Freya Bennett-Overstall - Seasons of life

Episode 126

68 mins

Freya Bennett-Overstall - Seasons of life

March 26, 2023

Jo was really excited to speak with Freya, since she loved her recent book Wonder Full Women. Attune & Bloom. Eat, Move and Meditate with the Seasons.

Freya is trained as a Chiropractor, although as you’ll hear she had to stop practising in 2013 due to some serious health issues including MS.

She shares how she grew up practicing yoga, dance, meditation and tai chi, and trained as a yoga and meditation teacher to help her clients but then found new depths of these practices as part of her rehabilitation and continuing self care.

She also discovered Yin yoga around this time, and Traditional Chinese Medicine and working the meridian system forms the foundation of living within the rhythm of the seasons which she shares in her book, alongside wisdom traditions from many cultures - as well as a biomedical understanding of the body.

She articulates these complex ideas really clearly - and that is one of Jo's favourite aspects of the book, as well as the thread of joyfully embracing life, nature and our own nature which weaves it all together. There’s so useful information in here for yoga teachers, and anyone looking to understand their nature better. While there is an in-depth section on women's health, the advice and practices could be helpful for all genders and it’s all shared in an informative, rather than prescriptive way.

There was so much to talk about with Freya, including our mutual love of inversions, yin and chocolate, as well as ways to tap into joy and pleasure while living with chronic pain.


More details on Freya's book and purchase links can be found here-

Freya's guided meditation recordings, including The White Light Healing Meditation (which we discussed) plus free live Yin Yoga & Meditation classes:

The two ethical Chocolate brands we discussed, which Freya stocks at Maitri Studio Brighton, are-
Loco Love Chocolate, with details on the delish Zingy Gingerbread Caramel we discussed
Living Koko chocolate


Please email us to report any transcription errors

This transcription was made using AI and while we do our best to correct any errors sometimes we don't catch them all! Please email us if you notice any that need correction.

Joanna Stewart 0:01
Hello, my name is Jo and this is The Flow Artists Podcast. Usually my co host Rane Bowen and I speak with inspiring movers thinkers and teachers about how they find their flow and much, much more. This week, it's just me speaking with our wonderful guest Freya Bennett Overstall. I'd like to start by honoring the traditional owners of the land where this episode is recorded the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, and pay our respects to elder's past, present and emerging. I was really excited to speak with Freya since I loved her recent book, Wonder Full Women. Attune & Bloom. Eat, Move and Meditate with the Seasons. Freya is trained as a chiropractor, although as you'll hear, she had to stop practicing in 2013 due to some serious health issues, including MS. She shares how she grew up practicing yoga, dance, meditation and Tai Chi, and trained as a yoga and meditation teacher originally to help her clients, but then found new depths of these practices as part of her rehabilitation and continuing self care. She also discovered yin yoga around this time, and Traditional Chinese Medicine and working with meridian system forms the foundation of living within the rhythm of the seasons, which she shares in her book, alongside wisdom traditions from many cultures, as well as a biomedical understanding of the body. She articulates these complex ideas really clearly. And that is one of my favorite aspects of the book, as well as the thread of joyfully embracing life, nature and our own nature, which weaves it all together. There's so much useful information here for yoga teachers and anyone looking to understand their own nature better. While there is an in depth section on women's health, the advice and the practices could be helpful for all genders. And it's all shared and informative rather than prescriptive way. I had so much to talk about with Freya, we also get into our mutual love of inversions in and chocolate, as well as ways to tap into joy and pleasure while living with chronic pain. It's a very wide ranging conversation. Oh, let's get into it. Hello, so welcome. I've got the lovely Freya Bennet Overstall here today, speaking about her book, Wonderful Women. Attune & Bloom. Eat, Move and Meditate with the Seasons. It's such a beautiful book, and I'd really love to talk more about it, but I feel like maybe we should start from the beginning. Would you like to start by telling us a bit about your background and how you discovered yoga?

Freya Bennett Overstall 2:31
Sure. So I was born in tropical Far North Queensland in Djabugay Country. So actually born in Cairnes base hospital, but my parents had land just hinterland behind Kuranda up there.

Joanna Stewart 2:47

Freya Bennett Overstall 2:47
Yeah, very beautiful. And my parents separated quite early. So my dad stayed up there on that property. And I really have a lot to thank for my dad, my stepmom and my grandma who were very keen gardeners. So they really introduced me to the magic of the garden and growing your own food and watching, you know, a little seed grow into something bigger. And so that's where I get my kind of gardening passion from, but then my mum, as far as I was aware, always practiced yoga. So she just practiced yoga. And I thought that until quite a long time... until not that long ago, actually, I just thought that everyone's mums did. Because I actually had one of my really good little friends at the time, her mum also practiced yoga. So I just thought that was what mums did. Anyways, so I was very lucky to be introduced to yoga at an early age, as well as dance. So I started dancing when I was about four or five or so, and Tai Chi. So there was a Tai Chi practitioner in in Kuranda, and also my mum started or she was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism when I was about five, so I was aware of kind of meditation and I went along to Pujas and went to Tara house in Melbourne and Chenrezig Institute when she went on to retreats and things like that. So, yeah, I guess I was really lucky that way in that it was just it was just part of my life. It was nothing new. And I headed off to yoga camp. I think when I was about eight, there was a yoga ashram in Kuranda so that at the time it was a Satyananda yoga ashram so I've got really beautiful memories of that like waking up for some sunrise yoga and salutes to the sun and chanting and singing and being around the the campfire at night and making damper and Oh, anyway, it was it's a really nice memory. Yeah, really nice memory. So I kind If I didn't know anything about the different types of yoga back then, and I actually feel like I didn't really, to be honest, I still feel like I'm on that journey of learning about all the different types of yoga. And I tried all sorts of different types along the way. I always just had a bit of a daily practice myself, I probably started from actually that probably started when I was at uni. So I was probably doing a lot more dance before then. And then I was dancing and doing yoga at uni. I started, I was introduced to African dance actually at uni as well, which was blew my mind was a completely different way of approaching dance. And I was blessed with some incredible teachers. I'm really excited that at the moment, I have SuziWatts, who is was the woman who introduced me and invited me to join Mzuri dancers way back then she's actually started coming to my Feet Up training classes at the moment. Yeah, so it's like we're doing a bit of a full circle. So that's just brilliant. So yeah, I guess that's my yoga journey. And then it was a little sidetracked for a little while there, just health wise. But we'll probably talk about that. A little bit more now.

