The yoga of everyday living...

An exploration of the simple, complex and everyday ways that yoga shows up in our minds, bodies and  world.

Bronnie Ware
Episode 47 - Embracing the Experience of Living with Bronnie Ware

Bronnie Ware shares with Chara some beautiful and inspiring lessons she has experienced. She has walked through life with her eyes and heart wide open and has generously shared the lessons of living and dying in her books, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Your Year for Change, and Bloom. Dig into this episode and embrace the richness found in living that fills the gaps in our understanding of who we are and why we’re here.


Bronnie Ware’s books -

Copy of Podcast Covers for Chara's Conversations (1)
Episode 46 - The Yoga Sutras and Knowing Yourself with David Charlton & Ranju Roy

Chara speaks with David Charlton and Ranju Roy to dig into some deep questions about life. They look at the many fibers that make up who we are in this moment and what the process looks like in getting to know yourself. They discuss the struggles and pitfalls that come up and the overall beauty within the gift of knowing yourself. 


Embodying the Yoga Sutra: Patanjali for the 21st Century workshop -

Copy of Podcast Covers for Chara's Conversations
Episode 45 - What does it mean to live like you love yourself

A diving off point for a deeper inquiry into the practice of Living Like You Love Yourself.  What are the life challenges that keep us from holding ourselves in more sacred, informed and loving ways?  What is our relationship with the concept of self love and how does that bleed into our actions with ourselves and the world.  In this episode we explore a view on the elements of living like we love ourselves that provide a context for this season of conversations and sharing.

 “One of the best guides to how to be self-loving is to give ourselves the love we are often dreaming about receiving from others."– Bell Hooks
Michael De Manincor
Episode 44 - The Nature of Consciousness with Michael de Manincor

A deep dive into the nature of consciousness, supported by the yoga sutras and our experience of everyday life!  Michael de Manincor returns to the podcast to share wisdom and insights into the most challenging questions of our existence.  In this brilliant conversation we wonder about unanswerable questions and how asking them can change who and how we are forever!


The Yoga Institute -

Season 2 Covers
Episode 43 - Waking up with Yoga Nidra: a conversation with John Vosler

What if the most powerful tool for waking up is sleep itself? Chara and Lucy chat with Lucy's dear friend John Vosler holistic wellness educator, conscious coach and yoga nidra guide and deeply wise soul about his practice of Yoga Nidra “Yogic sleep” and its potential to transform the way we relate to ourselves and the world around us.

Resources & Mentions

Maya Breuer
Episode 42 - Moving beyond borders with Maya Breuer

Lucy and Chara are joined by Maya Breuer, Yoga Alliance’s  Vice President of Cross-Cultural Advancement, to talk about the shape and future of yoga as a tool for connection across and within cultures.  Maya shares the story of the creation of the retreat for women of color and how she sees Yoga Alliance expanding its focus and reach to better include and support  its diverse membership and ever-broadening reach.

Resources & Mentions

Episode 41 - Finding our way home with Jana Long

Chara and Lucy connect with Jana Long, the founder and executive director of Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, in an exploration of the stories that define who we are and provide a foundation for who we can be.  We get a look into a life touched by 50 years of yoga practice and we get a sense for why Yoga Journal named Jana one of it’s Game Changers! 


Resources & Mentions

Marlysa Sullivan
Episode 40 - A Meditation on Pain with Marlysa Sullivan

What is pain and how can the tools of yoga and yoga therapy best acknowledge, manage and heal the complex experience of those living with it on a daily basis? Lucy and Chara speak with Yoga therapist, researcher and author Marlysa Sullivan about her work in Yoga therapy and pain management and how yoga provides a holistic lens for understanding and alleviating the root causes of pain

Dr. Marlysa Sullivan is a physiotherapist and yoga therapist with over 15 years of experience.

Marlysa balances clinical research and practice with education, speaking and writing.

She is the Physical Therapy Coordinator of the Empowered Veterans Program at the VA. This is a comprehensive pain care program that integrates whole health coaching, psychotherapy, and mindful movement with a chaplain, psychotherapist and physical therapist. She trains physical therapists as well as offers the mindful movement component integrating therapeutic pain education, mindfulness, acceptance and commitment therapeutic principles with movement practices. 

