Author Archives: katieovercash

Katie’s Bookshelf: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Alchemist“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho is a short and sweet parable of a boy who sets out to find his “Personal Legend.”  He starts off as a sheep herder who is called to find treasure at the pyramids in Egypt.  He sets out on his journey and meets several different types of people along the way who all provide support and guidance for him discovering his Personal Legend.  The boy also runs into various conflicts along the way from thieves to war in the desert.  The boy learns throughout his adventures to listen to his heart, look for signs, trust the Universe, pursue his goals, and discover the treasure within.

“The Soul of the World is nourished by people’s happiness.  And also by unhappiness, envy, and jealousy.  To realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation.  All things are one.  And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

I’ve listened to this book as well as read it.  It’s a great quote-able and inspiring novel.  I liked how simple and profound it was.  It’s also a quick read.  It was originally written in 1988 by a Brazilian author but did not gain much traction.  It took until the late 90s and some celebrities seen with it before it really exploded.  Paulo Coehlo was interviewed on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday Podcast here and here.

Read this book if:

  • You are interested in an inspiring novel on achieving your dreams and finding purpose
  • You are a young adult setting off into the world

Buy it here.

Coelho, P. (2014). The Alchemist. London: HarperCollins.

Do Nothing: Restorative Yoga Self-Care

View More: http://cariannalynne.pass.us/katie-restorative-workshopWhat I am about to proclaim is radical; you have permission to do nothing.  Do nothing every month, every week, or every day. Go wild and do nothing every hour!  We all have so much to do at home, work, school, and all the places. There will always be something to do.  I promise that you will never get it all done during this lifetime. When we finish one to-do list, another waits right after.  Hitting the pause button in the midst of all the tasks and chaos is what really takes courage. What if we created stillness and silence?  How would that effect the tasks yet to be completed? Would we enter the next activity with more peace and mental clarity? Could it possibly give us energy to get through the rest of the day?

The topic of self-care has become popularized in the last few years.  What is it really? For me, self-care is carving out time and space for yourself without demands and expectations.  For self-care to really benefit us, it is vital to engage in it regularly. Sure, self-care can look like a caramel spice latte at Starbucks, a spa day, or a nice hot bath.  We can spend lots of money on self-care or none. I would like to propose a simple way to practice self-care that can be done virtually anywhere and has no cost(except time).

Judith Hanson Lasater defines Restorative Yoga as “the use of props to create positions of ease and comfort that facilitate relaxation and health.”  That to me sounds like a complete self-care practice. What could be more rejuvenating and compassionate than relaxing and spending time with yourself?  Restorative Yoga can be tremendously beneficial the first time you do it, however, the more consistent practice, the more return. You will notice relaxing quicker, going deeply inward, and more control over your mind.  It also teaches us to do less, move slower, and appreciate the silence. It is meditative in nature meaning that you will go completely inward; a time of introversion. Restorative Yoga looks easy physically but in fact is the hardest style of yoga.  Relaxing the body can be challenging for most of us. Once the body is still, we become aware of our thoughts and feelings that are with us all the time but we just aren’t aware of them. That is the difficult part.  However, if we don’t face our thoughts and feelings, they will find a way to come up; perhaps when you are trying to fall asleep.  Sitting with and witnessing all that arises with compassion is the ultimate self-care.

I suggest to start off small; practice one pose for just a few minutes every day.  Build on that once you feel you are ready. The longer the poses are held the more benefit you will get.  If you have a private space, dim the lights, create warmth, find silence and use what you have to put the body in a position that is conducive to rest.  If you are in a more public space, simply soften your gaze or close your eyes and be with your breath and the stillness. Invest in the props(blankets, blocks, bolsters, eye pillows, sandbags, etc) only if you want to.  You can certainly use pillows, blankets, books, and hand towels as substitutes. If you have the ability, keep your space set up for rest all of the time; you will be more likely to do it if it’s there. Always set a timer so that you are not worrying about time or falling asleep.

A home practice is fabulous and can be so accessible.  Finding an experienced Restorative Yoga teacher, safe studio space, and a container to practice is invaluable.  Attending a yoga class creates community, connection, accountability, among other assets. Restorative Yoga tends to draw many when they need it.  Practicing consistently helps us avoid feeling like we need it as we will already have it in place and may be in a better space to handle the rollercoaster that is life.


Join Katie Overcash Rodgers, LCSW and RYT-200, at Noda Yoga every Thursday at 9:30am and Sunday at 5pm for a 75-minute Restorative Yoga class.  Restorative Yoga for Families is held at Innergy Works every Thursday at 4:30pm.  Katie has been a Mental Health Therapist for over 13 years and a Yoga Instructor for 2 years. Katie is an “Advance Trainer” under Judith Hanson Lasater’s Relax and Renew© Program.

Katie’s Bookshelf: Living Your Yoga by Judith Hanson Lasater

Living yoga“Living Your Yoga: Finding the Spiritual in Everyday Life” by Judith Hanson Lasater is the book for bringing Yoga off the mat with you.  Lasater has such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom on all things yoga.  She breaks each chapter down to principles of Yoga such as courage, fear, suffering, empathy, love, truth, and many more.  While she connects each principle to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, there are other spiritual associations as well.

Each chapter makes understanding the principle accessible, connects it to real life situations, and includes suggestions on how to practice it as well as mantras to accompany the practice.

“Perhaps it means that we are, in every moment, to remember the whole, to remember the gift of life, to remember the preciousness of every second.  When we do this remembering, something shifts inside us.  When we do this remembering, we talk differently, we act differently, and we treat self and others differently.”

What I like about this book, is that you can read it cover to cover, or pick a chapter that resonates with where you are.  Each chapter is something that should be taken in slowly.  I find myself reading the chapters multiple times.  Lasater says that the last chapter on “Worship”(only in 2nd edition) is the best passage she has ever written.

Do yourself a favor and pick up this book, I promise you won’t regret it.

Read this book if:

  • You are a Yogi and interested in how to carry the principles off the mat
  • You are interested in a more spiritual and compassionate life

Buy it Here

Lasater, J. H. (2015). Living your yoga: finding the spiritual in everyday life. Berkeley, CA: Rodmell Press.

Katie’s Bookshelf: A Symphony in the Brain by Jim Robbins


Symphony“A Symphony in the Brain” by Jim Robbins provides a history and background of Neurofeedback training.  He begins with more primitive research and experiments on the brain, to the first training sessions with cats and seizures, to how it looks today.  Robbins explains what Neurofeedback(sometimes referred to as Biofeedback) addresses in our brains, conditions it can help with, and what it actually does to train our brain.  He explores the evolution of the technology as well as the big players in the field.  He explores possible reasons it has not become as mainstream as other medical and mental health interventions and why it has not been adopted by the medical field.

Neurofeedback for those who have not experienced it, can seem “too good to be true” or more Science Fiction related.  Basically, Neurofeedback uses sensors placed on specific locations on the head, to read the electricity in the brain, provide “feedback” to the brain on this activity in the form of a game or movie screen, and then allows the brain to do with it what it wants to.  The brain responds by training itself to return to homeostasis and function the way it was meant to be before biology and life experiences interfered.  Neurofeedback has the ability to address many areas but the major ones are improved sleep, moods, attention, and pain management.  This technology has been featured in Bessel Van Der Kolk’s book “The Body Keeps the Score.

I was required to read this book before I attended training at the Othmer Clinic(EEG Info).  Since I was interested in learning how to provide the service myself as well as had trained my brain, I found this book to be interesting and helpful in understanding the evolution of the technology.  It could be quite dry and boring for those who are not providing Neurofeedback training.

Read this book if:

  • You are a Neurofeedback practioner
  • Interested in the history of Neurofeedback

Buy it Here

Robbins, J., & Recorded Books, Inc. (2014). A Symphony In The Brain: The Evolution Of The New Brain Wave Biofeedback. New York, NY: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.

 

Katie’s Bookshelf: Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model by Richard Schwartz

IfsIntroduction to the Internal Family Systems Model by Richard Schwartz covers the basics of the therapeutic model that works with our internal parts.  Schwartz developed the model to help us understand our inner workings better and as a way to “be curious” about all of our parts instead of judging and shaming.

This concept of “parts” is not new to any of us.  Oftentimes we say, “a part of me wants to go to work and be productive, and a part of me wants to stay in bed all day.”  Internally, we have these sometimes conflicting messages.  The book and model helps us identify our parts, determine their role as well as how they originated, and allows us to reconnect with our “Self.”  The parts that Schwartz describes are our “Exiles” which hold painful emotions; “Firefighters” who act in response to our exiles to “extinguish” and soothe those parts; and our “Managers” who protect us and try to exercise their control.  Lastly, we have our “Self” which is made up of who we are at our center and embodying calmness, connection, compassion, courage, curiosity, etc.

This book helps the reader in dipping their toes into this therapeutic model.  I am a strong supporter of those interested finding a therapist to help guide them with this process.  This book can be helpful for those beginning this work and wanting more knowledge and understanding.  The IFS model and information found in this book can be helpful in a variety of mental health areas as well as those who want to understand themselves better.

After reading this book, I am interested in going deeper with this model as it seems to make sense and fits in nicely with other mind and body work that I provide.

Read this book if:

  • You are a therapist interested in a quick and light introduction to the model
  • Your therapist is trained and using this model with you
  • You are interested in learning more about yourself and all of your parts

Buy it Here

Schwartz, R. C. (2001). Introduction to the internal family systems model. Oak Park, IL: Trailheads.