Practical and Adaptable Yoga Tips to Channel Joy Amongst Chaos with Brett Larkin [Episode #861]
This week’s topic is: Practical and Adaptable Yoga Tips to Channel Joy Amongst Chaos with Brett Larkin
I am so excited to have my very special guest, Brett Larkin, who is the founder of her award-winning YouTube channel, Uplifted™️Online Yoga Teacher Trainings, a successful entrepreneur, and sought-after online business consultant. Listen in as Brett shares the philosophy and practice of yoga, the adaptability and personalization of yoga, emphasizing the importance of tuning into one’s own needs and intuition, and so much more!
00:00 Introduction to Yoga and Guest Introduction
04:14 Transitioning Careers and Finding Purpose
08:25 Navigating Life’s Challenges and Loss
10:53 Adapting Yoga Practice to Personal Needs
18:17 The Origins of Yoga and Ayurveda
20:50 The Goal of Yoga and Presence in Practice
22:18 Yogic Adaptability and Personalization
25:54 The Cumulative Effect of Small Practices
28:16 Balancing Structure and Ease in Practice
30:45 Using Ayurveda to Personalize Yoga Practice
35:07 Conclusion and Where to Find More Information
About Brett Larkin
An award-winning digital pioneer in online yoga classes and teacher training, a successful wellness entrepreneur, author, and busy mom. A visionary in the wellness space, ex-videogame designer Brett Larkin was the first to introduce yoga education through mobile and SmartTV apps. Along with her 500,000-subscriber YouTube channel of free online yoga classes, Brett created the world’s first online yoga certification program in 2015, long before Covid, running it live and interactive in real-time. She’s certified thousands of teachers worldwide in her Uplifted Online Yoga Teacher Training programs. Yogis and healers turn to Brett not only to deepen their practice, but to jumpstart their own yoga business.
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Introduction to Yoga and Guest Introduction
Kimberly Snyder (00:01.362) Hi loves and welcome back to our Monday interview show where I’m so excited to talk about one of my favorite subjects. Oh my gosh, Bri, I’m so sorry. I forgot to hit it on my thing. One second. Here we go.
Hi loves, welcome back to our Monday interview show. And I’m so excited to talk about one of my favorite subjects, which is yoga, not in terms of just the physical asanas and poses, but yoga in its totality, this ancient philosophy system of teachings about connecting to the true self and really being able to pour forth that incredible creativity, vitality, energy, health from this amazing philosophy.
And today I have a very special guest for you, Brett Larkin, who is a digital pioneer in the online training, online teaching of yoga space. She has over half a million subscribers on her YouTube channel and she has a new book out called Yoga Life, Habits, Poses and Breathwork to Channel Joy Amidst Chaos. So Brett, thank you so much for being here with us today.
brett (01:13.034) Thank you, I’m so excited to connect with you and chat all things yoga and making it accessible and practical.
Kimberly Snyder (01:19.322) Well, accessible and practical are two of my favorite words. I also like a word that you use in your book as well, adaptable. So we’ll get into all of that in just a moment. I love the flow of the book. I love that our philosophies align. Before we go further, if you guys are listening to this,
As you always have on Apple or Spotify, where you listen to our show usually, I just want to call out that we are now also on YouTube. So you can catch us on video format if that is of interest to you. Anytime you happen to be in front of a screen, I know a lot of you like to listen when you’re watching walking your dog or in the car, but this is also available. And also a little reminder that over on our website, mysolluna.com, we have all our…
amazing other offerings, including articles, other podcasts I think you would enjoy, guided meditations and more. All right. All that being said, let’s dive in deeper, Brett. Thank you again for joining us. I know you mentioned you are in Seattle right now, which I imagine this time of the year. It’s a little bit rainy outside, a little bit, I’ll say gloomy, but it forces us into the inner light, right? The inner light within.
brett (02:39.582) Yes, no, it is. It’s totally gloomy, but I don’t mind because we do a lot of skiing, me and my family. So we have a little cabin and every weekend we’re up skiing. It’s one of the reasons we love living here is because we’re so close to the mountains. So it is gloomy, but yeah, feeling very radiant inside and happy to be here.
