Michelle Johnson - "Dismantling Racism and Oppression"

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Michelle Johnson, author of Skill in Action, talks with J about the intersection between racism, social justice, and yoga. They discuss the life experiences that led to her work, dismantling racism training, the heartbreak related to institutional oppression, actions being held accountable to principles and people, intentions around creating inclusion, leveraging privilege to create space for people of color, the challenge of reconciling paradoxes, and the universal truth that everyone is connected. This is episode is sponsored by Yogic Studies.

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J. Brown

J. Brown is a yoga teacher, writer, and founder of Abhyasa Yoga Center in Brooklyn, New York. A teacher for 15 years, he is known for his pragmatic approach to teaching personal, breath-centered therapeutic yoga that adapt to individual needs. His writing has been featured in Yoga Therapy Today, the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, Elephant Journal and Yogadork.

Jana Long - "History of Blacks and Yoga in the U.S."

Jana Long - "History of Blacks and Yoga in the U.S."

Jana Long, director of Power of One Yoga Center and co-founder of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, talks with J about the history of yoga in the black community. They discuss the earliest influencers of yoga in Black America, the expressions found in black art and spiritual life, Jana’s many years of self-directed practice,, her experiences in Africa and ashram life in India, why she started BYTA, and the universal threads that unite.

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James Mallinson - "Uncovering Yoga’s Ancestral Past"

James Mallinson - "Uncovering Yoga’s Ancestral Past"

James Mallinson, senior lecturer in Sanskrit and Classical Indian Studies at SOAS, Principle Investigator at The Hatha Yoga Project, co-author of Roots of Yoga, reached out to J after hearing his name mentioned on the show and it lead to this conversation about the research he is pioneering. They discuss Jim’s academic pursuits, his guru, the philology of physical yoga practices, and the symbiosis between scholarship and living traditions.

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Live in Brooklyn - Amy Matthews, Sam Chase and Christie Roe

Live in Brooklyn - Amy Matthews, Sam Chase and Christie Roe

J returns to his former studio in Brooklyn, now Goodyoga, and is joined by Amy Matthews, Sam Chase, and Christie Roe for intimate conversation about the nature of our anatomies and the values we are aligning with. Amy expands upon J’s ongoing inquiry into the biopsychosocial, Sam discusses resilience training and connecting what we feel and value, and Christie provides a millennial perspective on what is happening on the ground.

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Peter Blackaby and Bernie Clark - "Body Tissues and Patterns"

Peter Blackaby and Bernie Clark - "Body Tissues and Patterns"

Peter Blackaby and Bernie Clark come together with J to consider the nature of human anatomy and the process of affecting change. Initiated by Peter after he listened to Bernie’s last appearance, this probing conversation was an opportunity to clarify points of agreement and hash out some areas of departure. They discuss whether the spine as primarily a source of stability or mobility, what poses do, and intents that foster deeper understanding.

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Greg Lehman - "Recovery Strategies for Pain"

Greg Lehman - "Recovery Strategies for Pain"

Greg Lehman, author of Recovery Strategies - your pain guidebook, talks with J about addressing pain and what it means to be a “movement optimist.” They discuss the benefits of bio-mechanics and some of the misconceptions that are still being taught about the body, what is meant by the idea of a neutral spine, if tissue damage correlates with pain, what nociception is, and the importance of getting active so we can address our beliefs.

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Dr. Aimée Shunney - "CBD and Cannabis Medicine"

Dr. Aimée Shunney - "CBD and Cannabis Medicine"

Dr. Aimée Shunney, naturopathic physician trained in both modern medical science and integrative medicine, talks with J about CBD and the growing research around Cannabis medicine. They discuss some of the history behind cannabis research, the endocannabinoid system, different strains and applications of CBD, J’s and Aimée’s experience with regular use, challenging outdated ideas and remaining open to anything that works.

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Mike Huggins - “Yoga Service: No Money No Mission”

Mike Huggins - “Yoga Service: No Money No Mission”

Mike Huggins, founder of Transformation Yoga Project and co-author of Yoga for Recovery - A Practical Guide for Healing, returns to check in with J on the challenges and rewards of doing yoga service. A lot has happened in the two years since they last spoke, they discuss the expansion of Mike’s organization, what it takes to maintain quality programs, operating with purpose, and the practicalities of truly meeting people where they are.

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Mary Jennings - “Sub-Lease Yoga Studio Collective”

Mary Jennings - “Sub-Lease Yoga Studio Collective”

Mary Jennings is opening Fresh Coast Yoga in Houghton, Michigan with an alternative studio model she heard discussed on the show so J brought her on to talk about what she is doing. They discuss what it’s like to be a millennial MBA mother with a one-year old who wants to bring yoga to her community in rural America, the crowdfunding campaign, sub-leasing instead of profit-sharing, and the heart of a truly yoga-based venture.

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Gina Price - "Exploring Sociocracy"

Gina Price - "Exploring Sociocracy"

Gina Price, partner in the Sociocracy Consulting Group, talks with J about creating order out of chaos through the principles of Sociocracy. They discuss governance based on a decentralization of authority, finding common purpose through collaborative decision making, creating domains of autonomous responsibility and a hierarchy of function instead of power, and if yoga professionals are up to the task.

