What Is Mindfulness and How Can We Use It In Yin Yoga?
Mindfulness has become a bit of a buzzword that seems to have lost its meaning.
Originally a Buddhist concept but sadly has been co-opted and is being used everywhere from wellness circles to advertising. It seems like most people have kind of a vague idea about what Mindfulness is but can’t likely define it, let alone incorporate it into our lives.
Our Yin Yoga practice is an ideal time to add bite-sized Mindfulness practices into our lives.
But what actually IS mindfulness and how can we add that to our Yin Yoga Practice?
In this episode, My Guest Addie deHilster and I talk about mindfulness and Yin Yoga (among many other great nuggets) Addie D. Hilster is a mindfulness meditation teacher. She’s also certified by The International Association of Yoga Therapists.
Her passion is teaching movement practices that unlock mindfulness skills and help students gain traction in their meditation practice so that they can be more present in their lives.
Yin Yoga is one of the main modalities that she practices and teaches. And it’s an excellent doorway to an embodied meditative stillness. She’s now based in Vancouver, Washington in the US, but she previously owned and operated a community yoga studio in Los Angeles, California for over five years.
She’s a dedicated practitioner of Buddhist insight meditation, and she’s accumulated over four months of silent retreat practice over the years.
She’s also a graduate of the Mindfulness Mentor Training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brock, the Insight LA Mindfulness Facilitator Training and the 2014/ 2015 Mindful Yoga and Meditation training program at the Spirit Rock Center.
She has studied Yin Yoga with Bernie Clark, Paul Grilley, and Sarah Powers. Addie is the founder of the Move to Meditate class library. And the host of the Move to Meditate podcast.
In this episode Addie:
- Defines Mindfulness
- How we can add mindfulness to our Yin Practice
- How we can bring mindfulness to everyday life
- Guides a short mindfulness practice
and much more
You can find Addie here: https://movedtomeditate.yoga
My interview on Addies Podcast: https://movedtomeditate.yoga/?s=nyk+danu
Addies’ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/addie_movedtomeditate/
Yoga Teachers: Join The Waitlist for my Therapeutic Yin Yoga Training at the bottom and top of the Page
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Mindfulness in Yin Yoga – Listen
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Mindfulness in Yin Yoga – Read
[00:00:00] I am welcome back to a yoga podcast. If you’re new around here, my name is Nick Denny. And I am a yoga therapist, a yoga teacher and a yoga teacher trainer, as well as a yoga business mentor. And I also teach the general public. If you are interested in doing some yoga with me on zoom, I will leave a link in the show notes for that.
And that’s open to both the public and teachers as well. I do seasonal semesters as opposed to dropping classes. So we get many weeks together to really. Embrace whatever season we’re in and also take the classes to a bit of a deeper level than you can do on a drop in basis. I also have a therapeutic yin yoga teacher training.
So if you’re a teacher and you’re interested in more about that, I will put a link again in the show notes for you as well. And finally, I have an on demand video [00:01:00] library. So it’s not really a membership. It’s more like Netflix where you just, you know, you pay a monthly fee, you get access to all the videos.
And again, I’ll link to that as well in the show notes. All right. Today, we have a guest, my friend Addy D. Hillster. I’ve been on Addy’s podcast before we’ve never met in person, just virtually. And I invited her to talk about mindfulness meditation and also how we can use mindfulness in our yin practice.
And the reason I wanted to talk about this is because I feel like mindfulness has become one of those buzzwords that we use all the time and very few people actually even know what it means. So we’ll dive into all of that as well as, you know, her history and her story when she gets on, but for now, here is Addie’s bio.
So Addie D. Hilster is a mindfulness meditation teacher. She’s also a certified international association of yoga therapists, yoga therapist. Her passion is teaching movement [00:02:00] practices that unlock mindfulness skills and help students gain traction in their meditation practice so that they can be more present for their lives.
Yin yoga is one of the main modalities that she practices and teaches. And it’s an excellent doorway to an embodied meditative stillness. She’s now based in Vancouver, Washington in the U S, but she previously owned and operated a community yoga studio in Los Angeles, California for over five years.
She’s a dedicated practitioner of Buddhist insight meditation, and she’s accumulated over four months of silent retreat practice over the years. She’s also a graduate of the Mindfulness Mentor Training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brock, the Insight LA Mindfulness Facilitator Training and the 20 14 20 15 Mindful Yoga and Meditation training program at the Spirit Rock Center.
She has studied Yin Yoga with Bernie Clark, Paul Grilley, and [00:03:00] Sarah Powers. Addie is the is the founder of Move to Meditate class library. And the host of the move to meditate podcast, which I’ve been a guest on, and I will link to, and she offers yin yoga and mindful movement trainings online.
So that’s a bit about Addie and we’ll hear from her in just a moment. Hi Addie. Welcome to a Yin Yoga podcast. I’m so excited that you’re here. Hey Nyk I’m excited too. Thank you so much for inviting me to be on your podcast. It’s a, it’s an honor and a pleasure. And you were mentioning before we hit record that you and I have so much in common, um, professionally, and just kind of like our practices.
Um, and for those of you who haven’t heard of Addie’s. Podcast. She has a podcast as well. I’ve been a guest. I will link, of course, in the show notes. And I remember at that time too, it just being like, well, we should have just booked like a four hour chat session [00:04:00] before the podcast interview. So we will try to keep it, um, you know,
we’ll try to focus. Yes. We’ll see how that goes. Yes, exactly. That was a great episode. And I was looking back before we started recording, like when was that? And that one came out at the beginning of 2022. So it’s been a while since we talked. Yeah. So I’d love to start with, and I know sometimes teachers are like, really, you want to hear my yoga origin story, but here’s what I know for sure.
Yoga teachers, especially love hearing other teachers, yoga origin stories. It’s just a thing. So I’d love to start with how you found yoga. And maybe a little bit about like, cause , some people find yoga and they’re instantly hooked and some people find yoga and they’re like, they had to warm up to it.
So just, yeah, a little bit about how you started practicing and then we’ll move into the other stuff, the teaching and all that. I love it. I agree with you. It’s really fun to hear [00:05:00] how people got started and what kind of brought people to their practice. And I know that for a lot of people, the story is like, they found it through kind of a fitness avenue and then maybe Later they found yin and, and sort of like toned things down in certain ways.
And that wasn’t really it for me. I found yoga because I was looking for a form of stress relief. And I knew about yoga a little bit. My mom had like an ancient, not ancient, but she had that like Richard Hiddleman yoga book that’s really vintage at this. point when I was growing up. And it was like this one random book in our house.
And like, she would occasionally watch the yoga on PBS. So I was like, okay, I knew what it was. But when I was in college is when I started my practice because I was really stressed out. I was a music major. I was studying flute performance. Being a performer was very stressful. And I was also like going through a lot of family [00:06:00] conflict and just like figuring out who I was as a young person.
I was like dealing with like the religious beliefs I grew up with and what I wanted to do with those going forward as an adult. And so there was just like so much going on for me. And. I was one day, like, stumbling through the music building all stressed out, getting ready to, go into one of my classes, and I just kind of, like, flopped into the door, and I was, like, oh, I’m so stressed out, and this guy behind me, who was this, chill dude, he was, like, a jazz studies major, and he was, like, the guy who would sit outside the music building and roll his own cigarettes, and he’s, he had a whole vibe.
