Summary: Thara Natalie, Certified Yoga Teacher, Reiki Healer and Health Coach, makes her a Spirit Warrior! She explains the three tools she relies on to help heal from the inside out. Even if you think you’ve heard about these things before, you haven’t heard about them this way!
– Thinking in yoga is your downfall
– Using nutrition the right way means knowing which foods make you happy and peaceful and which foods make you anxious and cranky
– Reiki works wonders, even for people who think they can’t sit still and can’t relax
– You’re never too late to make positive changes in your life
Can Yoga, nutrition, and Reiki change your life? Thara Natalie, our Head Wellness Warrior, teaches how this Trifecta of Success can help you unload baggage.
OUR GUEST – Thara Natalie – Yoga teacher, Reiki Master & Health Coach
Welcome to another episode of the exEXPERTS DIVORCE etc… Podcast where we give you all kinds of information and tips on everything divorce. Why? We’ve lived it, so we get it! We’re T.H. & Jessica.
TH: Hi everyone. Welcome to our podcast today from the exEXPERTS. We have an expert, her name is Thara Natalie. She is the Head Wellness Warrior, which includes her being a yoga teacher, a Reiki master, as well as a health coach, and a mom, and a wife, and a woman. We’re thrilled to have you here today, so welcome.
Thara: I’m so happy to be here. Thank you for having me.
Jessica: So happy to have you.
TH: I met Thara many years ago. She opened a yoga studio in my town, and I was doing a women’s event series about inspiring women. People kept talking about this woman Thara Natalie, Thara Natalie. I harassed her completely until she conceded and decided to be on our panel, and now we’ve had a relationship ever since. She’s really inspiring and perfectly calming, and she does have a trifecta for success.
Jessica: Let’s hear it.
TH: Let’s hear it.
Thara: Yes, oh my gosh. Well, thank you guys, again, so much for having me. I’m so happy to be here and excited to offer some support for the community because let’s be real, we all need support right now, don’t we, from wherever we can get it. But yes, my trifecta for success, I’ve been doing yoga for over 20 years. It really did the cliche term of “changed my life” and then I added in nutrition at that same time. I got certified as a health coach and that also really, really changed my life because so much of what I was eating was doing the opposite of what I needed to do to nourish my life in the way that I wanted to. Then in the past few years, I integrated Reiki and that has been just the next level up for really taking me through a really deep transformation, letting go of my past stuff, realizing that we don’t have to hold on to that past baggage, and really finding clarity for how I wanted to move forward in my life. I really believe in those three modalities.
Jessica: For someone who is looking to start the next phase of their life, because they are in the midst of getting divorced or they recently got divorced, in your opinion, where’s the first place to start if they want that whole total body wellness but don’t want to take on too much at once because then they just feel like it’s going to be too much of a transition?
Thara: I think I would say yoga because in the yoga class you’re going to get a nice well-rounded approach. You’re going to get the movement for your physical body, you’re going to get some stillness for your mind, and you’re going to get the overall relaxation and calm that you definitely need.
Jessica: Okay, we need to talk about this more because as you know, neither TH nor I are big yogis. And so it’s interesting, I hear the words coming out of your mouth, and I think to myself the times that I’ve tried yoga, not so relaxing, not such a feeling of calm coming over my body. Stressful, can’t do it, [don’t want to do it] too slow, can’t balance. Help me understand.
Thara: Alright, so the first thing I hear is stressful, and can’t do it. I literally talked about this, this morning, right? I can’t do it. We have to clear that approach. Maybe it’s not available today, but it could be available in the future. That kind of shifting that mindset around it and then there are lots of things. Listen, I’m not saying that everyone’s going to love yoga, but I do believe that everyone should do some form of yoga because that is how transformative it is for your physical body and your mental space. It truly is. But I will say, here’s the thing, TH has shared with me as well that she does not love yoga because she doesn’t like the slow flowing of it. [Totally] I think that there are lots of different yoga schools and there are lots of different types of yoga classes that you can go to. When I opened the studio in Tenafly, one of the things that I learned in my first two years of the opening was there are a lot of people like you guys in Tenafly. A lot. The slower-flowing moving classes were difficult for them, so we incorporated a class called Burn. Burn is a combo class. It’s like my hybrid class. We’re doing flowing with high-intensity training thrown in with weights. We’re doing mountain climbers in between a flow, and then we’re doing bicep curls in between a flow, so you’re actually kind of grateful for those moments where I slow you down because I’m going to kick you back in.
TH: So that’s your recovery time. You have recovery time [exactly] and you’re not looking at it like Om kind of thing, but it’s your recovery time. I actually just remembered, and can’t believe I forgot, when I was pregnant with my first daughter, I actually did pregnancy yoga because I had very bad sciatic pain. [Mmhmm] And so I take back what I said that it wasn’t for me, because it actually did save me during my pregnancy from that pain. I was willing to do anything.
Jessica: How often were you going?
TH: I went from like six months through the end and she was–
Jessica: Every day?
TH: No, no, no. Maybe three times a week. She was great, and we were all big and fat and swollen and gross.
Thara: And how was that delivery for you? Was that delivery easier for you than your other?
TH: No, I was in back labor. You don’t want to know any of that, but it helped me sleep, it did help my sciatic pain. [Okay, good] She was just a big baby. There was nothing I could do about it, it was my first kid. But I like the idea of that Burn class, so it’s a matter of perspective too. I would look at it as a recovery, not a flow, not a yoga. If you put a different lipstick on it maybe it–
Thara: Yes, absolutely. And I’m also a really big proponent of finding your studio and finding your teacher. You can’t base your opinion on one or two or even three teachers. Every teacher has a different style, and you have to find that teacher that resonates with you. That’s my challenge to you guys is to go outside of what you’ve done before. And also the heat, we do hot yoga. Again, for your personality types, the heat is incredible because it’s highly focusing, and it makes you really feel like you’re working hard, which I can tell you guys want to feel like you’re in the zone when you’re there. You don’t want to walk out feeling like, “Did I just get a workout? Or was I just hanging out?”
Jessica: Right. I feel like–so I’m in New York City, not out in New Jersey area where you guys are, I don’t know if this is relevant at all, but there is a studio that I know of, I think it’s a chain of studios called CorePower Yoga. It sounds like your Burn class is somewhat similar to what they do. It’s the type of yoga where there are really kind of working in between it all. But I wonder for someone who’s not a yogi, trying to take advantage of your suggestion of trying a few different kinds. I mean, I wouldn’t even know what different kinds and which would be the kinds to try.
Thara: There’s so many [that’s the problem] and there are some many studios on every corner nowadays. Hence why companies like ClassPass have done really well allowing people to jump around from studio to studio to see what they like. There’s a studio down the street from us, which is also in the next town over, and they’re also a hot yoga studio, but the teachers that teach at the two studios are totally different.
TH: It’s important to have that connection with the teacher so that you feel it. That’s the same I think with most fitness classes anyway or most relationships anyway. If you’re investing, you’re investing in your teacher as well as in yourself.
Thara: I mean, definitely getting recommendations from friends. If there’s someone else who’s in your area that you know likes it, go with a friend. Someone who loves it, let them kind of–I always laugh when you listen to music, and it could be a song that you love, and then when you listen to it with someone else, you kind of hear it differently if you see how they’re responding to it. Or even a movie, you’re like, “Oh my god, this is the best movie ever.” And then you sit down with them to watch it and you’re like, “Oh gosh, I don’t know if they’re enjoying it”.
Jessica: Right, you’re like what’s wrong with them?
Thara: Yeah, so it’s kind of the same thing if you go with someone who loves it and loves the teacher, and they can kind of show you the way, versus kind of going off on your own.
Jessica: Part of what it says on your website is talking about utilizing yoga to move through your past, break away from your past, and find your light. I don’t remember exactly how it’s phrased on the site, which just seems so relevant for the exEXPERTS community because everyone is in that stage of transition of moving away from the past. Good or bad, it’s done, right? Talk to us a little bit about how that all ties in together.
Thara: Yoga is for exactly what we’ve been talking about. When you come in and you can’t do something, and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is too hard. I’m not going to be able to do it. I don’t know what the teacher is talking about, I don’t know what’s coming next.” You come in with so much fear that first time that you get to your yoga mat. I believe that with every single posture that you get, even if it’s a millimeter of change, of shift, that feeling of success when you get a posture that you couldn’t get on your first day, lets you know that you’re so freaking capable. You’re so capable of changing and growing. And that– see? I get chills.
Jessica: Yeah, so it’s that analogy of growing in your life and also taking baby steps and growing through something that you’re dedicated to and committing yourself to.
Thara: Yes, and it changes your mindset. Because when you start making those little changes in the yoga room on the yoga mat, you start applying it to your life.
Jessica: How so?
Jessica: Because it changes your mindset. It literally rewires your brain. Your brain is made up of neuron pathways, so the neuron pathways that we strengthen are the ones that get strong. If we have an “I can’t” mentality, and we’re constantly in that cycle of “I can’t. I can’t change. I can’t get away from who I was. I’m always going to be that way” if we’re in that cycle, those are the pathways that we’re strengthening. But then we get you into the yoga class, and we start changing the cycle of the pathways that we need to light up, the other side of pathways that tell you can change, you can grow, you can make a change, and we start making changes in your brain. It’s actually neurological. It’s not just like airy-fairy do a yoga pose. It literally rewires your brain. Then usually your teacher, certain teachers are also going to fill you up with those kinds of mindset shifts while you’re in class. You’re literally getting 45 minutes to an hour of affirmation, again, changing your mindset.
TH: It’s just so nice to hear. Right, it’s so nice to hear when you’re going through a divorce and everything. Not everything’s contentious, but it’s certainly sad. There’s a grieving process. You’re angry. You might be embarrassed. It doesn’t mean it has to be mean, but still, it’s a huge shift in your life when you divorce, and how do you look at yourself, and how do you define yourself. I know all the positive messaging that goes on during yoga. If you can just quiet the other stuff a little bit, it does leave room to let it in. I mean, Jessica’s been doing meditation.
Thara: That’s great.
TH: Peloton Century Club!
Jessica: Sleep meditation, right. Peloton Century Club, that’s right.
Jessica: You’re quieting the noise in your head to let yourself relax. Is it right to say that in yoga, you’re quieting the noise and letting in the positive stuff?
Thara: Absolutely. There’s a quote in yoga called ‘Chitta Vritti Nirodhah’ to quiet the fluctuations of the mind. That’s like our whole goal, right? The goal of yoga is to get you to meditate. That’s really what yoga was created for.
Jessica: I didn’t know that.
Thara: Yeah. The yoga was created so that you can then open your body up and then sit in meditation.
Jessica: I had no idea that was the point of yoga.
TH: I used to bail on the class when it was meditation time.
Jessica: I think I tried it when we were at Canyon Ranch. I think I fell asleep. Like, I literally fell asleep.
Thara: But that’s okay too. That’s what your body needed.
Jessica: It was a lot of exercises.
TH: So tell us the rest of the trifecta. We’ve spoken a lot about yoga, tell us about the rest of the pieces.
Thara: Yeah, so yoga, nutrition is the next piece. Again, when we’re going through difficult times, what do we have a tendency to do? We have a tendency to eat foods that are not nourishing, either sugary foods or salty foods, highly processed foods. Often we’re drinking alcohol [I definitely do that] Listen, [we all do it] we all do it at different times, but the thing is, and what I’ve learned is, it’s not serving us. I’m a big believer in I always have a day where I have whatever I want. I know for me personally, so again, scientifically, right? If I have more than two days where I eat bad food, on the third day, my anxiety levels are going to be through the roof. You’re going to wake up with anxiety. Then I know like, “Oh my god, I have to alkalize” so I’ve got to fill myself up with all the green things. So again–
TH: That’s not what I thought alkalize was going to be.
Jessica: Right. Got to get the vodka.
TH: Now you’re going to drink vodka all night?
Jessica: Where’s the tequila?
Thara: When we went into quarantine, my husband came shopping with me for the first time ever, which let’s be real, was a nightmare, because he never goes shopping with me. I’m like, “You want to come to the wholesale store with me? Why?” So we go, and he’s like picking up the most random things off the shelves, things that we don’t eat.
Jessica: Oh my god.
TH: Like what?
Thara: I would say if I ate meat, he was going to buy spam. I’m like, “What are you putting into the cart?” Again, things that are not the high-quality foods that we would typically buy, just going for whatever. I’m like, “What’s going on with you?” This is when we thought that we were going to completely have no access to groceries, all that kind of stuff. He’s looking at me going, “You’re worried about what we’re going to be eating? I’m worried about the apocalypse.” That’s how he was kind of prepping for it. I was like, “Wait, you don’t want to be stuck in the house with me if I’m eating that food because I’m going to be miserable.” So it’s like the complete opposite. I actually needed to fuel myself with the best possible foods so that I could be a good housemate. Otherwise, you’re not going to want to be around me.
Jessica: I love that perspective, to fuel yourself with the right kind of food so that you can be a good housemate. I mean, good mom, good partner, whatever it is.
Thara: Yeah, whatever it is.
TH: So you can feel food for yourself.
Thara: And you’ve got to feel good for yourself. I talked about this today as well with the concept of taking care of yourself, getting up in the morning, putting some makeup on, and doing your hair. I know that we’re all working from home, but it does make a difference in how you feel. I’m not saying to do a full-blown blowout, but just make a little bit of an effort. Give yourself that moment. You deserve it.
Jessica: God, I’m so glad I blew my hair dry today.
TH: Yeah, I didn’t wash my hair today. It looks better on the fourth day.
Thara: Mine’s from yesterday, so it’s fine. But you get what I’m saying.
TH: It’s a gift for yourself. I look at taking the time to do whatever it is as a gift for yourself when you’re going through a divorce, especially if you have kids. Everybody else comes first because it’s easier than dealing with your own shit. So you’re like the kids have this and that and the other thing, and if you could just give yourself a little bit of time to eat the right food or blow out your hair or do yoga for 15 minutes.
