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55. Ashram Wisdom: 12 Essential Life Lessons From 12 Gurus ft Deborah Charnes

Connect (and learn) with Deborah Charnes on her virtual book club, social media, YouTube channel, and  

In today's episode, we explore:

  • The Transformative Power of Music: Debra shares how spiritually resonant music, like Mahalia Jackson's gospel, can transport and uplift us, playing a significant role in stress relief.

  • Importance of Recognizing and Managing Stress: Stress is a leading cause of various health issues, and finding personal practices to alleviate it is essential for a balanced life.

  • Selfless Service (Seva): Engaging in selfless acts of kindness can fill the heart with joy and positively impact mental well-being.

  • Digital Detox: Disconnecting from devices and reducing constant connectivity helps reclaim quiet time and reduce overstimulation, contributing to better mental health.

  • Influence of Global Mentors: Debra’s book, "From the Boxing Ring to the Ashram," incorporates wisdom from mentors around the world, offering diverse insights into leading a balanced life.

  • Conscious Shopping: Making mindful choices by supporting small businesses and choosing eco-friendly products promotes sustainability and aligns with personal values.

  • Chanting as a High-Vibe Practice: Different methods of chanting, from silent japa meditation to group kirtan, help connect with a higher spiritual plane and enhance daily well-being.

  • Practical Tips from the Book: Each chapter of Debra’s book includes easy-to-follow tips and practices that can be integrated into daily life for better health and happiness.

Deborah Charnes Bio:

Riddled with chronic low back pain and digestive disorders since childhood, Deborah Charnes spent 50 years exploring the world, uncovering secrets to health and happiness. 

For two decades, she managed hundreds of news conferences, editorial board meetings, press briefings, and one-on-one interviews. She worked with security, communications, and advance teams for John McCain, Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, then-Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, Bernie Sanders, megastar Jennifer Lopez, and the Vice President of El Salvador.

To balance the chaotic scales directing major league campaigns, it was essential for her to soothe the stress and 24/7 schedule with body, mind, and soul lifesavers. In 2011, Deborah left the high-pressure demands as an international corporate marketing communications strategist. Moving forward, she dedicated that same energy to positive transformation—of herself and others. She vowed to never stop learning—or sharing.

Already a certified yoga teacher, she added training in Ayurvedic massage therapy, nutrition, and cooking. She received certification in multiple holistic modalities and after an additional 800 hours of specialized training became one of the first bilingual (English/Spanish) certified yoga therapists in Texas. Coaching people of all ages, and with many physical or emotional challenges, she seeks to boost the body, mind, and spirit through simple techniques that can be practiced anywhere and anytime.  To that end, she has created a dozen signature therapeutic workshops. Among them are Dem Bones, Gutsy Yoga, Chill Out, Breath of Life, Chant and Be Happy, Tummy Bust, and Sugar Drop. All are offered in English and Spanish.

Deborah has lived, worked, and studied in the U.S. and Latin America. A travel blogger since the early WordPress days, she has published 500 mind/body and lifestyle articles. Her deep commitment to helping others achieve maximum well-being led her to write “From the Boxing Ring to the Ashram.” 


Full Episode Transcript:

[00:00:00] On today's episode, I have with me Debra Charns. She is a certified yoga therapist, and she's the author of the book, From the Boxing Ring to the Ashram. After leaving her high pressure corporate life, she dove into the world of yoga and Ayurvedic medicine. In this episode, we're going to explore the ancient Eastern philosophy of Ayurveda and explore the important connection between mind and body.

So let's dive into the episode. You have a book that sounds really interesting about, um, 12 different gurus and practices people can do in 10 minutes or less a day. So I'm excited to dive into a little bit more about your [00:01:00] book. , and about the Ayurvedic lifestyle. So before we jump into all of that, I wanted to start from the beginning because it sounds like you went from the corporate life and left all that and became a yoga instructor.

So why did you decide to become a yoga instructor? What was it about yoga? I finally prioritized my values and I finally gave into what my heart wanted to do. I had been practicing yoga, meditation, breath work for 50 years, but You know, it's you always are focused on the paycheck and finally I decided, hey, I can get by living without that much money.

I actually put together a projected scenario, like a what if worst case scenario, how much would I need to live on if all I ate was rice and beans? And, [00:02:00] um, so I finally said, okay, this is zit with the corporate life. , what I ended up doing is I didn't quit. I was a marketing communications specialist. I didn't quit completely.