This guy was like, dude, you should try yoga. And so, I was like, you know what? He’s right. And so I did, I went, back to my job at the music library where I had access to a computer. Because we’re talking 1998 here. here. And I [00:07:00] got online and, went to the 1998 version of amazon. com and found like that Rodney Yee, Patricia Walden, Gaim video.
It was a VHS tape. And I ordered that and I started doing that, practice and it became like an instant love affair. And I did it every day for a really long time. And, you know, say what you will about Doing yoga on a videotape, but it was very transformative for me. And I didn’t really have access to live, like in person type classes where I was at that time.
So that was, that was really how I got started and it just never left me. That’s so interesting that it was 98. Cause that’s exactly when I took my first class. Yeah. I love that. I love that the fact that the guy called you, dude, first of all, that, so was this in California? No, this was in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, which is why in 1998, there weren’t other yoga classes around [00:08:00] that I could just pop into, you know, wasn’t in California at that time.
And just the fact that, I mean, I just, I’m picturing you, you know, falling against the door. Oh, I’m so stressed. And like, probably if you weren’t that stressed, you might have looked at chill dude and been like, I don’t think that you can give me advice, but because you were so stressed and he was so chill.
You were like, Oh, wait a minute. What was that you said? And in my flute teacher. Also was like, , holistic in certain ways. She was really intense in other ways, but she was always, like, exposing us to things like Feldenkrais, or Alexander Technique, and different modalities like that. And I think she did yoga, and she , hinted to us that we should all be doing yoga, and so that made me not want to do yoga at all, because I didn’t want to…
I just didn’t want her to tell me everything I was supposed to. to do, which was, you know, I was like 19, 20, you know, dealing with all , my stuff, but for some reason, you know, [00:09:00] Joe from the jazz studies department got my attention and I was like, he’s right. That might work. If you don’t mind me asking, you said that you were at that point in life, you were kind of struggling with like, how much of the religion I brought from my childhood, am I still doing?
And did you find you had any, And only share, of course, whatever you’re comfortable with. But did you find that you had any kind of ideas about what yoga was then based on like how you were raised? That is a good question. And it’s like hard to remember back that far in some ways, but I remember I grew up in Alabama and it was pretty fundamentalist.
It was kind of out in a rural part and, Southern Baptist. And I do remember , Being explicitly told that things like yoga or buddhism or hinduism. That was a cult and Even at the time, , I thought hmm and it was probably you know one of those things that caused me to start [00:10:00] questioning all of that when I was in college, but Yeah, I had a lot of probably sensitivity to things that would appear religious or spiritual, but I don’t, I think I was just so needing the stress relief that I didn’t let that stop me from trying it.
And being that I was just at home practicing with these videos, it was pretty safe and I felt like I could dip my toe into that in, on my own terms, I guess. And it didn’t really conflict with the process I was going through of, you know, sort of sorting out all of that, that background and where I was going to land with that eventually as an adult.
Yeah. I mean, there’s no worry that someone’s trying to convert you. If you’re just by yourself with a VHS tape, right? Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Nice. I remember that tape. Was that the AM PM split one? That’s the one, the one I [00:11:00] had. Yeah. Yeah. , So then how long did you kind of practice yoga? I mean, you said that you were,
a musician. That’s what you were studying. And so where did you move from, I practice yoga for stress relief because I’m in this intense program to, uh, maybe I want to teach this stuff. It didn’t occur to me until much later that I could teach yoga. When I took my 200 hour teacher training, it was like nine years later after I had started yoga.
It was almost a decade, partly because it just didn’t occur to me that was something I could do. , but, you know, it’s really interesting kind of how those like music worlds and yoga and meditation worlds intertwined even early on for me because I had this, um, pretty major repetitive stress injury that happened , I think it was when I was in graduate school.
But, basically the ulnar nerves in [00:12:00] both of my arms got nerve damage from practicing too much. And it was just like achy. nerve pain, unrelenting for a couple of months. So I couldn’t practice at all. I mean, this is all part of why I’m not a professional musician, but the only thing I could practice was breath.
And I had Donna Farhi breathing book and I would just do breath exercises from that. And at the time I was like, this is my flute practice, it was Pranayama and it was the beginning of my meditation practice. And I think at some point those things just flipped where it stopped being about like, I’m doing this for my flute performance and it became its own, its own thing.
It was meaningful as a practice for me, you know, ongoingly. Yeah. So walk us through the decision to take your first teacher training. How did that come up? Yeah, so that was, [00:13:00] by then I was in California, I was in Los Angeles. And like after all my music training, the way I found my way into the professional world was through the non profit arts.
world. So I became a grant writer. I was working for arts organizations. I was doing fundraising and then the big economic downturn of 2008 hit and I was suddenly fundraising and writing grants to save people’s jobs. It was super stressful. My husband had been laid off from his job, and I was like, this old breadwinner, and for a while, I was like, I need something for stress relief.
I came back to my yoga practice, and I wanted to go deeper with it, and I also , I never intended like, oh, I’m going to become a yoga teacher now, but I thought, if Everything goes to crap and I lose my job or I need a side hustle. I maybe I’ll have this other [00:14:00] skill that I could use. So I found a 200 hour.
I didn’t do that much research, but I got lucky. And it was a good teacher and good group of people. And I took my first. 200 hour teacher training. And that would have been 2009. And then did you start teaching immediately? I did. Yeah, I started teaching a little bit. I was still working full time. I started a yoga in a park class that was free and it was just like four of my friends at first.
And I was just trying to continue, like building my skills and get comfortable teaching and queuing and I teach so different from that now, but , it was just, , what I knew at that time. And, , I was just going to do it like once and then we did it. And then the people who came were like, can we do this again next week?
So then it went on for a year and a half and it, but it gave me a lot of confidence and it emboldened me to start looking for other [00:15:00] places that I could teach and , keep growing that. I want to highlight two things that you just said, in case there’s any new teachers listening. One, you said.
You just started teaching. You got to get out there. You were just like, okay, well, I’ll just do it in the park. That’s free. You know, I don’t have to go to a studio and add my resume to the pile of gazillion that they already have as a new teacher. I can just start teaching. And I love that you said you were doing it to hone your skills.
And then I also loved that you said you teach very differently now because anyone who’s been in the industry for years and years, you will look back at your first teacher training and your first teaching and go, Hmm, you know, this is a good sign, right? It means that you’re continuing to grow and evolve.
I have a binder that has like printouts of the class sequences that I taught for those first classes. And if I look at them, I’m like, Oh, boy, what was [00:16:00] I doing? I mean, they’re not that bad. They’re not that crazy. I never really taught . really extreme yoga, but that’s just, there’s a lot more nuance now.
And, you don’t know what you don’t know and you can only learn by doing. And, even if I look back on it now and I’m like, I wouldn’t do it that way. Hey, the people who came enjoyed it and benefited from it. , And you don’t know until you literally just put your toe in the water, like you, cause you’ve only taught other teacher training and worked with your own body.
