The Spiritual Artist Podcast

Ease Autoimmune Issues Caused by Stress & Anxiety with Logic Sleep

November 13, 2022 Christopher J. Miller Season 2 Episode 49
The Spiritual Artist Podcast
Ease Autoimmune Issues Caused by Stress & Anxiety with Logic Sleep
Show Notes Transcript

Yoga teacher Lisa Coyle returns to The Spiritual Artist podcast to discuss the destructive cycle of stress and anxiety on the body. Her deeply informative podcast explains how the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems work and the importance of restorative practices in your daily routine. According to Lisa, our parasympathetic system supports us; the more we let go, the more we are supported.

Lisa practices yin yoga and yogic sleep to counter the adverse effects of chronic fight or flight on the body. Yogic sleep is a restorative guided meditation where your body and mind sleep while your consciousness remains awake. When in yogic sleep, the body heals, repairs, and detoxifies. According to Lisa, “We are nothing more and nothing less than part of universal consciousness. My consciousness is still alert, but my mind is quiet during this sleep.”

Chris and Lisa discuss the rampage of autoimmune issues in society today based on poor digestion. Poor digestion, air quality, and stress out picture as autoimmune issues, and there is a direct gut/brain connection. A chronic deluge of stress hormones weakens the digestive system. Chris asks the listener to mindfully notice how much time they spend in a stressful state during the following week.

Lisa closes the episode by sharing her technique for deep diaphragmatic breathing to quiet anxiety and stress whenever it occurs.

Lisa Coyle, RYT, HHC, AYS, is a Para Yoga Nidra Certified Teacher, a Yoga 4 Cancer Certified Teacher, a Yoga and Meditation Instructor, a Holistic Health Coach, and an Ayurvedic Lifestyle Consultant. For more information on her coaching, visit www.lisacoyleyoga.com. Her Yin Yoga Yogic Sleep class is available via www.thematyogastudio.com on Zoom.

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Spiritual Artist Podcast. This is Chris Miller. I invite you to join me as I interview artists from a variety of disciplines. We'll share powerful stories and lessons learned while making their art.

Speaker 2:

Good day. This is Chris with the Spiritual Artist Podcast. Uh , it's a very cold day here in Dallas, but I am excited because I have a very warm person to bring back. Yes, I'm bringing back somebody that was on the show. Gosh. Uh , Lisa, you were probably on the show, one of my first interviews early .

Speaker 3:

Yeah .

Speaker 2:

Yeah. So I'm introducing Lisa Coyle. She's gonna tell you a little bit about what you , what she does, and then we're gonna jump into some meaty conversations. So, good morning, Lisa.

Speaker 3:

Hi. Good morning, Chris. It's always so exciting to see you and , um, have , Chris has been , um, coming my classes for years, but just continues to be a source of , um, delight and inspiration after every class. Chris always has fabulous questions and insights that he shares, and it just makes, it makes my job , uh, more satisfying to know that someone's listening, paying attention,

Speaker 2:

<laugh>.

Speaker 3:

Yeah . Um, so I'm a , uh, as you know Chris, but I'll share with your listeners. Um, I've been a yoga teacher in the Dallas area for over 20 years. Um, I've been a student of yoga since I first was , uh, exposed to it when I was 19. Um, so that's, you know, been a minute. And , uh, I started actually teaching yoga when I turned 40 years old. So I was kind of in and out of my own personal yoga practice for that length of time for most of my young and , um, middle adult life. But always kept coming back to it as , as a source of comfort. Um, and I am certified as a R y t yoga teacher. I have additional certifications as an Ive yoga specialist, which means I use the science of Ira Beta as an adjunct to my yoga teaching, and , um, can help counsel people how to bring more balance to their , uh, lifestyles and their diets through that , um, system. It's , uh, yoga's sister science of diet and lifestyle management. I have a specialty certification through Parra Yoga as a , um, yoga Nira specialist , um, leading Yoga Nira practices, which is the science of yoga sleep. And I have a certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition as a holistic health coach, and , um, also certified as a yoga for cancer teacher. So I try to bring all of that information to really all of my classes , um, every teacher that has , uh, given me specific information for a specific discipline, I find that it all feeds each other and , um, I'm , uh, constantly humbled and excited as a yoga student to be able to share , um, what I've learned with my students.

Speaker 2:

Well, I, that, that's very impressive in , in listeners, as you can hear. At least . It's done a lot. I , and I'm gonna focus, we're gonna kind of tunnel down a little bit on , uh, yogic is , am I pronouncing that correct? Mm-hmm. <affirmative> yogic sleep, because I really love that concept and I've been , um, participating in those classes. Um, I will share with my listeners that Lisa is one of the most listened to interviews I've done, and we last talked, it was probably within the first six or seven weeks of Covid . Uh , yes .

Speaker 3:

Oh gosh. That's right.

