yoga Off the mat podcast

Yoga Off The Matt Podcast

Greetings, I am so glad that you are here! I am your host Marie Russel and this is “Yoga off the Mat.” During this series, I explore how we can use the philosophy of yoga and the principals from “A Course in Miracles” to transcend some of the seemingly difficult poses -perhaps relationships and situations- that we find ourselves in – off the mat. I’ll be sharing practices, lessons, and tools that I have learned (sometimes the hard way) to live with a lot less fear and a lot more love. It’s a practice in learning how to access those easy breezy feelings we feel in a yoga class, off the mat and in our lives. It’s a practice in learning how to align to the YOU that YOU love to be with.


You can now catch this podcast on iTunes.

Season one

Episode 1: What happens after Savasana?
Episode One: What happens after Savasana?

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER SAVASANA? Yoga off the Mat Podcast: Episode One Yoga off the Mat is a journey to the you, that YOU love to be with. My intention is to give you a bit of backdrop into who I am and how I discovered yoga on and off the mat. Throughout this series, I will likely speak to my personal relationships as they have provided such incredible spiritual content for me. As we continue to dive into the topics of Yoga off the mat, I will ask you questions that will inspire your own deep thinking in terms of your family of origin, those relationships, and some of the lessons you are learning from them. What are some of the things you want to work on in terms of your own relationships?

Episode 2: Stepping off the mat into yoga
Episode Two: Stepping off the mat into yoga

Stepping Off the Mat into Yoga Yoga Off the Mat Podcast: Episode Two: Yoga in the West has become mostly physical with lots of words. Having led teacher trainings for over fifteen years I have witnessed hundreds (maybe thousands?) of people as they move through their own personal journeys - through the yoga practice to the Self- to that sweet spot where all is well and peace resides. Yoga is a practice in the mind. Yoga is a reworking of the way your mind turns. So you can be in the nature of who you are. So you can live from that place of authenticity and oneness with your creator and all that it is. n today's episode, I share how a big blue book and two master teachers, encouraged me to climb off the mat and learn to live a lighter life. Meet me on the bridge we share - when the mat rolls up and the day begins. Now is the time for yoga: Yoga Sutras 1:1.

Episode 3: With love, Cancer
Episode Three: With love, Cancer

Off the Mat Podcast: Episode Three

Today, I invite you to dance around metaphysics and neuroscience. Close your eyes and open yourself to the possibility of love. Tune in to love’s driving force in our lives. My purpose in sharing this content is to inspire you to live a bit more out of the box-  where the quantum field of love exists. In today’s episode, I explore my relationship with cancer: the emotional courtship, the healing journey, and the lessons delivered by love. No matter what happens in your life- there is a way to overcome- there is a way to move beyond the hurt, the pain and the trauma. Sometimes it happens with accidents, cancer diagnoses, and miscarriages. There are so many ways we learn how to overcome. And so much of it has to do with a little suffering. We learn through contrast. We learn what we want through what we don’t want. No matter where you are in your life- I encourage you to travel deeper within yourself to experience a lighter existence. You don’t need to take a more advanced variation of the posture to get there. But, maybe it is time to slow down and deepen your drishti. Where is your energetic focus? How do fear, grief and pain tango with love in your sacred days? Pull up a comfortable seat, and let me tell you a love story.

My purpose is to remind You how powerful you are. Your choice in the matter is whether you put your power towards the fear or towards the love.

With love, Cancer Part 2
Episode Four: With love, Cancer: Part Two

               “Cancer is a personal journey and the best we can do is love each other through it.”

   Meditation has become the strongest medication I am on. When I am consistent with my meditation: when I am consistently surrendering my analytic mind, my thought systems, my fear – based conversations to my healing mind – healing happens for me. Where do you want to heal? Our minds are powerful. We have a choice. If we put our minds into our mis-creations- into our fear- they will create disease. In my case, it was breast cancer. I took my cancer diagnosis as an opportunity to  delve deeply into my mental, spiritual and emotional healing. I knew that if I kept at my physical healing – and I changed my diet to reflect a lighter lifestyle- my body would have time to heal itself from the undue pressure.

I truly believe the more we give our fears, guilt, judgments and resentments up- the healthier we get. Those types of thoughts put pressure on our bodies that our bodies are not meant to hold. It puts our bodies into flight or flight. Fight or flight is an important defense mechanism if we are being chased by a bear- we need to run super fast: where our pace is beyond what we could imagine. Those types of fears are natural. I am speaking to emotional and psychological fears that put that same level of stress on our bodies. However, now  our colleagues and children become the bears.

