Conversations about Yoga... Ayurveda... Life!

Hi! We're Maria & Chara...

Modern yogis (and yoga teachers) with lots of questions about how to live, age, parent, and just be more vibrantly engaged in the process. Join us for conversations and interviews dedicated to uncovering what it takes to “grow up” in a way that feels balanced, authentic, graceful and juicy! 

Episode 5: A chat with Deacon Carpenter - A Modern Ayurveda Story...

Chara has a conversation with a Deacon Carpenter a Clinical Ayurveda specialist, entrepreneur and author who’s road to becoming a modern healer has been anything but ordinary!  From his awkward overweight beginnings as a teenage immigrant from the UK to the USA, to healing himself at an early age with the help of Ayurveda and yoga to a lifetime rollercoaster ride through the  healthy and not so healthy worlds of fashion, media & advertising, technology, pharmaceuticals and the military industrial complex. He’s learned first hand the secret to what holds us together, tears us apart and ultimately heals the mind, body and soul… and it might not be what you think!  Definitely have a listen!

Show Notes

Deacon's Studio in Sonoma California:
His new book is:  A Little Bit of Ayurveda
Episode 4: Evolving your yoga as you "Grow Up"
In this episode Chara and Maria talk about what it takes to make sure your practice continues to serve you as you age. What are the signs when your practice needs to adapt and change to serve you better, as you age, or anytime? Why is there so much resistance to changing and adapting practice to aging, and what teachers can do to help their students overcome that resistance? Once we do acknowledge that change needs to happen, where do we start?  What happens when you age?  What can potentially go wrong, and what do we need to do in yoga to address or ideally prevent problems? How can we adapt yoga without making it into a geriatric, boring practice?
How can an understanding of the ashramas (the traditional yogic stages of life) help us to reorient and adapt our practice and our teaching? What skills and resources do teachers need to cultivate in their students to help them navigate changes in an empowered, safe way?  What does using yoga to age well look like? Join us for this wide ranging discussion.

Show Notes

Judith Hanson Lasater:
Yoga for Grownups: two basic sequences, free audio files:
Accessible Yoga Training:
Erich Schiffmann: Except from his book:

J Brown Yoga Talks Podcast: J interviews Chara:

Episode 3: A simpler look at Ayurveda

Maria and Chara engage in a juicy conversation about Ayurveda, diving into the basics of what it REALLY is, what’s important to know about it, how to use it in your life and why you should.  Chara talks about why Ayurveda is such an important tool for yoga teachers (or anyone who teaches anything) and shares her experiences with applying the ancient science of living in her yoga classes and in her life.

Show Notes

For inquiries about Chara's Ayurveda for Yoga Teachers Course email:

What every yoga teacher should know...

  • First and foremost it's important to know YOUR intention as a teacher and how that intention aligns with your true nature (natural tendencies).  Do you want to:
    • Just practice yoga (and teaching keeps you doing that)
    • Share what you know (about yourself and yoga)
    • Support students in some way
    • Transform students in some way

Whatever your intention it's vitally important to be honest with yourself about what it is, because it informs what and how you teach!

  • Every student in your class needs something different
  • The class you're teaching could just as easily be creating imbalance as contributing someone's state of balance. 

Our role as teachers is to…

  • Connect - Make the effort to understand who the people in your class are?
  • Be aware - What imbalances are showing up in the space?  What is the potential impact of the environment?  What’s the potential impact of the practice?
  • Inform -  What is the process of knowing yourself, What are the signposts of self awareness, how much is too much?
  • Empower - Invite your students to take flight, own their practice (without cutting them loose, which can be anxiety forming)
Episode 2: Tools for living

Chara and Maria talk about their “tools” for living a good life! Influenced by yoga, ayurveda and many bright and beautiful teachers, the two discuss the values and emotional qualities that have helped them navigte the bumps in the road to becoming their best selves.

Show Notes

Principles and practices that help Chara and Maria navigate life.
Yamas and Niyamas: Donna Farhi writes beautifully about the first two limbs of yoga in her book Yoga Mind Body Spirit :
Honesty, Truth, Satya, the second yama: A nice read on Yoga International here:
Judith Lasater, “the truth is such a relief”: read how she talks about satya here:
Simplicity/Elimination: when you are unwell, not asking what do I need, instead asking what I can I let go of. Some quotes to inspire simplicity:
Jack Kornfield on letting go: “To let go does not mean to get rid of. To let go means to let be. When we let be with compassion, things come and go on their own.” – Jack Kornfield
Courage: to step out of security and into possibility - to be guided by your inner compass
Brene Brown asks, “Do you think that people are doing the best they can?
Great conversation with Russel Brand on his podcast, Under the Skin:
“I know my life is better when I work from the assumption that everyone is doing the best they can.” – Brené Brown, Dare to Lead
Stephen Porges on the connection between the vagus nerve and compassion:
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”Brad Meltzer
Obstacles to Connection: Avidya: forgetting that we are all manifestations of the same essential life force.
Comprehensive definition of avidya:
Karma: fast karma helps you remember your best, most intentional self. Teaching yoga puts you in touch with your best self.
Curiosity: the curiosity for self reflection (svadhyaya), to fuel growth and learning.
Bessel van der Kolk on how trauma can dampen curiosity and connection:
Identify your own tools for living - the process of reflecting on what helps you and what hinders is valuable. We both enjoyed the process and hope you do too.
Episode 1: Who we are and why we're doing this...

In this inaugural episode we talk about what brought us together and why we were compelled to do this podcast. What are the questions that infuence our daily experiences, what are the issues that we find ourselves trying to unravel and what we want to talk about and share with you on this glorious adventure.

Show Notes

You can find more information about Maria at:


Looking for Maria...?

You can find her on her website ( Or just CLICK HERE