Episode 98 The Mental Health Benefits Of A Yin Yoga Practice: Interview with Addie deHilster

Jan 18, 2023

What is Yin Yoga? Can you integrate yoga, mindfulness, and meditation to improve your well-being?

MEET Addie deHilster

Addie deHilster is a Mindfulness Meditation Teacher and C-IAYT Yoga Therapist. Her passion is teaching movement practices that “unlock” mindfulness skills, and helping students gain traction in their meditation practice so they can be more present in their lives. Yin Yoga is one of the main modalities she practices and teaches, as it is an excellent doorway into embodied meditative stillness. Now based in Vancouver, Washington (USA), she previously owned and operated a community yoga studio in Los Angeles, California for over five years. A dedicated practitioner of Buddhist Insight Meditation, she has accumulated over four months of silent retreat practice over the years. She is a graduate of the Mindfulness Mentor Training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach, the InsightLA Mindfulness Facilitator Training, and the 2014-15 Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation Training Program at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, which is a program dedicated to weaving together the wisdom traditions of Hatha Yoga and Buddhist meditation. She has studied Yin Yoga with Bernie Clark, Paul Grilley, and Sarah Powers. Addie is the founder of the Moved to Meditate Class Library, the host of the Moved To Meditate Podcast, and she offers online Yin Yoga Teacher Trainings with a mindful, therapeutic emphasis.

Find out more about Addie at Move To Meditate


  • What is Yin Yoga? 4:31
  • How is Yin yoga different from traditional yoga? 11:58
  • What are the mental health benefits of Yin yoga? 13:52

What Is Yin Yoga?

  • Connecting the mind with the body with embodied meditation
  • Yin vs. Yang state 
  • Integrating props into Yin yoga
  • The importance of finding an instructor that can adapt to each individual person

How Is Yin Yoga Different From Traditional Yoga?

  • Preparing the body with active movement
  • What is passive movement?
  • Restorative yoga vs. Yin yoga
  • Using Yin yoga as a mindfulness practice

What Are The Mental Health Benefits Of Yin Yoga?

  • Becoming aware of our physical, mental & emotional state through mindfulness
  • How Yin yoga helps build our stress resistance
  • Down-regulating our nervous system
  • What is the Window of Tolerance?

Connect With Me

Instagram @holisticcounselingpodcast


Join the private Facebook group

Sign up for my free email course: www.holisticcounselingpodcast.com

Rate, review, and subscribe to this podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Spotify, and Google Podcasts.

Resources Mentioned And Useful Links:

Find out more about Addie at Move To Meditate


Chris McDonald: This is Holistic Counseling, the podcast for mental health therapists who want to deepen their knowledge of holistic modalities and build their practice with confidence. I'm your host, Chris McDonald, licensed therapist. I am so glad you're here for the journey.

Welcome to today's episode of the Holistic Counseling Podcast. I'm your host, Chris McDonald. Before I get to today's guest, I wanna give a shout out to listener Lauren Lynn, who gave a fantastic review on Apple Podcast. She writes, I absolutely love this podcast in these incredible episodes. Each episode is full of amazing guests, including the host who give so much knowledge and tools.

And I complied with my work with clients. Thank you and I look forward to each new episode. Thank you, Lauren, for that wonderful review and for being a listener and getting to today's episode. Have you wondered about what the mental health benefits of yoga are? Today's guest is gonna share these benefits with you.

I came across Add de Holster's podcast called Move to Meditate, which I've been binge listening and it is so amazing. Addie is a mindfulness meditation teacher and certified yoga therapist. Her passion is teaching movement practices that unlock mindfulness

Addie deHilster: skills

Chris McDonald: and helps students gain traction in their meditation practice so they can be more present for their lives.

Yin yoga is one of the main modalities she practices and teaches, and it's an excellent dory and two embodied meditative stillness. The fun fact about her is she loves being outside. She and her husband moved to Washington State about a year and a half ago, and it's a hiker's heaven. Welcome to the podcast, Eddie.

Addie deHilster: Oh, thank you so much, Chris. That was such a warm welcome, and um, I'm really honored to be here and joining you on your podcast, which is amazing.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. So can you tell my listeners more about

Addie deHilster: yourself and your work? Yeah. Um, like you said, I'm a mindfulness meditation teacher and also a certified yoga therapist, and I'm just a like movement modality junkie.

