Episode 308 Dashama Gordon Healing PTSD with Flow State Yoga Transcript

This transcript is from episode 308 with guest Dashama Gordon.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast, where we’re focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community, whether you’re a veteran, active duty guard reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.

Hey everybody. Welcome back to drive on. I’m your host, Scott Deluzio. And today my guest is Dasha Gordon and Dasha is the founder of the flow state Institute and bright future foundation. And the flow state Institute is devoted to serving veterans and military to help heal PTSD. Uh, and we’re going to discuss more about that and what Dasha does in just a minute, but first welcome to the show.

I’m glad to have you here.

Dashama Gordon: Thank you. I’m so happy to be here. Nice to meet you.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. And for the listeners who are [00:01:00] tuning in, uh, maybe aren’t familiar with you and your, your background. Uh, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Dashama Gordon: Absolutely. Yeah. Uh, let’s see. I started teaching yoga and meditation 18 years ago and I got into that because I also had a lot of trauma and, and it was interesting because back then I don’t think it was as talked about that yoga is like one of the leading solutions for that.

But, you know, I always just felt that when I was in yoga class, and specifically Shavasana, you know, which is the relaxation at the end, I always felt this healing integration of kind of like whatever I’ve been going through, and, and I noticed that I always felt better at the end. And, and I remember I had gone through this really Difficult time when I was in my early 20s and I got really depressed and I was in this state of just total exhaustion because I had [00:02:00] been working so hard, I burned myself out.

And I also had a number of other things, you know, like the perfect storm of what I, what, what led to be, uh, like a year of just total depression. And I didn’t even wanna get outta bed most of the time. And it was just really difficult. Couldn’t find any real reason to live kind of feeling. And it was so deep and I didn’t know and why or how to get out of it, but I just felt something’s gotta change, you know?

And I, and that. I tried many things, um, but nothing seemed to be working. And then I remember I asked myself one time, you know, if, you know, if I didn’t have to work and money was no object, what would I do that could bring me joy? And I remember, uh, thinking that. And then, um, the, the, the message that I got was yoga.

And I ended up going and I searched and I found… Uh, this yoga program. It was like a yoga teacher training. I didn’t intend to become a teacher, but I went there to heal myself from this. [00:03:00] Depression and this like feeling of like there’s no point to life and this burnout and all this stuff that kind of happened all at once and I was going through a breakup and moving out of my home and there was just so many things and I had been in a car accident and so I was dealing with the pain of that because I had developed scoliosis from that and so there was just so many things it was like all at once and And I went to this yoga training.

I had no intention to become a yoga teacher. Eighteen years ago, people didn’t really do, like, making a living as a yoga teacher, you know, but I just felt… It felt good to do it, and so I went to this training, and I wasn’t prepared for the level of healing that I experienced during that time. I remember, like, when I started, I was so depressed, and, and within just a few weeks, I was, like, singing and dancing, and, like, I feel like I had gotten my, My joy back and like I just it was so hard to understand [00:04:00] where it had come from where it had gone Like what happened to me, but I had gotten into such a deep funk with that depression and a burnout that But but what yoga did was it forced me to be still and it forced me to breathe and it and it forced Me to be consistent with these really powerful Ancient technologies that are backed by Harvard and Stanford and lots of research has now shown the efficacy and, like, how powerful these practices are for healing things like PTSD, burnout, insomnia, you know, all these issues that people face, anxiety, depression, and there’s, like, actual research in science.

Showing now how it works, why it works, even they do like a brain scan, they can show what it does in your brain and which lobes it awakens, which ones it starts to rewire neural networks and you start to create like a little neural pathways in your brain [00:05:00] for happiness and for like a consistent like new way of having your whole brain chemistry starts to wire in a new way.

When you do it consistently and then combine that with some dietary changes that I made as well. And, and it was just life changing. And I remember there was a point in the yoga teacher training where I was just like laughing and smiling and I just, I, I was just, I just knew that, that my life was never going to be the same.

And, and I started just sharing this. I never intended to be a teacher, but I started sharing it with everybody that I could because I just enjoyed it. And, um, and it was interesting because one of my, one of my clients early on, he was a, He was a, um, rabbi, and he was also a marketing expert, so he, he helped me launch, launch my YouTube channel.

I was one of the first people on YouTube in 2006. So I started the first yoga challenge online in the world, 30 day yoga challenge, and it went viral, and it reached like millions of people, and all of these people started like emailing [00:06:00] me and contacting me saying, oh my god, you know, I need healing, like.

I was just getting flooded with people asking me to help them and, and, and it was powerful because I saw how many people in the world needed this. And back then we didn’t have like social media the way that we have it today. So nobody knew about anything, you know, cause it wasn’t just like in your face all the time.

And so people like in the rural parts of Australia were finding my videos and healing and they were just like, and I remember the, the, like one of the best stories was. This guy, um, Reverend Patrick Moore, he was actually a, a chaplain in, or a reverend in the, um, one of the military divisions in the Afghanistan area during that time.

