Little Tweaks

Dr. MC's Self-Care Cabaret
Dr. MC's Self-Care Cabaret
Little Tweaks

Today’s episode is a conversation with Dr. MC’s amazing cousin, Allison Derrico. As if that wasn’t enough of a reason to listen she joins us with a wealth of experience as an Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Yoga & Meditation teacher. 


As always we love to hear from our listeners! Reach out to with any questions or topics you’d like to hear about on future episodes.


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You can learn more about Dr. MC and this podcast on her website:


Speaker 0 00:00:27 Well, welcome to another episode of Dr. MCs self care cabaret podcast. I’m Theresa Melito-Conners a PhD level self care expert in the greater Boston area with a passion for helping others recognize the importance of caring for themselves. Today’s guest is a member of my family, my cousin, Alison Derrico. Alison is an ayurvedic health counselor, a yoga and meditation teacher. In addition to being a wife and dog, mom Xtrordinair. The story goes that when my mom and dad went to the hospital and held Alison shortly after she made her appearance into the world, my mom thought to herself, wow, I want one. Well, I was born about nine months later, almost to the day. I will let you connect the dots of what happened when my parents left the hospital that sunny June day. But as a result, I have an older cousin whom I am very close to and have shared many adventures with. I admire Allison’s free spirit and openness to the universe.
Speaker 0 00:01:36 I remember when Alison was going to become a yoga teacher. It was not as trendy then. And I was not as familiar with it and its benefits, but we have both been interested in self care and non traditional healing methods for quite some time. Alison has been an entrepreneur for years and she was one of the first people I told when I was launching Dr. MCs self care cabaret. I have to say for those, who’ve taken a workshop with me since COVID, you have likely heard me raving about my cousin and her private yoga classes that she has been hosting for my mother and I, well, this is that cousin, and I’m so excited to have her here with us today. Allison teaches group and private yoga classes and offers our Vedic health consult too. I am delighted to share our plans conversation with you. Let’s get started. So first question, tell me a little bit about how you became a yoga and meditation teacher and, and are you Vedic health counselor? Because that’s fascinating.
Speaker 1 00:02:41 All right. So yo, I’ll start with yoga teaching because that came first. Um, I had been practicing yoga probably for about five years at a studio just outside Boston. It no longer exists, but it was Pronto power yoga. It was a Vinyasa, um, style yoga. And so when the teacher training came around, I kind of felt like it was something I always was curious about. Um, so in 2012 I did my 200 hour training at prom and that was in Cambridge. Um, and then from there I kind of dove right in and just started teaching classes and for yoga, for why I was practicing yoga, I guess, to get into that a little bit more. Um, it was something that always felt like it stuck with me. Like there’d be periods where I wasn’t practicing a lot, but then like I always like was learned back in because I just felt so great after the practice. I just felt it was a sense of, I was after college where I would say in college, I wasn’t very connected to my body or any kind of like spiritual sense, um, health. Wasn’t a real big factor of college. So after it’s not for
Speaker 0 00:03:56 Most college, unfortunately, maybe we can share a little
Speaker 1 00:04:01 The opposite, you know, just a lot of drinking and, you know, not really being too mindful. So yeah, exactly. So the feeling of, um, after the yoga practice was just like, it was new and it was exciting and I just always felt great. And I just wanted to bring that out, like expand and help more people experience yoga. Yeah. So that was in 2012. So what nine years ago I’ve been teaching since then? Um, and you know, with a little bit, this year was a little different, you know, having to learn your skills and how to teach online. But, um, for the most part teaching group classes, um, over the last couple years, I started diving more into one-on-one private classes, working with people. Um, and then I would, it was about six years ago. Um, so I’d say like halfway through my teaching, I heard about IRA Veda.
Speaker 1 00:05:03 Um, another teacher was studying it and doing some workshops and I was very much intrigued. It was called yoga’s sister science. Um, so I was like, what, how do I not know about this? Like there’s a sister to yoga. And so with I, or Veda for those who aren’t familiar with the term, um, it focuses a lot on how you’re taking care of yourself daily. So beyond the Asana movement, posture, practice of yoga, um, we’re looking at your lifestyle and you know, all how you find meaning in your life, how you take care of yourself, just it’s like another level. So in one day it was 2015, I think, I don’t know the exact dates, but I don’t know that that matters.
