Life is often a juggling act.  It’s tough to hold on when you have days (or weeks) when you just want to say, “Fuck this,” and buy a one-way ticket elsewhere.  But you didn’t come this far to stop now.

Courage is knowing when to hold on, realizing that all this work is temporary. 

To remember that you’re building a strong foundation, which takes time.  To remember that the work you put in now will give you freedom later.  You need to hold on when things get tough—and choose your courage.  

On the flip side, it’s also important to have the strength to let go when you know something has run its course.  If we’re being honest with ourselves, this can occur in friendships, romantic relationships, and careers.

Who we were then is not who we are now!  Either the energy doesn’t flow with ease (making us feel stuck, trapped, anxious, and angry), or it becomes evident that this chapter of our life is over.  Yet, we often lie to ourselves a bit longer; it takes time to accept the fact that a transition is necessary in order for us to continue growing as human beings.  

It’s tough to accept when a relationship has run its course.  It’s tough to accept when your career no longer inspires you or fits who you are today.  It’s certainly tough (and sometimes scary) to step out of your comfort zone and figure out the next chapter of your life.

So I ask: Looking at yourself right now, what part of your life requires you to have the courage to hold on a little longer? 

What aspect of your life has run its course and requires you to have the strength to let go?  

You can lie to others—but be honest with yourself.  We get one shot at life.  Don’t play small. 

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?”

What’s the next step in my life and career?  Do I take the road less traveled and follow my intuition or do I play it safe and continue on the path that seems to be working?  “What’s the calculated risk?” is a question I keep asking myself.  

I trained in gymnastics at a high Jr. Olympic Elite level and my path should have been the Olympics.  I gave up my childhood, my family, and endured both physical and mental abuse for this dream—but life had other plans for me.  

Gymnastics ultimately led to my career in yoga and gave me the inner awareness that a 500-hour certification never could have.  Through being of service to others, I continue to heal myself and also see where I still need to do my own work.  

What I’m learning is that a lot of us share similar stories, not always realizing that it’s that same dark time in our lives that ends up helping us stand in our power.  That at times ends up giving us our careers, our strength, a way to heal, and illuminate the path for others.  

Lately, I seem to have more questions than answers, but what I am certain of is that the struggle is part of the story.  We will never understand all that happens in our lives, but I do believe things happen for a reason.  

In what we consider to be our darkest times, there’s usually a seed of light being planted.  When that seed comes to fruition, give yourself time to grow into your purpose, your gift.  Allow that gift to develop.  Be patient with your own healing.  

ellavate yoga blogI’ve been observing myself and noticing what thoughts I allow into my mind.  What mental images and stories that go along with my thoughts do I entertain?  Do my mental images line up with my bigger picture of staying in the flow of life?  Am I helping create my future or hindering my own process?  

As I was sitting with these questions and observing myself, I noticed how ridiculous my thoughts can be.  Just this morning, while playing fetch with Anjali in our backyard, I heard an airplane go by—this is pretty normal where I live.  For a moment, I decided that the next thing to annoy me will be airplanes.  In the future, I will be annoyed by the noise of airplanes and therefore I will need to move from this little back house that I currently love so much.  In the future, I have decided that I will be annoyed!  I laughed at how ridiculous this declaration was on this beautiful morning and placed my attention back on the beauty surrounding me.

There’s a story about a student asking Socrates how wisdom might be attained.  Socrates took the student to a fountain and told him to submerge his head in water—whereby Socrates continued to hold the student’s head down until the poor guy was struggling for air.  When the student finally managed to escape, Socrates told him that when his desire for wisdom is equaled his desire to breathe, wisdom would follow. 

The gift and the curse of life is that you have the power to choose.  The power to create.  What thoughts are you entertaining?  

You must observe yourself and become the gatekeeper of your mind.


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.  





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?