunday September 13. Peel Back The Layers with our Autumn Retreat October 2-4. Join myself, Russell Case, Lara Land and Thimo Wittich for our AUTUMN YOGA RETREAT ONLINE. Registration is NOW OPEN. Some benefits to lengthening your exhalation are: It slows down your breathing pattern and releases tension in the body It relaxes the Nervous System by stimulating the parasympathetic response It tones the vagus nerve and stimulates the vagal break, which is responsible for slowing down the heart rate, and thereby helps to lower and normalize blood pressure. It can reduce anxiety and depression and help to regulate your mood. It ensures that your blood pH is maintained at an optimal level, thereby reducing inflammation in the body. It improves our immune system functioning and supports healthy digestion. It will slowly increase your lung capacity so you can breathe bigger, deeper breaths more naturally. It trains you to feel comfortable with retaining the breath, thereby giving you greater breath-control. Simple Breathing Practice: To begin you can start with a practice of Simple Breathing. If you are new to this kind of breathing, start with three minutes. Inhale for three seconds and exhale for six seconds. Continue this pattern of lengthening the exhalation to be twice as long as your inhalation. If the 3:6 (inhale:exhale) ratio feels too fast or easy, then the next day you can extend both your inhalation and exhalation by one second, to create a breath rate of 4:8 (inhale:exhale). If it is comfortable for you slightly tighten the glottis muscle at the back of your throat to create that “ujjayi” sound as you breathe, you might find you have more control over your ability to elongate your inhalation and exhalation. When you slow your breathing down and consciously regulate your breathing pattern to a four second inhale and an eight second exhale, you are effectively restoring balance to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, in this case you would be slowing your breath rate to five breaths per minute. Even with a three second inhale and six second exhale, your breath rate slows to just under seven breaths per minute, which is a significant drop from the normal, every day, breathing rate of fifteen to eighteen breaths per minute. This slowing of the breath in turn slows down your brain-wave patterns so they can drop into a more contemplative frequency. Remember to breathe with a feeling of kindness towards yourself and patience with the process. You are doing something tremendously beneficial for yourself by taking a breathing break. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤  And give us a 5★ rating!
51:35
August 30, 2020
Fracking Yoga
In this episode we catch up with dedicated Ashtangi, mother of two, and  highly acclaimed jouranlist, Bethany McLean. She is also an author and  contributing editor to Vanity Fair, who lives in Chicago.  Bethany’s gift is understanding where the bullshit is, and uncovering it. As Russell said “To put Bethany McLean in context, imagine if in Die Hard Jon McClane takes down Hans Gruber in a cowboy no due process kind of way, then its Bethany who uncovers the rampant embezzlement at Nakatomi Plaza!” Many of you might remember her from the 2012 Vanity Fair article entitled: Who’s Yoga Is It Anyway? where she explored how the global Ashtanga yoga community grapples with the death of Guru, Pattabhi Jois, and the complicated response to Sonia Jones launching a chain of yoga studios under the “Jois” name. A name copyrighted and paid for, but a purchase that rankled the prickly egos of senior students who preferred their status just where it was: On Top. She co-author with Peter Elkind, the bestselling book:  The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron . Her second book, which she co-authored with Joe Nocera, is called: All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis. And her third book also co-authored with Joe Nocera, is Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants. Bethany has a particular talent for following the numbers, exposing illusions, and popping bubbles to reveal where the truth lays hidden.  This notion is of particular interest to Harmony and Russell as the Alberta economy is on the brink of collapse as Covid-19 exposes the pitfalls of cheap money in a dead service: Fracking. Alberta prides itself as the Saudi Arabia of North America, but as Bethany says, its not just a dollar spent and a dollar earned: “It’s much worse than that.” In her most recent book titled, Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It’s Changing the World, journalist Bethany McLean digs deep into the cycles of boom and bust that have plagued the American oil industry for the past decade, and turns an eye to the mysterious death of fracking pioneer Aubrey McClendon. Find out more about Bethany McLean and listen to her podcast Making A Killing on iTunes. As always, keep exploring my website and all my online offerings. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching   Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review ❤ and give us a 5★ rating.
