The Best Inspirational Podcasts to Download Right Now - Yoga Journal

The Best Inspirational Podcasts to Download Right Now

Whether you’re on the mat or on the couch, these are our favorite quarantine-appropriate podcasts for these strange and stressful times.
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Here are Yoga Journal’s top picks for yoga and meditation podcasts that can calm you down and inspire compassion

Are you feeling uneasy, scared, anxious, and a little bored? Honestly, you’d be nuts if you weren’t. We get it. It feels like danger is lurking around every corner. How do you open your heart and live with compassion amidst the uncertainty of a global pandemic?

The one thing we know: we need each other more than ever. So, now is the perfect time to lean into the collective wisdom of some celebrated teachers, experts, and scholars to get new perspective on these troubling times. Some of these podcasts are deep dives into spiritual practices, some are uplifting, entertaining, and even funny, others are there to make you think, or even rethink, some of your ingrained stereotypes about yoga.

You are not in this alone. Take some time to connect and learn from others. And share your new knowledge with someone who needs encouragement.

Ready for inspirational listening? Here are some of the best yoga and mindfulness podcasts to get started.

Unlocking Us with Brene Brown

This brand new podcast with the nation’s famous “shame researcher” and Oprah’s bestie, Brene Brown, features conversations with thought leaders like author Glennon Doyle and #MeToo activist Tarana Burke. Unlocking Us with Brene Brown also covers Brown’s own personal thoughts on finding the courage to try new things and coping with the stress of a worldwide pandemic. 

From the Heart: Conversations with Rachel Brathen

The worldwide community Rachel Brathen, a.k.a. Yoga Girl has created around Instagram, Facebook, and podcasting is impossible to ignore in the yoga space. Brathen is a trailblazer who runs her own yoga retreat and teacher training center in Aruba. Her deeply honest podcast—From the Heart: Conversations with Rachel Brathen—covers a range of issues, including self-doubt, yoga teaching, mindfulness, the struggles and triumphs of being a new mom, and developing her thriving yoga business.

On Being With Krista Tippett

I personally love this award-winning podcast, which features deep conversations on issues from death to spirituality to joy. Krista Tippett, a journalist and author, asks experts to talk about the big picture things at the core of our lives. While On Being With Krista Tippett not specifically about yoga, it is about thinking and mindfulness—and conversations about the “inner landscape of beauty,” “the spirituality of imagination,” and the “difference between fixing and healing,” has impacted my yoga practice, and the way I live, in powerful ways.

Where Should We Begin with Ester Perel

Let’s face it. Stress affects all the relationships in your life. Famed Belgian couples therapist and author of the worldwide bestseller Mating in Captivity Esther Perel gives you a peek inside real couples counseling. Nothing is taboo: sexless marriages, infidelity, long-distance relationships, creating real intimacy, and more. Where Should We Begin with Ester Perel even takes you inside an Italian couple’s strained relationship during quarantine. 

10% Happier with Dan Harris

ABC news correspondent and New York Times bestselling author Dan Harris talks to fascinating meditation teachers, authors, and thinkers like Mallika Chopra, daughter of Deepak Chopra, and Thupten Jinpa, the principal English translator to the Dalai Lama since 1985, on 10% Happier with Dan Harris. Harris asks about their mindfulness practices in an effort to help listeners develop their own tips and tricks to cultivate a happier, calmer mental state. With charm, wit, and a light-hearted approach, Harris makes the shows as fun and approachable as they are deep.

See also These 6 Simple Exercises Can Help You Cultivate More Compassion For Yourself

Yoga is Dead

Indian-American hosts and yoga teachers Tejal Patal and Jesal Parikh hold nothing back when discussing the state of yoga in the West, diving into how privilege, cultural appropriation, fair pay, and capitalism have affected this ancient practice. In each episode of Yoga is Dead, they investigate who or what “killed” yoga: 200-Hour Teacher Training, vegans, gurus, white women, and more. 

Yoga Talks with J. Brown

Writer and world-traveling yoga teacher J. Brown offers a podcast dealing with issues in the yoga community, from sexual harassment to Instagram to the evolution of Ashtanga Yoga. (Recent guests range from Pedro Luna, creator of Insta account YogiMemes, to Dr Loren Fishman, founder of yoga medicine resource yip.guru.) A smart, intellectual podcast, Yoga Talks with J. Brown, is about everything happening in the yoga world. You’ll find some of the yoga world’s biggest movers and shakers talking about everything from culture and mindfulness to philosophy and the business of yoga.

