64 episodes

Yoga is everywhere, and its diversity in practice has many people asking more specific questions about how this practice ‘works’. Join Natalie and Sandy as they explore the modern yoga practice as teachers, students, science nerds and yogis in this mash-up of uncensored entertainment and education. If you’re looking to expand your understanding or appreciation of yoga, this is the podcast for you.

The Yoga Addiction Natalie Senger and Sandy Huen

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 17 Ratings

Yoga is everywhere, and its diversity in practice has many people asking more specific questions about how this practice ‘works’. Join Natalie and Sandy as they explore the modern yoga practice as teachers, students, science nerds and yogis in this mash-up of uncensored entertainment and education. If you’re looking to expand your understanding or appreciation of yoga, this is the podcast for you.

    64: THE END...but first...30-ish things we need to tell you before we go!

    64: THE END...but first...30-ish things we need to tell you before we go!

    This. Is. It. Our concluding episode, our last hurrah, our final effort. This episode is a conglomeration of all our last messages as yogis and yoga teachers. We alternate between Sandy and Nat giving tidbits of information and inspiration in no particular order. Some of our arguments are highly anatomical and others are reflections from teaching and practicing in group yoga classes. As we wrap up this phase of our lives and this amazing podcast, we hope you have also emerged from this podcast a little more informed and a little more inspired.
     
    // IN THIS EPISODE //
     

    All movement is good if used appropriately; we can play with variables of duration, intensity, repetition (7:28)
    Question your assists: is it a correction or an enhancement? Is it appropriate? (10:39)
    Keep asking why. Not everything can be scientifically explained, but if it can be, find out what's out there. Then take that with a grain of salt (13:32)
    Music can change the entire atmosphere of the yoga class (15:57)
    You don't have to be passionate about the physical practice of yoga, but if you're moving students, educate yourself on the basics. Feeling safe in the physical body will allow students to access other aspects of the practice (17:36)
    Tension can restrict movement. You need the space to exist before you can own the space (20:03)
    Question dogmatic cues that are applied to all shapes (e.g. "Draw your shoulder blades down and back") (21:52)
    Fascia science is so new; explore all the questions! Is there memory in fascia? Are there movements in the water of fascia that are significant? (24:42)
    Admit to not knowing (27:24)
    The benefits of repetition (28:24)
    More is not better(29:52)
    How do you want your students to leave the class feeling? (32:17)
    Keep it simple (39:53)
    We don't own yoga. Pass on the information from a place of humble transmission not ownership (47:12)
    For teachers, the connection that you create with your students is what is important, not the subject that you focus on (49:33)
    You know what's right....deep, deep down. Whether someone is complimenting you and saying "you should teach", or "insert encouragement to make extreme life choices" consider the big picture of your life and what you want it to look like (53:48)
    It's okay to change. In fact, it's necessary (1:00:00)
    On food & health: Nat's health journey, personal experiments, and tests have led me to understand that your health, through the lens of eating, depends on a) stress, b) genetics, c) microbiome (probiotics and digestive enzymes). Nutrient supplementation is dependent on how all the above (1:01:00)
    The first sign of imbalance: energy and sleep (1:11:00)
    Some podcasts we recommend (1:13:37)

    GRIT + grace by Alison Heilig (insta @itsalisonheilig) - meditations
    Soft Strength by Aisha Fakro (insta @aishafakhro)
    With Heart and Wonder by Meghan Johnston (insta @meghanljohnston)



     
    // RESOURCES & LINKS //
    Fascia Congress
    Follow us on Instagram @theyogaaddiction

    • 1 hr 17 min
    63: Meditation, Mindfullness and Brain Gray Matter

    63: Meditation, Mindfullness and Brain Gray Matter

    Meditation is such a hot topic these days, and for good reason. It's been shown to improve attention span, decrease stress and anxiety. New science is showing that meditation also changes the content of our brains, its gray matter. In today's episode, we discuss the results of a number of studies done on meditation and the brain. Then, we discuss the potential for asana to also have a positive effect on the gray matter of the brain. Resources are linked in the show notes! Enjoy.
     
    // IN THIS EPISODE //
     

    We get into one of our final episodes, and it's going to be about how meditation changes the brain (7:50)
    What is gray matter? (9:20)
    Nat dives into the results of Sara Lazer's study (13:44)
    We go over her results: more gray matter in the sensory areas and prefrontal cortex (working memory and executive decision making) (16:10)
    Why we want more brain matter as we age (17:04)
    Another study by Lazer showed that the brains of 50-year-old long-time meditators looked like 25-year-old brains (18:34)
    A before-and-after study with people who had never meditated before. The results (21:34): 1) A difference in the posterior cingulate related to mind wandering and self-relevance2) The left hippocampus, which assists in learning, cognition, memory and emotional regulation.3) The temporo parietal junction, or TPJ, which is associated with perspective taking, empathy and compassion.4) An area of the brain stem called the pons, where a lot of regulatory neurotransmitters are produced.5) The amygdala, the fight or flight part of the brain which is important for anxiety, fear and stress in general. That area got smaller in the group that went through the mindfulness-based stress reduction program.
    You re-grow every nerve cell in your brain by the time you're 50; that's about 700 new nerve cells a day (37:20)
    What happens to the brain when it comes to the physical asana practice? (38:53)
    Nitric Oxide may increase in the body after meditation (helps oxygenate the body) (50:19)