You don’t know until you start working with. Different bodies, oh, those words I said, they showed up differently and six different people, you know, they didn’t quite understand what you meant, or you have a wake up call about what the average person’s body is prepared to do compared with a room full of yoga teacher trainees.
There’s a lot of learning there in the very beginning when you kind of get out of the training bubble and start to teach. And what happened to me was that people were drawn [00:17:00] to my class who had different, you know, body things going on. Like one of my very early students had MS and another one , had a hip replacement.
And so very quickly, I was like, Oh, I need to learn more because I want to make sure that I’m teaching in a way that’s appropriate to all these students. So that’s what started me down the yoga therapy path. So was that your next teacher training after your 200? My, I think my next one was when I went to Vancouver, Canada, not the Vancouver I live in now, Washington to do Bernie Clark’s yin yoga training.
I did a big road trip from just across the pond from me over there. Yeah. And that was his 50 hour I’m assuming. Yeah back in 2011. Okay. So you did, you did Bernie’s training and he added that to [00:18:00] 200. And then when did you, what came next? Was it more yin training or yoga therapy or kind of at the same time?
I think it was kind of a little at the same time, but probably the next major thing really was probably my 300 hour with Leanne Carey, which was all yoga therapy. yeah, and , she was a great teacher. She’s still around. She just doesn’t. I think she’s kind of considering herself retired from teaching, but I learned so much about propping and working with the body and developing my eyes and my cueing and just, so much more about.
How to teach asana well, and Jules Mitchell was on the faculty of Leanne’s training at that time, it was kind of before she wrote her book, and so I got to know Jules through that, and then, later kept studying with her as she developed, , a lot more around yoga and biomechanics. Mm hmm. [00:19:00] So this was a, I guess, you said it was a 300.
So it wasn’t kind of like the, the full 800 you would do for the yoga therapists association, but it was before that it was already leaning. into this kind of more therapeutic way of teaching. Yeah. Yeah. It was before I, AYT set up those standards. And so when they did that, I went through the grandfathering process and showed them all the other, that program and all of the other therapeutic programs I had done.
And all, I had to document like all the therapeutic. Classes and private sessions and things I had taught and they accepted that gave me the credential. So I considered doing , that option. , the reason I didn’t was twofold. One, because I was at a point in my life where it was my midlife crisis.
Where I had moved to the Island and got, I had been studying Chinese medicine and had realized that after three years of that, that , I love this medicine, but I don’t want to put needles in people. And so I was like, okay, we’re going to [00:20:00] withdraw from that program. So it took all of the foundational stuff that you could until you, and I took the first needling course and dropped out partway through it.
It didn’t gross me out or scare me or anything. I just was like, I just kept wanting to put my hands there instead of the needle. So it became clear that I’d gotten what I needed to from that. And then I started looking at, I had been looking at yoga therapy programs for a while. So one of the reasons I didn’t grandfather was because like, I actually really wanted to dive super deep into like full time study.
I’m such a nerd and, when you’ve already got essentially I already had 800 hours before my. 800 hour yoga therapy program. It was like, well, where do I go from here? This is the only in Canada. Anyway, I know there’s a master’s in yoga therapy in the States, but there isn’t one here.
So it was like, this is the only next level thing that I can do in a really intense kind of immersive way. So I wanted to do that. And then also the other reason is I was like, there is no way [00:21:00] I can track back all of the privates. That I’ve done at the time I went to my yoga therapy program, I’d already been teaching for 15 years.
So I was just like, I can’t go back 15 years and track down. So I was just like, forget about it. We’re going to do the program. Yeah. And I might’ve done that as a well, gone down that path of taking a, like a 800 hour yoga therapy, but I had already done a second 300 hour. When I did the mindful yoga and meditation training at Spirit Rock, which was a 300 hour training and it was, you know, I did that because I wanted to really like dive in more into the meditation and mindfulness side. So I already had, my feet in a few different pools and I didn’t, you know, have the resources or time to, go into it’s expensive, like it’s crazy how many trainings I’ve done and you just have to start picking and choosing advice to new yoga [00:22:00] teachers like, yes, because I think a lot of times anyone who’s probably listening to this is not a yoga teacher. The expenses double because you’re paying this often quite high fee for the training, but you also can’t be working.
While you’re in the training, so it’s like you’re losing income and you’re, yeah, so it’s, it’s hard to, , I’m sure anyone like yourself and me that are just total geeks when it comes to this stuff, like, you know, if I won the lottery, I would have certifications in fricking everything, but yeah, we, like you said, we have to pick and choose, we have to be, you know, yeah, , and on that note too, like I had a teacher at one point give really good advice, which was, pace yourself with trainings.
So you don’t get spiritual indigestion, you know, because you need time to like process and integrate things because it’s really easy to go take a weekend training and let it wash over you. And then unless you start teaching that stuff on [00:23:00] Monday, the next week it just gets lost or it doesn’t ever like really become part of your teaching.
It can, you can just forget about it. So it’s, I think it’s important to. Choose carefully and then make the most of the trainings you do take for me. I always feel like maybe it’s because I’m so introverted that I need to learn the information. Then I need to assimilate it into my practice for a good chunk of time before I find the words to bring that to students, unless I’m just parroting what the teacher said.
Like, for me, it really has to come from a place of embodied practice, and then my own words, my own descriptors, and then I feel like it really lands. But, , when you’re a new teacher, of course, you do parrot because you don’t have your own words yet. But for me, that’s why I like to take a good amount of time in between things to just…
Like marinate in it to steep in it, you know, that’s a really good point. And [00:24:00] I, I totally agree that in order to really be effective teaching, you need to embody what you’re teaching. Yeah. And so you do need to be practicing it. And I think a lot of times by the time I go take a training on something specific, I’ve already done a lot of research into it and reading probably and practiced with it some.
So. Like this, there’s already some relationship with it. And then that process of adding it into my teaching can be like little drops and little bits and experimenting, you know, go take a training and then immediately like the next day teach differently, or completely change how you’re teaching.
So tell us a little bit about when the meditation and mindfulness part started coming in. You just mentioned that 300 hour that you took at spirit rock. So like, when did you kind of be like, I need to, I need want feel drawn to adding this extra layer. I need to weave this [00:25:00] in. Yeah. , the stress thing is like the theme.
You’re going to be like this really is a through line for you. Um, stress and anxiety. So after we had moved to California and I was in that like early part of my career when I was doing the nonprofit arts administration and fundraising, I hit another stress wall and I don’t know if I’d been doing that much yoga cause I was so busy.
You know, I had an ongoing relationship with yoga, a little off and on in those earlier years, but I hit a stress wall again. And I was like, you know what? I need to learn how to work with my mind. Like, cause yoga had helped me so much with becoming embodied and with knowing how to release stress from my body, but , I didn’t know what to do with like thoughts and emotions and like how to put anything in perspective.
Like I needed context for what does any of this mean? I’m kind of. existential that way, [00:26:00] where, , I just had like questions about what are we all doing? Like, what is going on here? And that was part of my stress and anxiety. And so I needed , to find a way to look into that. And so I was like, I’m gonna learn to meditate.
Which again, like a little introvert, like to do yoga off of videos, I, my first step was I got a few books and I, learned how to meditate a little bit out of a book. And then I psyched myself up after a few months and finally, like, went to a meditation group. And I was a little bit nervous that they were going to be, weird or too spiritual for me in some way that I wasn’t ready for at that time.
