MOMENTS OF PEACE
Often in class, I will say: “Be in the game of life, not in the game of thoughts and emotions.”
Students: “Oh my gosh, thank you! It’s like you were speaking directly to me! I really needed to hear that.”
Me: “I’m glad it was useful for you, as the theme serves as a reminder to me as well.” We share a laugh and go about our day. I try to remind students (and myself) that we are much more alike than we are different. I ask them to breathe together, as you never know how much the reminder of breath is helping the student next to you get through a challenging life moment. I know what it’s like to “what if” yourself to death, to live in a state of fear and anxiety where it feels like making a decision will leave you paralyzed. But I’ve been grateful lately to also experience pure joy and bliss where the mind is empty and quiet and there is no desire to be anywhere other than the current place and moment. I could write a whole book on how a type A Eastern European with an excess of anger has found longer periods of peace, but let’s focus on understanding what happens in those peaceful moments and how can we hang on to them for longer periods of time.
Warrior 3 is a prerequisite for inversions but it is often done incorrectly. In this tutorial, we utilize the wall to help us do this pose correctly. Keep reading for a step by step tutorial of Warrior 3.
1. Take the leg to the wall hip level and check that all of your toes are pointing straight down.
2. As you actively push the foot into the wall, lift the kneecap up contracting the quadriceps.
3. Place your hands on two blocks on the highest level and take your gaze towards the belly button, pulling the navel to the spine and tucking the ribs in simulating cat pose.
LESSONS FROM A FOUR YEAR OLD
I recently went to Portland to see my family and in particular all my nieces and nephews who vary in age, from the youngest currently in the belly to the oldest being 6. They are the cutest little beings and when we are all together sharing a meal, I like to call it controlled chaos. What I hear the most when the kids start to whine and cry leading to bigger fits, is my sisters’ asking them to “identify their needs” by saying, “Use your words.”
As I’m observing this and returning back to teaching in Los Angeles, I started to notice that most of us do not identify our needs at all. We fluctuate between emotions, often close to what feels like a breakdown, and trying to live in what seems like controlled chaos. Most people, myself included, get overwhelmed and give up on something that could truly help us reach our potential simply because our needs were not clearly identified.
THE ANTIDOTE TO A STRESSFUL LIFE
Now that the foundation for Ellavate Yoga is in place, I want to introduce you to a concept from my little cranium called Journey with Ella. This is pretty much the idea behind the whole site–a virtual online studio that gives you a glimpse into the different ways I train my body, how and why. If you struggle practicing at home or aren’t sure what class to do when, or where to start, the bundles I created will be there to answer those concerns and help guide you. Suggestions for what to practice next will be given at the end of each one. The classes will be delivered to your mailbox for the course of the bundle. All you have to do is press play.
Recently I started reading and also doing Julia Cameron’s book called The Artist Way. The book kept showing up in my path so I figured I should listen to that message. From the start of the book, you have to commit to three pages of free flow writing daily which has taken me anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. On top of that, you also have to take yourself on an “Artist’s Date” which is another two-hour commitment per week. My initial enthusiasm quickly got replaced by a sense of dread as I had just added another thing to my ever-growing “to-do” list. I’m big on efficiency so I really started questioning if this was the best use of my time before getting started. I’m also extremely curious and curiosity won out. I was interested to see if a successful book like this with such amazing testimonials, would work on me or perhaps for me.