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Skillful Means Podcast

Religion & Spirituality Podcasts

Spiritual nourishment for yoga practitioners and teachers.

Spiritual nourishment for yoga practitioners and teachers.


United States


Spiritual nourishment for yoga practitioners and teachers.




#59 The Kleshas, Part 3: Contemplating Raga Guided Practice

In this heart-filled third of five practices on the kleshas – the causes of suffering — Annie guides you through the difference between love and attachment (raga), beautifully bringing to light how the suffering of our conditioned experience snuffs out the luminous essence and unconditional presence of divine humanhood. For repeat listens the meditation starts at 2:57. If your player supports chapter markings, you can skip ahead. ~ Skillful Means Podcast offers these guided practices to...


#58: Lessons from "Ted Lasso"

Jen and Annie excavate some themes and lessons from the hit TV show "Ted Lasso" including: the shadowy side of positivity culture, how much are we truly responsible for other people's wellbeing, the ways in which letting go of craving and aversion comprise the maturation process, and the sympathetic joy modeled in key characters' friendship. They also share some everyday practices that'll help you find yoga in ordinary moments. Mentioned In Everyday Practices Grounded: Finding God in the...


#57 The Kleshas, Part 2: Contemplating Asmita Guided Practice

In this second of five practices on the kleshas – the obstacles that hide our true self – Annie unpacks a beautiful contemplation of asmita, egoism. More than just holding a high opinion of one's self, asmita is all about mistaking the ever-changing features of our existence as permanent and definitive. When we are able to see through this veil of separation, we move further from suffering and closer to our divine, wise nature. ~ Skillful Means Podcast offers these guided practices to help...


#56 Better Together

Annie and Jen examine a problematic dynamic in yoga spaces where competition fuels predatory tactics that ultimately serve few people. They also discuss the commodification of yoga classes and how studios and independent yoga teachers can come together in shared purpose and mutual support. ~ ~ ~ What We're Reading: Better to Have Gone: Love, Death, and the Quest for Utopia in Auroville by Akash Kapur Lit From Within: Yoga, Teachings, and Practices to Illuminate Our Inner Lives by Sarah...


#55 The Kleshas, Part 1: Contemplating Avidya Guided Practice

The philosophical tradition of yoga suggests five root causes of suffering, known in Sanskrit as kleshas. While the specific spins of our minds differ from person to person, these "hindrances" can be considered universal. In this contemplative practice with Annie Moyer, we’ll focus on the first of these culprits, avidya (ignorance), which is a misunderstanding of our true nature — a confusion between what’s eternal and what’s fleeting. Whenever a distraction grabs hold, we'll practice...


#54 Welcome Annie Moyer

This week, Jen welcomes her new cohost Annie Moyer to the show. They discuss ~ ~ ~ Find out more about Awakening Yoga Spaces: ~ ~ ~ You can reach out to us on Facebook and Instagram. We also welcome your messages at or in our voicemail box on SpeakPipe. You can also get in touch with Jen through her website ( and Annie through Sun & Moon Yoga Studio (


Changes Coming to the Show

So it happens that impermanence has found its way to Skillful Means Podcast. Jen teases some updates and says adieu to Sarah Jane who is stepping back (but not away) to expand her work in a number of exciting – and needed – areas. Find out more about Sarah Jane's upcoming programs at She will soon be offering a Mindfulness for Yoga Teachers Course, and several End of Life Programs including a Death Cafe. You can also join one of her two weekly virtual...


#53 Progressive Relaxation for Managing Stress and Anxiety Guided Practice

Frequent bouts of stress and anxiety create physical tension in the body. When stress persists, we can "forget" how to relax, a common source of chronic pain. In this practice, Jen prompts you to alternate between tensing and relaxing different muscle groups to help you not only release chronic muscle tension, but also get more familiar with the difference between what tension and relaxation feels like. Progressive Relaxation is well-studied and has been shown to not only reduce the...


#52 Sensing Subtle Energy in Yin Yoga Guided Practice

Of the many reasons to practice Yin Yoga, working with the energy body is one of the most alluring. Yet, this ephemeral force can be elusive for many practitioners. In this guided practice, Jen takes you through a short series of gentle and accessible Yin Yoga poses while directing your attention through the physical realm and into the subtle body. The practice follows a brief introduction at 1:24. If you podcast player supports chapter markers, you can skip ahead. ~ Skillful Means...


#51 Mindful Awareness of Feelings Guided Practice

In the Second Foundation of Mindfulness, the Buddha outlines practices for working with feelings. Not quite the same as emotions, feelings are the visceral, body-based responses to circumstances before the mind turns them into emotions. In this guided practice, Jen helps you to establish a neutral anchor with the breath before exploring the preferential tones - also known as hedonic tones - that arise in response to how we feel from moment to moment. This episode begins with a short talk....


