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MatChat with Mina Blair
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MatChat with Mina Blair

Author: Mina Blair

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Need a weekly wellbeing boost? Then this podcast is for you! We know looking after our physical and mental health is more important now than ever, and talking openly about what concerns or worries us goes a long way to lighten the load. Hearing other people's stories gives us perspective and reassurance. So, every week I invite a guest onto the "yogamat" to discuss what they have learned on their wellbeing journeys. The intention is to leave you feeling uplifted and empowered.
44 Episodes
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I'm always curious when I sense - hear, feel or see - fear of change.  It's like we think that a state of things-must-stay-the-same is a safe, secure place, and that change is scary or dangerous.  Fear of change is actually fear of the unknown, the not-knowing.  But the reality is that change is happening constantly, it's something we can neither control nor resist or avoid.  And change is a good thing!Life is therefore a state of continuous movement, as Nily Ron explains in this week's MatChat.  She is a NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming) Practitioner, Life Coach and Movement Therapist.  Nily has literally moved through life, from martial arts and bellydancing to formal dance, teaching along the way while getting a degree in Psychology.  She now applies the principle of movement in her work with NLP through her offering called trimoving.  Nily explains the three ways we can change our 1) posture (physical), 2) our thoughts (cognitive) and 3) the people we surround ourselves with (social) to get ourselves out of a place of 'stuckness'.  It's a self-empowering process that enables you to "Be the ME that you want to BE".  And what better way is there to be than that?Find Nily: @trimoving, www.trimoving.co.uk
I celebrate the start of a new year and my chosen theme for the year, resilience, by inviting fellow yogi Reva Myers onto the mat for a chat.  We met on Bali nearly five years ago where we shared an intense month on a yoga teacher training course, a life-changing experience for us both.  She returned to the US with a dream to live the life of a travelling yoga teacher, going wherever the spirit would take her in a yogified van!Reva did indeed make her dream a reality but not quite in the way she intended.  A car accident which left her seriously injured with a broken spine felt like the end of her plans until she realised she had the very tools to overcome the challenge.  How did she do it?  And why is she feeling stronger than ever on all levels?Get ready to feel inspired!Find Reva: @yogawithreva, www.yogawithreva.com
It's the end of another year and a natural pause for reflection.  So this week I'm sitting on my virtual mat on my own and sharing some thoughts on the year that's gone.  What will you take with you into the new year?  What have you learned?  Do you need to make some changes to the way you behave, to what you value and to your attitude?  I think in the end it's about discovering your inner resilience, which is a profound awareness that emerges when we are deeply challenged.  And that's what I propose we take going forward - resilience.  Let go of the fear, the worry, of pre-empting anxiety, and instead accept that whatever comes you can manage.  And grow.  And become even stronger.  Ultimately it's about living life gratefully and joyfully.  Happy New Year!Find Mina: @empoweredwithmina (Facebook & Instagram), @minablair6 (Twitter), www.minablair.com
One of the key learnings in the ancient yogic scripture The Bhagavad Gita, is: "It is better to strive in one's own dharma than to succeed in the dharma of another.  Nothing is ever lost in following one's own dharma."Dharma is Sanskrit for purpose, for one's calling.  It's the thing you've come into the world to do and it resonates deeply in your heart.  It can be something obvious that you know from a young age or it can take years to become apparent.  Sometimes we have to suffer to discover what we're really about, which was certainly the case for Paula Macklin Creasy.  Her mother was diagnosed with cancer when Paula was ten years old, and sadly died nine years later.  The loss inspired her to turn her focus towards traditional medicine, so when she had the opportunity to travel to China to study acupuncture, she took it. It was a turning point and Paula has been practising acupuncture ever since, investing in personal development and expanding her knowledge along the way.  Is conventional medicine willing to work alongside traditional treatments like acupuncture?  Paula believes so and explains why.Find Paula: www.midhurstacupuncture.co.uk
