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EYK Episode 3: Yoga App, Muscular Energy and The Best Yoga Mats

17 Oct

Yoga At Pond House

Sharing Enlivens The Heart of the Community

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The voice mail that is played at the beginning of this episode is why I decided to do these episodes that I call Elsie’s Yoga Kula. There is so much power to sharing your journey. This practice of yoga can take you to so many absolutely fabulous places, not only on the mat but off the mat. I know that my yoga practice opened up so much for me, in fact it was the catalyst for gigantic growth in my life, and I’m in no way talking about the poses. They are the icing on the cake :) They provided me with the first courageous steps towards something more! Thank you sooo much for sharing Jeanne (sp?) ! I am thrilled when I hear stories like yours, those that are all about stepping deeper into your self, to see the vast goodness that dwells within! NICE! Oh, and I would be honored to have you come to my class! Even though I only teach 1 public class a week…but more to come, promise!

As you can hear, this message was actually sent ‘quite’ a while ago. I’m trying to go back and honor you guys that sent me messages long ago :) And if you haven’t sent a message to share with me and the kula DO SO. I’d love to help all of us stay inspired and feel that we are truly part of a world wide community! So call me to share at 310 651 6238

Hello everybody and welcome to Elsie’s Yoga Kula episode #3! Happy Autumn :) Oh man is Pittsburgh gorgeous when the leaves start to change! My most favorite changes, that of the ivy, it’s like fire snakes climbing up trees and buildings. So beautiful! So much has happened this year it’s unbelievable. truly. Last year right around this time I became a mother. Yep, my lovely Hunter is 1 year old as of October 2. Happy Happy birthday my baby girl! You have shifted me to become someone I honestly never knew was inside. I’ve gotten…sturdier, that’s for sure :) I started to finally teach public classes, I was laid off of my job last November, man! and now I’m in the process of developing my own consulting business. As soon as I get all my stuff in gear I’ll let you all know all about it. You can venture to YoGeek.Me, to see a gradual development of posts delving into the world of yoga and technology :)

It has been an incredible fortifying year, full of everything you can imagine, calm, love, fear, angst, courage, meltdowns, you name it. I have LIVED! You guys have made this year for me a sort of life line. Your emails and messages and support have provided me with hope and strength. If you are listening to the podcast I now read an email from Maria Rose from Vermont :D and my response to her email!

Listen to the Podcast!

EYK News:

Remember how I mentioned the cool personalized bottle from the company SIGG on EKY Episode 1? Well, I take that back. I used to love those bottles but the practices of their CEO has left me less than pleased. Here’s the quick scoop: SIGG CEO Steve Wasik recently announced that SIGG water bottles did in fact contain the toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) in its liners until August 2008. That means that any bottle that you purchased before 10/08 contains BPA. They are allowing customers that purchased a bottle prior to this date (you would know by the bronze liner instead of the pale yellow liner that are the new ones) to exchange their bottles.

But the Environmental Working Group is not satisfied with this. Here is letter sent by the President of EWG to SIGG:

On behalf of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), I write to ask that you issue an unambiguous apology for misleading consumers and retailers about whether SIGG bottles contain the toxic chemical bisphenol-A (BPA).
I further urge you to modify SIGG Switzerland CEO Steve Wasik’s recent announcement of a SIGG voluntary bottle exchange program. Consumers should be able to take SIGG bottles that contain BPA to an authorized SIGG retailer and receive a refund for the full retail value of the product. The cost of the refund should be covered by SIGG.
The announced exchange policy, which forces customers to accept a replacement SIGG bottle, puts them in the untenable position of having to trust Mr. Wasik and his team about the composition and safety of the replacement product.
It is our view that SIGG’s reputation will be difficult to restore while Mr. Wasik remains at the helm of the company.
Sincerely,

Kenneth A. Cook
President
Environmental Working Group

In case you want to exchange your product you can go to http://mysigg.com/bulletin/ to read all about it. I’ll post a link in the shownotes.

Just last week I was interviewed by David Spark about my new iPhone App! It was such a cool experience. He’s a really great guy. What was crazy about the whole thing is that I scheduled it specifically so that Hunter was in an optimal mood and she could keep herself occupied. The interview was supposed to take 10 min. Of course none of it went as planned. As we signed on in Skype, my camera decided not to work…ggrrrrrr. I had to trouble shoot for about 10 minutes! I did have an opportunity to see my lovely friend Inge’s face as I had my mini freak out. I asked her to help me but at that time she had no solutions for me. I figured it out FINALLY! then of course, the moment that David started recording the podcast Hunter fell down and conked her head. yep, of course she did. anyway, the whole thing ended up going really well. I’ll put a link in the shownotes for ya’ll.