I love movement practices of all kinds. I'm like a big Qigong fan and somatics and Feld in Christ, and sometimes I, I do strength training or dance and hiking. So I basically love movement, but I also have this side of me that really loves stillness and I have a longtime meditation practice. So my work has really become about that kind of interplay between movement and stillness, and using the movement practices to unlock the mindfulness.

Skills and techniques because it's not always easy to just like sit down and meditate. So I find that these practices can be a lot more powerful and effective when we kind of combine them together and use movement to highlight mindfulness skills that we can then apply in meditation and use meditation as.

To really get more in tune with what's going on. So then even our movement practices become richer and more interesting. So it all, it all kind of just becomes this, this wonderful feedback loop . And so that's, yeah, for sure. That's why I call my, uh, business moved to meditate because it's really about both.

You know, the movement and the quote, formal meditation practices that I've learned, and I mainly teach online now, but I did used to own a community yoga studio back when I lived in LA before the pandemic. And, um, At the studio, we did a lot of therapeutic type yoga practices, more contemplative types of, uh, movement practices.

And I had a meditation circle there, so it was a little bit different than other neighborhood yoga studios. But I do teach online now. Yeah, the name of your

Chris McDonald: podcast. I, I just love cause and I think a lot of people don't understand that using movement before meditation is what can really help your meditation practice.

Addie deHilster: Absolutely. Yeah. Bef like the movement itself can be meditation, but then Sure. Also enables us to enjoy the stillness parts of meditation. So it's kind of a both and Yeah. Thank you for that. It's moved to meditate. Is is just sort of also like, to me, I want you to feel moved to meditate , right? Like so super

Yeah. It's sort of a, a play on words that, you know, I want it to feel like joyable and accessible and like you feel moved to

Chris McDonald: do it. How would you describe yin yoga? Cause I know that's your

Addie deHilster: favorite. It's one of my favorites. Yeah, for sure. Um, it's one of my favorite modalities because it really is like an embodied meditation.

And when I discovered yen yoga years ago, it was like this missing link really lit up for me because I'd had a pretty active yoga practice and I've had my mindfulness meditation, my insight meditation practice going and they kind of felt. a little bit separate, and I, I certainly learned them from different teachers and in different centers and, and things like that.

But like, I'm one person and I was like, how do these flow together for me? And they seem to kind of be pointing in a lot of the same directions, but they didn't really feel like they were talking to each other that much. And so Yin yoga was, was kind of like this first place that I felt. The both and , if that makes sense.

It was like embodied meditation because the yin practices were yoga poses, but they're held for quite a long time and they're more still, they're more passive and supported by props, and they gave me the time to kind of be in that meditative. Space. So it, it really connected a lot of dots for me and that's, you know, for me, why it became a favorite and a gateway that I've used to help others to kind of move towards meditation practices or to integrate their meditation and movement practices.

Chris McDonald: And I know we were talking before I hit record about my experience with Ian. Yoga has not been positive . So if it's okay with you, I was just gonna share that Yeah. For this episode and we can dive in a little more with that. Um, so I've taken some me and yoga before and. Unexpectedly. Like I had signed up for this one yoga teacher and I, I wasn't actually sure what kind of yoga she did.

I was like, okay, let me just try it, but let me tell you. So I thought I was gonna die because I have chronic pain issues. I have spondylothesis in my low back and uh, I have to be very careful with yoga. I can't do all kinds of yoga and I have to do a lot on modifying. And anyway, sometimes I stop during yoga classes and just do my own thing, , because if I feel too much pain, I didn't realize that she was gonna hold all of these poses, even like warrior for me to hold that for like five minutes, I was like, oh God, I'm gonna die.

This is the longest class of my life. like I'm thinking. Uh, but then I know you, when we were talking before I, I hit record, I know you mentioned that, that most people aren't trained properly with this, and then you said mentioned about prop. So tell me more about

Addie deHilster: that. Yeah, and I'm so happy you brought this up cuz I've heard it so many times and it's, it's, it's a shame that, you know, people are having these experiences with a practice that is meant to be yen, like

So like, if we just start there, You know, yin versus yong yen is the cool side, the shady side of the mountain. It's the moon. Yong is the sun and the, the heat and the effort. And so if we're really practicing in a yin like way, first of all, you know, it's slow and it's gentle. and it's mindful, and we have to do that in a way that's supportive to our own individual bodies.