             “Our role in this life is to realign to our higher minds where we have a choice.”

Will you choose love?

With Love, Cancer

Episode Five: Looking at our Inner Feminine, Masculine and Child Energies in Romance and Beyond

 The other day, a new friend pulled me aside.

 “I want to acknowledge you, Marie. Even though we don’t know each other that well, I can really see that you and your husband have a great relationship. The two of you vibrate on a higher frequency. He truly respects your divine masculine.”

 “A Course in Miracles” teaches us that everything in our life is a relationship. Furthermore, we all possess feminine energy, masculine energy and child energy. Our relationship to these energies influences their vitality and expression.  For example, when masculine energy is adapted, it arrives amped- up: angry and aggressive. We all have been there and we have all felt that way! Perhaps, the feminine energy is not grounded in authenticity. Then, the energy appears sad and a little lethargic.  When child energy is out of balance, you might dwell in an anxious place where you can’t seem to get anything done. You are overwhelmed with everything on your plate. However, authentic child energy-  fused with spiritual magnetism- manifests playfully and curiously.

Our goal is to value and honor our entire inner family. May there be space throughout the week for all of our energies to vibe.

 But, how do we bring this energetic harmony into our intimate relationships? How can we honor and encourage the feminine and masculine energies of our partners?

In today’s episode, I share personal vignettes and tools to guide you on this intimate journey. I invite you to step out of your fear and defenses and step into your nakedness. Let us learn to trust each other’s energy. Let us encourage each other to be who we are: grounded, passionate, and joyful.

Forgiveness is a SuperPower
Episode Six: Forgiveness is a Superpower

Does the idea of forgiving someone make you cringe? In this podcast, I talk about forgiveness from a modern woman’s perspective. What does it mean to be forgiving? What does the concept look like in practice?
This is a time to practice forgiveness, friends. This is a time to delve deeply within yourself to extract. It is like being an archeologist – extracting all of the ancient hatreds.

During this episode, I will share personal vignettes and offer themes from “A Course in Miracles” to support us in practicing forgiveness.

When we practice yoga on the mat – when we step into Warrior Pose – we step out of one body and into another. This is what I see happening in the world. We are stepping out of one paradigm of thinking. We are stepping out of the thought system that dominates this planet. We are stepping out of a thought system which is rooted in fear and separation. Now, we are stepping into a thought system that is inspired by a loving energy. We can see this happening in so many ways.

Are you determined to see the situation differently?

Friends- join me in this practice of forgiveness. Join me in practicing Yoga off the Mat.

Yoga Off the Mat: Episode Seven
Episode Seven: You Have One Problem

You have ONE problem.

Now days it seems like we have lots of problems. What are we going to do about this virus? What are we going to do about the economic situation? What are we going to do about education? What does the future of health look like?

In this podcast, we approach what’s happening in the world from a place of knowing. Knowing – that we are connected to the Divine.  We explore our situation, with the knowingness that all problems can be solved by the intelligence that permeates the Universe.  Flowers know how to grow and palm trees blossom out of coconuts.  Nature knows, and we don’t.  We think we are not good enough. We are not loveable. We are somehow bad.  THIS IS THE ILLUSION that we are healing. We are children of God.  We are connected to this magnificent energy.  We are extensions of Love.  When we think that we are not enough, we are INSANE! 

We are created by a loving intelligence. When we return to that vibration, we will know how to approach any problem in our lives.

Prepare to ask yourself the important questions.

Who am I? 

Where did I come from? 

Where am I going?

Can I see myself as God created me to be?

Yoga off the Mat - Episode 8
Episode Eight: Backing out of Others’ Fear into your Compassion

We are here to deliver a message.

We are mailmen.

There is a letter.

We are meant to deliver it.

We are not meant to open the letter and critique it.

We need to connect to those we hear this truth from. The truth is spoken in so many different ways. There are so many beautiful humans on the planet sharing their voices.

Today, I want to discuss sharing your voice and being a truth teller. Stepping into the truth requires courageousness. But within the truth – lies both your power and your humility – essential elements in order for us to be of service to others.

How do we back out of fear and step into compassion?

When I do this – when I back out of someone else’s fear and step into my own seat of wisdom – then I can be a truth teller. I can be someone who relays messages. This is something we see happening in our community at It’s Yoga International. This is something we see happening during Yoga off the Mat. So many of our trainers, so many of our students and so many of our clients, are learning how to bring their shame to spirit for comfort. They are learning how to share difficult moments from a place of being healed. This happens when we are willing to tell the truth.

