Podcast Ep. 67: The Blessing of Breath

Playing with Dolphin energy in this episode. The yoga practice includes dolphin pose, but also an exploration of the breath, prana, the manna of life.

Wildlife rehabilitation season is here, and I have lost most of my income for the foreseeable future. The turtles, baby squirrels, and I need your support to make it through this season. Now is the time to become a Patreon sponsor and contribute towards needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, the wildlife rehabilitation clinic in a bus. Thank you for being awesome!

I have opened up more space on my calendar for complementary Break Open calls while we are isolating. Book an hour to share your vision for your life and the world and what is preventing you from stepping into a leadership role and manifesting that vision.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways you can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook, leave a comment, and sign up for the newsletter.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Perceiving Interconnectedness Through Touch

Painted turtle with injured shell taped, held head on by a human hand

Opporunities for touch are plentiful when rehabilitating wild turtles, like this painted turtle who was hit by a car.

On a Tuesday in September 2017 I had a Shamanic Reiki client in the afternoon, so my parents picked my son up from school. I arrived at their house to claim him as they were finishing dinner. When my father started to push his chair back, I said, “No, stay there. We have to run.” I missed out on a hug. Five days later my dad passed suddenly, and there were no more chances for that hug.

Now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, I cannot hug my mother. I cannot hug my daughter. I cannot be in my yoga studio. There are no hands-on asana alignment adjustments. And I cannot offer in-person Shamanic Reiki sessions. I feel lost and longing for touch and am feeling again regret for that hug I turned down.

Touch as sensation

Of all our senses, the tactile sensation may be the most powerful, the most overlooked, and the most abused. I recall standing in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, looking at the vast expanse of Monet’s Water Lilies from a respectable distance. They were awe-inspiring, but I wonder now if my experience of them would have been different if I could have run my fingers over and felt the texture of the canvas and the contours of the oil paint. How many children have been asked to look but don’t touch, when touch is how they most want to explore the world?

Touch can also be a source of pain. My closest friend heads a company that developed an app to record instances of domestic abuse. She is sadly aware of the increases in such episodes while victims are forced to shelter in isolation with their abusers. The same senses through which we experience joy and wonder also bring us pain, and it is a sad commentary on human nature that there are those who willingly inflict pain on others, peverting the experience of touch.

Touch as participation

To occupy myself during isolation, I have been rereading David Abram’s The Spell of the Sensuous. In it, Abram speaks of touch as participation. To touch is to also feel yourself being touched. He wrote, “…the world is perceiving itself through us.” Each time I read that I have a moment of mind-blowing awareness.

As a Shamanic Reiki practitioner, I know that I am affected by the energetic transmission just as my client is. It is not depleting since it is not my energy I am sharing, but as the intelligent energy moves through me it is also working on me. Early on in my Shamanic Reiki training, my teacher, Llyn Roberts, addressed the question of the appropriateness of touch in a Reiki session by reminding us that touch is in itself soothing and, while avoiding obviously sensitive areas, we should not deny a client who would like to receive Reiki though direct touch. Now, when my only Shamanic Reiki sessions are at a distance, I am missing the touch. The energy flows regardless, and I am both directing and receiving its benefits, but neither my client nor I are experiencing the deep, reciprocal participation of touch.

Perceiving interconnectedness through touch

If we experience the world, and the world experiences us, through touch, what has happened to our understanding of interconnectedness as “nature” has become, for many, something to look at from a respectable distance? As a child I was blessed with a direct, tactile experience of other species. There were pets – dogs, hamsters, and parakeets – to touch. Outdoors, I caught (and released) frogs, held fiddler crabs while they threatened with tiny claws, felt jellyfish run through my fingers. I dug my toes into the silt in the shallows of the bay, feeling for the points of buried clams. I felt the ridges of a scallop’s shell, and started when it snapped and flipped out of my hand. Tiny nails scratched my skin as a chipmunk climbed to my shoulder for a peanut.

