Jo Buick - Trauma Informed Yoga
In this episode, we speak with Jo Buick on the concept and practice of Trauma-Informed Yoga.
Jo Buick is a much loved and well-respected yoga teacher and the Co-Founder of State of Being, a Melbourne-based not-for-profit organisation that connects community organisations and groups with experienced yoga facilitators with the goal of making the tools of yoga, mindfulness and self-care practices available to and inclusive of everyone in our community.
Jo Buick is a teacher that Rane and Jo have both long admired and respected, so we were super excited to have the opportunity to record this conversation with her.
In this episode we hear:
* How Jo was introduced to yoga
* What is the definition of trauma-informed yoga?
* Why is trauma-informed yoga important?
* Are themes appropriate for a yoga class?
* How might be an appropriate and non-coercive way to introduce the theme of gratitude into a class?
* What is the effect of spinal health upon mental health?
* The importance of using language mindfully during a class
* How do we create safer spaces for teachers?
* Jo’s work teaching in the community sector
* Jo talks about the project she co-founded - State of Being
* Jo’s talks about her 3 main Self Care practices.
* How Jo became aware that her regime of self-care practices was actually enabling her to maintain an unhealthy workload, and her insights around the strength to say no to things.
* How walking away from something can take strength
* What can yoga teachers do to help prevent burn-out?
* How do we incorporate inclusivity and authenticity into our yoga classes and social media?
* How do we ensure studios follow through on the promises of trauma-informed, queer-friendly and body positivity?
Jo Buick - State of Being: https://www.stateofbeing.org.au/
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Jo - The Guilty feminist podcast - http://guiltyfeminist.com/
Rane - Coco - https://amzn.to/2rEN9Hh
Jo Buick - The Radiance Sutras - https://amzn.to/2IDRyoz
Spinal health and mental health
Mirror neurons and empathy
Vagus nerve and yoga
Trauma Centre Trauma Sensitive Yoga
Yoga Body Image Coalition (Dianne Bondy)
Please email us to report any transcription errorsRane Bowen: Hello. My name is Rane and this is the Flow Artist podcast. Every episode we interview inspiring movers, thinkers, and teachers about how they find their flow and much, much more. For today's episode, Jo and I have a conversation with Jo Buick. Jo Buick is a yoga teacher based on the Surf Coast just outside of Melbourne.
Rane Bowen: Jo's teaching style is mindful, trauma-informed, and weaves a focus on self-care through a graceful, gentle flow. Jo is also the co-founder of State of Being, a community-based yoga and mindfulness, not-for-profit organization. In her work with State of Being, Jo partners with community organizations to innovate trauma-informed and inclusive yoga programs for client and staff groups.
Rane Bowen: Now, in this episode we will be talking about Jo's work with trauma-informed yoga. So why is trauma-informed yoga important? Well, research suggests that exposure to adverse, potentially traumatic events in childhood is not uncommon. For example, the Adverse Childhood Experiences study in the U.S. showed that of 17,337 respondents, 64% had experienced at least one adverse experience and approximately 12% have experienced four or more in the first 18 years of life.
Rane Bowen: Further to this, a recent report suggested that childhood trauma affects an estimated five million Australian adults. That's one in four. In a yoga class of 30 people, at least seven of these individuals may have experienced childhood trauma. Now with this in mind, how would you not want to approach your teaching with the utmost in care and sensitivity?
Rane Bowen: I've talked for long enough, so let's get into this fantastic conversation with Jo. We should start by asking you to tell us a little bit about your background and perhaps where you grew up?
Jo Buick: I grew up in Langwarrin which is in the outer suburbs of Frankston. So deep, deep suburbs.
Jo Stewart: Deep-urbs.
Jo Buick: Deep-urbs, very deep-urbs. Both of my parents are Scottish, so first generation Australian. And I had a kind of Scottish-Australian youth, I would say, because they were both very homesick a lot of the times. So, grew up in soccer clubs, and pubs and not a great deal of interaction with anything that I do now.
Jo Stewart: And so how did you discover yoga?
Jo Buick: I went to an alternative secondary school that had a bit of a Steiner influence in the curriculum. And as part of that, there was yoga on offer as an activity. So I did yoga a few times through that. But as most teenagers experience yoga, I think I found it to be pretty boring and slow which is interesting now that I work with teenagers, having that reflection and now I'm recognizing that in my own experience.
Jo Stewart: And now that your website is called Slow Rituals.
Jo Buick: Yeah, I know exactly, I've come a long way.
Jo Stewart: So obviously you've come around to the slower practice.
Jo Buick: Yeah, and I think I probably rediscovered it in my ... I would have been about 19, so it would be about 15 years ago now. And it was really in response to anxiety that I was experiencing at the time and it was recommended by mental health professionals that you go to yoga. Yeah, and I've experienced a mixed bag of yoga within that and found my way to the slower rituals over the years.
Rane Bowen: I'm wondering if you had any key teachers?
Jo Buick: Good question. Yeah, I find that to be so interesting in the Australian context, too, because ... I mean, I've lived in geographically isolating places. I lived in the Northern Territory, now I live on the Surf Coast. And I feel like sometimes you're without access to teachers and so I would read a lot, and I would read a lot of books. And sort of gain, I guess, teaching from my books. And then in terms of physical interactions I would say Dominique from AYA has been one of my major teachers. And Mel there as well.
Jo Buick: And then moving into this period of my life, both Mark [Feely 00:03:53] and Chris [Olson 00:03:53] are strong influences in my practice and teaching. But another thing I'm interested in, too, I guess, is the power of peer learning and I learn so much through my fellow teachers and people who are beginning their yoga journeys, or people who I'm mentoring, or teachers who have just been teaching a couple years more than me. I think there is so much we can learn just in healthy discussion.
Jo Stewart: Absolutely, just different people's perspectives.
Jo Buick: Yeah, absolutely. And being able to have provocative questions and have provocative discussions about the yoga practice I find to be really, really important for me.
Jo Stewart: It's almost like a different level of discussion when it's people who you work with rather than someone you're doing a training with, different questions come up, and often it just seems to be a more open discussion when it's not like a teacher dynamic.
Jo Buick: Yeah, and that's so healthy. And I feel like ... I mean, I know everyone has such different experience of this and I know I have a few friends who have gurus and very close relationships with that, and important relationships with that dynamic. And I think maybe for me that dynamic has never sat as comfortably. And so it's good when we can recognize differences, and that there isn't just one model towards having a yogic lifestyle that requires that sort of guru dynamic and that rather that could be an option.
