Hey friends. Before we get into this week's episode, if you are in the Austin area, I would like to invite you to my upcoming socially distant outdoor yoga event yin, yoga and healing harp at tree garden. The event will be held on sunday May 23rd 2021 from 4 to 5 30 pm. If you haven't yet been to tree garden hoe, it is so beautiful. It is this outdoor event space nestled in nature located in east Austin, talented musician Andrea Cortez of Mind Body Music Center will be playing the harp as I teach restorative yin yoga. It will be so relaxing and so memorable. I hope you can join us. You can check out the event link in the show notes, Please reserve your spot as space is limited. Now let's get on with the show. Hello friends and welcome to the yoga and podcast. I'm your host, Ashley Webber yoga and Pilates teacher who is living and learning every day in the beautiful Austin texas and I'm constantly curious about all things yoga and if this is your first time joining us well, welcome, this podcast is an invitation to open up your aperture to how we might view yoga.
Is it possible that yoga is more than something that you do on a piece of rubber but could it also be infused into other aspects of our lives. This show also is a celebration for the hard working people in the mind body community who are being of service and are contributing to the world in creative and innovative ways. On today's episode, we will sit down and chat with psychologist author and yoga teacher Dr joe Ekeler, we will explore the subject of yoga and helping if you are in the professional field of helping perhaps massage therapist caregiver or maybe you're a new yoga teacher or your helper by nature. This episode is for you, joe gives us real world advice and insight to help us. Helpers better navigate some of the pitfalls in giving too much. I know you're going to love this episode just as much as I did. Now let's sit back, relax and enjoy the episode, y'all.
Mm Mhm Yeah, okay, joining us on today's episode is psychologist coach, author and yoga teacher. Dr joe Ekeler. Hey, how are you today, joe? Hey. Oh, I'm so happy to be here and spend some time with you and your lovely audience. Thank you so much. I'm so excited you're here. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to talk with us. Would you like to introduce yourself just a little bit more and tell us who you are, what you're about for the listeners. Oh, um I guess I have a lot of things that I do, but what I'm mainly about is helping people deal a little bit better with the messiness of being human, I think at least that's how I'm thinking of it these days because um you know, I've been trained in that in a lot of different ways.
So I try to put that together So we could I've had a lot of different experiences over the last 20 years um trying to help people and just figure out whatever I can to be useful in the world and we'll dive deeper into more specifics of that. Um as we go on today, uh but you are a yoga teacher, this is a yoga podcast. I'm curious how does yoga show up in your own life these days? It's been less than matt and more breath work and some meditation. But also just remembering that everything changes no matter how uncomfortable it is, it'll shift at some point. I have a lot of chronic illnesses and that's been very useful this year. Um as you know, they flare up and things like that. And also just remembering that spaciousness that yoga can remind us of, just like how vast we really are. You know, even if we have a particular sensation, that's not all that we are, we're bigger than that.
Oh, and you mentioned that in one of your books, which I'll ask you more about that point in a moment. But I'm also curious about, well you're a psychologist. So what led you to the field of psychology Uh partly uh intro psychology book I got at a garage sale when I was like eight. I just found it fascinating. But also I've kind of been doing this my whole life anyway, people have always come to me and told me all kinds of things and whether or not I I was ready to hear them but and so what I what I needed and wanted was more skills and tools to be able to actually be helpful instead of overwhelmed and and feeling helpless. And so that took me down this road. Plus as a psychologist you get to wear a lot of different hats, you can do a lot of different things and I like to do a lot of different things as you've probably already noticed, so it's never boring, that's for sure.
Yeah, I love it. And I have been watching you and your career and you are an author of two books, would you like to tell us more about what inspired you to write them? Exactly. So the first one is I can't fix you because you're not broken the eight keys to freeing yourself from painful thoughts and feelings and that it was my first book, it's just I wrote it to be like a little guide, you can tuck away or carry with you. Uh and I it summarizes some of the main things that I found myself telling clients over and over. And so I said, okay well I'll just put these in a book and maybe it can reach more people than I can reach in a week, you know of sessions and because I think at a certain point you do a lot of work helping people individually and then it starts to feel like, you know, I'd like to, I'd like to do a little more, I'd like to have a little more impact. I'd like to reach more people. Yeah. And so writing books was one of the ways that I thought I could do that.