Um, but they weren’t, they were wonderful. And even like the first time I went and heard the teacher speak, I was like, yes, I’m at home here. And that was a sort of loosely insight meditation Buddhist group. But the teacher was someone who brought in a lot of, he was [00:27:00] also like a psychotherapist, and he brought in a lot of different.
influences and other philosophical things like you would bring in Krishnamurti or, you know, he was a yoga practitioner and he would just weave things together in a really relatable way. And That was like a couple years before I took that 200 hour training, so I already had this both and of yoga and meditation in my life, and they were separate.
It was like, you’d go to a yoga studio, do yoga, you’d go to this meditation center and do meditation, even though the meditation teacher was aware of yoga and the yoga teachers were aware of meditation, it just wasn’t that connected. I think that’s where I got really interested in like, how does this fit together for me as one person doing these practices and on one path.
So I really wanted to do that training at Spirit Rock, which is a lot of what that was about , was really like [00:28:00] bringing together those different sort of fields of practice under one roof. And yeah, we had really great teachers and Anne Cushman, Janice Gates, Jill Satterfield were the main ones. And I learned a lot in that program and , it’s been really like formative I think for my career and what I’ve tried to do with, I don’t like to say integrating yoga and meditation or movement and meditation because I think You know, meditation and yoga were never separate really, but I think of it as more like decompartmentalizing.
So that’s what I’m trying to do in my practice and what I try to share. It’s interesting too, because I would say that probably most 200 hour programs don’t have a meditation component. I know when I started in my first one was a 300, but, that was because it had an additional 100 for like [00:29:00] mentorship and stuff.
So it was like 200 plus another a hundred. I didn’t even realize until we started studying Patanjai that like meditation was part of this whole yoga path. Like it’s been so removed. , it’s quite shocking actually. , so you’re, so you’re learning the mindfulness with the , with the yoga.
And this is , I’m guessing kind of where you start to see, Oh, these two bridges actually should always have been attached. . Yeah. I like how you said that. . Yeah. And, and that was part of what, the role that yin yoga played for me as well, because discovering, yin yoga was, like, the first practice that I felt was equally both, especially learning it from Sarah Powers, because Sarah Powers, brings in all this meditation and, Buddhist philosophy into yin yoga.
So that was, like, a really important bridge for me, connecting the dots between the movement practice side and the… Sitting practice side. [00:30:00] Interesting. So you’ve done your 200 and then you did your Bernie training and then you did the yoga and mindfulness one. I did the, oh my gosh, I know I did the Leanne Carey the therapeutic 300 first and also like a bunch of other like therapeutic stuff with others and then I did the Spirit rock training in like 2013, 14, or 14, 15 around that area.
And you mentioned Sarah Powers. So when did you connect with her and study with her? I have, done a few retreats with her and workshops and things when she would come around LA. I went to a retreat with her at land of medicine, Buddha, which you were talking about before we hit record, , which was a very powerful retreat experience for me.
The land there alone is like, whoa. I was just talking to somebody about that yesterday. There’s like something about the [00:31:00] energy there. Literally yesterday, my partner and I were talking about that. That’s weird. So funny. Anyways, I digress. But we’d watch this silly, fake documentary horror movie and we were just talking about how I was just saying that, as much as I didn’t believe the documentary, the horror movie thing, I was like, but I do believe that like the land can soak up the energy of whatever’s happening on it.
So, you know, if there’s lots of prayer, if there’s lots of mantra, it’s like I said, I feel like those of us that are open to it or sensitive to it can feel it. And I’ve, from the very first time I stepped on the property at land of the medicine Buddha, I was like, this is home. I was just like can I live here? Yeah. Yeah. I literally was just talking with somebody who got back from a retreat there and was like, Oh my God, that place is so powerful.
So you did a couple workshops and retreats with her. At LMB. Nice. [00:32:00] And then you also said you studied with Paul. Yeah. They did a really cool retreat together at Esalen in California in 2018 or something like that. And it was a really rare thing for them to both be teaching together. And it was like Paul and Susie and Sarah and Ty.
It was like all four of them. I remember that. I didn’t go, but I remember when they were emailing about it. Yeah, it was. I was so lucky to be able to go to that one. And yeah, it was good. Cool. Very cool. So one of the reasons that I really wanted to, other than just nerding out with you, of course, which is always fun, um, that I wanted to bring you on is to talk about, mindfulness and like in general, and then also like, how does it show up in a yin yoga practice?
And, yeah, we’ll start with that and then maybe a little guided practice. I feel like mindfulness has become one of those buzzwords that everybody [00:33:00] has this incredibly vague idea about what it might possibly mean, but nobody really has an actual idea. And I feel like. This happens so often. I’m just going to say in the West, because it’s easier than saying Canada, the U S Europe, et cetera, et cetera.
But I feel like this happens so much when these practices move here. Is that we’re very extractive, really like to take some of the things and leave the rest of the things, like take what serves us. Oh, forget about all the rest of that business. I mean, you can see it in yoga teacher trainings as well.
That example of like, Where’s the meditation? Where’s that? And so I feel like the word mindfulness at this point has been so far removed from its original, uh, Buddhist teachings. People have this vague word idea about what it means, like corporations use it and athletes use it’s become this sort of buzzword, but that if you ask people,
like, even if someone were to ask [00:34:00] me just like off a drop, like define mindfulness, if I wanted like an actual legit definition, that would take me a minute or two, if I wasn’t prepared,? So I’d love to get like a legit definition and just kind of something that’s not been so extractive that it, like a little bit of its origin and what it actually is. And we can maybe start with that and then go from there. I love to talk about this because, you’re so right, if you were to go Google mindfulness, or , click on the hashtag for mindfulness on Instagram or something, you’re gonna get a wide range of things, because it does have this, general meaning to people, and they kind of think of it as being, like, thoughtful, or, not forgetful, or something like that, kind of aware.
And it’s in the ballpark. , but it does have a more specific meaning because mindfulness meditation is a specific kind of meditation and mindfulness with a lowercase m, , is like one of the [00:35:00] aspects or qualities that we would develop in a practice, which we would develop in formal meditation, but we would also use.
in the world, in less formal contexts. So, one of my just favorite really quick definitions is, mindfulness is attention with intention. Which doesn’t capture all of it, but it’s easy to remember, , attention with intention. We have to be mindful on purpose, and also remember mindfulness takes place in the present moment.
So, it’s not when our mind is wandering into the future or stuck back in past memories. Mindfulness is us being present at this moment. You know, it’s a certain way of paying attention. And it’s non interpretative, or often people say non judgmental. It’s being aware in a really clean way, where we’re not leaping into, what we think about that, or, you know, our interpretations of what that means.
We set aside some of the meaning making [00:36:00] and just try to experience. Things as they are and learn to be with things as they are in the present moment. So, that’s a little wordy, but that’s how I would explain it and it goes back to, it’s a translation of a word in Pali. Which is sat, ss a t i and Pali was the language that early Buddhist texts were written down in, and Sanskrit mindfulness is that same word, Sati is ti mm-hmm.