I left the corporate world and I opened up my own consultancy, primarily working with nonprofits and also artists and people that were more in the creative field and when I opened up my own consultancy, The tagline, which, interestingly enough, is still my tagline for everything I do. And it was about, um, committed to make positive, um, to make positive transformation with whether it be of self in the community or in the planet.

 Transformation. . Self and, and community and the planet. I love that. Like you said you had already been [00:03:00] interested in yoga and in breath work and mindfulness and you were able to transition and make a living now from your values and that's a scary step. I think that.

You went about it in a way that can really inspire people, you know, to take the time because it can be a scary step. It can be a cost, like a sacrifice of if I want to do this, if I want to really live out my gifts, my values. My purpose, I might struggle at first, or it might be really difficult to make money at first.

And so we might have to sacrifice some of the comfort that we're used to. What did that look like for you? Because I did the transition by. Doing the marketing communications work at first, I pretty much have stopped doing that work, but because I was doing that, [00:04:00] and of course, I knew a lot of people in the marketing communications world that wanted to keep working with me.

So that transition financially was smoother. Mm hmm. However, I will say, That, you know, it got to a point, especially during COVID, when I reassessed even further. How I wanted to prioritize things. And prior to COVID, I always said, you know, yes. Oh my God. I feel like I'm retired because I'm not going into the office.

I don't have to dress up in suits and iron my hair. I don't have to fly on planes all over. So with that respect, it felt as if I was retired. And yet prior to COVID, I was working seven days a week and my income was not that great at all. [00:05:00] During COVID, I reassessed things and I prioritized and I decided I can't be driving all over every day of the week.

For just a small amount of money. . And also during COVID I reassessed in terms of, I had already, I had become a yoga therapist, a certified yoga therapist. And I had also, I already had many different. holistic modalities under my belt, but I'm still constantly learning more. And during COVID, I took that time to get a lot more modalities under my belt in terms of sound therapy, Kundalini.

, I did two different sound therapy. Oh, also Pilates. So I got lots more. Certifications under my belt and I [00:06:00] decided, you know, I really want to make a bigger impact than one on ones or small groups. And that was when I decided to write a book. And more recently, I have been launching on demand videos because if I give a workshop, let's just say there's 12 people in the workshop.

That's just 12 people, but I really want more people to learn what I've learned. Okay. It sounds like first you understood what your values are, what's helped you in your life, what your message is, and then. Kind of have been experimenting with different ways to get that message out.

And that's awesome to be able to take it to a book format and to video format. , and I want to dive into what those messages are. So what is Ayurveda and what's an Ayurvedic lifestyle? I think that plus the yoga philosophy are two really big. [00:07:00] teachings or modalities that, I'd love for you to kind of explain those to the listeners.

Sure. Well, first of all, I want to back up and say, as far as yoga, typically I get the answer. Oh, yoga means union. Yes. Yoga does mean union. But to me, Yoga is a lifestyle and likewise Ayurveda is about lifestyles and as a yoga therapist, I don't teach people yoga poses.

I may incorporate yoga poses, but it's about lifestyle management. And for those who have never heard of Ayurveda or maybe they've heard of it, but they have not too much of a. knowledge of what it is. Some people call it the sister science of yoga. It is the actual translation of it is the Vedas are the, is knowledge and it's the life science from [00:08:00] India.

And it's 5, 000 years old. And I equate it very much to traditional Chinese medicine. There are so many similarities and it's about wellness and it's about finding balance in your body and in your lifestyle as well for maximum well being. And when we talk about wellness from A non allopathic standpoint, it's body, mind, and spirit.

And unfortunately, in our Western world, the allopathic medicine, they look at things from a band aid approach. They give you a shot. They give you a pill. They cut you open and take something out. From both Indian and Chinese perspectives, it's looking at what is the root of your problem? [00:09:00] As a perfect example, I had my gallbladder removed about 20 years ago.

Do I really think I needed it removed? I probably not, but I went to the ER and they told me I needed it out. And I was in an awful lot of pain. They took it out. If I had gone to an Ayurvedic doctor or traditional Chinese medical practitioner, maybe they would have told me that I needed it out. But I don't think so.