56:39
August 23, 2020
Ashtanga Yoga Tiger Training
Larry Hobbs is an Italian American who grew up in North Carolina. He is an Army Veteran who considers himself a late bloomer, coming to the practice of yoga after turning 50. We walk through Larry’s chaotic childhood — his mother doesn’t speak English and he doesn’t speak Italian, a tour in Vietnam, (his discovery that he didn’t have PTSD from the war, he had it from home), and his practice of martial arts. After his discovery of Ashtanga Yoga he learned from many senior teachers, notably the legendary Annie Pace, and ultimately found himself in Mysore, India, the bedrock of Ashtanga yoga, in 2008. Now, nearing 70, Larry has learned about how to maintain his practice through a spinal surgery, a hip replacement, and has adjusted his practice to accommodate an aging body. You’ll love listening to Harmony, Russell and Larry colloquially reminisce their memories from Mysore and about some of the idiosyncratic Senior Ashtanga teachers they’ve met along the way. As Larry was just in Mysore earlier this year, you will hear about his impressions of the New Sharath Yoga Shala and the younger community that continues to flourish there. Learn more about Larry and his yoga shala: Hanuman Ashtanga Yoga  Find Larry on Facebook As always, keep exploring my website harmonyslater.com and book your private yoga lessons with me online. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching   Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤ Give us a 5★ rating!
58:59
August 16, 2020
Rediscovering Joy
In this episode we interview Russell’s mother, Michael Carol Case, an exquisite and passionate woman who has lived a fabulous life, in every sense of the word. Michael’s journey to founder and CEO of the largest Urology Niche Recruitment company in the States was a convoluted one.  Frustrated by a lack of opportunity for women she entered nursing school in 1965, but quickly dropped out, promoted the Woodstock rock bands at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom, and raised two children by herself moving from place to place across the midwest, working at first as a reporter and then an economic developer. However, we want to warn you… This particular episode explores the darkest chapter in her life. She shares with us her courage and grit in retelling her story of being raped in her own home while her young children were asleep. Over the next thirty years she went through a process of crisis and self care, experimenting with different healing modalities including MDMA and EMDR Therapy, to help overcome severe Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Her exploration teaches us the value of learning to give up fear and rediscover our capacity for love and joy. *Content warnings for this episode are listed here: Please note that this episode comes with a trigger warning for some listeners. Michael’s personal story contains depictions of violence, drug use, adult themed topics and language. Some listeners may find the events described here particularly disturbing. We encourage our listeners to practice self-care, and seek out appropriate resources to support you if needed. Also, if there happens to be other listeners around with sensitive ears, please use your headphones, as this episode is not intended for children. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from the  album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here. For more incredible information on yoga check out my website harmonyslater.com Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤  Please give us a 5★ rating on iTunes.
01:08:37
August 9, 2020
The Only Way Out Is Through...
In this episode we interview Julie Choi Trepkau. We dig into what it was like growing up in a traditional Korean family transplanted in America when she was four years old, and how becoming a parent herself has given her a fresh perspective on generational karma, trauma, and a newfound compassion in understanding her own parents and their struggles. Julie’s love of movement began with dance lessons at age 4. Her first encounter with yoga was in 1992 as a student of art history at  Columbia University in New York City. After completing an MSc at The  London School of Economics and Political Science, she moved to Hong Kong  to put her degrees to use. There she became one of the pioneering students practicing in a newly formed grassroots Ashtanga yoga community guided by Michel Besnard. In 2007, Julie began making trips to Mysore before moving to Germany and having two babies. These babies – who are now 11 and 8 years old – are both the backbone and fruit of her Ashtanga Yoga practice. Find out how this high-powered high achieving business lady at the Wall St. Journal pivoted to teaching Ashtanga yoga, actively working as a doula, and now enrolled in midwifery school in Encinitas, California. You can follow Julie on Instagram and find out about her upcoming classes and events at Jois Yoga. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from the  album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤
01:13:51
August 2, 2020
Ashtanga Yoga, The Human Reclamation Project
Aimee Echo began her career not as a Yoga teacher  but a punk rock lead singer, recording several albums and touring the world with  her band theSTART and performing guest vocals for Red Hot Chili Peppers, Garbage, Teddybears and so many more. Seeking refuge from some toxic elements in rock, she took her first step into an Ashtanga Yoga class in 1999. (As square as Russell is, he was very interested in Aimee’s career and asked a lot of inappropriate questions about what actually is punk. What is Authentic? Is Miley Cyrus Punk? Does she regret marrying Billy Ray Cyrus' drummer?  What is Bad Religion? And, is Yoga the answer?) Guided by teachers Noah Williams and Kiki Flynn,  she developed a daily Mysore-style practice and became devoted to the  Ashtanga Yoga method. After practicing with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his  family in L.A. In 2002, she was inspired to make her first journey to Mysore, India in 2007 to study at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute. Aimee  is the owner, director and primary teacher at Ashtanga Yoga Long Beach.  She is the only KPJAYI Authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher in Long Beach,  CA. She still sings in her dance rock band, theSTART. You can follow her on Instagram Aimee Echo and Ashtanga Yoga Long Beach. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply  Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here.