She is an Assistant Professor in Yoga Therapy and Integrative Health Sciences at Maryland University of Integrative Health and holds an adjunct position at Emory University, where she teaches the integration of yoga and mindfulness into physical therapy practice in the DPT program.

She is the author of Understanding Yoga Therapy: Applied Philosophy and Science for Well-being and co-editor of Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain, as well as several peer-reviewed articles.

Resources & Mentions


Books & Articles: 

Lucy’s book recommendations:

John Sarno

  • “The Mindbody Prescription”
  • “The Divided Mind”

Alan Gordon

  • “The Way Out - Healing Chronic Pain” - includes the concept of neuroplastic pain
Season 2 Covers
Episode 39 - Jacoby Ballard and the Art of Embodying Compassion

Who could you be if you knew that just by loving yourself you could change the world?  Chara and Lucy speak with yoga teacher, social justice educator and author Jacoby Ballard about the beauty, power, and challenges of making a difference in the world by starting from within.  They discuss Jacoby’s new book and his  path as a queer activist, educator and advocate for the power of self love, compassion and practice to connect and elevate us.

Jacoby Ballard is a social justice educator and yoga teacher in Salt Lake City, Utah known for his playfulness, heart-opening, and commitment to change from the inside out.

As a yoga teacher with 20 years of experience, he leads workshops, retreats, teacher trainings, teaches at conferences, and runs the Resonance mentorship program for certified yoga teachers to find their niche and calling.  In 2008, Jacoby co-founded Third Root Community Health Center in Brooklyn, to work at the nexus of healing and social justice.

Since 2006, Jacoby has taught Queer and Trans Yoga, a space for queer folks to unfurl and cultivate resilience. Jacoby received Yoga Journal’s Game Changer Award in 2014 and Good Karma Award in 2016, and an award by Reclamation Ventures in 2021.

Jacoby has taught in schools, hospitals, non profit and business offices, a maximum security prison, a recovery center, a cancer center, LGBT centers, gyms, a veteran’s center, and yoga studios. He leads workshops and trainings around the country on diversity, equity, and inclusion and consults on DEI for yoga and meditation organizations. He is the author of A Queer Dharma: Yoga and Meditations for Liberation, released in 2021.

Resources & Mentions

LLYLY Podcast - Janet Lowndes
Episode 38 - On Yoga and Body Image with Janet Lowndes

How can yoga support us in improving our relationship with our bodies?  This was the question that we explored with psychologist and yoga therapist Janet Lowndes, a dear friend of Lucy’s and a woman who is doing amazing things in the world.  Her Melbourne, Australia based practice assists people with eating disorders and body image challenges.  So we talk about the part that yoga plays in creating and solving this problem in our modern world!  Fabulous conversation.  The first of Season two!!

Info and resources:

Janet Lowndes is Founding Director and Principal Psychologist at Mind Body Well, a private practice in Melbourne providing outpatient therapies for people with Eating Disorders and concerns about eating behaviours, body image and wellbeing - from a Non-Diet, Health at Every Size® perspective.

Her approach is one which emphasises wellbeing rather than weight, focusing on embodied self compassion and interoceptive awareness. She believes that Yoga is an act of embodied liberation, and she encourages yoga teachers and therapists to provide weight inclusive spaces which celebrate the wonderful diversity of bodies and minds.

Podcast CoverV2
Season 2 Preview

Touching base to let you know what’s coming up in Season 2 and to introduce you to my guest Co-host for the season!

Resources & Mentions


IG Promo Podcast Images
Episode 37 -The Art & Science of finding yourself [SEASON 1 FINALE]

How to find yourself is a question that new age self help… and yoga, to some degree, have made infamous. But it's a journey that all of us are consciously or unconsciously engaged in every day.  In this final episode of season one of the podcast, Maria and Chara unpack the principles and particulars of self seeking. What does it really mean?  What does it look like?  And more importantly, what makes it all worth doing?  We talk about all of this and provide some clues for the seekers and sleuths out there.

Episode 36 -The Pelvic Floor and so much more with Shannon Crow

What do we all need to know as human beings walking around on this earth with a pelvis? What are some of the misconceptions around what the pelvic floor is, how it supports and impacts our experience of living and  how to keep it (and us) healthy  In this penultimate episode of Season 1 of the Live Like You Love Yourself podcast,  Chara and Maria speak with , yoga teacher, podcaster and pelvic floor health specialist Shannon Crow about some of the confusion that we all experience around this vital aspect of our being and what we can do to own and nourish who we are by educating ourselves about the pelvic floor. 

