Out Of The Clouds

Joan Hyman on her dharma, teaching around the world and designing the School of Yoga

Episode Notes

The dedicated yogi and founder of the Schoolof.yoga Joan Hyman discusses the foundation of her interest in yoga and her lifelong spiritual journey with Out of the Cloud’s host Anne V Mühlethaler. 

First Joan shares her background growing up in Philadelphia and her journey into yoga, which she first encountered while pursuing a dance career. She discusses the importance of finding her voice as a teacher and the role of lineages and traditions in yoga. Joan also explains the yoga concept of Tapas and reaching the edge in one's practice. 

Joan has built a following worldwide, as she’s been travelling to offer teacher training since 2010, and she reflects on the challenges and rewards of teaching internationally. She tells Anne about the creation of her Schoolof.yoga and her vision for its future, as well as her hopes for the future of yoga as a whole, including the importance of having great teachers continuing to teach and keep the lineage alive. 

Joan also talks about her new 300h teacher training program, and how she came to collaborate with world-renowned teachers, including Lisa Walford, Annie Carpenter, and many others.Together they have developed a comprehensive curriculum that covers various aspects of yoga, including pranayama and how the practice changes along with the practitioner's age. 

Joan also highlights the importance of incorporating healing modalities into yoga, such as trauma-informed practices. She explains how trauma affects the nervous system and emphasises the role of the parasympathetic nervous system in healing. 

To end, Joan shares her favourite yoga sutra, Pradipaksha Bhavanam, which encourages replacing negative thoughts with positive ones. Wanting to end on the importance of slowing down and enjoying life, she also tells Anne about the impact of India on her spiritual journey and how travel has opened up her mind ‘like an umbrella’.

A warm and inspiring interview with a master teacher. Happy listening!


Selected links from episode 

You can find Joan on Instagram @JoanHymanSchoolofyoga

On Youtube

Her yoga school is Schoolof.Yoga

Her upcoming offerings including her Bali retreat are available here: https://www.schoolof.yoga/events

Jivamukti Yoga

Maty Ezraty

Lisa Walford

Marla Apt

Cristina Holopainen

Annie Carpenter


Mysore Yoga



Utthita Trikonasana

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Krya yoga

Sean Corn

Jean Heileman

K. Pattabhi Jois



Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar

The Vagus nerve


Ali MacGraw and Eric Shiffman Yoga video on Youtube

Viparita Karani

Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep

Pratipakshabhavanam, Joan's favorite yoga sutra  - 2. 33, when negative thoughts arise, think the opposite.

Wild World by Cat Stevens

The Out of the Clouds playlist on Spotify

The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer




00:00 Introduction to the Podcast and Guest

03:02 Joan Hyman's Background and Journey

12:04 Finding Her Voice as a Teacher

17:46 Religion and Spirituality in Joan's Life

20:37 The Importance of Lineages and Traditions in Yoga

27:10 Understanding Tapas and Reaching the Edge in Yoga

30:41 Joan's Journey in Meditation

35:01 Teaching Yoga Around the World and the School of Yoga

44:18 Teaching Different Cultures and Adapting to Students

47:34 The Future of the School of Yoga and Yoga Itself

48:57 Cultivating Excellence in Yoga Education

52:20 Yoga for Healing and Trauma

55:46 Activating the Parasympathetic Nervous System

56:32 The Wholeness of Shavasana

59:00 Upcoming Trainings and Retreats

01:00:26 Favorite Yoga Sutra: Pradipaksha Bhavanam

01:01:52 Grounding Rituals: Cooking and Nature

01:02:51 Favorite Word: Adaptability

01:03:35 Connection as Source and Authenticity

01:04:03 Favorite Song: Wild World by Cat Stevens

01:04:32 Secret Superpower: Overcoming Drug Use

01:05:02 Favorite Book: The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer

01:06:06 Impactful Place: India

01:06:34 Advice from Future Self: Slow Down and Enjoy Life

01:07:08 What Brings Happiness: Being Grounded and with Loved Ones


Episode Transcription

Anne Muhlethaler (00:04.782)


Hi, hello, bonjour and namaste. This is Out of the Clouds, a podcast at the crossroads between business and mindfulness. And I'm your host, Anne V. Mühlethaler. I am a communications coach, a business advisor and a mindfulness teacher. By day, I blend business development expertise and coaching tools with captivating storytelling techniques to help conscious businesses and professionals thrive. By night and at weekends, I dive into mindfulness and yoga practices. And in the middle of it all, I bring you this podcast, a fusion of business savvy and mindful living. Let's explore this intersection together. Now, for those of you who listen to this podcast regularly, it is no secret that I am a dedicated yoga practitioner, and a certified teacher. So I was absolutely thrilled to get to talk with Joan Hyman for my latest interview. Joan is a true luminary in the yoga world. With decades of experience traveling the globe, leading retreats, trainings and workshops, Joan's journey culminated in the founding of the School of Dot Yoga, a professional training program that embodies her passion, for spreading the teachings of yoga. So, in our conversation, Joan shares insights into her journey, first as a teenager in fitness training, then as a dancer, how she came to yoga and how the passion for the practice took hold. We delve into the importance of finding one's voice as a teacher, and also why she values the role of lineages.


and traditions in yoga. We talk about the concept of tapas and the significance of working with our edge in our yoga practice. Joan emphasizes the importance of incorporating healing modalities in yoga, such as trauma -informed practices. Additionally, Joan unveils her new 300 -hour teacher training program, which starts later this spring. And we talk about her collaboration with


Anne Muhlethaler (02:28.472)

world -renowned teachers like Lisa Walford, Annie Carpenter, who's also my teacher and who's been a guest on the podcast, Joan's dedication to her own practice and her passion for guiding her students shines through in every word she shares. I am not exaggerating. She's an eloquent and passionate teacher, and I am thrilled to be sharing this enlightening interview with you. So without further ado.


I give you my interview with Joan Hyman. Happy listening.


So Joan, thank you so much for making the time. It's such a pleasure to see you. Welcome to Out of the Clouds. Thank you. Thank you for having me. So as you may already know from the podcast, I really enjoy inviting my guests to tell their story and go as far back as they feel comfortable doing so. I really like to hear where people grew up and what they were like as kids because as I'm sure it's been true to you or in your life.


Our paths are rarely linear. And I find that it's so lovely to find out more about who we are before we get into the nitty -gritty of what we do. I know it's like a big ask. But so Joan, if that's okay, would you tell us your story? Yeah. Yeah, I was thinking about this before the interview, and there's always a lot to tell, and the question is, how much do you tell? And I think I'm going to choose to share what got me here. I grew up in Philadelphia.


And I grew up in a working class, blue collar town called Upper Darby, right outside of West Philly. And if you know anything about Philadelphia and West Philly, it's very urban, very mixed as far as like blacks and Hispanics. And even in the neighbourhood I grew up in, there was all these different cultures. So, I grew up in that melting pot. Something about growing up in this urban setting was you were exposed to so many different things. I would see homeless people,


Anne Muhlethaler (04:28.302)

yet I would also have this exposure to culture and arts. And I actually started dancing when I was five years old. And it was when I was also able to take public transportation. So I would go down to the city and take classes and just be exposed to people that were really doing their thing. And New York was very close to Philadelphia too. And as a child, my parents would take us up to New York. I remember thinking how much I love that city and that's where I wanted to go. And I was a very rebellious teenager.


