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What Does It Mean To Step Into The Heart?

20 May

love in a baby's eyesI’ve just launched this new eCourse. I’ll be telling you more about the why behind it in an upcoming post, suffice it to say that it became necessary for me to do it.

It’s focuses on one of the clearest and most tangible manifestations of the Divine within us: the breath.

Breathe freely and connect

If we wanted to force ourselves to stop breathing by holding our breath, we just couldn’t do it. There would come a point when we would again ‘be breathed.’ As powerful as this force is within us it’s also easily manipulated by those around us and greatly influenced by our physical and emotional habits.

I’d like to share with you the following article that I wrote for Elephant Journal just a little while back. I re-read it and I realized that within this article is the primary reason why our breathing patterns are so easily influenced by outside forces

I’ve been mentoring a brand spanking new yoga teacher. She’s been practicing yoga for four years and teaching for one. Today she asked me some pretty powerful questions: Do you believe in God? How do you teach yoga to students that don’t believe in God. Talk about having to earn my mentoring badge!

When stepping into this sort of conversation whether it be one on one, or in a classroom setting you have to get clear about who you are, and by that I mean, what do you value? What has meaning to you? What is your Truth?

I do believe in God. I do believe in a Supreme intelligence. I do believe in the Divine. I do believe that we are part of something much larger than ourselves. I do believe in Love.

Do all those phrases/definitions equal ‘God’?

Perhaps.

When I began to practice yoga I had a very one dimensional experience of God. I’m a Latin American cradle Catholic and as such my primary experience with spirit and prayer revolved around Sunday Mass and fervent prayers to the Trinity, the Holy Family, Angels and Saints primarily invoked when my life had slightly gone awry.

Although I went to mass on Sundays and had a pretty strong commitment to prayer and a deep fascination with studying Mystics and Saints, my spiritual life was split: a time for study and prayer and the rest of my life ;) At the time my experience of faith in my every day life was satisfactory, although upon looking back, detached and a bit stale.

It was in yoga classes that I began to hear the phrase “the Divine”. I was a bit shocked by it, as these were sacred words being spoken in mundane situations, at least from my perspective. The Divine, divinity, concocted to me something grand and untouchable that you only really talk about or hear about in church. My experience of the term was very individual and not at all inclusive, and I sorta liked it that way.

As my passion for asana classes grew and my teachers mentioned the Divine (mind you not all teachers mention the Divine), I simply let the word slide away, choosing to not commit attention to this ‘lay’ definition, and maintained a separation between the earthly experience of my body and the realm of the spirit and/or soul. I simply kept showing up to class and my teachers kept offering up teachings which invited me to go deeper. This going deeper was not about asana, although at first that was the only thing that I could do, but about finally choosing to cultivate the Divine in the every day. This undertaking was risky. It required sensitivity, softness, openness and most of all courage, the courage to step inside my own heart, my own Divine heart. This journey as much as it was sweet, and calming was also just as agitating, as the stakes had now gone up. I now had chosen to see the Sacred in the ordinary, thus making each and every one of my choices ever more meaningful. This also meant that not only would I have to take responsibility and be accountable for my faith and my honest participation within Catholicism but also studying, asking questions and cultivating a more meaningful conversation within my Self and God. This included a clear recognition of the purity of my body, breath, words, thoughts, and actions as the embodiment of Auspiciousness.

It was in this discovery that I recognized that my job was to aspire to my own deepest experience. I saw the gift of my life as a blessing, not a problem to be solved. I began to see God, Spirit, Goodness all around me, particularly as it was manifested in the quietness of my heart sprinkled throughout the day. In asana classes I uncovered the tools necessary to begin to fertilize the seeds of Grace that were always present within. My narrow and sterile vision of spirituality, prayer, and the Divine had distilled itself so much within my heart that it had become rich and tasty and thus I was able to see it reflected all around me. The more meaning I brought to my every day life, the more sacred I made the every day, the closer I felt to God, the world and those around me.