Joanna Stewart 6:24
Yeah. And I mean, maybe now is the time would you mind kind of sharing about the health and life challenges that kind of really drove you to recommit to meditation and yoga and self care? Because just from reading your book, like it all happened, like around when you became a mother, right, and started putting a lot of your energy into taking care of other people?

Freya Bennett Overstall 6:47
Yeah, yeah. So I saw I was working as a chiropractor part. So I had, we had our boys in 2006, and 2008 and 2013, I had a very empty cup, nothing left in the cup. I was working part time as a chiropractor at that time, I was volunteering at both our eldest son's school and my youngest son's kinder, we were selling one home buying another, I was grieving the death of my father. And I was also left the executor of his wills. So that got really stressful. And a bit messy to my husband had just recently finished all his years and years, I think we've worked it out 16 years of study for him being a consultant. So he is a plastic surgeon and deals a lot with breast cancer, and skin cancer, he used to do a lot of head and neck trauma back then. But that is very conducive to never seeing your family. Because trauma is like being called in the middle of the night, all the time, that kind of stuff. So I felt a bit like a solo parent, to be honest at the time. And then my sister in law was also diagnosed with breast cancer. She's lives in the UK. So that was hard for us to be living so far away and being able to actually feel like we could help. And my self care practice just, yeah.

Joanna Stewart 8:18
Not much time to sleep?

Freya Bennett Overstall 8:21
Yeah, it was a very distant fond memory. I still had definitely still had moments, mindful moments. And my boys really introduced that in a different way. And I value that so much, you know, like little kids have that natural curiosity where you know, you're stopping and you're looking at a snail for 20 minutes, or you're, you know...

Joanna Stewart 8:45
Just that wonder at the world.

Freya Bennett Overstall 8:47
Exactly. Yeah. So I definitely had that infused everywhere with the boys. And they both they were both very active and curious. And so that was brilliant. There was lots of dancing around the living room as well. So, but just, yeah, no time for actual solo practice, if that makes sense. Rest and rest. Yeah, no, neither of them slept.

Joanna Stewart 9:13
Because kids are amazing. And in the moment that like, if you've got two little boys who are just immersed in the wonders of the world, like you kind of keep your eyes on them at all times.

Freya Bennett Overstall 9:23
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I wasn't very good at asking for help. I think part of that probably comes from being a very independent young girl as well. And I was the only child for a long time till I was about 12, 10 or 12 on either side of my parents. So I just kind of used to just get on with everything. But then it just got to a point where, yeah, I started getting all these weird and wonderful neuro signs, I think, at work. I was, I could tell that I was losing strength in my arm. And I was getting a tremor, like I would be going to treat people and my hands would be shaking and I'd be trying to mask. Oh, yeah, I wonder what, that you know. Yeah. And I noticed and I just wasn't sleeping I as soon as I saw it because I was in a lot of pain. So as soon as I went to lie down, the pain would escalate. So I spent a lot of nights just sitting up actually reading the Game of Thrones on my Kindle, which helped distract me from the pain, but I was just getting worse and the weakness was getting worse. And eventually I ended up going to the GP getting referred out. Initially, they just did MRI and CT of the neck, or CT first MRI, MRI, and they showed up to cervical discs. So at first everyone just thought it was too soon, like what this was told not to what I needed to stop working until everything settled down. And I actually hadn't realized just how attached I was to the title of being a chiropractor until then, which was quite a interesting journey. I don't know if that's the right word. But yeah, and then that just things seem to end up getting a bit more weird and wacky. I tried to I noticed my walk sounded funny, but I couldn't really fix it. I went to play soccer with the boys one morning, it was really wet. We're out in the park. So I just took it as it being wet. But I had a fall. And I the next day I was working on the computer and I went to get up off the computer and my left leg just wasn't working properly, like my left hip flexors weren't engaging. And so I was losing balance. And it was all just a bit weird and wacky. I couldn't run I ended up with burning sensations in my left leg. I lost sensation from kind of as a bit numb from about my waist down. And then that just saw I was waiting for new neurologists while I was waiting for to see another neurologist. I was in Cabrini rehab for about six months, just learning how to use trying to get my leg to work again and trying to get my arm to work again, I had a brilliant rehab physio, she was amazing. I was using a walking stick on and off too, because I just so if I was really tired, or if the weather was really hot or really cold, that would exacerbate it all. speech was a bit tricky too. But I didn't have any of the common MS signs. So I think it took a while for them to give me a diagnosis of MS. So it was about 2015 I was diagnosed and I started going on medication had some really intravenous steroids and other medication that was by injection. And it was all a bit of a shock to the family and myself. But I very much wanted to take on. I wanted to inform myself as much as possible, and really read as much as possible. And basically, I wasn't going to just sit down and go okay. Well for me, I wanted to actually get on and so I've read lots of positive info. One of my girlfriends was the one who said you should try yin yoga because I couldn't practice any Asana at that time. And another friend suggested that the hammock so I bought a yoga hammock and my husband set it all up for me in the back garage. And oh my goodness, the first time I inverted I was like, Oh, I feel so good. I just felt so much better. And I took that to my neurologist and they weren't really sure why. They were like, "What are you doing in a yoga hammock?"But then I also started, I had turned even before that, sorry to backtrack, I'd really turned towards my meditation, again, because I didn't need to be physical. And I had plenty more time, particularly when you're not sleeping. So there was a lot of meditation practice at night, and I just found it so incredibly helpful. Really, really helpful. And I'm so glad that I turned back to that.

Joanna Stewart 9:25
Yeah, it must have been such a scary time because even before your physical symptoms kit kicked in, like you were already going through some really hard family stuff and in a supporting role for so many other people like there must have been moments where it was like, oh, no, like, who's going to take care of the rest of my life if I am not even able to go to bed this morning?

Freya Bennett Overstall 14:50
Yeah, there was it was. I think one of the hot most heartbreaking moments for me was really realizing that I couldn't carry my four year old anymore Oh, ha, so heartbreaking. And that, really, but I, it was a big lesson for me to learn to ask for help. It was a hard lesson, but I did learn it. And it was really, it was really, really hard. So we got a nanny in for a while my husband started cutting back on his hours, so he wasn't on call every weekend and things like that. So I think it was actually a bit of a blessing in disguise for the family. Now I can say,

Joanna Stewart 15:27
I mean, it sounds like you kind of couldn't have gone on in the way that you were and you kind of got one of those messages from your body that was impossible to ignore.

Freya Bennett Overstall 15:35
Yeah, yeah. My body was shouting at me. No, stop that. This is not how you're supposed to live your life. So yeah.