I definitely pressed the buttons and as soon as I could get out of my house, I left my house and my main plan was to go to New York, but my mother, who was a nurse, was very adamant that I get a degree. And so I went to Temple University and it was really important for her that we had some education. And I decided to study exercise science. I really loved the body. Initially I was a dance major. I had already been taking classes in the city and up in New York and


I just really loved studying anatomy, biology, physiology, and that was definitely a calling at a young age. And so I thought maybe I'll be a dancer for a little bit and then I'll become a physical therapist. And aside from that, I had this great draw to take care of my physical body. I was also very rebellious. So I definitely was attracted to the club scene. I was attracted to drugs at a very young age. And like I said, I think it came from a place where I just wanted to


and the boundaries. And so I was definitely dabbling in that scene. And then when I moved to New York, I moved to New York at 21, soon as I graduated college, and my mother had died. And my mother was such an anchor in my life that when I lost that anchor and that grounding, I really went into a deep dive. And I didn't have the tools to deal with the heartbreak of losing your mother.


And so I really went into a deep dive into the nightclubs and drugs. And this was during the 90s. It was a whole different vibe in the 90s. That's when Madonna had her voguing and her dancers. So the clubs were really, were everybody. Oh, the things you must have seen. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And for me, it was like, that was my place to go escape. But the issue is it really took me astray from focusing on my dance career.


Anne Muhlethaler (06:50.062)

And interestingly enough, I had started teaching when I was 15 years old. And because my parents did not have a lot of money, they both worked and my brother had a chronic illness. They were in the hospital a lot. So I had to really take care of myself. So I developed a very independent nature at a young age. And I started teaching fitness at 15 years old so I can make an income to do the things that I wanted to do. And so that...


That skill of teaching has stayed with me since I was a very young girl. And it was very natural for me to get up there and just start instructing people. And like I said, I had this kind of innate ability to not only feel my body, but to feel into other people's bodies and see what they wanted. And so for me, when I was teaching fitness, it was a way to make money on the side. There was a lot of opportunities that came along with the fitness career in New York that I was developing, but I wasn't fully committed to it. It was just happening.


One of the opportunities was there was a gym I used to work for called Crunch, and they took me out to Santa Monica, California to film a TV show. And I was like 21, I had this perfect body, and I remember, and it's very interesting to see the video, and I remember thinking as soon as I got to Santa Monica, California, how beautiful is this place? Because all I was exposed to was Philadelphia, New York. I was so used to everybody living on top of each other. And that planted a seed.


for me to eventually go back many years later. And then long story short, a couple years later, I met a partner and he was a Tai Chi instructor and I met him through the gyms and I loved his energy. I was really drawn to him and I would take his classes and in his classes he would offer yoga. When I was doing the yoga in his classes, I was feeling very relaxed. And mind you, I was only like 22 years old. So...


I was not fully in my body and there was also a lot of pain there. So I definitely was disassociating and escaping, but I had a hint of what it was like to be in my body every time I slowed down and I practiced some form of yoga. And so he recommended I check out Jivamukti. And so Jivamukti in the nineties in New York, this yoga had not quite broken into the mainstream yet. And this studio was right next to the L train in the East Village.


Anne Muhlethaler (09:12.046)

So it had this grit to it and there was 50 people in the room and there was a lot of chanting, which I really was drawn to. And also being a dancer, I'm sure some of the Jiva multi -sequences, there's a lot of binds, a lot of raps, a lot of movement. So that really spoke to me. And during that class, I remember I had an epiphany thinking I could feel all the toxins coming out of my body. And I was like, I really have to start changing my lifestyle.


And that seed a couple years later actually took me to the West Coast. And I was doing a show in Las Vegas. And I had this stint in Vegas for a year. And a lot of people think when you go to Vegas, oh, party wild. And I did have that, but I had come out of seven years of the New York City nightlife, where when I went to Vegas, to me it was still a little cheesy. And I had started to become more in my late 20s. And that seed had been planted. Like, I need to take.


better care of my body. And that's pretty much when I first started practicing yoga, it was physical. So I became a vegetarian. And the thing is about Vegas, outside the strip, they have the desert. And I loved the desert. And I would spend a lot of time in the desert, just clearing my head out. Leaving New York and leaving the East Coast was a big withdrawal from me because that's what I knew. So I had to do a lot of letting go. And I met a body worker and I was practicing yoga at the time.


He had told me if I wanted to really understand yoga, I should seek out these teachers called Matusi Razi and Lisa Walford in Santa Monica, California. So I stayed in Las Vegas for a year and that was, it was very financially beneficial for me. At the time, and this was before 9 -11, this was before Vegas had a lot of these big shows, it was smaller shows, more cabaret shows, but you got paid really good money as a dancer. I was able to learn how to drive.


I bought a car and I got a scholarship for career transitions for dancers to the YogaWorks Teacher Training in 2002. And I remember that's when I met Mati. And when I met Mati, I remember I walked into the room and Mati was so confident and so in her body and so sure of herself. That energy intimidated me so much, I turned around and left the class. No way. Yeah, and then a friend.


Anne Muhlethaler (11:35.086)

who I knew from Las Vegas, called me up the next day and she said, why don't you come back with me? Mati's actually very sweet. And I went back the next day and that's when it bit me. I had loved yoga, but then it became my life. And I started practicing Mysore yoga, which is a Ashtanga yoga. And I did the yoga work teacher training and the rest is history. So then it became a full -time yoga teacher. So that's a little bit about my story. And I cleaned up.


And I have to say, and I think it's important to say, I did so many things. I went to meetings, I went to therapy, and nothing was working because I really had this personality. It wasn't like I did drugs every day, but I would like to check out for three or four days and then check back in. But the practice, and I think learning how to practice on an everyday basis, started to make me feel really good in my body. And then any time I slipped and I would go the other way, I was like, this doesn't feel good.


So little bit by little bit, I really depart it from that lifestyle. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I listened to an extra couple of interviews since I sent you my guiding questions. And one of the things I heard is that on top of dance, because you wanted to audition and you did audition for Broadway shows, you also worked on your voice a bit. And suddenly it clicked. You have a very interesting tone. And I noticed it in class with you and I noticed it on the podcast interviews I heard.


you have a very distinctive voice. It's interesting how that carries through from your early career where apparently you said you were not really comfortable singing and to now using your voice as a teacher. Tell me about that. Believe it or not, when I was younger, I was very shy and I had a speech impediment. And so I had to go to a speech therapist. So I wasn't pronouncing all of my vowels and my syllables. So at a young age, I had to go to a speech therapist and pretty much learn how to talk.