And he was telling me he would get all the guys in his troop all would do my yoga videos on the, on the videos, you know, because they’re all in Afghanistan and they’re like And it was like helping them so much and he would email me all the time telling me [00:07:00] about this and I just felt so So rewarded by the fact that this simple thing that changed my life, but that it was now affecting people across the world and these people were in a very, you know, challenging circumstance and it was available to them and I just felt so inspired to be able to help people in that way and that was also really healing for me as well, so it got me early on really passionate about teaching and sharing this amazing medicine with the

Scott DeLuzio: world.

Well, that’s, that’s great. We’re going to take a quick commercial break, but when we get back, uh, I want to talk more about, um, the mental health benefits and the, the, uh, benefits to what you do now in, in how you teach people. So stay tuned. So Dasha, uh, really interesting background, uh, that you’re talking about, uh, in terms of how you got into.

Teaching yoga and the benefits that you found for yourself, uh, through, you know, just, just [00:08:00] practicing it and feeling better afterwards. Um, I want to talk first off, I want to kind of take a little bit of a step back though and talk about mental health and why, uh, in your opinion, why is mental health, um, Such a huge priority.

And what steps can people take to prioritize their mental health and their mental well being?

Dashama Gordon: Well, first of all, I’ll tell you a little bit of how I got into this mental health side. When I was seven years old, my mother, Actually lost her mind, and before that, she was this wonderful, creative, beautiful, vibrant, conscious, even like yoga practicing woman, you know, spiritual person, and she, she was, but during that time, they were taking drugs, and she was doing cocaine, combining with peyote and alcohol, and, and this chemical cocktail is just terrible for anybody, but anyway, so [00:09:00] basically, what happened was, She ended up losing her mind when I was seven.

So because of that, I think when I always think of anything in life, I always try to see the blessing. So the blessing of that was that, you know, I learned early on the importance of mental health and and how there’s literally almost like nothing more important. I mean, a lot of people might say, oh this and that, like what’s more important?

What’s less? I don’t know, but when I think of the things that Like, what happened with her and how I witnessed her mental health completely destroyed not only her own life, but also our whole family, and then many other people that were exposed to that. And so, when I see, for example, she had a home, she had a family, she had money, but she ended up homeless, and she chose that.

And she was just walking around, uh, the world, homeless, and she would get into all these horrible situations, ac car accidents, and Anyway, so I just saw [00:10:00] her whole life destroyed because she lost her mind and that came from addiction, but anyway, so there was different different aspects of that that shaped my perception of how how essential and important it is for us to really focus on the mental health in terms of just as a humanity in general and So that was the early exposure, but then later in life, you know, obviously I saw how it affected my own self and my My ability to be happy and whatever like all the things so when I went through that depression for example, and when I would go through different things and and but I also noticed that you can Mental health is so beautiful because you can work with it, right?

So, like, you just have to learn certain techniques. You have to understand the mind. And then you can, you can improve it. It’s just like a muscle. You can strengthen the mind. You can focus the mind. And that’s one of the things I love about the military. Like, they, they teach you guys this, like, military approach, which is, like, [00:11:00] discipline.

And this is the one thing that people need in order to succeed and to improve their mental health is discipline. You need two things. You need that, and then you need guidance, right? You need to know what to do, but then you need to actually do it. And that’s the number one, like, issue with most people.

They don’t have that discipline to be able to do the practice. But anyway, so if you can learn… How to train your mind. You can overcome every obstacle in life.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that’s interesting too, because in the military, one of the things that they do, I know in the army, at least where, where I served, um, any sort of training, any introduction of new concepts or new techniques or new, whatever is new to those, uh, individuals, they use a crawl, walk, run, uh, approach where you.

Go through the baby steps. You learn, you have to learn how to crawl first before you can walk and then, then run. Um, and so they, they teach the very basics. They, they go through it slowly and then [00:12:00] they, they get you a little bit more comfortable with it. And then they, they get you to walk and then they get to the point where you can take it and go and you could just run with it.

Um, And so how great would it be if the military made it a priority to teach mental health, um, just the way they do physical health, you know, every morning in the military, you wake up, uh, early in the morning, you do your P. T. You exercise, you’re working out your physical health, which is great. I’m not knocking that at all.

Um, yeah. I think that’s definitely an important piece, especially for a fighting force. You need to be physically strong, but you need to be mentally strong as well. And if there was some sort of training that could be involved there, um, maybe even combining the best of both worlds, um, you know, getting that physical strength and the mental strength, um, you know, kind of in the way that you might get with, with yoga, um, or, or other, you know, types of exercises as well.

I think that might be, uh, that might be interesting, but, [00:13:00] um, I want to talk a little bit too about. Your, uh, Flow State Institute and, uh, how you got into that and decided to create that. And, um, you know, then also talk about how it supports veterans and their families and, and people in that, in the military community.