Thara: It makes all the difference.
TH: Yeah, you feel like you are worth it. [You’re important]. Yeah.
Jessica: And then as we only have a couple of minutes left, so after the nutrition part, what’s our final third part?
Thara: Then the third part is the Reiki. Reiki is energy healing. If you had asked me three years ago, I really would have not only not known what it was but been a little bit wary of it.
Jessica: I think there are a lot of people who are kind of wary of it.
Thara: Yeah, so I love that I tried it because a friend that I knew got certified and I was like, “Okay, I’ll try it because now I know someone.” I felt comfortable. I tried it, and after four sessions, it was just–so I had had knee pain for months, so bad that I had gone to an orthopedic surgeon to have it x-rayed and everything. He literally looks at me and tells me you need to do more squats and lunges. I look at him and I’m like, “I’m a yoga teacher. I live in squats and lunges.” [Right] [Right] Like, you’re barking up the wrong tree. My knee hurts. Something’s wrong. I’m in my second Reiki session and my healer says to me, “Is there something going on with your knee?” I’m like, “Yeah, how do you know?” Crazy enough, understanding when you start learning about the healing and where things show up in the body, there was something in my life that I hadn’t dealt with. [Wow] And it’s literally saying I couldn’t move forward. Now, what’s insane in my life is that whenever this knee hurts, I pause, and I sit down, and I’m like, “What am I not dealing with? What’s not going on?” Everyone’s body shows discomfort in different places, right?
Jessica: Right. We all manifest differently.
Thara: For me, it’s my knee. Right, so for me it’s my knees. For some people, it’s their stomach. For some people, it’s their shoulder. We all hold things in different parts of our bodies. The Reiki helps to scan the body, helps to heal the body, the energy. When you think of a friend who you haven’t spoken to in two months, and then they call you. You’re like, “I was just thinking of you.” You often will think, well, that’s a coincidence. It’s not really a coincidence. It’s energy.
Jessica: My mom and I do that all the time. Like, she’ll be like, “I just conjured you up.” It’s like at really random times. I’ll call her and she’ll be like, “I was just dialing your number.” We’re totally in sync like that.
Thara: Yeah, exactly. The Reiki is able to come into your energetic body and help to heal and clear out, especially a lot of stuff. I mean, people hold on to stuff from their childhood that they’re carrying around with them into their adult life, and then that stuff is having an effect on how they manage the relationships that they’re in their 40s.
Jessica: And then marriage, you’re getting out of a marriage, obviously you’re going to have a lot of energy that you want to clear out–
Thara: That you want to clear out.
TH: It probably replicates or in some way mirrors your childhood, whatever the negative was.
Jessica: Yeah, totally.
TH: It could be reflected in an unsuccessful marriage.
Thara: And how great would it be if we can clear it out so you don’t take it with you to your next chapter?
TH: There’s too much power with that negative stuff. I kind of learned that just from growing over the last 12 years since my separation. I mean, there’s plenty that I can blame him for, but it’s not even a matter of blame. It’s just taking responsibility. And then on my own, like, what did I want to look like in terms of my whole life? Not just physically, how do I want to show up and be as a person in this world? I don’t want to be that person. And so really taking yourself through all that, it’s major. It’s definitely a commitment. So Reiki, just for anyone who doesn’t know, you’re not even touching them, right? [No] You’re in a space with that person?
Thara: We’re just in a space together. And now–
TH: It is a little crazy.
Thara: It is. My husband calls me a magician.
Jessica: I’ve heard it’s really profound.
TH: Yeah. My mother lives with chronic pain. We went to a spa, and she went to the healer, and she came out singing praises and doing dances because she felt like someone had cured her. But you have to also be careful, because there are a lot of people who call themselves healers and masters and all of that, and they’re not. You definitely want to do your homework.
Thara: You have to do your homework. And it’s the same thing. It’s great to find someone who can introduce you to someone that they’ve worked with before. That helps a ton. It’s just all the different pieces, and that’s the big thing, and I think what you guys are providing, right? It’s about having a team, understanding that you’re not alone and that you don’t have to figure out any of it alone. Even for me being a healer, being a yoga teacher, I have a team. I have a trainer, I have an acupuncturist, I have a chiropractor. These are all the people who helped me so that I can be what I want to be.
Jessica: I mean, there’s so much more to cover ground, but we’re going to have to wrap things up for now. But Thara, people who want to work with you, and who want to reach out, what are the best ways for them to find you?
Thara: Instagram is @tharanatalie, super easy to remember, and then my website is www.spiritwarriornation.com.
Jessica: Love that. And so thank you so much for bringing all this information to the exEXPERTS community. We really appreciate your time. Look forward to having you come back.
Thara: My pleasure. Thanks for having me, guys.
TH: Thank you.
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