And I think what brought me out of my shell was dancing because it made me feel good about myself. And I think that's why I developed such a relationship with my body, because if I felt good in my body, I was able to be confident to speak up. And I always say this, for very shy people, teaching is great because it does help you find your voice. So teaching for as long as I've been doing, it helped me have some level of confidence. Now, when I was dancing,


Anne Muhlethaler (13:54.862)

I was always really good as the dancer, but soon as I had to read a script or sing, I would literally choke up. I would get so much anxiety. So I started going to a voice coach and she would teach me all these breathing techniques. But of course, everything was deeper with her. It was all about going into the emotional body and from teaching and also going out to a lot of the nightclubs, I had developed nodules in my throat. So I couldn't really do anything high pitch. I couldn't really sing.


And she taught me how to work around that and use my breath because I was, and you have a great voice too. So I'm sure you understand a lot of this. I wasn't using my breath. I was all up here when I was talking and everything was scratchy. And little did I know how that would carry me forward in life. And where I teach at in LA, I teach in a huge room and you can fit probably 120 people in that room. And you have to know how to use your voice to project. And if not, nobody hears you.


And then when I became a teacher trainer, I also had to get over the fear of lecturing and talking to people face to face. Where when you're teaching yoga and dance, you're just looking at the bodies. You're not looking into people's eyes. That was a whole other thing that I had to get comfortable with. And it took me years and years to really find my voice. Now, going back to when I found my teacher, Moti, I think part of the reason why I felt so insecure around her initially,


was I hadn't found my voice. And I was so attracted to her because she was such a powerful teacher and she had found her voice. And I noticed through my journey, this has been a big journey of mine, is how to find my voice. And I've been drawn to teachers that have this very powerful way, the way they stand, the way they teach, the way they embody, and the way they hold everybody's attention. Oh, wow. You just gave me chills and you're giving me a big aha moment.


You're mirroring my experience and it's interesting because we have a teacher in common, Annie Carpenter. And one of the things that I admire so much about Annie is how she uses the modulations of her voice to bring us to do things we don't even know that we can do in the moment. It so happens that another one of my favorite teachers, Diana Rilov, who teaches in New York City, also has that very strong voice. She will.


Anne Muhlethaler (16:18.584)

It's fascinating. I never really thought about that until... And Annie, yeah, Annie's been a teacher of mine for about 20 years and I was always attracted to Annie. And the thing is with Annie, it's her communication skills. Every word that is coming out of her mouth is so well thought out. She articulates well. She understands how to really connect to the student. And she also puts the power back into the student. So, yeah. And I think for me, and Annie has mentored me too, just watching that...


I think that's a huge part of her success. It's the way she communicates. And as a teacher, our voice is everything. Our voice, it connects us to our soul, but it also, when we're talking and we're connecting to people, this is what really helps us build our network for teachers, it helps us build our students. So it is, it's really understanding how to hone the voice. Well, with all that said, I really like your tone and your voice. Thank you. You really have a great one.


Thanks. It's a work in progress. Thank you. As is everyone's, I think. Yeah. So I was wondering, did you grow up around religion or spirituality? What was it like for you once you got started on your path of yoga? My parents were hippies. And my mother broke away from a really dogmatic Irish Catholic family. Her father was very strict. And because my mother got pregnant when she was 18 years old, she wasn't married to the guy. So he just...


cut her off. And I was the baby that she was pregnant with. And my father, there's a long story around that, but he came from a very traditional Jewish family. And he was a hippie. And I think part of my rebellious streak came from my parents, because they did have a rebellious streak as well. And so they broke away from religion. And even to this day, my father is not even agnostic. He just does not believe in religion. And


He actually believes religion is the root cause of all evil. So when we grew up, when we grew up, we celebrated Hanukkah, Christmas, Easter, Passover, but my parents were very adamant that we find our own way. And so they never pushed us. And I would have my grandmothers, one taking me to the Catholic church, one taking me to the synagogue. But I think when I lost my mother at such a young age, I was so angry and I was like, how can God do this? And I remember thinking that,


Anne Muhlethaler (18:43.918)

I just did not believe in the Catholic Church. I just did not believe in this. And for many years I floated. And then when I found yoga, it connected me to something deeper. And I would say that now I definitely have a spiritual practice and that also has developed from my many trips to India. And I love the Hindu and the Buddhist philosophies. And that's what I embody. I believe God is everywhere. You can call it the Pranava, but I believe we're all tapped into that intelligence and that universal.


source. Thank you so much for sharing that. It's a beautiful patchwork journey that you told me. It's interesting, I found we had the same experience in that small way that my parents decided not to christen me or my brother and to tell us you can do whatever you want. And so I dabbled a little bit because I live in the city of Calvin.


So the birth of Protestantism just happened around the corner from where I currently live. It didn't float my boat. And I had the most agnostic mother you could ever, the most, sorry, the most atheist mother you could ever meet. And it's not until I found Hinduism and Buddhism that I found my place. And it felt almost awkward. I never understood how people revered saints or Mary. I just, I never got it.


until people showed me Shakti and Shiva and suddenly I was like, oh, this makes sense to me. And the soul's journey. Yeah. And the soul's journey. And it's still unfolding and it's exciting and it feels very heartwarming, let's say. Yeah. So I heard you speak about the importance of lineages, the traditions of yoga. You were speaking about this in response to a conversation that you'd had with someone about how...


yoga trends at the moment are really focused about how teachers are helping students fit yoga into their lives. And which sounds great, except that it ignores the wider science behind the traditions and how they've been developed. Yoga is a system. I wanted to ask you if you wouldn't mind touching on this and the importance of the lineages, the traditions that you found yourself into. Yeah.


Anne Muhlethaler (21:05.614)

Yeah, of course. I've always been attracted to the lineage and I've been attracted to teachers that have learned from the lineage. Being connected to the lineage is important because it's information that has proven to work over a long period of time that gets passed down. And so when I teach yoga and you've been in my workshops, I'm not making anything up that I'm teaching. Everything that I'm teaching has been passed down and I look at myself as a conduit and I'm really just sharing that Shakti and that information.


that has been taught to me. Now, in the modern day world that we live in, it's really hard to honor the tradition because a lot of our lives are outside of ourselves. And if you look at the way the practices are at their very root, they're actually very austere. And there's a huge discipline that's needed. Most practices, and when the Kundalini practice, and the Iyengar method, and the Ashtanga method, and the Sivananda method, and the integral method, you're up at four in the morning.


And you want to do your practices before the sun comes up because the prana is very contained. And also the valve between the spiritual world is very thin at that time. And I've noticed when I practice, especially during the pandemic, I was sleeping in more. And when I practiced at nine o 'clock and especially trying to finish up at 11 o 'clock, the prana is dissipated. And it's really hard to meditate because you start to feel that pull of the outside world.


And also there has to be a level of consistency in our practice. Just like when you train a baby to go to sleep at a certain time, you have to have that discipline. And it's the same in our yoga practice, and this is abhiyasa. So as we're learning how to practice, we want to be consistent with our time. And so for me, and I'll share this, I practice every morning, first thing in the morning. And it's just something that I do. My nervous system knows it and it's much easier to go.