Dashama Gordon: Yeah, thank you. So I got into the Flow State Institute. I created this because, like I said, I have this long history, a lifetime of history of this. Mental health and then with my mother and with myself and trauma. And so I really got into yoga to heal my own trauma, right? So I, that was an interesting thing because I think some people get into it for different reasons, right?

And, um, for me, that was like the big thing. It was like trauma, depression. It’s like all of the symptoms that we experienced, depression, anxiety, whatever. It’s always. Actually coming from a trauma. So most people don’t realize the correlation. And that’s one of the things I’m so passionate about working with the military community because There’s [00:14:00] so much PTSD in the military community, and everybody knows that, and it’s like, they’re not able, like, like you said, they don’t provide the solution yet on a mass level within the military, and that’s really my, my mission with this, is to be able to go in and actually provide this to all the military, because I know the solutions, it worked for me, I’ve, I’ve been able to work with millions of people, it’s healed everybody, like, there is a way, and, and it’s just like you said, that you have to go through basic training, you train your body, You need to go through basic training and train your mind and train your consciousness, and that’s what we teach at Flow State Institute.

So it’s everything from, you know, meditation, understanding the mind, and then breath work, as well as, like, EFT, which is a way to release emotions. And, you know, there’s so many little techniques that are, like I said, backed by Harvard and Stanford. Stanford research and shown that these little techniques, it’s just like, you know, you got to go run for 10 miles, you got to do this for 10 minutes.

And just with that [00:15:00] repetition, you’re going to strengthen your mind. You’re going to clear the emotional traumas and start to reprogram the consciousness. That was storing those traumas, and that’s really the key, is that, like, if you have a trauma, whether it was during being in the military, it could have been from your childhood, at some point, something happened, and that leaves an imprint in your consciousness, and it holds a vibration, it holds, like, an energy.

And that energy, if you want to visualize it, it’s like this. It’s like a little bit like shaking. It’s like that’s why I had one of my film Um, one of my favorite filmographers. He filmed my first DVD series. He was in the military He had been in a helicopter He was bringing aid to people that needed it and in Iraq and his helicopter got shot down.

He ended up getting completely traumatized. And then, so when I, by the time I met him, he, he was so traumatized, like whenever he would even hear a sound, he would jump. And like his whole nervous system was shot. And, and he could never sleep more than two hours a night. And [00:16:00] so it affects so many aspects of health.

And, you know, relationships and everything from this trauma and and people not even in the military, everybody, a lot of people have trauma, but specifically the military communities has an exorbitantly high level within the overall community itself. And so, and also the wives and the families.

Everybody’s affected. So I, I’ve just been really passionate about bringing these solutions into the military. The solutions are available worldwide to everyone. But if my mission is if we can just get it into all the military families and the active military and also the veterans, I mean, literally, nobody should have to suffer their whole life and be like, man, I wish I wouldn’t have that happen.

Instead, we take our power back and we say, I’m going to heal myself. Just like, you know, if anything happens in your life, you don’t just go, oh, woe is me. Instead, you’re like looking for solutions. Well, the Flow State Institute is just like a whole bunch of solutions backed by science. And it’s been proven helping [00:17:00] millions of people.

And we’re so excited because we’ve been in the process of getting, um, all set up with the Department of Defense to be able to offer the, the, the education stipends through the Um, through the Department of Defense, through the military, GI bills and stuff, so that’s my big vision right now is to get our programs approved by all of those different departments so that, that they will be paid for as well because I really believe that the military and their families should have this available to them and they shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket and the money’s there so we’re just going through all the approval processes in these different departments to Make it available to as many people as possible.

Scott DeLuzio: And I think that’s really incredible, especially because when. You think about all the time and effort that goes into the physical training, um, think about if even half that amount was put into the mental training, um, when you have troops out on the battlefield and things inevitably go wrong, [00:18:00] you were talking about someone’s helicopter gets shot down or, um, you know, something happens on the ground and, um, Could think about like just how much better they’d be able to handle that situation when they’re dealing with a clear mind, a strong, healthy mind.

It, I think that would just make a world of difference, um, not only just in that moment, but also how they deal with the trauma of whatever that incident was, uh, after the fact, because, you know, I think the military is really good at compartmentalizing things when, when, when things go, go wrong. Okay. Well, it’s.

Shove those, those negative emotions down. Let’s go handle the situation at hand. Um, we can do that. I think the military is really good at that. Um, but then it’s like, okay, what do we do with that baggage that we’re carrying now? Um, do we keep, just keep it stuffed away? I mean, that worked before. Uh, what do we do with it?

But now, now if you have those tools, like you’re talking about, um, those tools in place where you can, [00:19:00] um, get the, um, get those emotions in print. Process them in a healthy way. I think that would just make such a world of difference in especially in bouncing back after these types of things. Um, I want to get more into this in a little bit, but we’re gonna cut to another quick break.

So stay tuned. Dasha, it interesting how you got into the Flow State Institute. Um, I want to talk a little bit more about, um, the yoga specifically and the benefits that it has. What, what flow state yoga is and how it can benefit people, especially veterans and military personnel.