Speaker 2:

Do you know that? And do you know what I did last night, Lisa? Mm-hmm . <affirmative> . I actually sat down and as I fell asleep, I listened to our interview again. Oh , wow . And, and it's always a joy because I'm like, Oh, wow . Oh yeah. Oh, wow. Right. And one of the things we ended with, and I'm gonna begin with here, is we talked about the phrase, the more you let go, the more you are supported. And as I was running around trying to get ready for this podcast and making sure I had all the materials ready, and the mic wasn't working and the room wasn't set, I thought, Ah , Chris , the more you let go, the more you are supported. And sure enough, Lisa texted me and said she was running late. And there you go. Right ? Yeah . Yeah . Spirit, Spirit heard me and responded in kind, <laugh> gave me a little more time to get ready. Oh , So, so I'm excited about this, Lisa. I , I love this, the whole idea. And, and we're gonna jump in listeners, because every time Lisa and I talk, it just goes into wonderful places. Um, what I wanted to start with is this whole idea, Lisa, of yogic sleep. And , and I think it ties into the word restorative, restorative yoga, but perhaps you could explain this concept to people that have never heard of it.

Speaker 3:

So it does, it ha , you know, it , it sounds funny, right? Yogic sleep. What is sleep asleep, Right? So people are like, I don't get, I don't understand what this says . Yoga has to make everything different right now , <laugh> . So I think that sometimes people's initial response , um, there , uh, just from the, just to get real basic from the yogic philosophy of what this practice is , um, the practice is called Yoga Nidra and I D R A . And it is , um, from the yoga texts and from yoga tradition, probably the oldest, and , um, one of the original practices that was delivered from student to teacher. Now that that was always done traditionally on an individual one-on-one basis. And it is a practice of effortlessness, and it is a practice of taking the conscious mind and using the conscious mind, sort of in a liminal state. Yoga nidra is a state of consciousness that we access through a series of deep relaxation techniques. And the , the actual state of yoga nidra , we're only in it when we're in like a 30, 40 minute practice. We're only in the actual state of yoga Nira , if we're lucky. And Grace befalls us , um, for like five to eight minutes. Everything else is preparation for that state. And so the state of yoga nedra , or yoga sleep, is this ability to be in the sleep state, physiological deep sleep, delta brain waves, non rem deep sleep that we go into every night to take the body and the brain into that state, but maintain a trace of conscious awareness. So what happens when we are able to do that without falling to sleep, sleep to snoring sleep, right? What that we end up in at night, at nighttime is that we have the ability then to access that deep healing that can happen. That does happen in , um, non REM delta wave sleep. Um , we have the ability to access how, how the subconscious mind is patterned and how it is responding sort of under the, under the surface all the time. So we can implant a , um, what's called a song called , but , or a statement of resolve as we go into this state. And it, it starts to rewire, I know that kind of sounds odd, but it, so people a ask , is it a form of self hypnosis? And I would say it's not, not self hypnosis, right? It's not exactly self hypnosis, but it, it's going to sort of have the same impact and same effect as self hypnosis can have. Um, that one of my very , very favorite podcast to listen to besides this one is called the , um, Huberman Lab with Andrew Huberman, and he's a neurobiologist , um, from Stanford School of Medicine, and he has coined the term N S D R , Nons Sleep Deep Rest , because he said if he called it Yoga Mid , were his science friends wouldn't listen to it , wouldn't do it <laugh> . So he made a sciencey sounding name for it, and he practices it 20 minutes a day. And I practice, I , I can't say I practice 20 minutes a day, but I've tried practice this dropping in every day . So if it's only 10 minutes, I'm gonna do that. Yeah, go ahead. Okay.

Speaker 2:

I'm gonna stop you because he just said like, 20 things

Speaker 3:

A found

Speaker 2:

Thing that , that I could unpack, right? Yeah . That I , that I want to unpack. So if you're listening to this and you're a creative person, you're probably thinking, what, what , what is Chris bringing in , uh, Lisa for, and what is he talking about? Sleep. And so I wanna share a little bit of my thinking on that. Excellent. Um , so when, for first, let me describe the process. Uh , I go to Lisa's class , It's just Thursdays, right? Thursdays, right

Speaker 3:

Thursday at the mat

Speaker 2:

Mm-hmm . <affirmative> at the mat yoga. And I will share that address because folks, you can actually work with Lisa online. So after this podcast, you can actually sign up for, for one of her classes and do this from your home. But basically, we go into a room, we, we , we get into a , a nice resting pose with the mat and some supporting tools. The lights are dim , there's beautiful music, and Lisa kind of walks you through this gracious journey where you quiet your body and or you quiet your mind by kind of projecting into your body. Now , what she was saying there that I want to share with you and why I was like, Oh, Lisa , I gotta bring you back, is in a lot of ways in my book, the Spiritual artist , that's what I'm telling people to do, right ? I am telling them to get in front of the easel and quiet the mind, stop the judgment, stop the, the insecurity, stop the fear, quiet the emotions, and get into that, tap into that subconsciousness where all creativity arises and, and stand before the easel and literally be in a state of no mind. And so people are thinking, Well , what I'm painting, I , I have mine . Not really, When you, when you're most creative in front of a canvas or a pottery wheel, actually, you're turning off your mind and you're reacting to all that is. So, Lisa, I just, I don't , There's so many things you talk about in that process and, and, and it's so in incredibly loaded with lessons that you take outside of the , of the studio, right?

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. Oh, absolutely. The more time you spend in this state and with these practices, the less reactive you become , um, the, the ability to step back and observe first your own experience. Because as you're in this practice of yoga and good drug , you are watching your body relax, right? As you project your mind into your body, you're seeing it, you're feeling, you're experiencing your body soften and relax, but you are staying conscious. So it's not like you're looking for something externally like a substance or a drink. And, you know, I have a glass of wine. I'm , I don't say don't do any of that stuff, but don't think that that's the pathway, the pathway is within you.

Speaker 2:

Oh, I love

Speaker 3:

That .

Speaker 2:

I love that. I got stuff . You did it <laugh> . Yeah , go ahead. Because you said something so wonderful there is, is that you, you do, you , you , you stop that. Let's describe to the listener the difference between your mind and you, because you just said something very interesting. You said you are still alert. Well, when people think you, they immediately go to their , they think my mind is still alert , Right ? So can we tease that out a little bit?

Speaker 3:

So, so this is super interesting, and there are , um, I'm very, very fascinated, as you know, by neuroscientists and neurobiologists because I love to see what , how western science is now starting to parse out and find the mechanisms beyond, behind what yoga's been doing for centuries. So , um, it's not as a way of validating these practices, frankly, the experience is the validation in my opinion. But , um, I love to see how science, because it is satisfying, and I don't, I'm not a scientist that's should be abundantly clear. But , um, I , so I don't understand the mechanisms, but I do can see that people are now trying to go, You know what? I feel this experience. I see that this experience is real. Why? So what it is, what you're asking then about is the difference between the brain and its functions, and then the mind, which neuroscience is kind of like, is the mind separate from the brain? Yoga says yes, that the mind is separate from the brain, a hundred percent, that the brain is the meat, and the mind is the consciousness that IBUs the body. And however, consciousness and the mind are not the same thing, because con the mind is a tool, it's a process that consciousness uses to experience the world and experience itself and to be in the world. So the mind becomes both the tool and also a kind of a sneaky little obstacle to our being able to see who and what we really are. Okay. So , and that, yeah. And just , but that according to the tradition is we are nothing more and nothing less than a part of universal consciousness, which is what you and I talked about in that first, first podcast.

Speaker 2:

And that that's exactly right. So, so for me, it's almost easier we're getting into , um, a duality of words and how words are tricky. But for me, it's, it's easier to say, my consciousness is still alert, but my mind is quiet during this process, this yogic sleep . And what that is, is, and listeners, the best way for me to explain this is think of your mind as a calculator. You know, a pocket , you hold a calculator in your , in your pocket, and when you need to add something up, or you go to the store, you figure out your taxes, you can use that calculator. But if that calculator is left on, on your desktop all day long, throwing data at you, it becomes a hindrance, right ? And , which is what you just said, The mind can be a great gift, but it can be a great , uh, block to, to your consciousness. So learning to recognize the difference. Learning to recognize that I am a conscious being. I'm a spiritual being who has a mind and a body that I can use mm-hmm . <affirmative> , and I can pull them out when I need them, and I can kinda gently put them on the shelf when I, when I don't need them right now. That's why I love this process that you do

Speaker 3:

These . Well, it's, so when I was going through, and I don't know if this is a tangent or not , Um, when I was going through my certification for Yogendra , I knew that when my teacher, Rod Striker said he was gonna offer this as a teacher training, as a , as a , a specific training, as a specialization, that was like, I am in, I am all in, I don't care. I don't care what I have to do to get there. I don't care what it costs . It was a nine day submersion in how to experience and how to teach. However, he's very, very , um, uh, sort of, he holds it as a standard that he really wants his students. If you're going to teach that , you have to, you have to practice, you know, people who, who train with him. They're not brand new yoga students. These are people who have been just practicing as students for quite some time and to, to do , um, you don't do it, right, So that's the wrong word. But to learn, to lead a yoga nidra practice, you have to have embodied that practice in yourself. And when I, when he first started talking about the practice of yoga nidra, I was , um, kind of going through some stuff with my kid. One of my sons was , uh, struggling and having issues, and I just found myself so agitated and anxious all the time because of it. And I was , um, I had kind of stopped my meditation because I would sit to meditate and I go, I can't, I can't meditate. There's too much, you know? And so I would just, I would just do my, which is the postures, and , but I would just, I can't, I just , it's too much. And I'm like , Okay , now, you know, granted, I've been teaching yoga for a minute at this point, so I just want people to understand that you're still a human being. <laugh> , you know, you're still always right. You know , we still have our frailties and our tendencies. Um, and so at that point, I just could not master that. And , uh, after then I can came back to my , with my teacher in person , um, a little while after that. And he gave us a yoga ni practice, and he said, You really should be doing this at least two or three times a week. And I was like, Really? Okay . So I did that. And I cannot describe the change and how I began to handle this situation and my own fear and how I started to interact with my son. And, and because of the fear that I was feeling, I was making the situation more complicated. But once my fear was something that I could just sit with and not, and , and sort of let it work its way through, Not deny it, but work its way through and let the body process it, let the mind process and then let it go. It things just changed. And I, I was, I was so profoundly affected by that, that I was like, I am going, this is now my main focus as a teacher because all the oana that I've done, the meditation that I've done, nothing has had the impact that this, that this yoga Nira practice had over my nervous system and how I was showing up in the world. So then when we go for the training, we have to commit to a 40 day practice. You have to practice, you have to do your need to practice every single day for 40 days. You can't teach until you've done it at least two weeks in a row. So, I mean, that's pretty short, right? But , um, so if you, so let's say you get to 26 , like happened to a friend of mine, and , um, you forget the next day we have to start over. And it's not to be punitive. It's for you to be able to soak up 40 consecutive days of a mid practice. And after that I was like, That's it, it is so transformative. You feel so supported. And it gets back to how you started, is the more often I could learn to let go, the more supported I felt regardless its situation, did my nervous system up regulate. Yeah. But did I freak out? No. Did I stay upregulated? No. It's an incredibly powerful tool. And um, it, it is the difference between the mind running a muck and the mind having the ability to tell itself to be quiet. And you have to practice that, frankly.

