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

 

 

Where do you look in Bakasana?

 

After spending my day teaching “the importance of looking down in arm balances and inversions,” I happened to go on Instagram and see a teacher say exactly the opposite.  “If you look down, you go down” seems to be the popular opinion in yoga.  To be fair, I have heard this same cue my whole career and used to teach it myself.  But if you know better, you do better.

 

In my opinion, during an arm balance like Bakasana, the gaze should be the same as in Cat pose—which is down, not forward.  Looking forward forces the body into Cow pose.  

 

I explain the gaze in Bakasana to my community by likening it to the concept of “crawl before you walk.”  We all know babies first learn how to crawl—which helps develop necessary upper body strength and coordination.  The next natural progression is learning how to walk. Slowly standing up, grabbing onto things, testing balance and falling back down.  Eventually we get the hang of it. From there, you learn how to run, and so forth.  

 

No one questions this natural progression.  No on says: “Hey, stop that baby from walking, it’s only allowed to crawl!  It must not evolve past this stage.”  

 

So why don’t we allow this natural progression in Yoga?  Why don’t we understand that something which once helped us will stunt our growth and progress if we’re unwilling to evolve through a natural order of progression?  

 

Looking forward in Bakasana is useful when learning the pose because you naturally tend to be more comfortable when you can see in front of you.  In this version, your chances of falling forward are slim because the gaze doesn’t allow you to really move past a certain point.  

 

To me, practicing this version makes me feel like I just ate a big greasy meal.  The pose feels heavy in my body, with too much pressure being placed upon my shoulders.

 

Take a look at the picture below of me demonstrating Bakasana with the gaze down just as in Cat. 

 

This single action alone has allowed me to push the floor away, once again, just like in Cat Pose.  I can now straighten my arms and round the upper back—thereby making my butt the highest point.  From there, I can easily transition into a handstand if I wish.  

 

I hope this helps you understand how looking forward to learn Bakasana is fine at the very beginning—but also that you’re not meant to remain at this beginner’s stage forever.  Just as the baby keeps learning and advances from crawling to walking, you too must keep growing. While looking forward initially helped you build confidence, it eventually hinders your continued progress.  

 

Life is meant to be a natural progression of many sorts.  Allow yourself the gift of growing! And remember that yes, you must crawl before you walk—but eventually you should walk if you are capable.  The transition needs to be made from caterpillar to butterfly.

 

Are you ready?

 

Watch the Tutorial on YouTube here!

 

-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


What are you seeking?

WHERE: Joshua Tree  

WHEN: May 7th- 10th 

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE:

Please arrive anytime after 4pm
5:30pm OPENING CIRCLE
6-7:30pm Deep Stretch
7:30pm Dinner
FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Optional Sunrise hike
8-9:30am Breakfast
10:30am Journey with Ella
11-1pm Yoga
1pm Lunch and free time
5:30-7:30pm Deep Stretch
7:30pm Dinner
SUNDAY
7-8:30am Breakfast
8:45-10am Yin/Yang practice
11am Checkout

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6,000+ acres of private hiking
• 10 private acres
• 2 Hot tubs, 2 Tub pools & 2 Fire Pits
• 2 Giant 6-person hammock circles
• Game room & Pool Table
• All meals and yoga included in price

 

ROOMS AND PRICES:
(Click on a room below to view!)

HOUSE #1 AURORA

SOLD Master Bedroom – King

Balcony

Private Bathroom

$1350 Shared/ $2500 Private

SOLD Guest Bedroom – Queen Bed

Shared Bathroom

$1200 Shared/ $2300 Private

SOLD Queen pull-out sofa

Brand new memory foam

Shared Bathroom

Balcony Access

$1300 Private

SOLD Basement Game Room

Brand new memory foam

Shared Bathroom

$1200 Private

Living Room – Queen pull-out sofa

Brand new memory foam

Shared Bathroom

$1100 Private

 

 

HOUSE #2 LUNA

SOLD Master Bedroom – Queen bed

Private Bathroom

Private Entrance/Patio 

$1350 Shared/ $2500 Private

SOLD Guest Bedroom – Queen bed

Private Patio

Shared Bathroom

$1200 Shared/ $2300 Private

Living Room – Queen pull-out sofa

Brand new memory foam

Shared Bathroom

$1100 Private

Guest Bedroom – Queen bed

Shared Bathroom

$1200 Shared /$2300 Private

 

Journey with Ella

Payment & Cancellation Policy

Payment in full is required by March 1st

Your $300 deposit can also be made via Venmo @Ellayogi

For questions contact me @ info@ellavateyoga.com
$300.00