Otherwise, it becomes a struggle and it becomes young and it becomes effort. Right. ? Yes. And one of the main ways, one of the main keys to that is using yoga props. And that does not make it restorative yoga, which I think is sort of the, the misnomer because props are such a built-in part of restorative yoga.

But yeah, the myth has really gotten out there that props are not part of yen yoga, which isn't true. And we really need to support the body to hold postures in a sustainable way for the three to five to six minutes that we intend to hold them in a yin yoga. . Otherwise, we can't really make the pose into a meditative experience because we're just like fighting with ourselves and we're in pain and we're just struggling with the body

So the prop, the props are really, really essential and everyone will use them a little bit differently. It's not that there's like one set way that we. Would use them, but that as you come into the pose, you're feeling into what you need and you're, you're kind of assessing like the sensations that are showing up that day, and then you're adding a blanket or a pillow accordingly.

That way you can really be in tune with what you're feeling. And then you can actually relax and then you can actually start to work with your attention and your awareness and have it become a meditation rather than like some kind of a form of stretch, torture, , which is what you described, right? . Right,


Chris McDonald: Which to me, speaking from the nervous system that it probably just brought me in sy sympathetic

Addie deHilster: activation circle, big time. You know, it's well-intentioned and there's value for sure of, you know, how to become comfortable with discomfort, which we can talk about more. But that doesn't mean like 10 out of 10 on the intensity scale.

It's not titrated, right? Like we need to actually work with the nervous system in a, in a more gentle. Way in order for that to be productive and not to just kick us up into sympathetic activation, like you said, . Yeah, no, I appreciate,

Chris McDonald: uh, clarifying that difference cuz it, it just seemed like this is not relaxing at all when I

Addie deHilster: was doing it.

Yeah, I would encourage anybody who's had an experience like that with a yin class, or if you're going into a yin class and you're like, uhoh, , then you know, don't give up. If you feel like there is maybe something there for you, don't give up and, you know, find a teacher that is open to adapting the practice to individual bodies or has the education on, on how to do that, or how to invite the students to do that for themselves.

Chris McDonald: Right, because the point isn't to create a lot of pain, like you said, on that pain scale should, you shouldn't be that high on a pain scale.

Addie deHilster: No. You shouldn't really be that high on a sensation scale at all. Like if you wanna take the sensations you know of stretch and kind of put them on a intensity scale, I would say in, in yin yoga, we wanna be like around, three or four or five, maybe not always like up at our 7, 8, 9, 10, because if we're intending to hold the pose for a length of time, like minutes at a time, that's not gonna be very sustainable.

One of the biggest sort of, um, issues I think that we bring into the practice because like our culture is so young and we have so many. We have so much conditioning that like we need to do more or we've gotta like do it to the max in order to get the benefit or you know, it's like that old, no pain, no gain, cliche and it comes into yin yoga in this way.

Oh. Where I'm sure you know, it's just like we have to, this is a big part of what I do and I teach yin yoga, is to kind of like flip the script on that and say like, well, can we do less? Can we slow down? What if it's a little more subtle? What is that like? It sounds like

Chris McDonald: exploring maybe a little more

Addie deHilster: too.

Yeah. You caught me on my soapbox already. I'm like, , let's go. So we're

Chris McDonald: starting off strong here. , I know. A list. A counseling podcast. Yes, for sure. Well, I guess how would you describe, I know you talk some about it, but how would you say that yin yoga's different from other

Addi deHilster: types of yoga? Yeah. Well, most forms of yoga are active movement practices, right?

So that's kind of the biggest. and I might start a yin class with a little bit of gentle movement, like, you know, a little bit of cat cow, a few little, you know, twists or dynamic movements like warmups, just to kind of prepare the body and the nervous system to hold the poses. But the yen poses tend to be three to five minutes long.

They tend to be on the floor. And they tend to be passive, or that's the idea is that we can do them without muscular engagement. So that's another reason that we need to use the props because you can't always, you know, hold a butterfly shape or a forward fold without muscular engagement unless there's something there for your, your bones to kind of rest into

Yes. So that's, that's what a yin. Looks like is these sort of passive supported poses. And it's different from restorative yoga, which can on the surface look quite similar because in restorative yoga, you're not really going for a stretch at all, but a really just a, just a kind of restful opening. And, and yen, we do allow for.