Kimberly Snyder (02:57.566) How old are your little ones?
brett (03:00.354) I have a six year old and my littlest guy just turned three and they’re both on skis already so that’s exciting.
Kimberly Snyder (03:07.346) Wow. So I’m also a boy mom. I have a seven year old and a three year old.
brett (03:12.69) Wow, I didn’t realize we had that much in common. That is so, so cool. Even kids the same ages. And it’s so magical. My little guys also love yoga and they love mantra. My three-year-old was actually chanting a whole grimoque mantra in the backseat of the car yesterday. I was like, ah, I need to film this for Instagram. But I couldn’t because my phone was playing the mantra, but it was so fun. And it’s just so beautiful to be giving them the tools of like breath work and nervous system regulation that I know a lot of us who are listening probably didn’t receive when we were kids.
Transitioning Careers and Finding Purpose
Kimberly Snyder (03:47.598) It does feel that I feel like as more of us are waking up, there’s so many conversations around wellness and I don’t use the word mindfulness all the time because it makes me feel like up in the head, but just this awareness word you use a lot as well, presence. It’s a different time and we can really bring that into our family life. We can bring that into our own life and just create a different reality and break a lot of patterns from the past. So speaking of which, I loved reading about your bio and in the past you were even a, let me see if I’m saying this right, a video game designer, right? And I love how it all comes together. We can bring different skills and as powerhouses in the modern age and see how we can bring purpose and service, right? Imagine these skills.
brett (04:25.635) Yes.
Kimberly Snyder (04:40.318) have allowed you to create this platform where you can bring yoga out in a different way because of this other career that you had. Can you share a little bit about that?
brett (04:50.238) I mean, I’m someone who thought I’d never make a living teaching yoga. I thought that if I taught yoga, I’d be destined to be poor. I had so many self-limiting beliefs about what was possible. And I worked in the corporate space. I worked for Ubisoft, which is one of the biggest video game companies in the world. At first, I made games for 13-year-old girls, which is perfect because I’m still a 13-year-old girl. So that was really fun. It was like these educational fantasy games for young girls. And then when We and Connect came out.
I know this is a long time ago now, but if anyone remembers playing Just Dance or any of those types of games, when those games came out, they didn’t have a lot of people at my video game company that knew about movement or that knew about dance and I had been a dancer. So it was just this really beautiful fusion where I got to step in and make these dance routines really approachable for people who might be doing them at home. So I kind of was the go-between between the choreographer and the technical team.
Kimberly Snyder (05:32.423) Uh-uh.
brett (05:47.51) And it was so, so fun. I even worked on the Beyonce dance game. I got to motion capture Beyonce, which was a huge highlight for me. That game never got released because it then got tied up in legal issues, believe it or not. But from the Michael Jackson dance game, I had so much fun in that career. But I had this secret dream and longing to teach yoga, but it just didn’t feel viable. And then some changes happened at my full-time job where the movement dance fad
and then was kind of falling down. And then like Farmville, do you remember back when like Farmville and all those like mass social games began to get really popular? And so I wasn’t as into that. And I could have kept working on the dance games, but I would have had to move to Europe. And I wasn’t willing to do that because I was in a relationship at the time. And so that’s when I ended up working more in like tech, startup tech, which was really a cool experience. But that’s when it was like nights and weekends, I started fantasizing about like,
teach yoga online. Could I, once my YouTube channel started, I was like, could I turn this into something? And you’re absolutely right, because it’s weird how the universe works and works through us, because there was so much synergy in the prior careers that I think helped me start Uplifted Yoga.
Kimberly Snyder (07:04.314) Wow, I love that. We never know where our paths are gonna go. And how, when I started out, I was backpacking for years around the world. All my friends were already getting fancy jobs when we graduated from Georgetown. And I just didn’t feel drawn into getting into…my career quite yet, I couldn’t put my finger on it. But then it turned out when I started my blog and started my philosophy, so much of what I learned on the road and camping across Africa and being in India had such a huge impact on my life. So I always love to share that message and just say, you know, it’s one step at a time. We don’t have to plan out our whole lives because we’re always growing no matter what job we’re in or even if we’re in a relationship that doesn’t necessarily work out. we’re open to growth, we’re open to learning every step of the way, it contributes in the most beautiful way. And so another part of the journey that deeply resonated with me that we share, Brett, I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but I also lost a parent, my mom, right when I became a first time mom. So she passed from cancer within days of my first, my older son turning one.
brett (08:01.646) Absolutely.
Navigating Life’s Challenges and Loss
Kimberly Snyder (08:25.306) Right? So it was this moment of, oh, I’m a new mom and now I’m losing my mom. And then my dad was, you know, they had been married for, you know, 30 some years. He was just checked out. He couldn’t handle it. So it was like, I just remember being in the carrier or having my baby in the carrier, being in the hospital, having those conversations. And it’s these moments of, you know, we can either get overwhelmed and paralyzed or
brett (08:45.99) Um, yeah.
Kimberly Snyder (08:54.702) we start to tune into this totally different kind of strength that rises up in us, that comes from a deeper place, this true self place.
brett (09:05.174) I can’t believe we also have that in common. I’m kind of getting chills. I called this book Yoga Life because the reframe here is that yoga is not another thing on your to-do list. Your whole life is a yoga studio and you can sprinkle the wisdom, the magic, what I call the yoga glitter, into every aspect of your life, even if it’s just here and there between other activities because you have a crazy day and can’t make it to the mat. That’s why it’s amidst the chaos, right? Because for me,
That transition that you’re talking about when I became a new mom and then lost my father to cancer that same year, I literally in my home, I had my newborn in his room, and then I had my dad on hospice care in the bedroom right next door in my house, and I was his sole care provider. My parents were divorced, I don’t have any siblings, my dad did not remarry. So when I say it was like me and him walking through a death portal, and me arranging all the care, the insurance, the reimbursements, like everything, and of course my business was really growing and scaling that year as well.
And what happened is I realized that I couldn’t practice the yoga that I was used to practicing anymore because I literally just had no time and my life was too chaotic. Up to that point, I was going to studio classes or I was doing a 60 to 90 minute practice at home of a lot of poses, a lot of meditation. And in the chaos of my new normal between trying to keep my newborn from cliff diving off the couch and dealing with bedpans and, you know, hospice care for my dad,
and running my team and my whole business, I felt like yoga was failing me. I felt like I was drowning because I couldn’t do a long practice anymore. And they say necessity is the mother of invention, but that kind of, that was sort of a rock bottom year for me emotionally in so many ways, but it’s what birthed, what became the framework, the personalization framework, and these mini practices that I teach in the book.
Adapting Yoga Practice to Personal Needs
Kimberly Snyder (10:53.706) Wow, amazing. You know, I love hearing about that. Thank you for sharing. I can really empathize and also know I’ve been in that position of there’s so much on me. You know, I think we’ve all felt that in different ways, just the overwhelm of, you know, life happening and a lot of things happening at the same time. So thank you for sharing that. And I wanted to share with you, my practice also radically shifted.
when my mom passed away. So like you, I had a serious vinyasa practice. I studied with Dharma Mitra. I studied with Shiva Ray. It was, you know, a 90 minute series, very intense, lots of handstands, lots of really deep back bends. And I can’t describe it exactly to people. They ask, you know, why did you stop your asana practice? Right? Because it really shifted where my practice became very internal.
Whereas meditation was a piece, meditation became my whole practice. And for movement, I started feeling called to barefoot grounding beach walks every day. It was almost grounding my body just to be connected to the earth. So I really shifted and I moved away from the asanas. And now they are still in my life, but it’s more like yin yoga, stretching in the evening with my husband. So it really changed, right? And I think we shift in ways that, you know, if we’re in tune with our bodies, we don’t always…
have the language for, but it just felt intuitively right to me. So I love the asanas, but I didn’t have that sort of same practice anymore. And it was.
brett (12:30.418) Yeah, I can relate to that. I think a lot of people, I think we’re going through a shift right now collectively, where yoga has been very much prescriptive, right, and handed down very often from then, right, that there’s a certain way, a certain style in which to do things, that there are a lot of rules. And what happened to me during this year, and I’ll share it, like how I actually practiced during that kind of rock bottom year was I would set a timer on my phone.
