#14 Sebastiaan Pagano

Sebastiaan Pagano is a strength and flexibility coach and head coach at Het Gymlokaal in Amsterdam, who has a lot of experience and knowledge in flexibility training for adults. In his search for the best method to increase his own range of motion he explored a broad range of disciplines, such as yoga, martial arts, movement and gymnastics. Through this journey he researched and experimented with many different stretching methods, among which some very efficient and aggressive ones that we will discuss in this episode of the YAY!YOGA podcast. We also talk about the misconceptions and myths in flexibility training, the difference between mobility and flexibility, yin yoga and the role of genetics in increasing your range of motion. I very much enjoyed this in-depth conversation and hope you get something out of it too.

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quote and photo sebastiaan pagano

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

Connect with Sebastiaan Pagano

Instagram: @sebas_pagano
Or check Het Gymlokaal to book a spot for his group classes.

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#13 David Kam

David Kam is a London-based teacher of movement. His classes are non-traditional and are probably best described as a fusion of yoga, dance and animal flow. He likes to surprise his students and offers them space to play and explore new pathways. The sunny side of the current lockdown is definitely that I get to practice with teachers from around the globe through Zoom. David is one of the teachers that I was lucky enough to practice with during this Covid crisis and I am very grateful that we got the chance to record a podcast episode too. In our conversation, we talk about embodiment and the use of language as a teacher, the importance of play and changing things up, how growing up in Malaysia taught David the art of fusing different element, David’s handstand journey and so much more. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Enjoy listening!

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David Kam photo and quote

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

  • Quote by Jason Crandell: “Yoga is to share the light of awareness into the darkest corners of the body and mind.”
  • Drishti is the Sanskrit word we use in our yoga practice to describe a focused gaze.
  • Quote by Nathan Myhrvold (former CTO of Microsoft): “Sometimes I find people studying more and more about less and less until they know nothing.”  
  • Rosemary Brandt – David’s dance teacher who inspires him and always encourages her students to find their own answers.
  • Quote from Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s TED Talk: “So what, now what?”
  • Book recommendation:
    Dancing with the Gods: reflections on life and art by Kent Nerburn
  • Dav Jones – yoga teacher
  • Quote – by unknown – that David always comes back to and in my view shows exactly what his practice is about: “The creative poverty of not yet knowing is an invitation to play.”

Connect with David Kam

Instagram: @davidkamkw
Website: www.davidkamkiawei.com

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#12 Erica Jago

Erica Jago is a yoga teacher, graphic designer and creator of two books: Art of Attention with Elena Brower and Angelus with Roos van der Kamp. The latter is a beautifully designed modern workbook on the chakras, a topic that we’ll discuss into details on the YAY!YOGA podcast. Erica used to live in Amsterdam and moved back to the US where she was born and now lives with her daughter, close to her family. I was so inspired by this conversation as Erica speaks so beautifully about the ancient science of the chakras and her own healing journey. We also talk about Kundalini yoga, dealing with heavy emotions, overcoming addiction, and how to discover chakra imbalances if you don’t feel an obvious block. 

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Erica Jago yoga Quote

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

  • Erica has self-published two books: Art of Attention – in collaboration with Elena Brower – and Angelus – created together with Roos van der Kamp.
  • Amanda Dates – Erica’s first yoga teacher, who now lives in France, encouraged Erica to join a Yoga Teacher Training.
  • Yoga Tree – this is where Erica did her first 200 hours Yoga Teacher Training with teachers such as Janet Stone and Darren Main.
  • Golden Bridge – Erica did her 200 hours Kundalini training here in Rishikesh, India.
  • Kundalini is a form of yoga where you work with repetitions of movements, chants and/or breaths for a minimum of 1-3 minutes. The aim of these repetitive practices is to generate and concentrate energy into a specific organ or location in your body to open up blockages that may be present.
  • Kundalini energy is best explained as the life force that lies dormant at the base of the spine. With Kundalini practices you can build pressure to awaken/raise that energy up towards the crown of the head. That journey of awakening this kundalini energy is what brings awareness.
  • Kriya is a Sanskrit word that refers to a set of cleansing exercises, such as breath work or movement practices.
  • Chakra is sanskrit for ‘wheel’. Chakra’s are best explained as energetic centres that lie along the spine. There are seven chakras and they all bring their own quality. With kundalini or other yoga practices you can focus on a specific chakra to open up those areas where you feel blocked.
  • Asanaglyphs – line drawings that Erica likes to use to create and show the flow of a yoga asana class.
  • Sofia Coppola – actress and big inspiration of Erica right now.
  • Book recommendations:
    Maps to Ecstasy: The Healing Power of Movement by Gabrielle Roth
    What We Ache For: Creativity and the Unfolding of Your Soul by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
    The Gene Keys: Embracing Your Higher Purpose by Richard Rudd