Dashama Gordon: Well, it’s interesting because I feel now in, if you look online, if you think about yoga, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you, when you hear that word?

Scott DeLuzio: For, for me, I, I think of, um, people sweating in a room doing different, putting their [00:20:00] bodies in different poses and contorting themselves and all sorts of things like that. Um, that that’s kind of like the first image that pops up in my mind.

Dashama Gordon: It’s true, and you know, it’s interesting because that is the Western image that has been put into the media so much, and it is a part of it, but actually yoga itself, it has eight, we call it eight limbs, different aspects of yoga, there’s eight different ones, and the one with the poses that you’re describing is only one.

And it’s actually just the lowest one. It’s like the entry point. It’s like the door. You open the door, you do that, but then you go in and you have this huge mansion with lots of rooms and in each room there is a different aspect of yoga that is actually potentially way more powerful and healing and transformational for your consciousness and for your mind and your mental health than even the poses.

So The poses are great and what I love about them. I had scoliosis. I was able to heal my scoliosis with with yoga poses and, um, but it’s like a [00:21:00] mind body connection as well. You have to also look at the trauma and, uh, whatever issues that you had in your life that led to that. Scoliosis. Like mine wasn’t, I wasn’t born with that.

It was something that happened from a car accident. So there’s like layers and layers and layers to healing. So in this mansion, after you’ve gone through the door, maybe you went to a yoga class and done some of the poses, there are so many other resources that are available through the yogic path that most people don’t talk about.

One of them that’s actually quite popular is meditation. So that’s under the yoga umbrella. Meditation is part of it. And I would say that’s The most important part of it in the sense that within meditation. There are different types of meditation. Now you’re talking about breath is a form of specific technique of meditation and you can get really nuanced into the really powerful different types of breathing.

Rhythms that you can learn that will help you to clear your [00:22:00] energy, heal your trauma, improve your energy, help you sleep. There’s so many different types of breathing patterns that you can learn that will help you with different things. So it’s very prescriptive. It’s almost like a doctor would write you a prescription.

Okay, you’re having insomnia, do this breath meditation. Okay, you’re having, uh, anxiety, you would do a different kind. And let’s say you’re having depression, you would do a totally different one. So there’s different types of breath patterns that we teach for different types of ailments that you might be facing, and you could use these in different settings throughout your day, throughout your life.

And they’re very, you know, inconspicuous, so you could actually learn these and then you could do them in the car, or you could do them at the doctor’s office. They don’t have to be, like, in a yoga studio, in a, in a yoga outfit, you can literally do this anywhere. I even developed a new technique that we’re gonna be launching, which is called the, the breathing bracelets.

And these are, it’s a, it’s a technique that teaches the breathing technique, but with the bracelet, which helps you… Count the breaths because a big part of the yoga breathing is you want to get like counting [00:23:00] so you you go in rhythm Right, that’s why it’s really good for military because they like to have this like numerical So this is like one one round here is 18 beats So you want to do 18 of these breaths, and then by the time you get to, like, all the way back to the beginning, which is this, the little pendant in the middle, then you’ve done one round.

And you could be like, alright, I’m going to do one round in the morning and one round before bed, but if you get more time, you could do two rounds, or you could do three, and you can kind of build up to a longer practice. But it’s a way to integrate a simple breathing meditation practice that can dramatically change your energy Like even with just these few breaths, you can literally go from angry, anxious, trauma, trigger, energy to calm, peaceful, coming from a different place and that can change the world Along and so but that’s one aspect of yoga, and then we also have different aspects so within meditation There’s like different levels of meditation, and we [00:24:00] have different teachings for each level, and then we also have different things kind of like um one of one of the things that they teach in there is About karma yoga, so it’s about seva and giving back You know and this is a form of yoga So it’s not a pose, but it’s like when you give, uh, back to others, like to make the world a better place, they call this Seva or karma yoga.

So you’re creating good karma. You’re getting good energy. You’re moving the energy in a positive way for your life. So these are ways that you can. Improve your life, um, that are not yoga poses, right? So there are different aspects of the yoga path, that, and also the diet and the nutrition. And one of the biggest issues in the, in America is gut health.

And so we really focus a lot on cleansing and detoxifying and like healing the gut microbiome. Because actually that’s where your immune system is. That’s where all your happiness hormones are created. So your serotonin, your dopamine, all of these important [00:25:00] hormones are produced in your gut. And your immune system is produced in your gut and 90% of Americans have like gut issues and and so like literally like healing that is a part of yoga and it was even thousands of years old in the ancient Vedic scriptures.

They, they taught about this and um, it’s a whole lineage called Ayurveda, which is a science of life. It’s a science of healing yourself through natural remedies through herbal. Uh, and oils and also massages. It’s a very beautiful way of healing, but it’s like all natural ways of healing your gut and your energy.