A little bit of edge of sensation again on that more like three to four on the intensity scale. And we use that as a mindfulness tool, as a way of learning how to be with sensations. And the other difference, just as a slight, you know, side note for those who are wondering between yin and restorative, is that yen yoga has a basis in Chinese medicine and the meridian system and the yin yang theory that comes from Dao.

So that's not really part of restorative yoga. So it, it has, it has a few different traits to it. . Yeah.

Chris McDonald: So what are the mental health benefits of yin yoga?

Addie deHilster: Yeah, that's such a good question. And I think there are quite a few. And you know, part of it is just that yin yoga is a. Mindfulness practice. It's an embodied mindfulness practice, and through a mindfulness practice, you know, we become more aware of our physical, mental, and emotional states, which of course helps to give us more choice in how we relate to all of those states as they.

Fluctuate throughout the day, and yin yoga can help us to become more aware of our thoughts and how we're relating to sensations, whether they're comfortable or discomfort of a stretch. It can help us learn to kind of regulate our nervous system around that and to notice our habits, like do we tend to push into more intensity or do we tend to hold back from intensity?

You know, so it relates a lot to stress, resilience and how we can kind of expand that capacity to, to be with whatever is coming up. Again, that's not the same as just like throwing ourselves at the deep end . Right. But, you know, kind of the way some people, um, these days, one of the trends is taking cold showers.

you know, have you heard about this? Where, no, I haven't. ice baths and cold showers and people are using them as a way to like stimulate the vagus nerve or to Oh, okay. Expand, like to kind of shock their system into being able to, with, with withstand more like stressors in a regulated way. The stress

Chris McDonald: tolerance and mental health therapist

Addie deHilster: speak

Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And so we could do that with sensation in a yin burst. Like if. Doesn't have to be like cold water pouring down you . Right. Um, cuz the cold shower thing does not sound too painful. That doesn't sound good to me. My brother is really into them. He was talking about it over Thanksgiving and he really likes it.

But I was like, you know, I can do that in a yin pose. Like I could come into you exactly a forward fold and sort of feel like, oh, there's that little bit of stretch sensation and there's like my kind of resistance to it. And can I. Look at this like, should I back off a little bit today? Or could I sit and take a few breaths with this and let my resistance kind of melt and I can start to expand that capacity for things that my system initially might label as a stressor, but that are really just sensation.

That's one example, . Yeah, of course. I also find, you know, just the basic practice of yin yoga helps to get us out of our heads. You know, helps to get us into the body cuz we are feeling sensation, we are feeling a sense of contact with the floor or my forehead resting on a bolster or I'm feeling my breath flowing in and out of the body.

I'm feeling perhaps that stretch sensation and that can help to interrupt the kind of dominance of thinking patterns and the habits overthinking. Absolutely. And it can down-regulate the nervous. and there is some research about, you know, how long, gentle, long supported stretches can affect certain receptors in our fascia called r rini receptors, and that those send a signal of relaxation to the brain.

And so it's, it's physiological as well as, Psychological and it's, it's really like a, a beautiful bottom up practice for regulating the nervous system and then giving us that space to kind of develop a new perspective on how we're relating to things and whatever might be coming up. Yeah. Cause I

Chris McDonald: know most.

Clients I see live from the neck up , they're not in their bodies. So as I think a lot of the population, right, if they're not doing these practices, so, so getting people into the body is more integrative and holistic and being able to process emotion. . And, and I know you mentioned too, just noticing sensation and, and I think you said pushing the edge of it too, which makes me think about the window of tolerance.

Addie deHilster: Exactly. Exactly.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, exactly. So we work at the edge of that. Can you talk more about

Addie deHilster: that? Yeah. I love that image of the window because it's, it's like the bandwidth we have for handling things, right? ? Yes. When we've been under a lot of stress or trauma for a long time, the window's smaller and so we're more reactive to smaller things and as we practice or we work in therapy to expand that window of tolerance, we we can handle more.

We have more capacity, we have more space internally. And the little things maybe don't bother us as much, or we have more capacity to take on new challenges or take a few risks or try new things, right? So we're, we're moving out of that kind of very narrow state of comfort and opening up possibilities for ourselves, which is beautiful.

And so our yoga practice can absolutely be a safe space in which to explore that. It's easier to sort of do that on your yoga mat, I think, than it is to do that when you're in a staff meeting or Yes. When you're, you know, having a tense conversation with your teenager in the car on the way home from school.