Resources & Mentions:

Maria Kirsten
Episode 35 - Saying hello and goodbye to Maria Kirsten

A beautiful moment of connection and introduction.  Saved from an earlier start at the podcast, this unpublished conversation was one of the first recorded conversations we ever had.  It was a “first meeting” on air and has turned out to be a sweet goodbye to a beautiful friend. Chara interviews Maria about her life, her discovery of yoga and what she’s learned along her journey of teaching and practice. 

Episode 34 - Michael de Manincor and the Yoga of being in community

What is the role of yoga in times like these? Who must we be as practitioners to experience its full potential and ours as well?  How can we characterize the dance that yoga and modern science are currently engaged in, and what are the potential pitfalls and windfalls of this pairing?  What does the world need from yoga teachers right now?  These are just a few of the inquiries that shaped our conversation with Dr. Michael de Manincor - Director and senior lecturer at the Yoga Institute in Sydney Australia. It was a delightful connection with a few interesting surprises along the way!

Resources & Mentions

IG Promo Podcast Images
Episode 33 - What does the world need from yoga (and yoga teachers) right now…?

A candid conversation with Maria and Chara about the challenges of living and how our yoga can serve us when aspects of life (like Covid and cancer) take us by surprise.  The conversation started as an inquiry into what the world needs from yoga right now.  Our answer came through the lens of our own current struggles and hopes for the future. 

Resources & Mentions

Episode 32 - The pathway to Wellbeing with Fleur Marks

What do you do when the physical and financial foundation you’ve been building all your life starts to crumble? What is the process for coming to terms with the reality that you’ll never be disease free? What goes through the mind of someone who has lost everything and gained themselves in the process? And what does it look like to discover your true gifts and share them?  These are just a few of the questions that we’re asking and  living on the podcast this week with Fleur Marks, wellbeing expert, coach, founder and curator of The Wellbeing Store in Byron Bay.

References and Mentions:

Episode 31: Getting to the truth of life, yoga and meditation with Caitlin Cady

What is meditation supposed to look like?  How are meditation and yoga supposed to serve us in our lives?  What happens when reality messes with our stories about how things are supposed to be? We dive into these questions and so much more with the amazing Caitlin Cady author of Heavily Meditated and self professed Meditation Junkie, who’s used the power of the “good sit” to turn her health, happiness and world around. And whose mission is to "remind YOU of your magic!

Resources & Mentions

Episode 30: Braving the in-between - Holding space with Heather Plett

What are the key tools we need as individuals and groups moving through challenging moments of transition. What supports create opportunities for transitions to truly transform?  Why is holding space a vitally important skill to cultivate at this point in our history?  Chara & Maria explore these questions and more in this enlightening conversation with Heather Plett, author or The Art of Holding space: A practice of love, liberation and leadership.  


Episode 29: Flowing through life with joy, with Rane Bowen & Jo Stewart - The Flow Artists

What is it about conversation that changes us and the world around us? Is there a meditative quality to discussion that has the potential to shift aspects of our character and relationships that might not otherwise be noticed or moved? Our chat with Rane Bowen and Jo Stewart, hosts of The Flow Artists podcast shed some internal and external light on these questions!  It was an opportunity to dive deeper into how it feels to speak out loud about the things that are important and sometimes unknown, and how talking, like yoga, has the power to connect, inspire and enrich us in ways we might not always consider.

Resources & Mentions

bonus episode
Episode 28: BONUS Episode - A quiet chat about cancer - Talking about the things you don't talk about

2020 has been a challenging year for so many reasons, some of which we’ve talked about and a number of which we haven’t.  In this bonus episode Maria and Chare dive into one of the biggest issues that we’ve been quiet about this year… Maria’s cancer diagnosis. Chara has a chance to ask the questions she’s avoided asking and Maria has an opportunity to share what it feels like to come face to face with your own mortality.