     
    // RESOURCES & LINKS //
     
    YouTube video on Gray Matter
    Sara Lazer's work summarized by Washington Post
    Article with links to 4 studies about meditation and brain changes or changes in genetics
    Follow us on Instagram @theyogaaddiction
    Rad Roller - The myofascial release tools we use every day

    • 53 min
    62: Jillian Mariani: Founder of Niyama Yoga Wellness

    62: Jillian Mariani: Founder of Niyama Yoga Wellness

    Jillian Mariani is the founder of supplement company Niyama Yoga Wellness. Today, we had a great chat with her about her wellness journey, her inspiration to create Niyama Yoga Wellness and their relationship to the New Leaf Foundation. Best of all, we are hosting a giveaway in partnership with Jillian's company! Make sure to follow both The Yoga Addiction and Niyama Yoga Wellness on Instagram for details to the giveaway.
     
    // IN THIS EPISODE //
     

    Jillian tells us about her history in the supplement industry (4:30)
    Jillian found that many yogis don't know much about supplements (10:43)
    The physical part of yoga does require nutritional support if you want it to be sustainable, but there is also a basic aspect of nutrition to maintain general health (21:42)
    We discuss the value of research articles as a consumer (32:43)
    Niyama's ambassador program and where to get the supplements (34:29)
    How Jillian chose "Niyama" for the company name (37:40)
    Niyama Yoga Wellness in partnership with The New Leaf Foundation (40:59)
    Our quickfire questions for Jillian (46:19)
    We're hosting a giveaway for our Canadian listeners: to enter, follow us on Instagram @theyogaaddiction for details (49:40)

     
    // RESOURCES & LINKS //
     
    Niyama Yoga Wellness website
    New Leaf Foundation
    Niyama Yoga Wellness Instagram @niyamayogawellnesscanada
    Follow us on Instagram @theyogaaddiction
    Rad Roller - The myofascial release tools we use every day

    • 52 min
    61: The Amygdala - Your Brain's Fear Center

    61: The Amygdala - Your Brain's Fear Center

    Today, we discuss a topic that very much excites us: The Amygdala. We generally understand the amygdala as the portion of the brain that coordinates the emotions of fear and anger. These emotions create a very important adaptive response in helping us stay safe and well. However, in today's world, much of our fear and anger is mal-adaptive: in other words, they don't necessarily contribute to our survival. We discuss how the amygdala can hijack our best intentions and fill us with negativity and fear. We also talk about how we can stop the chain of reactivity (our brains exhibit neuroplasticity, the capacity for change), and live a life more aware of our emotions and their power to change our actions and thoughts.
     
    // IN THIS EPISODE //
     

    9:19 - Our Big Announcement: We are bringing the podcast to a close by the end of March 2020 (9:19)
    The amygdala is an almond-shaped cluster of neurons. This is our brain's fear center. (13:13)
    Our learned / hereditary aspect of fear and anger (16:47)
    Our responses are an accumulation of our experiences; the amygdala holds on to the threats (22:09)
    Definition of fear: an adaptive emotional response that is coordinated in the brain by the nuclei of the amygdala (27:01)
    The role of fear and pain in human survival (27:37)
    The power of negative and positive emotions in today's world (31:32)
    Neuroplasticity allows us to change our reactions, even the knee-jerk reactions (46:20)
    The power of positive emotions (48:04) 1) Physical resources to fight stress and disease2) Problem-solving3) Resiliency in confronting stress4) Flexible thinking - a broader view of life

     
    // RESOURCES & LINKS //
     
    Book - Genius Foods by Max Lugavere
    The Yoga Addiction Episode 53: Why Do We Care About the Vagus Nerve
    The Yoga Addiction Episode 57: Study Review: Breath Of Life
    Follow us on Instagram @theyogaaddiction
    Rad Roller - The myofascial release tools we use every day

    • 1 hr
    60: Study: The Cooling Effect of Pranayama

    60: Study: The Cooling Effect of Pranayama

    Breathing exercises are purported to have myriad benefits: some are cooling, heating, detoxifying, invigorating, calming, restorative. In this episode, we review a recent study on sheetali and shitkari breathing exercises and body temperature. We discuss the role of breathing in studio yoga classes, why we might incorporate sheetali or shitkari, and how we would frame the exercise. If you're curious about breathing practices, this episode is for you!
     