I don't have kids, but you know, I can imagine . Oh yeah. , you know, it's so, it's a place where we can practice and build those kinds of skills and set ourselves up for being able to roll with things in our real life a little bit better, a little bit more skillfully. Does that make sense?

Chris McDonald: Yes. Yes. No, I think that, I talked to clients about that as well.

I think that's a really important tool to understand that window of tolerance and, and then we have the, if we go outside of it, the top part of the window, we could become activated. Anxiety and then the lower end is, is more of the depressive or shutdown of the nervous system. But I think yoga really can be such a tool for helping us regulate and and opening the window, which I love

Addie deHilster: opening the window.

Yeah, it's huge and it's beautiful and I think yoga can also just help us to start to recognize the cues that the body is giving us for when we are moving. Yes. To the edge of our window. That's it. And so we start to be able to name the sensations and the feelings and notice the patterns. And that's, that's what I mean when I'm talking about mindfulness skills, right?

It's not just relaxation practice. It's like teaching us things about how we operate. That we can use. And I think that the yin practice can be a great laboratory for that because it gives us a simple task. You know, be in this pose for five minutes, , but so much can come up when it's like, well, I'm doing this.

What does that mean? What should I do? And then I'm having this reaction and now I'm seeing this thought pattern come up and I'm seeing how that sort of habit of mind. Maybe affects me over here, you know, in my regular life is showing up here on my yoga mat, and that's really interesting. So I think it, it just gives us a, a place that we can start to observe, but we can also start to experiment and try some new things and relate to those.

Those things differently because I think a, a lot of

Chris McDonald: clients I see, and I'm sure this is true for other therapists listening, that they're afraid of that physical sensation sometimes. Mm. Mm-hmm. . And I think that getting more comfortable with that and learning to accept it, just like we gotta learn to accept our emotions as part of, you know, who we are as human beings.

It's okay, we have these emotions and, and I think that lessens it somehow too. Once we can just accept. And just be with it.

Addie deHilster: Yeah, absolutely. And when you say that they're afraid of that sensation, do you mean like a, a pain sensation? Yeah. Or like the, the knot in your stomach of anxiety kind of sensation or, oh,

Chris McDonald: yeah.

I think that a lot are just, yeah, all of them, I think just related to that and, and try to avoid, right. That becomes an automatic response to avoid Okay. That, oh, they might know that that triggers anxiety. I feel that, not in my myself. Okay. I just gotta push that.

Addie deHilster: Yeah, well, I think one of the things that's really been useful for me is to think about the difference between stress reduction and stress resilience because really, you know, stress is part of life and we can't control off the things outside of us that are gonna happen or things that are gonna go on, and all of the conditions that we're operating within.

And we can't even really control the physiological responses , that our body might have to those things, right? It, it has so much to do with how we're wired and I think if we start to understand that the body and the nervous system are really just trying to protect us and that that physiological stress responses the body like gearing up to do what it needs to do to help you survive.

So we, it's helpful. And if we can start. See it differently and channel that energy, that activation energy to something less habitual, , you know, so we, if we can kind of like, feel, oh, something's getting kicked up in my system, and maybe have a, a small pause to look at that and go, huh, well, is this truly. A threat in the moment, or is my mind starting to interpret this in the way that it always does?

Yes, because it's feeling this sensation and it's applying kind of a, a habitual label to it, so we can start to see through some of those. Those things and some of the maybe cognitive distortions that we have towards, you know, assuming the worst or oversizing catastrophizing. Yeah, totally catastrophizing.

And we can start to unwind that a little bit and that can really make us more resilient. That's. . That's really where we start to expand that window of tolerance. Right. And that ability to like just have a different perspective. Yes. That doesn't assume it knows what's going to happen, but that can be responsive as opposed to having the same reaction over and over again.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. Cause I think just having that psychoeducation about the nervous system for clients, it can be so helpful to understand it more and where that's coming from. And it just made me think of something else as you're talking. Just like you said, take a pause and I think just getting in that curious place, just noticing what's there.

That's part of mindfulness too, isn't it?

Addie deHilster: Absolutely, yeah. Mindfulness is a, you know, observing curious state of awareness. Right. It's bringing that curiosity in, in a non-judgmental way to all of our experience, whatever it might be, and so it can notice the beautiful moments and it can notice those moments of discomfort, but without jumping into an interpretation about it can take them and just become curious like, huh, what's going on?