When I tell others of these experiences, as often as not the response is “ewww.” Contemplating touch, I realize that my childhood was not typical, and my access to nature was a privilege many did not have, including those who grew up in the same middle-class suburban neighborhood with the ocean only blocks away – considered privileged by other metrics – but who were told other animals were something to fear or loathe, and definitely were not something to touch.

If our perception of interconnectedness depends on participatory touch, how can those who cannot, or will not, have that experience understand what we are losing as species disappear from Earth? I am coming to realize that my past and present tactile acquaintance with other species is a driver of my desire to protect them. Saving the abstract idea of “wildlife” is a nice concept I can get behind. Saving turtles, the animals I both keep and rehabilitate, and have held in my hands, touching and being touched by them, is a passion.

Looking to the future

I am acknowledging also that community engagement in both avoiding vehicle strikes and protecting our local turtle habitats may start with access to and encouragement of safe tactile experiences. I plan educational programs informed by a desire to create these experiences. Pet a turtle? Absolutely, if the turtle desires to participate. Additionally, I am considering how other touch experiences, such as yoga and Shamanic Reiki, can blend into such an educational program. Turtle yoga? Yes, it might be a thing in the post-coronavirus future.

Meanwhile, I miss hugs and the reciprocal touch experience of hands-on Shamanic Reiki and yoga. I am privileged to share my home with my immediate family and a variety of species, both domestic and wild, and have opportunities for touch, even if they feel insufficient, and to have the time to design programs. I hope someday to give you the chance to hold a turtle and want to save their species.

Until then, my friend, stay safe, be well, and acknowledge the unfulfillment of your own desires denied by our shared social responsibility.

Podcast Ep 66: Yoga for Stamina and Focus

To support your physical stamina and mental focus during the pandemic, this episode guides you through core-strengthening and balance poses in a short yoga practice.

Wildlife rehabilitation season is here, and I have lost most of my income for the foreseeable future. The turtles, baby squirrels, and I need your support to make it through this season. Now is the time to become a Patreon sponsor and contribute towards needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, the wildlife rehabilitation clinic in a bus. Thank you for being awesome!

I have opened up more space on my calendar for complementary Break Open calls while we are isolating. Book an hour to share your vision for your life and the world and what is preventing you from stepping into a leadership role and manifesting that vision.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways you can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook, leave a comment, and sign up for the newsletter.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 65: Yoga to Cool Anger with Integrity

Anger and fear are playing big emotional roles amid the coronavirus crisis. This podcast episode asks you to become more thoughtful and invites you to cool your anger with integrity in a yoga practice.

Wildlife rehabilitation season is here, and I have lost most of my income for the foreseeable future. The turtles, baby squirrels, and I need your support to make it through this season. Now is the time to become a Patreon sponsor and contribute towards needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, the wildlife rehabilitation clinic in a bus. Thank you for being awesome!

I have opened up more space on my calendar for complementary Break Open calls while we are isolating. Book an hour to share your vision for your life and the world and what is preventing you from stepping into a leadership role and manifesting that vision.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways you can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook, leave a comment, and sign up for the newsletter.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 64: Yoga to Nurture an Open Heart

Nurture compassion and feel into the energy of spring in a yoga practice to open your heart. This episode was inspired by Hummingbird from The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck by Kim Krans. Holding all those who are suffering with COVID-19 in my heart. The most compassionate thing we can do is to stay home and connect with nature and springtime right outside our windows.

Turtle rehabilitation season is coming and I have lost a portion of my income for the foreseeable future. Now is the time to become a Patreon sponsor and contribute towards needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, the wild turtle rehabilitation clinic in a bus. The turtles and I thank you!

To support you during this time of physical isolation, I have opened up more space on my calendar for complementary Break Open calls. Book an hour to share your vision for your life and the world and what is preventing you from stepping into a leadership role and manifesting that vision.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways you can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook, leave a comment, and sign up for the newsletter.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep. 63: At a Crossroads With Tarantula

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads around our Earth, Tarantula came out of The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck by Kim Krans with a message to see where your life’s purpose is being sidetracked by your everyday routines. We are at a crossroads, forced to drop the busy-ness we’ve gotten into the habit of being in. Join me for some yoga to playfully explore spider pose, then settle into final relaxation open to discovering your dharma.