for however long I had. A lot of times that was 10 minutes, some days, like a good day was like 20 minutes, 15 minutes. And I would tune inward exactly like you’re saying. And I’d ask like, how do I feel? What do I want? What can I do in this very short amount of time that would be deeply nourishing for me? And sometimes it was things that were very strange, like doing cacao in a super weird way or blending Kundalini and yin, which I had been taught by my teachers was…
Kimberly Snyder (13:17.812) Mmm.
brett (13:28.042) like not allowed, not something you were supposed to do. You can’t alter the creas, like all these rules. So out of desperation, I was just like, you know what? I’m gonna throw out all these rules, even some sequencing rules that I was teaching to other people. I’m like, all of this is just gonna go by the wayside and I’m gonna honor what I need to do. And I’ll never forget this one day, I practiced in this style, like Brett style yoga, right? Just honoring me and my individuality and what I needed in that moment to feel nourished.
And I remember finishing and getting to a place, probably a seat, and being like, wow, I feel so grounded. I feel so good. I had kind of that yoga glow. And my timer hadn’t gone off yet. And my first thought was like, oh, shit, my phone died. What have I missed? And then I ran and I looked at my phone and I had set my phone for, I think, a 20-minute practice that day. And it was only 18 minutes on the timer.
Kimberly Snyder (14:20.288) No!
brett (14:21.666) But because I had tuned inward and practiced what I call the soulmate poses, the poses that usher you into a flow state, the fastest and the most efficiently, which are different for each of us, depending on our personality. And because I picked, you know, breath work and poses that were uniquely suited to me, I was able to feel as good after an 18 minute personalized practice than I did after like a 90 minute group class. And that’s when I really had this aha moment. I was like, Oh my gosh.
Kimberly Snyder (14:31.922) Yeah.
brett (14:50.338) how did I do this and how do I teach this to other people? And I didn’t have time to write a book or even know what I was doing at that time, but that was like the aha moment that then years later, I kind of figured out this framework around.
Kimberly Snyder (15:03.582) that tuning in this intuition, it’s such a powerful tool, as you mentioned in practice, it’s such a key to healthy eating as well, right? When you talk about this linear approach, rules, how people try to follow diets, right? And in my experience, when people really tune in, right before they eat a meal, right before they cook, while they’re grocery shopping,
We get a different sense for what is needed in our unique energetic blueprint at that moment. So I really love that and also freeing ourselves from the group class idea that that’s the only way to practice yoga, which is really prohibitive for a lot of people. A lot of people can’t make it to the studio. A lot of people don’t live near studios, busy moms like us can’t carve out the time. Or I know for myself, I speak for myself, can’t drive there, spend an hour and a half, drive back.
It’s tough, right? So just this idea of unshackling ourselves that, you know, yoga looks like this, we put on the Lycra, we drive, we show up, we have to be in a group, because that’s not how it was traditionally practiced, per se.
brett (16:15.518) Yeah, and let’s talk about that because I say some pretty controversial things in this book, especially in chapter two, when I talk about how yoga came West. There’s a lot of things that went missing in that migration. And one of the key things, and I think you’d agree with me on this, is Ayurveda, right? So I say that yoga was always meant to be practiced within the context of its sister science, which was Ayurveda. And…
when we look back at the actual origins of yoga, even how it first came into the first Akara, which was like the prototypical yoga studio, the first yoga studio we had at the end of the 1800s. Before that, people were practicing by rivers and outdoors and in caves and things like that. But when we look that even then in Mysore, no one was ever doing the same poses the same way on the same breath cadence.
When yoga came west, it got enmeshed with the group fitness movement that was happening in the 1970s and 80s here in America. So it kind of got blended with the Jane Fonda movement. But when we look back originally, the way these classes actually worked is that people would come together and practice in silence. And the teacher would go around and individually give each person new poses or help them modify or adapt what they were doing based on what they needed as an individual.
And so it wasn’t like everyone were doing like the Ashtanga primary series A, it was very much like, okay, you’re ready to learn more poses, and the teacher would go over and whisper and work with one person and then go over and whisper with someone else. I want to, I’m painting the visuals here because I want us to really understand like how different that is than what we practice now, where it’s like this expectation that we’re all supposed to look the same, be moving on the same breath cadence.