Speaker 2:

Well , um, there you go again, <laugh>. Okay, so going backwards cuz there's so much right there too. Yeah . So much right there too. Um, I'm sure there's people listening to this that have done yoga and they're like, Oh, I know yoga, I know yoga. And I'm like, No, you don't cause <laugh> . Cause I, I've been to so many yoga classes, and, and there is, especially here in , in the West, there's such a focus on the physicality and the, the gymnastics of it. We've turned it into a gymnastic sport. And look what I can do, look what I can do. And, and really this is taking it. So if you are a yoga instructor listening to this, I, I really recommend that you listen to what Lisa's saying here and take it to the next level, what you're doing. Because it is, there's nothing wrong with a , a traditional open flow practice. There's nothing wrong with that. But this is taking , yeah, it's good for you, but this is taking it to the next level. And , um, because it's, it's , it's about being consciously self-aware. And it's also learning the technique as you just said, Lisa , which is wonderful any time of the day, you can do this any time of the day. And that's why I called you. Okay? So I'll share a little vulnerability with the listeners is I took a new position, I took a corporate position a year ago, and I've reentered into corporate America. And let me tell you, in a lot of ways, corporate America hasn't changed since the 1950s <laugh> . And so they , they , they still have some , so much rigidity and so much lack of understanding of what the basic human needs to be fully functioning as a creative. And since I , I feel like I specialize in that, how to tap in, tap into those creative ideas, tap into that mind science , tap into those ideas that change. They don't get it. And so they tend to overwork you throw a lot of stuff at you, right ? And they don't, they do not understand. And that's why I wanted to call you. Um, you know, I, I find myself waking up in the middle of the night and suddenly boo stress, stress flows through my body. And, and so I wanna talk a little bit and share with the listeners the difference between your sympathetic nervous system and your parasympathetic nervous system. And how today, more than ever, and especially with Chris's new job, it's important that he does more parasympathetic things in his day there . And I don't know, Lisa, what do you think the balance is? How much sh how much fight or flight should we be in any given day as opposed to restorative, you

Speaker 3:

Know? Well, I mean, that is, that is, that is a very, very good question. Because I mean, the human, we are very resilient. We would not have evolved where we are. Human beings are amazingly resilient. We're also not designed from an evolutionary perspective to be in sympathetic nervous system for as long as we are in our present day. The sympathetic nervous system was designed and just, you know, quickly, I think, so I feel like everybody has heard this, but I don't think everybody has. But it's because we, in our yogic world, talk about it all the time. The sympathetic nervous system was designed to get us out of danger. So it was so , you know, say there , the example is perhaps a tiger comes in. Ah , so we're like, oh no, and we upregulate real fast. And , um, adrenaline epinephrine, it can also be called , uh, surges really quickly. There's all this that goes on in the brain, kind of starts in the amygdala, goes to the epi, thalamus, all of this like circuitries all happening again before even the mind can formulate a thought. Yikes, it's a tiger. Before the mind can even do that, the brain is already like danger, sending signals , um, to the adrenals. We need this , uh, stress hormone that's gonna dilate my pupils. It's gonna raise my blood pressure and my heart rate. It's gonna open , it's like relax my lungs so I can get more oxygen in. It's gonna take energy from my digestive system, which is normally very energetic and is gonna shunt it out to my limb so I can run away from the tiger. However, once I've run away from the tiger, now also that's an important thing to remember is I'm running right. I'm not just sitting there going, ah , I hope this tiger doesn't eat me. I have to run. And that's also using that stress hormone that's gonna help me run faster. But then when I'm out of the way of the tiger, I don't see it anymore, I'm gonna stop running. I've burned off a little stress hormone from that running . There's a little giving me a trail cortisol that's gonna stay elevated for about an hour or two just to kind of keep me on alert. But then the way the word designed is to, is the , then the parasympathetic puts the breaks on the sympathetic nervous system. It's, it's not supposed to be a , a state of the nervous system that we stay in all the time. It is meant to be a survival tool. Now in our sta so the , then the parasympathetic nervous system comes on, it puts the brakes on all that stress chemical in the body, all those stress hormones and restores most of the energy back to the gut. So it's called the rest and digest. So sympathetic, we hear, fight, flight, or freeze. That's the stress response and it's essential, or we would not have gotten to this point. Um, the parasympathetic is called rest and digest or rest and restore. And so if we are constantly in a state of chronic stress, meaning we're not being chased by tigers anymore, but we are being chased by Facebook posts, emails, traffic, poor food, lack of sleep , um, stressful , um, environments, the , the nightly news, we , we have so much input coming at us all the time where may not be chased by tiger, but all I need to see is one person's phone number come up on my phone and all of a sudden I'm like, ah , like I'm upregulated. So when all of that's coming at us like this, a constant barrage, which is our modern life, we are staying upregulated. That's become just our default. Right? And so it was don't even know how to come down. Right ? We don't even know how to come down. Yeah . So that's why we equate relaxation with unconsciousness, with , if I become relaxed, I'm gonna fall asleep. A I'm probably exhausted because I'm always up regulating, but b I'm just not used to being, I'm only used to being jacked up right in my nervous system, Right? If I, if I experience relaxation at all, it feels like dullness to me, right? We're almost addicted to, right . Um , the , which , which would explain ,

Speaker 2:

So I'm gonna share this with my listeners cuz I've learned that being , uh, forthright and vulnerable is the best way on these podcasts that people learn. So I started developing some health issues with this new job. Um, I'm having skin problems and it's right , it's formed by psoriasis and I went to the doctor and they, they don't have any, you know, funny, you go to the doctor and all they say is take this medicine. That's , that's their solution. Well, I'm gonna share this with our listeners cuz I know there's a lot of people out there psoriasis that can relate to this. Psoriasis is considered an autoimmune issue. We are having a rampage of autoimmune issues in society right now. And you just explained why. So, so when I, when I had the psoriasis, I looked up, I did , you know, I'm a big researcher, Lisa. I get all the books and start researching and everything says psoriasis is formed by digestion, problems with digestion. So you just explained to me the whole circle pattern here. You put yourself in an environment that is constantly high stress, day after day, hour after hour , every meeting. Everything is high stress. It's taking all that digestive energy away from my stomach. I'm not getting the nutrition I need because it's being funneled to running <laugh> . Right ? Instead , instead of to my skin.

Speaker 3:

Yeah .

Speaker 2:

So this is where I was, oh, oh, I wanna talk about this because there's, I , you know, you can't talk to, I I bet you agree with this. Anybody where they don't say they have some sort of autoimmune issue,

Speaker 3:

They are, you are completely right. They are , they are. So, and people and a lot of like doctors and so forth , they're like, what is the deal? What is, is it the food? Is it the air? Is it our stress? And , and the answer is, you know, yes, yes and yes. But , um, from the Ive and yoga perspective, our health, and I think it was about 20 years ago , um, even the Wall Street Journal published, I think it was, I think it was a Nobel Price winning paper. I could be wrong on this, about the gut brain connection. So your listeners may have heard about this over time. It's kind of out there in the , um, in the culture. Um , but your gut is a second brain and it produces 85. The numbers are, I see different numbers, but anywhere from 85% to 95% of your serotonin, which is your happy hormone, Right? And it , so it's produced in the lining of your intestines. It gets upregulated to your brain. So if your gut is depleted through stress and or poor diet, but mostly stress, a a calm gut can really handle a lot, right? A calm gut, a well-functioning gut can handle a lot. We are, like I said, we are resilient. We would not have evolved if, you know, we couldn't eat a bunch of stuff and not get poisoned to death , Right? Right. I mean, our digestive system when functioning properly and that's, yeah , there's a rampant digestive diseases anymore. So I'm not gonna , I mean, I've studied nutrition, the diet or the , you know, the standard American diet is not good for you. I think that's well recognized. Processed food is bad for you. However, all that being said is this chronic deluge of stress hormone weakens the digestive sy system's ability to just handle anything. So autoimmune diseases , diseases pop up, digestive diseases, pop up, sleep problems pop up , um, hypertension, all of these kinds, these are all lifestyle conditions that yoga and Ira beta would say begin with this cascade of stress hormone being our default , um, lifestyle.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. And so what I've realized, I don't know if there is an answer to my question to you, which, how , what percentage we need to be in either, but

Speaker 3:

What I , yeah , I honestly, Chris, I don't know that there , from what I can hear what scientists say is that that stress response was meant to be an anomaly.

Speaker 2:

Right?

Speaker 3:

Not the way we lived.

Speaker 2:

Not the way of life. Not a way of life. Right . And so what's interesting, I think what I wanted to share with the listeners, why I wanted to interview you so much is I want you to take this out out of this podcast. Whoever's listening to this podcast, start watching your day to day behavior. How much time are you spending in sympathetic versus parasympathetic? Start noticing. Be aware, cuz that's all what self-consciousness, that's what this is about. Being self-conscious about how much time am I spending there and is it serving me? Is this serving me? And there are tools, cuz in my book I teach you about tools that spiritual tools and also artistic tools. But there are tools to help you with this. One is to take a class, take, take one of these yoic yogic training classes, a sleep class , uh, even doing , uh, flow yoga is a , is a step toward the right direction.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Because you're breathing calmly, you know , um, I've been in some yoga classes and you know, with that , we're not breathing calmly. We're just trying to , you know, not die. And , um, so unfortunately I think that sometimes people's experience like what you were saying , um, and I mean, frankly, I think there's so many young yoga teachers that , and, and you know, I think that's beautiful. I love to see them start young , um, who are , they're just trying to get a , a following, you know? And so they do what they think is going to bring , uh, people in. And so I, I understand it and it is an entree for a lot of people to get in, but as you were saying, there's so much more to it. And as a teacher, this is what you and I talked about in that first , um, uh, podcast that, that , that you were gracious enough to , uh, host me on. And what you do so beautifully in your book is that tapping into this , the , the into consciousness and letting consciousness move through your filter, your unique filter to paint those beautiful paintings that you do. When I'm teaching yoga, I am allowing consciousness. When I'm, when I'm properly situated and grounded, I'm allowing consciousness to work through my unique filter to teach a class, to teach a yoga class, and to give students an experience of themselves. That's my, that's what, that's my focus. And the , the painting that I'm trying to make is to allow students to access themselves. So it's, as a teacher though, and what you described so beautifully as an artist is that there's less on you, there's less performative energy that you have to put out because you are being supported, Right? You can let go and let consciousness support you so much bigger than my insecurities and my will and my desire to please consciousness is just going to move through. And so all of that sort of self , um, doubting type of behavior that I need to please everybody here keeps me small. And when I can let go and allow consciousness to support me, I'm then I'm can be bigger with less effort.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. And, and it's, it's about, you know, it's that where they talk about, you know , you've heard the saying like, Let go, let God.

Speaker 3:

Right ? Exactly.

Speaker 2:

And , and , and if you , it doesn't, you know, I , I, it doesn't matter what word you use . If you don't wanna use the word God, you can, you could say, let go, let energy, let go, let the force of life flow

Speaker 3:

Through . That's why cause I go , let life. Yeah ,

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Let go, let life. And, and what it is, is if you let it flow through you as you, you , you'll find all these wonderful creations and creativity is all those ideas that come upon us in , in , in a yoga class and in, in when you're painting. So I would tell the listeners, it's a great interview. I'm gonna put it at the end of this so you can go and listen to the first interview with Lisa because there's more information that we , we don't want to be redundant and go back and talk about breathing, the importance of breathing and all that. But it's all there. So I wanted to know, Lisa, so , um, we talk about in this class, and we talked about it in the last interview, so you can hear it about going through the body, but do you have any idea? So in the middle of the day or in the middle of the night, I woke up last night, four o'clock in the morning and I was like, and all of a sudden, boom, that mind clicked on. And then adrenal, I mean literally mind adrenal feeling , I could feel it, I could feel the lower back. I could feel, you know, my adrenals are going and up at four o'clock in the morning, right?

Speaker 3:

Oh yeah .

Speaker 2:

So what, do you have an exercise that someone could do without, you know, obviously they're going to, I guarantee you they're going to sign into your class and , and follow you. But , um, what could they do alone? What can I do alone in the middle of the night?

Speaker 3:

So, you know, again, it's going to come back to breathing because it's an autonomic process that happens all the time under our , underneath our consciousness. But we have muscles in our body that we can use to control our breath. So it's very, it's a unique tool that we have. And western science, this is well documented, patterned conscious breathing is the fastest, most immediate way to harness the movement of the mind and to access parasympathetic nervous system to , and , and it's, it's abdominal diaphragmatic breath . I, when I look up and I'm like, Okay, let me ask, let me see what scientists say about the parasympathetic nervous system. They're , they all start with abdominal breathing. Mm-hmm . <affirmative> . That is the way. And so again, at the risk of being repetitive, but um, I mean, how , how many classes, how many yoga classes do you take? Every single class starts with abdominal breathing. We have to start there. Cuz if we don't start an abdominal breathing, we're staying, we're staying up here , we're staying up regulated . We have to switch into parasympathetic in order to benefit from the yoga practice in any real way. So when you're lying in bed or you're getting ready to go to bed . And so this is also just a note , um, when it's possible to, before sleep , it's nice to really downregulate the nervous system. By that which, I mean this is a little sounds odd. You downregulate your nervous system by upregulating the parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and restore, rest and digest. Cuz that's an upregulation. But you do it by slow diaphragmatic breathing. And if you can balance your breath, like a four count inhale, four count , exhale. That's the most basic way, breathe into your belly. For a lot of people, they're so used to breathing up top . I can't tell you how often I see this in a new yoga student, you tell them to take a deep abdominal breath, they go

Speaker 2:

<laugh> ,

Speaker 3:

They breathe right up into their chest, or worse they go <laugh> and they breathe through their mouth. Um , so yeah, don't do that. Um , so breathe through your nose, breathe into your belly. And if you, if you can't with your hands on your belly, if you don't feel it moving, you're breathing into your chest. So some , a way that you can feel is one hand on your belly, one hand on your chest, and you try to breathe into the hand, you wanna feel the hand that's on your belly move

Speaker 2:

Rise up. Sort of reminds it . Okay .

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And you don't wanna feel the hand that's on your chest move. Now it may move a little bit just cuz your body is moving, but the movement is an , is an expansion of your abdomen, like you're blowing up a balloon. See, my chest did move just a little bit there because my belly pushed it up, but I didn't.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, exactly.

Speaker 3:

So you breathe into your belly And then when you, when you exhale, you're also contracting your belly. It's a gentle contraction. So the physiology of this is right below your ribcage. Your diaphragm is like a hammock shaped muscle. And when you inhale, it contracts, so it contracts downward into the abdomen. So when it does that, the , it clears space at the bottom lobes of your lungs. When you breathe down and you fill the bottom lobes of your lungs, that activates nerve endings that activate the rest and re relaxation response nerve endings in the upper lobes of your lungs. A tiger activates the sympathetic nervous system.