So, so that's the first one. Yeah. Um kind of a little user's manual to the human condition. And then the second one I wrote more recently and it's called You can't fix them because they're not broken and it's a sustainability guide for tired helpers and healers. And I that one I originally wrote with just like any kind of caregiver in mind, but then I realized as I was writing it and morphed into, here's the stuff I wish I'd known when I started out in a helping profession and um so I've kind of put together a buffet of tips and tools and things to think about that I've come across and other people that I've supervised or mentors have come across over the years and I hope that it's helpful, especially in this time when so many people in helping professions are wore out, we're just kind of plum tuckered, you know? Yeah, so I'm hoping it's useful in that way I miss, I used to do a lot of supervising interns and practicum students and so in my private practice, I am not really and I don't really get to do that.
And so I missed that. And once again, it's another way to reach more people. Yeah, I devoured your books And they was telling you earlier, They really spoke to my soul and the second book, the book that Has to do with Helpers. And Really? Yeah, I really wish I would have known that. I mean, I had no idea what I've told you this before. Like I had no idea. I was that type of person that would get drained by giving too much. I didn't know that until like 35 years into my life. Like um your first book, I can't fix you because you're not broken the eight keys to freeing yourself from painful thoughts and feelings without giving the whole book away. What might be a few of those keys. Well, I think one of the ones that was most important for me and clients tell me has been most helpful is the idea that it seems really simple. But just remembering, you don't have to do everything your mind says.
You know, you can tell your mind thanks, but no thanks. You know, I appreciate the suggestion. We're not going to go in that direction. Yeah, But you know, because sometimes our thoughts can feel just like reality or such heavy truth, but they're not. They're all sort of brain secretions and we get to decide if they're useful or not. So it's just remembering that we're driving. You know, I think that's great any other ones you want to share. You want want people to kind of get the book and Find out the other seven or I think one of the the main things is, oh, there's that old quote and I can't remember who said it, but what we resist persists. Like the idea that, you know, we work really hard to try to make stuff go away, whether it's thoughts or its emotions and that can actually make that stuff stick around longer. And so it's kind of a losing battle and we can put a lot of energy into it and feel like a failure when we can't make a thought go away or we can't make an emotion go away.
But if we take a different approach and we learned some tools to help us be able to uh navigate that a little bit better. Uh and kind of right out emotions a little bit better and get a little unstuck from thoughts. We have more freedom and we have more ability to make choices about what we do in the world. So yeah, I mean, you're bringing some great points to like that's um that's really helpful. I really loved in your first book. Well, I'm a chess player and I love the chessboard analogy that you I believe it was about thoughts and feelings and would you want to share more about the chessboard of life, I guess. And and also do you play chess? Did that come from being a chess player yourself? Yeah, I actually do not play chess. So and it's not, I can't take credit for it. It comes from acceptance and commitment therapy which is a very open source therapy. So it's totally fine to share it.
It's not a trade secret, but basically the idea that, that if you imagine an infinite chessboard that goes in all directions and just keeps going and we have these pieces on there, you can imagine the pieces are thoughts, feelings, experiences, memories, physical sensations, all kinds of stuff. And it kind of goes back to that idea of trying a different approach, two thoughts and feelings instead of trying to make them go away because that's kind of being at the chest piece level, that's being in a battle. You know, if I, if I have a thought that I'm stupid and I try to counter it with like I am not stupid, they can battle it out all the time and I can be stuck down there and that's a life or death situation for the pieces that's really scary and intense and somebody's got to lose and that's tiring. But if I remember that, I'm actually the board where all this is happening and the board is indestructible, there's tons of space for whatever pieces come along and I don't have to be in that life or death battle.
