Peter's Podcast

Culture, Science, and Yoga Happiness w/Rina Deshpande

Episode Summary

Rina Deshpande joins me to talk about Indian culture, science journalism, and finding happiness in yoga and meditation.

Episode Notes

Today's episode begins with a monolog about deities in mantra. In it, I mention a Polish theatre production. The director's name is Jarosław Fret and the production that involved using ancient components of a mass was The Triptych

Then Rina Deshpande (bio below) joins me to talk first about the Indian cultural aspects of yoga; and then, about scientific research on yoga. Rina talks about growing up Indian in America. We muse about the pros and cons of the way yoga is reaching people today severed from its cultural heritage, and Rina talks about her recent article in Self (click the link to read her article).

Rina then puts on her science journalist hat to give us some tips on how to navigate the sea of stories about yoga and meditation in the news. I refer to a "news anchor." It was, in fact, Dan Rather on Pod Save America. What he said bears repeating: be aware that journalism comes in four perspectives: news (facts); analysis (connecting the dots of the facts); commentary (what analysts think that means); and editorial (opinion).

I'm leading a retreat to France this summer with Wendy Newton and Ulrica Norberg! Details at I'm also leading a Meditation Training with Alan Finger and Sarah Finger December 15 and a 300-hr Teacher Training in January. The Meditation, Teacher Training, and regular class sign up are all at Finally, I’m using Patreon to offer opportunities to work with me one on one. You can subscribe for a mantra session or for an hour video private. Of course, as they say on public radio, I hope you’ll subscribe at any level, just because you value Peter’s Podcast. Go to

Rina Deshpande is a yoga teacher, researcher, and writer based in New York City. Yoga helped her find stress reduction and happiness while working as a NYC public school teacher. After teaching children and school teachers ​and ​​helping found Relay Graduate School of Education, she came to ISHTA Yoga for teacher training. She also earned her masters degree from Harvard in Mind, Brain, and Education. She designs yoga and mindfulness research and instructional curriculum for Massachusetts General Hospital, the Marines, preK-12 schools, and ​writes for various online publications. In her most recent article for Self Magazine, Rina shares her perspective on acknowledging the cultural and philosophical roots of Yoga. Find her at and follow Rina's mindful, whimsical illustrated poetry @RinaThePoet on Facebook and Instagram