Radha Metro-Midkiff, Executive Director of the Integral Yoga Institute New York, brings extensive experience in yoga and business. Raised in Yogaville under Sri Swami Satchidananda, she attended the Integral Yoga School from 1st to 12th grade.

Certified as a Hatha and Raja Yoga instructor at 18, she is one of four individuals to receive Dharma confirmation directly from Swami Satchidananda.

Here are the topics of discussion:

[1:22] Get to Know Radha Metro-Midkiff’s Yoga Journey

  • Radha’s parents embraced yoga and meditation before her birth, immersing her in a yogic lifestyle from the start.
  • At age one, Radha’s family connected with Swami Satchidananda, founder of Integral Yoga, who promoted an interfaith approach to yoga.
  • Reflecting on her lifelong practice, Radha acknowledges the challenges she’s faced but credits meditation and yoga techniques for navigating them.

[7:17] Benefits of Yoga for the Human Body

  • Yoga, a 5,000-year-old science, now supported by modern Western research, starts with physical postures familiar to many.
  • These postures can involve breathwork and chanting, utilizing the breath and voice to enhance practice.
  • Astonishingly, just 30 seconds of deep breathing can begin to reverse the stress response.

[15:16] The Importance of Yogic Life and Meditation

  • Integral yoga encompasses six branches, including Hatha yoga (physical practice) and Raja yoga (the study of yoga science).
  • Japa yoga involves the repetition of divine names, often in Sanskrit, which predates Hinduism.
  • Yana yoga caters to analytical minds, offering a pathway to mindfulness and mental clarity.

[19:38] Understanding Karma in Yogic Teachings

  • Karma is the idea that every action has a reaction, impacting the world around us positively or negatively.
  • Karma yoga, or selfless service, allows you to cleanse karmic debt without knowing its origins. Serving selflessly purifies past actions and releases you from karmic burdens.
  • Paying down karmic debt through selfless actions can lead to a more liberated and flourishing life.

[23:27] The Yogic Lifestyle for Beginners

  • For those new to yoga, it’s a comprehensive lifestyle, not just a physical practice.
  • Everyday practices include Pratipaksha Bhavana, transforming negative thoughts into positive ones.
  • Meditation trains the mind to focus, helping control and redirect thoughts from negative to positive.

[29:31] Benefits of Morning Meditation

  • Meditation significantly reduces stress, a fact backed by science.
  • For beginners, start small. Swami Satchitananda recommended meditating for 30 minutes, three times a day.
  • Any meditation, even just a few minutes, is beneficial and helps build focus and calmness over time.

[31:52] Meditation and Enlightenment

  • Yogis believe we inherently possess peace and equanimity; daily events just cloud this truth.
  • Meditation clears these disturbances, revealing our natural state of calm and unity with everything.
  • True understanding of oneness helps us see through the illusion of separation and experience profound tranquility.

[36:30] Understanding Life’s Challenges

  • The root of suffering is our identification with transient things like the body and mind.
  • Recognizing that we are not our bodies or minds but an immortal self helps us detach from the highs and lows of life.
  • This realization brings equanimity, reducing the impact of life’s ups and downs.

[41:03] Navigating Unhappy Phases in Life

  • Distinguishing between our transient bodies and our eternal selves can help us navigate difficult times.
  • Embracing the idea that we are part of something greater provides comfort and perspective.
  • Faith in the transformative nature of energy and recognizing our eternal self helps us endure and find peace in challenging phases.

[48:10] Simple Tips for Daily Calmness

  • Conscious breathing can instantly calm you, even in stressful situations. Begin by simply noticing your breath going in and out.
  • Gradually increase the depth of your breathing, ensuring that your inhale and exhale are of equal length. Over time, make your exhalations twice as long as your inhalations.
  • Spend a few minutes chanting “om.” This simple practice can help soothe your mind and body.

[50:16] Connect with Radha Metro-Midkiff

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