Joanna Stewart 15:44
And so I saw that you did your meditation teacher training that the Gawler Institute, and we actually did their retreat while Rane had stomach cancer. And I felt like it was such a turning point for me in my own meditation practice. And it kind of shifted it from like, Oh, yes, meditation is something I meant to do. It's part of yoga to like actually feeling like, oh, this can be part of my life. And going from like, trying to meditate to feeling like some pieces had fallen into place. Did you do their MS retreat? Or did you just do their teacher training?

Freya Bennett Overstall 16:16
So that's a really interesting question. I, I had initially gone to do the MS retreat, but it didn't work with the family dynamics, just the dates and things like that. So then I thought, Well, I still really need to go. And the dates that did work, were the MBSM teacher training dates. So the mindfulness based stillness, meditation teacher training dates, and ironically, I had just come off a three day intravenous dose of high dose of corticosteroids, and then literally the next day, after training, it was a little bit crazy. But I had a girlfriend who came with me, which is awesome. And so why not one of the side effects of the steroids for me is that I don't sleep. But again, that was perfect. Yeah, and it was just incredible. It was the best week. And it really, like you said, it really helped to concrete my practice in set set that okay, from now on, I am getting up every morning, everyone in the house, no one's allowed to talk to me before 7am. So helped me set those boundaries, and really find my why. Because you need to find a why why are you meditating in the first place. And if you don't have a strong why it won't continue, and your y might change along the way. But you I've I've found and when I'm teaching people really need to find a heartfelt y to be able to carry that practice on and then that practice can help carry you through the rollercoaster of life that is inevitable for everyone. So,

Joanna Stewart 18:03
yeah. Is there a particular practice that you work with, like just mindfulness, or have you defined that it's something that evolves depending on what you need on the day?

Freya Bennett Overstall 18:11
Yeah, that's... with the meditation? Yeah, that's a really good question, too. So I found the mindfulness based stillness, meditation, really helpful because it was so guided, whereas previous meditations, I felt were a little bit fluffy or airy fairy and I was often there going well, I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to be doing. Apart from, you know, a loving kindness practice, I've always found Metta or Maitri practice, very helpful. But that's, that's quite directed. So I found the MS, the mindfulness based stillness, meditation really helpful in that it was so directed. And over the years, there's that comment or observation that when you're coming to approach, more Tibetan Buddhist style meditation, you have to remember that if you are having teachings from a Tibetan Buddhist monk or nun, they already have that centeredness and that often have that centeredness and that body awareness, they're not quite so disconnected from their body. Whereas people in the Western world we're often rushing around completely disconnected from our body, we've got our to do list and all our thoughts rushing around in our head and we're just like this little head, running around trying to do all the things, think over things and get confused and overwhelmed by all the apps and the gadgets and the, whatever else was going on. So I found going back and learning that kind of quiet, it's almost methodical but and it's a little bit similar to Yoga Nidra as well, like I can now see all the overlaps between the different meditation practices, and they all come back to the same place they Just all have a slightly different way of getting there, if that makes sense. And

Joanna Stewart 20:04
It's so good because we're all like different people. So there's like plenty of approaches. So if one's not working for you just keep trying, like, I really liked that point of view, or it's like, if it's not working for you, then it's not working. Like you don't have to keep hitting your head against that brick brick wall and try to do a practice that's just making your life harder rather than smoother and easier.

Freya Bennett Overstall 20:27
Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. And

Joanna Stewart 20:31
so to kind of come back to the body awareness, just from reading your bio, in your book, and just talking to you, it seems like your early experiences of being in your body being in nature, and yoga and African dance are like, really joyful experiences, and then to have the clinical experience of your rehabilitation, and just the like, frustrating, scary challenge of relearning to use your leg and your arms, like it must have been like, a really hard time to be in your body. What insights do you have about reconnecting to joy and finding ways to feel good in your body when you are dealing with pain and illness?

Freya Bennett Overstall 21:08
Hmm, that's another really good question. Jo, you're full of good question.

Joanna Stewart 21:12
This is all stuff I want to know!

Freya Bennett Overstall 21:16
So I've found that I really, and truly needed to befriend myself. So that was warts and all, you know, that was pain and all so instead of, I feel like our natural instinct is you get pain and you want to push against it, you want to No, no, no. And you unconsciously tense up around it, or whatever is going on. And they talk about in the Buddhist teaching that, you know, pain is inevitable. And that can be seen as the first arrow, but your response to it is the second and the third arrow, and that second arrow is going to be so much more painful than the first and then that third arrow is even more painful than the first. So if we can learn to so much easier said than done, so all easy to hear it, you know, but

Joanna Stewart 22:09
and also, in hindsight, looking back versus at the time when you're in the middle of it.

Freya Bennett Overstall 22:13
Yes, absolutely. And I you know, I definitely have quite clear memories, though, have been learning like a pain acceptance meditation, so like a body scan, but just going through the body and acknowledging and embracing anywhere that was, you know, burning, or like I would have burning or sharp stabbing pain, sometimes it would feel like there was a knife or something stabbing in my ankle, even though there was nothing there. So really just learning to actually embrace it, rather than, and that was a very mental practice of, of drawing my attention to the area rather than our instinct is to run away and try to distract ourselves. Like when I was reading the entire Game of Thrones series, and sometimes it's too overwhelming, right. So there'll be some areas of the body where you don't want to go to the most painful and the most overwhelming area first. So you know, the little finger might be weak, and that might be easier to go and embrace and explore with that gentle curiosity and kindness rather than, you know, the sharp stabbing of the knife into the ankle, if that makes sense. And I also found, so one of my teachers Bob Sharples, who used to work with Ian Gawler was also going attending a regular Tara house healing group at the time, and he just has this beautiful meditation, the white light healing meditation that I would do every afternoon, rain, hail or shine. So I'd have my practice in the morning. But I would always feel exhausted in the afternoon, and I would do this practice. And if I fell asleep, I fell asleep. But I if I didn't, that was great. I was trying to have no judgment about the whole thing. And I, he has actually allowed me to share that meditation. So I've recorded it myself, and it's on Insight Timer, too. But that was a key practice as well, to really befriending myself and respecting all parts of my body and all signs and symptoms and messages. And yeah, it is easier said than done.

Joanna Stewart 24:30
Yeah, and I mean, it's like definitely a process. And I think it's really healthy and helpful to acknowledge as well that like, yes, if you can read a book that's gonna like take your attention somewhere else for a couple of hours. Yeah, that is helping sometimes

Freya Bennett Overstall 24:44
you need to do that. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.

