cover art for A Love Letter for Mums with Naomi Annand

Yogaland Podcast

A Love Letter for Mums with Naomi Annand

The lovely and wise Naomi Annand joins me on this episode to talk about her new book, Yoga for Motherhood. This book is one of my absolute favorites -- filled with reassuring words that envelope you like a warm hug, well-curated essays that resonate deeply, and practical yoga sequences to keep you balanced through the stages of mothering. It's the book Naomi wish she'd had when she first became a mother -- and I do, too.


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    Carving out a place for yourself as a yoga teacher is no easy task. It was such a treat to have multi-hyphenate Neeti Narula on the show to hear how she has done it. Neeti is an NYC-based yoga and meditation teacher, as well as a mother of two, a contributor at Yoga Journal and now, a freshly minted contributor on the lifestyle platform, Melissa Wood Health.Neeti shares so many helpful gems on this episode including:How yoga came into her life and helped her begin to heal from lossThe thing that surprised her most when she left investment banking to become a yoga teacherHow the pandemic helped her reassess her teaching schedule and pursue other avenues to share yogaHow intuition and persistence have led to the biggest leaps in her careerThe necessity of being willing to fail as she pursued opportunities in her teaching careerHow she pitched Melissa Williams Health and what she will be sharing there.You can now take classes with Neeti Narula on Melissa Wood Health !
  • The Best Arm Balances for Beginners

    This week we continue on with our series for beginners (and those teaching beginners): Our focus is the best arm balances for beginners. Arm balances are typically poses that beginners really enjoy playing around with, because they offer shapes that we don't typically do in other disciplines (unless you're a gymnast or a pro skateboarder). Arm balances can build stability, balance, strength, mobility. They're also aesthetically beautiful and novel -- unless you're a gymast or a pro skateboarder, you won't likely encounter shapes like these in your daily life. So, they're fun! And fun is truly valuable in life and in yoga. A little bit about what we mean by "best" -- these are families of arm balances that are accessible and emphasize stability and strength. They are poses that can be broken down into steps so that you feel your confidence grow as you progress. As with anything in life, we want to offer ourselves or our students just enough challenge, but not too much. That's what these families of poses do.To get some sequences where you can work on the arm balances mentioned in this episode, go to the shownotes page here: We're closing early bird registration for Jason's 200-Hour Online Teacher Training this Saturday! You can learn more and enroll at
  • The Best Backbends for Beginners

    Modern life is not great for your back -- sitting in chairs tightens the hip flexors, which can lead to a chain reaction that stresses the low back. When we type at a computer, we typically roll the shoulders forward or hunch the upper back. And looking at our phones constantly can lead to the dreaded and painful "tech neck." -- chair sitting, typing, and looking at our phones. Simple backbends are a fantastic antidote. But which backbends are most beneficial for beginners and why? Jason shares his thoughts on this episode. We talk about:Prone backbends like Locust Pose, Medium-Sized Cobra, and SphinxKneeling backbends like Cobra and New School AnjaneyasanaReclined backbends like Bridge Pose and Lying over a blockLearn the best approaches and modifications for these poses. And find lots of sequences to help you practice them by going to the shownotes page here: *******************************************************************************************TWO ANNOUNCEMENTSEarly bird registration for Jason's 200-Hour YTT is open! Go join today and save $300! you're thinking about training but want to learn more, Jason is leading a free webinar that will walk you through his 200-hour online YTT. You can register here:*******************************************************************************************
  • 6 Ways Yoga Teacher Training Can Lead to Self-Transformation

    Jason joins me on this week's episode to talk about how yoga teacher training goes beyond skill acquisition and can become a catalyst for self-transformation. We just hosted a webinar on the topic last week and we enjoyed it so much we thought we'd re-record the episode especially for the podcast.This is a fun episode if you're considering YTT or if you've already done a YTT and you'd like to reminisce about all the ways that learning this discipline deepens your understanding of yourself and changes hows you move through the world.PS: Early bird registration for Jason's 200-Hour Online YTT is open! Get all the details here:
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    Today's conversation is with Alison Zak, who recently published her first book, "Wild Asana: Animals, Yoga, and Connecting Our Practice to the Natural World." Zak's unique nature memoir artfully weaves together her personal stories, ecological context, and yoga asana. Her book is a moving and urgent call for us to remember our connection to the natural world. As Zak says, "We're more alike than different from even the animals that might seem quite different from ourselves, like a scorpion or a fish."Wild Asana is the next selection for the Yogaland Book Club, which I host on my Substack. You can sign up for the book club: and Alison will join us on October 24th. Other announcements: Jason and I are hosting a webinar this Thursday, August 31st on the topic of Yoga Teacher Training as Self-Transformation. You can register for this free live webinar here:'ll leave some time at the end for questions and a brief overview of his upcoming online 200-hour teacher training program.You can access all of this info and more on the shownotes page: you enjoy the podcast, don't forget to Subscribe and share it with friends, colleagues, your cat, your cat's colleagues. Just checking to see if you're still reading. Sharing really does help get the word out, so, my sincerest thanks.
  • Back to school time! 8 key things to look for in a yoga teacher training