That actually isn’t true to the original spirit of yoga based on the research I did for this book. Not to mention that the asana practice is such a small piece of what yoga really is when we look at the totality of how yoga can affect our life and be integrated into our life.
The Origins of Yoga and Ayurveda
Kimberly Snyder (18:17.414) Yes, thank you for that. I did experience when I practiced in really traditional ashrams in India when I was backpacking, it was a very different style and it was mostly the pranayama, the breath work and the meditation. Paramahansa Yogananda, who really brought, he was the yogi who came after Vivekananda, but actually established his home in America, who my last book was about.
You are more than you think you are. He just talked about with yogic science with such force. He met with the president of the United States. He was initiating Gandhi into Kriya yoga. Kriya yoga is all in your spine. So there’s very little physical movement. And again, he would teach, you know, the asanas, Hatha yoga is in support of what is going on in your central nervous system. This moving away from the senses inside. And then somehow the Western as you, you know,
fitness movement took it into most people thinking of yoga as doing, you know, warrior ones and pigeon poses when yoga is not that.
brett (19:25.286) Yeah, and one of the reframes I like to offer around this, which is exactly what you’re saying, right, is that the reason the asana exists is so we can sit still and meditate and move energy up and down our spine. So the poses are kind of like a means to an end. The yogis figured out, oh, if I move and stretch and put my body in certain positions, I can then sit still for longer. This makes perfect sense. My son’s kindergarten teacher does the same thing. When kids come into the classroom, she has them all dance. She has them all do the wiggles.
Kimberly Snyder (19:53.19) Yes.
brett (19:54.19) She has them get energy out because then they can sit and focus. So the yogis figured that out too. So when we see that all these physical postures are kind of a means to an end in order to be able to sit and have a deeper experience of self, it really, for me, I’m not saying don’t do physical postures. I’m saying pick which ones you choose very intentionally, less is more. Pick what works for you and your personality using Ayurveda as a lens in order to look at that, but that the presence inside the posture is the goal. The pose is not the goal.
The level of your awareness, how well you’re infusing that pose with your presence and your attention and noticing, are you going too far and pushing yourself and that’s kind of like an ego thing? Are you kind of taking it too easy and hanging back or thinking about what to order for dinner? If your awareness is not on your breath and being infused throughout the posture, I don’t think you’re doing yoga, even if you happen to be in something like a triangle pose.
The Goal of Yoga and Presence in Practice
Kimberly Snyder (20:50.046) That’s right. I hear this term sometimes when people say, I’m not good at yoga, I can’t do a handstand or I can’t do this binded twist. And so somehow in the Western mindset, we’ve taken the ego to say this external thing, you can see the shape of my body determines the level of my yoga, which is completely the opposite of going within, creating that stillness, which no one can see. It’s something that we…you know, we feel something we experience on a much deeper level. So, you know, I really just love enforcing that because I think what happens is number one, a lot of people just don’t try. They’re like, oh, I’m not flexible. I’m not going to try it. Or number two, they miss the mark, right? It’s like our, where we’re aiming the arrow is not for exactly where we want to go. So anyways, over time, I could say for myself that, you know, I did have that physical practice and I getting into those harder poses and there’s nothing wrong with that. But through this big life experience, it did drive me inward. And I can say honestly, as I’ve shifted into a much, you know, primarily meditation based practice, 99% meditation based. Wow, so much more peace, so much more centeredness, so much more joy, right? So as you, like it’s adaptable. I still do some of the poses. I still think it’s important to keep the body pliable and flexible and supple. But like you said, it’s not the end goal. So we wanna just look at what feels good to us. And I think make sure that we’re not spending so much time on the physical that we don’t have time to sit, to breathe, to be still and to meditate.