Right. , you know, rather than like, like you mentioned, catastrophizing, like feeling. If I feel a sensation in my shoulder, I could, like, if I'm, if I'm really being mindful, just go, oh, a sensation. Hmm. I kind of relax around it and kind of let it play out and feel what's going on there. Maybe there will be an action that I need to take from that.

Maybe not. Or if I go into my more habitual, catastrophizing. I might feel that sensation in my shoulder and go, oh, uhoh, there's pain. What did I do? Did I work out too much yesterday? Or, oh, was it that I typing too much? I'm sitting at the computer too much. Like, oh, should I go to the doctor? Or what if I went to physical surgery?

Are you in my head? Addie, you know, , . It's like, oh, oh gosh, what if I have to have surgery? What if my insurance doesn't cover it? Oh my gosh. You know, and the anxiety trains is what I call that . Exactly. Exactly. It's like that's just an example of the kinds of thought patterns that we can start to recognize just from the skill of being able to mindfully notice its sensation without jumping 12 miles down the road without labeling it automatically as pain, but just going, huh?

What would be. Kind response to this sensation. A kind response moments. Yeah,

Chris McDonald: I like that . But I think, you know, what's powerful? Cause I had a client recently that learned to just look at the, her thoughts as just thoughts. Yeah. And it sounds so simple, but it's just kind of taking the emotional edge of, of that.

That is just a thought. Let me just notice it. Like with meditation or mindfulness, see as a cloud floating by letting it go and you don't have to believe your thoughts . It's the beauty of it doesn't mean it's reality.

Addie deHilster: Yeah, that's, it doesn't, that's huge. And at the same time, our mind is, it's just like a meaning making machine and it's just trying to.

Predict the future, right. To protect us. Yes. You know, it's trying to figure this out, but it's, um, the world is a little too complex for that. So the resilience comes from just learning to, to trust that we can respond in the moment without having to anticipate

Chris McDonald: everything. That's powerful right there, isn't it?

Addie deHilster: It is for me.

Chris McDonald: Yes. Yeah, and I think noticing too that, and I talk to clients about progress is noticing that window tolerance is, are you becoming less reactive? So when things that normally would've pushed you over the edge of the window, are you noticing that you're able to respond in a calmer way? I think just.

Reminding clients of that too was important.

Addie deHilster: I think being able to recognize that is, is huge. And I would love, you know, for people to sort of apply that measure of progress to yoga as well. Instead of looking at yoga and saying, well, am I more flexible? as the measure of progress. You know, look at it and, and say like, internally, am I more flexible in.

Am I less That's great. Active, yes. Right. So I think that Yen really invites us to, to experience yoga and mindfulness on that level and to sort of, yes, we still will get all the physical benefits, but there's so much more, there's so much more when we slow down and we, we have the space and time in a practice like Yen Yoga to actually reflect and.

To, to really observe, to really notice cuz we're not just moving from post to post, to post to pose. Yes. There's time, there's, there's

Chris McDonald: space. and slowness creates awareness.

Addie deHilster: It does. And slowness is challenging. I, it is. I mean, . This is one of the great things about yen yoga, but that makes it challenging because we are living sped up lives, and so sometimes to try to meditate or to try to do a practice like yen, that's fairly still, that can be kind of confronting , you know?

Oh, for sure. That can be really kind of challenging too. So that's again, where we, we need these mindfulness skills to learn how to be with that, so it's not. coming into a yen pose or a meditation and just like letting the mind run wild or just suddenly turning the spotlight on all of the intensity inside.

But, but that, there's technique, there's, you know, there's ways of staying present in the moment, and that's ultimately, The difference between really getting lost in all of our stuff while we're meditating or in a y pose and, and actually using it to observe in a way that helps us grow.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, exactly. So being present to observe and, and not getting caught up in stories.

Yeah, exactly. Or or catastrophizing

Addie deHilster: sensation making news stories, news

Chris McDonald: stories. Exactly. But I think once you get in the violet, I know you mentioned the bottom up processing too. I mean, that's a lot of therapists. really interested in that. Mm-hmm. , especially listeners that are wanting to use more yoga session, I mean, that is getting more into the deeper parts of the brain and being able to allow them to physically work through some sensations or traumas that are in the body.

And then you can use more of the cognitive strategies after, cuz the frontal prefrontal cortex of our brain goes offline when. An activation or if we're in shutdown

Addie deHilster: mode. Exactly. It's not available when we're in that, that like outside of our window of tolerance, we need to get back in the window to be in the healing zone, right?