Connect with Erica Jago

Instagram: @erica_jago
Website: www.jagoyoga.com

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#11 Djilani Sprang-Purperhart

Djilani Sprang-Purperhart is a yoga teacher, anthropologist and sociologist. He recently published his book Sunde – Sunday in Surinam – in which he shares his personal story and writes about topics such as life, death and love. In this episode of the YAY!YOGA podcast we continue this conversation as we’ll dive deeper into these themes. We talk about Djilani’s childhood and how his mother taught him to love wholeheartedly. Djilani explains how yoga helped him in dealing with a great loss, we talk about being a black heterosexual male in the yoga world and we share thoughts on making yoga more inclusive and diverse.

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

Djilani Sprang-Purperhart quote and photo
Photo by Harold Pereira

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

  • Anna Scott Miller is one of Djilani’s teachers. She has been on the first YAY!YOGA podcast episode, so if you haven’t listened to this wonderful and inspiring conversation yet, you definitely want to add this one to your list.
  • Djilani’s book Sunde
  • Krakti is Surinam for ‘soul power’
  • Maya Angelou quote: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
  • Pranayama – yogic breathing practices to balance the mind and body.
  • Dharana – concentration, also translated as mindfulness.
  • Svadhyaya – self-study. This is one of the Niyamas (life principles) that are written in the Yoga Sutra’s, ancient yogic texts.
  • Book recommendation: The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Connect with Djilani

Instagram: @djilaniwithabeard
Website: www.yogawithdjilani.com

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#10 Victoria Hyndman

Victoria Hyndman is an Ayurvedic practitioner and yoga teacher, who studied with Dr. Vasant Lad at The Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico. I recently met her at Delight Yoga in Amsterdam, where I joined her Foundation course on Ayurveda. This course left me feeling inspired and enriched, not only by the knowledge and insights that I received, but also by the way Victoria was sharing these beautiful practices of Ayurveda and Ayuryoga. On the YAY!YOGA podcast we dive deeper into Ayurveda and Victoria’s personal story of how she got into this ancient wisdom. We talk about the cycles of life: birth, death and dealing with loss. Victoria shares Ayurvedic tips on how to ease into fall and make it through winter and also gives some advice for women that want to live in sync with their moon cycle.

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quote and photo victoria Hyndman