I'm digging the well much deeper. And so what I'm seeing in the world today is that people are adapting the practice according to their schedule. So they just go to class when it fits into their schedule. Also with the postures. Now part of the reason why the practices have a tendency to be so austere is because it's a purification process. And you have to reach that level of top -us in your practice, which is you can look at it as your edge.


Anne Muhlethaler (23:29.038)

but it's a place where you can start to meet your own resistance. And we have to sit with our resistance as a way to really peel away those layers so we get to know ourselves. And if we're adapting the poses so they're easy to us, or sometimes I get this with clients, they're like, I can't do this pose, and they don't want to try.


And what they're doing is they're developing layers around their mind saying, I can't do this. So I'm not going to even be open to this. And this is, there's a sense of a sickness that gets developed in the body. And through our practice, this idea of purification, we're trying to peel away through those layers so we can literally lighten our load and we get lighter and lighter as we move through the resistance. So it is important.


to stick to a lineage because there's a science that's passed down and most teachers that are connected to the lineage will encourage you to practice poses that are challenging for you. And remember monks, when yoga was initially created, it was all meditation, it was Raja yoga. But what was happening was monks were sitting for so long that their tension and their bodies were getting tight and uncomfortable. And so that's why Asana was invented, to get the tension out of our bodies.


And so in all of these practices that I've mentioned earlier, the ones that are connected to the lineage, there is this kind of driving edge in the asana to get the body still. And then once the body can get still, then you're able to meditate, do pranayama, and work on the deeper aspects of the mental body, which is the real challenge of the practice. And then something that I see is that we're living in a world today where there's just so much information coming at us.


Our five senses are just so astray. People don't have time that they're lucky if they can get 45 minutes in here, an hour in here. But what they're doing is they're just carving little ant holes out as opposed to really digging a well and going in deep and really seeing what's underneath those layers. So that's a small little tidbit of the importance of staying with the lineage and also Sanskrit.


Anne Muhlethaler (25:44.43)

We speak in Sanskrit because it's a universal language. When I say uttita trikonasana, uttita means upright. It's like you can feel the energy in your body, and that's what Sanskrit is. We're sharing an energy as we practice. And it's a much different vibration if I were just to say, triangle pose. And I'm also seeing that the Sanskrit is getting lost, and the Sanskrit is really important because I feel like it really holds the integrity of the practice as well.


That's really interesting. I did pick that up in another conversation I heard you having with another podcast host. It's true that I don't do a lot of yoga apart from with Annie or my own personal practice, so I don't get lost. The Sanskrit is part of my life. And Annie's a great teacher. Yeah, and I'm studying at the moment 300 hours with Michelle Lowe and Bob Thurman, Vajra yoga. So there's a lot of Sanskrit.


and Tibetan being thrown at me. But I'm grateful that you answered this so fully. I did want you to speak to tapas and for you to explain to our listeners who are not versed in yoga what that means and what reaching that edge can mean. So tapas shows up two times in the yoga sutras and the first time it shows up in 2 .1 tapas swadhiaya ishvar pranadanani and it talks about the tools that are needed for a practice for kriya yoga.


And so tapas is the physical. Tapas is the willingness to endure to create a sense of purification or the willingness to endure to create a better version of yourself. So we have to find that level of discipline and our edge in our practice. If you think about when you're doing poses that are hard for you, you're not thinking about what you're going to have for dinner. You're not thinking about that person next to you.


And so we want to do poses that are hard for us because it creates a sense of absorption in all of the five layers and also the mental body. And so we want to keep reaching that level of tapas. Now, coupled with that tapas, you need a sense of swadahaya. And swadahaya is observation. So you have to observe if the tapas is working. So if you're just pushing and pushing and you're going past your edge and there's no observation, the tapas can actually be harmful.


Anne Muhlethaler (28:04.398)

So you need that swadahaya for observation. Also swadahaya is about reading the spiritual text, talk therapy, meditation, really giving yourself a chance to observe and observe the effects of what the tapas is doing. And then Ishvara Pranadanani is the ultimate surrender to God. And this is really about trusting the practice, trusting the process, and realizing that a lot of what we're doing is thinning the ego out.


And in the big picture, we really don't have as much control. We have control with the little picture, but in the big picture, we don't have as much control as our ego thinks it does. So to really learn how to balance this idea of control and surrender. Thank you so much. That was an exceptionally interesting answer. I really appreciate that. Thinning the ego. I remember...


coming across tapas during my 200 -hour training and realizing that it was to your point, you want to be working towards those things that feel really scary and difficult and the burning sensations in the muscles or the burning through the mind when you're sitting for a long time. But indeed what Annie has us practice regularly is to also notice maybe back away. If you're always at your edge, can you just come?


at 80 % today, can you be a little bit kinder and watch yourself as to how you approach your practice? One of the things I did note is...


Our journeys are incredibly different, but my journey into yoga certainly started in New York City. I dabbled in it when I was in London and never found my teachers, so to speak. But in New York, when I moved, I was there in 2013. Yoga was exploding. It was everywhere and it was excellent. And I really appreciated that. But it felt like it was all tapas. It was all body work. I remember meeting the business partner of a friend of mine who had


Anne Muhlethaler (30:11.182)

I want to say Chaturanga arms and they were very impressive arms. But to a certain extent, I feel like most of the people I know who practiced yoga never ever tried meditation. How did you find your journey in meditation? That took a long time. And I think in America, the physical body is we are very identified with it as a culture. We're very identified with what we have and with its success. So when yoga came to America, I think the meditation part,


did get lost and the physical part got totally enhanced. So like I said, in the beginning of this, initially I was drawn to yoga because of the physical and it was a way for me to detox and just get into my body. The meditation practice happened when I hurt my back. So many years later in 2009, when I was learning second series, I was definitely pushing in that place of tapas and I was also approaching my practice like a dancer would approach it. I was very competitive.


very identified with the postures. And then I hurt my back really bad where I barely could do any asana. So the only thing I could really do was this is, I had always done Iyengar yoga, but at this time I had started doing more Iyengar yoga, which is definitely, there's some tapas there, but it's definitely a practice of Swadhiaya. And that's why when I talked about tapas, I talked about tapas and Swadhiaya together, because you really need those two elements. And I remember going to Bali,


and I was studying with my teachers and they also were Ayurvedic teachers too and I was really on a journey on how to heal my back and I think I was only 36 years old so this was very devastating and they introduced pranayama and meditation and I had been doing some pranayama and pranayama you can actually sit and you're focused on your breath but meditation is much harder because you're just watching your thoughts and I remember the first time I meditated I was in this beautiful place looking out at the rice paddies.


and I was so uncomfortable and my head was going to explode. And 20 minutes felt like an hour. And so my teachers just kept saying, do it. And for many years I was dabbling. I remember going to India, I would take meditation courses and I'm pretty disciplined, but meditation was never my favorite practice. I needed a lot of asana to get into a place where I could still my mind. And then in 2014, I went to a silent retreat. I went to the Vipassana.