Yes. Otherwise, like we can, we can't talk ourselves out of. of that, that state of being dysregulated, . Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So these like these embodiment tools are huge. And the good thing is they're simple. So we can learn them and teach them to those around us so that they can be used when they're needed.

And the more we use them, the more. Skillful they get. What's a

Chris McDonald: favorite mindful movement activity do you like or pose? Whatever you

Addie deHilster: wanna call it. Yeah. Well, we've talked a lot about, you know, the stillness of yin poses, but I also do love more active movements, and particularly if I'm feeling like. , my nervous system is kind of revved up.

I might just like stand up and brush off, like take my hands from the top of my head and, and, and brush my fingers down the body, like down the arms, down the torso, down the legs, like I'm sweeping off whatever irritation or agitations there. And then I can shake. So I'll stand and I'll just like shake my limbs and bounce my legs.

And some of these are things that are done in Qigong as well. CL like kind of en energy clearing practices. They are really helpful for letting go of excess charge in the nervous system so that then we can maybe like see a little more clearly or take a deeper breath or have a pause or do a meditation.

Chris McDonald: Yeah. To me that's like the reset button. , right?

Addie deHilster: and I do it multiple times a day. It's, it's, yes. Mm-hmm. . It's highly needed. .

Chris McDonald: Exactly. Cause the

Addie deHilster: world is very activating, the world is very activating. You know, whether it's just like someone in the parking lot cut you off, or you read the news or something, you know, more significant.

Personally happened. It's just like we need to reset so many times. Otherwise we just carry around a lot of like extra charge and we're set up to be

Chris McDonald: reactive. So what's a takeaway you could share today that could help listeners that might be just starting their holistic journey? Oh, I

Addie deHilster: love that and. I just acknowledge anybody who's starting that journey and hope that they're led by their curiosity and by kindness, and to know that little things count, like those little moments, those little movement breaks, those little pauses they really add up.

So don't feel like you have to do an hour a day for it to matter. It's gonna make a difference little by little. And if you start small, you have a better chance of being co. Because it, it's better to do, yes, five minutes a day and do it more consistently than to do an hour, but only do it once a month

Chris McDonald: Yeah, for sure. That makes sense. So what's the best way for listeners to find you

Addie deHilster: and learn more about you? Well, um, you can go to my website, which is moved to meditate.yoga. Which is M O V E D, like moved to meditate.yoga. And if you wanna try out some practices with me, I have a video class library and there's a, a way you can sign up for a free library card, as I call it.

Have a cool free tier where there's five different classes on a rotation every month that are available to practice for free. So you just have to sign up for the library card to check those. and I also have yin yoga teacher trainings that will be coming up in the spring and mindful movement teacher training in the fall.

And I have my podcast, so that's right. Chris is gonna be a guest soon. . Woohoo. I can't wait. Yeah, . I'm excited too, and just excited to keep the connection going so anything can be found pretty much on my website.

Chris McDonald: That's wonderful. Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast, Addie.

Addie deHilster: My pleasure. Thank you again for having me and for bringing these conversations forward.

Chris McDonald: Yeah, and a big thanks to my listeners for being here and supporting the show. Have you gotten my free nine part email course, becoming a Holistic Counselor? Go to holistic counseling podcast.com today and sign up. And again, this is Chris McDonald's, sending each one of you much light. Until next time, take

Addie deHilster: care.

Chris McDonald: Thank you for listening and supporting the Holistic Counseling podcast. Are you ready to take the next step to create a holistic practice? I invite you to sign up for my free nine par email course, becoming a Holistic Counselor. In this course, you'll explore different holistic strategies, how to develop your skills as a holistic counselor, and how to manifest the holistic practice of your dreams through journaling.

Go to www. Host counseling podcast.com. Scroll down and enter your name and email address today.

Find A Topic

The Art of Breath:  How to Integrate Breathwork Techniques for Effective Therapy Sessions 

Have you been wanting to integrate breathwork into your sessions but are unsure how?   Or maybe you want to refine your technique? Join me on a remarkable journey as we delve into breathwork techniques and how to integrate them safely and ethically into sessions. 

Check Out My Book!

Self-Care for the Counselor - a holistic guide for helping professionals by Christine McDonald , MS,NCC,LPCS