And so it is mentioned in the yoga sutras too. Um, and that word is richer than what it would sound like when it’s translated as mindfulness. Mm-hmm. not really like, Mental exercise that people think it is because it includes a lot of being aware through the body and through our senses and heartfulness, you know, the kind of kindness and compassion that we need alongside of the awareness.
So that’s a start [00:37:00] of a definition. What would you say the difference then is between mindfulness and awareness, or is it like same same but different? Yeah it’s semantics because it depends on how in what sense are using the word awareness and I’m intentional about how I use the words awareness and attention Because I think of awareness as more like our capacity to be aware, our capacity to know and attention is like how we, we like focus in on things and how we move our attention around, how we place our attention with intention, mindfully.
So, so mindfulness encompasses all of that, you know, mindfulness is . I think of like more of an activity and I think of awareness as more like a capacity. Interesting. I’m just thinking about my language and when I teach and I almost never use the word mindfulness. Um, and I think that’s because it has become such a weird cliche that no one understands.
So I [00:38:00] use the word. Awareness or notice or, a lot more, I think just because, I don’t want to get caught up in these, uh, these buzzwords that I would need to define before the class, you know? Yeah. And I think awareness can totally mean that as well. It makes total sense in that, using in that context.
So it’s just again, like the semantics and trying to use the language that. Will be actionable for our students. They can actually take and understand what we’re trying to get them to do. And anytime you have a word that, you know, especially, you know, we can notice it in Sanskrit and you try to translate that into English.
That is always, it’s always a hack job because Sanskrit has such rich layers that like each Sanskrit word. I feel like. Could be like a sentence or a small paragraph to translate it into English because it’s so symbolic and layered and dependent also on what else it’s paired with. I [00:39:00] often find that there’s so many Sanskrit words that are like just grossly oversimplified when we, when yoga teachers try to use them in English.
Um, that really like a phrase would actually be a better translation than like one word. Sankalpa comes to mind. People often just say that means intention and I’m like, it’s really just that it’s much deeper and much. I don’t know. I always think the word. Sankalpa like resolve or heartfelt desire or, like it’s more, sturdy than intention to me.
Yeah. That definitely flushes it out. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s the same. And like with mindfulness, it, it helps like many teachers will bring in other Pali phrases along with Sati, to explain what we’re doing in mindfulness. Like one of my favorites is the phrase Yoni. So Manasi Cara, which. Yoni is like the womb, right?
It’s the word for the womb. And so Yoni, so Manasikara means something like to be present where experience is [00:40:00] born. That’s beautiful. It’s like a lovely way to think of mindfulness, right? So be with experience as it’s arising. So I would love to hear a little bit about how we can use mindfulness in our yin yoga practice.
Because one thing that I have noticed In teachers and any teacher, if you’re listening to this, please don’t feel called out individually. This is just what I notice in the industry that when teachers teach Yin, Yin specifically, they either, are so attached to their theme and the poetry they’ve selected.
And they’ve got a quote for each pose. And they’re so like, there’s so much talking there that it really, can pull you out of your body and out of the present moment and up into your head a bit more. And then the other extreme I find, and usually teachers will say, well, I do that because people have trouble dealing with their mind.
So I’m trying to me. It just feels like it’s you’re trying [00:41:00] to entertain them to get them more comfortable because a certain amount of YIn is being uncomfortable like mentally, how to work with that. Yeah. I feel like that’s one extreme, but then I feel like the other extreme sometimes is.
When teachers don’t address the mind at all. Yeah. So like you have brand new people coming to yin and they usually do a really active practice and now they’re sitting and they have to be still and quiet and you’ve never even told them by the way, there’s some shit that’s going to come up in your mind while you’re doing this.
And so you can just see that they get like, they’re so uncomfortable. They’re so fidgety. They’re so sometimes they’re like looking around the room, is everybody really still doing this? And I found that even just discussing the fact that the mind is busy. And that this is human and giving them some tools like mindfulness, then you can stop talking so much because you’ve given them a framework of like, first of all, you’re not the only one in the room with the circus going on in your mind.
Cause that’s what I used to think in meditation. It’s like so [00:42:00] peaceful. Right. When I first started meditating and Thank God I’m tenacious because I, I started meditating because I was now a yoga teacher and I thought, I don’t think I’ve got any cred if I’m just doing the physical, I’m not meditating. So I started seeking it out.
And of course, Buddhist temples are the natural first place to do that. And I probably went to six or seven different registered beginner meditation series. And I would try one and be like, that wasn’t it. I would try another one. Nope, that’s not it. And I just kept going. And it’s because nobody told me that my mind was going to be busy.
So I thought that everyone else in the room was getting it. And that this style of meditation just wasn’t for me because this circus was happening. And it wasn’t until my very last meditation teacher, which is why he became my last meditation teacher said, and if your mind wanders away into thinking and planning and [00:43:00] all these things, this is normal.
And I was like, shut the front door. You mean other people are experiencing this? Like I thought it was just me. So I always address it in my classes, especially if someone’s new, but then. You can’t just say, by the way, your mind’s going to be busy and have fun with that. Like, so how can we use mindfulness, like in a really kind of concrete way, like, wow, we’re practicing.
I love that story so much and, I can relate to it, although I think my first meditation teacher was pretty clear that was normal part of meditating. But I think, you know, what it points to is we need to normalize things in the teaching of yin yoga. Like, if we’re going to throw people into these long held poses, where they’re sitting with their sensations and all of the games of their mind, we need to explain a little bit about What that’s like and normalize that this is part of the process.
There’s nothing wrong, it’s not a problem [00:44:00] and we do need concrete tools to work with that. And there’s a number of tools within mindfulness, you know, even that, that can be really helpful. So I think it’s a natural fit and there’s a lot of different ways to, to use mindfulness explicitly within yin yoga.
And I say explicitly because like, I think it’s often kind of implicitly there, my exploration has just been a lot about like, how can I make that really clear? How can I really pull that out so people can learn mindfulness skills through their yoga practice or their movement practice or their yin practice?
One of the first things you learn if you go to a meditation class is how to work with an anchor or focal point. Right? Like, we bring our attention to one thing, like the breath, it’s usually the breath, or it could be a mantra, or it could be sounds, could be body sensations, and we keep bringing our attention back to it every time our mind [00:45:00] wanders, right?
That’s basic meditation 101. So, that is something I teach in probably almost every yin pose, right? Your breath is right there, and all yoga teachers are probably mentioning the breath, like, at least on the level of, make sure you’re still breathing, but if we kind of shift in the mind to think, okay, it’s, it’s your meditation anchor, and we explain to people, this is a focal point, and when you get lost, Aha, you discovered your lost, you had a moment of awareness, and now you have the opportunity to bring your attention back to that anchor.
Come back to the breath. Or come back to that whole constellation of sensations you’re feeling in your hip because you’re doing Sleeping Swan, right? And watch those sensations ebb and flow and shift and change over the course of the pose. So we can use, breath, we can use sensations, we can use all these different experiences as form of anchor in a yin pose.[00:46:00]
And it’s useful, of course, because the more attuned we are to what’s going on in the body, we make better decisions about how to manage sensation or how to prop ourselves kindly, how to support the body how to really practice in a yin like way. And, and not in a yang way, because we often tend to bring our sort of like yang habits into yin yoga, I find.
