It was a rainy Tuesday morning, and things were not going well. I had slept in late, snoozing my iPhone alarm twice and missing the morning yoga class I had been counting on—for the second time that week. Annoyed and frustrated, I had rushed out the door in the rain to get to work on time, only to find myself stuck underground in a grimy subway station, waiting for what felt like forever for a delayed train. I sighed, slipped my headphones on, and turned on a podcast.
Even though the train didn’t come for a full 17 minutes, the longer I sat in the subway station listening, the less upset I was. In fact, by the time the train arrived, my mood had entirely shifted.
Seventeen minutes later, I was calmer—even though I’d missed my morning practice. I was feeling more aware and in tune with myself—even with my less than stellar surroundings. I had switched on “From the Heart,” a podcast by yoga celebrity Rachel Brathen. That day, Brathen talked in a vulnerable and revealing way about her foibles and anger, about how upset she sometimes got about stupid things outside of her control (like sleeping through a yoga class, or in her case, noticing someone had painted a fence outside her studio), and about holding on and letting go. It was like she was talking directly to me, in a way that made me both forgiving of myself and forgiving of the train for being late.
I learned from Brathen that day—and from the countless other podcasts I’ve added to my library—that sometimes it’s not enough to just “think positively” and coach myself out of a negative mood. Sometimes, I need someone else to remind me. With a podcast, I can instantly hear from spiritual masters, yoga teachers, and great thinkers, and they can help call me back to the way I feel at the end of a yoga class—even if I miss it.
Ready for the same kind of inspirational listening? Here are the 11 best yoga and mindfulness podcasts to get started.
Best yoga podcast #1: 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 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.
Best yoga podcast #2: 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 it’s 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.
Best yoga podcast #3: 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.
Best yoga podcast #4: 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. 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.
Best yoga podcast #5: 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. (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 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.
Best yoga podcast #6: 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. The show 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.
Best yoga podcast #7: Here and Now with Ram Dass
Maui-based author and spiritual teacher Ram Dass is a popular American spiritual leader and teacher. This podcast, featuring his talks recorded from the past and present, covers bhakti and spiritual enlightenment with heart-centered personal lectures and advice he’s 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.”
Best yoga podcast #8: Yogaland Podcast with Andrea Ferretti
In this podcast, Yoga Journal contributing editor and yoga teacher Andrea Ferretti interviews a variety of experts about topics like mindfulness, yoga, and self-improvement. She dishes on anatomy, meditation, dealing with emotions, as well as yoga news and developments, like the practice being used in more schools. This podcast is a top download to learn more about yoga—and also, to learn more about yourself.
Best yoga podcast #9: 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 this a humorous, fun, and uplifting listen.
Best yoga podcast #10: 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. “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.”
Best yoga podcast #11: 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” (titled as a play on “MBA”) is about learning about 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.
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.