My Blog

Permission to Rest

“Just doing yoga won’t ever be enough for me”. I remember saying these exact words when I first started to practice yoga regularly my freshman year of college. I liked yoga, I quickly grew to love to yoga, but it was always something that came in tandem with another activity. It was a cool down after a sweaty 30 minutes on the elliptical machine or a warm up before a kick boxing class.  My need to always be moving was powerful. I had tons of energy and spent a lot of time getting rid of it, until I was finally exhausted enough to relax. This ‘don’t stop until you’re asleep’ motto was modeled in my home and stories were often told of my grandmother not sitting down until 11 pm at night when she would finally fall asleep after being on the go all day long.
My relationship with yoga changed when I got sick during my junior year of college. I was tired and weak. I didn’t have the energy that I was used to and couldn’t do all that I wanted to do. At first, I was really annoyed – I wanted to go for a bike ride, hike or get to the gym, but my body wasn’t in agreement with my mind. My body needed to rest. After struggling with this perceived “set back”, I gave myself the space to accept that “just yoga” would have to be enough (for right now anyway). But something shifted within me once I accepted that yoga was enough – I began to crave my yoga practice.  When I was feeling antsy, anxious, busy, sad, angry, overwhelmed, I would get on my mat and the practice would fill me up – physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

_AZC4087-small
Do I still hike, bike, walk and stay active outside of my yoga practice? Of course, but I what I learned about myself during this time was that I used those activities to escape from my body and shut off my mind while yoga brought me in union with my body and helped to quiet my mind without numbing out. Yoga gave me a space to tune in to what I was feeling and sensing so that eventually when I did return to my other activities I could do so with more awareness and steadiness to avoid burnout and fatigue.
“Elisa, I hope you find a way to bottle your energy and sell it one day. You’ll make millions”. This was written by 8th grade English teacher in my yearbook. Short of making millions, yoga has done just that for me – it has allowed me to utilize my energy so that I can be steady, balanced and calm in all of my daily activities. Slowing down is still a challenge for me, but I remind myself every day that I have permission to rest. Stillness and rest – both within my yoga practice and as a part of my day have deepened my connection to BodyWisdom. When I am in tune with BodyWisdom, I move, eat, relate and live more intuitively.
I would love to know how your relationship with yoga as changed over the years. Did you also feel like yoga would never been enough? Maybe you still feel that way? The awesome part about yoga is that the practice itself can adapt to what we are needing (vinyasa for when we have energy to be released versus restorative when we need our energy contained.)
Whether yoga alone is enough for you these days or it’s a complement to other activities, please respond to this email if you’d like access to my next audio yoga class, “Slow and Steady”.
Namaste,
Elisa
PS Interested in trying a BodyWisdom Coaching session? I have slots available for a FREE BodyWisdom Coaching session next next Tuesday and Thursday (Sept 26th and 28th). Please email me by Sunday the 24th to claim your spot. 

Advertisements
My Blog

Love, Love, Love

Ah, February, the month of Love.

I must admit, I am quite partial to celebrating love this month.  My husband proposed to me on the beach in Kauai on February 14th, at sunrise three years ago. We were married the following year on February 23. For me, February has become a month of celebrating and honoring our relationship.

For some, February can be a difficult, disappointing and even depressing month.

But what if this month, you decided to LOVE yourself – no matter what??  

I don’t mean waiting to love yourself when you lose weight or choosing to love yourself when you feel worthy of it.

YOU ARE WORTHY OF LOVE RIGHT NOW!

love

This month, take time to slow down and honor and celebrate your relationship with yourself and your body.

Here are some helpful tips for loving yourself and your body on and off your yoga mat.

On the Mat:

  • Experience what your body is doing and how your body is feeling in each pose.
  • Explore the purpose and action of each region of your body.
  • Notice where you feel strength, flexibility, challenge and ease.
  • Honor when your body needs to become more active and when can your body can become more relaxed.
  • Notice the flow of energy(prana) in your body.
  • Offer yourself empowering or soothing mantras through your practice.
    Ex. “My legs are strong and powerful and keep me grounded.”
    “My heart is open, my breath easy.”
    “My arms open wide to let in love.”

Off the Mat:

  • Feel the love you have in your heart for others, and offer a gesture of love to yourself.
  • Practice loving yourself  – give yourself a hug, an embrace, a self-massage(foot massages are great for this!)
  • Give yourself permission to receive love – remember you are worthy of love right now!
  • Accept any difficulties or challenges that come with offering self-love – it may feel uncomfortable or new.
  • Try repeating a loving mantra through out the day.
    Ex. “I am worthy of giving and receiving love.”
    “I am lovable just the way I am.”
    “I am enough!”

We could all take a lesson from the Beatles…

…All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need…

There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Songwriters
LENNON, JOHN / MCCARTNEY, PAUL

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

My Blog, Uncategorized

“Everchanging and vital, but never perfectible”

NEPOIf ever you’ve joined me for practice at Downtown Yoga or heard me speak at conferences, then you know I love an inspiring or thought provoking reading or poem at the end of a class. The last few years, I have thoroughly been enjoying reading The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo, given to me by a dear friend around the holidays. His passages never fail to resonate with me, even when I’ve read them several times over, year after year.  9781573241175

With the holidays upon us once again, and resolutions just a week away, the passage on December 21st is representative of how I feel about the journey of Accepting Your Body’s Wisdom.

“There is nothing to do and no where to go. Accepting this, we can do everything and go anywhere. One of the basic notions of Taoism is that the world in all its mystery and difficulty cannot be improved upon , only experienced. We are asked to believe that life in all its complexity and wonder is complete as is – everchanging and vital, but never perfectible. I’ve come to understand that this doesn’t prevent our being involved. On the contrary, accepting that the world can do quite fine without us, allows us to put down the burden of being corrective heroes and simply concentrate on absorbing the journey of being alive.” Mark Nepo

As weight loss, diets, cleanses, and fresh starts are touted as the only way to enter 2016, I encourage you to re-read Mark Nepo’s passage as it pertains to your body and your journey to Accepting Your Body’s Wisdom.

Give it a try:

“There is nothing to do and no where to go. Accepting this, I can do everything and go everywhere. One of the basic notions of Taoism is that MY BODY in all its mystery and difficulty cannot be improved upon, only experienced. I am asked to believe that MY BODY in all its complexity and wonder is complete as is – everchanging and vital, but never perfectible. I’ve come to understand that this doesn’t prevent my being involved. On the contrary, accepting that MY BODY can do quite fine with WEIGHT LOSS, DIETS, CLEANSES, allows ME to put down the burden of being a corrective hero and to simply concentrate on absorbing the journey of being alive!”

As you enter 2016, enjoy the journey of being alive in THIS BODY EXACTLY AS IS!