01:06:22
July 26, 2020
From Dusk To Dawn
Welcome to our anniversary episode!  We are looking back at 2020 and the year so far, now half over, and taking stock in what our Podcast Finding Harmony is all about.  For us, Yoga is about bringing union and balance to the opposite forces within each moment of pleasure and pain. Many of our episodes seem to deal with examining the point of crises and the resolution in the lives of our yogi friends. Buried within these moments of crisis though is the seed of liberation and from the darkness we find the light.  In this episode, we (Harmony and Russell) explore mind-altering states of consciousness and how sometimes these lost weekends deeply influence our past perceptions and also our future experiences of consciousness.  Some drug use is mentioned in this episode - parental advisory is recommended. "Push far enough towards the Void, Hold fast enough to Quietness, And of the ten thousand things none but can be worked on by you. I have beheld them, whither they go back. See, all things howsoever they flourish Return to the root from which they grew." - Tao Te Ching (chapter 16) Russell mentioned just now the autobiography of Malcolm X. In that book, Mr. Shabazz remonstrates his audience not to be titillated by the stories of his wild youth.  Remember that spiritual evolution is what is important. The Spirit is what is real. To find out more about Russell Case, check out his website and instagram and from his art studio.  Follow Harmony Slater on instagram and for her health coaching on her website. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from the  album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - Simply Click Here. To purchase your own copy - Click Here. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤
50:40
July 19, 2020
Everyday Ayurveda with Kate O'Donnell
What exactly is the yogic diet? What should we eat to align ourselves with the principles of yoga? Learn the answers to these questions and so many more on this episode of Finding Harmony! From her first trip to India, to living on Nancy Gilgoff’s front porch, to becoming a published author three times over and ending up on Fox News as an expert on Ayurveda, Kate O’Donnell has had a fascinating journey combining the Ashtanga yoga practice with a deep wisdom from the ancient science of Ayurveda. Kate offers some simple and easy ways for you to integrate the ancient principles of Ayurveda into your diet and daily life, which can help to increase your energy and enrich your yoga practice! Kate O’Donnell is the author of three fabulous Ayurvedic Cookbooks. She is a nationally certified Ayurvedic Practitioner and Authorized Ashtanga yoga teacher based in Portland, Maine. Kate began practicing yoga by accident in South India at age 20. With more than a dozen extended trips to India and over twenty years of study in these two ancient traditions, Kate teaches how to incorporate Ayurveda with a busy schedule and the practice of yoga. Kate specializes in Ayurvedic education, cooking skills, and cleansing programs, offering on-line programs, residential immersions, trainings, and individual consultations.  Her Ayurveda and yoga offerings aim to help others come closer to their true nature. Follow Kate on Instagram and find out more on here website.  Kate’s newest book, The Everyday Ayurveda Guide to Self-Care, will be released on July 28, 2020 from Shambhala Publications - PRE-ORDER your copy today! Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from the   album “for Morgan.”  Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
01:02:07
July 12, 2020
What's it gonna take? From Adiction to Ashtanga
“True balance for me is always about being able to  translate my inner energy, moment to moment. If I don’t balance myself  from moment to moment, then I have an emotional hangover.” — Santina Giardina-Chard In this episode we interview the wild woman herself, Santina Giardina-Chard.  Santina shares with us with her incredible journey. She experienced extraordinary childhood wounds, had a tumultuous early adulthood struggling with an addiction to heroine, lawlessness and eating disorders. Love had a way of finding her though, and a transformation started to happen through the connection with her (now) husband, Shane, the practice of Ashtanga yoga, and digging deep with Gestalt therapy.  We’re lucky to know her and she's lucky to be alive!  We think you will really enjoy her incredible insights into the practice, life and also her Australian vernacular.  (No one has ever used this many cuss words to describe German Psychoanalysis before... We think.) Please use headphones if your kids or other sensitive ears are around.  And if colorful language isn’t your cup of tea, you might want to skip this one. You can find out more about Santina on her website and follow her on Instagram. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from the  album “for Morgan.” Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
01:08:51
July 5, 2020
Certifiably Organic with Jessica Walden
Whether it’s her life, her way with her family, her practice, or the work she has invested herself in, Jessica Walden is Certifiably Organic in every way. In this episode we interview Jessica Walden who is a long time practitioner of Ashtanga yoga, mother of two boys, and has a robust career working for over 20 years in the organic food certification industry. Listen to how Jessica learned to continue practicing when faced with a debilitating back injury that would forever alter her approach to Ashtanga yoga. Jessica also spoke to how our yoga practice is about taking personal responsibility for our actions. This naturally extends to our food choices and therefore our environment. Jessica shares years of wisdom around integrating the full practice of yoga into every area of life and she’s got a great sense of humor too! You can find her on Instagram here and check out her website for more detailed information on how to connect with her directly. Don’t forget to subscribe and leave a review!  ❤ Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from  the  album “for Morgan.”   Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