Episode 27: Yoga Ethics for Transforming Racism w/ Keisha Battles & Kristine Weber

Yoga is a practice that nearly everyone buys into. It’s promise of flexibility and adaptability are a powerful and enticing invitation to engage in the uncomfortable for a greater good.  But what does it mean to LIVE your yoga?  And how can yoga be a tool for changing not just our bodies but our world?  Maria and Chara explore these ideas with Kristine Weber and Kiesha Battles, two courageous yoga teachers who have created a project aimed at offering yoga’s ancient principles for ethical living as a lens, and tools  for transforming racism and the landscape of social justice from the inside out! 

Resources & Mentions

Kristine and Keisha’s course: Yoga Ethics For Transforming Racism:

Keisha Battles:

Yoga Ethics For Transforming Racism:

Kristine Weber:


Episode 26: Alma Duran - Embodying our culture through yoga

How does who we are and where we come from live in our bodies and in our yoga?  What does the story of how and where we move tell us about who we can be?  Maria and Chara speak with cultural anthropologist and yoga and meditation instructor Alma Duran to explore the landscape of the intersection of yoga and cultures and how they uniquely inform the way we carry our past, present and future in the moment and in life.

  • “I didn’t come to yoga because there was something wrong with me. I came to yoga because I saw happy people.”
  • “We carry the story of our culture in our bodies.”
  • “My yoga training and my mindfulness training have helped me enormously to deal with uncertainty and know that it is okay”
  • "The price that I have had to pay was to disintegrate my previous lives. I had to shed my skin as a snake does when it grows……It has been a process of simplifying, deeply simplifying my external life and of letting go of a lot."
Resources & Mentions:
Episode 25: Dispatches from the Wellness world of India with Shonali Sabherwal

Chara and Maria reconnect with Maria’s former student Shonali Saberwhal, now a nutritionist who’s been leading the macrobiotic eating charge in India with three books and a long list of Bollywood star clients.  Shonali talks about what it took to get there as a single woman in India, what her work means to her and what the future holds for her work and the health of her country!

Resources & Mentions

Podcast Images - Lucy
Episode 24: Holding space for conscious communication with Lucy Karnani

What is the role of conscious communication in our living and healing?  What is the value of communication to the vital responsibility we have as teachers of yoga to hold space for our students?  How can we as individuals become more aware and effective at knowing and sharing what’s in our hearts for the good of our relationships and the world? We explore these questions and more in this heartfelt and enlightening conversation with yoga teacher and communication expert Lucy Karnani. 

Episode Highlights: 

  • Lucy talks about her recent transformation and new found love for cooking
  • Why she started teaching yoga and what keeps her coming back
  • The keys to connecting with students… and yourself
  • The power of the mentoring relationship and how mentoring has impacted her life
  • What it means to hold space and how holding space relates to communication
  • The role of communication in healing
  • How she’s changed her mind about Ayurveda

Resources & Mentions

Ayurvedic cleanse links: 

Episode 23: The Path to owning your yoga with Libby Hinsley

What does the process of owning your yoga look like? What is the role of a yoga teacher in helping you to get there?  And what is the ultimate value (or the point) to doing the work to create yoga that is uniquely yours?  These are some of the things we talked about in this juicy conversation with yoga therapist and physiotherapist, Libby Hinsley.  We go deep into the heart of teaching and practicing yoga guided by Libby’s wide-ranging wisdom, experience and passion.  A fabulous discussion about many concepts that are dear to our hearts and our practice! 


We talked about...

  • Cultivating an internal practice rather seeking to master external alignment cues  - the yoga of knowing yourself
  • Interoceptive cues and the overlap of hyper mobility and aging
  • Should we teach our students anatomy?
  • Is it up to us as teachers to set the goal for the practice?
  • Why having the perspective of anatomical variability will put a lot of people at ease.
  • What messages we send with the language that we use
  • Working with chronic pain
  • How yoga can help you answer the question, ‘what matters to me?’
  • How yoga creates a vital space for community that is key to “heart happiness.”
  • Anatomy bites:


Resources & Mentions:

Podcast Images - Socials (1)
Episode 22: Holding space for change with Kelley Palmer

How does it feel to hold space while moving through a powerful change?  So many of us are working through this as teachers, parents, siblings, partners and friends.  What is the role of yoga in helping us not just to weather the storm, but to be fully present and learn through it?  We explore these questions and so much more with our guest Kelley Palmer, yoga teacher, activist, coach and creator of Race & Equity in Yoga: Disruption As a Practice, an online training course for yogis and yoga teachers in the principles and practices of dismantling white supremacy in yoga and the world. 