Anne Muhlethaler (32:37.934)

And if you want to learn how to meditate, go to a Vipassana. Because I thought I was meditating, but what I was really just doing was watching my thoughts and then I was going back to some affirmations and then 20 minutes I was done. But the Vipassana, I mean, you're meditating eight hours a day. And even those walking meditations, you have to keep your eyes down. And that's what really strengthened my meditation practice. And it was like boot camp for the mind, but it carved out a place deep,


within where now I know how to tap into it. Thank you. I just want to add, it's not wrong for people to get into yoga for the body. I did too. I think that people come to it for strengthening or for getting more supple. It's fascinating to see how we all make our way to it. And if it's through the body first, it's absolutely fine. It's whether or not we get to continue on the journey. That's what I hope for. I hope that we can plant a seed for those who listen to us who haven't.


that hasn't gotten started yet. Yeah, and you just keep trying. That's the thing. You have to just keep trying. And then these practices do start to click. I must say, one of the things I realized the more I studied yoga is how much fun it is to be on the floor on a mat and falling over and trying new things and being in weird poses. Having a puppy and two cats really helps me spend more time on the floor. There's something to be said about also bringing a sense of playfulness to being with our bodies.


Because we get into some seriously funky shapes on a yoga mat. There's a benefit in finding the fun. Yeah. Yeah, and also it helps you become non -attached. And that's something that I had to learn when I was healing my injury to just not be so attached to what my physical body can do. And in the end, like right now I'm 50 and I'm tighter than I've ever been in my life and my joints are starting to ache a bit.


And so my practice is going to have to adjust. And I think non -attachment is a huge practice to bring into the mat. And to be able to laugh at ourselves sometimes. Yes, definitely. Now, you are a teacher's teacher and it's important to note because not every teacher becomes a teacher's teacher. And I heard you speak about how you invested 10 years of your career traveling around the world.


Anne Muhlethaler (35:01.518)

doing retreats and teacher trainings and how that completely unexpectedly paid off during COVID. But I wanted to go back a step. How did you make that choice of doing this work around the world in the first place? It was one of those things. I think it is my dharma. It was a path that unfolded pretty nicely. I had been at YogaWorks for 15 years, and especially when I was at YogaWorks. YogaWorks was a top tier.


All the great teachers came out of YogaWorks and about 2009, I actually was Annie Carpenter's assistant for her teacher training, her last teacher training at YogaWorks. She gave me a great recommendation and 2010, I ended up with three YogaWorks teacher trainings. Two of them were exports. One was in my hometown of Philadelphia and one was in Manila, Philippines of all places. I know, I took it because I was going to India to study my SOAR.


to study in Mysore. And I was like, all right, maybe I'll go to the Philippines on the way out. And also the money was great. I was like, great, it'll pay for my trip to Mysore. And little did I know, I met a great group of students that had a very entrepreneurial type of mindset. They opened up a yoga studio a year later, invited me down. A lot of them had connections in other parts of Asia, like Hong Kong and Singapore. And so it just organically started spreading. Now in 2012,


Patrick from Inner City in Geneva offered me to come to Switzerland. And yeah, and I went there. Little did I know, I didn't really know much about Switzerland. And I remember thinking, and one thing about the Swiss, and I'm sure you can relate, they're very solid. It took me a bit to get in, but soon as you're in, and every single year he started bringing me back. And then the same thing happened. I just started meeting students that had connections in other parts of Europe.


or a lot of students would open a studio and want me to come and teach. And then so little bit by little bit, I just started to spread my wings. And then when I went to Wanderlust, I left YogaWorks in 2016, and Wanderlust had festivals. And even though I was working at the studio in Hollywood and I was curating their teacher trainings, I was also teaching at their festivals. So this kind of also opened the door for me to teach in.


Anne Muhlethaler (37:22.99)

festivals and some conferences and the whole thing built in a very slow and organic way. And I have to say it was, and not to mention, I love to travel. And... You sound like a keen traveler. Yeah. There's a few really amazing stories that we won't have time to get into on your website. But yeah, you have some great travel blogs. Oh, thank you. I think it's in my soul. I love to travel. I love different cultures.


Even my partner is from Belgium and we have an apartment over in Brussels. And that's just been amazing to be able to have these two places to live. We're very fortunate. And I think when I get older, my dream is to live in Europe. I love Europe. I think it's a great place to age Europe. I'm aging slowly and I'm in Europe. I confirm it's really good. I need to tell you, when I came out of your workshop,


There's a moment when I was walking to my car and it was a gray, dreary Sunday and I had to almost pinch myself. And I was like, in what world could I have ever imagined when I moved back to Switzerland in 2020 that there would be world -class yoga in Geneva? I was like, this is bloody fantastic. And now I found out that thanks to you.


Annie Carpenter is coming to Geneva and I'm like literally dancing on the ceiling. This is fantastic. Thank you, Patrick from Inner City. I'm sorry I don't know you, but thank you, thank you, thank you. My heart is full of love and gratefulness. Now, we touched on COVID, of course, for yoga teachers and obviously everyone around the world. That meant huge, tremendous change in their lives.


How did you adapt? And tell me about the School of Yoga. Yeah, so because I had 10 years of traveling internationally and I had just finished a 200 -hour in Goa, India and a 300 -hour, which I taught on my own in Manila. It was interesting because things came full circle. And remind you, I started traveling and teaching trainings in 2010 and then we had COVID hit 10 years later.


Anne Muhlethaler (39:35.15)

And so initially I started just offering online Zoom classes to the people that had graduated my teacher trainings. And it was really small, just pay me cash. And then I started emailing more people, inviting them to the classes. And pretty much the classes started really building. And so one of my students is a graphic designer and she also understood how to hook up Acuity and Zoom and payment plans. So she did a big overhaul and hooked everything up and my


partner is in production. And I think a lot of us yoga teachers, like even Sam, Annie's partner's in production. He had the camera, the lighting, the microphone, and it just really came together nicely. And that's what really sustained me the first year of COVID was I taught five Zoom classes and I was really able to tap into that international community that I had cultivated for over 10 years. And then I had had this idea of starting a 300 hour program and


When I taught the whole 300 hour program in Manila, I was like, there's no way I can do that again. The 200 hour is like an overview of yoga, where the 300 hour program, you start to really find what your niche is. And you need a lot of different teachers that teach different methods, different styles, and you see what speaks to you, and that's the direction you go in. And something that I've been very lucky with is, like when I came to Santa Monica, California, this is when Mati and Lisa were teaching five days a week.


Annie was teaching six days a week, Sean Corn was teaching. So I stepped into this hub, some of the most famous yoga teachers in the world, and they became my friends. A lot of them became my teachers. So I had this idea to put together a 300 -hour school with teachers that really walk the walk, that were connected to the lineage, that were totally authentic. And I also wanted to bridge the gap. I'm definitely, I'm younger than a lot of these teachers.


But I also, with my personality, I have the ability to connect to this younger generation. And I really want to pull them in and show them the way yoga has been passed down and this idea of connecting to the lineage. And I had a partner, Christina from the Philippines, who now lives in New Zealand, and she's more of the business mind of it. And so we wrote a business plan. And the first person I asked was Annie. I was like, if we can get Annie Carpenter. And I remember I asked Annie and she was a little apprehensive at first, but she said,


Anne Muhlethaler (41:59.47)

Okay. And then I asked Marla Apt, Jeanne Heileman, who is a colleague of mine. Do really want to do a module with Jeanne? She sounds amazing. Yeah. She is. And the thing is that she's also very unique that she teaches the subtle body. She teaches all the Texas. Jean used to be an actress. And sometimes when you're teaching the yoga sutras and you're teaching the Bhagavad Gita, you have to have a very animated personality.


to keep people interested or else it starts to get dry and a little esoteric. And she also, she's an academic. So the way she puts her lectures together, the way she's so animated, it was great to pull her in and teach all those things that sometimes students might find, not yourself, but other students might find that some of the text is a little sleepy. So we created this team and because I had a platform, I started bringing these teachers over and we would do online modules.


And for a year and a half, we did so many online modules, we ran them about once a month, that we created a whole library of content. And so now we have a whole curriculum. And in 20, we're filming this, it's 2024. We're all going back to in -person stuff. So now we have a lot of teacher trainings that are in -person. We have a 300 hour coming up in Geneva, and Annie's a part of that. Yeah, I'll be a part of that as well. And then I have a 300 hour here in Los Angeles with all of the teachers.


It's a great opportunity for me because I'm also teaching and collaborating with studios, but I'm also bringing in other teachers and also giving these students like this whole array of very experienced teachers. So the whole thing has really good energy and there's a good flow behind the School of Yoga. And over the past few years, we've cultivated an international community. I think we've had probably 50 students graduate already from all around the world.


And yeah, it's just it's been a really fun ride. So I'm really grateful that I had the confidence to put myself out there and put together the School of Yoga. And also I've had a lot of help along the way. That's so exciting. Yeah. Now, I'm glad you mentioned how international your students are, because I was wondering what's it like to teach Americans versus Europeans versus Asians, because there must be differences.


Anne Muhlethaler (44:18.83)

Yeah, that's a good question. Yeah. And it's quite interesting. So going back to the ego and listen, I love America. I'm from America. Oh, I do too. Yeah. But the ego is much higher in America. Americans are very identified with, like I said, with what they do. And so when I teach yoga in America, especially in Los Angeles, I'm tackling a bigger ego. And so you have to be a little tougher. You have to be a little firmer. You have to hold the poses a lot longer.


to get people to feel into those edges. And if you've noticed, there is a commonality between a lot of us Los Angeles teachers where we do that. Yeah, you're tough. Yeah. There's a lot of tapas, yeah, for sure. Yeah. And a lot of it is because you're trying to get Americans to really settle down, be in their space, and cut through a lot of that tension. Americans hold a lot more tension than Europeans do. Now, Europeans, even though they're more reserved at first,


And you have to be okay with not getting that immediate gratification that comes with Americans. Americans right away will tell you, I love you. That was the best class. But then you don't see them for three weeks where Europeans it's, did they like it? Nobody's asking questions. And so I just got used to that. But then I would always get invited back. And I realized with Europeans, you have to go in softer. You can't throw so much information at them right away because.


They want to really understand something first before they get the next thing. I have to speak slower and I also have to allow more silence. And Europeans are very comfortable with silence. I can't say this about Americans. And that's why Americans, we drive it more. Australians, they're a softer version of Americans. They don't really have the ego, but they're definitely more sporty. They're more athletic. So they want to reach that level of physicality in their practice that a lot of Americans do.


Where I find with Europeans, they love the pranayama and they really have no problem getting quiet and moving into the quieter aspects of the practice. So yeah, that's just a little tidbit. And I think one of my skills is I'm very adaptable and you have to be super adaptable teaching in all these different cultures. Yeah, clearly you've also learned a lot.


Anne Muhlethaler (46:37.614)

from those many years of teaching internationally because the way that you're describing us from one continent to another sounds just about right to my experience in a room despite the fact that I was not teaching myself. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You learned so much from traveling. And I was thinking about that yesterday. I was like, yeah, what's really opened my perspective is all the traveling I've done. And my partner too, my partner is a tour manager and he's traveled more than me.


And part of the reason why we gel so much as a couple is because the world is our backyard. And sometimes when you've only experienced one culture, there's a tendency to have a very linear point of view, where when you're in so many different cultures, they become a part of your personality too. And it opens your mind like an umbrella. That's wonderful. Tell me, what do you imagine is the future of the School of Yoga? Or what is the future of yoga, do you think?


That's a good question. And part of the reason why I created the school of yoga is because I didn't want the lineage to get lost. And so before I created the school of yoga in 2019, my teacher Mati Zirazi passed in 2019 and I had dinner with her at a workshop in New Zealand a couple of months before she passed. And she was very upset about the way yoga was going. And it was interesting because


When I was teaching students, especially in LA, nobody knew who Mati was, nobody knew who Pattabhi Jois was, nobody knew who Krishnamacharya was. And I realized that if I don't create something with what I know and who I'm connected with, the lineage is going to be dissolved and yoga is going to turn into fitness and exercise and like a hybrid of yoga. And being at YogaWorks for 15 years, I really saw a teacher training, like an excellent teacher training.


The teacher trainings that came out of YogaWorks, especially with Lisa Walford, and I've worked with her on this LA training, she is such an academic, she thinks everything through to the utmost degree where what she puts out there has such a high quality to it. And so that's my intention for the School of Yoga. I want to create high quality trainings, almost like an academy, where people can understand, because these days when students want to take a teacher training, they have to sift through so many teacher trainings.


Anne Muhlethaler (48:57.55)

And you don't really know what's the real deal. A lot of people take a training because it fits into their schedule, but then they come back and they come into my training and they're like, we didn't learn any of this. So I'm hoping School of Yoga can cultivate a reputation that has that level of excellence that YogaWorks once had. And so when people are looking for a training or even just continuing their education in yoga, they can come to the School of Yoga and be guaranteed.


something that has credentials, something that has depth. And I'm very also passionate about yoga because I believe if everybody practiced yoga and meditated, we live in a world that was much more connected to unity as opposed to separation. So much. I am so glad I asked that question. So I just want to tell you a story about sifting through yoga teacher trainings. The funny thing is, for a few years I told friends,


Yeah, I'd quite like to do a teacher training to deepen my practice. I don't know if I want to teach. And I said it a lot and no one ever said, oh, I know someone. And I took it as a sign. I'm an excellent researcher. You need anything in the world, Joan, call me. But I didn't do any, I didn't even know where to start. I did not even approach Google with it. It felt like almost something that I couldn't touch because there was just


It was a miasma of I don't know what. And then it's overwhelming. It's overwhelming. And genuinely, at the time, I felt like there was just very little that was clear online as well. And randomly one day I became quite obsessed about going to Ibiza for a retreat in August, which I even I watched myself think, why would you go to Ibiza in August for yoga? Anyways, I looked and looked and looked and I got there and it was fine. Some of it was fine.


But there was one great teacher. I end up next to her at dinner and we have a lovely conversation and I say to her, I'm considering a yoga teacher training. And she went, I know exactly who you should go to. And when she said that, I barely glanced at the website. I just signed up, almost sight unseen. And it was one of Annie's students, Suzanne Faith, who came from an Anusara school. And it was a mind -blowingly excellent.


Anne Muhlethaler (51:21.582)

wonderful, very hard, very intense teacher training. But it was really interesting how if we follow the seeds of our intuition, we'll find the right teacher. But I'm so thrilled to hear about what you're putting together and what you're describing with Lisa. Watford or Walford? Walford. Walford. Okay. I need to check her out. Now I want to come to LA and do module Walford. She sounds mind blowing. Yeah. Yeah. We have this teacher training. It's a $300 program.


And it's starting in LA in May. And it's all of us teachers. And Lisa and I have put together this amazing curriculum. And Lisa also is 71 years old. She's a senior Iyengar teacher. And just so you know, like to become a senior Iyengar teacher, all the postures in the light on yoga, you have to do all the postures in the light on yoga. So she's a serious practitioner. And I've learned so much from her over the years. And she's going to be teaching the pranayama, also a module on how your practice changes with age.


And it's such a robust teacher training program that if you do go to my website, anybody that's listening, please check it out. I will. Now, some of the other things that I found really interesting in how you're developing this 300 hour module and you touched on it earlier is how you're giving students an opportunity to try out different things in yoga, including the healing modalities of yoga. And I thought that was a very interesting module.


Would you talk to me a little bit about this? We started developing during the pandemic modules on yoga for trauma, yoga for anxiety, yoga for depression, understanding the vagus nerve, the parasympathetic. And yoga teaching has changed since we've come out of the pandemic. I think people are more in touch with their anxiety, more in touch with their depression, more in touch with their trauma, their mental illness. So it's what heals the body and the nervous system, because trauma gets lodged in the nervous system.


is activating the parasympathetic. And so a lot of those modules are initially modules that explain what trauma, what anxiety, what depression is, and also how to elicit the parasympathetic. Because when you are holding trauma, you're in your sympathetic, so you do feel like you're being chased. And when you're in your sympathetic, you have the fight, flight, freeze, also fawn. A lot of us understand the fight, we have to get out of the situation. Yes, thank you.


Anne Muhlethaler (53:48.846)

Freeze is like you disassociate. And then fawn too is when you overcompensate, you overshare, you start complimenting. And I also put these modules together for yoga teachers so they can recognize the signs of trauma in their students. So if someone's not listening to you, they might not be disrespecting you. They're probably not willing to go there because there's trauma in their system.


And that's what a lot of these courses are highlighting. And then the rest is understanding like the vagus nerve. So the vagus nerve, it starts from in our neck and it's called the wandering nerve. And it goes down into where the solar plexus are. And anytime we're upright, like right now we're in our sympathetic because we're upright, we're focused, we're talking, we're not focused on our breathing. Our eyes are open and they're outwards. And what elicits the parasympathetic is quieting your eyes, the drishti.


or shutting them, putting an eye pillow on your eyes, slowing your breath down, and restoratives, and anything that specifically has to do with the neck. Like for example, like bridge pose and shoulder stamp. Part of the reason why there's such key poses is because they stimulate the vagus nerve, and the vagus nerve enhances the parasympathetic. And so if you're in your sympathetic and you're holding a lot of anxiety and trauma, a lot of times it's really hard to switch that off.


to get into your parasympathetic. And so the parasympathetic for a lot of us takes a minimum of 20 minutes to get into, where the sympathetic takes a second to get into. And especially if you're activating that all day. And so a lot of our work in the courses and even with the sequencing courses are how to at the end of your practice, elicit the parasympathetic to put students in that relaxed place and also to cultivate a place where they feel safe.


You explained this so clearly and so beautifully. One of the things that I feel sad about for all of those who don't have a chance to experience a really great yoga class.


Anne Muhlethaler (56:02.51)

is the sense of wholeness that you can feel at the end of a shavasana. Because as you were describing, you will have been strengthened and twisted and turned and bent over. It feels like, I don't know how you say it in English, you know when you just clean out a towel and you just like, you've been wrung. You've been wrung and then you've been let to just sink into the floor. I remember the first time I did a yoga class was actually on the rug of my apartment.


It was a video with Ali McGraw, who was with Eric Schaffer. Schiffman. And I actually went back to listen to this video, which is available on YouTube, which I'll put a link if anyone wants to check it out. And I came out of the Shavasana thinking like I was a new person. And he was very directive with his Shavasana. He was like, do this, sink into the floor, listen to your... I can't remember what he said. Anyways, I came out.


I was new me. I was whole me. I felt like I had reclaimed all of the parts of myself anyways. But no, you're absolutely right. And that's what a good yoga practice does. It really brings you back into yourself where you're calm, you're alert, you're present and your mind is slow. It's a wonderful feeling. The practice that I find brings me that drop in the parasympathetic is Viparita Karani. Yeah, because of the chin lock.


Yeah, because of the chin lock and also it has all of the benefits without the strain on the shoulder if I don't feel like piling up all of the blankets as Annie tells us to do. Yeah. And also the legs are pacified in that pose. The legs are pacified and the thigh bones are getting into the socket. Yeah, it feels very soothing to me. Yeah. Yeah, I love that pose too. It's interesting how much yoga nidra and restorative I did during the pandemic and I bought literally


all of the props, like every single prop you can imagine, including the weighted eye pillow, which sometimes can be a little bit too much for me. Yeah. Yeah. But I found that's what the pandemic did, especially if you took yoga on Zoom, because we couldn't adjust. So instead the props really helped. And symbolically, I feel like the props were helping us understand how to take support because we were all going through it during that time. Yeah, absolutely. Now,


Anne Muhlethaler (58:30.478)

You have a lot of things upcoming, which I think is very exciting. I was wondering if you wanted to talk to our listeners or tell them about some of the trainings or retreats that they could register for this year, because there's a couple that sound exciting to me. Oh, thank you. I have India coming up. I'm doing a 200 -hour yoga teacher training in Rajasthan, India. And that's two weeks. And it's in the countryside of Rajasthan. It's a really remote area. It's all on a lake and it's a beautiful retreat center.


And then I have a retreat in Bali and we're staying at Uluwatu Surf Villas, which is right on the beach in Uluwatu. And there's a spa next door. And then we'll go up to the mountains and we'll see the mountain side of Bali where the rainforest is and the rivers. We'll probably go to the coffee plantation and just explore. And then I think the two big trainings I have coming up this year are the 300 hour in Los Angeles.


And you can take that ala carte. So if you don't want to do the whole thing, which lasts for a year, you can take modules. You can go to my site to find it, schoolof .yoga, but they'll highlight the modules that you can take ala carte. And then we're doing a $300 in Geneva with Olivia from Soham. And the teachers include myself and Olivia, Annie Carpenter, Simon Park, who is really famous in Europe. If I say his name right, Gregory Mehul.