Food Psych with Christy Harrison

On Food Psych with Christy Harrison, Dietitian Christy Harrison dives into the pervasive danger of “diet culture” and how it wreaks havoc with our self-esteem, destroys our natural appetite, creates “fatphobia,” oppresses marginalized people, and robs womxn of their power and energy. You’ll learn about intuitive eating, joyful movement, Health at Every Size principles, and some tips for breaking free from restriction from and obsession with food. 

Meditation in the City!: A Shambhala Podcast

This fun, laid-back podcast out of the Shambhala Meditation Center in New York tries to approach topics in meditation from a relaxed, down-to-earth, talk-centric perspective. Meditation in the City!: A Shambhala Podcast features guests like award-winning writer Laura Simms and psychotherapist Natalie Baker, who analyze topics like the nature of courage. These accessible talks can help you both improve your own practice and learn helpful ways to teach others to meditate in class.

Here and Now with Ram Dass

Maui-based author and spiritual teacher Ram Dass was a popular American spiritual leader and teacher. Here and Now with Ram Dass, featuring his talks, covers bhakti and spiritual enlightenment with heart-centered personal lectures and the advice delivered for more than 40 years. “The lectures and spiritual talks offer incredible insight in the journey back to the heart,” says Lyon. “Any time I am in that unknown space or seek guidance, I turn on Ram Dass. His stories deeply resonate with the human journey, what goes on in our mind, and how to bring it back to the heart.”

See also Spiritual Leader Ram Dass on Zen and the Art of Dying

Yogaland Podcast with Andrea Ferretti

In this podcast, former Yoga Journal editor and yoga teacher Andrea Ferretti interviews a variety of experts about topics like mindfulness, yoga, and self-improvement. She dishes on anatomy, meditation, and dealing with emotions, as well as yoga news and developments, like the practice being used in more schools. Yogaland Podcast with Andrea Ferretti is a top download to learn more about yoga—and also, to learn more about yourself.

Radically Loved with Rosie Acosta

In this podcast, Rosie Acosta—a popular yoga and meditation teacher and Yoga Journal cover model—covers a variety of topics ranging from overcoming a fear of public speaking (an important thing for yoga teachers) to simple ways to start your day off on the right foot. Her warm and welcoming tone coupled with the interesting guests she invites on the show come together to make Radically Loved with Rosie Acosta a humorous, fun, and uplifting listen.

See also How Yoga Transformed Rosie Acosta's Life

Tara Brach

Tara Brach, a prominent psychologist, meditation teacher, and the founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC, offers years of her recorded lectures and meditations related to mindfulness, intentional living, and self-care on her self-named podcast, Tara Brach. “I adore her talks, because I always learn something about my emotional health and come away with tidbits or ideas to live more mindfully and intentionally,” says Molly Porth Cabrera, a yoga teacher and doula in Mexico City. “Her podcasts are a part of my regular spiritual practice and have allowed me to grow significantly on a spiritual and personal level.”

M.B.Om | Mastering the Business of Yoga with Amanda Kingsmith

Canadian yoga teacher and business school grad and Amanda Kingsmith is just starting out in the yoga world—and she has a lot of questions. Her podcast, M.B.Om | Mastering the Business of Yoga with Amanda Kingsmith, is about learning the business of yoga—centered around stories from yoga studio owners on how they got started. Kingsmith interviews yoga studio owners from around the country to find out. This podcast is a fascinating, insider look at things like starting your own yoga studio, running a teacher training, and creating a global yoga brand.

See also 10 Business Secrets to Starting a Successful Yoga Career

Jivamukti Yoga with Jessica Stickler

On Jivamukti Yoga with Jessica Stickler Popular New York City-based yoga teacher Jessica Stickler records her live classes, giving listeners an opportunity to catch her inspiring dharma talks and chanting at the start of class, and even follow along if they want to practice. “Jessica is a wonderful teacher who discusses yoga philosophy in a way that brings it direct to the heart of humanity,” says Daphne Lyon, a top yoga and meditation teacher in Portland, Oregon.

The Danielle Mercurio Show

Astrologist, life coach, and meditation teacher Danielle Mercuio shares her hilarious take on astrology and life on this fun podcast made for those who love a spiritual approach to what’s written in the stars. Get tuned into your life’s purpose and what makes you smile, and even find out what astrology has to say about coronavirus, on the The Danielle Mercurio Show. Bonus: tons of helpful career advice for the small business owner or independent contractor.

Read more about Yoga Journal's new podcasts.

About the Author

Gina Tomaine is a Philadelphia-based writer and editor. She is currently Deputy Lifestyle Editor of Philadelphia magazine, and previously served as Associate Deputy Editor of Rodale’s Organic Life. She’s been published in Prevention, Women’s Health, Runner’s World and more. Learn more at ginatomaine.com

Updated by Jennifer Davis-Flynn.