podcast ep 26: healing plants with amber westfall

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

Interested in plant medicine? This conversation with Amber Westfall of The Wild Garden offers practical advice for integrating plant medicine into your life, and reveals the potency of what we can find in our local environment.

Amber Westfall is an herbalist and owner of The Wild Garden, a tiny farm and educational space where she grows local, organic and sustainably harvested wild foods and herbs and runs workshops on herbal literacy.

We talk about her journey through holistic traditions into plant medicine, and I ask about her biggest wins and any fails (just one!) that she had in her experimentation.

She shares her practical advice, including a widely available plant that can take the bite out of mosquito bites and other scratches, and some of her techniques that go into creating her herbal boxes.

Since so many yogis and Ayurvedic practitioners are interested in herbal medicine, I thought we'd talk to someone who is trying to encourage relationship to your local environment. Her work is inspiring!

LINKS
The Wild Garden
The Wild Garden on Facebook

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podcast ep 22: a yogi mama's guide to yoga, Ayurveda and your child: Jenn Hardy-Berthiaume talks her new book

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

Listen to this week's conversation with Jennifer Hardy-Berthiaume. Jenny teaches in Montreal and runs the popular collective blog A Yogi Mama’s Guide. She lives with her Vata-Pitta daughter and Kapha-Pitta son and husband. Her new book, A Yogi Mama's Guide to Yoga, Ayurveda, and Your Child, is perfect for yoga teachers, parents, and anyone participating in the raising and care of kids or people who care for kids.

LINKS + RESOURCES
A Yogi Mama's Guide, Jenny's collective blog with resources for yogis and parents
Jenny Bee Yoga
A Yogi Mama's Guide to Yoga, Ayurveda and Your Child on Amazon.ca

SUBSCRIBE + WRITE A REVIEW

If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some instructions to leave an iTunes review.

 

podcast ep 21: pooping well for a kinder world, yoga and Ayurveda for healthy bowel movements

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

This week I talk about what it means to have healthy bowel movements by modern healthcare's definition, as well as Ayurveda. We learn all about what's reasonable to expect, some interesting facts about feces, the anatomy of defecation, and some practical advice for pooping well.

After devoting a couple of yoga classes to eliminating well, I decided to bring it online to the intelligent edge yoga podcast community. We talk about...

- research into whether elimination aids like the Squatty Potty are effective or not
- what goes into poop? Literally
- what's the physiology of pooping? Why do an elephant and a human poop at the same rate?
- which Ayurvedic dosha is responsible for digestion, and what are the four types of digestion (agni) according to Ayurveda
- what the pelvic floor muscle is, and why it influences our ability to eliminate well during pregnancy and postpartum
- what pelvic floor physiotherapists are concerned about and when you may want to see one
- the Squatty Potty
- and more interesting, candid, calm facts about eliminating well

LINKS + RESOURCES
The Squatty Potty

The Scientific American The Physics of Poop

New York Times’ Everyone Poops

Using a toilet stool for improved elimination research

Pelvic floor anatomy and postpartum concerns

SUBSCRIBE + WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some instructions to leave an iTunes review.

podcast ep 19: cultivating something new or reforming something old, a conversation with balarama chandra das

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

Meet Balarama Chandra das, one of my teachers from Ayurveda school, who is a fascinating person wonderfully capable of expanding on philosophical and Ayurvedic concepts with poetic commentary.

Balarama has many places in his beginning, and many places in his continuing story. Born Boaz Ramos in Arizona, he was driven by inquiry to study with his teacher in an ashram in San Diego, and ultimately followed him to India and then traveled the world with him.

So we hear how Balaram got on his path as it has taken shape the way I know him, but also how…

-    He questioned the utility of his official university education, and made peace with it once he was pursuing his spiritual education and came to appreciate what it offered him
-    The development of his perspectives on living a life of service, and how he got involved in activism in border issues near the Mexican/American border
-    How the anger from his activism had to be balanced and tethered to spiritual practice, and led him to realize he needed to do one with more enthusiasm
-    How we have two options: cultivate something new, or reform something that exists
-    Evolving as a student and assistant to his guru, who initiated him into his lineage and gave him his name
-    He drops a number of cool stories from his education and experiences into our conversation, including the differences between spiritual and material people, and how people see themselves as a part of the whole
-    The 3 ways in which we can learn things, including the power of stories
-    How we’re getting education too late, and the education that is specific to us happens later in life as early education is non-personal
-    There’s always 3s in the Vedic paradigm – and how there are 3 types of personalities

LINKS
Find Balarama and his wife and partner in Ayurveda, Emma, on the web at www.bendayurveda.com

SUBSCRIBE + WRITE A REVIEW
If you like the podcast, please leave a review or rating on iTunes! It makes it easier for others to find the podcast. If you don’t know how to leave a review, here are some instructions to leave an iTunes review.

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.

Ingredients:

·      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?