#50 Pause, Soften, Connect Guided Practice

With this meditation, Sarah Jane takes the instructions “Pause, Soften, and Connect,” which are often delivered at the beginning of a meditation, and stretches the time we spend with each one. With occasional instruction, she illuminates the possibilities each of them points to: With “pause,” the shift from everyday mind to mindfulness; with “soften,” receptivity and the ability to stay with; and with “connect,” growing our internal awareness to include what is external. In a wonderful way,...


#49 Finding Calm Amidst Uncertainty Guided Practice

Unfortunately for humans, our nervous system's stress response only has two settings (on and off) even though we understand degrees of tension. Whether we feel the pressure of a work deadline or an existential threat, our body responds the same way. However, we can "hack" the stress response with body-based tools that tell the nervous system that we're OK. In this episode, Jen guides you through a simple and powerful embodiment practice using breath work and sensation to send a signal to...


#48 Embodying Equanimity Guided Practice

Equanimity is a steadiness in heart and mind that has a spacious feel. It is “being with” rather than “reacting to” present-moment experience, which makes possible the beat between stimulus and response. We can choose what we do next rather than impulsively react. Thus, equanimity supports agency and choicefulness. Also, it balances the three other “Divine Abodes”or “Immeasurable Qualities” so valued in Buddhist tradition: loving-kindness, compassion, and empathetic joy. For example, when...


#47 Pathway to Spacious Awareness Guided Practice

In our latest guided practice, Jen blends two potent practices to help you land in the tranquility of open, spacious awareness. The traditional way to call forth this energy is to concentrate on the breath while gently discouraging distracting thoughts, sensations, and other inputs from taking root in the conscious mind. But a lot of people find this very challenging, often retreating from meditative practice thinking that they aren't cut out for it. If you struggle with quieting your...


#46 Inclining the Mind Toward Gladness Guided Practice

Acknowledging that humans are hardwired to be on alert for danger, and that imbalanced states can cause us problems such as anxiety and doubt, we would do well to incline the mind toward goodness and gladness. In this guided meditation, Sarah Jane touches on the negativity bias and the nature of both conditioned and unconditioned happiness. Through mindfulness meditation – and the RAIN method in particular – we become aware of the mind states that stand between us and a sense of freedom,...


#45 Yin Yoga for the Heart & Small Intestines Guided Practice

According to Chinese Energetic Medicine, the heart is vulnerable to heat of the summer season. In this short but sweet practice, Jen while guide you through three Yin Yoga postures — melting heart and empty coat sleeves — to nourish this most vital organ. Each posture is paired with meditative practices phrases in the Plum Village tradition to foreground the qualities of presence, self-compassion, and peacefulness. ~ Skillful Means Podcast offers these guided practices to help you deepen...


#44 Self-Compassion to Antidote Stress Guided Practice

In this guided meditation, Sarah Jane supports you in turning toward what is present in the body, heart, and mind, and holding it with kind regard without insisting it change or improve. This act of compassion toward our humanness is the means by which we move from a state of dissociated trance to wholeness and presence. Near the end of the meditation Sarah Jane reads “Clearing,” by Margaret Postlewaite, a New York-based licensed psychologist and Somatic Experiencing...


#43 Microcosmic Orbit Guided Practice

In this guided practice, Jen shares the Microcosmic Orbit, a Taoist meditation for longevity. Circulating Qi (life force energy) through a loop formed by the Governor Vessel (Du Mai) and the Conception Vessel (Ren Mai), protects Jing, or Essence Energy, from depletion. Jing is finite, given to us during conception from our parents. As we live our lives, our activities will either conserve or deplete Jing. Once we use up all of our Jing, our life is at its end. So, it's important to protect...


#42 Disrupting Inner Chatter and Establishing Presence Guided Practice

In this guided meditation, Sarah Jane invites you to settle into a posture that will support your mindfulness by inviting a relaxed quality in the body and wakefulness in the mind. After a period of arriving, she shares a technique for how you might use mental noting to disrupt discursive thinking. With 1-minute-long periods of silence interspersed with gentle encouragement and descriptions of the effects mental noting might produce, this 20+ minute meditation is a good one to try if you’re...


#41 Dharma Book Club: "Tao Te Ching"

In our second book club, Jen and Sarah Jane follow some dharmic threads through the ancient Taoist text the “Tao Te Ching” by Laozi and enjoy the poetic language used to, somehow, beautifully illuminate something that cannot be defined. The Tao is the source of everything and the way of life, and this text invites us to align ourselves and our lifestyle with the natural order of things. In their discussion, Jen and Sarah Jane focus on just a couple of themes: effortless action (wu wei), as...