High School Friendships between Somalis and Traditional Mainers

An interview with Maria Padian, author of Out of Nowhere, about friendships between Somali and franco-catholic high school students in Maine.  Maria talks about her own experience with four immigrant grandparents, and how different it is to come here as an immigrant, eager to build a new life, than to come as a refugee, having had to flee a war and the loss of loved ones.  She describes how the numerous losses may make holding onto one’s culture and religion even more important when they are some of the few remaining ties to home.  The book describes many moments of well-intentioned misunderstandings as the students build friendships across multiple layers of difference.  Maria shares her belief that forming real relationships, or knowing the true story of individuals is what can help us overcome fear and mistrust of each other.

The Somali Community in Maine: Talking about Difference

An interview with Mohammed Dini, executive director of the African Diaspora Institute, founder of Portland Forward and former candidate for state representative.  Mohammed talks about his experience moving to Maine at age 13 and learning to identify himself as a Mainer.  He introduces us to the Somali concept of furfurnaan, which means openness [Read more…]

Restorative Yoga for Mixed Anxiety and Depression

An interview with psychologist, yoga teacher and author, bo Forbes, about how restorative yoga and breathing exercises can restore balance to the nervous system.  Coming to yoga from a solid background in clinical psychology, and work as a talk therapist, bo describes the way that moving away from verbal processing [Read more…]

Yoga Nidra for Returning Vets

An interview with yoga teacher, researcher and author, Richard Miller about his adaptation of yoga nidra for use with returning vets from Iraq and Afghanistan. Richard describes studies done by the department of defense showing that yoga nidra can be effective at reducing the symptoms of PTSD, allowing vets to sleep through the night, to feel safe inside themselves, and to gain a sense of mastery over outbursts of anger and rage.  He describes how yoga nidra works to create a state of consciousness where we become aware of our sensations, thoughts, feelings and breath with acceptance and openness.  He works with pairs of opposite feelings to help participants gain a sense of being more than their feelings and sensations.  As an example he works with feelings of shame, helplessness and collapse, that many veterans feel, at being unable to prevent the death of a friend, and works with its opposite, the feeling of potency and vitality that allow the shame to begin to dissipate.  We end with a brief taste of yoga nidra.  You can find out more at www.irest.us

Creating Safe Space inside yourself with Yoga

An interview with yoga teacher and retreat leader, Deb Cook, about how a daily practice of yoga can build a sense of safety inside.  Deb describes how turning the attention inward on a regular basis creates a feeling of a home inside that one can always return to.  [Read more…]