Speaker 2:

Oh, very interesting to note. Yeah, very.

Speaker 3:

So that's physiology in your lungs that tells that that's active . That's , that's , uh, sort of reinforcing that nervous system response that you need. So if you can breathe into your abdomen, diaphragm drops out of the way, filling those lower lobes of your lungs, then when you exhale, you contract your abdominal muscles, your , your diaphragm then rebounds back up and pushes again at the bottom of those lungs so they can exhale completely. So we can't fill the bottom lobes of the lungs if there's a lot of old stagnant air. So we have to be able to exhale and we exhale by contracting the abdomen. So , um, not to, I just did wanna alert your listener that if you're not used to breathing this weight , it's going to feel weird and it's going to feel wrong. And you're gonna feel like, I don't even know how to breathe anymore. I can't take a breath now . I now it's

Speaker 2:

Don't let that , Yeah . Don't let that stress you out <laugh> .

Speaker 3:

Don't let it stress you out. This is normal. Cause people are like, No , I can't breathe. Thankfully, you know that really helpful . But you breathe , I you lie on your back. It's easier to do this on your back. There's a belly breath called crocodile breathing. That's that I kind of really need to teach. Um , like I need to demonstrate or , or else you can't see it. But if you lie on your back and you have your hands on your tummy and you try to breathe into your tummy, like you're pooching it out and then you contract it and you try to draw it in, it's easier to feel when you're relaxed on your belt , on your back than it is when you're seated . So start with that. And again, I have, I , especially when it's a private session, it's really easier for me to see the individual's breath pattern. Right . And where it's getting hung up. Yeah.

Speaker 2:

So, so what's important for , for the listeners to remember is this is definitely we're trying , I'm trying to help you out in the middle of the night here. <laugh>.

Speaker 3:

Yes . So I , sorry , I went on a tangent.

Speaker 2:

No , no, no, it's true. But you can do this anywhere, like you said. Absolutely. And if you're at the office and suddenly your boss jumps a bunch of stuff on your desk or there's an angry client, you can go and find a quiet space. You know, go find a quiet space somewhere, or even in your chair, Turn the chair around if you have to.

Speaker 3:

Yes. Close your eyes.

Speaker 2:

Close your eyes. You know, we don't do it right. We , we think we don't have the tools. What this is about is about you building tools to get through life. Spiritual tools.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely. And , and spiritual tools. And I mean, seriously just physiological tools, understanding how your body is designed to work is hugely helpful because that, that action of breathing into your abdominal cavity, right ? You don't need any spiritual belief at all to benefit from that zero . This is a physiological response that's going to happen to you. Now, I will just say as a yoga teacher's been doing this for a long time, the more often you do this and your mind gets really quiet, you start to go, I feel something. And that's, that sets you on your spiritual journey because suddenly you don't feel alone. You feel supported.

Speaker 2:

I see. It's so funny cuz I , I'm , I'm , I'm consciously keeping this to a to a digestible size. Right ? But that's, that's our next one that , okay , so I'm telling you that's what I was just thinking cuz I want to talk about how I, when I do , uh, a spiritual intention or a prayer mm-hmm . <affirmative> how I, how I get there. And that is the next step. So we're gonna go there. We're gonna , we're gonna bookmark that for our next interview, Okay . About where do you go when you do quiet your mind and

Speaker 3:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

And where that connection leads you to something that is greater, not stronger, greater in scope than you are and expands out. So , um, this, let

Speaker 3:

Me , let me , I'm , before I, before I, now I'm sitting with this , this massive responsibility on my shoulders of like, I want, I wanna make sure because because I know some people , so many people do feel that upregulation and they're just like, I still don't get it. Um , here's a , here's a really nice trip, little, little hack as a sort of , uh, just from the jump, I'm an anxious person, right? That's sort of my physiological makeup . That's how I'm designed. And that's a good thing because I , it helps me to be more empathetic and more sort of responsive to people and , uh, in the end, a better teacher and I hope a better communicator. However it can get in the way. So I understand this, this feeling of over-breathing when you're trying to calm your breath. So if you are try , if you're breathing in for a count of 4, 4, 3, 2, 1 is a general pace. If you take that four , if you can't get your breath to go for four counts, cuz if you're used to breathing up here, you're gonna feel like you're suffocating. You can't, someone who's really breathing anxiously can't slow their breath down to four counts now. So I'll just let you know, eventually we get to a six and an eight and a 10 count breath. Sometimes a 12 count breath. But that takes a lot of practice. But so if you're, if you're up here, a four count breath can feel like you're suffocating. So take a deep breath in, hold it so that stops this, this that stops the inertia of that, the momentum of that, that spiraling out of control feeling. Take that deep breath, hold it and then let it out slowly. Now you're a little more prepared cuz you've just broken the momentum a little bit to try to breathe in for four and out for four. And if you need to hold that inhale for a count or two, go ahead and let yourself do that. It's gonna break the momentum of starting to speed up. So , um, I just wanna offer that as a, as a little bit of a hack for people who, for whom breathing slowly. You can't take someone who's super anxious and say, Calm your breath <laugh> . You're gonna be like , you know , they just literally , cuz I've been there, you're literally gonna feel like you can't breathe at all, which is not gonna make you feel relaxed. So hold, just take that. I know it sounds a little counterintuitive cuz I just told you to breathe , but if you just take a deep breath in, hold it, close your eyes, it just, it's a speed bump. It's gonna stop the momentum of spiraling outta control, then you're in a little better situation to practice breathing into your belly slowly and smoothly .