Episode highlights...

  • Kelley shares how feeling hopeful and deeply sad coexist in Kelley’s life and work.
  • The history of Kelley’s activism and work in over turning racism
  • How different generations agree and differ on the issues of black lives matter
  • Kelley’s work to make sure other people, people of colour have access to yoga practice
  • Why yoga and social justice go together
  • Kelly’s dismantling racism course:
  • The complexity of integration in America.
  • What black people should be doing right now
  • Perceptions of safety and of the police for black mothers and white mothers


Resources & Mentions...

Emma Balnaves
Episode 21: Invoking the inner fire with Emma Balnaves

What is yoga and how does it support our dharmic path?  These are some of the questions that Emma Balnaves from Shadow Yoga set out to answer in the process of bringing her first ever film, AgniYogana to the screen.  Maria and Chara talked with Emma about the journey and meaning of the film and its impact on her life, her yoga and her understanding of who we are… and can be!

Highlights from the episode include...

  • The key requirements for practicing Hatha Yoga according to the Shiva Samhita
  • Should we teach yoga in a secular way? 
  • How to teach and access the universal aspects of yoga without losing the essence.
  • The roles that yoga and Ayurveda play in a balanced life
  • Classical practices of Hatha yoga that you don’t typically see in yoga classes
  • The significance of Agni
  • The four times a day to do sadhana
  • The importance of the seasons to yoga
  • Cleansing practices in yoga and ayurveda


Resources and Mentions: 

Episode 20: Jivana Heyman - Shaking the world in a gentle way

If you’ve ever thought that accessible yoga was all about tailoring the practice for older or less “able bodied” folks, you’re gonna wanna listen to this one.  Maria and Chara talk with Jivana Heyman, teacher, activist and founder of Accessible Yoga.  And in this conversation we learn why all yoga teachers have a responsibility to make yoga accessible and what that means we need to do both on the mat and off.  Jivana shares what decades as an activist have taught him about people and pandemics and he leaves us with some deep questions that have changed how we think about and share the practice of yoga. 

In this episode we talked about

  • How online teaching supports accessibility. 
  • The overlap of epidemics, accessibility and social justice movements
  • How can we take the philosophical teachings of yoga out of the academic realm and make them more practical and accessible.
  • When social justice feels overwhelming, how yoga helps us identify what we can do.
  • What is the practice of service?
  • How yoga teachers can help their students to come into a place of safety and belonging to access the practices of yoga
  • What it means to create safety and accessibility as yoga teachers
  • Why svadhyaya is how we make anything into yoga
  • How you can tell you are doing your practice.
  • Why self care is service to yourself


Kristine Kaoverri Weber (1)
Episode 19: Slowing down and waking up with Kristine Kaoverii Weber

They say that the subtle aspects of yoga are the most powerful and transformative. Our guest this week knows all about this… and more.  Chara and Maria talk with Kristine Kaoverii Weber, a dear friend of Maria’s who knew her as a fledgling self-care evangelist back in graduate school. It was a wonderful and very wide-ranging conversation about everything from self care and social justice, to marketing and weight loss with a touch of neuroscience and generous sprinkling of yogic wisdom for good measure!

Highlights from our chat include:

  • How Kristine has been coping with these strange times
  • The importance of creating safe communities online - “watch parties” 
  • The reason Kristine teaches yoga to behavioural health professionals
  • How subtle yoga can address the crisis of self loathing in the world
  • How the systems of racism are toxically intertwined with the systems of trauma. 
  • How self care for clinicians will create a foundation for offering trauma informed care
  • Self care beyond Netflix, wine and a mani-pedi.
  • What is the actual work of yoga? 
  • How subtle is different from gentle.
  • Why active relaxation is more effective for losing weight than exercise
  • How do we make yoga more accessible?
  • Kristine defines the challenge of public health. 

Kristine's Bio:

Kristine Weber, MA, C-IAYT, eRYT500 is a leading world authority on the neuroscientific benefits of slow, mindful movement and an advocate for the use of these practices as a solution to the healthcare crisis. She is leading the charge to get slow, mindful practices to people who desperately need them through her Subtle® Yoga Revolution series of online courses and trainings for yoga teachers – which have been praised by thousands all over the world.