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

  • Dr. Vasant Lad is Victoria’s teacher. He’s the founder of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can find many online lectures and resources on his website.
  • Marma points are energetic points that are linked to specific functions and organs in your body. In a Marma treatment one touches the marma points with gentle pressure to stimulate energy flow in the body and to balance the system.
  • Yamas and Niyamas are the first two limbs of the eightfold path that Patanjali writes about in the Yoga Sutra’s. They give direction to the way you live life.
  • Abhyanga – oil massage. According to Ayurvedic traditions daily oil massage adds to your over all health in terms of immunity and especially vitality. You can do this to yourself or your partner or kids for instance with sesame oil or any other oil that works well for your dosha and the season you’re in at that moment. To see how it’s done, check out this video.
  • The three doshas are Vata, Pitta & Kapha. These are all representing different elements that we hold in our body/mind too. According to Ayurveda, each person is born with a certain constitution of the elements. Vata is air and ether, Pitta is fire and water, Kapha is earth and water. The doshas bring different qualities and when it comes to finding a balanced lifestyle, we look at the qualities and its opposites to find that balance. So in short, what a person needs, depends strongly on his or her dosha, the change of seasons and his or her lifestyle.
  • Dry skin brushing is another technique to massage yourself. It’s mostly done from February during early spring time to shed anything that’s build up during winter time. It’s especially helpful for Kapha types.
  • Pippali – a long pepper that is heating but not too spicy. Adding this pepper to your food keeps your lungs strong and clear.
  • Trikatu (3 peppers) – helps if you have any stagnation in the lungs. Especially helpful from December until March.
  • Triphala (3 fruits) – this is mostly taken in as a powder, mixed with boiled water just before bedtime to the colon clean and add to the health of your digestive system.
  • Ashwagandha – a herb that has a calming effect on the body and mind. It’s especially balancing if you’re dealing with stress.
  • Satsang – a gathering in which spiritual texts and philosophy are shared.
  • Sadhana – a daily spiritual practice
  • Andrographis – a herb that supports the health of your liver and your immune system.
  • Castor oil – this oil has many benefits. In this conversation Victoria emphasises the benefits of castor oil for women.
  • Shatavari – plant/root that has great health benefits for women.
  • Ashoka – this herb helps women who don’t have a regular cycle to regulate the bleeding.
  • Svadhyaya – a Sanskrit word that is often translated as self-study.
  • Resources for deepening your knowledge on Ayurveda:
    The Science of Self-Healing by Dr. Vasant Lad (book)
    The doctor from India (documentary)
    A Pukka Life by Sebastian Pole (book)
    Ayurveda courses and workshops by Victoria at Delight Yoga
  • Recommended books:
    The Yoga Sutra’s of Patanjali by Sri Swami Satchidananda
    The Living Gita by Sri Swami Satchidananda

Connect with Victoria Hyndman

Instagram: @victoria_tory_raven_hyndman

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#9 Susanna Barkataki

Susanna Barkataki is a yoga unity activist, teacher, speaker and author of the book Embracing Yoga’s Roots (to be released in November 2020). Susanna’s main work is about sharing ways in which we can teach and practice yoga in the modern world, while honouring it’s roots. In this episode of the YAY!YOGA podcast we talk about cultural appropriation and how colonisation influenced the way yoga was introduced to the West, the ethics of yoga, how to preserve yoga culture, whether you should speak Sanskrit and say ‘Namasté’ at the end of a yoga class and so much more.

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susanna barkataki quote

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

  • Ayurveda is considered the sister of yoga. It means ‘science of life’ and is all about balancing the elements that are within us. Ayurvedic practices include all the senses through diet, pranayama, yoga asana, meditation, mantra and specific rituals of self-care.
  • Dhyana is one of the eight limbs of yoga and is about meditation. Dharana, one of the other limbs, is about focusing the mind.
  • The Yamas and the Niyamas are the first two limbs of yoga; these are considered the yoga ethics or principles of how to live a good life.
  • Susanna studied in the lineage of Shankaracharya, who was an non-dualistic Raja Yogi and is considered one of the greatest philosophers of India. He influenced more modern gurus of India, such as Swami Vivekananda, Swami Shivananda, Ramana Maharshi, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (who taught the Beatles) and Paramahansa Yogananda.
  • Jñāna-yoga is the yoga of knowledge. It’s very much about ethics and how to practice these ethics in daily life to find freedom.
  • Vichara is about self-inquiry, a big part of Jñāna-yoga. It’s about asking questions such as ‘Who am I?’, ‘How did this world come to being?’ and ‘What is a good life?’
  • Ahimsa is one of the Yamas and it is translated as non-harm.
  • The Jains are a group of yogis that makes Ahimsa to their main practice. They wear masks and sweep floors to move bugs out of their way so they don’t step on them or hurt them.
  • Susanna’s article about ending your class with Namasté and alternative ways of ending your class.
  • Susanna’s book ‘Embrace Yoga’s Roots’ is coming out soon and you can receive a free chapter.
  • Recommended books:
    Yoga: Ancient Heritage, Tomorrow’s Vision by Indu Arora
    Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra’s by Shyam Ranganathan
  • Favorite translations of the Bhagavad Gita:
    The Bhagavad Gita by Eknath Easwaran
    The Bhagavad Gita: a new translation by Stephen Mitchell
  • Teachers that inspire Susanna: Jesal Parikh and Tejal Patel (founders of the Yoga is Dead podcast) & Melissa Shah

