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CHITHEADS from Embodied Philosophy

Philosophy Podcasts

Interviews with leaders, elders and teachers from the yoga and wider wisdom community on eastern philosophies, consciousness studies, social justice, and the human spiritual condition.

Interviews with leaders, elders and teachers from the yoga and wider wisdom community on eastern philosophies, consciousness studies, social justice, and the human spiritual condition.


United States


Interviews with leaders, elders and teachers from the yoga and wider wisdom community on eastern philosophies, consciousness studies, social justice, and the human spiritual condition.




Prentis Hemphill on Healing Justice & Queer Spiritual Purpose (#130)

Prentis Hemphill is a movement facilitator, Somatics teacher, and practitioner, and working at the convergence of healing, collective transformation, and political organizing. Prentis has spent the last 15 years bridging wellbeing and power building as a part of movement building organizations, most recently as the Healing Justice Director at Black Lives Matter Global Network. In 2016, Prentis was awarded the Buddhist Peace Fellowship Soma Award for community work inspired by Buddhist...


Vineet Chander on Hindu Chaplaincy (#129)

In this episode we discuss: The roots of pastoral care and chaplaincy Incorporating the frameworks of Vendantic, yoga philosophy in Hindu chaplaincy Contemplative dimensions of pastoral care, bringing radical compassionate presence in spiritual accompaniment Obstacles to cultivating spiritual health and the epidemic of loneliness in the globalized westernize world The three elements of Sādhanā: Tapas, Svādhyāya, Īśvarapraṇidhāna Building inner resilience Intimate and personal experience of...


Zhenevere Sophia Dao on Sexuality and the Transgender Necessity (#128)

In this episode we discuss: Post-Daoism as a philosophy reinterpreting depth psychology, qigong, and Daoism MogaDao as a practice at the intersection of somatic, queer, and socioerotic inquiry Socially imposed self-images versus deeply personal mythopoetic self-images The democratization of desire in all forms and socio-erotic experiences Spiritual significance of sex, sexuality, and desire as authentic expressions of a soul’s original virtue Consumeristic paradigm of sexuality as another...


Tracee Stanley on Yoga Nidra (#127)

In this episode we discuss: 1. The philosophy of yoga nidra, the goddess of yoga nidra and the four states of consciousness. 2. Yoga nidra as a state and as a systematic guided relaxation. 3. Obstacles to rest in our culture. 4. Working with trauma and the importance of safety in moving toward rest. 5. The science of yoga nidra, accessing the place of healing and rejuvenation. 6. The relationship between liminal space and creativity. 7. How to set up a supportive yoga nidra nest. Tracee...


Tias Little On Practice as the Path (#126)

In this episode, we discuss: How yoga communities and the industry have changed during the Covid pandemic. The inspiration for Tia’s new book “The Practice is the Path”. Being comfortable living with uncertainty. Identity and attachment. The significance of dreams and the role of the dream state in breaking the spell of the everyday life. Emphasizing the “not doing” and shifting the default mode to be one of rest Yoga and the art of seeing - the role of being seen and heard in relationship...


Shailla Vaidya on Yoga for Stress & Burnout (#125)

In this episode, we discuss: Growing up Indian in a majority white culture, shame and the impact of disconnection from culture. The value of yoga and mindbody practices in medicine and education. Stress, trauma and burnout, and ways in which embodied practices can help. The impact of the pandemic and isolation on us as social beings and the value of yoga and stress relief in times of Covid. Practicing compassion, stress relief, and strategies to generate compassion for self and others. Yoga...


Kulreet Chaudhary on Sound Medicine (#124)

In this episode, we discuss: Understanding the culture of Contemporary medicine and medicine as an industry. The Ayurvedic approach, addressing the physical, energetic and mental realm. Quantum biology and the Siddha texts - healing from the inside out. Role of intuition as it informs mastery in healing and any field of work. Science of Sound, biological translation to energy and meaning. The distinction between mantra and aphorism; using mantra and devotion to connect to your soul’s...


Swami Swatmananda on Diwali, Vedanta & Shiva (#123)

In this episode, we discuss: Invocation as a tool to invoke the divinity from within us. The celebration of Diwali and the purpose of celebrating festivals. Idols as means to connect to the God within us. Chanting mantra, contemplating deeper truths, and the main sadhana of Kali Yuga. The many names of Shiva - infinite expressions of infinite glories. How to understand karma and taking responsibility for your life. Spiritual practices for facing challenging times with strength and clarity....


Alberto Villoldo on Shamanism (#122)

Medical anthropologist Alberto Villoldo has studied the shamanic healing practices of the Amazon and Andes for more than 25 years. He is the founder of the Four Winds Society, which trains modern shamans in the practice of energy medicine. He directs the Center for Energy Medicine in Chile, where he investigates and practices the neuroscience of enlightenment. Over the course of two decades with the shamans in the jungles and high mountains of the Andes, Villoldo discovered a set of sacred...