    // IN THIS EPISODE //
     

    The Study: "Body Temperature and Energy Expenditure During and After Yoga Breathing Practices Traditionally Described as Cooling." (12:13)
    Sheetali and shitkari breathing exercises were examined in this study (13:45)
    In general, body temperature increased for all breathing exercises in the study (20:07)
    Metabolites in urine after the breathing exercises (24:26)
    Women's body temperature is sensitive to estrogen and progesterone (25:58)
    Why did body temperature and metabolism rise with these breathing exercises? (26:45)
    Is there a place for mouth breathing in our yoga practice? (29:03)
    Why this study was only done on men (37:10)

     
    // RESOURCES & LINKS //
     
    The Study: "Body Temperature and Energy Expenditure During and After Yoga Breathing Practices Traditionally Described as Cooling."
    Episode 57: Study Review: Breath of Life
    Book: In the FLO by Alisa Vitti
    Follow us on Instagram @theyogaaddiction
    Rad Roller - The myofascial release tools we use every day
    Sign Up for our Newsletter

    • 44 min
    59: Jivana Heyman: How to Make Yoga Teachings Accessible to All Communities

    59: Jivana Heyman: How to Make Yoga Teachings Accessible to All Communities

    Today we take a deep dive into Jivana Heyman's amazing yoga mind: his views on yoga philosophy, ego, the teacher-student relationship, the use of touch and adjustments in the practice, just to name a few of the topics we cover. And of course, we dive into his new book, Accessible Yoga, and gain insight on why he wrote it, and who he wrote the book for. About Jivana:
    Jivana is the founder of Accessible Yoga, co-owner of the Santa Barbara Yoga Center and an Integral Yoga Minister. With over twenty years of training and teaching in a traditional yoga lineage, Jivana has specialized in teaching the subtle practices of yoga: pranayama, meditation, as well as sharing yoga philosophy. His passion is making Yoga accessible to everyone. Jivana’s strengths are sharing esoteric and complex teaching in a readily accessible way, and applying the ancient teachings of Yoga to our day-to-day lives.  
     
    // IN THIS EPISODE //
     

    Jivana's evocative introduction to the book; yoga philosophy re-interpreted in an accessible, easy-to-absorb way (4:09)
    Is yoga a science? (6:22)
    Jivana on cultural appropriation (10:36)
    Jivana on capitalism and ego (14:54)
    The importance of revisiting yoga philosophy by ourselves as a form of self-inquiry and practice (17:39)
    Understanding the philosophy explains what we feel in our practice (22:48)
    The importance of scope of practice (28:32)
    Suffering and yoga (30:14)
    Jivana's take on assessing privilege, and skill, appreciate it, be honest with it, and share it without a sense of saving people (38:44)
    The fine line of teaching --Do you go in to "fix" your students or to "facilitate" healing? (38:44)
    Re-evaluating the teacher-student relationship (40:17)
    As teachers, we cannot assume we know more about someone else's body than they do (45:18)
    Jivana's path to serving his community with his passion for yoga (52:17)
    The community aspect of yoga (56:49)
    Jivana's concerns about touch, consent, authority and trust in yoga (57:38)

     
    // RESOURCES & LINKS //
    Instagram: Jivana Heyman's @jivanaheyman
    Instagram: Accessible Yoga @accessibleyoga
    Instagram: Accessible Yoga Training @accessibleyogatraining
    Facebook: Jivana Heyman's page
    Facebook: Accessible Yoga's page
    Facebook: Accessible Yoga Training's page
    Jivana Heyman's Book: Accessible Yoga
    Episode 27: Aisha Fakhro - Neuroplasticity, Harnessing Resilience, and Transformative Potential
    Jivana's website - Find out everything you need to know about the Accessible Yoga movement
    Jivana's Accessible Yoga Conference
    Jivana's recommended reading list:
    The Secret Power of Yoga by Nischala Joy Devi
    The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Edwin Bryant
    Michael Stone's work &amp

    • 1 hr 6 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
17 Ratings

17 Ratings

jen_and_the_dogs ,

Brightens my day

Very insightful and enjoyable sessions, always learning something, always makes me get up and try doing the poses that are discussed. I love the detailed and careful analyses in the topics of each podcast by Nat and Sandy - great teachers sharing their knowledge in useful ways. Highly recommend.

maggietopaz ,

Perfect podcast for yogis looking to expand their practice

I really enjoy listening to this podcast. Nat and Sandy give good insights on how to apply emerging evidence on the mat. Their guests also share experiences on ongoing training, complimentary modalities as well as useful tips to grow and market your yoga business. I’m looking forward to future episodes!

KidShaleen44 ,

Like Taking a Walk Through Nature

I just listened to episode 7 with Allie Geer. Loved it! Allie’s eloquent descriptions were thoroughly engaging. I’m enjoying the podcast and learning tons.

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