Connect with Susanna Barkataki

Instagram: @susannabarkataki
Website: www.susannabarkataki.com

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#8 Lara Heimann

Lara Heimann is a yoga teacher and physical therapist who is specialised in neurodevelopmental training. Through this deep understanding of body and brain mapping, she created the LYT™ method, which we will obviously talk about in this episode of the YAY!YOGA podcast. In this conversation we cover lots of interesting topics, such as the importance of touch, mobility versus flexibility, the yoga butt and how to prevent it, the impact of technology on posture, hyper-mobility and yoga, active versus passive stretching and the difficulties in yin yoga from a brain perspective, raising kids when you are a vegan and much much more. 

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

lara heimann photo and quote

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

  • Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to change and grow. This video explains how that works.
  • Why you should engage your glutes in backbends? Lara explains.
  • Hyper-mobility is when your nervous system does not give feedback when you are at or beyond your end range of motion (or somewhere in between).
  • Yin yoga is a form of yoga where you go into seated or supine poses for a long hold (2-5 minutes). These poses are aimed at releasing tension in both body and mind. On a physical level, yin yoga is working into the flexibility in a passive way, so no engagement of muscles.
  • Forward head is when the head is tilted forward as a result of our phone/technology use. This image clearly demonstrates the difference between an ideal posture and a forward head posture.
  • The book that made Lara’s husband turn vegan: Animal Liberation by Peter Singer
  • Recommended book: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Connect with Lara Heimann

Instagram: @lara.heimann & @lytyogamethod
Website: www.lytyoga.com
Podcast: Redefining Yoga

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#7 Julie Martin

Julie Martin is probably one of the most inspiring yoga teachers right now and I am so grateful to have had this conversation with her. She empowers many students and teachers to step away from traditional yoga asana practice and tune into a practice that allows people to feel and move their bodies in a more natural way. In this episode of the YAY!YOGA podcast, we talk about Julie’s Vedantic background, the old school way of becoming a yoga teacher, how and why she moved from traditional Ashtanga yoga towards an embodied movement practise and we talk about the process of elimination as a way to come back to the present moment. 

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

photo and quote Julie Martin

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

  • Vedas are the oldest religious Hindu texts where the word ‘yoga’ first appeared in scripture.
  • Vedanta is the spiritual philosophy based on the Vedas and the Upanishads (part of the Vedas).
  • Mantra’s are sounds and syllables that are mostly chanted in the context of religious or spiritual practices and rituals.
  • Ramakrishna Vivekananda Center in Hollywood
  • Swami Vivekananda played a huge role in introducing Vedanta to the Western world.
  • Puja is a Hindu celebration or offering ritual
  • Kristina Karitinou – the teacher that trained Julie for 3 years in ‘the old school way’.
  • Gary Carter – movement and yoga anatomy teacher who Julie studied with after getting injured many times during her ashtanga years.
  • Yoga body: the origins of modern yoga posture practice by Mark Singleton (book)
  • Vanda Scaravelli was a student of Iyengar and Desikachar. She realised that her teachers were all men and that a woman of her age needed a different practice so she created a practice that was still very static but more in line with what felt natural to her.
  • Fighting Monkey – a movement practice
  • Ido Portal created a movement practice that is influenced by a mixture of movement practices such as dance and martial arts. He also likes to say that he created a ‘movement culture’.
  • Teachers that inspire Julie: David Kam, Raphan Kebe, Seane Corn and Dr. Joe Dispenza
  • Book recommendations:
    Fascia: What it is and why it matters by David Lesondak
    The great work of your life by Stephen Cope

