Episode 026: Samantha Leonard, Yoga, Yoga Therapy and Spiritual Self-Exploration, Why Yoga Isn’t Really About Stretching Your Hamstrings
In Episode 026, the Thanksgiving edition of A Medicinal Mind: Wisdom and Wellbeing I share space with one of the most creative, curious and supportive souls in my life, the owner and healer behind Davidson Yoga Therapy, Samantha Leonard.
In addition to her work with Davidson Yoga Therapy, Samantha is the founder and creative director of MyBackPainGuru, Learn2TeachYoga and has led education, professional development and mind-body wellness programming for the Carolinas Healthcare System, Davidson College and The Sanger Heart Clinic. As part of her thriving practice with Davidson Yoga Therapy, she works with people with conditions from ulcerative colitis and ischemic stroke, to anxiety and anorexia, diabetes and low back pain.
As you will hear in the podcast, the intersection of my healing journey both professionally and personally with that of Samantha’s is beyond rational explanation. First connecting as part of an initial session of the American Viniyoga Institute's Yoga Teacher Training, we have continued to remain close, tied geographically by the shared homes of my grandparents and Samantha in Davidson, North Carolina.
In this conversation, Samantha shares some incredible insights and vulnerable wisdom as part of her own journey through life, exploring her spiritual self and the fascinating practice we have both come to know as Yoga.
Digging into questions such as
What is Yoga and more specifically Yoga Therapy?
What does it mean to be a Yoga Teacher vs a Yoga Therapist? What kind of training is required?
Grounding in faith we explore some curious concepts and questions surrounding Christianity and Yoga: Where exactly does Jesus fit into the practice and can I meditate and still remain a Christian?
Being left wordless on more than one occasion, this conversation is filled with nourishment and inspirational ideas that will likely leave you seeking, if not already, a road of self exploration through more purposeful contemplation and reflection. Samantha is pioneering a field of healing through yoga therapy and I can only imagine the possibilities for greater collective wellness through the continued training and promotion of certified yoga therapists as part of integrative and multidisciplinary care teams.
I am so lucky to have met Samantha and all of the engaging souls with the American Viniyoga Institute including our teacher Gary Kraftsow.
I am blessed to offer, through this engaging conversation, at least a small sampling of some of the most enlightening teachings as part of my brief time with Gary and our nurturing yoga family.
And with that let’s breathe into the show!
Keep up with Davidson Yoga Therapy: https://www.davidsonyogatherapy.com
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