And if you have burnout or any of these things, it all goes hand in hand. And so, when I say flow state yoga… I’m referring to all of these rooms in the mansion of yoga and not just the poses, right? So like I described the poses was the front door Maybe it’s the living room or something. But like, you know, I don’t know.

I would say the meditation is like [00:26:00] The living room and, you know, maybe we’ll say like the breathwork is the kitchen. I mean, these are things that are like essential to a house, right?

Scott DeLuzio: Right. Well, one of the interesting things that you, you mentioned, and I, I didn’t realize this is, uh, you’re talking about like the breathwork and how it, um, you can almost prescribe different.

Types of breath work for different issues that people might be having. So you’re, you have anxiety, you know, do this, but that might be different from if you have some other issue. Um, and the reason why I’m bringing this up is because I know a lot of people recommend, you know, try different breathing practices and, uh, or maybe different meditation practices.

And, um. But they, they say it kind of more in generality, like you should practice your, your breathing or, uh, practice meditation, um, to help with whatever the issue is that, um, that they’re dealing with. Um, but they don’t get much more specific than [00:27:00] that. And so if there are. You know, dozens of different types of techniques that can be used for all these different ailments that people may have.

It’s kind of just like, uh, you know, a crapshoot. Are you going to get the right breathing technique or meditation or whatever for the issue that you’re trying to address? And if not, then you might be wasting your time with

Dashama Gordon: actually, I have a friend, she has anxiety and. She always does this one breathing.

It’s not the right one and I’ve been telling her forever And it’s like you don’t want to put like gasoline on the fire if you have anxiety Anxiety is this constant like energy that it’s a very high energy though And so but if you’re putting fire breath on top of anxiety It isn’t helping and she’d been doing that.

She’s a teacher and honestly, she’s teaching for 12 years And this is the danger is that there are teachers out there that don’t even know what they’re doing. She had anxiety chronic debilitating [00:28:00] levels of anxiety for 12 years and she is still doing that and I told her I said, I think it’s That, I don’t think you should be doing that breath work for your anxiety Because it’s a fire and you’re putting gas on the fire and you should do a calming You know, you need to train your nervous system to be in a calm rhythmic pattern But right now the only pattern it knows is fight or flight.

That’s anxiety, fight or flight. And so if you’re putting fire breath, which is this very like high level of like type of breathing on top of anxiety conditions, you could make it worse. And I honestly think it was She ended up getting uterus cancer. And I was like, I think it’s all of these things combined.

I mean, there’s probably other reasons, but like, you can’t mess with the wrong thing. It’s like, don’t even bother if you’re going to do the wrong practices because you could actually exacerbate and contraindicate it. For certain conditions. So that’s why I started the flow state Institute I will [00:29:00] like my passion is to provide really like powerful clear guidance for people because there’s a lot of Misinformation then a lot of people just doing whatever they think they should be doing and for me I have studied with the top masters in the world whether it’s Rishi Ravi Shankar, who’s an enlightened saint from India Sadhguru from India the people from the oneness temple.

I studied from India Like, there are people that are true masters on this earth, and then there’s a lot of, like, western people that just, like, learn something and then teach it and and it doesn’t even necessarily work, you know, so you have to be really discerning and you have to know that the source that you’re getting the the the information or the guidance has has has been actually verified and and been proven to be effective and I think that that’s the important thing even with yoga poses like you could see people doing like their leg is behind their head and you wouldn’t want to do that.

Like that’s not safe for you, right? So It’s the same kind of thing. There are certain things that are okay for [00:30:00] certain people because they’re ready for that. And so you have to have a really good teacher. And that’s why we started the Flow State Institute. We have different programs for beginners. Uh, whether it’s video programs, I have books that I’ve written as well, and then you can also, you know, I’m really passionate about training and certifying teachers, and we have a online teacher training certification program, uh, and it’s available for the military as well, and it’s like a continuing education, it can offer them not only a way to heal themselves, But then they learn these techniques and then they can make a career out of it.

We have a whole business training as well where we teach them how they can lead retreats. They can create their own online courses. They can create a whole career around healing themselves and healing everyone around them. And that’s what I did. But then after 18, I mean, I’ve been doing this for 18 years.

So, uh, you know, I’m just like, I’m so passionate about teaching teachers because there needs to be more people sharing this. In their communities, in their homes, and that’s how we’re going to really see a wave of healing around the world. And it’s totally available. The [00:31:00] information is here. It’s just a matter of like taking that next step.

And getting the training, learning the right techniques. And then, and then you could share it and make a beautiful life of contribution that way.

Scott DeLuzio: And it’s a force multiplier when you have, you have this information, but then you, you contribute it to other people who can now share it out with their network and their audience and the people who are maybe local to them or in their network.

Um, and it just helps to spread. This out to a much wider audience. Um, I love what you’re doing there. Uh, I want to take another quick commercial break. Uh, when we get back, uh, we’ll talk about some advice for veterans and the families and other maybe, uh, success stories that, uh, that will help push you in the right direction if you are on the fence, uh, for whether or not this is right for you.

So stay tuned. So Dasha, um. I want to talk a little bit more, uh, specifically with regards to service members, veterans, military families, um, who are looking to [00:32:00] access the type of yoga training that, that you provide. Um, what type of advice would you give them for, um, you know, maybe for the beginners, um, someone who has heard about yoga, never, maybe they went to a class once or watch some videos online once or twice or something like that, but never really.

Committed to it. Um, what advice would you give them to, uh, to kind of get started?

Dashama Gordon: Well, first of all, I always want to encourage people to realize like Yoga is never a competition. And so, to feel intimidated, or to feel shy, or embarrassed, because I’ve had these people my whole life, like, especially men, they’re a little embarrassed, but then there’s some guys, the single guys, they’re always like, hey, I like to go to yoga class, because there’s ladies, and there’s majority women, and they’re all, like, in these little pants, but, like, the main thing is that, you know, if you have any reason that’s holding you back, like, let that go completely.

There’s literally zero reason. That you should [00:33:00] be held back from trying it. And the key is, in the beginning, it’s literally not comfortable for anyone. There’s only a few people that ever went to their first yoga class, and they’re usually like… Uh, 18 year old girl that was doing dance already, you know, somebody who had been conditioned to be flexible.

But for the most part, it hurts when you’re starting out because you’re just, you’re stiff, or whatever. But like, if you’ve been in the military and you’ve been in this type of training where your physical body has been pushed to a certain extent, you probably have seen the transformation that’s available where maybe you went from pre training before the…

Basic camp or whatever and then you got out of there such good shape so much stronger and you were able to see okay Starting out I could hardly run a mile now I’m running 80 miles with a backpack and you can see that with consistent daily discipline focus intention and practice That you will see the progress that you’re that you’re looking for So a lot of people when they’re thinking of going to yoga class, you know, I would [00:34:00] suggest You, I have videos online.

You can start at home. We have an app. The flow. It’s at the flow state app. Um, we have videos in there. I have videos on my YouTube channel. You can check most of those out. You can start out for free. If you want to do our like little bit more in depth programs, we have like a 30 day yoga challenge, which I really recommend because then you could do it every single day for a month.

And you know, science has shown if you do something continuously, Oh, On a daily basis for 30 to 60 days, you will form a habit. The neurons start to wire together and you start to like, be like, Okay, this is what we do now. Now we do yoga every day. And even if it’s only 10 minutes, it will change your entire life.

And the people that I know that have been practicing yoga Even ten minutes for like consistently on a daily basis for their whole life. You’ll see them at age a hundred this one woman She was my biggest inspiration. She was a hundred years old. She’d been practicing yoga since her whole life and She was on dancing with the [00:35:00] stars when she was like 93 Dancing and like she was so flexible and she was so amazing because she was just consistent and she had no pain in her body She had no stiffness.

Whereas everyone else in her age category is like with a walker and like all hunched over She had like amazing spinal Flexibility and mobility and that’s what’s available to everyone if you do the practice and you do it consistently And that’s just on the physical level but think about your physical body If you can maintain your mobility and your vigor and your, uh, like enjoyment of life just because you enjoy being in your body all the way to a hundred, you’re going to have such a better quality of life, but then combine that with the benefits that we’ve been talking about, which is like your mental health, your emotional wellbeing, your, your feeling of flow in life.

And that can help you in your relationships. It can help you in your career. It can help you in every single area of your life. And so, if you’re thinking, should I do it or not? [00:36:00] Do it! But do it and commit to at least 30 days. You can do our 30 day yoga challenge. We also have a few different programs. 30 day yoga challenge.

We have another one that’s called self love and yoga has like affirmations and a lot of different practices for for like the mind Emotions and then we have another one called total life cleanse which includes like a diet that helps you just get really clean in your diet detox cleanse People have lost like 20 pounds or 40 pounds in two weeks like literally like just getting all the junk out of your diet and cleansing yourself can change your life that alone.

And then combine that with yoga, meditation, and breathing. And you’re just like, in 30 days, you could be a totally different person. Literally. And so, that’s one of the things I, I highly encourage. And then, like I said, we have this really cool bracelet thing that we’re about to launch. It’s gonna be at brightfuture.

org. And this is a really special way to get people into it, because it’s like an easy thing, it’s a reminder as well. Because you wear the bracelet, you can pick the colors that you want, they’re all crystal, like [00:37:00] really natural stones. But then, you’re gonna learn how to just meditate and breathe with these, with these bracelets.

And you just want to do that throughout the day, whether it’s once in the morning, once in the evening, you can do it at lunch. Just, you could even do it up to five, six times a day, because it’s only like a minute. But basically, ways to integrate these practices into the day to day is how you’re going to stick with it.

