IS YOUR ENVIRONMENT FULFILLING YOUR NEEDS? In the summer of 2011, with $187 to my name, I bought a one-way plane ticket from Portland to Los Angeles.  I always dreamed of living in LA and waking up to sunshine every day!

Last week, I half-jokingly texted my family saying I’m ready to buy a one-way ticket back to Portland!  This is not because I feel defeated by Los Angeles. It’s just realizing that the city no longer meets my needs.

I have never lived in one place as long as I have lived in Los Angeles.  This “belly of the beast” as I call it, is a wonderful, tough, and unpredictable son-of-a-bitch that will eat you up, spit you out, and then ask: how badly do you want this?  You would have to live here to understand this city: a weekend bus tour does not count!  But I’m grateful for this beautiful beast because in many ways it has been very good to me and shown me how strong I truly am.  

What has kept me here is my career and the wonderful community I’ve built the past 9 years teaching yoga.  I would like you to think about your environment. Is it meeting your needs?

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7 Steps To Bow Pose

This week, I’m breaking down Bow Pose. Keep reading for key alignment tips and don’t forget to watch the video!  Give love to your hip flexors next time you’re practicing by trying one of the variations described below!

1. Start by simply laying down on your belly and see how the hip flexors and low back are feeling.

2. You could remain here taking a few deep breaths or keep going by bending your knees. If bending the knees makes It hard to breathe, stay in the original position. 

3. To keep going, flex your feet and grab the outside of your ankles with your hands.

4. Push your feet back toward an imaginary wall. This action will help lift your chest up, giving the shoulders a nice stretch.

5. Try rocking back and forth using your breath.

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OWN YOUR STORY

I’ve been thinking a lot about life and destiny lately. Thoughts like, “How much of our path is already determined for us at or before birth? In the end, how do our choices impact and determine the course of our lives?”
Funny enough, all of this started with a conversation I was recently having with my 3-year-old niece, Stella. She’s about the only little human who can wake me up in the morning before I’ve had my espresso and make me read a book called “Where’s Eleven?” By our third time reading it, she had other questions. 

Stella: Are you a grown up?
Me: No.
Stella: But look how you big you are and how little I am.
Me: I’m a very big kid.
Stella: But do you make your own food? My mommy and daddy make my food.

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SUMMER UPDATE

This summer, I was thinking of taking the month of August off to paddle board, play on my mat, watch Netflix, and chill. But like always, life laughed at me and made other plans!

I’ve spent the last four months balancing my teaching schedule with recording audio fitness classes and developing them into specific programs—just me, a sound engineer and a recording booth! I never really imagined my career would take me in this direction— especially with my accent! It has been very challenging, but looking back at the last four months, I think it’s exactly what I needed. It has made me more precise in my teaching and allowed me to face more of my fears. If you wish to check out the finishing product and try any of the audio classes for FREE, download the ClassPassGo app here! and look for me, Ella under trainers. I’m a very visual person, so having to teach with only my voice and no visuals forced me to be as direct and efficient as possible.

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Yoga Tutorial | How To Do Half Moon

This week we are focusing on a balancing pose called Half Moon. We are using the wall as it keeps us honest. Keep reading for key alignment tips!

1. Make sure the foot placed on the wall is hip level and not any higher than that. Actively push the foot into the wall.

2. Unlike Warrior 3 where the hips are squared, in Half Moon we want the hips stacked open.

3. Lift both kneecaps towards your quadriceps

4. If you’re just learning the pose, or are less flexible, place a block underneath the bottom hand. Remember that the block has three levels so use the one that is most appropriate.

5. The foundation and stability of this pose is coming from the big toe that is on the mat. Remember to push it down firmly or lift up all of your toes.

6. Top and bottom hands should be in one nice line. To help achieve this and open the chest, pull the shoulder blades together.

7. You can test your foundation by picking up the bottom hand and see if and where you collapse.