54:39
June 28, 2020
Yoga as Sovereignty and Civil Disobedience
I invited Professor Shyam Ranganathan to talk with Russell and I about some of the integral concepts found in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra. In this conversation, you’ll learn how these essential practices are vital for us to actively participate in and how through our participation we can reshape not only ourselves but the world. Dr. Shyam is an incredibly insightful authority on both South Asian and Western Philosophy.  He is able to weave together classical thoughts about Logos or Logic, Linguistic Theory with Civil Disobedience, Cultural Appropriation, and the teaching of Patanjali.  We discuss the essential practices of Ahimsa and Isvara Pranidhana and how they relate to the idea of non-violent resistance, Satyagraha. This episode is so funny and so good… Ontologically speaking!  We know you’re going to have as much fun listening to it as we had recording it. It was a treat and an honour to host Shyam on our podcast. You can find more information about Shyam Ranganathan on his website and hear more of his insights on his Instagram Account. Dr. Shyam Ranganathan is a professional moral philosopher, translation expert, scholar of South Asia studies, a translator of the Yoga Sūtra (Penguin  2008),  and a yoga practitioner.  Dr. Shyam Ranganathan holds an MA in South Asian Studies, an MA and PhD in philosophy. He teaches at York University and The York Center for Asian Research. With over 50 peer reviewed publications, he is a wonderful resource for expanding your yoga education. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from  the  album “for Morgan.”   Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
58:03
June 21, 2020
As he said, "My Lunch With Two White People"
Dr. Jag is a public speaker and leader with the organization United To End Racism, and he is the author of the book "It's Your World." He joins Harmony Slater and Russell Case in this episode of the Finding Harmony Podcast to talk about issues of race, discrimination, unconscious bias, white fragility, and how we can begin working on ourselves to change the world around us.  You can find more information about Dr. Jag Johal on his website and hear more of his insights on his podcast Absolute Human. This is a topic that we are extremely passionate about, so at times we may use some adult language. Please use headphones if your kids or other sensitive ears are  around.   Dr. Jagdeep Johal is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with over twenty years of clinical experience. He runs the Johal Health Center - a successful and vibrant practice. Over the years he’s helped hundreds of thousands of people reclaim their health through the Johal Method - a brilliant and effective protocol for optimum wellness that brings ease, joy and purpose to one’s life. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from  the  album “for Morgan.” Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
01:09:28
June 14, 2020
Planting Seeds To Breathe
We are delighted to share this episode featuring an interview with my dear friend and Authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher, Lara Land. As many of you may already know, Lara is the founder and director of the non-profit organization, Three And A Half Acres, whose mission is to teach yoga, breathing and mindfulness techniques to underserved communities. Lara was very generous to take time out of her busy day to sit down and have this conversation with us! We begin by hearing how she started her yoga journey at Boston University, and how this love for yoga eventually took her to India and also Africa, where she taught HIV Positive women and children in Rwanda.  After returning to New York, Lara opened a yoga studio, Land Yoga, in the heart of Harlem.  You will also hear about how her work has brought police officers and black youth together through the practice of yoga, within Harlem. Finally, she also touches upon her recent experience of becoming a new mother, and how having to juggling many different responsibilities has meant embracing a whole new mindset and discovering a new identity within herself altogether. This podcast touches upon some important topics like diversity (or lack thereof) within the Ashtanga yoga community. And how we, as practitioners and teachers, can learn to become more inclusive in our approach and attitudes to help support populations that would otherwise not be exposed to this practice. Find Lara on IG:  Lara Land ,  Land Yoga NYC ,  Three And A Half Acres ,  Soul Fest Revolution WEBSITES:  Land Yoga ,  Lara Land ,  Three And A Half Acres ,  Soul Fest Revolution Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band “dawnSong” from the  album “for Morgan.” Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
01:02:49
June 7, 2020
Aging, Injuries and Ashtanga Yoga
In this episode, Harmony and Russell explore the topic of aging, injuries, and how to adapt the yoga practice for many different phases of life and the obstacles that can arise as the years go by. Learn how the practice of yoga will help keep you youthful by lengthening telomeres (a compound structure found at the end of chromosomes) and will increase your overall long term health. Find out different ways you can use the practice to help you through times of illness, recovery, and even menopause and why a practice of vipassana meditation can give your yoga practice an extra boost of vitality and insight. Find out more about Harmony on her website and on Instagram. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching  Ashtanga Yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band "dawnSong" from the album "for Morgan." Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
45:04
May 31, 2020
The After Birth Experience