In this episode, I share a time when I first felt the power of forgiveness create space between fear and love. The common thread we share – we all experience fear. However, if you stay in touch with your “moola bandha” you will be able to diffuse the energy in a compassionate way. It is time to see things differently so that we can again experience our oneness.

All of the peace – all of the joy – and all of the good things that all of us are looking for – reside in our ability to be truth tellers. In our ability to share from open minds and forgiving hearts.

Truth telling is a super power.

Yoga off the mat podcast with Marie Russel
Episode Nine: You are Innocent Even When You Mess Up

We pay a high price when we are unwilling to take one hundred percent responsibility for our experience. The price we pay: we cannot change our experience. If we believe that we are victims of the world we see – or that there is nothing we can do to change the world- we basically relinquish our power. Then we live these sad lives.

Today’s podcast  discusses what happens when we make a mistake. How do we stay innocent – even when we royally mess up? 

What we are really doing in this practice of yoga off the mat – in this alignment to spirit- is learning the difference between our inner teacher and our inner critic. Our Higher self and our lower self.

Step into the moment: if you are not feeling innocent: if you are feeling guilty: if you are feeling really bad about something…

Ask yourself:

When did I step off the love train? Where did I get off and not realize that I got off?

From Victim to Victor
Episode Ten: From Victim to Victor

Have you found yourself wondering what the heck is happening on planet Earth lately? Who exactly is in charge of the world and what are they aligned to; is it love or is it fear? It’s an intense time in the world right now friends and it’s completely ok to be feeling a bit weighed down by it all. Join me in this week’s Yoga Off The Mat podcast episode, where together we can process, dissect, and ultimately transcend the darkness that seems to be surrounding us in the world right now. 

The dark is going down and we are winning. Now is the time to embrace the tools that raise our consciousness and support all of us heart-centered folks in lifting our frequency.I heard the call to be a warrior of light and I answered; are you ready? Tune in for a journey of empowerment in moving from the victim to the victor. Let’s come together to heal, unite, and promote love during this crazy time in the world. 

In this episode:

  • Explore why we have become submissive to the dark forces that control humanity, and what we can do to change it.
  • Learn how to focus on the positive aspect of the darkness of current events in the world.
  • Be guided to embrace the tools that raise our consciousness and support all of us heart-centered folks in lifting our frequency.

YOM Podcast E: 11
Episode Eleven: Regretting Regret

Are we supposed to proudly proclaim that we have ‘no regrets’ for any of our past thoughts or actions on the pretense that they taught us a valuable lesson? Do you ever find yourself actually regretting having regret, partially because society makes you feel like you’re not supposed to? In this episode, Marie Russel shares her own personal experiences on this topic. You are invited to explore with her the various ways to effectively approach regret, and how to subsequently come back to center and trust that these feelings are all part of the process. Tune in to go deeper on the journey of regret, detachment, and healing. 

In this episode:

  • How and why does a lapse in trust lead to a hamster wheel of regret and regretting regret? 
  • Detachment: how does it correlate with feelings of self-worth and why do we place value on ourselves based on what others think of us? 
  • How does practicing detachment allow us to remove ourselves from despair and how do we do it?

Episode 12: Worthiness is Worth It
Episode Twelve: Worthiness is Worth It

In this podcast I share about a friend who is going through a separation and how her practice of this Course in Miracles lesson is playing out in her life: “I trust my brothers who are one with me” is a powerful lesson that we A L L could learn a little something from. Trusting the Spirit in someone is different than trusting their egos – and in these times as we grow more and more out of our egos, we get to unite with others in the space where #onlyloveisreal! SO MUCH MORE FUN!

Listen in and feel the flow of forgiveness direct you as you up-level your interactions with the humans in your life.

Yoga off the mat podcast episode 13
Episode Thirteen: your parents are saints, yes, even yours

Healing the parent/child relationship is a major step in spiritual alignment and subsequently growing into the man or woman you want to be. In this episode, Marie Russel breaks down some of the ways in which our relationship with our parents shows up in other aspects of our lives, and also how to shift the energy and move towards a more equal way of existing in this relationship. Wherever you personally fall on the spectrum of parent/child relationship dynamics, be it worst case scenario, best case scenario, or anywhere in between, you will find something comforting and relatable to extract from this episode and apply in your own life.

In this episode:

  • How do we shift our perspective and focus on what our parents did right rather than what they did wrong? What are we willing to let go of?<>/li>
  • How do we detach from past grievances and feelings of resentment and judgement in order to foster unity and communication with our parents?
  • How do we heal our inner-child and subsequently move through the process of forgiveness from an adult perspective?

If you want to connect or go deeper into the content touched upon in this episode, reach out to or explore the following links: