• How Nutrition Influences Hormonal Health

    Welcome to Aiko's Podcast, where we explore ways to put theory into practice. 

    I'm Aiko, and today, I'm thrilled to chat with Emily Zorn, a registered dietitian (RD) and health coach from Palo Alto, California.

    Emily is the founder of Emily RD Nutrition Coaching, guiding people through nutrition confusion and freeing them from the stress of diets. She's also the co-host of the podcast RDs vs BS, where she and Marie take deep dives into nutrition topics to determine what's legit and what's not.

    In this episode, we focus on how nutrition affects hormones, the menstrual cycle, perimenopause, and menopause, a topic of vital importance to women worldwide. Emily shares three (and a half) essential pieces of advice that women can use to balance hormones naturally. Her expert insights will empower you to make positive changes in your diet and lifestyle to support a happier and healthier menstrual cycle.

    Join us to learn evidence-based strategies and debunk myths, empowering yourself with the knowledge to support a happier and healthier menstrual cycle. Whether you seek to improve well-being or love nutrition science, this episode promises to be an eye-opening journey.

    Where to find Emily:

    Instagram - @emily_rd_

    Email - emilyrd@emilyzorn.com

    Website - www.emilyzorn.com

    Podcast Instagram - @rds_vs_bs_pod

    Podcast website - www.rdsvsbs.com

    Where to find me:


    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    31m - Aug 1, 2023
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2.28-31: Introducing Ashtanga Yoga and Yama

    In this episode, we name the eight limbs of astanga-yoga and then focus on the first limb which is abstentions (yama).

    There are five abstentions: non-violence, truthfulness, refrainment from stealing, celibacy, and renunciation of unnecessary possessions. The yogi following the path of astanga is instructed to follow these on the physical, the verbal, as well as the mental level, meaning, for example, that they are not supposed to engage in physical violence, think of stealing, or speak lies.

    Yama is, according to Patanjali’s outline of this system, the first step in yoga, and what to speak of the final goal, even this is a tall order! However, rather than beating ourselves up (for not being able to live up to the ideal) or knocking ourselves out (the over-enthusiasm of the beginner), we should pay attention to the point made by the commentators that non-violence (ahimsa), which includes abstaining from self-harm.

    Contemplate the five abstentions and feel out for yourself how far you are able to go sustainably in the present.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    21m - Jul 13, 2023
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2.21-27: The world is Your Classroom

    In this episode, Syama and I discuss sutras 21 through 27 of the second chapter.

    This is the section leading up to the description of the eight limbs of yoga (astanga). In the previous section, we heard that the world of experience is there to provide experiences and liberation for the experiencer (we, you, and I, the sentient beings, are the experiencers talked about here). In the current section, this key teaching is reinforced by Patanjali stating that in essence the experienced world is meant solely for the experiencer.

    Does this mean that we are encouraged to treat the environment however we please? Not exactly. In the upcoming section on astanga-yoga, the first two limbs prescribe non-violence (ahimsa) as the very first principle.

    But why should there be rules if the world is meant only for us? Because the world is here to teach you about your potential and to act as a springboard to your final goal rather than for you to be entangled in it forever.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    16m - Jun 14, 2023
  • Wearing Your Cycle w/Maria Begoña Lagaron

    In this episode, I’m speaking with Maria Begoña Lagaron, an image consultant specialized in personal marketing and sustainability, about how we can wear the phases of our menstrual cycle by matching our clothing with our inner states. Before we get into this specific topic, Maria shares how she got into image consultation and the prominent role sustainability has in her work.



    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    33m - Apr 18, 2023
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2.13-20: Root of the Obstacles

    In the episode, we discuss sutras 13 to 20 of the second chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

    These sutras and their classical commentaries go deep into explaining the root of the obstacles to yogic enlightenment. This root is the mixing up of spirit and matter. Sutra 15 reflects the first noble truth of the Buddha: life is suffering. For Patanjali this is a healthy acceptance of reality that allows us to unplug from habits that perpetuate this suffering.

    The suffering consists of trying to find ourselves in material things that we project ourselves into. With a healthy relationship to matter, we can engage with this energy in a way that helps us attain enlightenment.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    22m - Apr 1, 2023
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 2.1-12: Practical Yoga and Obstacles to Samadhi

    In this episode, we discuss the first 12 sutras of the second chapter of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. Here we are backing up a little bit from where we were in the first chapter.