Turtle rehabilitation season is coming and I have lost a portion of my income for the foreseeable future. Now is the time to become a Patreon sponsor and contribute towards needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, the wild turtle rehabilitation clinic in a bus. The turtles and I thank you!

To support you at this crossroads, I have opened up more space on my calendar for complementary Break Open calls. Book an hour to share your vision for your life and the world and what is preventing you from stepping into a leadership role and manifesting that vision.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways you can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook, leave a comment, and sign up for the newsletter.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep. 62: Being Present With Fear

Amid a global pandemic, I’ve been dropping into fear too. So, no surprise when Rabbit came out of The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck by Kim Krans. Now that you’ve prepared, be present with your fear in a slow yoga flow. Healers, we are being called. Take care of yourself and take care of others.

Turtle rehabilitation season is coming. Now is the time to become a Patreon sponsor and contribute towards needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, the wild turtle rehabilitation clinic in a bus. The turtles and I thank you!

Registration is open for a limited number of complementary Break Open calls. Book an hour to share your vision for your life and the world and what is preventing you from stepping into a leadership role and manifesting that vision.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways you can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook, leave a comment, and sign up for the newsletter.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 61: Forest Meditation to Meet an Animal Spirit

Follow this episode’s guided meditation into the forest and meet an animal nature spirit. What question is most heavy on your heart? Take it into the forest with you. The meditation was inspired by the Golden Egg card from The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck by Kim Krans. (The Yoga Nidra recording I mention is episode SF06 from August 2018. Time is tricky.)

Turtle rehabilitation season is coming. Now is the time to become a Patreon sponsor and contribute towards needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, the wild turtle rehabilitation clinic in a bus. The turtles and I thank you!

Registration is open for a limited number of complementary Break Open calls. Book an hour to share your vision for your life and the world and what is preventing you from stepping into a leadership role and manifesting that vision.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways you can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook, leave a comment, and sign up for the newsletter.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep. 60: Explore Earth and Water with Turtle

Turtles have ancient DNA and hold the energy of both the water and earth elements. Inspired by Turtle from The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck by Kim Krans, you’ll get an update on the overwintering turtles and explore both flow and stillness in a 30-minute yoga practice.

Turtle rehabilitation season is coming. Now is the time to become a Patreon sponsor and contribute towards needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, the wild turtle rehabilitation clinic in a bus. The turtles and I thank you!

Registration is open for a limited number of complementary Break Open calls. Book yours online and share your vision for your life and the world and what is preventing you from stepping into a leadership role and manifesting that vision.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways you can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook, leave a comment, and sign up for the newsletter.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.

Podcast Ep 59: Your Mind is the Big Sky

Meditating on your mind as the sky opens your awareness to your crown chakra and the expansiveness of your consciousness. Inspired by the Cosmic Egg card in The Wild Unknown Animal Spirit deck by Kim Krans, let this episode’s guided meditation bring you into that awareness. You’ll only need a comfortable and supported place to sit to be the big sky.

If you would like to chat about this episode or learn more about yoga, Shamanic Reiki, wildlife conservation, or other ways you can bring healing to all of the beings on our beautiful planet Earth, join the Shamanic Flow Circle group on Facebook, leave a comment, and sign up for the newsletter. Become a Patreon sponsor and contribute needed equipment and supplies for Dancing Turtle Rescue and Rehab, the wild turtle rehabilitation clinic in a bus.

Much love and gratitude to Blair Sutherland for the beautiful intro and background music. Blair is also an outstanding webmaster and makes sure I can share these episodes with you. Thank you, Blair!

While the yoga and other practices presented are intended to be accessible to most, please be open to practicing in an appropriate and safe way for you. It is recommended that you consult your physician before beginning any new exercise program and that at any time during a practice you feel nausea, dizziness, or pain you stop and seek medical advice. I accept no liability whatsoever for any damages arising from the use of my podcasts and, while I make all reasonable efforts to share accurate instruction, the podcast may contain unintended errors. Before all else, listen to your body and trust your inner knowing.