Joanna Stewart 24:48
And I actually because there's a lot about food in your book as well. And it can be a challenging one because sometimes when you are in chronic pain that you do not have energy to make delicious for you, so hopefully, other people in your life and your community can do that for you. But I was wondering if there was other like pleasure aspects of life that still felt like nourishing and nurturing that were maybe more passive. That could be like a gift for you like a bath or a massage or like, Yeah, delicious food, like did any of that stuff kind of be a part of this picture or poetry?

Freya Bennett Overstall 25:23
So raising reading poetry, which again was introduced to me by Bob Sharples, I found that incredible ly helpful in healing. Yes, so thank you, Bob, for your he's an absolute gem. He's actually been awarded an Order of Australia for all his work with meditation and healing, you know, helping people with chronic illness and cancer and things like that. So poetry I found incredibly helpful. Further along the track, I found really good quality, ethical cacao to be so super helpful. heart opening, nourishing, I think you've spoken to Fipe of Living Koko.

Joanna Stewart 26:07
Yeah, yeah. And if there's anyone is going to be putting good energy into your body. Yes.

Freya Bennett Overstall 26:15
So that was really, really helpful. She's amazing. As you as well, I think we both really resonate with her values and her ethics behind her cacao. And then I just found a nice, is it. Oh, what's the Byron Bay chocolate?

Joanna Stewart 26:32
I know the one you may know, and I know that like gingerbread. It's so good. So good. So good.

Freya Bennett Overstall 26:41
So chocolate, yes, chocolate and just being in my garden. So being in the garden, even if I couldn't physically do things at the time, just spending time out in nature has just been incredibly, incredibly powerful. We were very, very fortunate. When I stopped working as a chiropractor, I had an insurance payout, which meant that we ended up buying a property in Somers. I've got family down there. And that's my happy healing place. Just spending time in nature on the beach here. You know, koalas echidnas lizards, all the birds, the dolphins is amazing.

Joanna Stewart 27:19
Beautiful. Yeah.

Rane Bowen 27:20
Hello, it's Rane here just popping in to tell you about our Patreon. We really appreciate our current supporters and we just wanted to let you know about a new reward. We will now be adding a new video class every month with me or Joe that can be accessed by tiers $5 and up. If you support us at the $42 per month level, you get access to our online library of over 200 classes. Creating this podcast is a labor of love for us. We love being able to connect with some of our favorite teachers, authors and thinkers and asking them our most burning questions. We love the art of a smooth, flowing and informative conversation with great questions. We know that people get a lot of value out of these conversations, especially aspiring and new yoga teachers, we have some goals with our Patreon, we use this money to pay for Shae of pod doggo to edit and produce each episode. And to cover the costs of web hosting. This really helps us keep the podcast workload sustainable. We appreciate all of your support, whether it's by sharing about the podcast online, writing your review, or joining our Patreon. Thank you so much. Now let's get back to the episode.

Joanna Stewart 28:37
And I guess that connection to land and to country. It's something that kind of came up a few times in your book. And I really appreciate that you acknowledge the lineage of indigenous wisdom in Australia, like Aboriginal wisdom and include Dadirri as a meditation tradition, like alongside the history of yoga and Buddhism and Taoism. And it seems like you draw from all of these wisdom traditions in your book. Have you noticed any parallels or maybe like deepening of insights, like as you've learned from these different cultures?

Freya Bennett Overstall 29:11
Yes. So I guess I, I resonate with all of them, because they all even though they have time differences and geographical differences, they all come to pull these similar threads of wisdom together, where they are really respecting their surrounding environment and learning from their surrounding environment. And then that has allowed those cultures, you know, those cultures have attuned and bloomed as I like to say, and so it allowed them to thrive it's allowed them to continue on. So yeah, they all have a deep respect for their surrounding environment, their surrounding natural environment. And that in turn, I have noticed, they all acknowledge our interconnection. So it can be it can be called a slightly different thing and each in each of their ways. So it can also be called interdependent rising or interdependence. But it's basically coming down to the fact that we are not, you know, our modern society, when we're living in a city, we end up very much. I don't know if pressured is the right word, but impacted by all the marketing that is surrounding us. You know, it's on our phones, it's it's on in the radio is that like, I don't really watch much TV. So I don't see a lot of ads that way. But, you know, I'm still sucked into Instagram. And even, you know, my inbox opened my inbox, there's just so many emails now. Trying to get rid of them and unsubscribe and they're still there.

Joanna Stewart 31:01
I know, it's I feel like I've unsubscribed some of them like three times, and I'm still

Freya Bennett Overstall 31:06
Yes. So it's such a consumerist society where we are constantly being having this reinforcement of we're singular and we're not enough, so we need to buy all this stuff. So to make us better, you know, we need that awesome new watch. Because that I don't know, actor or actress has it, and they look amazing, and their success successful. And then

Joanna Stewart 31:27
you can get those spam emails, even when you're out in nature, because they're gonna come to your watch.

Freya Bennett Overstall 31:31
think, oh, my gosh, exactly. Exactly. So, you know, and then we've got, we can't we end up the irony is, you know, we're supposed to be able to connect more, but we're actually ending up more disconnected and feeling more lonely. And feeling more, not enough. And whereas if we can kind of take a step back, again, easier said than done, because all these apps and gadgets, they're all it's crazy when you start looking into it, but they're all you know, the, the they've got all the psychology behind it to entice you in constantly. So it's a bit, it's a tricky one to be...

Joanna Stewart 32:13
It is a tricky one as well. And I think especially as self employed yoga teachers, like unless you are very established, you can't really opt out of that stuff. Like it's pretty much how you're going to, like, make your business work. So

Freya Bennett Overstall 32:29

Joanna Stewart 32:30
yeah, it's like you can be intentional about your screen time, which I am better at some times than other times, like, yeah. Do you have any strategies that work for you?

Freya Bennett Overstall 32:40
I love that focus mode. Do you use that one? Jo?

Joanna Stewart 32:44
Oh, my gosh, I've got it on my new phone. And I'm actually like, I like put it on. And it sent some really old Jo's going to Japan in a message for like three years ago, which must have been something I've put in three years ago, when I put my phone on Do Not Disturb for my entire trip. Like how do I get to that message and change it? I'm not going to Japan.

Freya Bennett Overstall 33:04
Oh, yeah, no, that's tricky. But I do find the focus mode helpful. I've somehow worked out how to put that on every morning until 12. So I won't get any kind of pings thing. And that's also really good, because most of my classes I teach in the morning, and you really don't want that happening. But it's a tricky one. You know, I just came out of a silent retreat recently. And I always find, I was discussing it with the teachers I always find coming out of retreat really difficult. I find the busyness of the world quite confronting. And one of the teachers were Shin said to me, so when you go, when you leave, let the world come to you. Don't go rushing out into the world. And I found that sorry, helpful, I'm not going to check my Instagram account. I'm not going to check all my messages. I will look at my phone. If there's something that looks like i It's urgent. Sure, I'll open it. But other than that, I'm not going to I'm not going to do anything. I even stopped myself from looking at my son's soccer score. Because I really wanted to know, like, No, I'm gonna see him in an hour. He can tell me in person, like, what's going to nothing's gonna change between. It's just gonna be stuff coming at me. So that that definitely helped. But it's, it's a really tricky one. I think that is a really tricky one. But to go back to your question, we got a little bit sidetracked. I think all of the ancient wisdom cultures really highlight the the importance of interconnection and recognizing it. So if we can recognize that none of us exist by ourselves, we are all dependent on each other. Even if you you know you think about think about Fipe's, amazing cacao and Chocolate that she produces that is produced. So the cacao is grown in Samoa by these incredible women, small plot farmers. So we need the sun, the rain, the soil, the birds, the little insects that come along and, you know, fertilize all the flowers to make the fruit, then we've got it, then we've got the people who pick the fruit, then the people who drive the fruit, then the people who get the cacao to us, the cacao is fermented. And then you know, and then you've got clippers, entire team, all the people that have helped to convert a chicken roaster into a cocoa, you know, roaster. So there's just so many people that we are dependent on, that we often forget about, we just forget that. And it's so easy to forget that the way our city living occurs, whereas when you're living out in the country, every day, it's a bit harder to forget that. So we are all part of something big, we're all interconnected. And if we can understand this, and grasp this, and learn to pay attention to our natural environment, then we can attune and bloom. And then it means that we end up caring more and compassion for all that grows, which I think we we need at the moment. And nature reminds us that impermanence is that the one certainty that we have in life, you know, we can't clean what we can clean, but then it makes it more painful. And then there's more suffering. But if we pay attention to all the seasons, and the changes and the natural surroundings around us, they've got so many beautiful lessons to teach us. And then it can really help us with the journey of life. You know, that rollercoaster, the joy and the sorrow? The Happy Times and the sad times?

Joanna Stewart 36:57
Yeah, yeah, beautiful. And to bring us to the seasons, that's actually another thing that I really loved about your book, because you included the Kulin nation seasons, and I live in coordination as well and orangery land. And I loved that way to learn more about the cultures of this land, as well as the wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine. Like I felt like that was a really good way to integrate it into my own lived reality. Yeah, we're going to be moving into autumn or luk, luk, eel season, when your episode comes out, would you like to share some of the characteristics of this season? And maybe some like good self care actions that we could take as we move into it?

Freya Bennett Overstall 37:44
Yeah, sure. So it's actually one of my favorite seasons.

Joanna Stewart 37:49
It's on of my Yin favorite seasons as well.

Freya Bennett Overstall 37:51
Yes, so as Jo mentioned, so it's one of the Yin seasons along with winter. And I just, I love the colors of the leaves and the changes in the light, there's something about the light that time of year as well, that changes. And then you get that kind of crispness in the morning, and then usually warms up a bit during the day. But just those colors of the leaves and noticing nature and the beauty of nature is really showing you how beautiful it can be to let things go, to learn to be able to just let things go. And it is a beautiful, beautiful experience. And and and then we slip into winter and then it comes back around again, it's like this big cycle. So you're not letting go forever, but you're letting go to let new growth come through. So during autumn naturally our energy so you'll notice with the trees, the plants, naturally everything contracts a little bit and the energy is drawn in and down. So the same happens with humans as well. And you might notice in your practice, so with your Yin practice or your meditation practice or the aerial yoga practice, when you come to those quieter moments of the practice it's easier, it's, there's not so much resistance. So I find with the the more Yang seasons of spring and summer where energy is naturally coming up and out. Resistance to practice would be more frustration and fidgeting and not being able to sit still. Whereas when we're coming towards more autumn and winter resistance to practice, it's easier for us to turn inward so that that's the in a Sanskrit word that's Svadyaha, I don't I tried to pronounce that correctly. So that's self study self inquiry is easier during autumn and winter. And the resistant form to your practice, though, could come up as sleepiness, so you know, you might find yourself falling asleep when you you come to your final Shavasna or your yoga nidra or something like that. So you might want to sit up to meditate instead of lying down, and that could help that way as well. And then when it comes to foods, so autumn is a time for harvest. So traditionally, it's a time of harvest. And there'll be lots of root vegetables involved. So you start, you can start cooking your food for longer, those kind of more nourishing this is when you get the slow cooker out, basically this time of year down in Melbourne. So you're cooking for longer periods of time, you're adding kind of warm spices. So ginger, we were talking about the that incredible chocolate, now's the time to have lots of Yeah, and then when when I've got people in the studio, and we're practicing our yin yoga, so we are really focusing on nourishing our metal elements. So our lung and our large intestine meridian through various ways. So maybe body tapping or doing some Accu Yin, certain poses that scraped stretch, squash or squeezed, but even just drawing your attention to those ancient energy lines can help the flow. So there's few sayings isn't there where your attention goes, your energy flows and where your is that your chi follows your yi, which translates as your energy follows your intention. So, yes, and I think that brought us to we both have a similar teacher.

Joanna Stewart 41:35
Yeah. Jo Phee Yeah, yeah. So I did her Yin and myofascial release training, which was amazing. So I really love self massage, and I love Yin as well. And I really appreciated how you do like a lot of the tapping in your book, like, Yeah, I haven't had a lot of in depth Meridian theory studies. So having that way that I could directly feel it in my body and make those kinds of kinesthetic connections, I felt like that was such a helpful way to feel into those meridian lines, and then kind of work with them in the practice much more so than just like a diagram on a page, because then my intellectual brain is trying to like, Okay, where's the next point that I'm meant to be focusing on? While that's actually the part of my mind that I want to quieten down in my in practice. So I really liked that way of bringing that knowledge and that subtle awareness into the body. So thank you for that.

Freya Bennett Overstall 42:35
My pleasure. Lots of I found, so before COVID, I used to go into schools and teach kids to that might be starting to open up again this year. But a lot of kids love that. They love the body tapping they all really love that kind of "Yeah, let's do" "Can we do the body tapping again Freya?" Okay,

Joanna Stewart 42:54
it's so accessible, like everyone can do it. It's a really good way to feel into your body, even if you don't have a lot of physical movement available to you.

Freya Bennett Overstall 43:01
Yes, yeah. And you don't have to tap hard. You don't have to, you know, there's there's different levels of being able to do it as well. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Jo Phee is awesome. I love her teachings. She's very, I mean, she's so knowledgeable. She has a very clear, I find direct way of teaching. And she also understands that, as you get older, it's harder to learn new things. So she has all sorts of ways of helping you to remember important information. And I love that she really respects that we're all anatomically different, which is so important. And it's really highlighted. I mean, it was highlighted when I was at uni, cutting up cadavers, and things like that, studying chiropractic, but possibly not as much as she goes into great depth and detail with it. And I really appreciate it. And I feel like, I have shared that a lot in class too. And everyone appreciates that, too. You know, some people just can't look, when we're never all going to look the same in a warrior one, or, you know, a swan pose or any pose, we can all look exactly the same without possibly injuring ourselves along the way, if we force ourselves into a position that our body isn't naturally able to do.

Joanna Stewart 44:25
And I think it's this cognitive shift from like, oh, it's not trying to, it's not about trying to like fix ourselves or trying to like create this aesthetic form. It's actually working with what we have and feeling into this body and feeling like what is going to be helpful in this moment for my unique system.

Freya Bennett Overstall 44:42
Absolutely. And just like you said, Jo, it can change a day by each moment. Yeah. Yeah.

Joanna Stewart 44:48
So the other thing I was really excited to talk to you about another shared love of it is inversions, and especially supported inversions, which, like, I know, you do a lot of the Feet Up classes and have had your own aerial yoga experiences. But I believe you also like loved unsupported inversions from your yoga practice before you kind of started working on those different props. Do you want to kind of go through like some of the differences? I feel like you categorize them as Yin and Yang inversions. And...

Freya Bennett Overstall 45:18
yeah, so I've found the Yin inversions - so that means they're less energetic, less... and also closer to the earth. So Yang and Yin, they're all relative, there's no absolute so but they consider Yang would be like the sun, the sky. Yin is considered the earth and the ground. Yang is considered more energetic, bright light. Yin is considered, you know, dark, mysterious. Yang is considered more masculine. Yin is considered more feminine. And so when it comes to an inversion practice, Yin inversions, more supported close to the ground, so the legs up the wall, I love actually found the whole wall practice, inversion, wall practice, just so healing. And so restorative, I just love it. And when I was first when a girlfriend first suggested to me to try Yin, when I was really hadn't been able to practice any yoga for quite a while yoga asana, that is, I was very dubious and resistant, and eventually went, loved it. But it took me almost a whole year to be able to do a full class without needing to go to the toilet once or twice without having to just not be able to do a pose come out of a pose, that kind of thing. And I would say probably the first real sequence that I could really drop into was the wall sequence, those gentle yin inversions where you're supported by the wall, so legs up the wall, then perhaps legs wide, legs in a butterfly position, stretching through the hips, all of that kind of deliciousness. Whereas the Yang inversions that came with the feet up trainer, but like you said, Jo, I did actually have a yoga hammock. And I, a friend introduced me that to that, too. And I think at the time, that was still, around the time, we thought it was all coming from the cervical disc. And so I went into the yoga hammock, and inverted and was just like, "oh, my gosh, this feels so good. It just felt so good". And then when I was doing my yoga teacher training with Warrior One, it was Dustin, who brought out a Feet Up trainer. And we're saying, oh, yeah, so someone gave me this. And I was like, oh, oh, that looks great. I want to play with that. At the time, there was no Feet Up trainers available in Australia. So I asked my husband on his next trip over to the UK, he bought me one back it was flat packed fit into his suitcase. And then I kind of haven't looked back since. So the more Yang inversions on a Feet Up trainer, you can do a supported full inversion, because you're taking all the pressure off the neck. Really important, though, that you learn how to use the Feed Up trainer first. It's funny, I was at a yoga, I was supporting a girlfriend of mine at warrior one, she was doing a beautiful kirtan evening. And at the end, this lady came up to me and said "you're Feet Up Freya." I was like "ok' and she was like, "I've got one of those at home. And I tried using it" and she's a yoga teacher... "and it completely ruined my neck. And I had to go to my chiropractor to get it fixed". And I and my chiropractor who's a friend of mine said, oh, you know one of my girlfriends who's a chiropractor, also teachers, you should go and see her, anyway. So she's a regular in my advanced class now, but, and I have had a few people, if you use it incorrectly, you can actually hurt your neck and end up compressing your spine if you put your neck right up against the cushion. So there are a few hints and tricks to using it correctly. And I bet there is the hammock as well.

Joanna Stewart 49:14
Oh yeah, absolutely. And it's also like coming back to that different structures like for some people... and imagine with the Feet Up Trainer, like if people haven't seen it, it's like support for your shoulders and you can hold on to it with your arms, but your head is free. Yes, I know that some people already holding like a lot of tension in that kind of upper trapezius areas. So sometimes that deep massage stuff can feel amazing is a hammock move that is a similar kind of setup with a fabric structure on your shoulders, but your head is free. And for some people it's just like, "Absolutely not. That's a lot of pressure right in my most sensitive place and everything is tensing up around it". So yeah, there'll be a bit of navigating around as to how you support yourself.

Freya Bennett Overstall 49:56
And it's very much baby steps learning it's so important. To learn to relax the area, because if you're going in, then that's going to aggravate it all and also learning, you know, some of the key things are learning to come out of an inversion properly as well rather than quickly just jumping right up and then fainting. Not do that. And there are there are a few contraindications to should we share, share those too?

Joanna Stewart 50:25
Yeah, let's get into that. Yeah, yeah, that's a really good point to cover.

Freya Bennett Overstall 50:28
Yeah. So if you were someone who had had a recent stroke or a concussion, or you know, an intense head injury or surgery, then you wouldn't be going into an inversion, particularly a yang inversion, if you have retinal detachment. So again, eyes, glaucoma, again, eyes, because all of these things, once you go upside down, you are increasing the pressure in your head. So if you've got any current head infection, so that could be teeth, ears, eyes,

Joanna Stewart 51:02
even a blocked nose can be really uncomfortable. blocked nose,

Freya Bennett Overstall 51:05
exactly a headache, all those things, you might you just need to go easy. But the interesting thing with the blocked nose is with the Feet Up Trainer, you can do a little rock and roll motion, which is like when you curl into a little ball, and you end up massaging along your bladder meridians. And that can help clear the nose and the sinuses. So yeah, there's, quite often if we have people come into class, obviously, if you've got of intense head cold, it's not going to do it. But if you are maybe a little bit hay fevery.

Joanna Stewart 51:41
And I mean that can last for like six months of the year. So you got to have some strategies. Yeah,

Freya Bennett Overstall 51:45
yeah. So it's really interesting. We've learnt releasing gallbladder and bladder meridians can help clear that up too. So that's some of the other cautions. So high blood pressure and low blood pressure, you need to be careful with so low blood pressure, that's me, you've just got to make sure you're coming out of every inversion very, very slowly. Similarly, you need to be careful with high blood pressure, and you would, as everyone needs to, but particularly with blood pressure people, you really have to very, very gradually increase your time being inverted. So you don't come to class and expect that you're going to be upside down for half an hour. Because that's just not a good idea.

Joanna Stewart 52:25
Yeah that's not what your body needs.

Freya Bennett Overstall 52:26
Yeah, no shoulder injury. So if you have a current shoulder injury, saying that I've had people who have had full shoulder reconstructions, fractures, and maybe because it's cushioned on the Feet Up Trainer, they haven't really had any problems, I've had a little caution is that can trigger a hot flush, just having the increase in blood to the head. I wouldn't suggest it if you're pregnant, and you'd never inverted before. But then if you had a regular inversion practice, and then became pregnant, then you know, you might be completely fine.

Joanna Stewart 53:03
Yeah. And it might be like, early stages feels good. And then as you get bigger, it's just not feeling practical.

Freya Bennett Overstall 53:11
Absolutely. Yes, center of gravity. If you're someone who's had, you know, kind of recent Botox or fillers or things like that, I wouldn't recommend that, either. And there's always the question about your period.

Joanna Stewart 53:26
Yeah, I really wanted to get into that line with you as well.

Freya Bennett Overstall 53:29
Yeah. So I think, personally, I think we're all individual, and we're all different, and we all have a different experience with if you're menstruating female, that you have a different experience. Personally, I don't tend to invert like Yang invert when I'm on my first or second day because I have quite a heavy flow. And that's not because of pain or discomfort. It's more that if I invert, and then I come down, I get, it's like a gush, like quite a heavy flood of bleeding. And that's just not very nice. I don't tend to so when I'm teaching, I will be more guiding rather than showing if that was a day that was on my first or second day.

Joanna Stewart 54:20
Yeah, and I have the opposite experience. So I don't tend to have very heavy periods. And I find that the symptoms that I do have is like some tension around my hips in my lower back and especially the postures where my hips are supported in the hammock and my spine can hang free. Like it feels like a very relieving sensation, for that area. And I think as well because this is what I do for my job. My body is very used to going upside down. And when I'm teaching, I usually just do a quick demo and then I'm out helping people so I also don't hang out for a really long time upside down. And yeah, I did some research Ah, because you know, it's a question that comes up and a lot of the perceptions about inversion while menstruating based on incorrect information. So the energetic reasons I'm going to put to one side, because that's a whole separate conversation, but the contraindications around retrograde flow and gravity affecting where your menstrual blood goes. Smooth muscle contraction is actually what moves menstrual fluids out of the body, not gravity. So you can be in space and your body will still move those fluids out, you can be upside down or in water and your body will still move those fluids out.

Freya Bennett Overstall 55:36
And you can be lying down in bed. You know, like when you're lying down in bed, you're still bleeding. Yeah,

Joanna Stewart 55:43
totally. And I mean, definitely, if you personally have something like endometriosis, and you feel like it's a very sensitive site time for you. Listen to your body and don't do anything that feels like it's not going to be helpful, but it doesn't cause conditions like that, which is something I've read in old yoga books.

Freya Bennett Overstall 56:01
Oh, really?

Joanna Stewart 56:02
Yeah, I've read that going upside down while you have your period causes endometriosis because of the retrograde flow. And I think a lot of this is about people not really understanding how bodies worked, you know? Yes. And I don't think it's the far history. I think it's the time when this information started to be put into books, rather than it being a one on one direct transmission of a teacher working with the student to understand their own unique systems. I think it's when it started being systematized for like, information for the Masses and stuff really got simplified.

Freya Bennett Overstall 56:39
yoga teacher training started happening via books, maybe rather. Yeah.

Joanna Stewart 56:45
And I mean, I definitely appreciate the Ayurvedic perspective that this is a time when your body is working on sending energy downwards and outwards and maybe turning upside down is not helping with that flow. Yeah.

Freya Bennett Overstall 57:00
Yeah. But it's, it's lucky. That's interesting, when you talked about you just get you feel like you get a bit of a delicious release around that lower back area, because that can get so contracted and tight, particularly if you are having cramps and things like that. But yeah, I can appreciate just that gentle traction, you'll be like, ah, yeah, that feels good.

Joanna Stewart 57:21
It just feels like what I needed. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And so I guess we have been talking for a while. And this is kind of talking. That I'm about to open, because one of the things that I really appreciate in your book is that level of anatomical detail, which I guess comes from your chiropractic study, as well as your own reading around women's health, and I have quite a few friends dealing with women's health issues. And, like, it seems like a lot of these issues like chronic pain are just dismissed as normal or part of getting older, because they're common that actually they can be a symptom of a deeper issue. And I also just want to acknowledge as well that if there's any intersection of other identities, like if you're a trans woman, if you're coming from an Indigenous background, and like, even if you come from a lower socio economic background, all of these things are worse, like you have to push harder against a medical system that isn't understanding of you. Yes. And a lot of people that I've found have found that like working with Traditional Chinese Medicine has actually been an avenue to relief that they didn't get with medication and Western medicine, which I'm not discounting because, especially if you've got like intense physical pain, obviously, you need pain relief, but it's kind of that's a symptom that you're treating. And it doesn't necessarily feel like the systemic issue is improving. I really appreciate everything that you share in your book, and all of these other ways to work with our bodies and drawing these wisdom traditions into this practice. So we can like have this whole spectrum of strategies and understanding and techniques to draw from. And this is a really non-question question. Like I'm writing a thesis. Yeah. So I guess I'll just kind of get your perspective because obviously, it's such an area of passionate interest to you to kind of work with women's health.