Yogic Adaptability and Personalization
brett (22:18.582) Mm.
brett (22:30.078) Yeah, one of the key terms I use in the book, which you’re bringing up here too, is this idea of yogic adaptability. And that’s how good are you at knowing what pranayama technique or what meditation or what yoga pose is going to best serve you in the imperfect moment that you’re living in? I think perfectionism is a huge problem when it comes to the yoga practice. I think a lot of people have this belief that, well, if you don’t do it at sunrise, or if you’re not wearing all white, or if you don’t do a special chant, or if it’s not at least 60 minutes or all these things that we put on ourselves. And so I try to share anecdotes in the book and I can talk about them here too. Like some of my most powerful spiritual revelations where my heart bursted open or where I felt, you know, huge rushes of energy. A lot of those practices happened with laundry all around me practicing in my room.
A lot of them happened with, you know, in dirty clothes or not in these places that I think, you know, I think we have this. preconception that it needs to look like a scene from Eat, Pray, Love in order for it to be meaningful. And the problem with this is that then if we don’t have 60 minutes to practice, people just abdicate the responsibility. And so one of the key messages I want to share is that when you look and have the mindset that everything you do to regulate your nervous system has a cumulative effect. Meaning that like we could all agree right now if I opened a savings account and we put money into it that money would grow. Yes? Yes. Right? Would be like, yeah, the money’s going to grow. I’m going to keep saving.
And there’s going to even be a compound interest effect. Maybe the money will grow even more. But somehow with yoga and breath work and awareness and meditation, we often don’t think of that cumulative effect, right? When the reality is like even one deep breath amidst the chaos, if you’re having an argument with your partner, is worthwhile. Even three minutes of breath work in my garage doing alternate nostril breathing or just connecting with my hand on my heart and my belly. All of that is money in my nervous system bank and it keeps adding up over my lifetime. But I find even some of the most advanced yogis I work with, they don’t think this way. They don’t think the small things add up.
The Cumulative Effect of Small Practices
Kimberly Snyder (24:41.63) Mm-hmm. That’s an interesting analogy, right? Because over time, it’s these little dings in our nervous system that can lead to overwhelm, that lead us going into reactivity and to the stress response. So sometimes I think, you know, it’s perfectionism. And sometimes I think it’s like, everybody’s looking for the one thing that’s going to help like this. bigger thing, I’m going to change my diet, I’m going to work from home instead of working at the office three days, four days a week, whatever it is, like these bigger life shifts versus this moment to moment. Right, life is here, moment to moment, it’s right now. So how do I bring more vitality to this moment? How do I bring more of that presence? Like that is the true health. That is the true yoga. And it’s about this deeper self connection. The more we do that, and the meditation that I teach now, this heart aligned meditation is only eight minutes. And we found in our research study with heart math that coherence went up 29%. Right, so it’s the same thing where people think they need to meditate for a set amount of time, 30 minutes, 40 minutes every day, right? It’s just these moments that add up. And it’s sort of like, I like to use this analogy in our lifestyle, right, with even eating. It’s about, oh, I’m following this diet or I’m on my cheat days or I’m completely off versus, you know, this is a healthy meal. I’m making a healthy choice today. I’m striving for 80% on, right? It’s just life is happening right here, right now, instead of these absolutes, which create a lot of rigidity, right, in our bodies, in our minds, in our digestive systems. in our nervous systems.
brett (26:25.19) Yeah, absolutely. I mean, what’s so interesting too is like this rigidity when we really look at it, it doesn’t make sense. Especially if you’re a woman, because we know for men, you know, that the masculine hormone structure is stable and constant throughout the throughout the month. But for women, it’s not, you know, we are more associated with the moon, right? So our hormones are literally changing every single day of the month. So from that viewpoint, it’s literally insane.
Kimberly Snyder (26:50.836) Mmm.
brett (26:54.146) to think that the same yoga practice would be nourishing to me on the second day of the month as compared to the 20th day of the month. It’s absurd, but yet we’ve been fed this lie of one size fits all yoga. And it’s interesting because I think a lot of the trends that you’re talking about and we share so many of these common values, I’m seeing this personalization framework being applied to nutrition or being applied to vitamins or I even get those ads for personalized shampoo. Do you get those? But somehow when it comes to yoga, we’re just all…
eating these generic sequences. And again, I’m not saying that that’s bad, but there’s been a million books and people talking about that for a long time. So what I wanna pull into the conversation is like, how do you create something that’s responsive? I love how you keep talking about looking inward, because that’s what this is about. How do I look inward and then create a yoga infusion, like an apothecary is the analogy I wanna use. Like how do I whip up a tincture, a potent healing fusion for me?