I can watch it and experience it and feel it, but it's not going to destroy me. So a particular thought or memory or even a big emotion can't destroy me. I've got room for all of it. So that's, it's basically in a nutshell how that goes. I love it. It's beautiful. I love how both of your books, you had a nice balance of real nous vulnerability and humor. Was that easy for you to strike a balance with both in writing those books? Yeah. That's just me. Um, anyone who's ever been in like a group of run or therapy session with me when I just me, life is hard and you have to laugh. I mean I live with a Kazillion chronic illnesses been through a lot. I've worked in trauma most of my career. And so it's, yeah, you just got to be real. Yeah.
And it's really hard to read a book by somebody and try to take any of their advice seriously if you don't know who they are, You know, And I think a big part of healing is also realizing we're not alone. Mm hmm. And so, you know, I think that's why people connect with folks like Renee Brown like she's real. She has lots of letters behind her name and she's done tons of research and she could have written a very dry, very scientific set of books and she didn't, she showed us who she is. And so we listen to our more, we connect with more and we realized we're not the only ones that's powerful that helps get rid of shame. Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's probably part of why, I mean I know I know you you know acquaintance wise and we've talked before in real life before back when we could go out in places. Um but I did feel very much like, oh we're just almost like you were just talking to me and reading the book.
It just it felt very, very authentic and very heart centered. It wasn't it wasn't head, it was heart energy is what I got from reading your books and that's why I just devoured them. Um So thank you, thank you for showing us yourself in this way. You're welcome. I'm glad that came through. Yeah. Yeah. Um So your second book that I I really resonated with you, you can't fix them because they're not broken. This focuses on helpers and this episode is titled Yoga. And helping. Would you care to explain a little bit more of what exactly you mean by helpers? Yeah, so and you know, originally, like I said, I was thinking of just anybody who's a caregiver, but then it morphed into helping professions because you know, as a psychologist in my particular training, I had four years of course work. I had four years of supervised experience and seminars and sitting around talking about cases in class, even a class on like how to run a private practice and I had so much help learning how to become a helper you know for years and and then even supervision after that in the post doc years and then I became a yoga teacher and you know our teachers are wonderful and they tried you know and then there's other classes you know as you do more advanced coursework in yoga and you learn a little bit more but a lot of people in helping professions don't have that kind of consultation are mentoring about the finer bits of helping you know like they might learn really well the process of you know doing whatever it is, teaching a class doing acupuncture like um things like that.
But then that in our personal part and then the inner part of helping like that part doesn't always get as much attention I feel. So I was thinking of anyone who who does helping on a regular basis with some kind of client. So it could be a tarot reader, it could be an astrologer, it could be an acupuncturist or a massage therapist and yoga teacher, yoga therapist, anything like that. So that's what I came to mean by helpers. Yeah, somewhat recently I had brandy joe Perkins and Caroline Caswell owners of earth commons on the show. Check out episode number 62 when you get a chance Earth comments is so much more than just an apothecary, they offer all types of things and they offer classes and I have been attending their virtual mystery earth class monthly and have been learning so much about herbs.
This class has taught me about having a relationship with herbs versus kind of my old way of just memorizing what they do from a book. I have benefited greatly. Not only has my nervous system improved, but my digestive system has gotten better from the support of these herbs. Fun fact, this podcast is fueled by earth commons, herbs. I have a warm cup of herbal tea with every interview, every recording every editing session. Right now I'm drinking a combination of Tulsi and passion flower tea Also as a ritual for producing each episode, I light a vetiver bundle, not helps with grounding. Earth commons is so affordable. They offer both really fun items and then they also offer medicinal products. So there's something for everyone when you shop there, you can check them out if you're in the austin area at 8 13 Springdale Road or visit them online at earth hyphen commons dot com.