In March 2019 she was invited to speak to staff and members of the U.S. Congress at Capitol Hill about the potential benefits of yoga therapy in the healthcare system.

Kristine has been studying yoga and holistic healing for nearly 30 years, teaching yoga since 1995, and training teachers since 2003. Her organization provides holistic mind-body trainings and clinical services, including yoga teacher trainings at the RYT200 and RYT500 levels and trainings for behavioral health professionals, with the mission of enhancing community health infrastructure.

Kristine presents workshops and trainings internationally and is frequently invited to speak about yoga at conferences. She has published a book and a number of and articles. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her New Zealander husband Brett, son Bhaerava and neuroprotective cat, Jerry. Find out more at

Show Notes:

Subtle Yoga Website:

Subtle Yoga Resilience society:

Weathering the storm E-book:


From her blog: Why I don’t take my yoga hot and sweaty

3 minute egg yoga blocks 

The work of Kristin Neff on self compassion

30 Day Challenge: The Subtle Secrets of Pranayama

What is distress tolerance?

Tips for working with anxiety from Kristine

The Yoga and Neuroscience Connection

Kristine on hyper mobility

A Case for Public Health Yoga: 7 Key Trends to Consider


Digesting discomfort
Episode 18: Digesting Discomfort - The aftermath of our conversation with Michelle Johnson

We decided to take a deeper look at the process of digesting experiences that challenge our beliefs and what we know about ourselves. Neither of us could stop thinking about the conversation we had with Michelle Johnson on the subject of social justice, racism, yoga and politics. It brought up so many new feels and inspired lots of talks, and the beginnings of new beliefs. So we decided to sit together (as we do) to talk about the impact of that conversation and how we’re each carrying it in our bodies, minds and yoga!

You can find more information about Michelle here:


Michelle C. Johnson
Episode 17: Michelle C. Johnson - Uncomfortable conversations about racism and yoga

Social justice is ultimately everyone’s responsibility.  Yoga philosophy and practice can be a foundation for seeing and advocating for a more just world.  Chara and Maria talk with Michelle C. Johnson, a yoga teacher, clinical social worker and dismantling racism educator about the unique challenges for people of color in the current global uprising related to the Black Lives Matter movement.  We unpack terms like “spiritual bypassing” and “cultural appropriation” and talk about the personal and collective tools we’ll need to keep this vital conversation moving in the direction of change.

In this conversation we talk about:

  • How Michelle is holding hope and heartbreak in this moment
  • How to make sure the work to dismantle racism is sustainable.
  • How the term BIPOC directly speaks to racial hierarchy
  • What is social justice and how does it apply to yoga? 
  • What is spiritual bypassing?
  • How bodies are political and what it means to be embodied. 
  • How reflecting on our social location can be a tool for reflection on both our experience of oppression and assigned privilege.
  • And more...

You can find Michelle here:


In this episode we talked about...

  • How Michelle is holding hope and heartbreak in this moment
  • How to make sure the work to dismantle racism is sustainable.
  • How the term BIPOC directly speaks to racial hierarchy
  • What is social justice and how does it apply to yoga? 
  • What is spiritual bypassing?
  • How bodies are political and what it means to be embodied. 
  • How reflecting on our social location can be a tool for reflection on both our experience of oppression and assigned privilege.
  • What do people of colour need to do in this monent? And what to white folks need to do?
  • How do we keep this conversation going? 
  • How yoga teaches distress tolerance - a key skill for doing the work of dismantling racism.
  • What is cultural appropriation?
  • Why saying, “I don’t see colour” doesn’t work.
  • Tokenism



J.Brown (1)
Episode 16: Life, Yoga and being okay with J. Brown

Maria and Chara sit down with yoga teacher and podcaster J. Brown to talk about his work, motivations and what he’s managed to learn in his time on the planet, thus far.  We talk about how yoga informs J’s politics and parenting, why he started a podcast, and the not so silent influence that provides the balance he needs to engage in the business of yoga.

In this episode we talked about...