Jo Stewart: Absolutely. I think there's even that approach to learning new information as well. I guess the tradition is when your guru tells you something, you just take it on board without question because it's from your guru and that is that lineage way of learning. Whereas if it's that group discussion of, "I don't know, what do you think about this, this happened in my class, how would you have handled it?" It resonates a lot more with me.
Jo Buick: Yeah.
Jo Stewart: As well.
Jo Buick: And I wonder if it's a female thing. I wouldn't want to make a gendered assumption, but in some ways because there are lots of strong male teachers throughout the yogic lineage and I think there have been a lot of strong male teachers that have risen because of that because traditionally, it was quite a male orientated trajectory with yoga. And now we have this vast diversity of genders involved. And a whole range of different perspectives and knowledge. And so I feel like maybe it's opened up the possibilities for who a guru is and what that means for different people.
Jo Buick: And I think if I had to think about it in that way, I feel like, "Oh, I have so many gurus." They are so different to what I would have imagined in yoga but there are so many people that have that quality.
Jo Stewart: And your students as well. You can learn from everyone.
Jo Buick: So much so, yeah, yeah. Your parents, and your family, and the people you keep close, and the people you don't. You learn from it all, yeah.
Jo Stewart: And the mistakes you make.
Jo Buick: My God, so many mistakes. That could be a whole podcast.
Jo Stewart: I guess that does really lead us into your current teaching style which is a trauma-informed practice. Would you like to give us a bit of insight about that, and maybe describe what that is for people who haven't encountered it before?
Jo Buick: Yeah. So a trauma-informed practice is really supported by the principles of general trauma-informed practice. And so this is an approach that doesn't just feed through yoga but seems to feed through a lot of different teaching and social work, and nursing, and the medical field, and the mental health field now. It's really becoming a kind of best practice model, I would say, in those worlds. And what makes it different is that there is an acknowledgement that whilst everyone has experiences of trauma, when trauma is repeated and sustained it can have a chemical impact. So it can have both a biological, a mental, and a physiological effect for people who've experienced that.
Jo Buick: And that experience will really shift the way that some people respond to relational dynamics, respond to power dynamics, and respond to language. So when we're teaching in a trauma-informed way, we're really looking at how can this space be safer? And it will never be entirely safe so we acknowledge that too. But how can it be safer in terms of the language that we use, the way that we move, the power dynamic that we set up and then perhaps try to problematize. So yeah, I would say those are some of the key dimensions.
Jo Stewart: And so just in a practical sense, so say it was a yoga class, what are the things that would be different in a trauma-informed class?
Jo Buick: I think the most noticeable difference for me when I have attended them, but also the feedback that I've received from students is the invitational language. I think some of the other dynamics are maybe a little more subtle. But the invitational language seems really obvious because we live in a world that's very directional. And both of you practicing a lot of yoga, you'd have experienced that too, that it's very directional a lot of the time. And so we often move in response to our teachers directions, and often perhaps try to do everything exactly as they're saying.
Jo Buick: In a trauma-informed setting, that's removed entirely, and there's really no directive at all. It's all invitational. So everything is a choice which can also be really challenging if you haven't had to think about choice making before. So I think that's the major shift.
Jo Stewart: And I imagine as well, it would be a challenge between making it invitational, making sure that no one feels like they're forced into doing anything. But giving enough guidance so that the class still works and people still understand the movement that you're taking them through, and just not having to use so many words that people have actually lost track of what you're saying by the time you get to the end of the sentence.
Jo Buick: Yeah, definitely. In the training that I just finished which was the trauma-centered, trauma-sensitive yoga certificate which is a one year training we had to do a video response each week. So we'd film ourselves teaching, and every time you film yourself trying to use less words to get the point across in an invitational way, it sort of refined that practice, too. Because I think you're absolutely right, it's rife for confusion using too many words.
Jo Stewart: Yeah, it goes from just, "Lift your arms up." To-
Jo Buick: To, "Maybe, if you would possibly like to." Yeah, but I think that maybe the powerful part is dosage, and for people who are interested maybe in incorporating a little bit of it into their practice, just peppering it with a couple of invitational words every now and again and making that shift.
Jo Stewart: Like setting a culture of you do what feels right for you.
Jo Buick: Exactly. Yeah. And that narrative, exactly that, I think can be really important, too. Sort of sits outside of the invitational language but it is about the choice making, and about the personalization. So that sort of stuff can be really useful.
Jo Stewart: Because a trauma-informed approach, you've done a lot of training and I know that you teach specific trauma-informed classes but it's also something that can inform a general class, just making everyone feel comfortable. I know when we did the workshop with you, we went through all of the lists of possible traumas that people might have experienced, even something like heartbreak, which I think we've all experienced at some stage. And how we often just have no idea of what's going on in people's lives when they show up on the mat, and just what we can do through our language, through the environment, so that people just have the best experience possible in our class.
Jo Stewart: I know that a lot of people, and like you said, yourself, come to yoga for a mental health reason. And sometimes, unfortunately, even if it's not the teacher's intention ever, leave the class feeling worse. What are some of the phrases that you might have said yourself? I know I've probably said some of them over the years that you've just completely taken out of your teaching now that you've done the training that you have?
Jo Buick: Yeah, there is so many. It's quite traumatizing at first to think about what you've said in previous classes, when you start to think in this way.
Jo Stewart: I know, with the best intentions.
Jo Buick: Oh with the best of intentions. And I think good teachers often, we're really empathetic people and our students traumas are often unseen. We can't tell and Rane is such a great example with physiological trauma, what you've survived, is not visible because of the strength in your body now. But we can't always assume that people are in the same place. So I feel like for me, some of the language that I've had to let go of is letting go language in classes, and that has been eliminated through a lot of different research but also feedback from participants, too, that some things can't be let go of. And particularly if trauma has been done to you and if that trauma was repeated, then there would be no way to let go of that safely.
Jo Buick: And I think sometimes people come to class, and it's not their expectation that they'll have to delve deep into their emotional trauma when they've just come to move their bodies and breathe.
Jo Stewart: And maybe have an hour where they don't have to think about all of that stuff.
Jo Buick: Exactly, yeah, yeah. I wonder as well whether as teachers, because so many of us have had this kind of spiritual journey where there has been emotional upheaval as part of that where you question things that you're interested, and you'll question things that have happened in your life, and we become very self-reflective as teachers that we then start to share that process with our students. But perhaps using our own frame of experience as a kind of guiding theme for that. And so things that might feel safe for me, I might then teach, but not thinking that that may not be safe for someone else.
Jo Buick: And so, I guess as well as thinking about which themes are in or out from a trauma perspective, I've really started thinking about what is necessary in a yoga class, what's safe and from that point on, can I just let people have their own experiences, and trust that they can do that without me having to be provocative all the time, emotionally provocative in my teaching. So I think it's a bit of a shift for me, personally, around that. And a lot of different things have gone down the drain as well.