And speaking of my iPhone/iPod Touch app…Have you gotten a chance to buy it yet? It’s $3.99 and what you get is the ability to stream all of my content, all 70+ classes without downloading anything at all, at the push of a button! Plus, I’ll be adding a PDF of the sequences of my classes a little bit a time, so you can have it with you as you practice! Occasionally I may add little videos here and there and some other bits and pieces of content. Now, I have to clarify that if you happen to have an iPod Touch, the only time that you can stream the content is when you are connected via Wifi. Thank you Lisa for helping me be clear about this :) Full disclosure, there have been some issues with the 1st version of the app (the classes not streaming and the app itself not opening). The new version HAS been released which fixes the majority of the bugs. If you have downloaded the app and still experience problems, please feel free to contact me via email so we can get the issues resolved!

If you have wanted to support this podcast, this is a wonderful way to do it. I do get a teeny bit of money from the sale of each app. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank all of you that have already downloaded the app, from the bottom of my heart, and I’d also like to thank all those of you that have donated to Elsie’s Yoga Kula. I’ll share that last months donations allowed me to make our car payment. It was a blessing. I’ve been doing this podcast for 3 years and I have never put up a donate button, until now. At this moment, I feel that I can and I have had requests from you guys, so it’s helped me make the decision. If you’d like to donate to the podcast please feel free to do so, if you’d like to donate to the podcast in another way other than in a monetary way, I have put up a page telling you of all sorts of ways in which you can ‘donate’ that don’t include money. Check it out. Any little thing totally helps and like the page says, Support the Podcast, support the family!

We have another voice mail from a listener! So listen up if you wanna hear :)

Here’s Vanessa Best’s Web site: The Spinal Space

Thank you Juli from Atlanta! I know it was a while ago, but she very kindly sent me an email and told me that I had inadvertedly tagged episode 69 with an ‘explicit’ tag, YIKES! Totally did not want to do that. I went in there and fixed it as soon as I could, although I know that a few of you got that episode with an explicit tag, and of course there was nothing explicit about it…

It’s all about listener emails!

Carli from Kansas

My 16 year old son talked me into trying Yoga with him. He plays football and his coach got them started on Yoga. I am a runner and lift weights, I took a yoga class once but it never stuck. So I started looking for yoga podcasts and came across yours. I loved it. It was very hard for me to follow at first because I am not familiar with the poses. So I went online and found your website! I flipped out when I realized I can look at the poses to the episodes online and follow that way. I’m so stuck on yoga now! I love your classes and how you describe things. You Rock!

Thank you so much Carli :) You know, I totally keep forgetting to tell you guys to come check out this site! The pictures are there, there are a couple of times where there are corresponding videos and extra links at times, especially when I mention an article or something like that in my theme :) oh, and the EYK episodes will be transcribed as a blog post (hence this post ;) ), so if you wanna read, what I said, then all you have to do is go to the corresponding blog post!

Marie from Ol Miss

Hi Elsie!I hope you are well. I’ve just started listening to your podcasts, and they are so great! I have a random question for you. What kind or brand of mat would you recommend to someone who is just beginning yoga? I have a mat that I have had for a long time, (I’ve started and stopped yoga a few times), but it is starting to kind of thin and I’ve found a few holes. Also, do you have any other advice for a newbie like me? Thank you so much and have a great weekend! Marie