I think that they would have helped find the balance so that I would not need the surgery. Granted, there are some things that do need surgery. If you have tumors, you need to get them out. From an Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine perspective, we are trying to find balance and much of it is about your lifestyle and the universe.

And the best Explanations I [00:10:00] like to share are if you live in Alaska, it really doesn't make sense to eat ice cream. You know, my ancestors came from cold Eastern European countries and my grandfather always ate hot soup. And now my, of course, everybody is different and even siblings are very different from an Ayurvedic perspective.

But my Ayurvedic constitution Requires me to always have hot liquids and stews and, you know, as opposed to, even though I live in Texas where it's hot, I need more heat. Our Western medicine, it feels like it's just physically focused. Like it's definitely missing a lot of the time.

It's definitely missing the spirit, the soul. Maybe sometimes there's some mind there, a little bit of more mental health or more on the logical side and everything, but [00:11:00] it definitely feels. Incomplete. And like you said, like a band aid, like we're not looking at a holistic picture. We're not considering other factors.

We're not getting to the root of the problem. We're just kind of looking at this physical symptom in front of us. And then having a physical solution of like, okay, surgery or okay, take this medicine versus what else can we do to make changes on the spiritual level, the mental level and those lifestyle changes.

So. When you say, Ayurvedic lifestyle and it's a lifestyle of wellness, I think that's so important because to be well, to have well being, it does require, a lifestyle approach and changes and that can change Throughout our life. So we always have to keep looking at it and seeing like, okay, what's going on today?

What's going on this year? What changes do I need to make? , and that [00:12:00] comes with being aware and knowing yourself. So I love that you share to like, for you, you've learned what works for you best is hot soups and, , stews and things like that. I think that's so interesting. Is that also tied in with, is that something like people can, get some more awareness about maybe the foods or, , health practices that are more individualized for them through this study, this knowledge of Ayurveda.

Well, I want to mention that, first of all, an entire chapter in my book is about digestive health and from an Ayurvedic perspective. And now, Western medicine understands with the gut microbiome that our gut does affect most of our physical well being and even emotional wellness. And as a result of that, I created one workshop, which I call the yogi [00:13:00] diet, which is all about what you should eat.

And it talks all about from an Ayurvedic perspective, for example, what you should eat versus what I should eat or what I should eat today versus what I should eat in December. And then I also have another workshop called the gutsy yoga, which is all about digestion and how to. light your digestive fire or calm down that fire if you have too much fire.

But from an Ayurvedic perspective, what I want to mention in terms of how everything is customized for the individual, and that's the other thing from a Western perspective, you know, everybody is told take two aspirins and call me in the morning. Um, whereas from an Ayurvedic perspective, each person is unique.

And Ayurvedic doctors will know what's right for you. And one of the main concepts is to eat and to act [00:14:00] according to what's called the dosha, which is considered your constitution. And I mentioned that I need hot liquids. And as a result of that, for example, even taking it to physical exercise, Hot yoga is good for me.

Hot yoga is not good for a lot of people. And let's just say again, from a logical perspective, if a woman is menopausal with hot flashes, she shouldn't be going to hot yoga, right? Maybe when she was 20 years younger, maybe she needed more of that fire. She needed to be heated up. So that's why Every person is different and every person changes, not only with the year, but with the day in terms of a calendar, and also the day in terms of the hour.

And what I like, again, examples [00:15:00] are, if I wake up in the morning, it might be really good to do sun salutations. But, At night, maybe yin yoga or restorative yoga where it's a moon based practice is much more appropriate. I'm also, I mentioned constantly learning and getting more and more certifications.

I'm also a prenatal, postpartum, and yoga for fertility credentialed teacher. And one of the teachings from that is that women. should not like men every day of the year do the same physical exercise. Modify not only their physical exercise, but their lifestyle based on the cycle based on the monthly cycle.

I so believe that. Yeah. But most of us don't do [00:16:00] that. You know, most of us, you know, we're kind of, we're living, we're living in more of a masculine world where we are taught. You know, do the same thing every day, ignore, you know, your cycles. Yeah. Yeah. It's interesting. It's, I feel like it just happens naturally a lot.

I mean, I'm sure there's outliers or whatever, everyone's different, but it's just funny even between my husband and I, how he can be so consistent and like, okay, I'm training for a marathon. I'm going to run every day. It doesn't bother him. And for me, I'm like. I can't like sometimes I'll have more energy for that, or I need to do something different.