I shared with the sweet young teacher, you may not want to define the Divine as God. You may not want to bring any aspect of your spiritual religious life to an asana class, and that’s perfectly fine. What I do offer to you is for you to continue to deepen and refine the questions. You, deepen the conversation with yourself and grow your experiences on the mat, off the mat and within your own individual religious/spiritual practices. How can your yoga help you evolve to a better place and enrich your life and that of those around you? How can your yoga help you to be a better human being?

That is the Divine.

Like I mention in the article, it’s not easy to step into the Heart – and stay there. It’s not easy to pause, be quiet, truly listen…and attune…to your breath. Even though it may not be easy, it certainly is the simplest and most efficient way to enhance and revitalize your health.

If you are ready to do it, I’d like to invite you to join me so we can get started together.

Reclaim Your Health. Start By Breathing!

Episode 75: Immune System Relaxation and Imagery-Strengthen for the Flu Season!

16 Dec

Or just use the player below :)

http://cdn1.libsyn.com/scy/75_Episode_75__Immune_System_Relaxation_and_Imagery-Get_Through_the_Flu_Season.mp3?nvb=20091216181745&nva=20091217182745&t=087c1f9244ee4b3f2bee5

Hello All!

Here’s a new one towards the end of the year!

I know I know! It so has been forever. I will now officially stop apologizing. Here’s all I have to say about my lack of posts…Hunter. If you don’t know who that is..that’s my 14 month old daughter.
Anyway,
This week’s episode came about from a lot of your requests for some more meditation/relaxation type stuff. I decided to put this little imagery relaxation to strengthen the immune system as a little treat to get you through the flu season! How about them apples?
The music that you hear in the background is by the talented Vic Hennegan off his CD Desert God and the song is called Gaya.The whole thing runs about about 32 minutes all together. Give it a go and let me know your thoughts!
Oh and I’m already editing episode 76! and guess what…a level 2 class :) yipeee! That should be out before the new year, I promise!
You know Elsie’s yoga class live and unplugged podcast is brought to you by the elsie’s yoga class podcast app. Now why would you want this  iPhone app? Number 1 accessibility. In version 1.2.1 these are the nifty things that you can do with the app. You have all the episodes at your fingertips at all times. You can stream the episodes at your choosing whenever you want without taking up any extra memory on your device. One new functionality with the app is that if you happen to shut of the phone, or someone calls you…or your baby calls you…the app remembers where you left off! how cool is that? so you can continue with your practice right where you left off!
This won’t work too well with the relaxation stuff… but I digress. ;)
Another functionality that I found awesome will benefit those of you that happen to own the iPod Touch. So how about when you know you are going to be away from any wifi hotspots or maybe you don’t get service somewhere, such as on an airplane and you want to do one of my meditation episodes? You can now star any episodes that you enjoy the most, so that you can quickly access them AND you can then download the episode that you want quickly so that when you don’t have a connection you can have it with you! I thought that was pretty sweet :)
Anyway, if you own an iPhone or iPod Touch please consider buying the app! It’s only $3.99 and it would be a GREAT gift for a fellow yogi :) plus it does support this podcast.
ok,
enough!
thoughts and feedback: eyogaclass(at)gmail.com or call 310 651 6238! hugs and kisses all!

EYK Episode 2: Financial Anxiety Meditation and an Update

3 Aug

There is Enough...In The Park

There is Enough...In The Park

The Yoga of Everyday Life and Podcasting!