Because a lot of people have a hard time allocating a whole hour or two hours to a new thing, because it’s like everybody’s busy. So you want to find little simple hacks on how to like bring those little moments of breath, even just doing five minutes of yoga, stretching and breathing. This is going to change your life dramatically, and so that’s why I started the 30 day yoga challenge because you can do that with us on the videos.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And those small little changes are much easier to sustain in over the long term than big, huge wholesale changes where it’s like, okay, I’m going to, I’m going to completely overhaul my [00:38:00] diet today and I’m going to start exercising for two hours a day and I’m going to do this and that and I’m going to meditate and I’m going to work on my breathing and all of a sudden now you’re talking about, you know, Hours and hours of stuff that you’re, you’re going to try to do that.

You yesterday never did, and you’re going to do it today. You’re not going to do it tomorrow. Cause you’re going to be like, that was too much and I’m not going to

Dashama Gordon: do it. Exactly. Like if you try to do that, you’re just like, okay, never going to. But if you do these little bite size incremental changes, but you do it consistently every day, even if it’s five minutes or even one minute, like the bracelet, you’re going to see.

Oh, I can do that. And then you’re like, I’m going to do that because I enjoy it made my life better. It was easy. And I could do it any, you know, integrate it easily into my life.

Scott DeLuzio: It’s so much easier to take those small changes, make them consistent, and then add on to those over time. And then as you do that, you get.

Just a little bit better every single day at whatever it is that you’re, you’re adding on [00:39:00] to it. And this is, this is more than just adding in yoga into your life. This is with anything that you want to, any positive change that you want to make to your life. Um, you know, those little incremental changes are what ultimately will, will help push you in that right direction.

And. Make it so that you can do these things consistently. Um, there’s a book that I read years ago called Atomic Habits, and it talks all about this type of thing where those small changes, um, you know, instead of having, you know, a plate of cookies on the counter, replace it with, uh, you know, a bowl of fruit and it’s a small change, but you’re more likely to eat the fruit that’s sitting out there than, uh, you know, go digging through the pantry to find the cookies that that maybe otherwise would be there, right?

It’s just a small little change, but, but it helps. To move you in the right direction. So, um, you know, these things are to me, I think are, they make a lot of sense. Um, but it’s, it’s just sometimes we get stuck in our own ways in the old ways that we have been doing things. And, uh, you know, [00:40:00] a lot of times we’re just resistant to change, but I think, um, you know, just making those.

Small changes and seeing how they, how they feel, how they fit into your life, uh, would, would be a, a nice, uh, easy solution, uh, to, to the, uh, the issues that, that maybe you might be having, right?

Dashama Gordon: A hundred percent. And that’s how you’re going to create real lasting change. Not doing one thing all day, one time, but little tiny things every day and making it a part of your new identity.

You’re like, my new identity always creates a little bit of time for myself, for my wellness. And the new identity, because this is also a lot of what we do at the Flow State Institute, is like really creating a new identity around, Who am I, the healthy version of me? Who am I, the version of me that doesn’t have PTSD?

Who am I, what does that version of me feel like? What, what does that version of me do on a daily basis that’s different than this version of me? Because I need to be that person. And in order to be that person, I gotta make some changes in [00:41:00] how I am right now. Yeah.

Scott DeLuzio: And I like how you mentioned that too, uh, that you change how you think about yourself.

Reinvent yourself because especially for, uh, service members who are transitioning out of the military, they’re becoming veterans. They’re kind of shedding that old identity. Uh, they’re no longer the service members anymore. Now they’re this new thing called a veteran. And what is that? What does that even look like?

What does that mean? Um, and so they can kind of reinvent themselves to, uh, whatever they want to be. Yeah. Really? And why not, why not add in those positive changes, those, those things that will, uh, help improve your life over the longterm. And as opposed to the, uh, you know, the, the veteran who gets out and, you know, gains 40 pounds in the first year and doesn’t go to the gym, doesn’t eat.

Right. They, uh, they’re struggling with all sorts of other things. Why not make it? Make these changes. You’re going to change one way or the other. Why not make the changes for the better?

Dashama Gordon: A hundred percent. You know, just what came to [00:42:00] me as you were saying that is that I think that one of the reasons that people, cause I have a lot of friends and family that went into military and I think that, and I don’t know if I told you actually both of my grandfathers were in the war.

They were both in world war two in the military. So I had a lot of military around me my whole life. Even when I was a little kid, um, in second grade, they used to send me and a little group of children that had good, good grades. We got to go on Friday to the veterans hospital, and we would go and hang out with the vets, and we would play games and drink Kool Aid and, and they, we just brought them joy because we’re kids, and they were just like so sweet and, and I always had like my, my soul was like putting me around all these veterans.

And so it’s interesting now full circle as we’re, as we’re helping and bringing. Once again, bringing joy to the veterans, but like in the form of healing the PTSD and healing these other things. But it made me think about one of the reasons that people get into the military in the beginning is this feeling of wanting to serve.

You know, they even call it like service, right? And so it’s, it’s literally they go into service and they, they [00:43:00] do that. But then, you know, even while they’re in the military or after they’re out of that and they’re in the veteran category. You know, I think that the soul of somebody who wants to serve needs to serve in order to really be activated in their, in their purpose and in their potential of life.

