Ive been listening to a lot of NPRs, How I Built This,and what Ive come to realize is that the most popular and successful household brands had no idea what they were doing when they started.  Neither did I with my online classes. I knew one aspect of it which also happens to be my passion, Yoga.  When people encouraged me to do it, they said, I would just have to release 14 classes. I never ever thought a blog would be necessary and probably laughed at the people who called themselves bloggers.  I never realized I would have to do marketing and learn boring concepts that make me want to break out in a rash like SEO and CTA.

 

Looking back now, I think how could I not have realized that I was starting an online business? How could I have been so naive? I questioned my common sense.  But the thing is if you listen to episodes from how Whole Foods, Crate and Barrel, and Lonely Planet got started, none of them knew what they were doing. They all had a strong burning desire that kept pulling at them all day long until they gave into that energy force and created an action plan. Which brings me to my next point. All the brands stated above had a choice. They could fold before giving themselves a chance because they realized how much they did not know, or they could take the time to learn it.  

FREE KNOWLEDGE

As a full-time Yoga teacher in Los Angeles, I spend a lot of my time in my car. I can listen to the same songs on all 5 stations, or I can utilize that time to gain some free knowledge. Everything I need to learn on SEOs, CTAs and online platforms can be found for free on Youtube or other peoples podcasts who have had success and are willing to share their knowledge to you for FREE. It is all available to you if you are hungry, honest and humble enough to realize and acknowledge that you might need help learning about certain aspects of the business.  

 

EMPOWER YOURSELF

As I adjusted my yoga schedule recently, I have gained a new group of students who are asking me questions that I have not had to answer in awhile compared to my regular group of yogis. A big priority for me when building this site is to empower the students. To give the knowledge back to them by posting videos on my Youtube channel which builds their yoga practice from the ground up with my own personal cues and tips. In other words, free knowledgefor those who are interested. What surprises me, is how few of them actually watch it. You are already showing up on your mat. Why wouldnt you take the time to educate and empower yourself with the free knowledge already out there especially if it’s being offered by the teacher you are currently studying with? In my case and maybe yours, Ive already started the online platform, and perhaps you have started a new business. So why wouldnt you take the time to empower and educate yourself?

 

YOU CAN MAKE EXCUSES OR YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN

I recently took a class with a senior yoga teacher who told me she liked the version of the twist I was doing but she doesn’t know HOW to teach it. To me, thats just lazy.  If youre going to charge people thousands of dollars for teacher trainings but dont know how to teach a basic twist, you have no business doing that. The how is not the problem here. In my opinion, it is a question about passion and desire: as long as you have access to the internet or a book, you can learn how to teach that twist. You can make excuses or you can make it happen. You can focus on your lack of resourcesand I must admit I often do this and it can be a valid concern especially when it comes to lack of financial resourcesor you can find a way to make it happen. Perhaps you feel a bit stuck because you cant invest in your business in the way that you would want? But how does that mindset help you?  How does that help your action plan?  Your dream and potential? Or you can keep moving forward one step at a time. Start with the free knowledge that is already out there. Educate yourself on those that have done a version of what it is you are trying to do. Save yourself some headaches and most likely money by learning from their mistakes.

This is your life, “so whatever you choose to believe will be the concept that runs your mind.” (Joe Vitale)  

What do you choose? Fear or self-empowerment? Excuses and standing still or free knowledge as a step forward? 

 

Let me know in the comments!

xo Ella

@Ellavateyoga

 

Long ago before Lululemon was the norm in class, there was a dude named Paulie Zink who taught Taoist Yoga.  He was also a master of martial arts and used his yoga practice as the base/foundation for his training. He would start with supine poses which he held for 5-10 minutes. Two hours later, Paulie would begin the Yang portion of his training. At this point in time, Taoist Yoga is what we know as Yin yoga today.  However, not in its entirety. Only the part dealing with Yin principles.

Taoist Yoga | Father of Yin Yoga

Paul Grilley is the most well-known teacher in the Yin style.  He met Paulie Zink in 1989 and trained with him for one year.