Daniel Simpson on the Truth of Yoga (#121)

In this episode we discuss: Daniel Simpson’s upcoming book, The Truth of Yoga. Daniel shares his intention and inspiration behind this comprehensive overview integrating contemporary history with scholarly history Differentiating yoga history and yoga philosophy as evolutionary systems of ideas Debunking commonly misunderstood concepts and myths of yoga evolution Connection points to tradition within modern practices Postural practice and being definitive about the unknown Reinterpreting...


Philip Goldberg on Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times (#120)

In this episode, we discuss: Co-sustaining spiritual practice and effective social action. Tips for carving out time for practice/ finding your core practice. Yogananda’s balanced, spiritual and responsible life. Sacred citizenship vs. the myth of rugged individuality. Practice as a wellspring for creativity. Harnessing imagination in the service of recognizing modes of our own experience. Knowledge of theory as it contributes to experience in practice. Philip Goldberg has been studying the...


Chris Walling on Yoga Therapy Research (#119)

Dr. Chris Walling, PsyD, SEP, C-IAYT has been an active leader in healthcare for nearly two decades. His work integrates the developmental, biological, and somatic aspects of the lifespan. His work in academic medicine has included the administration of multidisciplinary leadership teams in hematology-oncology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and geriatric psychiatry. He is a Clinical Research Fellow in the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium at the Kinsey Institute located at Indiana...


Mirabai Starr on Feminine Mysticism (#118)

Mirabai Starr is an award-winning author of creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. She taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. Her latest book, Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce & Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics, was...


Lisa Danylchuk on Yoga for Trauma Recovery (#117)

Lisa Danylchuk is a licensed psychotherapist and yoga teacher trainer whose specialty is bringing yoga into trauma treatment. A graduate of UCLA and Harvard University, Lisa is the founder of the Center for Yoga and Trauma Recovery and creator of the Yoga for Trauma Online Training Program. She has authored three books, serves on the UN Task Force for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and is also a contributing editor for Best Practices for Yoga for...


Jeffrey Kripal on Flips of Perspective (#116)

Jeffrey J. Kripal is the Associate Dean of the Faculty and Graduate Programs in the School of the Humanities and the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. He is also the Associate Director of the Center for Theory and Research and the Chair of the Board at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Jeff is the author of eight books, including, most recently, The Flip: Who You Really Are and Why It Matters (Penguin, 2020), where he envisions the...


Alex Auder on Socialist Yoga (#115)

Alex Auder, recently hailed by the NYTimes as “Yoga’s Instagram Provocateur” ( is a native New Yorker, who grew up in the Chelsea Hotel, where she lived with her mother, the Warhol Superstar Viva, and her sister, the actress Gaby Hoffmann. Besides for being hailed as one of America’s “most influential” yoga teachers, Alex is an actress (you can find her as a recurring character in HBO’s High Maintenance) and writer...


Lama Rod Owens on Love & Anger (#114)

In this episode, we discuss: The utility of righteous anger in activism. Spiritual practice as an expression of disrupting violence in the world. Discomfort as the place where realization and freedom arises from. Orienting to the collective - holding my needs and the needs of the collective together. The necessity of a commitment to practice for to create change. Dharma as a path to freedom, liberation, complete. Becoming yourself to free yourself. Lama Rod Owens is a Buddhist minister,...


Nkem Ndefo on Trauma & Resilience (#113)

In this episode we discuss: Trauma as the root of most of our suffering Common misperceptions about trauma and stress 6 principles of a trauma-informed approach Incorporating neuroscience and a return to ancient practices What is resilience? Embodied activism - an everyday activism Making space for healing Nkem Ndefo is the founder and president of Lumos Transforms and creator of The Resilience Toolkit, a model that promotes embodied self-awareness and self-regulation in an ecologically...


Greta Gaard on Mindful Ecofeminism (#112)

Greta Gaard began practicing Vipassana meditation in 1995 at Common Ground Meditation Center in Minneapolis, MN. An early proponent of ecofeminism, Gaard has written extensively to illuminate the linkages of race, gender, sexuality, species and environmental justice, publishing six books and over 90 articles on ecofeminism, including several that articulate a mindful ecofeminism: "Beyond Gary Snyder: Buddhism's Influence on U.S. Environmental Literature." (2013), “Mindful New Materialisms”...


Georgi Y. Johnson on NonDual Therapy (#111)

In this episode we discuss: Contemplating death, existence looking at non-existence Trauma, dissociation, suffering and spiritual emergency The mysteries of perceptions through mind, heart, and body Taking emotional responsibility through spiritual healing Nondual Therapy, the psychology of awakening, in contrast to traditional therapy Ways of responding to fear and anger from the lens of non-dual therapy Passion and finding sense of purpose within suffering Georgi Y. Johnson graduated from...