I honestly have tried to post and episode for almost a month. Every day I think about it. Every day I decide THIS is the day to get it all done. Every day the day ends, I’m exhausted and focusing on editing, writing, encoding and uploading is the last thing that my brain is capable of doing :(

3 years ago I began to publish this podcast. 3 years ago Elsie’s Yoga Class: Live and Unplugged Podcasts came to life! So much has changed, and so much has stayed the same :)

A few things that have stayed the same:

  • My love for podcasting
  • My love for yoga
  • My love for service
  • My love for you guys!
  • My love for legwarmers

Although I am no longer the care free legwarmer wearing bicycling full time yoga teacher from Los Angeles and have morphed into the occasional legwarmer wearing full time Mommy/Wife part-part time yoga teacher from Pittsburgh the deepest part of my heart still wants to continue this podcast, PLUS add better content to all those of you who would like it. I may not be consistent. I may say things that I want to happen only to have my life block me in some way, but I never forget what I’ve said. I’m still with you and plan to be with you for as long as you will have me! :D

This is Episode 2 of Elsie’s Yoga Kula.

I share a bit of an update and invite you to participate in a small mediation that helps us all that are dealing with financial challenge/stress. I know that finances are tight for a lot of people. I also know how economic matters may prove to be huge causes of stress, anxiety, fear, and even health problems. The short meditation in this podcast episode is just a simple way to reconnect with the abundance that we DO have, something we often forget. I tell you this from personal experience. I share this meditation with you because I know that I do this little meditation almost daily because it helps me to stay grounded, and I definitely need to keep my connection to the bigger Source. I share with you because it’s a great way to connect with one another so that we may through our thoughts create support for each other in these financially challenging times.

YOU CAN LISTEN TO THE MEDITATION EPISODE BY CLICKING THE BUTTON BELOW!

listen here button

http://cdn4.libsyn.com/scy/1_EKY_Episode_2__Financial_Anxiety_Mediation_and_an_Update.mp3?nvb=20090803025317&nva=20090804030317&t=0bfbcf766f281153efb6a

(it’s really a short one! Less than 20 min!)

Love the Feedback!

  • email me- eyogaclass (at) gmail (dot) com
  • leave me a message- 310 651 6238 (I’d love to play you guys on the episodes! Plus you can promote your stuff that way!)
  • or comment on this blog!

Other ways to connect with me:

View Elsie Escobar's profile on LinkedIn

Elsie Escobar's Facebook profile

Oh yea!!!! I have a FACEBOOK GROUP!!!! Come join the rest of the virtual kula :)

my signature

Episode 62: Yoga Nidra Yourself Out! a 65 min Deep Meditative Relaxation

25 Jan

This week’s yoga podcast is once again about something other than asana. I had such a great time recording this Yoga Nidra! Experience deep yogic sleep. It’s a great practice for unwinding and truly diving into the depth of unconsciousness. So fun :D

ALL MUSIC IN THE PODCAST BY VIC HENNEGAN

intro song: Movin’ from the Pure Creative Spirit CD

yoga nidra music: Gaya from the Desert God CD

I’m not a yoga nidra expert by any means. I had a experience during a Yoga Therapist teacher training to study with Richard Miller and experienced such bliss!

I bought his yoga nidra tapes and practiced it at home that way.

In case you are interested here are some more sources of Yoga Nidra studies and basic information:

http://www.swamij.com/yoga-nidra.htm The Yoga Nidra CD that I have

Yoga Nidra on Wikipidea

Totally dug Anandmurti Gurumaa’s beautiful voice in this CD. If I were to buy another Yoga Nidra CD I would get this one: http://www.yogawonders.com/
this site has a great introduction to yoga nidra narrated by Anandmurti Gurumaa, so worth it.

Plus she’s got a great website herself: Anandmurti Gurumaa
With a fantastic Charity for girls…Shakti :)

Richard Miller and his website Non-Dual.Com

These are a couple of Richard Miller’s books:

Integrative Restoration: The ancient practice of yoga nidra, for easing stress, healing trauma, and awakening to your timeless Presence.

Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga

Rod Stryker : and his CD Relax Into Greatness
I based my yoga nidra on his CD. His stuff is also great.

All right,

So my birthday is coming up! Some of you have asked to give me something, as a thank you, and what I ask of you is to leave me a review in iTunes. I’d love to see if I can get 50 reviews by my birthday!

also,

Please LEAVE ME VOICE FEEDBACK! 310 651 6238

Elsie’s Originals

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