Connect with Julie Martin

Instagram: @brahmanijulie
Website: www.brahmaniyoga.com

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#6 Megan Mulrine

Megan Mulrine is a yoga teacher who is living on the so-called Island of the Gods: Bali, Indonesia. It makes total sense that she’s living there as she spends most of her time studying and teaching about the Hindu gods and goddesses. I was very excited to speak to Megan on the YAY!YOGA podcast as she was one of the lead teachers in my first teacher training and she told me how the yoga poses that we practice are named after Hindu gods and their stories. In this episode, we talk about Buddhism, Hinduism, how to teach about Hindu gods to students from different cultural backgrounds and the importance of non-attachment when it comes to your self-practice. 

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megan mulrine quote and photo

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

  • Bule – the Indonesian word for foreigners.
  • Yoga is often defined as ‘chitta vritti nirodha’ – Sanskrit for ‘quieting the fluctuations of the mind’.
  • Karma yoga is an ancient yogic term that means selfless action: acting without expecting anything in return.
  • Book that tells the Hindu stories behind the yoga poses: The Myths of the Asanas by Alanna Kaivalya
  • Mahabharata is one of the most important books that tell the ancient Hindu stories of the gods.
  • Ramayana is the other most important book that explains the epic stories about India and Rama in particular.
  • Bhakti Yoga is often translated as devotion and it can be practiced by offering with an open heart and full attention to the spirits, gods or a higher self/consciousness.
  • Agni Hotra is a Vedic fire ceremony. Agni means fire and Hotra is healing. This ceremony is a purification ritual for the people and the environment.
  • Siddhartha Gautama was a spiritual leader and is also known as the Buddha and founder of Buddhism as we know it today.
  • Koundinya was the sage who came to visit the palace when the Buddha was just born and he predicted the Buddhas future. He and the Buddha later found the middle path between suffering. Koundinyasana is the yoga asana pose that was named after him – it’s the one where you fly into a split.
  • Hanuman was the monkey that – as the story goes – brought Sita back to Rama. He took a leap of faith from India to Sri Lanka (a very big step) and that’s where Hanumanasana – the front split pose – was named after. Virasana (hero pose) and Anjaneyasana (low lunge) are two other poses that tell the rest of this tale.
  • Japa Mala is a string of 108 prayer beads often used to chant mantras 108 times.
  • Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of arts, wisdom and knowledge.
  • Kirtan is the singing/chanting of mantra’s.
  • Svadyaya – one of the 8 limbs in Patanjali’s sutras that is translated as ‘self-study’.
  • Krishnamacharya is often seen as the founder of modern yoga as he was the one we started to create yoga sequences that are similar to what we practice today in most studios as Hatha and Vinyasa yoga. His most popular principle is to ‘teach the individual’.
  • Teachers that inspire Megan: Mark Whitwell & Swamini Shraddananda Saraswati (founder of Kula Kamala Foundation & Yoga Ashram)
  • Book recommendation: The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar

Connect with Megan Mulrine

Instagram: @yogatrotter_
Website: www.yogatrotter.com


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Photo by Harmonice Photography

#5 Gregory Lennon

Gregory Lennon is a yoga teacher who grew up in the US and has now been teaching and living in Amsterdam for a long time. He has a lot of knowledge about yoga philosophy and also does a great deal in sharing that knowledge in his teachings. I specifically love his dharma talks at the beginning of class, where he speaks from ancient texts as well as from his own experiences in daily life. He’s a great storyteller as you will hear in this episode of the YAY!YOGA podcast. We talk about religion and how that relates to yoga philosophy, how to incorporate the teachings from ancient yogic texts in your classes and we also touch on inclusivity in the yoga world.

Listen, subscribe and leave a review on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

gregory lennon quote and photo

Shownotes: stuff & people we talked about

Connect with Gregory Lennon

Instagram: @youarehaum
Website: www.youarehaum.com

Did you enjoy this conversation? Make sure you subscribe to the YAY!YOGA podcast on Apple podcasts or Spotify and support this show by leaving a review. Want to hear more? Check out all the other episodes and shownotes here.