Alison Zak

166. The Human-Animal Connection with Alison Zak, author of  "Wild Asana" 

Humans are one of hundreds of thousands of lifeforms on this planet, and each has its own unique place in the ecosystem. In this conversation, we're talking about the inherent connection between humans and the world of living things. Our guest is Alison Zak, environmental educator, anthropologist, yoga teacher and author of "Wild Asana: Animals, Yoga, and Connecting Our Practice to the Natural World. This book is a delightful mix of wildlife science, Hindu mythology, Eastern philosophy, and personal stories. Alison sits down with Mary and Emma to discuss the importance of curiosity and wonder in our relationship with nature and how the yoga poses inspired by animals help foster that connection. Alison also shares fascinating insights and stories stemming from her academic studies in human-animal interactions and her involvement in beaver conservation. Tune in to hear things you never knew about beavers as a keystone species in the ecosystem--and about how the creature living in the wall of Mary's kitchen challenges her own feelings about the human-animal connection!


Topics Discussed

• Daylight Savings Time to Standard Time

• Human-Wildlife Conflict

• How Yoga, Wildlife Conservation, Writing, and Anthropology Connect

• Balancing the Mystic with the Scientist

• The Inherent Worth of Animals

• The Academic Path to Conservation

• Anthropomorphism & Anthropo-Denial

• Why We Should Not Separate Humans & Animals

• The Rise of Animal Acceptance & How Dogs Might Save the World

• Coyotes & Wolves and Other Threatening Animals

• Animal Boundaries in Society

• The Creature in the Kitchen

• Keystone Species

The Human-Beaver Coexistence Fund

• Beavers Before Humans

• The Beaver's Ecological Impact

• The Conservation Movement's Evolution

• Honoring Each Animal


Episode Resources:

Shop Holy Lamb Products at The Lady Farmer Marketplace!

"Wild Asana: Animals, Yoga, and Connecting Our Practice to the Natural World" by Alison Zak

• Listen to The Good Dirt: "Jason Schaefer"

Listen to The Good Dirt "Healing Ourselves, Healing the Earth with Asia Suler, Author of 'Mirrors in the Earth' "

• "Mirrors in the Earth: Reflections on Self-Healing from the Living World" by Asia Suler


Connect with Alison Zak:

• Website:

• Instagram @animal_asana:

• Human-Beaver Coexistence Fund on IG @coexistwithbeavers:

• Links:

A Yogic Lens on Animal Conservation with Alison Zak Podcast



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Original music by John Kingsley. Editing and podcast production by Fast Forward Production