Jo Stewart: I mean, I had this experience of this. We got some really bad medical news on Rane's illness and so we're just like, "Okay, let's just go to yoga," and the theme of that class was all about breathing in bliss. And it was just such ... We were crying because we just wanted to go to yoga, and just breathe and be present. And that was a really transformative experience for me in my teaching because until that had happened, I was like, "Breathe in bliss, what's wrong with that? That's lovely." But when it's so at odds with your mental state at the time, it's just a nightmare.
Jo Buick: Yeah, definitely. And I've had that experience too, not to that extent but also recognizing that something has triggered me in class and then that initial feeling of unsafety. Being like, "Oh, I'm going to get emotional and this isn't the space where I entirely feel comfortable doing that," even though all three of us would be so familiar with yoga studios and probably feel a lot more comfortable than many people.
Jo Stewart: Yeah, so if we as teachers don't feel comfortable, what's it like for the punter who's new to yoga?
Jo Buick: Exactly. And it is a challenge, I think, when ... Because some of my favorite yoga experiences have been provocative, I've been provoked by a teaching, or by a difficult asana or something. So I think there's still a space for that and there has to continue to be space for that. But, more and more I'm thinking, how can that be optional, and the space be neutral? But those options provided within a neutral space rather than those options maybe being something that you're then judged upon, or you feel a judgment around. Does that make sense?
Jo Stewart: Absolutely. Because yoga is so much more than the physical postures and we don't want to strip out all of what makes it amazing. But we also don't want to force all those deeper ... Words like crack open in class really don't sit well with me.
Jo Buick: All three of our facial expressions were [inaudible 00:15:17]. Yeah, it's a big one isn't it? I wonder where that all came from because part of me thinks maybe it was that there are all of these brilliant texts that have then been translated, and we're all reading these texts and looking into things, like tantra and yogic texts and the huge stories of the vaders, and trying to communicate some of these key teachings in an hour and 15 minutes. So you pick the language perhaps that will get it across fastest, but you can't really fast track your way to learn those things.
Jo Buick: So I wonder sometimes where it came from, and then how we can shift it.
Jo Stewart: Yeah, what I've been ... when I took out the more elaborate themes, and I guess more trying to direct someone's experience, and what I've gone to instead is just mindfulness, by just tuning into what's happening at this moment, and for me that feels like it's still some layers of richness beyond the physical practice, but it's more just about allowing people's space to be in their own experience.
Jo Buick: I agree 100%. I feel like that for me when I think about a safer teaching experience, and safer way of holding space, it's got to be neutral in terms of tone of voice and neutral in terms of expectations, so that we're not saying, "A more advanced variation would be this, or for more advanced students you could do this, or if you have capability do this, or if you're looking to challenge yourself, do this." Making assumptions about what a challenge means for different people in the room, because it could be challenging just to have walked in the door, and be there.
Jo Stewart: Or it could be challenging to choose a gentle option, when your go to was the stronger one.
Jo Buick: Absolutely. Yeah, the reverse. We have so many assumptions about that, and then I think that exactly as you said Jo, that mindfulness language is still so yogic, it really is the essence of yoga to be present, and that is one of the major things I think I've learnt from the practice, and if we could communicate that, I feel like that is the teaching. Without dressing it up with things and cracking open, and [inaudible 00:17:25]. Yeah, provocative language, or I did one a while ago that was all about love, and I'd just gone through a disastrous break up, it was years ago, and I spent the whole class trying not to cry.
Rane Bowen: You mentioned before, I think at that time we'd gone to a class on gratitude for example, that might have been quite-
Jo Stewart: Yeah, we weren't fully grateful that day, and I didn't appreciate someone telling me to feel grateful, when something terrible was happening.
Jo Buick: And that's ... I think energetically you can sense that sometimes in a class too, especially when you get used to holding space and you have people coming in regularly that you can get an energetic push back around some themes, and gratitude is one of those I think, that not everyone feels like they're in the place to do it, and that's one of the big things from TCTSY. From the Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Model is non-coercion, and how subtle that can be that coercive practices aren't just when we use directive language, but they're also when we make assumptions that the theme we've chosen is right for everyone and that our language presents it as the best option. Thinking about that really starts to tease apart the art of teaching I think too, and facilitating that neutralness becomes so important.
Jo Buick: Have you thought about ways ... sorry, I'm just giving you a question in a podcast.
Jo Stewart: No, go for it.
Jo Buick: Have you thought about ways where you could integrate something like gratitude in a non-coercive way?
Jo Stewart: I think because I've had some bad experiences with it as a student ... I choose another word. I think I'm more about being present, and less trying to-
Jo Buick: Mix it up.
Jo Stewart: Yeah.
Jo Buick: And it's trying to figure out what's appropriate in the yoga space, how much does it have to contain, because sometimes I think we have to do it all. Just squeeze everything in, but maybe it doesn't have to have a theme like gratitude, maybe that's somewhere else, but I don't know.
Jo Stewart: I think as well sometimes as a teacher just knowing that you are enough, people are already coming to your class, you don't have to keep adding on layers, people aren't getting bored. You can have space, which is a challenge to do as well because the pattern for me is to fill the space with words.
Jo Buick: Yeah, that's a big one that when I mentor new teachers ... because that feeling of not being enough and having to fill the space with more to make it a worthy use of someone's time and have really creative sequencing, and have quotes interspersed throughout, and a playlist that's really inspiring and all these different things. Without recognizing that most people aren't coming for that, and they probably won't even notice most of that. But they'll come for what you offer, and I think consistency in that is maybe the most important thing.
Jo Stewart: And also, I think, confidence and comfort in what you're delivering. If you're kind of saying something that you aren't 100% on, or it just hasn't quite integrated within you, if you're a little bit confused it's going to confuse everyone.
Jo Buick: Definitely.
Jo Stewart: And they're going to sense your discomfort.
Jo Buick: Absolutely.
Jo Stewart: So, could you give us some insight into how you structure one of your classes, and how that might have evolved over time?
Jo Buick: Oh, it's changed so much, because I was definitely one of those people that was trying to make it a whizz bang experience for a while there, which was really I think borne of my own early insecurities with teach. But now, very similar to what you said, Jo. It's really just a mindfulness practice, and I always start now at the beginning of class with a little bit of a spiel, and this is just regular classes, not so much trauma-informed classes.
Jo Buick: Just saying that we all have different bodies, and we all come to practice for different reasons, and you might see different movements around you and that's all really welcomed in this space. I also recognize that people have injuries, so I'll make that a point too, that people might be taking different variations. So there's always a few minutes at the start, just a discussion around that, and I guess that invitational language that will be used too.