I'll link all their info in the show notes. So you're just one click away from connecting with them. Remember when you support local business, you're also supporting your community as well as supporting a dream. Now go get yourself some herbs and support yourself too and we're back. Is it possible that helping is somewhat validating for people initially and then the big pitfall is that they focus so much on helping outward that they no longer help themselves. And the book is about addressing that essentially. Yeah that's a big piece of it because we get validation from the outside world. Um For sure. I mean when I told people that oh I'm a psychologist I work at the V. A. With combat veterans. You know I got so much validation from people's and like oh my gosh you're doing such important work and thank you and all you know tons of that. And it wasn't why I was doing it.
It was just like that's one of the pieces. We also get the validation of maybe a client thanks us or we have a really good class or something where we have like some of those heartwarming moments that keep us going. It's wonderful. It feels good to help people it and then also helping people can be a great distraction from doing our own stuff. Yeah and it can be a great quote unquote reason to not do our own stuff. Like I couldn't possibly you know cook dinner for myself tonight because I had to stay late dealing with this in that crisis right? And so it it can become the cycle where the helping takes over and then we're not we're not paying attention to ourselves one because it's not always encouraged in some helping professions. It can even seem be seen as like oh you're being selfish or your you're not being part of the team because you're leaving on time and everyone else is here super late, you know, there can be even a culture around it in certain places of like sort of martyrdom were like, oh, this is what we do.
We all sacrifice. We all are extremely unhealthy because we're working so hard to help people. So yeah, there's so many ways that that can perpetuate itself. And so I do talk in there about lots of different ways practical and and internal to address that issue. Yeah, I mean it's a great, it's a great thing to bring up to people because I think it gets overlooked all the time. I related so much to the part in your second book about scarcity and I have been there so many times in my career and um what what advice might you have on scarcity in the helping profession. Yeah, so this is hard and I want to preface it with economic reality, that if you got to pay your rent like tomorrow, you know, you you do what you have to do like this is not, this is kind of like second level advice when you're not at a survival scrambling sort of point.
You know, if you're at that point, you do it, you have to do to take care of yourself the best you can. And I know that that is that's a place, you know, where a lot of people end up at least at some point for awhile been there, like it's hard and then also if you're brand new and you're in some kind of training where you have to get hours or something like that where you don't have a lot of choices. You know, this advice isn't quite as helpful, it's better for a little bit later on. So I just wanted to put that out there because there are realities about economics and about power dynamics that, you know, sometimes we can't do a lot about our situation. Um, and then so that said kind of, I mean it's sort of cliche, but the idea of like when we say yes, we're saying no to something else, you know, so it might be where start saying yes to every opportunity or every client who contacts us, even if we kind of know that okay, this isn't a good fit or this person is going to be really challenging or this person can't pay my rate but I'll go ahead and I'll reduce it or they need to come in super early and I'm not a morning person, but I'll say yes because what if another client doesn't call me so we can get into this thing where we end up building uh a schedule or a structure or even a paycheck for ourselves that isn't what we want, but we've just taken whatever came along and then that sometimes even puts us in a position where we have to say no to things that it would be better for us or we don't have the time and energy to invest in creating something that would be better for us.
You know, it's very hard to do any kind of creative marketing or write a book or do anything else if if we're, if we're scrambling through work that we didn't really want to do, but we're doing it because it might bring in a little bit of money now versus doing something that could bring us more opportunities and maybe more stability later. So it's this, it's this balance between um, what do I need right now versus like what is an investment in my long term sustainability in my long term well being, Does that make sense? Yeah, it totally makes sense. And it's a great answer because it depends on the individual. It depends, they have to be, It sounds like discernment like, you know, you're not saying if you say yes, I mean I, boy I tell you what, 2020 I took every job, I mean not not related to my body just like any job delivery, driving, whatever. And um something about it all, it was because of scarcity, but, but I looked back and it was really not a good fit and it didn't even really last that long because it was such not a good fit and I should have just been patient.
But I think with scarcity, you don't want to see what you don't, there is like no patients, you don't want to stop and just see what's around the corner or you can't see what's around the corner. But when I've stopped and say no to some things and things come up that I could never predict it. And it's about, I mean as cheesy as it might sound, it feels like it's about trusting a little bit more that things will come. Um, but, but like, yeah, I mean like there's different economic, like, you know, there's certain tiers, like you have to be in a certain place where you can stop and let maybe something that are come in. But it's tricky. It's really tricky. It is. Yeah. And sometimes it's even a shift from what is coming to me versus like going and looking for something, you know, So is it like whatever clients call you or is there like, oh, this is an outreach opportunity where I could connect with someone or this is a place I could teach yoga.