And that takes a lot of coaching to kind of calm that down and see that for what it is. So I think that there’s a lot there too about, you know, and stop me if you want to like pause on any of that, but just looking at intensity and like how we encounter intensity in the body in a Yen pose and how we work with that.
Noticing if you’re the kind of person who see, who feels something intense and you’re like, yeah, I’m going to do it. or if you’re the kind of person who starts to feel something intense and you’re like, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope, Nope. Get me out of here, right? [00:47:00] And so Yin Yoga is a really good laboratory to play with that and to sort of like, go a little against the grain of your…
Your natural tendency, um, safely and in titrated way and to just learn a lot about yourself and notice the ways that might translate off the mat as well. I feel like, and almost every class that I teach that are drop in, not with my, so I teach a lot at the time of this recording. It’s good. I’ll change.
COVID has taught me nothing. It has taught me that.
But right now I teach two drop in classes a week at a local studio. And so I may have people that have all done yin before, or I may have a mixed bag of experience levels. And so I usually check in with them at the start when they’re lying in constructive rest and just say, if you’re new to this practice, put one hand on your belly, just so that I know, do I need to talk a lot about the mind?
Or is everyone here been in my class before and now they’re gonna be like, uh, quit [00:48:00] talking so much, so I do that check in, but I feel like having. Something that they can direct their attention to, like you said, like an anchor, and I do a few breath is obviously, really simple one, um, and discussing the mind, what is the difference would you say then between.
Like a mindfulness meditation practice and like a concentration practice. Ooh, I love that you asked that. Because this is something I think is just like misunderstood a lot where people often think that meditation is just the focusing part. And if you can’t focus, then like. Damn it, I can’t meditate, right?
Kind of like you’ve experienced early on that like your mind was still going, and it took a while before someone let you know that was okay. Mm hmm. Right? Because, so, mindfulness does [00:49:00] include that act of gathering our scattered mind. Which is a gentle way to describe what concentration is, right?
I love that word, gathering. That’s so Ann Cushman, right? Collecting and gathering the scattered mind. Because sometimes we hear concentration and we think tighten up, try harder. It can be quite rigid, especially I find in . Some very traditional Buddhist practices. It can be very rigid.
Yeah. Yeah, it can have that very yang tone to it But you know really mindfulness Includes everything, you know in the Buddhist teachings we talk about the six which are all of our, you know, sense organs, our eyes, our ears, our nose, our mouth, feeling through the body, and the mind is the sixth sense door, which is a very interesting, concept, but that we are to be aware of everything that’s touching our consciousness through all of these senses.
We’re to be aware of hearing or to be aware of seeing, feeling. You know, for eating or to be aware of the smells, the taste, the flavors, [00:50:00] right? To really study our experiences moment to moment, including all the really ordinary ones, because they teach us things about the nature of experience and our reactivity to it, right?
So we can do this in our yin poses, we can do this in our meditation, but I think what’s so important to realize, like with that, bringing in that more inclusive Mindfulness view is that nothing is a distraction. Nothing needs to be a distraction. We don’t need to get caught up on, trying to get rid of our thoughts and thinking, I’ve got to focus, I’ve got to focus.
We need, like, a modicum of enough focus to stay in the present moment and to realize when we’re lost to come back and to be able to sustain mindfulness. But really the two work together so that we can actually take a good look at our experiences and actually Learn from them and kind of notice things and have insights about them.[00:51:00]
So, I don’t know if that totally clarifies it because it is a little bit of a subtle thing to explain, but I would just say mindfulness includes all of our experiences. Mm hmm. It’s experiencing that from the present moment vantage point. Yeah. I find when I was a new meditator or when I have students that are new to the practice of the inner meditation, that actually having a little bit of structure with a concentration technique feels like it needs to be the entry point because I feel like, because mindfulness is so expansive that it’s so easy to quickly just get caught up.
In thinking, it’s like, how is that different than letting my mind just wander, right? With whatever pings my attention, I remember my meditation teacher telling us like, and my primary, one of the primary styles that he taught us was a Zen style of meditation. And I remember him saying, , we were doing breath counting and him [00:52:00] saying eventually that naturally falls away.
So like, it’s a useful tool, to help in the beginning when your mind is literally like going everywhere. But , once you have that sense of kind of my mind is now focused on this one thing, then it can move to something a little more subtle, and then you have the space to almost open it up a little bit more into something like mindfulness without being as pulled away.
Constantly into thinking. Yeah, we need the stability of mind in order to sustain the mindfulness. Otherwise, it just becomes like how our mind normally is wandering around and getting lost in everything. You know, all the different shiny, bright little pop ups and thoughts that come around. You’ve mentioned, This kind of practicing yin and meditation with this kind of yang energy a couple of times, which that could probably be a whole podcast on its own.[00:53:00]
But this is one of the things that I try to instill at the beginning when we’re talking about the mind in my yin classes is that I truly want them to try if they can define what the Buddha would have called the middle way. Yeah. We’re not so unconscious of our mind that we’re just thinking and planning and list writing and analyzing and ruminating and criticize like all of that stuff and just letting our mind run into that while we’re making some shapes with our body.
Because I know I usually crack a joke because let’s face it, we’re all already experts at that. Like we don’t need the practice at like we want to be, Because our culture is so hard on people, you know, everyone’s not doing enough. They aren’t enough. They’re competing. They’re striving there.
And that’s really hard to shut off. I often make jokes about, for those of you like myself that are recovering a type personalities, like we need to dial it back a little. And so I’m also keenly aware that if you give certain people like too concentrated [00:54:00] of a technique. That then this becomes a competition, or one more way to be hard on themselves or to criticize themselves.
And so I’m always trying to get them to find the middle way there where it’s I’m not going to let my mind run on abandoned and just do its thing wreaking havoc , when I noticed that happening, I’m going to guide it back, but I’m also not going to be so rigid that I’m being harsh or critical with this technique.
And so I feel like finding that in between for me is does feel like mindfulness. It’s like when, cause concentration is a good foundation, but it can become, like you said, a bit intense if people are already predisposed that way. Noticing how a technique is working for us is definitely part of a mindful process, right?
Being aware of ourselves. And, you know, we can be aware of thoughts without getting lost in them. And we use tools like noting. Sometimes, [00:55:00] noting, thinking, thinking. Oh, I just noticed I was supposed to be following my breath and my mind is thinking again. Or we can even be more specific, like, planning.
I’m on planning mode or worrying or judging or wanting or, you know, whatever the flavor might be of the thinking, to notice that and we can notice different sort of states of mind, like restlessness or fuzziness. We can notice all the different moods and emotions that are present and that are affecting what’s going on in the mind and also in the body.
But we can note, you know, oh, this is what sadness feels like, or this is what anxiety feels like. These are the sensations. These are the kind of thoughts it kicks up. We can get to know that. And then as we get to know that, which takes courage, because it’s like, do I really want to look more closely at this?
awful feeling of anxiety. But, you know, as we get to know it, it [00:56:00] has less power over us. We have more ways of working with it and we see more of the ways that it’s actually changing. It’s not the same all the time. We kind of start to see through it a little bit and poke holes in and it becomes less. Less potent in certain ways where we identify with it less, you know, rather than assuming I’m just The kind of person who worries all the time.
