CHITHEADS from Embodied Philosophy
CHITHEADS from Embodied Philosophy
Embodied Philosophy
Interviews with leaders, elders and teachers from the yoga and wider wisdom community on eastern philosophies, consciousness studies, social justice, and the human spiritual condition.
Alberto Villoldo on Shamanism (#122)
Medical anthropologist Alberto Villoldo has studied the shamanic healing practices of the Amazon and Andes for more than 25 years. He is the founder of the Four Winds Society, which trains modern shamans in the practice of energy medicine. He directs the Center for Energy Medicine in Chile, where he investigates and practices the neuroscience of enlightenment. Over the course of two decades with the shamans in the jungles and high mountains of the Andes, Villoldo discovered a set of sacred technologies that transform the body, heal the soul, and can change the way we live and die. See for privacy information.
Nov 17
49 min
Daniel Simpson on the Truth of Yoga (#121)
In this episode we discuss: Daniel Simpson’s upcoming book, The Truth of Yoga. Daniel shares his intention and inspiration behind this comprehensive overview integrating contemporary history with scholarly history Differentiating yoga history and yoga philosophy as evolutionary systems of ideas Debunking commonly misunderstood concepts and myths of yoga evolution Connection points to tradition within modern practices Postural practice and being definitive about the unknown Reinterpreting yoga traditions, cultural appropriation and exploitation of yoga The nature of ultimate and relative truths in yoga Daniel Simpson teaches yoga philosophy at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies, on teacher trainings and online. He earned his Masters degree in Traditions of Yoga and Meditation at SOAS (University of London), the home of the pioneering Hatha Yoga Project. He is the author of The Truth of Yoga, a comprehensive guide to the history of practice, which will be published in January by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. His website is See for privacy information.
Oct 21
1 hr 4 min
Philip Goldberg on Spiritual Practice for Crazy Times (#120)
Philip Goldberg has been studying the world’s spiritual traditions for more than 45 years. He is the author or co-author of some 25 books published in more than a dozen languages. His book American Veda was named by Huffington Post and Library Journal as one of the Top 10 Religion Books of 2010; it was followed in 2018 by the popular biography The Life of Yogananda. He blogs on Spirituality & Health and cohosts the Spirit Matters podcast. See for privacy information.
Oct 13
1 hr 15 min
Chris Walling on Yoga Therapy Research (#119)
Dr. Chris Walling, PsyD, SEP, C-IAYT has been an active leader in healthcare for nearly two decades. His work integrates the developmental, biological, and somatic aspects of the lifespan. His work in academic medicine has included the administration of multidisciplinary leadership teams in hematology-oncology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and geriatric psychiatry. He is a Clinical Research Fellow in the Traumatic Stress Research Consortium at the Kinsey Institute located at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. Dr. Walling is the current President of the United States Association of Body Psychotherapy, the hub of somatic psychology. His clinical focus in the behavioral sciences has examined the intersections of neuropsychotherapy, affect regulation, and somatic psychotherapy. Dr. Walling is the former Executive Administrator for the UCLA Longevity Center and Division of Geriatric Psychiatry. He currently serves as the Vice President of Education at the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation where cutting-edge research is conducted in geriatric integrative medicine. Dr. Walling is also a member of the Somatic Experiencing Research Committee at the Somatic Experiencing Trauma Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Walling is a clinical associate at the New Center for Psychoanalysis and a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Los Angeles, California. See for privacy information.
Sep 16
47 min
Mirabai Starr on Feminine Mysticism (#118)
Mirabai Starr is an award-winning author of creative non-fiction and contemporary translations of sacred literature. She taught Philosophy and World Religions at the University of New Mexico-Taos for 20 years and now teaches and speaks internationally on contemplative practice and inter-spiritual dialog. A certified bereavement counselor, Mirabai helps mourners harness the transformational power of loss. Her latest book, Wild Mercy: Living the Fierce & Tender Wisdom of the Women Mystics, was named one of the “Best Books of 2019” by Spirituality & Practice. Mirabai is on the 2020 Watkins List of the “100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People of the World.” She lives with her extended family in the mountains of northern New Mexico. See for privacy information.
Sep 8
1 hr 13 min
Lisa Danylchuk on Yoga for Trauma Recovery (#117)
Lisa Danylchuk is a licensed psychotherapist and yoga teacher trainer whose specialty is bringing yoga into trauma treatment. A graduate of UCLA and Harvard University, Lisa is the founder of the Center for Yoga and Trauma Recovery and creator of the Yoga for Trauma Online Training Program. She has authored three books, serves on the UN Task Force for the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and is also a contributing editor for Best Practices for Yoga for Veterans, published by the Yoga Service Council. See for privacy information.
Aug 26
1 hr 12 min
Jeffrey Kripal on Flips of Perspective (#116)
Jeffrey J. Kripal is the Associate Dean of the Faculty and Graduate Programs in the School of the Humanities and the J. Newton Rayzor Chair in Philosophy and Religious Thought at Rice University. He is also the Associate Director of the Center for Theory and Research and the Chair of the Board at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. Jeff is the author of eight books, including, most recently, The Flip: Who You Really Are and Why It Matters (Penguin, 2020), where he envisions the future centrality and urgency of the humanities in conversation with the history of science, the philosophy of mind, and our shared ethical, political, and ecological challenges. He is presently working on a three-volume study of paranormal currents in the sciences, modern esoteric literature, and the hidden history of science fiction for the University of Chicago Press collectively entitled The Super Story: Science (Fiction) and Some Emergent Mythologies. There he intuits and writes out a new emerging spectrum of superhumanities (in both senses of that expression). His full body of work can be seen at See for privacy information.
Aug 11
1 hr 20 min
Alex Auder on Socialist Yoga (#115)
Alex Auder, recently hailed by the NYTimes as “Yoga’s Instagram Provocateur” ( is a native New Yorker, who grew up in the Chelsea Hotel, where she lived with her mother, the Warhol Superstar Viva, and her sister, the actress Gaby Hoffmann. Besides for being hailed as one of America’s “most influential” yoga teachers, Alex is an actress (you can find her as a recurring character in HBO’s High Maintenance) and writer (currently working on a memoir about growing up in The Chelsea with Viva). She and her husband/co-collaborator have a podcast called “15minutes with Alex.” Teaching for over 20 years, she has developed a keen eye and a genuinely authentic, irreverent, and original voice. Her classes are known for the graceful integration of clear and precise alignment cues, intelligent sequencing based on stability and functional movement, somatics, and vedantic philosophy. Alex has been interviewed and quoted in The New Yorker for the article about guru predators called: . When the pandemic landed, she closed down her brick and mortar studio on Philadelphia and now teaches two weekly live classes and has an extensive On Demand library of classes. See for privacy information.
Jul 20
2 hr 2 min
Lama Rod Owens on Love & Anger (#114)
In this episode we discuss: The utility of righteous anger in activism Spiritual practice as an expression of disrupting violence in the world Discomfort as the place where realization and freedom arises from Orienting to the collective - holding my needs and the needs of the collective together  The necessity of a commitment to practice for to create change Dharma as a path to freedom, liberation, complete  Becoming yourself to free yourself Lama Rod Owens is a Buddhist minister, author, activist, yoga instructor and authorized Lama, or Buddhist teacher, in the Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism and is considered one of the leaders of his generation of Buddhist teachers. He holds a Master of Divinity degree in Buddhist Studies from Harvard Divinity School and is a co-author of Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love and Liberation. Owens is the co-founder of Bhumisparsha, a Buddhist tantric practice and study community. Has been published in Buddhadharma, Lion’s Roar, Tricycle and The Harvard Divinity Bulletin, and offers talks, retreats and workshops in more than seven countries. See for privacy information.
Jul 13
1 hr 6 min
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