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David Dodd - "Organization, Anarchy and Yoga"

David Dodd - "Organization, Anarchy and Yoga"

David Dodd and J have corresponded for years but a recent email exchange about the Yoga Alliance prompted this discussion on the inherent problem of creating organizations around yoga. They discuss David’s background in coaching and working with large bureaucracies, the tension between an unbounded context for yoga and attempts at regulating it, and the practical wisdom of knowing when to do something and when to leave it alone.

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Rama Jyoti Vernon - "Great-Grandmother of American Yoga"

Rama Jyoti Vernon - "Great-Grandmother of American Yoga"

Rama Jyoti Vernon, one of the first yoga teachers in the United States, talks with J about her pivotal role in bringing yoga to the west. They discuss the LA yoga scene in the 1940’s and 1950’s, meeting BKS Iyengar and hosting him in America, founding both Unity in Yoga and the California Yoga Teachers Association which led to the creation of the Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal Magazine, and her laments and hopes for the direction of yoga.

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Norman Blair - "Yoga Teachers and Pay"

Norman Blair - "Yoga Teachers and Pay"

Norman Blair wrote an article about yoga teacher pay that caught J’s attention and led to this wide-ranging conversation about the monetary policies of yoga centers and the underlying economics that are fueling them. They discuss the emergence of a yoga teaching profession, hard numbers on yoga teachers rates of income, actionable steps to counter unhealthy trends, and the revolutionary power of yoga to help shape society.

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Amayu Ashtanga - "Reimagining a Yoga Tradition"

Amayu Ashtanga - "Reimagining a Yoga Tradition"

Scott Johnson, Greg Nardi, Emma Rowse and Jock Orton talk with J about the creation of Amayu Yoga and a reimagining of the ashtanga tradition. They take time out of a retreat together to discuss the state of the global Ashtanga community, reasons for creating an organization, the principles of ashtanga yoga, and their efforts to bring more accountability and safety by establishing clearer standards and a more horizontal collective.

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Frank Jude Boccio - "Mindfulness, Zen Naturalism, and Yoga"

Frank Jude Boccio - "Mindfulness, Zen Naturalism, and Yoga"

Frank Jude Bocci, author of Mindfulness Yoga, talks with J about his integrated approach to yoga and buddhist mindfulness. An early adopter, Frank was ahead of his time and had an impact on J without ever having met him. In this conversation, they discuss the yoga scene before it was a scene, studying with Thich Nhat Hanh, the freedom to challenge dogma, the marketing of yoga, and cultivating a truly self-empowered practice.

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Bernie Clark - "Your Spine, Your Yoga"

Bernie Clark - "Your Spine, Your Yoga"

Bernie Clark, author of Your Spine, Your Yoga, returns to the show to talk with J about his new book and the important perspective it provides. They discuss the notion of “neutral spine,” the myth of flexibility, understanding stability and strength, the concepts of stress and load, variation in our structures, the “anti-fragility curve,” functional movement, and how important it is for each person to develop their own sense of awareness.

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Seth Powell - "History and Philosophy of Yoga"

Seth Powell - "History and Philosophy of Yoga"

Seth Powell, founder of Yogic Studies, extended J an invitation to take his course and it led to this wide-ranging conversation about cutting edge research and his scholarship in yoga history and philosophy. They discuss Seth’s background and motivations for pursuing academic study, issues regarding the translation of ancient texts, commonly held misconceptions about the origins of yoga, and the benefits of expanding our perspectives.

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Rachel Brathen - "Instagram Yoga Girl on What is Real"

Rachel Brathen - "Instagram Yoga Girl on What is Real"

Rachel Brathen, creator of @yoga_girl, talks with J about how a bohemian lifestyle on the beaches of Costa Rica converged with the invent of Instagram and led to two million followers and a yoga career. They discuss the process of going from obscurity to recognized social media influencer, the evolution of her choices, misinformation in the social media sphere, and operating by principles that serve the people behind the hashtags.

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Annie Carpenter - "The Evolution of Yoga Teacher Training"

Annie Carpenter - "The Evolution of Yoga Teacher Training"

Annie Carpenter, veteran yoga teacher trainer from Yogaworks and creator of SmartFLOW Yoga, talks with J about the history of YTT’s, current industry trends, and transitioning from growth models to in-depth inquiry. They discuss Annie’s background in yoga, her opinions on conducting trainings and mentoring teachers, how things have changed over the years, and indications of a grassroots upswell for a return to core principles.

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Kerry Maiorca - “Inside the Yoga Alliance”

Kerry Maiorca - “Inside the Yoga Alliance”

Kerry Maiorca, founder of Bloom Yoga Studio and Chair of the Board of Directors for Yoga Alliance, talks with J about the inner workings of the Yoga Alliance and the Standards Review Project. Kerry and J are old friends and participated in the same yoga teacher training over twenty years ago, after some reminiscing they talk about how she became involved at the YA, the evolution of the organization, and the status of the review process.

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