Here’s my answer to Marie

Hello Marie :) Great questions! Regarding the yoga mat…I’m a very big fan of the Jade Yoga Mats. At times they can bunch up a little bit off the floor, as they are not as ‘sticky’ as the yoga mats that you would purchase almost anywhere. My fave from Jade is The Encore because I like my mats to have a bit more substance when I practice. The Encore is the one that I have (at least I have the prototype as they sent it to me before it was released. Also love Beinjoy yoga mats. They are soooooooooooooooooo pretty :) That gets some bonus points from me. They feel very good. Also I own 2 Manduka ™ mats, the purple PROlite and the Black Mat PRO. They have some eco friendly versions that are also available, which I’ve been meaning to try. My purple mat has lasted me for about 5 yrs! and it looks almost the same as when I bought it. The only thing thats wrong with it now is that my kitties got to it and scratched the tar out of it ;) They also have a mat that supports an organization called ‘off the mat into the world’ which I think is pretty darn fabulous organization. Another company that I love is Prana. They have a FANTASTIC mat that I want to purchase the is wider than most mats out there. When I practice in order to have my shoulders properly aligned I honestly have to widen them so much that my pinky fingers end up being off the mat. I don’t mind, but their new Revolution mat takes care of that! Plus it’s eco friendly :) A lot of the mats that I have mentioned are pretty pricey, $60+ and UP! It is a lot of $ I know. You can get some mats from Prana, or Jade or even Lululemon that are eco friendly for between $35 and 40. I know that I have not needed another mat after buying my purple mat so long ago. I just like to try out other mats, and share about them :) Let me know if I can help you with anything else! As a beginner practitioner, I would merely say to take your time, to listen to yourself, and to choose to always be honest and open with yourself every time you get on the mat. Choose to step in deeper and enjoy your own body, with all it’s ‘limitations’. They make you the unique beauty that you are. If you get through a class and you haven’t smiled….I would make that my priority :) Smiling and laughing truly allows for a deeper moving into your heart to see what really matters!

Marie’s answer:

I ended up getting a Manduka Black Mat Pro and I love it!!! I’ve been practicing for three weeks and it has been really awesome to see how my body is responding. I also wanted to let yo u know that I started a blog about my yoga journey, girlmeetsmat.blogspot.com. I am wide open to any comments or suggestion :) Thank you so much for everything!!

NICE! I do love the Manduka Black mat. That thing is hardy, the thing for me is that I now tend to leave that one at home as trekking around with that puppy on a bike, or a bus, or any amount of walking that isn’t just a block or so, is soooooooo hard on my back. That mat is HEAVY :) Just to let you all know, there is a fantastic article by one of my Twitter/Facebook buddies, the mighty Nancy Alder and it’s all about this same exact subject. It really gets in to more detail about the mats and especially pricing and it’s a great read!

Meaghan Message :D

Hello! How are you on this beautiful day?! I am a fellow yoga teacher, brand new, and IN LOVE with your site. It is so inspirational and moving and every detail means so much. Thank you for keeping us involved with your journey.

I wanted to take a moment to personally invite you to take a peek at my website. I am training to run a half marathon to raise money for research towards Crohns, a disease incredibly close to my heart, which my boyfriend has struggled with for more than 20 years.

My website is : meaghansrun.net

The first ten people to raise 500 dollars in the next week will be matched 500 from a local company! So, if you are thinking you may be able to donate (any amount, big or small) — now would be a perfect time! And, it is tax deductible

.

Lots of love and thanks,

Meaghanxo

I saw the other day mighty Meaghan or Megan ) sorry if I mispronounced your name that you reached your goal! Congratulations, and if any of you would like to donate to the cause follow the link above! and thank you so much for sending this along!

Kate in Italy!

Hi Elsie, I am a Canadian living in Italy and have just started using your podcasts for my daily practice. Thank you! You say the phrase “scissor your legs asymmetrically together” quite a few times and I am very confused what this means…is it possible to get some clue about that? Thank you again for beaming your classes out for the world to access. In Italy classes are in Italian which makes English speaking me a little lost. Your classes are a big help. All the best.

You know what I wanted to do to answer this question? I wanted to ask my students to tell me what that means to them, as often times I (I think all teachers) tend to relly on saying things one way, and you guys may just have ‘better’ ways of explaining this. OK, so here goes a bit of an explanation. Isometric movements according to wikipedia:

Definition

Isometric exercise is a form of exercise involving the static contraction of a muscle without any visible movement in the angle of the joint. This is reflected in the name; the term “isometric” combines the prefix “iso” (same) with “metric” (distance), meaning that in these exercises the length of the muscle does not change[edit]
Isometric resistance
Resistance in isometric exercises typically involve contractions of the muscle using:
▪ the body’s own muscle (e.g., pressing the palms together in front of the body)
▪ structural items (e.g., pushing against a door frame).
▪ free weights, weights machines or elastic equipment (e.g. holding a weight in a fixed position)
▪ pressure plate type equipment that has a digital readout of maximal force.
Depending on the goal of the exercise, the exertion can be maximal, or sub-maximal.

Basically, you are engaging your muscles even though the poses are ‘static’. There is an action that is involved always everytime that you are in a pose. In Anusara the principle that best describes isometric movement (or scissoring the legs together) is called Muscular Energy. Here’s the definition according to the Anusara Teacher Training Manual….( you’re just gonna have to listen as I’m NOT typing this whole thing out ;).