And I've had a podcast in the past, , I don't remember what episode, but talking about, , the moon and cycles and how women circadian rhythm can be different than men's. And so I love that you bring that up as well. What I think is so. , cool and helpful is, [00:17:00] Ayurveda, it sounds like it has a wealth of knowledge and it's been around for a long time and a lot of people use it.

Um, and I think this, you know, in addition to some other ancient. Wisdom that we've had on the podcast before, like human design and astrology and different things. I always find these so helpful for anyone, , because like you said, a lot of times people are just kind of ignoring their bodies. They're just kind of doing what they've always done or what their neighbor or their friends are doing.

And so, , Just being able to sit down with this information, maybe not all of it resonates at first, or some of it seems really out there or whatever, taking yourself through that experiment to really start building that mindful practice of let me. Sit with this. Let me see how this feels. Do I notice a difference if I, you [00:18:00] know, this thing might be saying I should have hot versus cold.

Okay, how does that actually feel for me? , I think that's awesome. Is there anything else when it comes to this philosophy that just stands out to you and is unique to you? Well, first of all, I did want to mention that Ayurveda, aside from being tested through history, there are so many research studies that validate its efficacy, even if you look at specific, um, issues, let's just say digestion, or let's just say ulcers.

And when I wrote my book, an entire chapter, as I mentioned, is about the guts, and I call it Go With the Gut, and it's focused on my Ayurvedic teacher and who is a doctor and an Ayurvedic teacher, and I [00:19:00] did a lot of research and I found on the Indian government, what the equivalent of the US' NIH, national Institutes of Health.

Yeah, the Indian government has an an amazing. database where they have, I don't know, I'm going to make up the number. The number is probably in my book. Let's just say 285, 000 research studies and their database. You can plug in, let's just say migraines and you'll find all the different research related to migraines.

, so it definitely is. Not only tested through time, but there have been so many, um, clinical studies that validate what the merits of them and, I think, you know, one of the things too that we talk about, we talked about lifestyle and lifestyle is not [00:20:00] just what you eat or what kind of physical practice you do.

But it's everything. It's holistic. It's what time do you go to bed? It's what do you dream of? It's what do you do in your free time? And it's just everything you can think of falls into lifestyle management. So for some, let's just, as an example, I had one yoga therapy client. And one of the recommendations that I had for this person was to go dancing because for that person I felt that dance would be a good release.

For other people I have done art therapy. There are so many different things. And then I love sound [00:21:00] therapy. I personally do a lot of mantra meditation every single day. And one of the chapters in my book, From the Boxing Ring to the Ashram is all about. The power of sound therapy, and again, we have a lot of research findings that show the validity of sound therapy.

Why do you think, like, I'd love just to hear your personal perspective on this concept of mind, body, and soul. Like why it's important and for you personally, what does it mean to be mindful of our mind, inner body, and our soul? How can we start that process of being mindful of those three things in our life?

Well, first of all, I am a very fact based kind of. , person, I tend to be, um, doubtful. I want to see research that backs up everything. And if [00:22:00] you look at the percentage, and I don't have the number right off the top of my head, but it's something like 80 percent of doctors visits are stress related. Mm hmm.

And a perfect example is when I was a kid, I had chronic digestive disorders. Mm I went to a gastroenterologist and fortunately, he told me when I was a kid that my digestive disorders, which would be for the rest of my life, you know, it's not like take a pill and they're gone. He told me that much of it was stress induced.

And that is how I actually ended up getting into, um, The meditation and the breath work. I had never even heard of meditation or breath work, but I just instinctively found that that soothed me. And as I have delved deeper into the yogic world. I [00:23:00] always say yoga is not about the physical exercise, there's so much to it, and to me one of the things that is closest to me or that I treasure the most, I mentioned sound therapy, but chanting and chanting is a form of yoga and chanting is more spiritual.

And, of course, you can chant anything, you can chant Beatles songs, but the Beatles, by the way, they were yogis, and spent a lot of time in India, and a lot of their songs have Sanskrit prayers in them, or they have this sitar, they took influences from India, but even You know, you can, maybe you personally like hard rock music, and maybe that helps you, but mantras in particular.