    You could say that the climbing rope is extended from the same place but this time it’s extended further down so that more people can grab and hang on to it. While the first chapter speaks to those who are pretty much ready to go for samadhi, this second chapter will be user friendly for us who still have a bit further distance to go. It is a more hands on practical chapter.

    The practical things we can do are moderate abstinence, study, and selfless actions dedicated to Ishvara, meaning God or what you prefer to call it/him/her. Later on in the chapter, we will start to hear about the famous ashtanga, the eight limbs of yoga.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    28m - Mar 18, 2023
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 40-51: The Five Stages of Samadhi

    In this episode, we discuss the last 12 sutras of the first chapter. Here the obstacles to samadhi are overcome, and there are five stages of samadhi, resting in one's own being, outlined. In the first two, the practitioner selects objects to meditate on, which could be anything from the entire universe down to the smallest subatomic particle.

    First, these things are meditated on with distinctions as to what they are called, our understanding of them, and the objects-in-themselves. Then we move on to meditating only on the object in itself without labels or ideas about them. In stages three and four, one meditates on subtle realities underlying the things we can directly perceive with our senses.

    Ultimately this means meditating on material nature in itself. As in the previous two stages, here we also go from meditating on these principles with their respective names and our understanding of them to later move on to meditating on them in themselves without labels. Finally, we arrive at independent samadhi, meaning samadhi that does not require holding anything in the mind as an anchor.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    22m - Mar 3, 2023
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 30-39: Focuses of Meditation

    In this episode, we first speak about the obstacles of the mind in the course of practicing yoga. Then we move on to discussing different things we can focus our mind on as alternatives to the Isvara-pranidhana of the previous section.

    The obstacles are physical illness, mental difficulties such as depression, doubts, carelessness, laziness, attachment to distractions, misunderstanding the goal of yoga, inability to achieve a base of concentration, and having achieved such a base, being unable to maintain it for longer periods. Some of the things we can focus our mind on to achieve stillness are parts of the body, like the sense organs.

    We can focus on the breath, on the mind of an advanced yoga practitioner that inspires us, on spiritual visions we have had in dreams, or lastly, on anything that works for us. The last one may not be the ultimate type of practice, but as always: we have to start somewhere.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    19m - Feb 1, 2023
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 23-29: An Alternative Path to Samadhi

    In this episode, we talk about the fifth group of sutras, 23-29, where Patanjali offers an alternative to the arduous path of independently trying to stop the movements of the mind and attain samadhi, resting in the self.

    The alternative is to absorb oneself in Isvara, a special self. Isvara is a way to speak about God, but Patanjali does not speak of Isvara as a creator. He focuses on Isvara as someone who is like us but who has since a time without beginning been experiencing the goal of the yogis. Isvara has never been affected by karma or the influence of time. He is all-knowing and the teacher of the ancients. His name is the syllable ‘aum’ (or ‘om’) and if one repeats this syllable while contemplating its meaning, one will get to know Isvara and consequently get to know oneself and attain samadhi.

    The description of God is general and therefore the method can be applied to any religious path. The details will be figured out in the personal dynamic between student and teacher. Happy listening and see you again after our Christmas break!

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    15m - Dec 3, 2022
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 17-22: Levels of Absorption

    In this episode, we discuss sutras 17 to 22. This section is about levels of absorption (samadhi) throughout one’s practice up until one’s final attainment.

    In the first level of absorption, one is mindfully aware of the physical environment. In the next stage one is absorbed in awareness of the mental world, letting thoughts come and go without attachment. In the third stage, one is absorbed in the joy of existence reflected in one’s psyche.

    In the fourth stage, one is absorbed in one’s sense of self. Beyond these four stages, there is the stage where one is absorbed in the self itself (rather than the ‘sense’ of self). At this point, one may still be connected with one’s psyche and physical body, but the impressions from previous experiences that would normally urge us on in external or internal cravings are inactive.

    The section concludes by saying that the attainment of this level is as near to us as we are committed to the practice. We can be somewhat committed, pretty committed, or very committed, and this will determine the pace at which we proceed. The purpose of this section is thus to inform us about the interim goals of the practice and inspire us to go through them.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    15m - Nov 4, 2022
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 12-16: Yoga as a Process

    In this episode, we discuss sutras 12-16. Having defined the goal of yoga as the stilling of the movements of the mind and described what those movements are, Patanjali now moves on to tell us in broad strokes what yoga means practically.