Speaker 0 00:05:51 We’ll go with five or six years ago, five
Speaker 1 00:05:53 Or six years ago. Um, I enrolled the IRA that program at Kripalu, which was 650 hours. Like a regular yoga teacher training is 200 hours at the baseline. And then you can do another 300 to get your 500 hours. So this was intense, it’s 650 hours onsite at Kapalos. So I was going out there for like nine day stent. So you were like completely immersed and a lot is learning different lifestyle, different diet techniques, and really understanding yourself. So there’s a sense of, we’re all unique, we’re all made up differently. So what works for one person to make them feel their optimal self is not necessarily going to work for someone else. So that’s a little bit on that. I dunno if we’re, if you want Masa right. Anywhere.
Speaker 0 00:06:44 Yeah. So I’m going to have you elaborate a little bit more and are you Veda? So, because I do talk about it in some of my trainings I started getting into, are you Veda back in like 2011 ish when kind of around the time when I first realized that I needed to start taking care of myself in the job I was in, or I wasn’t going to be able to sustain it. Um, that was back when I was working at a therapeutic high schools, the guidance director, and working with students significantly impacted with social, emotional issues, trauma, eating disorders, all sorts of challenges. And I needed to figure out how to take care of myself in order to take care of my students and be there for them. So I stumbled upon kind of aryuveda at that point, which is funny that our paths were kind of going along at the, at the same time, but not necessarily, uh, aware that each of us were, were studying these things.
Speaker 0 00:07:34 And, um, you know, started studying first, like Deepak Chopra’s work and really got into it and then did some more local, um, stuff with some other, um, experts closer to home. And, um, but really our Javaid his general principle is to strive to connect the mind body and the spirit, which is very different than how we view healing and medicine in this country. And it’s actually, and you may know more about this, but it was, it wasn’t a developed in India like 5,000 years ago. And it’s really the world’s oldest healing system. And it’s very different than how we heal the body in this country. From that, from a very different perspective. You want to elaborate a little more on
Speaker 1 00:08:14 That? Yes, I will. Um, so yes, you’re right. It’s approximately 5,000 years old around it’s in the same timeline as yoga. So they did, they do go together. Um, one thing I like to clarify is within the IRA to umbrella, I Aveda sees yoga as like a therapy or a treatment. So like you would tell, you know, you would suggest to someone like, oh, this would be a great yoga practice for you based on your lifestyle and your constitution and this. So, um, that’s something that I like to point out because they all kind of fall in together. And as far as your question about, um, yeah, how I operate is really looking like a lot of holistic systems. Like we’re trying to find the root, like what is causing, um, the imbalance. And, um, I’ll get a little technical on, it looks at the body.
Speaker 1 00:09:10 Like we’re looking at the whole picture here. We’re looking at like your physicality, your mental state, your, your, everything, everything that makes you, you like, what are your spiritual practices and, and taking all that into account because just because maybe there’s something going on, um, in your stomach, it might not necessarily only be the stomach having the issue. It could be an emotional thing that is affecting your stomach, or so it’s taking really small baby steps to kind of figure out what all is going on and what could be causing the imbalance. So I wanted to talk about the doses. So, um, I Aveda looks at everything based in a five element theory. So everything is made up of five elements. So if you’re talking about anything, a table, you know, there’s earth, air, ether, water, and fire. So everything is made up of these five elements, but in different ratios.
Speaker 1 00:10:16 So if you’re talking about a table, there would be a lot more of an earth element because it is a solid piece. Um, whereas when you’re looking at a human body, you know, again, we are all part of this big world. So we are also made up of these five elements in different ratios. So some people are more watery, some people are more grounded and earthy. Some people are more airy. So looking at a person in that sense and trying to figure out how to balance it. So like equals like, so if someone was extra airy and kind of flitting all over the place, adding more movement to their life, more activities that are kind of jumping from one thing to the next is going to just keep adding on to that. And there’s no sense of being grounded and, and steady. So with those five elements, they break them down into what, um, IRA to cost doses.
Speaker 1 00:11:17 So there’s three major doses, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha and Vata dosha is air and eat there. So what’s the lightest, it’s the king, it’s the easiest one to get out of balance. Pitta is fire and water. So we’re looking at like these more fiery, um, elements and then Kafa is earth and water. So you think about more like dense, solid foundation, um, with Kafa. So again, the whole body, we all have, we’re all made up of these three dashes, just in different ratios. Um, so looking at how that comes into play with how a person is functioning. Um, so if you have again to use the same example, if you have more budget, if you have more air needs to hear it, like something that’s going to help balance you out is adding more grounding and steadying activities, more grounding and steadying foods to help balance things out. So we’re always looking to find the sense of equilibrium and balance within the body. And it’s, it’s complex, like trying to figure that out. So step one, which I’m sure, you know, when you are studying and looked into it is kind of figuring out and there’s assessments you can take online, um, like where you land on the dosha scale, like what’s, your, everyone has kind of a dominant dosha, and then there’s like a secondary one and that can help just gain some insight into, you know, what practices, what nutrition might be best for you.