In this episode, I speak about what my personal experience was like after giving birth and how the practice of Ashtanga yoga helped to put the pieces of myself back together again.   Russell and I discuss different approaches to the practice postpartum, and how (after becoming a mother) your life will never be the same.  Learning to practice anywhere, at any time, and letting go of the results is an essential part of thee journey, and the lessons learned during those early days will continue to inform your understanding of yoga throughout the years.  Find out more about Harmony on her website and Instagram. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga Yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band "dawnSong" from the   album "for Morgan." Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
43:24
May 24, 2020
Demystifying Ashtanga Yoga and Pregnancy
In this episode, I speak about my personal experience practicing Ashtanga yoga during my pregnancy and how I like to guide other women who are practicing while pregnant. If you are imagining what it might be like to practice during pregnancy, or if you are a teacher wondering how to guide your pregnant students, this is an episode of Finding Harmony that you won’t want to miss! You will hear about different approaches to a "prenatal Ashtanga" yoga practice and laugh along as I  recount my birthing experience.  Even if you've already had your children  you will love this conversation. Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga Yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band "dawnSong" from the album "for Morgan."
38:55
May 17, 2020
Into The Mystic
In this episode Russell and I explore what the mystic experience is, how  it is conceptualized in different religions, environments, and  cultures.  We discuss our human condition and the tendency to get caught  up in the traps of duality, always needing to name, categorize, and  create hierarchies with our minds… especially with in-laws!  Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga Yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band "dawnSong" from the album "for Morgan." Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
40:00
May 10, 2020
Take A Trip to VAGUS Without Leaving Your Home
In this episode, Russell Case talks about the Vagus Nerve and how it effects your mood. Learn why the yoga practice works at a physiological level and things you can do to increase it's effectiveness. You will love hearing stories about Richard Freeman, and Barak Obama, and more of Russell's fascination about how different narcotics act on the brain.  Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga Yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band "dawnSong" from the album "for Morgan." Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
38:31
May 3, 2020
A Potpourri of First Impressions
Harmony Slater and Russell Case chat about Harmony's first trip to India, and what it was like traveling to a completely different culture as a young women in her early 20s. You will love hearing about the surprise she received at her first astrology reading, the cultural differences between the East and West, and some tips and tricks to staying healthy, while living in an environment with less than optimal conditions.  Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga Yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band "dawnSong" from the album "for Morgan." Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
31:46
April 26, 2020
The Ups and Downs of Co-Parenting in a Blended Family
Parenting can be difficult at times, and even more so when you are coming into an already established family bond. In this episode Harmony asks Russell to describe his experience with co-parenting and creating a blended family as a step-parent. Russell reflects on his own past, growing up with two different step-fathers, and how his experience has informed how he approaches his relationship now to his own stepson.   Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga Yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band "dawnSong" from the album "for Morgan." Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
28:57
April 20, 2020
Who Is Russell Case?
Find out who Russell Case is, how he got into yoga and what the Ashtanga yoga scene was like in Mysore, India almost 20 years ago. In this episode, Harmony asks Russell to tell about how he came to practice yoga. You will love to hear the lightness and levity of Russell's story that shines through in his sense of humor as he talks about his experience with the practice and going to India for the first time.  Find out more about Russell Case on his website.  Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga Yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band "dawnSong" from the album "for Morgan." Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
28:42
April 20, 2020
Rotation of Consciousness and Deep Relaxation
In this episode, Harmony leads listeners through a type of meditation technique that brings about a state of deep relaxation. This rotation of consciousness through the body, brings awareness to each part, and in doing so, allows for the relaxation of any held tension. Through this practice, you are invited to experience a state of total relaxation, while being awake, which will increase your overall energy levels in both body and mind.  Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga Yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band "dawnSong" from the album "for Morgan." Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
12:34
April 19, 2020
Finding Harmony - How Ashtanga Yoga Found Harmony
This is my first episode in the Finding Harmony Podcast. It is a little introduction to who I am, where I came from, and how the practice of Ashtanga Yoga found me, and helped me to find myself. I hope you enjoy!  Opening and closing music compliments of my dear friend teaching Ashtanga Yoga in Eindhoven, Nick Evans with his band "dawnSong" from the album "for Morgan." Listen to the entire album on Spotify - simply click Here.  To purchase your own copy - click Here.
13:29
April 6, 2020