It’s no, I’m a person who’s experiencing worry thoughts. Ooh, I love that line. It’s a really different point of view. It really is like a brain switch. Like when you get that, and then hopefully that starts to infiltrate your life when you’re not on your yoga mat. And I always say to my students that the biggest benefit for me of my yoga and meditation practice is not looser hamstrings.
It’s not, it’s not [00:57:00] being stronger. It’s it’s made me a more kind human because I learned the ability in these practices on my mat. To notice what’s going on in this brain of mine. Those of you that can’t see, I’m like making circles here. I noticed that and I can step back from it enough to be like. Well, isn’t that interesting?
Exactly. Look at you just going on a little trip there. And then that gives you this space to respond to situations instead of just be in reaction mode. And this is also where we can use tools like the Metta practice, the loving kindness practice. My favorite. I love it too, and it’s so important. To really bring in kindness alongside of awareness, because it’s not always easy to see this show, you know, and it’s not always easy to be with difficult sensations in the body challenging emotions, or even just like chaotic mind states, it’s not easy.[00:58:00]
And so we do need Soothing that, another one that I like to teach people that I think helps normalize that, you know, emotions, thoughts, they’re all part of the practice is the RAIN technique, the mindfulness technique of RAIN, which is an acronym. And it just walks you through a process of mindfulness.
And I think in this framework, it just kind of helps keep you in the present moment, but you start to look at your experience and. Recognize what’s going on. That’s the R. I’m just going, oh, hmm, I’m having an angry thought right now.
Hmm, I recognize this. This is anger. And then we go to A, which stands for allow. Okay, instead of trying to get rid of this anger and tell myself not to be angry, I’m going to be like, I’m going to relax. It’s okay. I’m angry right now. I’m allowing it to be here. And now I’m going to investigate it. That’s the I.
What is this like? This is kind of uncomfortable. And I feel like my shoulders are tightening, my jaw is tightening, my stomach’s [00:59:00] clenching, I’m making fists, and I’m writing an angry letter to my congressperson. Or whatever that means. You know, there’s a whole script going. There’s a whole, there’s a whole bunch of things happening.
I’m warm, my face is turning red, you know, whatever it is, the sensations, the mental activities, we’re looking at them more closely. We’re just like making a catalog of what is that we’re investigating. And then we go, okay, N not identify slash nurture. Some teachers teach it as not identify and some teach it as nurture.
I like both. So it’s a, it’s a rain with two ends. But not identify means it’s don’t take it personally. This is just something that’s moving through you, or this is a natural part of being a human to sometimes be angry, right? I’m not an angry person, I’m a person having an angry moment. And then nurture is where like maybe the meta phrases would come in, or some self compassion, or just like a soothing [01:00:00] touch, like putting my hand on my heart.
Or, something that helps me to feel, held in that experience. Mm hmm. And you take yourself through a process like that, it really does change the experience of whatever it was that you were working with and, you know, helps you to be with it without completely getting swept away by it. So I find that really useful to introduce as well in a yin class because it gives like that structure that I love that I’ve heard Tara Brock say that a few times but I don’t know if it’s actually really originally hers or if it’s but anyways, yeah, I remember the first time I heard it.
I was like, this is a game changer. Yeah. Yeah. She’s, definitely the most known for that practice. I think someone else may have originated, but she’s done a lot of teaching around it. And I think she’s done a lot of developing of that technique over the years. So it’s such a useful practice. And I feel like, you know, meta [01:01:00] is again, could be a whole other episode in the future.
It’s a beautiful practice. I use it a lot in my yin, especially, if I’m dealing with a lot of really atype people, I’ll just use the first part, like the self meta. Because I feel like people are so critical of themselves, you know, how would you feel about maybe giving us a little sampling, a little guided, like just a shorty , mindfulness practice , while we’re here?
I would love to. So what I think I’ll do is since we were talking about how mindfulness is a little different than concentration, maybe we’ll do a little bit of mindfulness of hearing. And then some mindfulness of some body sensations. Okay. And so for those of you, if you’re listening to this driving, just please keep your eyes open.
Yeah. Pull over if you can, or keep your eyes open and come back to this part. Yeah. Come back to this later. Yeah. You can probably do hearing while you’re driving, but don’t stop seeing [01:02:00] don’t run any lights. So wherever you happen to be seated right now, just let yourself find a comfortable position.
It doesn’t have to be anything really formal or special. You can keep your eyes open and gazing softly ahead at nothing in particular, or you could let your eyes close if that helps you feel a little more present.
Just make any adjustments so the body feels supported well.
Notice that you’re breathing,
and then let yourself become aware of the sounds in your environment.[01:03:00]
Just opening your sense of hearing to the whole soundscape around you. You
might be in a fairly quiet space, but see if there’s anything to hear really up close to you, like maybe your own breath,
or if you let your awareness expand a little further out. Maybe there’s some sounds in your… Room, or your house, a voice in another room, or the hum of a refrigerator,
a pet moving around.[01:04:00]
And as you hear a sound, if you like, you can use a mental note just to acknowledge it. You can sort of say to yourself, hearing, hearing, this is what it’s like to hear. If
you let your attention widen even further, you’ll probably notice sounds outside, like cars driving by, people walking down the street, wind, or a bird.
You don’t even need to know what the sound is. You don’t need to interpret it or make meaning out of it. You can just note hearing.[01:05:00]
Sometimes we notice that we do have a little reaction to liking or disliking a sound. And so don’t be too surprised if you catch your mind going into an opinion about the sound or starting to think about what you’re going to do about the sound.
So when you notice that, you can just kind of smile, relax, reset,
and just open again to this whole soundscape.[01:06:00] Vibrations, shifting and changing, arising, passing.
Then let’s practice shifting our attention or placing our attention Intention. See if you can take your attention into your right hand. Now, if your right hand is painful today, choose a different body part, but if your right hand is feeling fine, just see if you [01:07:00] can become aware of the sensations there.
There might be a little bit of sensation, there might be a lot. It’s more about the act of observing than how much sensation we actually encounter. You
might notice things like warmth and coolness,
a feeling of whatever your hand might be resting on.
That sense of contact.
Might be that the hand feels really still, or there might be some subtle movement sensations of tingliness or circulation, [01:08:00] twitchiness.
Just letting these sensations be what they are, shifting and changing, happening in the present moment.
And then when you’re ready, you can open your eyes if they were closed, and we can all look around a little bit, take in the [01:09:00] space you’re in, mindful of seeing, and maybe noticing if you’re seeing your space in a fresh way, even if it’s a pretty familiar room that you’re in.
Thanks for letting me offer that little practice. I love that. Thank you. Um, I feel like that might be a good place to start to wrap up, but before we do wrap up, I have a few icebreaker questions. Yeah, I love it. Some of them are serious and some of them are light. the first one is, coffee or tea.
Why choose? I would say coffee is what It gets me out of bed in the morning, and we have a lot of good coffee here in the Pacific Northwest. Indeed. yeah, so I love coffee, but I do also enjoy tea, all kinds of teas, and I tend to [01:10:00] drink tea probably more, like, in the afternoon. Unless it’s too hot outside.