Speaker 0 00:12:51 Yeah. I love that. And that was definitely a place I started back many years ago and have re assessed as time has gone on. Cause I, I feel like when you’re, when you’re out of balance your doses shift a little bit, and I’m just curious what, um, I think I know, but I’m going to ask you, what is your dosha?
Speaker 1 00:13:11 So I know I’m mostly Pitta, I’m the middle. Um, it’s a fiery dosha, I mean, a sneaky way to fi figure out what does a lot of pitches are redheads. Um, we have the tendency to sunburn, um, a little more fiery and feisty and your personality. So it’s all, if you’re going to look at it, like from a physical standpoint, it’s like a medium kind of average, um, build pittas have tend to have strong appetites very much like to be challenged and learning. So it was very, you know, my, I R beta training, I would say 80% was picked up. Like, we’re all just kind of like intensely, like writing our notes. And, and so there’s pros and cons to both like, it’s great. Like there’s a little bit of an intensity, there’s a feistiness there’s, you know? Um, but then like the flip, if it’s out of whack, you know, it can lead to more like thinking of like hot emotions.
Speaker 1 00:14:09 It can lead to like irritability, pitches, more prone to like rashes and skin irritations and things of that nature. Like spicy foods. Like when I was doing my, um, initial intake with a practitioner, I couldn’t figure out I was having some digestive issues. Um, and I was like, what’s up? And, um, you know, she’s like, your dosha is pitching, you’re teaching hot yoga. And I, at that point in time, like pepperoni pizza and like hot wings were like my go-to lunch. Um, so yeah, so now it’s like, I looked back and I was like, oh, that’s why I was like, just overheating and like having some issues in the gut. Um, so it’s stuff, I think when you think about it, like logically, like it’s like, oh, like that makes sense. I mean, that was what it was for me. Like, I was like, oh, like this, this lands, well, this, this, I get it. Like,
Speaker 0 00:15:10 Yeah, no, I love it. I totally agree. I tend to be actually Pitta Kafa. Those are the two that I kind of, depending upon those are the two that come up the most when I do it. And different times when I’m imbalanced and not, it can sway kind of in, in either direction. Um, but that’s a, generally, I didn’t know that about red heads though, that red heads are typically, um, Pitta, which is just really funny. And I love the idea that, you know, we get to the root of the issue, like what is causing the dis-ease were quick to, you know, treat symptoms. That’s typically how we think of things. Like we want to go to the doctor, we want just give me what I can take to fix it and keep it moving. Then we’re not necessarily interested in doing the work to figure out what is really at the root. And that’s really a more, are you Vedic perspective? And I love that. I think it’s excellent. And I definitely have adopted some of these practices, um, into my life. One of the first ones. And Alison, you probably do this too, but I mean, developed a Dean of Sharia, which is your daily routine. And do you, um, do practice a daily routine?
Speaker 1 00:16:17 Yes, I do. Um, my morning routine, I keep it relatively simple. Um, I don’t like to over-complicate things. I tend to be tired when I wake up. So it starts with scraping my tongue with a metal tongue scraper and what that does a, it cleans your tongue, but B besides like oral health, it can indicate kind of what is going on, how you’re digesting your food, like not to get too graphic, but I’m going to typically, you’re going to see like some white sludge on your tongue in the morning, and that’s absolutely normal, but you’ll notice the levels will kind of change daily. If it’s something you do daily and it’s based on like what you’ve been eating. So you can kind of notice if your diet’s been heavier or denser, you know, when you’re not making the most healthiest food choices, there’s probably going to be some excess what we call, um, a or waste on your tongue.
Speaker 1 00:17:14 So it’s an indicator. It also, um, they say I radically that it kind of starts your digestive track, like going for the day. It’s like, you’re you scraped over your taste buds. And now like you’re getting your body prep to start your day by eating. Um, so next I feed the dogs. That’s not really, I are Vedic, but it’s my daily, but it is important. It’s important. They come next. Um, they patiently wait for the tongue scraping and the teeth brushing and then, um, warm water. So warm water is another great practice. I know some people cringe whenever I kind of suggest this and they’re like, no coffee first, but the water it’s hydrating and you can add lemon. If you can’t handle the, like the thought of just plain hot water and it is essential that you cook it. Um, when you cook the water, it changes its, its makeup. So it’s easier for your body to digest. It makes a difference than just running the hot water under the, the tap. Um, so,
Speaker 0 00:18:16 So do you actually like bring it to a boil or just warm it?
Speaker 1 00:18:19 I just warm it. I don’t necessarily bring it all the way up to a boil. I just heat them the kettle, um, and get it like tea warm. Um, if it does happen to get too hot, I tend to just add a little bit of, um, like cold water to the top of it. So little bits like so that I can drink it drinkable. Yeah. So warm water. And then, and then I meditate. I meditate for about 20 minutes in the morning just to clear out my mind oil. Polling’s another thing I’m on and off with it. So if I am oil pulling, that is something that I would do in the morning with like brushing my teeth and that stuff. So now I’m talking about, I probably should bring it back in, but yeah, yeah. I know you’re a big advocate. I, I go through phases with it. Um, so I really like
Speaker 0 00:19:06 It. I feel like, and every time I go to the dentist, they’re always impressed with my oral hygiene. And I don’t think I’m a superior toothbrusher by any stretch of the imagination. So I’m always like fascinated. And I usually tell them, well, it’s due to oil pulling. And then they look at me, you know, a little sideways then depending on my mood, I may go into explaining it or I may just kind of let it go. But the idea of a Dean of cherry and your morning routine is that you cleanse the senses to kind of get the day started. So the tongue scraping is awesome. And your body, like Alison said, you release those toxins through your tongue when you sleep, which is a little icky to think about, but kind of cool that we can have this tool to remove it in the morning and start the day off without all that in our malls and the oil pulling. So folks don’t know what that is. Alison, do you want to explain what the act of oil pulling is?
Speaker 1 00:19:55 Yeah. So there’s different oils. Like typically it’s either a Sesame oil or like there are some IRA beta products out there. Um, one it’s called daily swish by being in botanical. So you take about a tablespoon of oil. I did like our cat full and pour it in and then you’re swishing it really around in your mouth for 10 to 15 minutes, you start where you can like maybe do five, um, maybe do two to start because it is, you know, it’s not necessarily tasty. Um, but you do after, when you’re doing it, there is this like really clean feeling, um, in your mouth afterwards. And it’s meant to bring more health to your gums, strengthen your gums. Oil is really nourishing. So it even will strengthen like around your teeth and things like that. So that to draw her
Speaker 0 00:20:50 Out any, like if you have any stuff hanging around in your gums or anything going on, it helps to kind of draw that out. So your mouth definitely does feel super clean after doing it. Um, one of the other pieces that I do for eyes is spray the rose water. Yep. Oh, well, our listeners can’t see that, but Allison’s holding up.
Speaker 2 00:21:10 Cool, cool
Speaker 1 00:21:11 Water in your eyes is another. So when you think about your senses, like splashing some cool water on your eyes and then also, or the rose water, you can use that too. That’s really cool. And this is great. And we can probably get into this more after, but like summertime, I just keep one in my car because it helps. Um, I get so hot and aggravated when I’m driving, I like to spray it.
Speaker 0 00:21:36 You’ll just spray the rosewater, like on you as like a mist, like a body. Yeah. That’s awesome.
Speaker 1 00:21:44 And you can spray it in your face and especially if you’re someone who is staring at the computer all the time, like I definitely would recommend cause it is okay. Like it’s like, I wouldn’t like put it up to your eye and spray it, but like, it’s not going to irritate your eyes so you can spray it like near your eyes and kind of get this fresh.
Speaker 0 00:22:00 I do spray it right in my eye. It doesn’t, it doesn’t here date. Of course I would recommend if any listeners want to try that then of course you try it on a less sensitive part of your body first before just spraying it in right in your eyeball. But it definitely takes a little getting used to doing that, but you feel it does have a cooling quality and feel very refreshing. So that’s awesome. And I have written some more blog posts and information, so we can definitely share some resources with the listeners for, uh, who may want to dive a little deeper into your Vader. But I know we could talk all day just about that. So now we’ll move on a little bit. So I’m interested in knowing what you would tell someone who has never done yoga or has never meditated before. Like how would you get them started?
Speaker 1 00:22:43 So really it’s a bolt or practices that I think you need to experience, um, like co getting them to start. It’s like, you have to try it to understand it. Like the aftermath is like, that’s the big selling point. I would say, like that feeling that you have after you’ve done a yoga class and you just have like moved your body, you’ve slowed yourself down. You know, you might’ve sweat a little, but after Shavasana where you’ve just kinda like, let yourself settle in. Um, there’s just this ease and calm that I haven’t found another like natural way to get to. Um, so that I would say really and meditation too. Um, you start small and try and do a minute, try and do two minutes. You know, there’s a lot of apps out there that you can give it a whirl. And I think people get hesitant or nervous about it. Cause they think they’re not going to be able do it. Like so many people are like, I’m not flexible. I can’t do yoga. And it’s like, that’s the point? Like, you know, yeah. There are some people that are inherently very flexible. Like I was not one of them. And I really, after, you know, practicing notice like, yeah, there was an increase in how I was able to move and just how things felt in my body. Just feeling like less tension, more ease.
