Ellavate Yoga

Spring is here and the time for new beginnings is upon us. From a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) perspective, living in harmony with nature is ideal for preventing disease and perpetuating optimum health. In this season, we move from a time of restoration and inactivity to one of rebirth and expansion—which is represented by the wood element.  The key energetic organ systems for spring are the Liver and Gallbladder.  These organs are essential for regulating numerous systems in the body, the smooth flow of Qi, as well as detoxifying the body. Due to the important role of storing and distributing the blood in TCM, the Liver and Gallbladder rule over the body’s tendons. The tendons get very little blood circulation— which means the slightest deviation in blood flow can affect them significantly.

Just as the leaves begin to grow and the trees sprout their buds, so, too, must we start to move our bodies. Not with a crazy push or bursts of energy, but with a gradual flow in order to activate, cleanse, and lubricate tissues as we revitalize them from the slumber of winter. Twists and binds can help massage the tissues to moisten and purge accumulated debris—similar to the way you would flush a dry rag with water and wring it out before using it.

As the body becomes more fluid and supple, the flow can increase and began to expand its boundaries. Just as rain showers flow through the trees and help form new growth, we can start moving the energy and shifting our bodies and minds to new heights. The color of spring is green—which keys you into the kinds of foods that can support your body in this season. Green foods such as broccoli, cabbage, wheat grass, kale and sprouts can help the liver function and support the smooth flow of Qi and blood.  When the liver is not functioning properly and the flow of Qi is disrupted, we experience the rise of emotions such as anger, frustration and depression. The opposite is true as well; when these emotions are minimized, the liver again functions effectively.  Movement is vital at this time to keep the mind relaxed and the Qi flowing.

Bloom well Yogis!

 

Stoke your Inner Fire is the perfect program to practice as you transition from winter to spring.  In this season, it’s good to activate the flow of energy  in your body and get rid of that sluggish feeling by stoking the inner fire.  Bring your body into balance through detox, fluidity and flow to maximize the potential for growth and expansion.  In this program, we do just that through an exploration of Flow, Conditioning and
Yin-helping us focus on what we want to bring forth in our lives.  

 

 -Ella

 

 

Have you ever noticed how you feel in different seasons? Both mentally and physically, we tend to respond to the environment around us.  Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based on this concept. It’s rooted in the observation of nature and the unique dynamics to which nature adheres.  No season is a more perfect example than winter.

Continue reading YIN YOGA & WINTER

The HUMAN EXPERIENCE

I’ve been thinking a lot about the human experience and perhaps where we have taken a wrong turn. When did life become about having our eyes glued to our phones writing #blessed but forgetting to actually immerse ourselves in the experience?

When did life get so busy that it feels like we are constantly playing catch-up with no time to simply just live and exist? When did we stop remembering that we are all in this together? That we are much more alike than we are different?

Why must we create a hostile environment of honking at one another and throwing up the middle finger rather than sharing the road?
Why can’t we support each other on our chosen paths rather than judging and tearing each other down?

As I was pondering these questions and taking note of my neighbourhood in Los Angeles, I kept wondering: why don’t we create a better environment? One that we can all enjoy and appreciate. An environment that makes us believe there’s enough to go around for everyone. That we are enough. One that reminds us to treat each other with kindness.

I don’t have the answers, but I am sitting with the questions and observing myself so I can notice if I’m part of the problem or part of the solution. What role do you play in this human experience?

I dont know

Is your move temporary or permanent?

I don’t know.

When are you coming back home?

I don’t know.

Are you returning to LA?

I don’t know.

Might you move to Portland?

I don’t know.

Are there teaching opportunities where you are?

I don’t know.

Are you planning on teaching anywhere?

I don’t know.

If you dont teach, how will you support yourself?

I don’t know.

 

Elizabeth Gilbert had her “Eat, Pray, Love” year and I’m having my “I don’t know, taking a sabbatical and going within year.”  Maybe I’ll call it “Tacos, Weed and Swiggle.”  What’s a “swiggle”?  It’s what my partner and I call snorkeling, which we do a lot in this secret place.

Or maybe I’ll call it “Yoga Wisdom Pachamama.” For those not “woke” enough, that last word means Earth—as in, to be one with the Earth—you know, the tree hugger, hippie-dippie type who doesn’t always shower because the ocean and the moon bathe her but when she does, it’s in her outdoor shower where she can catch a glimpse of the fig tree growing next to the bursting avocados.

Does that describe me?  Maybe… Maybe it describes the new me. I don’t know.

So I don’t know… What I did know is that the US was going to be a shit show between “The Rona” (aka Covid-19) and our fucked-up government.  Not to mention this being an election year.  So I’m watching the shit show from afar.  Sitting with the question of what’s next. And truthfully, I don’t know.

Take time to notice what’s right in ourselves, in others and the world around us.  We may become so concerned with correcting ourselves, we become habituated to seeing what’s wrong.  Not only just seeing it but constantly looking for it.  The question itself “what’s wrong?” is enough to keep us on edge.

There are times to take stock and do an inventory.  There are times to learn and grow.  But spirituality and joy do not stem from trudging around in the muck of what’s wrong with others, ourselves and our life.  We do not have to seek our mistakes and errors, poking and picking at ourselves, to continue to grow.  Our lessons will be revealed to us, and they will present themselves naturally.  Growth will occur.  

Give yourself a break.  Ask yourself: What’s right? What’s good What’s true? What’s beautiful? Sometimes the lesson is discovering that the world is all right and so are you.  

                                                                                       —Unknown—