Maybe I'll contact them when we're in scarcity. We don't do that. Yeah. Yeah. I, I totally, yeah, it is. Oh boy. That's a big, that's a big one, scarcities and trusting the cycles and kind of learning every profession, every kind of work has its own cycles of like when it's busy and when it's called and then in the times when it's not busy, we can freak out. But if we realize every year at this time it gets slow, maybe that's when you plan vacation, maybe that's when you play in like your marketing brainstorming. Maybe that's when you um do some networking stuff like, and maybe you save a little more in the busy times. Like you kind of learn over time how things go and if you can see those cycles, it helps a little bit with the freak out. Yeah, that's great advice. So I'm curious about what you're curious about right now and this could be related to work or not at all. What are you curious about right now, joe uh this I've gone down this rabbit hole about learning about the history of romance novels.
It's fascinating because uh actually part of why they have such a bad rap is um the first novel, I cannot remember the name of it, but the first novel, at least in the western world, it was a romance novel. And male writers got so mad at women novelists who are writing romance novels because the romance novels were selling better and so they started disparaging them. They would like insult the authors, they insulted people who read them and like shamed people for reading them and it was this whole thing. But if you look at a room that's novel, the requirements are it has to have a happy ending, which means the main character who is usually female or female identified or something like that at least traditionally basically wins, gets a good life, Get some happiness. What is more feminist than that?
Yeah. Oh that's horrible that it got so much hate from men in the beginning. Yeah. And now it's this whole thing where like people sometimes feel embarrassed to be reading them because it's been sold in this way. But the whole idea is like here are books that are about interpersonal relationships and personal growth and people overcoming internal and external obstacles to be able to build some relationship together. Yeah. And a happy ending and a happy ending which during a pandemic has been super great for me. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, I don't know this is going to go well when I read it. Well, I mean there's a lot of movies out there like in the LGBT movie realm where it's horrible endings. Um and I think it's I mean it's getting better now, but I mean that is just like so it's just so sad that like people were hating on these romance novels, but that's that's fascinating.
And that tells you a lot about our history in like the literary world, like Yeah, at least in the western world. And now there's um for exactly the reason you were saying like all these horrible endings which actually used to be required for LGBT characters. I didn't know that when in film because you had to be punished in some way if you were queer so well I didn't know that. I mean I can I mean I'm not surprised now that you bring that up but jesus that I know are now there's a whole new generation of authors who are writing romance novels that have people of color that have queer characters that have characters of all kinds of sexualities. Even once you are like a romantic or a sexual, like it's amazing. Especially in the independent author community. So it's been really cool to read happy endings for people who don't usually get them.
That's super cool. I'm excited to look into that more. I never I never would have thought. I mean, thank you for sharing that. I didn't know all that. Yeah, I'm loving the podcast when in romance. Like they talk a lot about books and like have wonderful recommendations. Okay, I'll have to check out when and romance. Are you ready to play a little bit of ready to play some rapid fire around? Okay, embracing myself. Uh So this is just it's just a fun game and it's basically just ask you a bunch of what are your favorite things and you try to answer them as the game is. You try to answer them as quickly as you can. Um But it doesn't really matter. I mean you can answer them. Whatever pays you like uh So you ready ready to play some rapid fire? I am ready hip. Mhm. All right. What's what's your favorite color?
Blue mine too actually, good choice, good choice, favorite yoga pose. Oh uh is that so hard. Um I think I would have to say Cobra. Oh yeah court. Favorite favorite restaurant in Austin. Oh Bouldin Creek. Favorite season of the year. Fall. Mm Favorite author. Oh that's so hard. So hard. I think right now burn a brown because I've been reading a lot of her stuff. Mhm. Favorite style of yoga. Mm Yeah. Mm. Favorite genre of music. Actually electronic right now. Alright, Okay. Last question. Um what is one of your top five movies of all time? Wow. Dirty dancing.