Yes, and Monica Fauci, and they're Shtanga teachers. And I know Monica's going to talk about the spine and bring some anatomy in. So it's a really well -versed 300 -hour. How exciting. Now, before we go to my closing questions, I meant to ask you about your favorite yoga sutra. I think that you've touched on this before. Yoga philosophy and the spirituality of yoga is really important in your life as a person. You're a very dedicated yogi.


And I just, yeah, I wanted to hear which is your favorite sutra? I would say Pradipaksha Bhavanam. So that's Sutra 2 .33. When negative thoughts arise, think the opposite. And it's not just about saying, oh, my mind is being judgmental right now. It's really understanding like what's the opposite of being judgment, being judgmental, compassion. How can I practice more compassion for that person who I'm judging right now?


Anne Muhlethaler (01:00:53.71)

And so it's also about self -inquiry, really digging into the root. Why don't I feel good about myself right now? There's a lack of self -worth and understanding where that's coming from and changing the dialogue inside to saying, you know what, I am enough and I'm going to do something today that's going to help me feel more loved. So it's that continual conversation that eventually helps you find some restraint on those negative thoughts. So you can think in a more positive way and a more loving way.


So as you know, I really enjoy inviting my guests to talk about business and career and development of self, etc. But also what I like to find out about my guests is what are the things that they do on a regular basis, it doesn't need to be daily, outside of their mindfulness of yoga practice that also help ground them, make them feel like they're their best selves. And it could really be anything because everyone has their own


rituals and I'd love to hear this from you as well. I like to cook. I like to cook. I like to go to the farmers market. I like to look in cookbooks, go online, find different, I'm plant -based, find different ways to cook plants. And I also love nature. I really try my best to go into nature at least like really like yesterday I was in Joshua Tree because it really picks up my vibration and it's also grounding.


And that's also part of the reason why I believe in retreats because we're off the tablets and we're in nature. Nature has so many healing benefits. That's wonderful. Thanks. All right. So now before we go to my closing questions, I hear some of these are tough. I apologize in advance, but they're really tough. What is your favorite word? And by that, a word that you could live with, perhaps tattoo on yourself or live by?


Like I said, I think one of my strongest qualities is I'm very adaptable. So adaptability. Yeah, and I really try not to be rigid, keep an open mind and let in what's being presented.


Anne Muhlethaler (01:03:06.83)

Beautiful. What does connection mean to you? Connection means the word that's popping into my head is source, but really seeing someone for who they truly are, really feeling that place where things become more animated. They become like they percolate more, where you start to get out of your head and you're right in your heart with whoever you're with or within that moment.


Anne Muhlethaler (01:03:35.598)

What song best represents you? Oh God, there's so many songs. You know what song I heard a couple of weeks ago? And I remember somebody played, this is an old song, Wild World by Cat Stevens. Oh yeah. That popped into my head because I remember I broke up with a boyfriend when I was 18 because I wanted to move to New York City. And he played that song and it was very symbolic to me. And I still have to listen to the words. Someone,


going out of their comfort zone and going into the wild world. That's wonderful. Thank you for sharing. Oh, by the way, I have a compiler list on Spotify of everyone's answers on this. It's incredibly eclectic. Oh, please send me that. I would love to listen to it. Yeah. Now, what is a secret superpower that you have? And I say secret because like we know, I've made you talk a lot. So something you haven't shared already. A secret. I don't really like to keep secrets.


Oh, this is a tough one for me. For many years, I was very, not that I was ashamed, I was very shy to talk about the drug use and everything that I went through. So I think over the years, because it's been so much time, so much time since I've used drugs, that I've come into a place where I'm a little bit more aware of it. But I think, yeah, at one point in my life, I was a very wild woman. Thank you so much. What is a favorite book?


that you could share with us? I was thinking about this and I think I've read a lot of books that have impacted me and I think one of the main books that really helped change my life and I was going for a hard time when I read this book was The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer which really tells you to say yes to everything that's coming in and to be open and to live life in a place of surrender. I've read Michael Singer but not that one.


Thank you. I'll put that on my list. Yeah, it's the next book after Untethered Soul. Amazing. Yeah.


Anne Muhlethaler (01:05:37.39)

Where is somewhere that you visited, and I know you've been to a lot of places, but that you felt really had an impact on who you are today? That's actually easy. That's India. India really speaks deep into my soul. There's something to be said when you're living in a place that has so many people. There's a lot of poverty. There's not a lot of organization. You really have to surrender and go with the flow.


and you have to learn how to trust the unknown. And when I talk about this idea of connection, and not every Indian has this, but something that I see from that culture is they really do connect. They look at you in your eyes when they're speaking. There's a sense of humor in the culture. I feel very in my heart there. So India, for sure. Thank you. Now, imagining that you can step into a future version of yourself,


So what do you think is the most important advice that future you needs to give present time you? To slow down and enjoy life more. I think I've come into this world very driven and I'm definitely ambitious. And to really just slow down and smell the roses. Interestingly enough, I have a partner who as slow as molasses, who's a Taurus and I'm an Aries. And I see these lessons. Yeah.


and to really just slow down and relax and know that I'm already on the right track and just to enjoy it.


And this brings us to my last and favorite question. What brings you happiness? It's definitely changed over the years. This is how I definitely know I'm moving into that second phase of my life. Being at home, being with my dog, being with my partner, and I like cooking. Yeah, just being grounded and being with people I love. Thank you so much. And my dog decided to start going crazy at the dog next door as you just said that. It's okay. We love dogs.


Anne Muhlethaler (01:07:38.058)

Absolutely. Thank you so much, Joan. It's been such a pleasure, such a wonderful opportunity for me to be able to ask you questions after meeting you, taking a couple of online classes and having the chance to practice yoga with you in Geneva. Where can people find you if they would like to get in touch? My website is www .schoolof .yoga and you can also look at my social media pages. Instagram is www .johnhymanschoolofyoga .com.


My Facebook's the same, Joan Hyman School of Yoga. Awesome. Thank you again for all of your time. I'm so excited about everything that you're doing this year and congratulations on School of Yoga and the 300 -hour trainings that you're offering. It's really wonderful. Thank you. Have a great rest of the day and hopefully I will see you in person at some point soon. Actually this year I'll be in Geneva. So hopefully I'll see you when I'm there. Wonderful. I can't wait. Take care. Thank you. Thank you. It was a pleasure.


Thank you and Namaste.


Anne Muhlethaler (01:08:41.934)

So friends and listeners, thanks again for joining me today. If you'd like to hear more, you can subscribe to the show on the platform of your choice. And if you'd like to connect with me, you can find me at Anvi on threads, on Instagram, Anvi Moolatala on LinkedIn. If you don't know how to spell it, the link is in the notes or on Instagram at underscore out of the clouds, where I also share daily musings about mindfulness.


You can find all of the episodes of the podcast and much more on the website outoftheclouds .com. If you'd like to find out more from me, I invite you also to subscribe to the MetaView, my weekly newsletter where I explore coaching, brand development, conscious communication, and the future of work. That's the MetaView with two Ts, themetaview .com. So that's it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening to Out of the Clouds.


I hope that you will join me again next time. Until then, be well, be safe and take care.


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Anne Muhlethaler (01:10:45.998)

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