They're spiritual, and [00:24:00] they have meanings, and the resonance of them, they just can take you to another place, and so from that perspective, it's very much the spiritual side, and I talk about in my book, when I was a kid, you know, I was not a you know, big. religious at all. But when I was a kid, I used to get up early morning and I would watch Mahalia Jackson, her gospel hour on TV every morning.

And I was transported into another world when I would hear that gospel music. It just did something to me that let's just say playing in the park wouldn't do. And so I recognize that. There, there's something that we just can't necessarily, um, [00:25:00] put a finger on but you can feel it. Yeah, it's important to continue to be aware of What we're feeling day to day, because like you said, stress has been that number one cause what doctors see in their office and I've, I've read similar stats and things like that too.

When it comes down to, you know, deaths, heart attacks, work related, like all these different things. A lot of the time, the main culprit of what it boils down to is stress. stress, right?

And then also noticing the things that affect us positively or to help relieve the stress or things that make us feel really good and really energized or, you know, like we're in a transcendent place. We're transported, like you said. So, I love that the examples that you gave and I think that's good for people to kind of think about and recognize to like what are those things and are we doing those practices regularly [00:26:00] enough,

like what could be those practices or things that actually help us to let go of stress and to help us to kind of transform our lifestyle. Two of the other chapters in my book, I consider my book, From the Boxing Ring to the Ashram, to be a yoga therapy in disguise book. Because it's everything that I consider to be, well not everything, but everything in my book, I consider yoga therapy.

Although, The average person would think, Oh, that's not yoga. That's not therapy, but it is. And two examples are one is selfless service and yoga. We refer to it as Seva or karma yoga. And again, selfless service. We don't do it too. We certainly don't do it for any feathers in our cap. We do it just because our heart tells us to do it.

To give and to help [00:27:00] but I find when I practice selfless service My heart feels so good. It's just something it really does feel good. And so that's an example. And then another example that I want to talk about, which again, in terms of lifestyle that people don't consider is I also talk about a digital disconnect or a secular Sabbath.

And we are. Most of us are working seven days a week. If we're not working seven days a week, we're still checking our devices, our email, our text messages, Slack, WhatsApp, whatever. We are inundated with so many different connective devices. Devices. Yeah. When I was a kid, well, when I was beyond a kid, when I was even first working as a public relations [00:28:00] specialist, we didn't even have cell phones.

We only had landlines. And when you were not at your landline, nobody could contact you. You had that quiet time, whether it was quiet or not. And nowadays we are all reachable anywhere in the world. Yeah, or seven. And I think it is essential that we Disconnect not only from devices, but I also think it's essential to not be driving in a car so much.

I mentioned during COVID. Oh my God, I loved. I was no longer driving all over every single day. I used to spend so much time in my car. I will say I lived in a beautiful countryside. I could see all the wildflowers and it was beautiful scenery, but it's still not good physically for your body to [00:29:00] be sitting in the car.

And it's also not good for your nerves to be driving and to be aware that at any time there could be an accident. Therefore, I think it's important to not be driving every day and to disconnect from your devices. , definitely. That's, that's been one of the biggest things for me and my friends to challenging each other and keeping each other accountable to, delete some apps and to spend less time on the phone.

Because I remember too, , definitely in middle school and in high school, you know, that's when my space started and the little flip flops. Phone started, but it was still pretty much just texting. It wasn't all the millions of social media platforms and constant notifications trying to distract you, but, um, it's so easy to fall into those distractions and it's so deceptive.

Like you think it's a feel good [00:30:00] thing. You get that little short term dopamine hit and it just fuels that addiction. But it's just keeping you from what actually you're. Body and your soul is craving like the exercise that the real connection with people face to face being creative, right? I was so much more creative.

I was so much more connected to nature and everything before all the devices. And now I have to constantly fight against that addiction and pull myself away from the phone and the notifications that come in. To give myself that time to say, no, I'm going to go for a walk or no, I'm going to draw. I'm not going to let myself just scroll on Instagram pointlessly for hours and get distracted.

And to me, everything you're talking about, about what you can do when you're not on your devices, that's all yoga, whether it's taking a walk, being in nature, being creative. To me, that's what yoga is. [00:31:00] Yeah, I love that. , what, what came to mind for you, like when you're getting ready and you're writing your book, what was, I know you kind of, obviously you've been sharing about your values and your mission to help transform lives, but can you just share a little bit more about, , The meaning behind your book?