    He answers the question that may come up by reading the previous sutras: how can the movements of the mind be stilled? The process has two divisions: practice and detachment. In other words, yoga is the stilling of the mind by the dual process of practice and detachment. Having stated this, Patanjali gives two sutras defining practice and another two defining detachment. Practice means to make an effort to control the mind and to try to maintain whatever control we can muster up. This practice becomes firm when it has been sustained with devotion and without interruption for a long period of time.

    We discuss different ways to look at the word “uninterrupted” in the episode. As the practice has its beginner and advanced levels, so the second division, detachment, has two levels, broadly speaking. The first one is conscious detachment, whereas on the higher level one would be oblivious to superficial matters and therefore not needing to do any effort to stay detached from them.

    To illustrate this, we can say that it’s one thing to know that cigarettes are bad and therefore avoid smoking while it’s another thing to forget what cigarettes even are. The joy of resting in one’s own being implies the absence of desire for anything superficial. Happy listening!

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    23m - Oct 21, 2022
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 5-11: Defining the Movements of the Mind

    In this episode, we speak about the second section of the first chapter of the Yoga Sutras.

    As Yoga is defined in the first section as stilling the movements of the mind, the next section tells us with these movements are. The movements of the mind are divided into five categories: right knowledge, error, imagination, deep sleep, and memory. All of these can be either helpful or unhelpful to your yoga practice, but in the end, they will all need to be stilled.

    But before stilling them completely we need to culture the aspects of them that are helpful for yoga practice and let go of the others when we realize for ourselves how they are not serving any purpose.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    23m - Oct 6, 2022
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1-4: Definition of Yoga

    In this episode, Syama and I speak about the first four yoga-sutras of Patanjali.

    The first introduces the book, saying quite plainly: “Now, the study/self-discipline of yoga”. The “now” can be seen in different ways, but one particularly powerful way is to emphasize that yoga is something that is meant for the present moment, as the present moment is the only time we have. We cannot do anything in the past or the future, only now.

    The definition of yoga then follows: “Yoga is the controlling and stilling the movements of the mind.” When this stilling is achieved, we rest in our own being. If we do not take the trouble to do this, we will continue identifying with the fluctuations of the subconscious. These movements of the mind will be elaborated in the following sutras that we will discuss next time.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    15m - Sep 21, 2022
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - intro w/ Syamananda

    In this episode we give an introduction to our new podcast series on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. We touch on theories about the origins of yoga and its relationship with samkhya, an ancient science describing the material elements and their difference from consciousness.

    The better part of the episode is dedicated to a retelling of Patanjali’s life story as told in certain yoga traditions. Once upon a time, there was a yogini named Gonika who was the most accomplished practitioner of her time. Having practiced for her entire life, on her hundredth birthday she reflected on the fact that she would soon pass away and a lot of insights would be lost to the world if she didn’t share them with someone.

    Listen to the episode to find out what happened next! 🙂

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    15m - Sep 6, 2022
  • Bhagavad-gita 18th Chapter Glimpse w/ Syamananda - Conclusion

    This is the last episode of Syama and I speaking about the Bhagavad-Gita, at least for this series.

    We do a recap of each of the chapters from 1 to 17 and then wrap up with chapter 18. Again, setting the scene, the Bhagavad-Gita is a chapter of the Mahabharata and earlier in the story, there has been a build-up leading to war over a kingdom between the Kauravas and the Pandavas who are from the same extended family. One of the Pandavas, Arjuna, is the hero in focus in the Bhagavad-Gita. He has God himself, Krishna, as his charioteer and asks him to move the chariot in between the two armies so that he can see who he is about to contend with. On the other side, he sees respected elders and relatives and is stricken with despair.

    The underlying reason for his despair is that killing these people would mean killing his own ego. But this fact is hidden behind the more obvious fears of doing something highly immoral. Therefore, Krishna takes Arjuna through a comprehensive discourse on the different levels of material and spiritual ethics. In the course of his speech, Krishna reveals directly to Arjuna how the universe is a manifestation of himself. He shows the universe as a conscious living organism and personification of time.

    This vision is frightening to Arjuna and so Krishna shows himself again in human form and continues the philosophical discussion resulting in Arjuna picking up his bow and arrow to stand up and fight.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    30m - Jun 11, 2022
  • Bhagavad-gita 17th Chapter Glimpse w/ Syamananda

    In this episode, I speak with Syama about the seventeenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita.