J's online yoga offerings

J's weekly yoga teachers class

You can find more info about J including his writings and details about his workshops at:



Mado Hesselink (1)
Episode 15: The business of living your yoga w/ Mado Hesselink

This week we’re talking to yoga teacher and yoga business mentor Mado Hesselink!  She’s the host of the Yoga Teacher’s Resource podcast, but also a mother, and holder of space. She’s built a growing community of yoga teachers online who are looking to connect and better understand how to live your yoga while making a living from it!  Mado is a master of life and business wisdom, and in this conversation we get to hear where she’s come from, what she’s passionate about and what she believes yoga has to teach us... especially now!

In this episode we talked about:
Interview with Shelly Prosko on Toga Teacher Resource Podcast:
Info on being a Patron of the Yoga Teacher Resource Podcast:
Mastermind Masterclass with Mado:
Interview with Mado on Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast, talking about Conversations with 100 Yoga Teacher:
Episode 14: The Yoga of Politics - A Conversation with Shannon Crow

This week we are talking with Shannon Crow, the host of The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast and Facebook group about the connections between yoga and politics and the challenge of how to support communities of color and ALL communities through these challenging times. A fantastic conversation with heartfelt vulnerabilities and heartwarming openness.

In this episode we talked about:
The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast:
Yoga for Pelvic Health Teacher Training:
Pelvic Health Professionals membership:
Mado Hesselink: 
Instagram - yoga.teacher.resource
The Yoga Teacher Resource Podcast:
Jivana on the Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast:
Episode 13: What's next? Exploring life beyond Covid

Change is in the air… can you feel it?  As the world slowly begins to come to grips with reopening a lot is coming up!  Chara and Maria chat about what this NEW transition looks like for them right now and what they’ve learned from yoga and Ayurveda that is helping to support them through the destabilizing process of figuring out what’s next!

In this episode we talked about:
Chara’s upcoming Solstice Retreat: 

Chara’s ONLINE Classes:

Kate Pell on You Tube:

Maria’s teacher Judy Krupp in Sydney on Zoom:

Maria’s Online Yoga for Mental Health Teacher Training:

Maria’s online classes:

Episode 12: Yoga philosophy in real life - Embodying the Yoga Sutras with Ranju Roy & David Charlton

Chara and Maria speak with Ranju Roy and David Charlton, yoga teachers, creators of Sahana Mala Yoga training and and authors of the new book Embodying the Yoga Sutras:  Support, direction, Space.  They talk about a wide range of subjects mostly centering around the value, beauty and approaches to integrating ancient yogic wisdom into our everyday lives!

Episode 11: Facing tech fears and embracing the yoga sutras

Maria and Chara talk about the challenges of embracing technology as a yoga teacher and how they are tackling tech fear. They also dive into a discussion about their experience of the yoga sutras and why they are suddenly relevant in their lives now, in preparation for an upcoming discussion with Ranju Roy and Dave Charlton, yoga teachers and authors of the new  book “Embodying the Sutras”.

Episode 10: Living life in the time of Corona... A Catch up Conversation

Chara & Maria chat about what's happening in their lives and their yoga as they live through the social distancing situation. Maria shares details of a recent health scare and the impact it has had on her thoughts about her own tools for loving herself in the midst of real challenges.

Pathways to a Centered Body: Gentle Yoga Therapy for Core Stability, Healing Back Pain, and Ease
Kareen Zebroff:
Charlotte Selver: Sensory awareness foundation
Mark Walsh: Embodiment Podcast Embodiment channel:
Mark Walsh interviews Leila Stuart:
Judith Lasater: “Give them their gold back”
Robin Rothenberg: Restoring Prana book.
Episode 9: Embodied Anatomy with Leila Stuart

Maria and Chara sit down with Yoga therapist, yoga teacher trainer and author Leila Stuart, who uses the principles of embodied anatomy in her therapy and teaching work. Leila shares details of her long, varied and unconventional history with the practice of yoga and how that inner work created the foundation for what she now shares with the world. Her most recent book is “Pathways to a Centered Body” and she’s currently at work on a new book! Enjoy this deep and joyful chat between three passionate and engaged teachers.

Pathways to a Centered Body: Gentle Yoga Therapy for Core Stability, Healing Back Pain, and Ease
Kareen Zebroff:
Charlotte Selver: Sensory awareness foundation
Mark Walsh: Embodiment Podcast Embodiment channel:
Mark Walsh interviews Leila Stuart:
Judith Lasater: “Give them their gold back”
Robin Rothenberg: Restoring Prana book.
Episode 8: Navigating coronavirus fears and realities

We’ve been getting questions from students and clients about the coronavirus. What’s the best thing to do? What should be avoided or embraced? So we decided to sit down and talk about what we know, what we don’t know, and what we’re doing to navigate the choppy water of this pandemic as it ripples through our lives and our communities.