Sure. Well, I decided that when I came up with the idea for my book, I had been traveling and living in different parts of the world to seek more knowledge and wisdom. And I kind of identified Twelve of my mentors around the world who I thought were really important and each one had something very different to contribute.

They're in four continents. They represent all religions, all ethnicities. And for example, one of [00:32:00] them was the, the Swami who taught me the importance of selfless service. Another one is actually a rabbi who taught me about the importance of a secular Sabbath. Um, two of them are MDs. One taught me a lot about spinal health.

Another one is a neurologist. They all have very different, uh, fields and they all taught me different things that to me, as I mentioned, are part of yoga therapy. Yeah. And I wanted to, one, honor them, but more importantly, share what I felt were the nuggets of wisdom that can be used simply. By most of us today who are really still juggling far too many [00:33:00] things and we don't have enough free time to be a yogi sitting in a cave, right?

Yeah. And that's why I kind of boil it down to every chapter gives something that you can do in 10 minutes a day or less. Yeah, and even just the few examples you shared, I mean, it really can make a huge difference and transform your life. If it's not something you're already doing, what have been some personal transformations that you noticed going through some of these practices?

I guess my transformation has been over 50 years, but without a doubt, you know, they each came, each one of these elements came into my life. At a different time of my life, and I would like to think that I [00:34:00] still continue with each one, but sometimes you need one more than you need another, and that's also why I talk about my book as being a book.

You don't have to read it in a linear perspective. You can jump from chapter nine to chapter three to chapter six, based on what you feel is most important to you at the time. And then see how you can ultimately string them together or what is most important to you. . Yeah. I was wondering about that.

It sounds like, , Since they're all different from different backgrounds and different kind of like a whole lesson and teaching within each chapter, that's cool that you can kind of pick your own journey and decide where to start. Is there anything that we didn't cover that you would love to share with listeners before we send them to all the fun, amazing things that you have [00:35:00] going on and have them follow your journey?

Well, each of my chapters has five easy tips, and then each of my chapters has a give it a try section, which is like, you know, what you can do simply, and so I'll, I would love to just share one. Yeah, please. One of my guru's five easy tips. This is from a guru who lives in India. He's an American who has been a Swami in India for many years.

His own autobiography is the most amazing read. I talk about it as Indiana Jones Search for Spirituality. His name is Radhanath Swami and his, one of his books, but the one that's the, I think, amazing journey is called The Journey Home. And here's five easy tips. Love to attract love. True wealth is to love and be loved.

Love life, love yourself, love [00:36:00] humanity, love other species, love the planet. Ooh, so good. Number two, engage your God given gifts with a mindset of gratitude and service. to others. Three, earn with integrity and spend with compassion, which so much ties into my job change. Be active in the world, but stay rooted in the soil of honesty and grace.

Every dollar you earn or spend can make a difference when done with integrity and care. And, you know, for example, there are some retailers which I will not shop at for humanitarian or personal reasons. And as far as, let's just say, when I'm, if I'm going to buy a car, I want it to be as green as possible.

Yeah. Just because. I want to [00:37:00] support the environment, but also support businesses that create. energy, car, efficient cars. Number four, recognize the higher power behind your success and share the credit with others. And five, be a nonconformist. In today's world, we are often encouraged to love material things and use people.

Do the reverse. Embrace the evolved spiritual culture of loving people and using things to facilitate that love. Those are so good. So profound. And even that last one ties in with the conscious choices you're making too of how you shop and everything. And we have to wake up to that and be conscious to it because it's easy not to if the top, you know, corporations and all the advertisement everywhere that we're inundated with are telling us like, no, [00:38:00] no, it's okay.

Buy this thing, this cheap labor thing and this toxic, whatever thing, then you just go with it until you wake up. Like, wait, why am I doing this? No, I'm being lied to. Well, that was. That's what triggered my ultimately leaving the corporate world because I worked primarily for beer and burger companies and I had been a vegetarian, non alcoholic drinker most of my life.

Mm hmm. And then I also represented a lot of the pharmaceutical companies. I represented, let's just say, I represented diapers, you know, disposable diapers, whereas I only had cloth diapers for my daughter and I hand washed them and dried them outside. I represented the biggest companies in the United States that made what I think are all poisonous type foods, you know, made with all sorts of things that you don't know what they [00:39:00] are.