that balances me in the moment I’m in. And I’d love everyone to do 200 hours of yoga teacher training, but the reality is like, you don’t have to. You just need to know a couple simple frameworks. And this is how you get consistent with your practice, not by forcing yourself into rules and rigidity, but by having the skill of yogic adaptability to know how to make your practice so nourishing for you that you’d never wanna skip it, right? Cause people ask me all the time, how do I get consistent? That’s how.
Balancing Structure and Ease in Practice
Kimberly Snyder (28:16.435) That’s.
Kimberly Snyder (28:20.778) Mm. And I would say it’s also the balance of, like you said, what’s nourishing for me in the moment also with Dinacharya, the argument concept of daily rhythm and routine, right? So where, yes, in that moment of stress, we want to call on something, right? In that moment, we want to be able to breathe or do alternate nostril breathing, notisana, something, but setting up a framework where we create that space. For me, it’s in the evenings.
I also have a pretty solid morning routine. I feel like that stability as well, even though it may look a little bit different every day, but carving out that space does help sort of like the circadian rhythms in nature to create a sense of regularity without rigidity, right? Because sometimes, and we had Alyssa Vidi on the podcast as well. She does a lot with women’s hormones. She talks about the rudial phase and how our exercise differs through the month. So maybe that practice is very yin.
just some simple forward bends, more meditation. And sometimes we may feel like I need to, you know, do some more vigorous sequences here. But so it’s the balance, right? For me, I’ve found, okay, it’s not gonna be every day, but a lot of times I am doing my outdoor walk. I’m hiking, I’m breathing, I’m doing certain things at certain times. And that also creates a nice structure without being overly rigid.
brett (29:42.922) Yeah, I think this is another ultimate piece of the yogic path, right? It’s like, when do we need more structure? That’s sthita. When do we need more ease? That’s sukha. And if you’re too far in one extreme, I mean, the goal is to weave those polarities. And I think a key way that you can figure out how to do this is through using Ayurveda and knowing what your core dosha is, what your primary dosha is. So there’s a quiz at the beginning of the book that helps people figure that out. Because I think if you don’t know that, right?
Pitta’s tend to askew towards structure, right? And pitta is the fire element for anyone listening who doesn’t know. So like if you have high fire, it’s likely that your tendency or your default pattern is gonna askew more towards structure and rigidity, right? While someone who has high earth, they often err more on the side of ease. So what I love about Ayurveda is it gives us this, it’s like this amazing self-awareness tool.
that we can then use to approach the yoga practice in a more sophisticated manner.
Using Ayurveda to Personalize Yoga Practice
Kimberly Snyder (30:45.558) Mm, yes. We love Ayurveda so much here. And I’ve been a practitioner as well for over a decade. And it did shift me into much deeper awareness of all these energies that are at play. And I would say, Brett, also back to this intuition, whether we are specialists in Arya Veda or not seeing where you are in your life, right? As you were saying, that makes me reflect back when I was backpacking for three years, and I was just trains, camping, wandering.
When I came back to New York City and I was about 24, 25 at the time, that hour and a half practice with Dharma every day grounded me. Like you are on your mat, you’re going to breathe, this is what it is. And it really was so powerful for me at the time. And where I am now, where I’m just busy while running the saloon and the podcast and a million different things, I’m not drawn to that.
It’s more about yin and relaxing at the end of the day. So different rhythms, different times of our life, the yoga adaptability is always there and it’s just going to look a little bit different. Of course, postpartum, pregnancy, all these amazing phases that we go through.
brett (31:59.134) Yeah, this is why the skill of yogic adaptability is the most important skill, because we go through these different seasons in life. And if we don’t have an adaptable yoga toolkit, which is what I’m trying to help people build, it’s like we just feel like we’re failing, or we feel like we’re not good enough, right? Or we’re shoehorning ourselves into something that doesn’t feel aligned. So there are, I had soulmate poses that felt really good for me before having kids that now I don’t like, and I don’t practice at all.