Favorite ice cream flavor. Oh, that’s a tough one. I am going to probably have to say, you know, Some classic variation of chocolate, but we’ve been working on this ice cream that we bought that is like chocolate and vanilla with a caramel swirl and little bits of waffle cone in it.
And I have to say, when I’m eating that, that’s my favorite ice cream. Yeah, it sounds awesome. It’s pretty good. One thing people often get wrong about me, Um, my age. Oh, interesting. This is probably changing and will change as I continue to age, but throughout my life people have often assumed I’m a little younger than I am.
I mean, people may have done the math since we were talking when I did my practice and when I was in college and did trainings and stuff, but I was born in 1978 and [01:11:00] That surprises people sometimes. Yeah, I, I get that one all the time as well. So, I’ll see your 78 and raise you 72. When I was born and I get the same all the time which, you know, culturally we’re taught to believe that’s a compliment, but I understand what you’re saying professionally that can be.
And it’s just, or if you’re like trying to rent apartments or, yeah. Mm hmm. Okay. Can be problematic. Yes. A pop culture vice. Ooh, a pop culture vice. Like a show you binge watch or a podcast or something that might kind of. You know, non yoga related. I don’t know if , it’s not a vice cause it’s pretty wholesome, but I really love the great British baking show.
And that’s pretty wholesome as far as TV goes. I think they’re very sweet. I don’t know if you watch it, but it’s just one of the sweetest, like for a cooking competition show, it’s very. It’s very chill. Maybe because it’s British, but it’s amateurs, there’s no like [01:12:00] cash and prizes. It’s just people who are there out of their love for baking.
Doesn’t it just make you hungry? It does. It makes me want to eat, go eat ice cream or something. Yes! And I totally don’t bake. I just really enjoy watching them stress out about making giant towers of biscuits and… Do it with glee. That’s hilarious. Um, the next one is when I’m not practicing yoga, I am probably outside, hiking or if I have a garden, I’d be gardening.
I love being outside and I’m, I’m very fortunate to live in hikers heaven. Here. So I’m out there a lot. And if you follow me on Instagram, most of my Instagram stories is just like nature pictures. So yeah, you’re into that. I tend to do a lot of that too. Yeah. . Yeah, you do, you do. Beautiful like ocean and, yeah.
Here’s me of the ocean again. Yeah, yeah. . One [01:13:00] weird fact about you. Oh, okay. Weird fact? I prefer even numbers over odd. Don’t know what that’s about, but I, like, if I’m adjusting the volume on the TV, I will make it on an even number. Interesting. And it’s not like a, it’s not like I can’t tolerate it if it, if my husband puts it on an odd number, but if, if I’m in control of it, it’ll definitely go on an even number.
That is so cool. Yeah. I mean, we’ve all got these weird little quirky things, right? Yeah. It’s weird, but it’s normal. I mean, I don’t want to say it’s that weird because maybe, maybe that would be upsetting to somebody because I’m not, I’m not judging it. It’s a quirk. Yeah. Um, what the world needs now is, um, a lot more empathy and awareness.
Good one. One thing I wish people knew about yin yoga. [01:14:00] Oh, that it’s just about a lot more than stretching.
Yes. Yes, yes. So many yeses for that. And then as we wrap up here, is there anything else that I forgot to ask you that you would like to add? Oh boy. I don’t know. I think we’ve covered a lot of ground. Okay. And of course I will have links in the show notes to all your things, your Instagram, your podcast, your website, but just so people have a verbal as well.
Where can people find you? My website is movedtomeditate. yoga and it has everything I’m working on. And, um, Links to all of my, you know, class library. I do all my teaching online now, um, I guess when, um, so you were asking, you know, if we didn’t cover anything, I just, it [01:15:00] occurred to me like one major part of my story was that I used to own a yoga studio before the pandemic had to close that.
And then we moved here and, , now all of my teaching is online. So that was a big part of my yoga life journey, running a yoga studio and was now it’s all online. Yeah. Was it pandemic related or was it before? No, it was in 2020. It was definitely pandemic related, because, you know, yeah, so of course we had to, close down early on in the pandemic.
I closed before, we even had to legally because I was not comfortable and also hardly anyone was coming. People weren’t coming, yeah. Yeah, then we stayed closed and that went on months and months and we were teaching online, but we’re paying for this space.
Yeah, and I don’t know if people really realize that business owners were paying for spaces that they weren’t using and it happened that It was a five year lease and it was [01:16:00] ending in December, 2020. And so we got around to that near that point. And I was like, I would have to be really foolish to sign a lease right now, , given, what things were like at that time.
And so we had to shut it down and but things come around and it actually freed me up to be able to move to where I live now. And I love it. And I really enjoy. Teaching online and, you know, being able to work with a lot of people from a lot of different various locations, not all over the world.
I think if people aren’t in the yoga industry, they probably don’t realize that a lot of studios are technically not non for profits. But they are non for profits meaning like they’re so close to the wire. Yeah, that a closure like that is, I mean we’ve in my little city we’ve lost now, eight studios, and we’re a small city, like that’s like.
That’s almost all of them. It’s most of them. And some of them were [01:17:00] landmark had been around for a decade or more like iconic parts of the community that just vanished. So it’s been really rough on in person yoga for sure. , so I’m really glad that you took up the online. I also do the online and I do the in person and somebody asked me the other day if I could choose and I was like, I don’t have to, I can do both.
Yeah, it’s like coffee and tea. Yes, and please. Yeah, and even like, as I was deciding about that, you know, closure, I, becoming a non profit was one of the things I considered because I have a nonprofit background and like you said, it’s, we’re not in this to make tons of money and we do provide a public service and that there could be a way of organizing things so that it would be like a legal nonprofit.
Yeah, but then I was, I still just didn’t think it was the right time and that, you know, it just didn’t come together that way so I used to have people ask me would you open a studio and I used to joke that [01:18:00] if I could find a business partner with the opposite skill set for me that maybe. And I used to often consider the non nonprofit model for sure.
But then when COVID hit I was like, hell no I cannot imagine having to pay for a building for those large rents that you can’t actually use. Yeah. Yeah. No, and a commercial lease is a real serious thing and it’s a scary thing to be tied to if you’re not able to like follow the business plan that included the space.
I mean, I think even in the best of times, that studio model is really difficult and it’s hard for the operator of the studio to do well. Yeah, I used to say this studio is backed by me and my student loans, and there was not really much of a safety net there. And, people don’t really realize how difficult that is.
Yeah. And how close to the wire it is. Yeah. And it’s hard for teachers to get enough [01:19:00] classes or to get , paid fairly. And there’s just a lot of issues with that model. Yeah. Agreed. Yeah, all right, my friend let me know and everyone else know where they can find you. So you mentioned your website Yeah, and I mentioned I’m on Instagram.
I’m at addy Underscore moved to meditate and oh and my podcast which we mentioned before is you can find that on my website Too great. So and I will have my nyk’s episode we talked about yin yoga there too. All right, my friends Thank you so much for doing this.
My pleasure. Thank you so much. It was really fun to chat with you all afternoon and talk about some of my favorite things. Stick around. We’ll say our proper goodbyes, but for those of you listening, bye for now.