One way that I teach these actions, I learned from one of my teachers Noah Maze, is by getting 2 folded blankets, placing them on a non carpeted floor, placing one foot on one blanket and the other foot on the other blanket. Once you’re all set there, widen your feet apart and do a standing pose, like Warrior 2 for example. If you don’t pull energy to the midline, I guarantee you that you will be doing the splits! It’s a pretty cool exercise that teaches those actions, just for fun!

Well, that was a bit of a long explanation! I hope that makes sense Kate! And reaching out to yoga teachers out there, how about you sending me some ways in which you teach pulling to the midline, or muscular energy? It would be awesome to share you wisdom with the Kula :) email me or send call me 310 651 6238 (put that number in your cellphone!!!)

Ok, just 3 more things to address, as it looks like we’re running a bit long! Ahhhhhh

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I got an FB message from Isabella, she just wanted to say thank you to me, but she also mentioned that she was looking for a fan page for me. Well, I do have a Facebook Group! Search for Elsie’s Yoga Kula, I haven’t started a FB fan page….yet….I’m still figuring out what is best for me and for you guys. I know how crowded FB has gotten with soooooo many fan pages and groups and all sorts of other stuff, and I honestly don’t want to add to all that. When I feel that creating a Page will add value, and I can honestly keep it up and have it be a place were you guys and myself can participate more fully I’ll do it. I gotta really see how Fan Pages work. When and if I do that, I’ll send y’all a little not in the FB Group, OR post something on my blog!

This episode’s art work is a class that a long time listener Tracee Sioux hosted at her Bookclub weekend getaway. How cool is that???? LOVED it! It was podcast #10 from El Salvador and it was all about authenticity. She said “We were touched and those of us out of practice or beginning were also a little sore. LOL” Thank you sooooo much Tracee for sharing that picture, and it really warms my heart to know that these classes are being used it such fantastic ways!!!! If you wanna know a bit more about Tracee, check out my blog post on my other blog YoGeek.Me. She’s a pretty phenomenal woman with an incredible Web site calle The Girl Revolution, all about empowering girls, and I’m ALL FOR THAT!!!

And lastly, I’m going to close by letting you know about an Affiliate that I’m working with. I will only work with people and organizations that I whole hearted believe in and whose products I absolutely USE AND LOVE. Floracopeia is one of the most incredible companies that I have had the gift of coming into contact with. I’ll tell you more about the organization in a future episode, but right now I’d like to share with you 2 products that I use almost daily:

Hormonal Essential Oil Blend

Directly from the Floracopeia Website: For women who are interested in optimizing their endocrine health for long lasting vitality and radiance, the Hormonal Blend is a valuable addition to your every day pleasures. Two drops in the palms with a deep inhalation will deliver the healing benefit of this blend directly. In addition, the subtle floral perfume of this blend is a beautiful fragrance for any occasion. Its benefits include relaxant, aphrodisiac, anti-anxiety and mood enhancing effects. BUY THE HORMONAL ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND!

Relax Essential Oil Blend

Directly from the Floracopeia Website: Use the Relax Blend in times of stress or potentially stressful situations and environments. It is a lovely diffuser blend when you want to create a relaxing and pleasant environment in your home or elsewhere. It is a wonderful blend to diffuse around children, to apply on the car seat on long rides or the pillow before bedtime. Working people will gain great benefit from the Relax Blend and should consider it for use during the morning commute or before important meetings; there are rarely times when it is not useful. It has beautiful anti-axiety and mood enhancing effects that are subtle and intoxicating. BUY THE RELAX ESSENTIAL OIL BLEND!

Do consider purchasing either or both of these products. They are amazing AND they go to support a MUCH larger vision. MUCH MUCH larger, so the purchase is not only supporting your health, me (a teeny bit) and also the world LITERALLY. I’ll put links in the show notes so you can read a bit more about Floracopeia but do stay listening as I’ll also have a special show sharing more about it myself! If you DO want to buy these products, please use the links provided in this post, as when you purchase via that link, I get a little support for the podcast :)

Thank you guys for listening. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have such a wonderful community!!!!! Please continue to give me feedback, questions, problems. I still have so many more questions to get to, I should do these more often…! phone number, email, FB (profile and Group) and Elsie’s Yoga Kula!!!! It would be lovely if you’d consider leaving me a review in iTunes, those are deeply appreciated! Meet you on the mat later!

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