Jo Buick: Then we generally move into a mindfulness practice, and I'll use a bit of trauma-informed mindfulness language around that, which is usually starting a sentence with, "You may like to notice, or pay attention to, or take your awareness to different parts of your body or around the room." Then moving into some mindful movement, and always spinal movements because there's so much around spinal health and mental health, and the relationship between the two. So I always include that.
Jo Stewart: Ooh, can you go into that a little bit more?
Jo Buick: Yes, this is so interesting. So, there's some great articles too that I can send you afterwards but there have been studies that have indicated that the more you move your spine, the better you feel mentally.
Jo Stewart: Oh!
Jo Buick: And I think in a really tiny way we can get a sense of that because you know if you have a sore back, or a sore neck and it really does effect not only your physical body, but your sense of mental health too. The more health that you have in your vertebrae, the connective joints, the tissues, the healthier your mental health will be.
Jo Buick: And one of the important nerves that connects for that is the vagus nerve, which is your longest cranial nerve. The twelfth that reaches all the way down into the gut, and sends off a whole range of motions, back and forth between body and brain about how you should respond to different situations. One of them being your social sense of safety. So when we're moving our spines in class we're not only starting to regulate our internal systems through the movement of the central nervous system in that area, but also starting to regulate things like social safety and comfort. Which is so cool.
Jo Stewart: That's amazing. [crosstalk 00:22:54].
Jo Buick: Yeah, and the other one that I read around that, this is a bit of a detour too, but is that mirror neurons, which are the neurons that enable us to activate empathy. So they're the neurons that fire off, like if I watch someone say running really fast, and I'm trying to learn how to be a fast runner, I'll watch and watch the way they move, and then I'll be able to emulate that in some respects. Which is why watching things can be really useful for learning, but those same neurons that fire off, the mirror neurons during that also fire off when we're in engagement with each other. So we learn through patterning and through response, and through watching. Those neurons activate more after movement.
Jo Buick: So of you watch something and then you do it, or you're listening to something whilst you're moving, you're more likely to harness that empathetic quality through mirror neurons.
Jo Stewart: We so get a sense of that group energy in a yoga class, and I guess that feeling of being calm, and being in a community after the class, that's amazing.
Jo Buick: Isn't it? And I think things like loving, kindness language, around that Tibetan language of mindfulness, and if you've got a compassionate practice and you're thinking compassionately whilst you're moving your body, and whilst you're breathing there are all of these neurological impacts that are happening. So the practice isn't just strength and flexibility, but it's a neurological practice. So we're fine tuning our capacity to be self empathetic, and empathetic to others.
Jo Stewart: That actually brings me back to the question you asked us earlier about gratitude. I feel really comfortable expressing gratitude for how amazing our bodies are, and all of the amazing movements that they can do, and all of the systems working together. And I feel like even if there's an area that's a bit sore, or something that's been a bit stiff, or tight that gratitude for the intricate amazingness of our own bodies is something we can really bring into our practice.
Jo Buick: Yeah, I agree. There's one TCTSY teacher who uses the language around gratitude. He will sometimes say, "You might like to move towards gratitude."
Jo Stewart: Ah, nice.
Jo Buick: Yeah, so it's invitational.
Jo Stewart: It's going to be a work in progress.
Jo Buick: Yeah, it's nice isn't it, and I find that whenever I hear him say it, I'm like, "That feels so possible," because it's not having to arrive there, and then the other one is the American teacher Tara Judell. She talks about the cellular impact of your practice, and having gratitude for this amazing cellular being, and the language she uses is, "To feel all 37 trillion cells in your body, vibrating or humming with your practice." Which doesn't mean that you have to be flexible or strong to have 37 trillion cells, that you just have them regardless.
Jo Stewart: You've got these little guys working for you.
Jo Buick: You've got them, they're there and they're doing so much. I love both of those two framings of that.
Jo Stewart: Yeah, beautiful.
Rane Bowen: I'm going to steal those.
Jo Buick: Yeah, go for it. I did too.
Jo Stewart: Share.
Jo Buick: Yeah exactly, yogic stealing.
Jo Stewart: So back to your class. You've warmed up your spine.
Jo Buick: Oh yeah sorry. Warmed up the spine, and then we generally move into quite slow Hatha these days. Very invitational, so I usually offer two options for most shapes, and let people know they're not the only options. So an example might be knees on or off the ground for chaturanga, but then someone else might choose to do a double chaturanga. So they might make it more intense if they'd like to, and I think part of trauma-informed practice too in general teaching in this way is maybe not stripping out the capacity for strength and resilience, because you can still be a trauma-informed practitioner and do really intense practices, if that feels right for you. I think that should be a possibility.
Jo Stewart: Like a very healing possibility, if you want to feel strong and powerful, and tap into that, yoga is a really amazing space to do that. Especially if there's not as many opportunities in what's going on in the rest of your life. So you can be a warrior.
Jo Buick: Yeah, I know, and I agree. I think that sometimes the misperception of these trauma-informed practices, or mindfulness practices is that they're gentle and slow all the time. And whilst that may be how I choose to teach, there are great practitioners who teach in a trauma-informed way, but strong, dynamic, fast.
Jo Buick: It just has to suit the person. I normally teach in a fairly slow way, but with strong options for people who'd like to take them, and then towards the end we always finish with a mindfulness practice too. Usually I repeat the same language, and one of the most important things that I've learnt through the TCTSY is the power of repeated language.
Jo Buick: So, one of the things I'm exploring at the moment is repeating a sentence in different ways, so I might say, "You might notice the texture of your mat under your hands, so maybe noticing the texture of your mat under your hands." And the feedback in a general class has been that for some people, the second time they hear it, the first time they didn't, because they were elsewhere. It's the repetition that gets them in their body. So I'm just exploring that, that might change.
Jo Stewart: It's a nice narrative as well, to start and end with a similar practice, because often that's when you feel the shift within yourself.
Jo Buick: Yeah, and sometimes in respect of what we were saying earlier about weaving in themes. I used to talk to themes quite a bit, and really enjoy that, and I felt a bit sad when I stripped that out, but I think that was my own selfish reasons, because I just liked having a chat, really into class, the Dhamma talk. But these days I've been weaving in some stories, so I might read say a fable from ... There are some great, great fables that come through the Chinese tradition, and also through the Indian tradition obviously. But you can find them through most indigenous traditions and I have a few books of fables. Often I'll read a fable out at the end and just leave it open for meditation, because I think that that can be a powerful way to maybe open up the space for someone to think about something like gratitude, but without being forced into thinking about it. So I'm exploring that too.
Jo Stewart: Yeah, beautiful, and I must say I haven't been to your classes lately unfortunately, but I've always felt like it was a very rich, very beautiful, very multi-layered practice. So even though you might feel like you've stripped some things out, there is more than enough there to enjoy.
Jo Buick: Which speaks to what you were saying earlier, isn't it? About recognizing that it's enough.
Rane Bowen: Do you think that's something that comes with time, though? That you have to really integrate something before you can start stripping things away, or do you think someone who is new to teaching can come straight in and say the bare minimum?
Jo Buick: That's such a good point. I don't know ... there's ... I can't remember who it was, but it's a very famous ballet dancer who said that, "The best contemporary dancers are the ones who have learnt ballet first, and learn all the rules, and they you get to forget them, take them away." That that gives you the most freedom, so you learn it all and then you choose what you want to let go of.
Jo Buick: I think maybe what you're saying is similar, that you want to learn everything first and then choose what you communicate and what you don't. But I reckon most early teachers, even if they're new to teaching they've done a lot of self learning, and self development. So maybe they could.
Jo Stewart: I think you definitely become more skillful with language over time, because you just get a better sense of what works and what just confuses people.
Jo Buick: Yeah.
Rane Bowen: Yeah.
Jo Buick: Yeah, when everyone is turned in the other direction like, "Oh shit, that was me." Definitely not the 30 people in the room.
Jo Stewart: Something that I've noticed as well that pulls me out of my experience in practice is when a teacher is self deprecating in class, and sometimes it can be humorous and humanizing, but I think when say you've had that experience and 30 people are turned the wrong way. You can laugh that one off, and move on, but I have been in class where teachers will continually self criticize as they're teaching, and it's a little bit heart breaking and it's quite distracting as well.
Jo Buick: Yeah, it really is. It is heart breaking and it shows this vulnerability that we all have, and maybe as well the importance of us practicing what we're preaching too, around compassion and I feel like I've moved a long way forward in this in the past four or five years.
Jo Buick: I used to be incredible self deprecating and really, mainly internally, not in my teaching. But just generally as a person.
Jo Stewart: Aww.
Jo Buick: Yeah, I'd just tear myself to shreds internally. And I was talking to another newer teacher recently who was saying that that's what she does, she critiques herself all the time. She feels like what she's doing isn't good enough, but her teaching is beautiful and I was so surprised when she said that. So I think that we can be our own worst enemies sometimes, and an unfortunate side effect of that is maybe that it reminds other people that they have that tendency too. If you fall into that trap in teaching you can bring people into the same space pretty quickly.
Jo Stewart: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jo Stewart: It goes from a space of self love to a space of self criticism.
Jo Buick: Exactly, and I think the same maybe for people sharing the tough times they're going through as teachers. I think that can be a really challenging things for students to hear, at the beginning or end of the class, that your teacher is a having a personally tough time, because there's a lot of empaths that come to yoga. A lot of carers, people in caring roles in their own lives. It can trigger for them too, their own feelings around that.
Jo Stewart: It was interesting actually, like when Rane's illness was going on all my private students I told, also just for a practical thing. If I needed to cancel a class right away, I just wanted them to know what was going on in my life. I didn't tell any of my gym classes, those ones, I just rocked up, did my thing and it was actually quite helpful for me. Just to step into being a teacher, and move and breathe, and take everyone through and often even if I was feeling a little bit wobbly before class I felt a lot calmer within myself afterwards.
Jo Stewart: So sometimes we get a lot of ... we're encouraged to be authentic as teachers, which is absolutely important but we don't have to share everything all the time.
Jo Buick: Yeah, and I think just as much as we're trying to create a safer space for students we want to be able to create that for ourselves too. Because as soon as you share something that you maybe don't feel safe sharing, then you've opened yourself up to vulnerability. People then know you in a different way that you may not feel comfortable with in a week, when you realize that you've bounced back.
Jo Buick: Something that's not talked about often is safer spaces for teachers, what feels safe in a teaching context, and what do we feel safe communicating and knowing that you don't have to divulge all your secrets or your journey towards being a yogi when you're teaching. It's not about that.
Jo Stewart: Or your slip ups either.
Jo Buick: No, all your failures.
Jo Stewart: Yeah, yeah.
Jo Buick: Yeah, I know. We all have them, I think we can safely assume everyone's had failure.
Jo Stewart: Everyone has made a mistake at some stage.
Jo Buick: We've all done it. Yeah, and we'll continue to.
Jo Stewart: So I now that you've done a lot of teaching of [inaudible 00:33:23] children, or young adults and a lot of work in the community sector. Has yoga always been a part of this, or did they start off as being quite separate aspects of your life?
Jo Buick: They started off being separate, but I think that I found it really difficult to keep them separate because mindfulness has always been a part of how I've liked teaching, and I mainly taught outside of mainstream education. So I was in alternative ed, mainly I was teaching from a mindfulness perspective, and really influenced by teachers like [Belle Hooks 00:33:54] and [Paulo Friae 00:33:54] who'd talk about teaching in a way that is critical, but also mindful and supportive of everyone to access the information.
Jo Buick: So I think although the yoga wasn't there in a physical sense very much so it was in a spiritual sense, an ideological sense because so much of those critical theories, I feel like they relate to spiritual practice too.
Jo Stewart: So for people who don't know, what's a critical theory?
Jo Buick: Critical theories, I guess in a teaching perspective anyway are those that acknowledge that not everyone walks into the room with equal cultural capital, or equal social capital. So we don't all come in with the same stuff. The networks and knowledge and in a lot of the contexts that I was teaching in terms of high school, I was working with young people who'd been out of the school system since grade six, or who had had significant family disruptions to their education, young parents, young mums, young dads. Kids who were drug effected and were battling with that on their own so a whole range of issues that had interrupted learning.
Jo Buick: So if we just put them in a regular classroom situation there's no way that most of those kids can access the information, and so starting to tease it apart and think about how can we create a curriculum that's really inclusive and mindful, and engaging, and equal. So that's the yogic influence I would say on that, because that's sort of what we're trying to do in yoga studios too.
Jo Stewart: Absolutely, yeah.
Jo Buick: Is make sure it's accessible for everyone and you have to tease apart the structure sometimes to get to that, but then I did end up teaching physical yoga. Mainly because I think my students love to call me a hippie and just really wanted to do it as a way of poking fun. But I think secretly they loved it. I don't know, I need to check with them about that.
Jo Buick: Yeah, so we started integrating some yoga for fun, and then I've gone on to do that more and more over the years.
Jo Stewart: Could you tell us about State of Being?
Jo Buick: So I guess that naturally evolved into State of Being, which is a bit of an umbrella organization now for our range of different programs. My real interest still within that is youth focused programs. I just love working with young people, but there's also a while range of other groups and cohorts that are underserved in our community around yoga and mindfulness, and particularly trauma informed yoga and mindfulness.
Jo Buick: So we're working with other teachers who have done similar training to the training I've done and starting to support them to grow programs in their communities, and they all look a little different. So, one other one that I run has been with the ASRC, and supported by Westside, which has been great. So Mark Feely over at Westside has sponsored us pro bono to use the space, and we bring people in from ASRC and we do a yoga class there.
Jo Stewart: And that's the Asylum Seeker Resource Center?
Jo Buick: Yeah, we do it with staff and clients, but then another really different program is one with Co-Health, where we work with a group of clients there, and that's a turn based program and we hire a space, and we pay for that space. So they all have slightly different models just depending on community need.
Jo Buick: I'm really interested in growing that around teacher interest too, because there are so many great teachers in Melbourne who are interested in getting out of the mainstream studio space and starting to work in different ways.
Jo Stewart: I think as well, it's great because I've had this experience myself when I've wanted to offer a community based class, and just no one has come. So to have a bigger umbrella organization who can support you with the aspects of the class that's not the actual teaching.
Jo Buick: Definitely.
Jo Stewart: Is really helpful.
Jo Buick: Yeah, I think so too and I feel like some of the really strong principles that ... I have a really strong principled practice around trauma-informed, and that's my experience, but then there are other teachers who have body positive practices, and there are other teachers who really focus on queer friendly practices. I think all three of things have to be part of the mix with State of Being, absolutely, and then also thinking about differently abled bodies and how we can involve that in the mix too. Then aging bodies as well.
Jo Buick: So we have these experts in our community who are working in different spaces, and I think it's starting to come together as a community of practice almost and learning from each other, and saying, "Okay, how can my language be not only trauma-informed, but body positive and queer friendly, and able-bodied informed, and supportive of a whole range of different experience." Like an intersectional yoga practice.
Jo Stewart: So self care is something that you really focus on in your teaching. It's a beautiful aspect of your teaching, and we often see the commercial aspect of this concept. Like, "Treat yourself. Get that expensive moisturizer." Can you tell us about some of the other aspects of self care? Which is obviously such an important part of community teaching.
Jo Buick: Beyond the expensive moisturizer.
Jo Stewart: Yeah.
Jo Buick: Yeah, it's a trap isn't it? The idea that we have to spend money to get self care. I think that locks a lot of people out of the practice, and I've been really interested recently in starting to document some free self care tips, because a lot of people I work with, they're interested in the language of self care but they don't have the resources to go get a massage or to do that big buck stuff.
Jo Buick: For me I like to think about self care as having these three different modalities. The first is something that Tara Brach refers to as mindful contact, and it's a daily practice of taking a moment each day just to come into contact with yourself. So very much based in Buddhist mindfulness but also in self care. So the traditional way to do that might be to take one hand to your chest, and close your eyes. Take a couple of breaths, and just check in and see what's moving around in there. So that's daily practice that I think anyone can do.
Jo Stewart: Especially because it's not a half hour expectation that you need to find time for that half hour sitting practice.
Jo Buick: Definitely, and I think that hand touching on body. That tactile aspect of it can become almost like a mnemonic tool. So every time you bring your hand to your chest it can be a deep breath, or it can remind you to refocus.
Jo Buick: The second one is self care maintenance, which is the things that we do weekly, or around a day that promote our self care. Some of those might be organizational, or really mundane things that just enable you to feel like life is okay and I think those are important things that we have to do.
Jo Buick: Then the other one is emergency self care, which is when the shit really hits the fan and you just have to know what to do in those moments, and with those ones with the emergency self care I find it best to have a written down version of that. Because I know for me with my journey around anxiety, despite it softening a lot over the years. If I do get into a panicked state or anxious state, I don't remember what I'm meant to do. There is no way I'll remember in that state. So having it written down is really useful, and I know for me part of that process is who can I talk to, and I have a list of people that I can call if I'm feeling that way. So community can become a part of self care as well.
Jo Stewart: Beautiful, so when you write things down do you have that up on a wall in your house? Or in a book?
Jo Buick: I do now, I have a little ... and I do this sometimes at self care workshops. I just have a business card shaped piece of paper, or cardboard that just goes in my wallet and I can pull it out at any time, just in small writing a couple of things that I need to do. But other people write it up and have it on walls, in their phones, whatever works.
Jo Buick: I think another major part of self care for me has been recognizing that over the years my self care practice actually enabled me to continue living an unhealthy lifestyle and so I would have all these things that I would do that ... you know I would buy fresh veggies and buy organic produce and make healthy meals, and go to yoga and do all these things that felt like self care but I was working 11 hour days in an office and I was incredibly burnt out. And I was suffering from things like adrenal fatigue but I was still doing the healthy stuff. So I was creating a situation where I continued to be unhealthy by practicing self care.
Jo Stewart: Yeah.
Jo Buick: So that I think is important to recognize too.
Jo Stewart: I think as well sometimes this is about teaching languaging, but say in a yoga practice often we're taught about staying in a challenging position and breathing through it and being okay with discomfort. Sometimes that translates into life, of just, "Okay, I can breathe through this, I can go to yoga after this." And not realizing, "Oh my while life is discomfort at the moment, I need to make some big changes. Not just these smaller self nurturing things that are keeping me on this track."
Jo Buick: Exactly.
Jo Stewart: It's exactly what you're saying, yeah.
Jo Buick: And it comes back to that same point that we were talking about earlier, about not making assumptions in a class situation anyway, that language will feel the same for everyone. I know for someone like me who is extreme A type personality. A few years ago, if you'd told me to stay with a shape for as long as possible I would've stayed with it for as long as possible because I was very good at challenging myself and had a comfort in challenging myself.
Jo Buick: There are other people though, who that's not their comfort zone and it will benefit them to challenge themselves. We're all so different and unique in that, and years ago when I was living in quite a difficult situation my mum said to me, "You know there's great strength in knowing when to walk away." And I'd never heard that before. And it felt super challenging to think walking away from something, or changing something is strength.
Jo Stewart: When you're wired you'll be like, "I can make this work, I just need to put in more energy."
Jo Buick: Exactly, just keep pushing harder.
Jo Stewart: I have heard as well as an instruction in class, the moment when you want to come out of a pose is when the yoga starts.
Jo Buick: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jo Buick: Interesting.
Jo Stewart: Which is like ... that could be problematic for people.
Jo Buick: Yes, like is pain yoga? And how do you know when someone's pain starts and stops?
Jo Stewart: How do you know you're not hurting yourself, physically and mentally?
Jo Buick: Yeah, and what has that person's experience of pain been previously, because some people are numb to pain.
Jo Stewart: Yeah.
Jo Buick: Because of that.
Rane Bowen: So I'm not feeling pain, it hasn't [crosstalk 00:43:14].
Jo Stewart: Yeah, I'm not doing yoga yet.
Jo Buick: I'm not getting yoga.
Rane Bowen: Wow, it's quite scary.
Jo Stewart: So you've got a lot going on currently in terms of studying, teaching, consulting and running a not-for-profit. What self care strategies ... and you've given us a few, which are really great. Are you currently using, and I guess since you've given us the small day-to-day ones. What are those larger ones that just give you that big picture view of, "Okay, maybe this schedule is okay this week, if I do all of my self care, but it's not sustainable in the future."
Jo Stewart: I know a lot of teachers who have all different interests, and put their heart into everything do get caught in this trap of just wearing themselves out.
Jo Buick: Oh, it's the irony of yoga teaching isn't it? We just burn ourselves out. My biggest practice at the moment which will sound tiny, I'm sure to others, is learning to say no.
Jo Stewart: No, that's huge.
Jo Buick: Some people are good at it right? They just naturally can do it. I'm terrible, I can't, and I spend a lot of my time undoing things I've said yes to. Recently I've started trying to find the strength to say, "I'll have to get back to you." Is my intermediate response to be shortly followed up with a, "No, I don't have the capacity at the moment." But I think there's a great strength as well in saying no, and recognizing your own limitations because equally with being heart focused people and empathetic people there's nothing worse than feeling like you haven't done your best because you're tired and burnt out. So I think that's a biggie for me.
Jo Stewart: You know when you have a double to teach that evening, and you don't want to get off your couch.
Jo Buick: Yes, ah the fatigue.
Jo Stewart: You've recently moved from living in a big city to living on the beautiful Surf Coast, and while that sounds like a lot of people's dream I imagine that there would be some challenges in that as well. How has it changed your work week, and how you think about teaching now?
Jo Buick: Yeah, it's been a big shift and I feel very lucky that there's a great yoga community down here, because Yoke is wonderful and there are other studios that are wonderful too and it's nice to have that support and be able to teach close to home. I also work from home in my consultancy work, so that makes it easier, but definitely the shift in terms of driving and having space and time to do the things I used to do has been a bit drastic.
Jo Buick: A lot of people spend time in their cars, and I had never really been one of those people. So it's given me a new insight into teaching around how sedentary lifestyles can be and the impact of driving and then sitting at a desk. So that been really illuminating for me too, is to think about different ways of moving bodies in response to that.
Jo Stewart: It's interesting as well because I only learnt to drive a couple of years ago, and when you're on the road with other people, you're interacting with a whole lot of other different people's energy and some days just everyone is cranky. And it's hard to go teach a yoga class after that, and you may be running late.
Jo Buick: I know, and that's why mindfulness practices for me, they just really come into play. I feel like the easiest place to be mindful is the yoga studio, with the incense and the calming teacher voice, and the music, but it's you know, much harder when you're in traffic and people keep cutting you off. Or you're running late.
Jo Stewart: And that's when you've got to be mindful, because someone might get killed if you're not.
Jo Buick: Yeah, exactly. It's where it becomes real, isn't it? All this stuff we teach has a real place. So in some ways it's been good I guess getting out of just yoga teaching, because I'm remembering what it's like to have other jobs in other parts of life.
Jo Stewart: So body image, and eating disorders, and lack of representation. They're really massive issues in society today and the image that we often see representing yoga is this beautiful, thin, flexible, affluent white woman. Maybe on a beach, doing a handstand in a bikini and obviously not all yogis look like this. And I think that many teachers, and yoga companies trying to sell us things are more switched on to trying to represent more inclusivity and diversity in their messaging, and in their social media.
Jo Stewart: The other side of that tokenism is real and inclusivity is not just a multi-racial advertising campaign. Would you like to speak a little bit about this, and about your approach to images that you share in your social media, and just maybe some tips for teachers who don't want to be part of the problem.
Jo Buick: Yeah, and I think in this space it's really not my space, because it can't be, because I am a lot of those things that you mentioned in terms of representations.
Jo Stewart: Well, that's actually my question. If this is what I look like, I don't want to be part of the problem just sharing pictures of me doing handstands.
Jo Buick: Yeah, and I learn so much from other teachers in this, and I think social media is really positive in this respect for me actually to learn from people, like Sarah Harry in the local context, and also to learn from people like Dan Bundy in the international context about representation of different bodies and representation of people who are practicing yoga. I think the way that people represent themselves needs to be different depending on who they are and applying that kind of intersectional insight into our yoga practice.
Jo Buick: I'm really conscious that there are so many yoga teachers that look like me, and just by virtue of my skin color, and my shape and being a white Western woman I could very easily just mix into that, to promote the same things, but I really choose to do something different in that respect because I think that I want to open up the space for different bodies to be in that. I don't want to crowd people's feeds with more of the same, and perpetuate that same social construct around yoga and beauty when there are so many different forms of beautiful, and they're not seen enough.
Jo Buick: So I choose to wear looser clothing when I'm teaching and in my social media, and that's a personal choice. I also find that the feedback that I've received is that people don't look at your body as much as a teacher when you're wearing looser clothing, so they're not looking so much at form and shape, and they can find it themselves.
Jo Buick: In social media too I think that maybe that serves the same purpose, but I also think that some people, they want to celebrate their bodies and wear a bikini on the beach, then do it. Go for it.
Jo Stewart: Yeah, because you do want to share that sense of feeling good in your body.
Jo Buick: Yeah, and I don't think the answer is to hide our bodies. I don't think that's it, but I think it's maybe to be conscious of whose bodies do we see more, who isn't being seen, and is there a way of shifting that? Because whilst my body type may be the most visible in terms of yoga, it is definitely not representative of society more generally. In fact I'm a minority. So we're seeing a minority become the majority and we need to flip that so that we see real bodies and a real diversity.
Jo Stewart: And also so that we're not turning people off trying yoga if they don't look like that.
Jo Buick: Absolutely, and there's just no correlation between the way you look and the way you practice, so it's kind of a falsity that's been produced by social media and I steer clear of the big companies like Lululemon who think that they can predict people's ability by only creating certain dress sizes in their yoga. Solidarity and ally I think is a key term there.
Rane Bowen: I guess I struggle with this as well, because I do post the occasionally of myself doing an arm balance and I feel like, well I went through this whole struggle with my health and I overcame it and it's saying, "Well, you can do this after something like that has happened."
Jo Stewart: Like, I appreciate my ability to be able to do this again.
Jo Buick: Definitely.
