158 episodes

Interviews with leaders, elders and teachers from the yoga and wider wisdom community on eastern philosophies, consciousness studies, social justice, and the human spiritual condition.

CHITHEADS from Embodied Philosophy Embodied Philosophy

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 162 Ratings

Interviews with leaders, elders and teachers from the yoga and wider wisdom community on eastern philosophies, consciousness studies, social justice, and the human spiritual condition.

    Best Of: Yoga for Recovery with Nikki Myers

    Best Of: Yoga for Recovery with Nikki Myers

    About the Guest

    An accomplished speaker, teacher, and practitioner, Nikki Myers is an MBA, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist, Somatic Experiencing Practitioner, Addictions Recovery Specialist, and Certified Health Coach. Born from her personal struggle with addiction, Nikki is the founder of Y12SR, The Yoga of 12-Step Recovery. Based in its theme, “the issues live in the tissues,” Y12SR is a relapse prevention program that weaves the art & science of yoga with the practical tools of 12-step programs. Y12SR meetings are now available throughout the world and the curriculum is rapidly becoming a feature of addiction recovery treatment centers. Nikki’s work has been featured in the New York Times, Black Enterprise, The Huffington Post, Origin Magazine, and CBSnews.com.  She is honored to be a co-founder of the annual Yoga, Meditation, and Recovery Conferences at Esalen Institute and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Nikki has been featured as a keynote speaker at the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) conference and the International Conference on Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She was named a Yoga Journal Game Changer and is an honored recipient of the esteemed NUVO Cultural Visionary Award. For more information visit: www.y12sr.com

    In this episode, we discuss:

    Nikki’s journey with addiction, relapse, yoga, and the 12-step program.
    Y12SR (Yoga of 12-Step Recovery) and how it integrates the wisdom of yoga, the practical tools of 12-step programs, and the latest research on trauma healing and neurobiology.
    The distinction between healing and curing.
    Connecting the cognitive and somatic for sustainable addiction recovery.
    The importance of choice in recovery.
    The spiritual crisis of opioid addiction.
    Only by owning our experience as an addict (of alcohol and drugs, yes, but also PHONES, food, clothes, or our projections about how reality is supposed to be), we are able to transcend them and not be defined by them.


    NOTE: This episode was previously published as episode #83 and is being republished for its depth and relevance.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 54 min
    Joe Loizzo on The New Mind-Body Research & the Yogic Science of Integration

    Joe Loizzo on The New Mind-Body Research & the Yogic Science of Integration

    This episode of Chitheads is a talk from Joe Loizzo republished from Embodied Philosophy’s Yoga Seminar.  It's a taste of a deeper dive with Dr. Joe Loizzo in our upcoming 30-hr Certificate Program, “Buddhist Psychology in the Nalanda Tradition,” co-presented with the Nalanda Institute for Contemplative Science. To learn more or to take advantage of the Early Bird pricing (before May 19), go here.

    About the Guest

    Joseph (Joe) Loizzo, MD, Ph.D., is a Harvard-trained psychiatrist and Columbia-trained Buddhist scholar with over forty years of experience studying the beneficial effects of contemplative practices on healing, learning, and development. Joe is the Founder & Academic Director of the Nalanda Institute. He is Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry in Integrative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College, where he researches and teaches contemplative self-healing and optimal health. He has taught the philosophy of science and religion, the scientific study of contemplative states, and the Indo-Tibetan mind and health sciences at Columbia University, where he is Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Columbia Center for Buddhist Studies.

    In this episode, we discuss:

    The philosophy of science from a Western point of view and practice.
    The history and context of the mind-body split in Western science.
    Research on stress and neuroplasticity that shed light on the mind-body connection. 
    Buddhist and scientific definitions of the mind and consciousness. 
    The question of where do I find my mind?
    A multi-disciplinary paradigm of mind-brain integration.
    Yoga as the science of integrating the human nervous system, mind, and body with awareness.


    Select slides from Joe's Talk here.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Ashtanga Yoga in Sutras and the Gītā: A Comparison with Edwin Bryant

    Ashtanga Yoga in Sutras and the Gītā: A Comparison with Edwin Bryant

    This talk is being republished from the Radial Practice Conference in 2018. If you have a Gītā handy you might want to grab it while you listen.

    About the Guest

    Edwin Bryant received his Ph.D. in Indic Languages and Cultures from Columbia University. He taught Hinduism at Harvard University for three years and is presently the professor of Hinduism at Rutgers University where he teaches courses on Hindu philosophy and religion. He has received numerous awards and fellowships, published eight books, and authored a number of articles on the earliest origins of the Vedic culture, yoga philosophy, and the Krishna tradition.

    As a personal practitioner of bhakti yoga for over 45 years, a number of them spent in India studying with traditional teachers, where he returns yearly, Edwin strives to combine academic scholarship and rigor with appreciation towards traditional knowledge systems. His teaching method is to allow the ancient texts to speak in their own voice and through their own terms and categories.