Speaker 0 00:24:09 Yeah. It’s awesome. I mean, I practice yoga on and off for, I dunno a while now. Not quite as long as you, I do remember when you started doing yoga, it was not as trendy as it is now. And I remember thinking you were slightly crazy and then now here we are several years later, you’re crazy, but it’s totally different reasons. Just kidding, um, that we know. And you do feel better when you do these things. It’s the same thing about really any self-care practices. And this is why I kind of got into this at this level, because I know what it feels like when you’re not taking care of yourself and we tend to do that. Right. It’s the first thing that goes out the window. When we have a competing priority, it’s like, oh, well, no, I guess we’re not going to yoga today.
Speaker 0 00:24:51 Or I’m going to skip my this or that. And all these things that really, we need to shift that. And it has to be you first your needs first, then you help everybody else. I know it’s a cliche, but what do they tell you? When you get on an airplane, you put your oxygen mask on first and then you help everybody else. And it’s just, it’s, it’s very different thinking for us though, because that’s not what we’re programmed really to do. That’s not what we’re taught to do or celebrated for doing. So it feels almost a little like an act of resistance when we put our needs first. Right.
Speaker 1 00:25:22 And I mean, that is another layer as to, I think why I was so intrigued. I’m like, this is another way of like, of looking at how we exist and live and take care of ourselves. It’s not, it’s, it’s the opposite. And it, it makes sense. And like making sure that you’re in the best, like head space and physical, physical space for you to show up to your life, um, makes all the difference. And then it affects everyone around you. You know, if I’m pissed off, cause I miss my yoga class, like I’m going to take that out on. Whoever’s closest to me, you know? So it matters. And I think like trying to get people on I’m and it’s, it has come a long way. Like more people are definitely kind of seeing this way of, of being as beneficial. Um, but yeah, myself too, I realized we were just away for a few days and like my meditation practice went out the window. Um, and normally I’ll try it, but I think I was just so excited about like, I’m not home, you know, I didn’t, but then like yesterday I was feeling super anxious and I was like, huh, like I haven’t meditated like, like I normally do in like four days. So you do notice the effects once you get off of the, your regimens, your routines.
Speaker 0 00:26:42 Yeah. Fascinating. So I’ve heard people say that they’re hesitant to begin practicing yoga or that their attempts to get started have not been inclusive or friendly for beginners. So what do you recommend for people who feel this way and or what do you do in your classes to prevent that from happening?
Speaker 1 00:27:04 Okay, big question. Um, I recommend a lot of studios do offer a beginner series. So I think starting in that type of environment where you are surrounded by all beginners and normally they’re like four to six weeks long and you can keep doing that series. Like I would recommend finding a class specific to beginners. You can start in any class. Like when I started, I didn’t start in a beginner’s class, I just went in and I had absolutely no clue what was going on. And it, you know, I came to learn that I was doing things completely wrong repetitively because I didn’t know what I was doing. Um, so I think starting in a beginner’s class, um, is good, but a lot of teachers also by self included, we try and teach to the beginner. So if you have a class full of people, when the studios are now opening again, and there will be like in studio or outdoor classes and you can, you can navigate and tell who’s a beginner in there.
Speaker 1 00:28:09 You teach to that person. Like you make sure that they are feeling stable and feeling secure and maybe give them a little extra attention, um, throughout the class so that you know, that they feel safe and that they’re taken care of. Um, I also recommend just letting your teacher know too, if you show up and it’s your first time, like people tend to do that, but it is helpful just to know if there’s someone that’s never done it, because if it’s a class of people that are coming all the time, you know, you don’t have to be so specific about what you’re saying. Cause you know that their students know. So if I try and just give the newbies like a little extra attention, the other thing is do some privates to find a teacher. Like I teach one-on-one yoga also for this reason. Um, so that you can get a steady foundation of the practice before joining the group class.
Speaker 1 00:29:01 And with privates too, you can understand how the poses land on your own body, as far as what, how down dog is gonna feel and, um, finding your own ways to get into the poses that feel best for you. And then you can adapt them into a group class. But I say, just go for it. If you’re curious now it’s, you know, there’s yoga everywhere. So I feel like you also could watch a few videos online to get a sense, but I definitely would recommend finding an actual yoga teacher and go into a class or I’m doing a private.
Speaker 0 00:29:40 Yeah. And I think people need to, you know, we have to let go of that idea of perfection and that like for sure that whole just like, oh, you know, those false barriers that we put up for ourselves that like I’m too old. I’m too. I’m not flexible. I’m too. This I’m too, that my body’s too big. Am I bought whatever, like all these things we get in our head and we’re not even willing to try. And I know I always talk about this in my sessions when I’m presenting, but I’m going to share it here as well. Cause we’re interviewing my cousin on this podcast, but back oh, about a year or so ago. Now at this point we started doing virtual yoga lessons with, um, Alison is our instructor and my mom and I, as the students keeping it a family event here.
Speaker 0 00:30:23 And it’s my mom’s never done yoga before and she won’t be embarrassed that I tell the story. But at first she was really hesitant. She’s not necessarily someone who would put herself out there and go into a class and risk making a fool of herself or God forbid get down on the ground and oppose and not be able to get back up or just, she just wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that. So by hiring Alison to teach these weekly sessions with us, she’s really gotten to be more comfortable. And you’ve been wonderful with giving modifications with chair poses, lots of standing poses. We do get down on the floor sometimes, although you can also modify that and use a bed, if that’s more comfortable or stay in the chair, we use props and it’s a very obviously safe environment for us, but it has allowed my mom to get a little more comfortable in her body.
Speaker 0 00:31:09 And she’s always saying how great it has made her feel. And the good thing is if she does get herself on the ground, now she can get herself back up and she feels more confident about that. So that’s really awesome. And I do obviously credit that to taking the steps, to have that one-on-one sessions with someone trained to do that. And that has been very beneficial and certainly a highlight of the last year or so with COVID, um, which there aren’t a lot of highlights. So we have to look for the look for the bright spots, but that’s excellent. And when we think about meditation too, I always tell folks, I think of it like a muscle. You have to build it. And same thing. Like you’ve got to build these practices. You can’t just expect to run a marathon tomorrow. If you haven’t been training for it, same thing with yoga, you’re going to need to build up that flexibility. And you’re going to need to build up those meditation practices. I’m wondering, you did mention some apps for smartphones that you use. What are your favorite apps for meditation?
Speaker 1 00:32:07 Um, for meditation, I use insight timer or which is free. And then I also have the 10% happier app, which I like. That’s like Dan Harris. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him. Um,
Speaker 0 00:32:20 I’ve heard of it. I’ve I’ve not listened to it before someone is, to me that
Speaker 1 00:32:23 One’s a subscription. It’s not wildly expensive. I feel like it might be 10 or $12 a month, but don’t quote me on that. But he has a lot of like, I mean, they’re all on him. Some of them are on insight timer too. Like you’ll find the same teachers kind of going around like the big names, like Jack cornfield and Joseph Goldstein and um, anyway, a whole slew of, um, meditation teachers on there and they have different. You can have a five minute, you can have a 10 minute, you can have 15 minute and then they have longer ones. Um, so that’s what I really liked because it does make a difference to your point about the muscle, like even taking a minute or two, like, it makes a difference to just stop, like take a breath. What was your eyes, feel your body, and then continue what you’re doing.
Speaker 1 00:33:15 So it will be, you become less reactive, you become more patient and then you work your way up to more minutes. And there is that sweet spot. Like I’ve discovered that yeah, you can get a lot out of five to 10 minutes, but once you start diving into the deep end and doing 20, 30, 45 minute meditations, you can get into like a zone, which is pretty cool. And I find that that’s like, once you tip over that 15 minute mark and you make it to like 20, 25, 30 minutes, it feels like more of an experience than just kind of, uh, but that’s just, that’s my experience. And I’m still working towards, um, a regular 30 minute a day practice,
Speaker 0 00:33:55 Still a work in progress. Always. It always
Speaker 1 00:33:58 Will be meditation was the, one of the hardest things for me to make happen. But now I can probably say I do it pretty much daily unless I’m on vacation. Excellent.
Speaker 0 00:34:09 So I know, unfortunately some people have negative things to say about yoga meditation and aryuveda even, they may not understand the benefits of these practices. So I’m wondering if you can share some of the positive impacts you or your students have felt after they’ve worked with you and, and really had this experience. So,
Speaker 1 00:34:30 Um, some of the positive impacts, the main one, I would say would be a greater sense of awareness. Being aware of yourself, being aware of your body, being able to comfortably slow yourself down is huge. And I think a lot of people don’t value the benefit of slowing down. Um, especially in this realm of life. It’s like, go, go, go like what’s next, keep achieving, keep doing and not taking those moments to reflect and notice and enjoy it. So taking in how you feel. So I radically like when working with people, I think there’s some aha moments when you start to look at your daily routine and things that are working and things that aren’t working and adjusting and creating the optimum routine for your constitution, um, has made a big impact for people just shifting small little shifts, like little times, like adding the, the tongue scraping, adding the water in the morning, um, eating in a way that’s slow and thoughtful.
Speaker 1 00:35:42 That all makes a difference mentally and physically, um, more mental benefits from like yoga practices and meditation is cultivating more self compassion to your point before where you were saying, um, people don’t want to, I’m too old and I have no idea what I’m doing like this, that the other, um, it can help you get through some of those hurdles because you show up and you do it. And then you recognize like it’s yoga philosophy is, you know, it’s a practice. Like we are constantly practicing. There is no pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. Um, it’s like an ongoing process, which can be daunting, but it’s, you know, it’s slow, steady adjustments and improvements and feeling better in your body. So more self-compassion more patients with people like less, like you’re kind of smoothing out your edges, I would say, but not in a way that makes you lame or like have no edge.
Speaker 1 00:36:48 Like you’re just meant like it’s, it’s softer and it’s, it’s, uh, a better way. It helps your relationships. And I would say physically, you know, less tension, yoga’s going to help you open up. It’s going to help you build strength. So you’d have more body awareness. Like you’ll notice too. What, just in your day to day, I remember one thing driving. Like I tend to just, oh, I’ll notice if I’m gripping the steering wheel. And that’s just from my yoga practices. I think of instructor being like, don’t grip. I’m like, Ooh, you know, like, or like slumping, like I’m like, oh, I could be sitting up straighter. So these little tweaks that just start to weave their way in
Speaker 0 00:37:33 Little tweaks. I think that’s going to be the episode
Speaker 3 00:37:35 Title really important. And I
Speaker 0 00:37:37 Think sometimes we think, and I talk about this in my trainings too. We think about like the end goal. Like we forget the journey and we forget that you it’s okay to start small and be a beginner. And we all, we want to like go from zero to a million. We don’t want to, we don’t recognize that small shifts and little things, little tweaks and habits that we can build along the way will actually have a great impact. So even if you can only do meditation for five minutes a day, stay there, that’s fine. If that’s all you can do, that’s fine. You will still feel benefits. Even from just a couple of standing yoga poses. I mean, I’ve experienced it myself. Like you will feel better. It doesn’t have to be this epic 90 minute thing that you have to do every single day. And it’s just, we get so crazy in our head with what things have to be, that we’re not even willing to try some time.
Speaker 1 00:38:30 Right. And that’s huge that that’s been another like barrier, I think. And I’ve been guilty of this too. But like the pandemic really opened up to yeah, like 30 minutes can be an like, just move, like just get 30 minutes of movement in, or you don’t need to do the, like you said, you don’t need to do the hour. You, you start the practice. So then it becomes a habit like what, whatever it is you’re trying to do. Um, if you’re trying to cook more, just pick one meal, like either a week or a couple meal days a week that you’re going to make dinner. Um, or with your breakfast, maybe it’s you always have a cooked breakfast every day. And then you just add, once there feels to be spaced. Cause like what happens is you add everything on and then it just all falls apart. So yeah, steady and slow and steady. That was in my IRA to training. We had one of the instructors and she always was just slowly, slowly. That’s like, everything is slow. And I know that’s not the most appealing to people. Um, but it’s what works
Speaker 0 00:39:38 Well. It’s not how our culture functions. I know we push, we push more and more and more fast, fast, fast, quicker, like it’s crazy. We romanticize being busy and burning the candle at both ends. We were being a workaholic is your badge of honor. Like that’s not a really good way to be when we’re thinking about health and wellness and longevity and how we’re going to live long, happy, successful, productive lives. That’s not the way to get there. Excellent. All right. I have one more question for you. So aside from yoga, as you know, you do yoga and meditation and practice aryuveda what other self-care practices do you incorporate into your daily life?
Speaker 1 00:40:19 Okay. So besides my morning routines and I practice, you know, all that, um, I do other exercises. Like I like to walk, um, I have a dog, he brings a lot of like joy and happiness into my world. Um, so, and I live near the beach, which also was important to me. So I go to the beach often I take him down there. I have another, my husband has a dog too, so we have to, um, so spending time with them spending time, like quality time, um, you know, with people is important to me as well, health wise, too. There’s seasonal routines that I like to bring into play. Um, so as the seasons start to change, just shifting things up a little bit. Um, yeah, I can get so in like now we’re entering into like summer, so things are starting to get warmer.
Speaker 1 00:41:19 So where that heat element is pretty active in our outside world, it’s reducing that within my internal environment. So cooling off, you know, now it’s time to like have more cool beverages, um, you know, more watermelon, more berries, more refreshing type of foods. And with exercise tending to tone it down, like I still will exercise, but like, I’m not going to go to a hot yoga class in the middle of summer. Maybe I’m going to go to like an outdoor class or, um, an unheated class and, you know, same with any super rigorous exercise. I’d be strategic about where I was going to place that in my day. Not at high noon. Maybe it’s going to be at dusk when things have cooled off a little bit
Speaker 0 00:42:04 Fascinating. I feel like that could be a whole nother episode. We could talk more about the seasons and like what you do. And I know certain foods play into that too. And this is a very elevated perspective, but you know, like salads, for example, are more cooling than a bowl of soup. So you’re probably not going to eat a bowl of soup in a hundred degree weather because that’s not going to be the best thing for your body. It’s not going to be cooling. It’s going to have a heating effect, right?
Speaker 1 00:42:29 Yep. Yeah. So soup like warm, warm, more warm foods in the warm, in the cold months and more cool foods in the warm months and thinking about that, and it’s a nice way to change things up too. So it’s like once you, you know, you find the things that you like to do, but then you kind of can tweak them to the season, just like your wardrobe, you know, change your eating changed your daily, um, daily routines.
Speaker 0 00:42:56 I love that. I never thought about kind of relating it to, or thinking about it from the perspective of we, of course we change our wardrobe. We can’t wear the same clothes, not in Massachusetts. Anyway, you cannot wear the same clothes you’re wearing in December in August. Like that’s just not going to work. Right. Awesome. So thank you, Alison so much. I’m wondering if you wouldn’t mind telling us where folks can find you, if they’re interested in following you and learning more and perhaps, um, looking into the services that you provide.
Speaker 1 00:43:26 Yes. Um, you can find me on social media on Instagram. My handle is at Alison a L L I S O N underscore Derico D E R R I C O. Um, I also have two websites. So back bay I R And you also could find me at Boston massage, I’m I work out of that space, um, in back bay. And that’s it
Speaker 0 00:44:00 Awesome. So you can, and it folks have a real hard time finding you. They can always reach out to me. I know where to find you. And oh, did you want to give your email address?
Speaker 1 00:44:09 Oh, sure. Um, Alison dot Derico
Speaker 0 00:44:17 Excellent. And we’ll make sure that that’s in the resources for the episode as well. So thank you so much for joining us today. Alison, I enjoyed chatting with you and we’ll hope to see you at the cabaret again soon. Thank you. This is fun. That was so much fun to chat with my cousin, Alison Derico today. If our, your Veda is of interest, I suggest exploring it more. I find it fascinating. I will make sure my blog posts on aryuveda is linked in the episode notes for the ease of my listeners, but look into it more and see if it resonates with you. To me, it makes a lot of sense. We barely scratched the surface in this interview of aryuveda, but as always, you can start small. Maybe the idea of tongue scraping or oil pulling is appealing, or perhaps you’re just curious to find out your dosha and how to feed your body from that perspective.
Speaker 0 00:45:08 Alison also really highlighted the importance of slowing down and taking time for ourselves. It is critical. I know that the times I neglect my needs are not. When I am at my best. When I put my needs first and make myself a priority, I feel so much better. I’m more productive and I’m just a better person to be around truthfully and small, tiny habits are so important. Little tweaks over time. I promise these small changes will have a big impact. You can’t do all the things every day and some days five minutes is all you got and that’s okay. Move your body. Journal, meditate, whatever you wish for those five minutes, you’ll notice a difference. Inviting more mindfulness is a great way to get more grounded to Alison mentioned, allowing yourself to feel that intentional pause. I like to promote the stop method S stop what you’re doing.
Speaker 0 00:46:05 T take a breath in through your nose and out through your mouth O observe your inner and outer world then P proceed. So we can give ourselves that momentary pause, that intentional breath of mindfulness. And if you want to try yoga, please give it a whirl. Be sure to research and appropriate class, or reach out and ask for recommendations. And don’t be afraid to explore modifications for poses or use props as necessary. I used to feel ashamed using props as if it was some sort of cop-out that was, of course during the time I was deep in my dis-ease with exercise bulemia now I celebrate my body for all that it can do for me, movement is a gift and there is nothing wrong with modifying poses, using props, doing chair, poses, standing, poses, whatever you need for your body. Thanks for listening to this episode.
Speaker 0 00:47:01 Remember to subscribe and rate this podcast on your preferred player. The ratings help us grow and share the message of self-care. If you have comments, suggestions, or questions, please reach out directly by emailing podcast at Dr. MC self that’s D R M C self and come join the cast party at Dr. MCs self care cabaret on Facebook and Instagram at Dr. MC self care or on my website, Dr. MCs self Be sure to like subscribe and love me across all my social media platforms for the most up-to-date information on self care. See you next time. Stay well and do good.

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