Continue reading History of Yin Yoga in Ella’s Words

Ellavate Yoga

Ellavate Yoga“Ego is an imposter, imposing on the real you, making you think you are something that you’re not.” – Oprah

On the bathroom walls of Forward-Fold where I teach and film my online classes, reads: “Your ego is not your amigo.”  

I have no idea what student wrote this on the wall as when the studio opened, the owner Matt, allowed peeps to write whatever they wanted.  I often use this phrase in class and life.  The ego is an imposter and a real son-of- a-bitch.  It will haunt us forever so we better teach it its place and build a better relationship with it.  

 

Continue reading YOUR EGO IS NOT YOUR AMIGO

Yin allows my Vinyasa practice to be this beautiful fluid moving meditation because my body structure feels stronger and more supported on a foundational level. Yin has allowed me more freedom in the body by gaining mobility and therefore has removed some of the fights I was putting up before due to the tight muscles and lack of awareness to my approach. Holding Yin postures for so long has helped my proprioception of the bigger body structure.  

Yoga has so many different limbs and approaches to the practice and in the United States, the physical vinyasa practice definitely dominates.  Although there is nothing wrong with that, you still need a well-rounded approach if you want to give your body longevity.  

 

This is also where I see so many unnecessary injuries as the body is not being supported on a structural foundational level.  What I’m talking about here are the connective tissues, joints, tendons.  This is where most injuries occur; shoulders, wrists, ankles, and spine. These are all joints and connective tissues.  It’s pretty easy in a public class to move through a fast pace Yang practice without alignment and a good understanding of how these poses affect the body.     

 

In martial artists, many exercises focus on stressing the joints and bones in a similar style to Yin. When I started training with the Olympic Team in Romania, mobility training took place before strength.  This not only helps to prevent injuries later on but should they occur, the body heals much faster.  

 

Personally, Yin helps me to go from 100 to zero pretty quickly.  It calms me down by stimulating by the parasympathetic system so I can relax.  For a type A personality like myself, it is very hard to sit still, let alone relax into the moment.  It changes my perception when I’m dealing with a frustrating issue by slowing down my thoughts.  This allows me to go in the space between my thoughts where I am the observer.  In this space, I can remember to respond instead of reacting.  To be more receptive and be willing to receive instead of putting up a fight.  To process life as it is and to realize there is beauty in accepting what is.  It also helps me notice how easy it is to steal my peace when I’m dealing with a tough pose and how quickly I want to react and get out of an uncomfortable moment.  

 

How often do we have the same reaction to life?  In this sense, this has been the best and most honest life training I could receive.  An honest look at my somewhat ridiculous thoughts, fears and patterns of behavior that hinder and stop me from reaching my limitless potential.  An opportunity to see what part I play in all of this and take responsibility.  A change to embrace all of me so that I may grow and put all my effort towards what I’m doing rather than working against myself as I often do.

 

So much of my identity is wrapped up in a handstand and I receive so much joy, peace, and calmness from that pose so of course I love teaching and sharing the process with my students.  However, I always say that I feel most at service teaching Yin.  I see students often come in still on a work call.  Some of their facial expression gives away their mood.  Living in Los Angeles and dealing with a tough, fast-paced, expensive city a lot of us are stressed and overworked.  To see how their face, body and energy changes in that hour is pure magic and a sacred gift for me to experience.  

 

If you know anything about my past, you know it was turbulent and my adoptive father often reminded me that I should be in a mental hospital but my passion has always saved me.  I am passionate about sharing the practice of Yin especially to type A yogis. It is my biggest wish for myself to be at peace and it is a privilege if I can assist someone else to find a bit of peace through the practice of Yin.

What does Yin Yoga mean to you?  

Try an Ellavate Yoga Yin Class online for free here!

 

 

“The deeper we exhale, the greater is our capacity to inhale new, fresh air.” B.K.S. Iyengar

Two years ago, I spent most of my year traveling and teaching yoga. I started to notice that as soon as I returned and stepped back into LAX, the energy of Los Angeles was one of anxiety and chaos mixed with some anger. It is an overpopulated city where a fight over a parking space or allowing someone in your lane on the freeway results in one person hammering on their horn for 10 minutes while the other throws up the middle finger and relentlessly honks back. The city as a whole needs to exhale.

Continue reading The Breath Of Life