And so that’s what I love about what we do with our yoga teacher trainings and our certification because we, we certify teachers and then you can take this and serve. You could even serve the military. You could serve your fellow veterans. Or you could serve normal civilians, but serve in the way of teaching them how to heal, teaching them how to, how to, that peace and how to breathe.

And these are powerful practices. It’s not simple. It’s, it, I mean, it’s simple to learn, but it’s, it’s not. To be underestimated because like I said backed by Harvard and all this science and Stanford and they have shown it heals people so literally learning how to heal yourself with that and then turning it around and being of service to your fellow man through this [00:44:00] other avenue through a new career path that’s really Healthy and nourishing for your physical, mental, emotional well being and for everyone around you.

I feel like it’s a perfect next step for people who are coming out of military and they feel lost. They don’t know where they’re gonna do or go with their career or their life, and it just gives them purpose and direction and a positive healthy environment to create community as well around this healing environment that you can create through being a teacher of this.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, that’s incredible. Um, great, great opportunity for the people who are looking for that next step and might be interested in this. Um, we’re going to cut to another quick commercial break, but when we get back, we’ll talk about where you can go to find out more information and how to become a teacher yourself.

So stay tuned. So Dasha, um, it’s been. Awesome talking to you about the benefits of yoga and all the [00:45:00] different, um, varieties of things that people can do to help improve not only their physical well being, but the mental well being as well. Um, I know there’s probably some people who have been listening to this episode that.

Are interested want to find out a little bit more. Maybe they want to become a teacher as well. Um, where can people go to get in touch with you or, or your organization to find out more about flow state yoga and, uh, maybe even become a teacher themselves.

Dashama Gordon: Thank you. Yeah, we have a website flow state dot yoga.

So it’s www dot flow state dot yoga. And we have an application process. So if you go to forward slash apply. You can apply, fill out the application, and set a time to talk with us, and we can talk about your goals, and your vision for your future, and whether or not it’s a good fit, and uh, you know, we’re just really honest about that, and also, if you’re in the military, or if you’re a family, or a spouse of the military, or in the veteran category, You can let us know that as [00:46:00] well.

And, uh, so we can work with you on, on that side, if, if that’s a possibility available to help with the, with the tuition. But, uh, we have a number of different programs that are geared towards whether you want to just like really focus on your own healing, or if you want to really gain this healing for yourself, and then learn to teach and be certified.

And, um, and then we also have, like I said, a business program that we teach people how to create a career around it. So then you can lead retreats, you can create your own online courses. Uh, we have a whole bunch of different things that we’ve been teaching people how to like create a career, a brand, a business, a sustainable, beautiful life around being of service to others and bringing community together for healing and happiness.

And, um, so flowstate. yoga. You could also email. Me at support at flowstate. yoga and also if you’re interested in learning more about the bracelets That’s at brightfuture. org. So brightfuture. org We have these awesome bracelet breathing bracelet meditation rituals and [00:47:00] different really fun things on there and all of the all the contributions made on brightfuture.

org and through our Institute are all tax write offs and tax free because we’re a non profit 501c3 registered in the US and You know, we really love to serve. We would love to be a part of your healing journey and, and also empower you to be a leader in this because there are literally billions of people on earth that need this.

And so the world needs you right now. If you’re feeling called somewhere in your heart to like, be of service in this way or to be even, start on your own path to start, definitely reach out. I’m also on social media everywhere, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, you name it. I’m everywhere. And uh, my name is Dima.

I go by Dasha, but it’s Dima. D A S H A M A and, uh, I’d love to hear from you. Feel free to reach out any time.

Scott DeLuzio: Well, I will have links to all of that in the show notes for anyone who’s interested, they can check out the links there and get in touch, [00:48:00] find out more information, apply, uh, you know, if they’re interested in becoming that instructor and I love what you’re saying too, about how it’s not just a course to learn how to teach, uh, the.

Other students in, uh, you know, whatever, um, uh, stuff that you guys are doing, uh, what they’re, they’re learning there. Um, it’s the whole business side of things. You teach them how to have a successful business doing this. So, I mean, that’s a, that’s a huge part of it. I mean, if you’re going to be doing anything and you’re going to want to be teaching people something, um, you’re going to need to make some money on it, uh, at some point.

Um, and so, you know, why not? Set yourself up for success. So I think this overall is just a great program. I really do encourage anyone who is out there, um, interested in learning to become a yoga teacher, um, take the, take the, uh, first step, go [00:49:00] to, uh, the flow state yoga website and get the information, apply and see if it’s a good fit.

Um, Dasha, thank you so much again for taking the time to come on the show, uh, and sharing everything that you guys are doing. I really do appreciate you taking this time.

Dashama Gordon: Thank you so much. Very nice to meet you. Many blessings.

Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the drive on podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book Surviving Son on Amazon.

All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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