podcast ep 40: phoenix rising yoga therapy with michael lee

You can listen below, and you can also listen in iTunes and Google Play and pretty much anywhere else podcasts are played, including Spotify!

  • Michael had it all in Australia: teaching college, a family, but he decided to move to the US and stay at Kripalu for a time, so we discuss ashram life

  • The Phoenix Rising definition of yoga therapy, and how it’s evolved since Michael first started offering it, including the difference between a yoga therapist session and a private yoga class

  • Creating yoga therapy trainings that produce well-rounded and responsible practitioners

  • The International Association of Yoga Therapists and the Yoga Alliance’s decision not to use the term “yoga therapy” anymore

  • Balancing the benefits of repetition in practice, as well as responding to the moment’s needs


Official Website



Michael Lee, M.A. Dip.Soc.Sci., E-RYT 500

Michael has a long career in yoga and yoga therapy with a focus on psycho-emotional health now spanning 33 years. Prior to coming to the USA in 1984 to pursue yoga therapy Michael was an academic and consultant in the behavioral sciences. He founded Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy in 1986 based on his learning and integration of yoga and elements of contemporary psychology, now supported by neuroscience.

Michael is the author of two books Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy—Bridge from Body to Soul and Turn Stress Into Bliss. He is also a contributing author to the American Psychological Association published book Beyond Talk therapy: Using movement and expressive techniques in clinical practice. In June 2016, Michael was a keynote speaker at SYTAR for the International Association of Yoga Therapists and in 2018 the opening keynote speaker at Yoga Australia Conference, a presenter at the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2018, the Toronto Yoga Conference 2018, the Japan Yoga Therapy Conference 2018, and the first Global Consortium on Yoga Therapy in Sendai, Japan in July 2018. Michael and his wife Lori parent five adult children live in rural Massachusetts.

podcast ep 31: yoganand michael carroll

You can listen below, and you can also listen in iTunes and Google Play and pretty much anywhere else podcasts are played, including Spotify!

Maybe one of the most experienced yogis to ever grace this podcast in past or future, Yoganand Michael Carroll is a treasure trove of amazing stories and yoga philosophy. A must listen for anyone interested in the history of yoga and its philosophy!

-       How he had an appetite for spirituality that was not sated by his strict fundamentalist Christian family, but found a spiritual path at Kripalu when it was still an ashram

-       Yoganand was at the ashram when Amrit Desai, Kripalu’s founder, was asked to leave when it was revealed that he was having extra-marital affairs with students (who were all supposed to be practicing celibacy)

-       What yoga has lost by going mainstream, but what it’s gained, too, given the guru culture of India and early-American yoga

-       Finding a clear path toward balance, and how our understanding of spirituality and psychology are nuanced

-       Practicing the Shat Kriya (six rites/cleansing rituals), and confrontational practices like dhauti (cloth swallowing) from the Hatha Yoga Pradipika

-       What excites and interests Yoganand about the Pradipika and scholarship on Hatha Yoga’s arrival in the 10th century, contextualized to the Sutras and Gita

-       The variety of definitions of yoga in the Bhagavad Gita and how Krishna was using them to help prepare Arjuna

-       How yoga student/teacher guidance used to work before texts were widely available

-       How texts used to be written in purposefully obscured language

-       Can Kundalini energy be raised with ease or is it only for the enlightened?

-       The limitations of the rational mind to understand metaphor for conveying spiritual concepts

-       How we stress the body just the right amount to get stronger, and how in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika there’s energetic and physical recommendations of stress to apply for growth

-       Chakras have changed, and how they weren’t coloured or associated to musical notes, etc in history, and how you don’t have chakras – you create  them

-       We conclude with the consolation that there has never been a time where there was a universally agreed upon definition of yoga

Yoganand in 1984 Flowing

Pranakriya Home of Yogic Arts

Yoganand at Kripalu

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