cover art for Lindsaya VanDeusen | Being Your Own Best Friend

Integral Yoga Podcast

Lindsaya VanDeusen | Being Your Own Best Friend

Season 1, Ep. 93

Avi and Lindsaya talk about beauty culture, caring (or not caring) what others think of us, the value of simply being aware, how to be your own best friend, the tremendous perspective change of becoming a parent, and more.

Lindsaya VanDeusen is a Beauty + Wellness Strategist and community creator. She passionately empowers humans to amplify the Wellness Warrior Within.







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  • 103. Graham Schweig | We Seek the Flow of the Heart

    Graham Schweig sits down with Avi Gordon in a conversation that covers the importance of yoga, gratitude, and selflessness in reconnecting with one's heart and embracing life's conditioning forces. They discuss the transformative power of yoga in turning inward to confront inner conflicts and suffering, ultimately leading to self-awareness and growth. The role of the guru in guiding and reinforcing inner wisdom is highlighted. The conversation also touches on the significance of choices, trust in the process, and the power of supportive relationships. Self-care and selflessness are explored as interconnected aspects of spiritual practice, promoting both personal well-being and the capacity to serve others.Bio:Dr. Schweig is Distinguished Teaching and Research Faculty at the Center for Dharma Studies of the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. Schweig earned the master’s degree in religious studies at University of Chicago Divinity School, a master’s of theological studies in history of religions and a master’s of theology in comparative religion from Harvard University Divinity School, and earned his doctorate in comparative religion from Harvard. Schweig joined the faculty of Christopher Newport University (CNU) in the fall of 2000. Prior to coming to CNU, he was a teaching fellow at Harvard University, lecturer at University of North Carolina and Duke University, and while teaching at CNU, he was for two years, Visiting Associate Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Virginia. He has been recognized several times for excellence in teaching, including CNU's annual Alumni Faculty Award for Teaching and Mentoring (2013), and has delivered over three dozen invited lectures at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC for over fourteen years. He has also given lectures widely in the US and in Europe, and has been invited to be a consultant on doctoral dissertation committees or a doctoral dissertation examiner in the US, Europe, India, and Australia. He has conducted yoga workshops, offered seminars and given lectures around the US and Europe for well over 20 years. In addition to his academic endeavors, Dr. Schweig has been a student of many traditional teachers of yoga, and is recognized by Yoga Alliance at the highest level of E-RYT 500 and YACEP. He has travelled to India thirteen times, once for a year on a Smithsonian Institution funded grant, and has been a practitioner of traditional and heart-centered yoga for over 50 years.Would you like to be notified when we release new content? Subscribe to our channel and turn on notifications.
  • 102. Govind Das | Turning the Mind Into an Altar to God

    Renowned kirtan artist Govind Das speaks with Avi Gordon about turning the mind into an "altar to God", making the transition to heart-centered living, the importance of understanding and accepting one's humanness while striving for spiritual progress, and much more.In his freshman year of college, in 1989, Govind Das was introduced to the practice of meditation and the spiritual culture of the east. A few years later, while on a road trip, G listened to a Ram Dass lecture. This cassette tape changed the course of his life. Govind Das has since dedicated his life to studying and sharing the practices of bhakti yoga.
  • 101. Swami Divyananda | Working Without Tension

    Avi and Swami Divyananda discuss prioritizing inner peace, the role of meditation, nurturing personal relationships, letting go of the need to be "right", and they reflect on Swami Satchidananda's teachings and legacy.Swami Divyananda Ma, E-RYT 500, has had a wealth of experience teaching Integral Yoga around the world since 1973. She has taught at corporations, universities, the Commonwealth Cancer Center, and for the Dr. Dean Ornish Reversing Heart Disease programs. She has also served as one of Integral Yoga’s Basic Hatha teacher trainers.Swami Divyananda Ma took monastic vows in 1975 from Sri Swami Satchidananda. Over the years she has served as the director of the Integral Yoga Institutes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and as Ashram Manager at Yogaville. She also served for ten years as the director of the Integral Yoga Institute in Coimbatore, India; this immersion into the South Indian culture has given depth to her understanding and practice of Yoga.Now an itinerant monk, Swami Divyananda is constantly “on the road.” She leads the annual Sacred India Tours to sacred sites in India in addition to international Yoga retreats and trainings.
  • 100. Amma Kidd | Go Within

    Amma Kidd and Avi discuss the significance of collective prayer, the transformative influence of a guru, surrendering to God's will, and the interconnectedness of all creation. Amma emphasizes the importance of "seeking first the kingdom of God" by going within, and always and forever "rising above".Amma Kidd is a former secretary to and long-time devotee of Swami Satchidananda, and a beloved pillar of love and faith in the Yogaville community.
  • 99. Jesse Sadhu Gallagher | The Beauty and Awe of Sound and Life