    Website: https://sites.rutgers.edu/edwin-bryant/


    In this episode, we discuss:

    Patañjali’s citta-vṛitti-nirodhaḥ type practice in the Gītā.
    The difference between karma and karma yoga.
    A new definition of yoga, skill in action.
    The 3 definitions of yoga in the Gītā.
    Ashtanga-type practice in the Gītā in comparison with verses in Patañjali. 
    The mind of a yogi.
    Bhakti, the highest expression of yoga.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 39 min
    Is the West Ready for Tantra? with Andrew Holecek

    Is the West Ready for Tantra? with Andrew Holecek

    In this episode, author and Embodied Philosophy faculty, Andrew Holecek, is in conversation with Stephanie Corigliano and Jacob Kyle, as they discuss Andrew’s article, “Is the West Ready for Tantra?” an article released in the latest issue of Tarka.  Explore the latest Tarka issue here.

    About the Guest

    Andrew Holecek has completed the traditional three-year Buddhist meditation retreat and offers seminars internationally on meditation, dream yoga, and the art of dying. He is the author of Preparing to Die: Practical Advice and Spiritual Wisdom from the Tibetan Buddhist Tradition; Meditation in the iGeneration: How to Meditate in a World of Speed and Stress; The Power and the Pain: Transforming Spiritual Hardship into Joy; the audio learning course Dream Yoga: The Tibetan Path of Awakening Through Lucid Dreaming, and his latest book Dream Yoga: Illuminating Your Life Through Lucid Dreaming and the Tibetan Yogas of Sleep. Dr. Holecek is a member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and has authored scientific papers. His work has appeared in Parabola, Lion's Roar, Tricycle, Utne Reader, Buddhadharma Magazine, Light of Consciousness, and many other periodicals. Andrew holds degrees in classical music, biology, and a doctorate in dental surgery.

    In this episode, we discuss:

    What makes practices “Tantric”.
    Why and when Tantra can be risky.
    Why it’s important to have a teacher and how much power a teacher should have.
    The 4 types of guru.
    Psycho-spirituality & the different vectors of growing up versus waking up.
    What is reality from the perspective of Tibetan Buddhism?
    The role of devotion in Tantric practice.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Following the Non-Dual Path of the Divine Feminine with Sally Kempton

    Following the Non-Dual Path of the Divine Feminine with Sally Kempton

    This episode of Chitheads is a talk from Sally Kempton republished from Embodied Philosophy’s 2017 Radical Body Conference.  In this episode, Sally talks about Goddess practice as a spiritual technology and provides guided practices experiencing the divine feminine through the breath, through being seen by the divine, and through a formal meditation on the goddess Lalita.

    About the Guest

    Sally Kempton is a master of meditation, yoga philosophy, and practical tantric philosophy. Her retreats and workshops are known for creating breakthroughs, born of her ability to help people turn sublime truths into lived, and life-shifting, experience. Sally spent 20 years as a swami in a Vedic order and has been studying and teaching spiritual wisdom for 40 years. She is the author of Awakening Shakti: The Transformative Power of the Goddesses of Yoga and Meditation for the Love of It, a seminal book on basic meditation practice, and writes the popular Yoga Journal column, Wisdom. Learn more at sallykempton.com.

    In this episode, we discuss:

    Goddess practice as a spiritual technology.
    Sacred Feminine practice in tantric practice.
    Experiencing Archetypal Goddess energies.
    Fast-tracking awakening through the empowerment that Goddess gives us.
    Three core practices for invoking Goddess.
    The breath as a vehicle through which Goddess flows into your body.
    Lalita energy as a model for the feminine, as self-empowered blissfulness, and the force behind genuine creativity.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    Nikki Costello on the New Yoga Classroom

    Nikki Costello on the New Yoga Classroom

    Nikki Costello is an educator with 30 years of teaching and training experience in the Yoga and Wellness industry. She works at the intersection of social justice and Yoga with a focus on facilitating new models of embodied leadership. Nikki is a Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher (Level 3-CIYT) and a Certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT). In 2013-2014, she was a contributing editor at Yoga Journal, writing the magazine’s “Basics Column,” and in 2016, Nikki was named one of the 100 Most Influential Teachers in America. She is the featured Iyengar Yoga teacher on GLO. Nikki holds an MA in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation from SOAS, University of London and is a PhD candidate at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Since 2020, she has taught weekly online yoga and meditation classes at Nikki Costello | The Practice. To learn more, visit Nikki's website.In this episode, we discuss:

    Sources of exclusion in the yoga classroom. 
    Moving away from the performative aspect of studentship.
    Courage, safety, and trust in sadhana.
    Autonomy and choice in a yoga classroom.
    The virtual classroom as an opportunity instead of a limitation.
    Pedagogical practices that support or inhibit access, belonging, and diversity.
    Rethinking how we learn and how we create community within the framework of a yoga class.
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 1 hr 17 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
162 Ratings

162 Ratings

BeckyTeschy ,

Fills my need for deep philosophy

It’s often dense and academic, and i love it for that. They bring ancient and in depth yogic philosophy into the modern world and it’s so interesting and wonderfully challenging. I need the academic info and experienced and researched perspectives.

SteveShibby ,

Excellent podcast

This is one of my absolute favorite podcasts! The topics, the host, the guests; it’s all so relevant and applicable to my practice and life.

jo (she/they) ,

Queer friendly spiritual podcast? They’re nailing it!

I LOVE this podcast! The host is so inclusive, kind, relatable. Such varied and wonderful guests! I am just starting to dive in and am so grateful!

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