    This chapter is called “The Yoga of Discerning Threefold Faith”. This threefold faith refers to faith that is not illuminated by wisdom coming from outside of the three modes of nature: sativa, rajas, and tamas. You may remember the modes of nature from previous episodes, but to recap: The modes of nature permeates anything in our material world, including the mind and intellect. It is what causes manifestations to appear (rajas), to stay for some time (sattva) and then disappear (tamas). So without being illuminated by the light source beyond these three qualities, we will have faith in appearances that come and go which will produce results that come and go.

    These things can either be harmful or helpful, but they all have in common that they will not last. The chapter also covers different types of food, charity, austerity, and sacrifices according to the three qualities.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    20m - May 26, 2022
  • Inner Seasons Chat w/ Reenee Khanna

    In this episode, I speak with Reenee Khanna about the four inner seasons of the menstrual cycle. You will be familiar with these four seasons if you have taken my course Yoga Following the Menstrual Cycle or seen any of my presentations on the subject. If not, this is a great introduction.

    Reenee goes through the basics while also adding a fascinating layer to the picture by discussing which chakra is in focus for each respective season. For example, in our inner autumn, our throat chakra is in focus as we connect with our truth and desire to express it.

    We also get tips on how to structure our life according to our menstrual cycle, especially if we have a community of women who can support one another through these phases. Our society is structured in a linear way where cyclical movement is perceived as “ups and downs”. Shifting our perspective to a cyclical one makes much more sense and is way more satisfying. As Renee remarks, we wouldn’t say that Mother Nature is having a “down” when it’s winter and an “up” when it’s summer. Okay, I’m not going to give any more spoilers.

    🙂 Hope you will find this episode inspiring!

    Reenee Khanna is the Founder of Love Your Moon Cycle, a clinical herbalist and purveyor of ancient wisdom and medicine.

    Over the last five years, Reenee has been helping women around the world battle PMS and painful periods, using ancient medicinal wisdom and Ayurveda.  Not only have these women been able to find relief from painful periods, but they have also transformed their lives to feel energized and vibrant throughout their cycle. 

    You can download Reenee's Guide: 5 Natural Ways to Stop PMS Mood Swings at www.loveyourrmooncycle.com

    You can connect with Reenee on social:





    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    31m - May 12, 2022
  • Bhagavad-gita 16th Chapter Glimpse w/ Syamananda

    In this episode, I speak with Syama about chapter 16 of the Bhagavad-Gita. This chapter is about good and bad character traits with regard to spiritual practice. The previous chapter was about the personal aspect of our all-pervading consciousness source. This chapter speaks about the qualities we need to culture and the ones we need to give up in order to approach that aspect called Bhagavan. Bhagavan's presence is invoked when yogis of deep practice speak about him, and we are recommended to consider their words before we act rather than acting mindlessly.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    21m - Apr 26, 2022
  • Bhagavad-gita 15th Chapter Glimpse w/ Syamananda

    In this episode, I speak with Syama about the fifteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, called The Yoga of the Highest Person. The last chapter was about the three gunas, the qualities that permeate all of material nature. The chapter ended with Sri Krishna explaining that since he is the source of the gunas, he can liberate you from your entanglement in them. In this chapter, he speaks about this world as an upside-down banyan tree, meaning we have to look upward, in an inward sense, for its source. Upside down trees can be seen in this world, for example. where a tree is reflected on the surface of a lake.

    This example illustrates how this material world is a reflection of the inner spirit world, or what Plato called the ideal world. The light that lights up this world seeps in from that world which is self-luminous, and it’s calling for us to go there, not in some sort of spaceship, but by changing our angle of vision.

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    14m - Apr 12, 2022
  • Bhagavad-gita 14th Chapter Glimpse w/ Syamananda

    In this episode, my husband Syama and I speak about the fourteenth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita. This chapter deals with something very interesting called “the gunas”. Guna literally means “rope”, and here it refers to the ropes binding the spiritual self to the psycho-physical world of subtle and gross matter. Once you learn these concepts, you will be able to see them all around you as they permeate the entire world. The gunas are called sattva (that which upholds), rajas (that which creates), and tamas (that which breaks down), which are qualities than can be seen for example in a flower as it sprouts and grows (rajas), stays a certain size for a while once fully grown (sattva), and then wilts and breaks down (tamas).

    These qualities are found in the mental and intellectual realms, for example, in the forms of creativity and problem-solving (rajas), serenity (sattva), and avoidance coping (tamas). The spiritual practitioner will be very helped by becoming aware of these influences and learning how to deal with them. Welcome to the world of the gunas!

    Support this podcast at — https://redcircle.com/aikoyogareiki/donations
    27m - Mar 28, 2022
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