I love it. I love that movie. I love it. You know I dance, I dance to that song every week in Erica's class. We do Dirty Dancing and we like act like a lion at some point. It's really fun. Well thank you. Thank you for playing rapid fire. That was awesome. Where can we find you online? Yeah, my website is kind of the main hub for everything joo ekeler. E C K L E R dot com. And I'm occasionally on instagram at um dr joe ekeler which is D. R. J. O. Underscore ekeler and then facebook I'm on there a little bit more um dr joe yoga and doctor is D. R. I also have a few meditations upon insight timer if you want to check me out there. Yeah. Cool. And I've enjoyed your meditation so thank you for putting that up there. Oh you're welcome. Yeah. Well thank you joe so much for coming on the show. I hope to have you back again soon and I hope you have a good rest of your day.
Thank you so much for having me. I'd love to come back again. Mm mm mm I hope you enjoyed today's episode about yoga and helping with the knowledgeable doctor joe Ekeler. All of their links are in the show notes so you're just one click away from connecting with them and may I suggest that you do? And I also suggest checking out those books mentioned in the episode. Great informative reads and those will be linked in the show notes as well. If you would like us to keep going, please hit that subscribe button and if you like what you heard, please share the show with your friends. Word of mouth is the best way to spread the show out to new listeners. Please follow us on instagram are handle is yoga and podcast. Also consider joining our official yoga and podcast. Patreon, they're great member perks. You get virtual live classes, you get shout outs on the show dedicated to you.
We send you podcast stickers in a love note when you sign up and you can find that in the show notes Also, please do us a huge favor and leave us a glowing five star review on apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcast. If you have any questions or comments we love hearing from you. So please email us at yoga and podcast at gmail dot com. The and is spelled out. Y O G A N D podcast at Gmail. The theme song is by ali holder sound engineering and mixing by Bentley. The cat, guests booking and social media by Chloe the kitty. Remember that this podcast is for absolutely everyone. If you are a human living on planet earth, you might benefit from listening to yoga and podcast. See you next week. Young girl somewhat recently I had brandy joe Perkins and Caroline Caswell owners of earth commons on the show.
Check out episode number 62 when you get a chance. Earth commons is so much more than just an apothecary. They offer all types of things and they offer classes and I have been attending their virtual mystery earth class monthly and I've been learning so much about herbs. This class has taught me about having a relationship with herbs versus kind of my old way of just memorizing what they do from a book. I have benefited greatly. Not only has my nervous system improved but my digestive system has gotten better from the support of these herbs. Fun fact this podcast is fueled by earth commons, herbs. I have a warm cup of herbal tea with every interview, every recording every editing session right now. I'm drinking a combination of Tulsi and passion flower tea also as a ritual for producing each episode I light a vetiver bundle and that helps with grounding. Earth commons is so affordable.
They offer both really fun items and then they also offer medicinal products. So there's something for everyone when you shop there, you can check them out if you're in the Austin area at 8 13 Springdale Road or visit them online at earth hyphen commons dot com. I'll link all their info in the show notes. So you're just one click away from connecting with them. Remember when you support local business, you're also supporting your community as well as supporting a dream. Now go get yourself some herbs and support yourself too. Hey, friends. Before we get into this week's episode, if you are in the Austin area, I would like to invite you to my upcoming socially distant outdoor yoga event yin yoga and healing harp at tree garden. The event will be held on sunday May 23rd 2021 from 4 to 5 30 PM if you haven't yet been to tree garden hoe, It is so beautiful, it is this outdoor event space nestled in nature located in east Austin, talented musician Andrea Cortez of mind body music center will be playing the harp as I teach restorative yin yoga, it will be so relaxing and so memorable.
I hope you can join us, you can check out the event link in the show notes, please reserve your spot as space is limited. Now let's get on with the show