And I just felt That I was not using my talents and experiences to do something good, which is why I changed and started working with nonprofits and artists and others. But as just one other example of what I love doing, and partly, you know, hey, I'm not rolling in dough. I love thrifting. Yeah. To me, you can find the neatest things, the most unique things, but I like the idea that I'm not wasting and I'm not contributing to all the landfills everywhere.

Recycling, reusing, and upcycling is so important. Agreed. And there's really cool even apps nowadays. I mean, it's nice to go to a thrift store. I love all the local ones. But even like Depop, um, [00:40:00] Is one that I'm amazed. I can find all the like weird, unique things I like or clothing, you know, brands and things that I like, um, from musicians and creators and artists, but they're used, right?

It's like, oh, people bought it at one time. And then for whatever reason, they don't want that in their wardrobe anymore. And, but it's still in great condition. And then I'm like, awesome. Now I can, you know, give it a new life. So. There's a lot of, , ways we can do that. So I think it's just kind of being open to that and training ourselves to start looking for those ways.

Cause maybe there's resistance at first or like, you know, Oh, it's more convenient to just buy the new thing or whatever, but there's apps. I mean, you know, there's a lot of options nowadays for us to be able to do that. And you can even sell your own stuff, too, and make some money nowadays with that, too.

And also, I was a small business owner in South America. I owned a restaurant, a small cafe [00:41:00] bar. And because of that, I always want to Purchase whatever possible from a small business owner. Yeah, those two the big boxes of the world. Yep Yep, I think that's the the best way to go for sure um, so my last question that I like to ask all guests is what are some of the Like routines practices things that you love to stay high vibe.

Well, I have to say chanting Chanting and To me, some of the most important things is, of course, a daily physical yoga practice, but also being, and I try to do it outside in my backyard, and I love walks in nature, and to me, again, I love it. I feel that I have to be part of nature and going back to when I was talking about COVID, I loved it because I [00:42:00] was living in the country and I was on a, a country road.

I could walk anywhere and never even see anybody. And to me, that is so invaluable. I used to say when I lived in the country, in the country, that I felt that my trees were worth a million dollars. Yeah. Awesome. And I just have to ask a little bit more because I've never had a guest say chanting, and I would just love to hear a little bit more about what that practice kind of looks like for you.

There are so many different ways to do it, which is why I actually have a workshop called chant. Awesome. And, and there are many different ways to do it. You can chant silently. or whisper with beads in the japa meditation where each mantra you roll it on a bead. I also [00:43:00] love chanting out loud and in group which is often called kirtan and then also even in my physical yoga practices you can chant when you're doing physical yoga or you can just kind of chill out and hear beautiful mantras.

Along with my launching of my workshops for women, I have a new divine feminine Mantra playlist. Ooh, that sounds so good. And so they are all different mantras that are of course, um, for the female goddesses. Mm-Hmm. , is that on your website or a link? I'll put all the links on the show notes and yeah, I think now's a good time for you to let us know just the places that you want us to follow you and ways people can work with you, what you have going on.

My website is my name [00:44:00] Debra, D-E-B-O-R-A-H, chars, C-H-A-N-E My Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and LinkedIn are also my name and my Facebook is VTH, ETE Counsel, C-O-U-N-S-E-L. And , I have a lot of blogs. I will be posting a blog soon about the Divine Feminine and I will include the playlist there. Okay.

Awesome. Great. Well, thank you so much. This was such an awesome conversation to introduce people maybe they haven't heard of before, Ayurvedic medicine and Ayurvedic lifestyle and, knowing that they can work with someone like you as a yoga therapist, definitely they should pick up a copy of your book.

Where can they pick that up? Anywhere on the line, and it's, you know, anywhere in the world, pretty much online, I don't want to scare you to one versus [00:45:00] another, but on my website, DebraCharms. com slash book, I have four different links that take you to different online vendors, and of course, depending on where you live, it could be in different, um, different locations.

Bye. Um, retailers, you know, at different bookstores. In particular, um, I'm in Austin, Texas. And so most of the independent bookstores in Austin, Texas and in San Antonio, uh, have my book there. Awesome. Perfect. Thank you so much for being on the episode today. Thank you. It's been a [00:46:00] joy.

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