Media Review: "Let's Talk Yoga" podcast
If you teach or practice yoga, and especially if you are running a studio or making the transition to running your own yoga teaching business, the "Let's Talk Yoga" podcast by Arundhati is a must-listen.
I love yoga. I love podcasts. So, it is not surprising that my podcast queue is full of yoga-related content. I don't subscribe to follow-along guided practices. But I binge on conversations around yoga history and culture, teaching tips and tools, running a yoga business, and hot topics in the yoga world. (Read our recent article on "Our top podcasts for yoga, acroyoga, and movement inspiration," for more links.)
There are several great conversations (and a lot of not so interesting ones!) out there, where that magic combination of really good and useful content and high production quality meets a podcaster who can stay focused. Arundhati is personable without over-sharing, and knows that we are here for the topic, not for a run-down of her day or a description of her lunch. (Seriously, why do some podcasters feel a need to ramble about themselves before launching into the content we came for?!) She asks insightful, direct questions of her guests, with whom she carries a personal, and sometimes intimate, dialogue, but, again, stays on topic. She is charming, knowledgeable, and easy to listen to.
Most of the fabulous yoga podcasts out there are hosted or led by American born white men and women. So, I am thrilled to find the "Let's Talk Yoga" podcast and experience the voice and perspective of a South Indian born female yoga teacher, who is currently running several yoga and movement-related businesses. Arundhati graciously and openly shares her own wealth of information and interviews some of the most relevant and interesting people in the American yoga landscape right now. Her perspective as a WOC teacher and entrepreneur is unique in podcast-land, so that her interviews and stories carry a different flavor and give us, the listeners, and new way to think about each topic.
Topics on the show so far touch on cultural appropriation in yoga, online teaching, and how to approach giving private lessons, with guests like Judith Lasater and Jason Crandell, among others. The very first episode, "Yoga in India versus Yoga in the US," immediately gave me some things to reconsider in my own teaching. Arundhati shares one of her pet-peeves about American yoga practitioners - that we call ourselves and each other "yogi," a term that she was raised to believe describes a sacred person who has completely given themselves over to a life of devotion in yoga. She says, "Compared to them, I am nothing." This really made me pause and think about how insincerely I have used this term in the past and how insensitive and ignorant I have been. So, within my first 20 minutes of listening, I was already grateful for her teaching.
I was taught... the term "yogi" symbolized a lifetime of sacrifice and hard work without expecting anything in return. - Arundhati
One of my favorite episodes so far is episode 3, "Ayurvedic self-care for yoga teachers." In these distracting and trying times, who doesn't need a reminder about how we can manage our daily input and our surroundings to better support us? This is an interview with Ayurvedic counselor, Afrin Sopariwala, who reminds us, "Our five senses are the only way we have to interface with the external world." She gives tips for ayurvedic cleansing of the five senses, describes the scope of Ayurveda, discusses the difference between an Ayurvedic doctor and counselor and when each is appropriate to use, and how to incorporate Ayurvedic practices into a yoga practice, class, or studio environment. The discussion they have about how to keep the voice healthy is especially useful for yoga teachers who talk a lot and sometimes find ourselves voice-fatigued or voiceless, especially now as the season is changing.
Asan is a state of mind expressed by the body. - Indu Arora
I also learned much from episode 9, "Why Yoga Nidra is not about sleep with Indu Arora." In this interview, they explain the difference between Yoga nidra and Savasana and how and when each should be used, discuss the origins of Nidra (which are much older and less direct than I previously believed!), and give so, so much more in depth and information that I will need to listen to this one at least three more times before I can say I have digested it all! This episode is so dense with useful info, it is like taking a mini-yoga teacher training in itself!
I am happy to have found this great podcast and I highly recommend it for practitioners, teachers, and studio owners. There are only a hand-full of episodes up as of October 2020, but this show is off to a great start and I have high hopes that it will stay in my subscriptions queue for a long time.