The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast

Ep 089: Yoga for Stress Management with Courtney Butler-Robinson



You can’t deny it – we live in a stressful world. Everyone knows yoga is useful when it comes to stress management, but Courtney Butler-Robinson has focused her practice exclusively around dealing with stress and more specifically, heart health.


Courtney has had a long and illustrious career in the field of yoga. She’s been practicing for nearly 40 years, training yoga teachers for 20, and a certified yoga therapist for over 10 years (including being one of the first yoga therapists to be recognized by the International Association of Yoga Therapists). She is the owner and director of Balance Yoga and Wellness, a registered yoga school, and works as a stress management specialist, particularly in relation to reversing heart disease.


Stress is something everyone deals with, but Courtney highlights its connection to heart disease, and how her part in Dr. Dean Ornish’s lifestyle medicine practice is helping to heal patients. She provides insight into how yoga can be a part of the medical world, and why love, support, gratitude, and joy are some of the key ingredients to a long and healthy life.


If you’ve always wondered how to reach the medical world through your yoga teaching, or how to incorporate stress management in your yoga training, this episode is definitely one you need hear.


Key Takeaways:

[1:04] One lucky listener stands a chance to win a prize this week!

[3:45] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Courtney Butler-Robinson.

[6:15] How did Courtney’s yoga journey start? When did she get into yoga, and what brought her to it?

[7:39] What pushed Courtney to start working in yoga for stress management?

[9:49] Courtney shares a little about the work that Dr. Dean Ornish does.

[12:31] How is Courtney’s class different from the average yoga class in its approach towards stress management?

[16:03] Courtney describes a typical day in the life of one of her clients.

[17:45] What are some of the most common issues people are dealing with when they come to see Courtney?

[20:16] What does a “prescription” entail? Courtney outlines some of the differences between her current work and her work in private practice.

[22:33] Courtney gives some recommendations when it comes to keeping your heart healthy.

[25:25] Courtney highlights the importance of gratitude in heart health.

[28:06] What has Courtney learned through her 10 years of training teachers?

[31:19] How can yoga teachers move into the medical side of things?

[33:49] Courtney has some advice for yoga teachers with students looking to improve their heart health or reduce stress in their lives.

[35:58] Shannon and Courtney discuss whether overall stress and anxiety levels are going up in society.

[41:16] Find out more about Courtney, the work she does and more through her website, and on social media.

[42:12] Courtney’s book, The Mud and the Lotus, is a guide and a workbook for yoga teachers.

[48:58] Shannon shares how she connected with Courtney, and how you can use this method to connect with others.

[53:10] What is your biggest takeaway from this episode? Shannon would love to hear from you!


The Mud and the Lotus, by Courtney Butler-Robinson

Courtney Butler-Robinson on Facebook

Courtney Butler-Robinson on Instagram

Courtney Butler-Robinson on YouTube

Balance Yoga and Wellness

The Connected Yoga Teacher Podcast Ep 088: Creating Professional Yoga Videos with
Kira Sloane

Dr. Baxter Bell

Larry Payne

Dr. Dean Ornish – Lifestyle Medicine


Learn more about Relaxation Response

Learn more about Oxytocin and the Heart

Learn more about the Elizabeth Blackburn Studies


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity


Quotes from Courtney Butler-Robinson:


“When I started teaching, it was because of illness.”


“I work in the field of lifestyle medicine.”


“We actually reverse disease without any kind of major medical intervention. It’s diet, exercise, yoga, meditation and love and support.”


“The point of stress management yoga is to keep the body in a relaxation response from beginning to end.”


“Movement helps to increase artery flexibility. It helps reduce lymphatic congestion in your system. … Keep moving!”


“What I’ve learned personally is… that my inner wisdom knows better than listening to everything.”


“I care more about your heart for service than your headstand.”


“I would just encourage people to find who you are as a yoga teacher, and to be that. And to have confidence in that, because there are the people out there that need what you have to offer.”


“With the 9 weeks of the program, depression rates are down 60%.”


“Taking care of yourself, and loving yourself and being kind to yourself, is more a matter of quality of life… than it is about whether you live or die.”