Humans have been treating their ailments for thousands of years in one way or another, leaning into what Mother Nature offers.  Conceived in 1796 by the German physician Samuel Hahnemann, homeopathy joined the ranks of traditional (I don't like the word 'alternative'!) medicine and has been helping people heal ever since.I ask Lone Pedersen what she has discovered during the 20 years she has been practicing as a Classical Homeopath in her international practice which focuses on mental and emotional conditions such as ADHD, OCD, anxiety and depression.  Can conventional and traditional medicine work together?  She explains how homeopathy works and why she thinks there is a place for all medical modalities, but that ultimately, the important thing is to stay healthy.Find Lone: @lonebystromp, www.naturligvishomeopathy.com
Christmas is soon upon us with all the excitement and expectation that that implies!  It's a time of celebration and joy, of course, but it can also be a difficult time, of stress, as you strive to make it whatever you feel it needs to be.  If you celebrate Christmas, you will have developed a relationship with it over the years, and perhaps wellbeing tends not be on the (very long) seasonal to-do list!I ask friend and fellow yogi Sarah Cox, can self-care and Christmas co-exist?  Because you could argue it's needed more now than at any other time of year.  We share our Christmas stories and what we've learned along the way, as well as offer some tips on how to make the most of the holiday break.  How to take the pressure off.  So, wherever you are in life, and whether you will be alone or with others this year, I hope we can help you find meaning and joy.Find Sarah: @zephorium, www.zephorium.com
This week I'm exploring the gut with Nutritional Therapist Nicola Russell.  It's so much more than a 9 metre long tube where stuff goes in at the top and waste comes out at the bottom!  It produces more neurotransmitters than the brain.  It regulates and self-cleans itself.  It controls our mood.  We discuss all this and other interesting facts as Nicola takes us through her own gut journey overcoming IBS, and how she now empowers others to heal their digestive system and get their lives back.  Because yes, we are what we eat!Find Nicola: @nicolarussellnt, www.nicola-russell.co.uk
It feels like we at times fear or fight change in principle, that we'd prefer things stayed the same.  And yet change is all around and within us constantly without our control!  Take the female body.  From the moment of birth, it's an ongoing growth that shifts into monthly cycles, pausing only for the 9 month wonder of pregnancy if and when that occurs, before it gears down into peri- and finally menopause.  It's quite the journey to navigate, but how supportive of ourselves are we on the ride?I ask Becky Potts, Women's Health Physiotherapist, Pilates instructor and Co-Founder of Perfect Motion Physio, whether women do enough to look after themselves over a lifetime of flux.  Is our attitude one of acceptance or resistance?  Are we talking openly and loudly enough about the issues, about the (often unspoken) shame around having periods and the menopause?  Are we helping each other?  Join us as we explore these questions, having laughs along the way!Find Becky: @perfectmotionphysio, www.perfectmotionphysio.com 
This is Part 2 of a discussion with Ciara Roberts, a holistic kidney expert with lived experience of dialysis and transplantation.  A yoga teacher and naturopathic nutritionist of 10 years, she is also the author of Wholly Aligned, Wholly Alive: Awakening your inner physician. Having chatted about Ciara's health story in Part 1, our focus moves onto the importance of honest conversations about unhealthy habits and relationships with food.  The way forward offered is to own your health and do what you can to nourish your body.  Be your best health advocate.  So, do the research and ask the questions.  At the same time, the medical profession needs to be encouraged to be holistic in their treatment approach, listen to the patient and look after their own wellbeing.  Ultimately, if you empower yourself, you can empower others, and that works both ways whether you are the patient or the doctor!Find Ciara: @whollyaligned, www.whollyaligned.com
This is Part 1 of a discussion with Ciara Roberts, a holistic kidney expert with lived experience of dialysis and transplantation.  A yoga teacher and naturopathic nutritionist of 10 years, she is also the author of Wholly Aligned, Wholly Alive: Awakening your inner physician.  Ciara shares her health story which started at the tender age of four, when a strep throat infection led to permanent kidney damage.  Over her growing years she became her own best health advocate, learning how to nourish and nurture her body through good times and bad, and entering adulthood with a passion for a holistic approach to healthy living.  It's an inspiring tale of a girl and a woman who chooses to empower herself and use her experience to encourage others to find their inner physician.Find Ciara: @whollyaligned, www.whollyaligned.com 