    Sadhu and Avi discuss music, healing, and Yoga, with two short improvised performances.Jesse Gallagher has been a professional touring musician since 2001, and a music producer and recording engineer since 2008. He toured extensively as a member of Apollo Sunshine from 2001-2010, and now composes and performs with a variety of projects, including Nightime Sunshine. Gallagher has practiced Kundalini yoga and meditation since 2000. In 2016 he was certified to teach Integral Yoga Hatha, which he teaches in the lineage of Swami Satchidananda.Links:Jesse's YouTube Channel:
  • 98. Jeff Ananda Kamen | Connection, Caring, Compassion and Stillness

    Avi speaks with past broadcast journalist and present yogi Jeff Ananda Kamen, who shares some engrossing stories about his adventures and his search for meaning, purpose and understanding.Jeff Kamen first met Swami Satchidananda in 1973 when he made the first public television documentary on yoga in America. It was a primetime special on New York City’s premiere public television station WNET 13. Jeff was 29 years old and already a veteran of news reporting in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London, and a confessed smart alec. He did his best to conceal that from the Swami during the interview. That documentary film was one of dozens Jeff had the opportunity to make over a career that has spanned more than a half a century. Besides the founder of Yogaville, Jeff has also been blessed by one-on-one contact with the Dalai Lama, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as well as other major figures in spiritual life. Jeff has lived in Yogaville for almost a decade. Links:Warrior Pups: True Stories of America's K9 Heroes (Amazon):
  • 97. John Ferguson | Finding Purpose in Adversity: Inspiring Veterans' Mental Health Journey

    In this inspiring interview, John Ferguson shares his personal journey of finding positivity and using it as a tool to help veterans struggling with mental health issues. John emphasizes the importance of service and reaching out to support those who are suffering. Through his experiences with yoga and meditation, he highlights the power of these practices in promoting mental well-being and healing.John is a retired US Marine with three combat tours, and IY Yoga instructor, and the author of "Living Beyond PTS: Journey towards Peace - A Veteran's Path to Recovery - Through Mind Nidra". He works at helping people learn about PTS and its affects, both mental and physical.Some highlights:John's personal journey of finding positivity and healing in Yoga, and helping veterans with mental health issuesthe significance of service and supporting those who are sufferingthe transformative power of meditation and Yoga for mental well-being and healingLinks:"Living Beyond PTS" on Amazon: Beyond PTS Website -
  • 96. Seán Johnson | From Tragedy to Connection: Music as a Path of Transformation

    Kirtan artist Seán Johnson, of Seán Johson and the Wild Lotus Band, discusses:the importance of preparation for presenting and his personal singing practice as a means of connecting to the universethe balance between planning and staying present in the moment - using templates as a framework for improvisation and creativityexperiences of doubt, grief, and loss, and finding solace in connecting with his brother's spirit through musicchallenges, self-care, and finding value in difficult experiences, as well as the universal nature and benefits of singing and chanting in many spiritual traditionsSeán's Bio:Seán’s intimate, intuitive connection to the spirituality of music, singing, and songwriting goes back to his childhood. He was a member of the New Orleans Symphony Children’s Chorus and active in musical theatre. After a traumatic performance experience as an adolescent, he quit singing in public for many years and found his voice again in his early twenties by connecting deeply to his Irish ancestors through singing traditional sean-nos songs in a year long Irish Studies program at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, guided by ethnomusicologist Seán Williams. Williams shared songs that she had learned directly from Joe Heaney, considered to be one of Ireland’s greatest singers. In an intensive program focused on heart-centered spiritual traditions guided by Doranne Crable, Seán was introduced to the Sufi practice of dhikr, a powerful chanting practice that deepened his connection with the voice as a vehicle for spiritual transformation.After focusing on Comparative Spiritual Traditions in his undergraduate studies, Seán went on to complete a Master’s degree in Creation Spirituality from The Naropa Institute-Oakland (1999) with focus on teaching chant as spiritual practice, apprenticing there with south Indian musician and teacher Russill Paul, author of The Yoga Of Sound. In 1999, Seán moved home to New Orleans, sharing weekly chanting sessions, and founding several spiritual music ensembles, introducing many people to the practice of chanting. In 2005 he founded The Wild Lotus Band as a post-Hurricane Katrina philanthropic music project, raising funds across the country for relief from the devastation of the storm through benefit concerts. Chanting mantras has been a deep and integral part of his personal spiritual practice, music, and teaching for the last 25+ years. Singing Irish music and connecting to his Irish ancestors remains a pillar of his life and spirituality. He guides online gatherings and retreats in Ireland with Mary Meighan, founder of Celtic Journeys each year.Links:Website - https://seanjohnsonandthewildlotusband.comInstagram - @seanwildlotusbandFacebook - - Auricle Collective -
  • 95. Swami Sugunananda | We're All God's Children

    Avi Gordon speaks with Swami Sugunananda, a monastic since 2010. Sugunananda shares her journey of becoming a swami after the loss of her partner, and discusses finding clarity through faith and guidance from her guru, the role of intuition in decision-making, the importance of faith and humility, the practice of meditation and prayer, and other topics.