    There’s something about fall that just feels like back to school time for me, even as an adult. Jason’s 200-hour YTT is coming up October 24th, so we thought we’d review what to look for if you’re thinking about going back to yoga school! We talk through the importance of adapting asana to modern knowledge and safety standards, the significance of understanding yoga anatomy in a functional context, and prioritizing strength and stability in practice. We also tough on the need for a thorough understanding of yoga philosophy, and some of the foundational texts to look for on the syllabus.More highlights from the interview:Sequencing is a critical aspect of teacher training. In a 200-hour YTT, learning a few set sequences can be incredibly helpful.Immersive and repetitive practice teaching is essential for building confidence as a yoga teacher. Jason shares how he structures it and the advantages of practice teaching on Zoom.YTTs that offer specialized training in a specific area of yoga are a plus! These skills can enhance a teacher's expertise and marketability.A lead trainer who is stable, compassionate, and mentally/emotionally composed will help you navigate personal growth during your yoga journey.Join Jason for a free webinar August 31st! The focus is on the psycho-emotional benefits of teacher training. You can register for Yoga Teacher Training as Self-Transformation at Attendees will receive a code for $50 off the early bird price of the training.Andrea just announced her next Yogaland Book Club pick -- Wild Asana, by Alison Zak. This gorgeous book by a wildlife conservationist combines yoga, science and memoir. Join the Yogaland community at
  • 5 ways to bring the yoga tradition into modern classes

    On our live episode two weeks ago, we answered the question, ‘Is this thing that we’re doing still yoga?’ Jason shared five principles that make even the most modern practices a yoga practice. On this episode, we will walk through how yoga teachers can bring these principles to life in their teaching.Here are some of the ideas we talk through:Reflecting on whether classes still have liberatory qualities, inviting students to grow beyond self-limiting beliefs and identifications.Introducing intentional theming or recommended readings to enhance students' understanding of yoga philosophy and its application.Incorporating abhyasa (effort) and vairagya (letting go) -- balancing striving with non-attachment to outcomes in the practice.Encouraging students to focus on specific skills to enhance the transformational aspect of yoga.Inviting students to cultivate self-awareness by observing their self-talk, patterns of reactivity, and responses to discomfort during practice.For shownotes, visit
  • Celebrating Sally Kempton's Life of Devotion and Radical Love

    As many of yoga know, Sally Kempton was hugely influential to me. She was an expert guide, a loving presence, and a creative inspiration. She passed away on July 10th and has been on my mind constantly since then. I put together this episode to honor and remember her with my friend, the former editor-in-chief of Yoga Journal, Kaitlin Quistgaard. We had a lot of fun sharing stories and memories of Sally.The second part of this episode features my favorite episode that I did with Sally a few years ago: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly of the Ego.I hope you enjoy it. If you have any stories about Sally that you'd like to share, send me a voice note! You can DM it to me on Instagram (@andreaferretti) or email it to me at put links to other past episodes with Sally and other useful resources from her on the shownotes page:
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    This discussion was recorded in London at the new Mission studio where Jason led Module I of his hybrid YTT a few weeks ago. Together, Jason and I explored the question -- Is this thing that we're all doing still actually yoga? Our power-hour or our 30-minute glo class or our rolling on foam rollers with some poses sprinkled in -- are those still yoga? Or has yoga in the West evolved into something else altogether?A few tidbits that we discuss in the episode:The fact that the word "yoga" has more than 350 definitions in Sanskrit, revealing its diverse nature.The belief in a singular, authentic yoga tradition is challenged throughout history.Swami Vivekananda's influence on bringing yoga to the United States and his perspective on Hatha Yoga.Different yoga traditions, like Iyengar and Ashtanga, were once considered radical innovations.The long-standing tension between "head up" and "head down" yogas: intellectual vs. physical practices.The importance of focusing on one's practice and impact rather than judging others' practices.The five common denominators of yoga traditions, including liberation teachings and philosophical infrastructure.The significance of Abhyasa (effort) and Vairagya (letting go) in all yoga practices.Yoga as a gradual process of replacing unconscious patterns with conscious beliefs aligned with self-realization.Jason will be back at Mission in London in October -- join him for a 6-day immersion or for Module II of his Hybrid YTT. Get the details at: can find shownotes for this episode, including links to the books mentioned at: you'd like to support the podcast, join our Substack here -- it's a great way to connect with other listeners and get more of us in your inbox.