podcast ep 28: yoga conversations past and present with carol horton, PhD

You can listen below, and you can also listen in iTunes and Google Play and pretty much anywhere else podcasts are played, including Spotify!

-       Carol’s academic background, even her dissertation, on politics and race in Political Science, and her current shift away from yoga writing toward political writing

-       Her earlier career in the non-profit sector looking at class and inequality in early childhood, and then moving into a sociological context of modern practice

-       The Yoga Service Council’s work on racial issues, outreach and accessibility of yoga, including the criminal justice system, for veterans, and an upcoming book on sexual trauma survivors

-       Seeing the zeitgeist of yogic inquiry in the yoga community and academics, including the history of yoga coming to America

-       Early yoga blogging community in about 2010, connecting with other yogis, and why she wrote Yoga PhD and co-edited The 21st Century of Yoga

-       The current conversations that need to be had in the yoga community, including the rising nationalism and use of yoga as a political tool by Prime Minister Narenda Modi

-        Why it’s a good thing that your reading list will never be entirely read

-       The shift toward a more politicized dynamic and the pull toward a desire for concrete answers, and how that can be difficult in the context of spiritual inquiry that are always in process (thus resist absolute)

-       Some of the aggressive nature of online conversation in the yoga world that errs toward polarization and the disincentives to moderate voices in social media

-       Identifying as a yogi within your life as a whole and figuring out how to keep growing as a human being and being of service to others

Carol Horton, PhD
Yoga PhD
21st Century Yoga
The Yoga Service Council

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podcast ep 10: yoga book club! three book recommendations on ayurveda, yoga culture + anatomy

You can listen below, and you can also listen in iTunes and Google Play and pretty much anywhere else podcasts are played!

Book recommendations! I'm always being asked what I'm reading or what I'd recommend on particular topics, so I plucked three well-loved books off my shelves on Ayurveda, Yoga and Anatomy and tell you what's great about them, including some of my favourite passages and information.

The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook by Kate O'Donnell
While it may seem unusual to recommend a cookbook for reading, Kate's book is a cookbook not a recipe book. She fronts the recipes with a wonderful and thorough section on some of the theories and concepts behind Ayurveda cooking and digestion.

21st Century Yoga: Culture, Politics and Practice, edited by Carol Horton & Roseanne Harvey
This collection of essays is essential reading to the socially minded yogi. I always recommend it to yoga teacher training grads who are looking for some of the cultural issues pertinent to the evolution of yoga. Published in 2012, it's still a relevant read even if some things have happily evolved with the conversation, and many things have not. A great way to get into the minds of some smart yogis you may not have heard of yet, and original writing from those you have.

The Story of the Human Body: Evolution, Health and Disease, by Daniel E. Lieberman
A history of how humans arrived at being human from being apes, which we learn was not a foregone conclusion! A fascinating journey through how and why we evolved into what we are, what we lost as we gained a long the way, and the impact that culture (not just modern culture!) has had on us. This book has been so useful in my teaching and understanding of anatomy.

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Making Ghee / Clarified Butter

Ghee is considered by Ayurveda to be the most beneficial cooking medium, and is considered appropriate for all constitutions. This has the highest heat tolerance of cooking oils and from an Ayurvedic lens, is most able to penetrate the body’s tissues.

As I talked about in the vegetarian episode of the ieyoga podcast, making something lovingly elevates its prana and nourishes your body and soul.


·      Place two sticks of butter in a medium sauce pan

·      When all the butter has melted, reduce the heat to low

·      Commit to observing the ghee! Many a ghee batch has been ruined by multi-tasking

·      After approximately 5 minutes, the butter will begin to form a white froth on its surface and start popping – the popping sounds are good!

·      After about 10 minutes, the popping sounds will slow down as moisture leaves the butter and the foam will begin to sink to the bottom of the pan.

·      The foam will turn golden brown, and when popping sounds are very few, there’s a nutty smell to the ghee, and the bottom of the pan is a bit brown, you’re done!

·      Strain your ghee through a mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a clean, sterilized jar and allow to cool

·      Secure with a lid and store in the cupboard – yes, the cupboard! Ghee does not require refrigeration and will develop healthful bacteria. Always use a clean utensil when serving ghee, because you don’t want to introduce other material for bacteria to form on.


Reading + Links:

What Happens to the Brain During Spiritual Experiences?