Freya Bennett Overstall 59:26
Yeah. How did I get there? I haven't. Yeah. So Well, part of it comes from being a woman, myself. So coming from my own experience, so I actually specialized in treating women and children when I was practicing as a chiropractor, I think taught I actually I've always love spending time with kids. Even when I was a kid myself, I would be drawn to younger kids. So I think even at uni by I was already discussing with some of my lectures, you know, how do I go and specialize into pediatrics and, and pediatrics then kind of ties in with pregnant women. And then that led into helping women become pregnant. You know, infertility is quite a big one. These days with our society, I had all so myself experienced very irregular periods, again, didn't fit. I wasn't a textbook, textbook female, menstruating female at all. And so I got into chiropractic because my very good friend of mine, so I was diagnosed with scoliosis, as a teenager, curvature of the spine and referred on to an orthopedic surgeon to have steel rods, placed surgically placed along the spine to help reduce the curve. And at that age, all I could think of was I'll never be able to dance again. Like, I can't do that. We've got sidetracked a little bit again. But so a very good friend of mine suggested, Why don't you try chiropractic. So I started seeing a chiropractor, then I was so impressed like "I want to be able to treat people like this", and I did work experience. And while I was doing work experience with him, I realized there was just so much more to it than just a physical adjustment. You know, I became more aware of muscle testing and diet and our innate ability to heal. And I think I even think he might have even started introducing me to meridians then. So then when I was at uni, I went on to study SOT, so sacral occipital technique, and applied kinesiology and neuro emotional technique, and they all incorporate the meridian systems to so there's such an overlap between, well, the chiropractic techniques that I went down learning and traditional Chinese medicine. So then when I found Yin yoga as well, and that was tying it all together, it's just getting really excited. Oh, my God, this is amazing. And they all really respond and recognize that innate ability to heal and the importance of listening to your body and learning your body signs and symptoms, which is easier said and done. So yes, you're right, Jo, there's times where we definitely need Western medicine. But there's also times when we need the alternative medicine, as well. And the importance of diet, what you put into your body is huge as well. I do think that's changing. I think that there is more of acceptance of all the different various health practitioners involved.

Joanna Stewart 1:02:50
Yeah, I've really noticed that actually, in the people I know who are getting fertility treatments, like quite a lot of them were recommended traditional Chinese medicine to help deal with their symptoms.

Freya Bennett Overstall 1:03:01
Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And just learning how to, I personally found learning how to chart my own menstrual cycle properly, super helpful. And then learning to recognize those patterns. So for instance, for me, the week before my periods due, just the hormones in my body, the inflammation and the pain perception in my body will go high. And my sleep won't be very good. So instead of freaking out and thinking, Oh, no, what have I done wrong? What's happened? You know, I can now realize, Oh, it's just the week before my period. That's why That's okay. Is this is just what happened?

Joanna Stewart 1:03:41
Yeah, I'm not gonna shedule anything high pressure that week?

Freya Bennett Overstall 1:03:43
Exactly. I am not sheduling in any podcasts. But yeah, just getting to know your own cycle. And I think that's so I've found that incredibly helpful.

Joanna Stewart 1:03:57
Anyway, and there's a lot of really great information in your book if people are new to that world. And yeah, I'd really appreciate it. I thought it was a really great level of scientific accuracy, but also accessibility. So well done for making that translation. And I also just wanted to say about your book as well, like, as I mentioned, that the in training I did was like Yin and myofascial release, and I just haven't had the time or capacity to kind of go back and dig deeper into the meridians. And do another teacher training. Yeah, so it felt like a really great way to learn more and to feel it in my body and to kind of like, explore those deeper layers at my own time and my own pace. So I'd absolutely recommend it to other yoga teachers who are also curious and to people in bodies who want to live with the seasons. Like I know, it's like it's got a woman on the cover. It's called a Womans... You know, it's aimed at women and you're a woman so I get that it's your perspective, but a lot of in there with be suitable for all genders. And yeah, not prescriptive. Definitely not like you should be eating this at this season or doing this at this time of day more just kind of opening up a menu that you can pick and choose from. Yeah, which I think is also really powerful. Because ultimately, it's about understanding our own well being and our own systems and what's going to work for us. So thank you for making such an amazing resource.

Freya Bennett Overstall 1:05:29
Thanks, Jo. It was quite a daunting undertaking. But yeah, thank you, that really means a lot fills my heart. Yay. Yeah.

Joanna Stewart 1:05:41
And so you've listened to our podcast before? So you know about our last question, which is a doozy. Like if there's, if you could distill everything that you've learned, and everything that you share down into one core key essence, like what do you think that would be?

Freya Bennett Overstall 1:06:01
Yeah. So I think it is the constant practice of recognizing our interdependence, our interconnection, and I think that deepens with time, if that makes sense. So just that constant practice of recognizing that we are all connected. And as that deepens, there's just so much more kindness and compassion available in the world, when you actually recognize that we're all in this together. Yeah. Beautiful. And I try and share that in the classes to your life. And in my life. Yep. Yeah. Definitely.

Joanna Stewart 1:06:43
Oh, thank you so much. Thank you so much for everything you've shared today and taking the time to talk.

Freya Bennett Overstall 1:06:48
It's my absolute pleasure, Jo. It took us a little while didn't it? was worth it? It was thank you so much. I really appreciate all your well researched and thought through questions too. I really appreciate that.

Joanna Stewart 1:07:06
I appreciate getting them answered! Thank you. They're all real questions that I want to know.

Freya Bennett Overstall 1:07:14
Excellent, excellent. I hope they all help other people too.

Joanna Stewart 1:07:18
I hope you enjoyed our conversation with Freya. I've included links to her book, Online meditations and our favorite ethical chocolates, Living Koko and loco love in the shownotes. I also wanted to invite you all to an event we'll be having at the Garden of Yoga studio to celebrate 10 years in Northcote. It's coming up on Sunday, April 16, two to 5pm. And if you're here in Melbourne, you're welcome to attend the bookings link in our show notes. I'll be leading a Mandela making workshop as part of the celebrations which we'll build together using plants from our garden as well as learning about the history of mandalas across different cultures. I've taught this workshop quite a few festivals over the years, so it's gonna be really special bringing it back home to our own community. And that will be happening from three to 4pm. You're welcome to watch or to join in. I'm also going to be transforming the studio with an installation of my art and local artists. Anna Amaryllis will be painting a mural live in our courtyard. Plus, there'll be tea and snacks. It's free to attend, but please book in so that we know how many snacks to buy. And if you do have capacity, we invite you to donate to a charity close to your own heart. We've put links to a couple of our favorites on the event page. We absolutely consider our podcast listeners as part of our community and we'd love to see you there. Our theme song is baby robots by go soul and used with permission. Check it out at Go along with his other great music. It's always a good listen. Thank you so much for listening. We really appreciate you spending your precious time with us. Big, big love

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