I hope everyone is well and coping with the twisting, turning, leaping, bounding avenues of life. I’ve been away for slightly longer than usual due to this kind of ebb and flow but I’m here for you, right now, with a fantastic episode featuring a spirited conversation with the wonderful Carolyn Cowan. I’ve been aware of Carolyn’s work for a number of years and find her to be an extremely refreshing alternative in the sometimes pious Yoga scene, and especially in the sphere of Kundalini Yoga, which in my experience can at times be extremely fucking weird as you will no doubt find out in our conversation. I do love elements of it though and have been practising it in one form or another for over ten years.
Carolyn has been teaching for over twenty years, and alongside her teaching she runs a private practice as a Psychosexual Therapist specialising in trauma, addiction and shame and it’s this natural branching of her abilities that I feel lends her an unrivalled depth to her yoga teaching and to her approach to life in general. She is a rule breaker and a rebel and yet she operates from a place of compassion and hard-earned wisdom. She is direct and unflinchingly piercing in her observations. I really value her work and so I was excited to get to sit down for a chat with her a couple of weeks ago at her home in Croydon. We got properly stuck into this chat and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I hope you do to.
The musical wonderment in this episode comes from the wonderfully talented Sybie, a young singer/songwriter based in Brighton who I met at Roots Gathering in Kent this past weekend. She held the tent spellbound every time she opened her mouth to sing and after you hear the track I’ve included I think you’ll understand why. Do check her out. Her partner Henry is a rather talented hang player too!
Until next time,
- Carolyn’s first spiritual teacher
- Getting sober with David Bowie
- Breaking away from patriarchal religion
- On losing everything
- Photographing nomads in India
- On meeting Kundalini Yoga
- Avoiding dogma in yoga and spirituality
- Kundalini non-conformism
- Acceptance of the self
- Teaching from the personal and female perspectives
- Kundalini as the divine creative force
- Moving away from the spiritual middle-man
- Hierarchy vs Individualism
- The value in taking apart our identities
- Deconstructing Kundalini teacher training
- Modern day oppression and our reactions to it
- On becoming a Therapist
- Building bridges as a teacher
- The bravery of working with shame
- Approaching traumatic experience with posture and the breath
- Embracing our darkness as a key to power
- Giving ourselves permission to be insane
- Who are we without our story?
- The evolution of Carolyn’s work
Carolyn Cowan is an internationally acclaimed Kundalini Yoga teacher, specialising in preparing mothers for birth. She runs a training called a Mother’s Journey in which she trains midwives and health professionals to become active birth teachers and pregnancy yoga teachers.
She also provides training for the treatment of drug and alcohol addiction as well as sexual compulsion, porn addiction, shopping, gambling and cutting. The Mastering the Addictive Personality Teacher Training course certifies the practitioner to work in prisons and rehab centres. She has produced numerous DVD’s about vegetarian cooking, conscious pregnancy, overcoming addictive personalities and the art of meditation. She has been a spokeswoman and trainer for the charity Action on Addiction.
Alongside this, she is also a practicing Psychosexual and relationship therapist. Prior to her career as a therapist and yoga teacher, she was a fashion designer and photographer. During the 1980s, she earned acclaim as a makeup artist in the pop music video industry.
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