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 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:


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