Corona Virus Dashboard - An online aggregation of up to date information about cases and outcomes. 
Harvard Health Publishing Coronavirus resource center - Guidance on the current situation and suggestions for how navigate it.
Episode 7: A chat with Isiah McKimmie - The Yoga of Sex

Relationships and sex therapist Isiah McKimmie is out to help people see the deeper side of sex and themselves. On a journey of self discovery herself, we talk about what makes sex healthy, why ageing can actually improve your sex life and how Ayurveda’s third pillar of health contributes to our ultimate desire to live in alignment with our true nature.  Also Chara finds out what a sexologist is! Don’t miss this beautiful and wide ranging discussion!

More about Isiah:
Isiah McKimmie is a Couples Therapist, Sex Therapist, Sexologist and Coach who has been helping women and couples discover deeper intimacy and desire for over a decade.  

One of the most qualified Sex and Relationship Experts in Australia, Isiah holds a Masters degree in Relational Psychotherapy, a Master degree in Science in Medicine (Sexual Counselling/Psychosexual Therapy), a Post-Graduate Diploma of Sexology and a Certificate from the prestigious Institute for the Advanced Studies of Human Sexuality.  

Isiah is compassionate, understanding and absolutely non-judgemental. She’s built her reputation on getting results and helping her clients live happier lives.

Where you can find her online:
Instagram: @isiahmckimmie.sexologist
What we talked about...
Episode 6: Eating like you love yourself: The ancient approach to a healthy diet
Maria and Chara talk about the Ayurvedic approach to healthy eating along with Chara's book on the subject.
We explore:
  • Why Chara wrote her book after initially resisting the pull to focus her Ayurvedic teaching around food
  • How organising the book in seasons allowed Chara to address both the Ayurvedic approach to food and the application of ayurvedic Principles to people’s daily life
  • How the sister sciences of ayurveda and yoga differ in their intentions and approaches to eating.
A guide to major talking points...
  • How the oversimplification, “eat for your type” or “eating for your dosha” doesn’t give people enough information to be really useful and apply ayurveda to daily living life. 
  • The central theme of Chara’s application of Ayurvedic principles is the emphasis on intuitive non-restrictive eating, but how do we develop the ability to trust ourselves to individualise our diets
  • We review how every person and everything has certain qualities, and that we want to use the things and foods in our life to bring our qualities into balance. See episode 3 on Ayurveda for more detail
  • We use the example of Kale to explore how a person’s qualities meet a food’s qualities, and how, if the rough dry qualities of kale don’t agree with you, you can prepare it is a way that will yield its nourishment in a way that work for you. 
    • How do you cultivate the fire inside?
    • When should we eat? 
    • What is “eating in a minefield?”
    • Why we eat? And how that affects the fire inside.
    • What we eat and how it affects the digestive fire
    • Tuning into the strength of our digestive fire when making choices about what and when to eat.
    • Juicy hungry versus  “hangry”
    • Chara’s thoughts on meal planning. 
    • What does ayurveda say about snacking?
    • Three rules for eating like you love yourself:
      • Eat seasonally
      • Keep your fire burning
      • Choose balance
    • We talk about weight: how thinking about losing weight or being a right weight is not helpful and constructive. How our cultural messages about what healthy is are not useful for most people to eat like they love themselves.
    • How harmonising the when, what, how and why we eat helps.
    • How the messages from the world around us can interfere with tuning into how to eat and be in a body in a way that is right for you as an individual?  
    • How the goal for healthy is about connecting to and coming back to your true nature.
    • How to find what is truly nourishing for you? 
    • How the accessible yoga movement and the body positive movement has broadened available images of what healthy and well can look like. 
    • How Chara is trying to change the paradigm of what healthy looks and feels like with the concept of eating like you love yourself. 
Eat like You Love Yourself book by Chara Caruthers
Trigger warning on body image and weight
Yoga is Dead Podcast: Vegans killed yoga episode 5:  Resources page
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!

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.
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.

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.

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.

You can find more information about Maria at:


Looking for Maria...?

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