The constant and relentless news headlines about violence between human beings, particularly by men against women, is hard to ignore.  What could be behind such an imbalance in human relations to manifest this level of anger?   How do we achieve wellbeing for all?  I put these questions to David Rogers, a yogi for over 30 years and a yoga teacher for ten, who offers helpful insight into the topics of male power and fear.  We discuss whether the answer lies in self-liberation, in finding common ground and balancing our  masculine and feminine sides.Find David: @averyenglishyogi, www.averyenglishyogi.com
When I first saw a photo of Scott, aka the Yogibanker, on Instagram doing a yoga pose wearing a business suit on a street in the City of London, I knew immediately I needed to talk with him!  Fortunately for me, he agreed to a MatChat Podcast and to tell his yoga story.  Scott explains why he wanted to bring yoga into the office and put wellbeing on the corporate agenda.  What was the response?  Are more men finding their way to the mat and practising self-care in general these days?  And if you've got a spare 15 minutes in a day, Scott suggests how to spend them.Find Scott: @yogibanker, www.yogibanker.com
We spend a lot of time chasing, wanting and desiring things that we think will fulfill us and make us happy, don't we?  Well, sometimes the universe feels it needs to show us that this is not always true, that this is in fact a distraction that prevents us from understanding what really matters and who we really are.  My friend Kate discovered this when she lost her marriage, family home and job in a short space of time.  Find out how she climbed from rock bottom to new heights where she now enjoys magnificent views she didn't think were possible!Find Kate: @asiamyoga,  As I am Yoga
This MatChat podcast celebrates my one-year milestone post arm-breakage - last September I shattered my humerus bone in a freak horse riding accident which left me wondering whether I'd ever be able to practice or teach yoga again.  Fortunately, the universe sent me to physiotherapist and Pilates teacher Bill Potts of Perfect Motion Physio, who walked alongside me as I navigated the process of healing physically, mentally and spiritually.  He shares his wellbeing story and why he loves his job of empowering people, and graciously accepts my suggestion that he is in fact a "healer"!Find Bill: @perfectmotionphysio, www.perfectmotionphysio.com
This week I connect with Hannah Wallace whom I "met" online through a mutual friend.  She describes herself as a speaker, model, podcaster of the Finding Grace podcast, mentor, healer, priestess and writer.  I invited Hannah to chat "on the mat" with me about her inspirational wellbeing story which takes us through health challenges and loss but ultimately leads to self empowerment and finding joy.  Listen to Hannah explain why life must be lived to the full!Find Hannah: @thehannahwallace, www.hannah-wallace.com
I've invited my friend Sarah back onto the virtual mat and we thought this might be a pertinent question to ask and discuss because a) it's important to thrive and b) the world does indeed feel uncertain these days!  It would be easy to fall into a state of high anxiety and feeling out of control, but there are things we can do to keep things in perspective and stay grounded.  As my mantra goes, "nothing is so bad that good can't come from it."Find Sarah: @zephorium, www.zephorium.com
I'm delighted to be talking to my friend Diana this week about how she found the yoga mat along the busy path of being a physiotherapist.  She shares her learning from working with Olympic athletes to running yoga retreats - it turns out that everyone has to work with what there is, even the sports stars!  She explains why yoga will ultimately complement any other form of physical activity you do.Find Diana: www.dianaperezpt.com
Can the body heal itself or is this just another alternative therapy "thing"?  I ask Kris Botterill this question, who, as one of Brighton's leading health practitioners with many years of experience in this field, is qualified to answer the question.  In her aptly named "Pamper Pod" she offers all forms of massage, reflexology and reiki to enable people to heal their mind and body.Find Kris: @pamperpod, www.thepamperpod.co.uk
Sarah Seymour's path to a life working with the arts - painting, singing, playing instruments and teaching music - did not manifest according to a plan!  Rather, it was a winding road with many twists and turns, often unexpected.  She shares her story of self-discovery and how she learned to follow and trust, and ultimately to let go.Find Sarah: www.sarahseymourart.co.uk
Our lives are dominated by the power of visual imagery during most of our waking hours given the amount of time we spend looking at all forms of digital devices.  From selfies to artistic shots, whether you are in front of the camera or behind it, photography is a creative process that just keeps on giving.  With a camera lens on every mobile phone, everyone can now be a photographer.  I talk to keen amateur landscape photographer Hamish Cameron about why taking pictures is such a powerful medium.
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