Rane Bowen: So I'm not sure what the answer is about this either.
Jo Buick: I think there's got to be space for you to do that. That's why it's so important that everyone has space and authenticity is maybe the key part, and being really conscious about what we're presenting.
Jo Buick: Your narrative ... it's so strong why you do what you do, and I think that that's an empowering message, and people feel empowered by that.
Rane Bowen: Thank you.
Jo Buick: Yeah, I do. I think even with Garden of Yoga ... you're promoting something different, and there's not many people doing that, so it's important to do that in a positive way like you do.
Jo Stewart: Oh, thanks.
Jo Buick: My little fan out moment.
Jo Stewart: I mean realistically our Instagram is 80% of our cat anyway.
Jo Buick: Yeah, same, same. So the answer is just get a pet.
Jo Stewart: Yeah.
Rane Bowen: We see a lot more studios becoming inclusive and trauma sensitive, and body positive, and that's obviously a fantastic thing but do you think there could be a problem with it just becoming a box to tick, and people not necessarily following through on these type of really positive actions? And if so, do you think there's a way to overcome this? What do we do?
Jo Buick: I've been thinking about this actually, because I met with my dear friend who you know, Isabelle Stoner who is very interested particularly in what queer friendly spaces look like, and she does a lot of personal work in her teaching around working with her students around gendered language, and what they're comfortable with, and how to teach in a way that's really inclusive.
Jo Buick: So we talk about this quite a lot too, how do you make that practice real, and living? And I wonder whether there's the potential maybe to have ambassadors within studios who come together as a learning community, and then go back into their studios and educate their teachers, because I think there's always one teacher at least who'd be willing to champion that in a studio.
Jo Buick: Not everyone has capacity, but as empathetic people everyone is willing to learn. So I think maybe having those champions, those ambassadors might be a positive way and I don't know how that would start, or what it would look like but I feel like it could be a great community practice.
Jo Stewart: Definitely, yeah. And then it's also that ambassador I imagine would be teaching from their own lived experience. So they would be a great person to go to if you do have those questions about, "Oh, I'm not sure about this things that I said, can I talk to you about it?" Or, "I have someone coming to the class, I'm not sure if I'm doing right by them," and I guess you can always talk to the person in the class like, "Do you feel supported?" But that can be a little bit confrontational as well. Especially if someone is coming in, in a vulnerable place to be singled out like that.
Jo Buick: Yeah.
Jo Stewart: So it's great to just have I guess another layer of support within your community.
Jo Buick: I think so too.
Rane Bowen: We've thrown around the idea, I don't know if we were going to do it, but once the studio is open possibly having a Sanga session.
Jo Stewart: Like maybe once a month?
Rane Bowen: Yeah. Have teachers come together and talk about these type of issues and possibly record them, if people were okay with that.
Jo Buick: Great.
Jo Stewart: Like do a podcast around it. I guess it's that peer to peer community learning, which is a little bit different to going to a workshop or doing your training.
Jo Buick: Yeah, and knowing there's no silly question or ... that's such a great idea.
Jo Stewart: And not having a financial obligation as well.
Jo Buick: Yup. I think that's a great idea, and I think one of the most challenging experiences as a yoga teacher is feeling like you're on an island, because we work these odd hours and we don't even get to see our peers that much. So having an opportunity to come together is cool.
Jo Stewart: Cool. You're invited.
Jo Buick: Thanks, I'll be there.
Rane Bowen: I guess if we're finished all the questions this takes us to our picks of the week, and do you remember your pick of the week?
Jo Stewart: Yeah, my pick of the week is The guilty feminist podcast, with Deborah Frances-White. She's always hosting it, and there's usually another co-host and it's very intersectional feminism, and you can tell by the name it's very much about not beating yourself up for not being this perfect feminist all the time in your life, when the world is just set up in such a patriarchal way that we come up against all of these contradictions and our own insecurities. Just unpacking all of that in a really real way.
Jo Stewart: Like the start of the podcast is always, "I'm a feminist but this week this thing happened." And she also has a lot of great female, or gender non-conforming stand up comedians on every week. So it's definitely on the educational and entertaining side of things, which I very much enjoyed while scraping pain out from between bricks on the side of my house yesterday. So yup, that's a great one.
Rane Bowen: Well, my choice is, and I hope I didn't use this last time. But my choice is a movie called Coco which is a Pixar/Disney film, and it is about this young Mexican boy and it goes into the Day of the Dead and I think it's actually really interesting because it's a Disney kids/family movie, which the major theme is death. But it's super colorful, super beautiful.
Jo Stewart: It's really beautiful.
Rane Bowen: It was really super sad at the end, and I just thin everyone should watch it. So, yeah.
Jo Buick: so I've been reading The Radiance Sutras.
Jo Stewart: Oh, good show.
Jo Buick: By Lorin Roche. Yeah, and that's one of the texts that I have been reading at the end of class sometimes in that mindfulness section, and it's just a beautiful text. Really accessible language, lovely meditative provoking little snippets of the sutras too.
Rane Bowen: Yeah I love that book. I actually use some of it in one of my teacher training. We had to do a meditation and I led with that, so yeah, it's a great book.
Jo Buick: Isn't it great for leading into meditation. You could just read one tiny bit, and it's so rich that you could just sit with that?
Rane Bowen: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jo Buick: Yeah.
Jo Stewart: And it's such an ancient text, but it seems so of the present moment.
Jo Buick: Don't they always?
Jo Stewart: Yeah, [crosstalk 00:56:59].
Rane Bowen: Thanks so much for meeting with us today, or actually we came and met with you.
Jo Buick: Yes.
Jo Stewart: Yeah, thanks for inviting us to your beautiful home.
Jo Buick: Thanks [crosstalk 00:57:05].
Rane Bowen: Thank you, it's been amazing.
Jo Buick: It has been lovely, thank you.
Rane Bowen: So that was our conversation with Jo Buick. I hope it's given you some insights into a trauma-informed approach and why it's so important.
Rane Bowen: Next episode is an interview with Kaye Tribe. Kaye is a myotherapist, yoga teacher and the director of the Academy of Yoga and Mind Body Education in Melbourne. Kaye is a very well respected teacher and widely acknowledged as an anatomy guru. So amongst other things we asked her a few anatomy questions that came from our audience. Now, before I leave you I'd like to ask that you please subscribe, rate and review the show on iTunes or wherever you download your podcasts.
Rane Bowen: Also, we would love to hear from you. You can comment on our website at podcast.flowartist.com or join our group on Facebook. The theme song in this podcast is Baby Robots by Ghostsoul and is used with permission. Do yourself a favor and get his music from ghostsoul.bandcamp.com.
Rane Bowen: See you soon. Big, big love.