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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.




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)

Philip Goldberg has been studying the world’s spiritual traditions for more than 45 years. He is the author or co-author of some 25 books published in more than a dozen languages. His book American Veda was named by Huffington Post and Library Journal as one of the Top 10 Religion Books of 2010; it was followed in 2018 by the popular biography The Life of Yogananda. He blogs on Spirituality & Health and cohosts the Spirit Matters podcast. See for privacy information.


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, author,...


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...


Todd Norian on Unreasonable Happiness (#110)

In this episode we discuss: Unreasonable happiness as a way to engage in this time of crisis Todd’s personal experience of spiritual awakening The fall from grace of two beloved gurus Betrayal, resentment, grief, healing and forgiveness with boundaries as an act of self-love A new student-teacher relationship and the foundation of Ashaya Yoga Seeing everything in life as a path of awakening Non-duality, integration of all of it - this is the spiritual practice ​Todd Norian, E-RYT 500, seeks...


Mary Reilly Nichols & Kavitha Chinnaiyan on Bhakti (#109)

In this episode we discuss: The spirit of Bhakti Breath as a supreme principle, relating to the Divine through breath - a delivery system of love The power of mantra Bhakti as the fuel for practice and the importance of digging in one spot to reach a depth Cultivating a relationship to deity The relationship between Bhakti and Tarka and the process of falling in love with awareness Your own signature Bhakti Mary Reilly Nichols is the Director of Nalanda Institute’s Yoga, Mind & Spirit and...


Shambhavi Sarasvati on Expanding our View (#108)

In this episode we discuss: The nature of reality as wisdom and compassion even in the face of obstacles Spiritual challenges we are facing in the Covid19 pandemic Staying in our spiritual practice even in the face of existential threats Leaning into fear and finding refuge in God and nature Building the Ojas, immunity and the bridge between the ordinary love and universal love The teaching of Ananda, holding the absolute and relative reality at the same time Reconciling the teaching of the...


Nina Rao & Hari-kirtana das on Bhakti (#107)

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Stephen Porges on Polyvagal Theory (#106)

Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D. is a Distinguished University Scientist at Indiana University, where he is the founding director of the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium within the Kinsey Institute. He holds the position of Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina and Professor Emeritus at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Maryland. He served as president of both the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Federation of Associations in...


Coronavirus Contemplations with Miles Neale & Isa Gucciardi (#105)

Jacob Kyle speaks with Miles Neale and Isa Gucciardi about the corona virus, how we can skillfully respond to the situation, and why contemplative practice is so important at this time. See for privacy information.


Neil Dalal on Vedanta & Self-Inquiry (#104)

In this episode, we discuss: Neil’s documentary film, Gurukulam, which explores a living Advaita Vedanta lineage through sensory ethnography What brought Neil to his path Triple process of study for knowledge - listening, logical reflection, contemplative understanding Experienced hunting, the need for a teacher and reflections on the current state of "Gurus" The Western concept of Karma yoga vs. the way it is traditionally defined Cultural appropriation, academia, yoga practitioners, the...


Joakim Vindenes on Virtual Reality (#103)

In this episode, we discuss: How can we make interactions with VR meaningful VR as a support for contemplative practice The parallel between VR and Hinduism as an understanding of the world as dharma Using VR to define reality – Who are we with all these possibilities? What would we like to experience? Wouldn’t we prefer to have surprises in life? Therapy facilitated by VR to expand healing possibilities The potential for both positive and negative effects of VR and how we will have to make...