And I’ve just broken up with them. I’ve released them. I’ve let them go. Like, it’s OK. I’m in a different place now. So, you know, a great tip that I’d love to give everyone listening is like, when you sit down to practice, put one hand on your heart, one hand on your belly. Ask yourself, How do I feel? What do I want? So kind of starting with that introspective, right? Do I want more movement? Do I want more stillness? And then another layer you can add onto this is just like, Do I need more earth, air or fire in my practice?
you know, releasing your personal constitution for a moment, but that can be a really helpful lens. You know, if you want more fire, you want a little more energy. Maybe you need to present later in the day or, you know, do something that requires a lot of energy, like putting your kids to bed. That requires energy for me. Or maybe you want more earth, you’re anxious, you wanna be close to the ground, right? And so we can put the lens of Ayurveda on the practice of as a whole and then also on individual yoga poses.
Like I break down something like a lunge and you can do a lunge and make it very earthy by putting the back knee to the ground, maybe taking the hands to the hips, getting the hands on the body. Or you can do a lunge and make it super fiery, right? Like adding a twist or you can make it very airy like putting the arms up and lifting that back knee off the ground. So again, when we just master a couple basic concepts, you can make your practice so much more nourishing through your ability to personalize it.
Kimberly Snyder (33:50.19) I love that. I love those examples. And I love just bringing the energies into the practice instead of linear time and how long the practice is and how many poses we’re doing in the sequence, because that’s also the core of Ayurveda, right? We’re not sitting here counting carbs and calories. We’re thinking about energies and how we balance the energies inside of us, which are the same energies all around. So thank you. Oh, go ahead, love.
brett (34:19.094) No, I was just going to say, I like to think of every day as an equation. Every day is an equation. It’s like, what’s my energy? How well did I sleep? For people like us, it’s also like, what’s going on with our children? What’s the state of the world? What’s the weather? The weather affects our energy. There’s all these different things that add up that are going to equal what’s the yoga tonic or the yoga infusion that’s going to be nourishing to me. So again, the idea that there’s some generic thing we can practice. I mean, again.
Definitely there’s a time and place for that. I love in-person classes for community and all the good reasons, but I really want everyone to have this other skillset, of really taking ownership of your own personal practice and having something that you can do at home, deconstruct, make it shorter or longer, depending on what your needs are. Yeah, it’s really a game changer.
Conclusion and Where to Find More Information
Kimberly Snyder (35:07.45) And then add our own dynamic creativity, right? Which comes from that nonlinear place inside where we can mold and shape and feel and into it. So thank you so much, Brett, for bringing this forward in our conversation. Thank you so much for being with us today. And congratulations on your new book, again, called Yoga Life Habits, Poses, Breathwork.
to channel joy amidst chaos. Thank you, beautiful color. I love that blue sort of this, you know, reminds me of like third eye, Vashuta chakra energy. Tell us Brett, your main hub, your website, or where we can find more information out about your work.
brett (35:51.138) Well, thank you so much for having me. And it’s just so fun to have a conversation with someone who’s so aligned in so many of our values. So I’m really grateful that I got to be here. The book is available globally, anywhere books are sold. It’s called Yoga Life. So pretty easy to remember. And you can find me on YouTube. I have so many free classes, over half a million subscribers, Brett Larkin on YouTube. And my website is brettlarkin.com for all the yoga teacher training online.
Kimberly Snyder (36:18.258) Amazing love. Thank you again so much and look forward to connecting more in the future and all you love listening out there Please check out Brett’s work. Please check out her book Hope you enjoyed our conversation and please as I mentioned at the top of our show Be sure to head back over to our website as well mysolluna.com where we have so many other offerings for you guys Including I forgot to say all our amazing plant-based recipes are you Vedic practices. My book, which is behind me, Radical Beauty, three books ago. Now I think, which is an Ayurvedic book that I wrote with Deepak Chopra, other podcasts I think you would enjoy and more. So sending you so much love and remember that you can also ask questions on our website for our Thursday Q&A show. So sending you lots of love. See you back here soon. Namaste and take great care.