Speaker 2:

And I will add one more little hack that I use Nice . Cause I have a very active mind. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> , um, focus on the feeling of the breath coming through your nostril. Mm-hmm . <affirmative> not just counting, but feel the air through your nostril and that will slow your mind down cuz you're , you're projecting your mind into the nostril cavity and then all the way down to the abdomen. But you can feel it. And so that's another little hack for some of you Absolutely. With hyper, hyper mines

Speaker 3:

<laugh> . And that's, that's another old yoga practice. Cool. On the inhale, warm on the exhale because we always have our nostril and we always have air outside the body.

Speaker 2:

Exactly. And

Speaker 3:

We can feel like you're saying you can feel it come in. So it's something tangible, it's immediate. You always have it. You don't need a teacher.

Speaker 2:

This is a funny joke book . So one day I was on the , when day I was in the dentist chair and they were giving me a , a a root canal and she goes, You're in practicing breathing, aren't you? <laugh>

Speaker 3:

I had my dentist say that to me too .

Speaker 2:

And I was like , I sure am. Yeah .

Speaker 3:

Cause you're drilling into my head.

Speaker 2:

You're you're drilling into my teeth and my mind is gonna breathe through this as best I can, you know, So yes, you could

Speaker 3:

Pick a spot on the tile and then front the ceiling tile and go in for four out four

Speaker 2:

<laugh> . Exactly. So these are tools, these are wonderful tools to get to get through your life. Um , I'm gonna tell you that, that Lisa is available to schedule classes with her at www the matt yoga studio.com . This is regardless of where you are, you don't have to be in Dallas because you can just call in whatever time aligns with the time that they have it. And you could actually try one of these classes with her. Um, is it , is Thursday night the only time that

Speaker 3:

Thursday night is the only regular scheduled class? I teach periodic , um, Yoga Nira workshops at the two other studios where I teach, which is Good Fives Yoga Dallas and Uptown Yoga Dallas. So typically those two studios, I'll do like a quarterly Yoga Nira workshop, which is a two hour , um, special class that has an a special focus. Um, the class every week at the mat is Thursday nights six 30 and we have like a preparation of a yin uh , yoga style. So it's a little bit of gentle movement basically, you know, sort of relaxing and opening the body, getting the breath nice and quiet. And , um, and then moving into the Yoga Nira practice. And that is always recorded class. Or you can join us live

Speaker 2:

And I would put those addresses in the, in the

Speaker 3:

Bio. Yes , that'd be great. Thank you. Yeah . And then my website is lisa coyle yoga.com and , um, I have the first spiritual artist podcast interview I did with Chris is on my website. You can listen to it there. And , um, uh, I'm starting to try to load some shorter practices onto my website. I haven't, I haven't gotten that done yet, but that's the intent to have some quick, like 10 to 15 minute relaxation practices on the website that you can access.

Speaker 2:

Oh, that would be great. That would be great for them. Um, I , uh, I want to tell the listeners that I am going to the next interview. I'm interviewing , uh, McKayla Haass . And the book is called Bouncing Forward. And it's, it's quite a, quite , you can see if you're watching it's an inch deep book. It's the art and science of Cultivating Resilience. So, you know, we , we just talked about the effects of stress on us as a society, but this is about how do you get past really traumatic experiences in your life. Uh , sometimes they can be physically challenging, sometimes the loss of someone very important to you, your child. Um, she interviews probably 10, 12 different people. I love it. Um, I'm gonna tease out chapter six and 10 with her next week. A quite impressive book. So to check forward , and that reminds you that you should subscribe to this channel. You can follow me on YouTube or, or any of the playlists. Just choose follow. And when great interviews like this come out, it just pops up and it tells you there's a new interview on the Spiritual Artist podcast. So Lisa, I I love it. I think we covered some really serious , um, concepts.

Speaker 3:

Well , I hope, I hope so. I hope it was useful for your listeners

Speaker 2:

And me,

Speaker 3:

<laugh> and you Of course . I love you. I <laugh> I get to see you all the time . <laugh> ,

Speaker 2:

I , I learned a lot from it clarified for me the process. It really does clarify how we are affected, how we , how our immune system is affected by this. We are all our bodies is a system and how it's not just the food we eat, but it's also the lifestyle that we lead .

Speaker 3:

Right .

Speaker 2:

That keys off these things. So thank you again for being on the show.

Speaker 3:

You're so welcome. Thank you very much for having me. And I wish your listeners , um, a beautiful day.

Speaker 2:

All right . Thank you.

Speaker 3:

Thank you.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening to The Spiritual Artist Podcast. Whether you're following the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Google Podcast, make sure you choose the subscribe buttons so you'll receive new segments when they're released. Plus, check out my new book, The Spiritual Artist, Now available on amazon.com. In the meantime, be still listen and know that you are a spiritual artist.