About Me

The story of Elsie:

To be clear about who you are is truly a gift, it’s a gift that never ceases to be unwrapped, and as one unwraps one finds that the gift within also changes. If I had been asked even just a couple of years ago something about myself, the words that would have poured out would have been far, far different than those that come to my mind now. What I know is that what you do is a reflection of who you are, that always you must seek to find out all the things that you are before clearly choosing an action.

I was born in El Salvador, San Salvador, February 6th, 1972 (I share that only cause I love, love, love birthdays and age is to be celebrated!). My family and I moved to this country in July 1981. I am blessed to have one of the most amazing families. My parents are strong, steady, loving, faithful, and devoted. My brothers are so very unique, honorable, committed, and impassioned. It is really they, that began to shape who I am, as really I am only a reflection of the goodness that they are. I was and continue to be challenged and encouraged to have integrity in all my choices purely by example, and by an unending commitment to live life as sacred, at all times.

I began to be active pretty early in life. I loved to play tag, kickball, dodge ball. I loved PE. I loved all the different sports and trying to be the best I could in everyone of them. In high school I played basketball, tennis and yep, badminton. I so loved practices and pushing myself as hard as I could. What I didn’t really like was competition itself, as I had no control over it. Sometimes I was so fearful of the challenge that I even lied to get myself out of playing, and succeeded, and sometimes I was so aggressive that I often scared myself, as thoughts of just hurting my opponents popped in my head.

I went to college and studied theater. I left the athletics behind. I found the theater as a great way to embody others and to give them a voice, as during that time, I could not really find mine. I found the plays and the characters, the community that was created a great escape to learn about others and somehow not have to really find out about me. I yearned to give voice to others, I longed to speak from all the different character’s hearts, not realizing how I was really sharing my own. That journey took me to graduate school. I was accepted to the National Theater Conservatory in Denver, and I spent 3 incredible years there. Those years were the beginning of living an empowered life. I was expected to deliver a quality of work that required everything within me, which included taking risks that I had never dared to take. It was then that I began to find my voice. My voice, that until then had been that of a little girl, sweet and passive began to grown into a deeper, more grounded and daring one. Mind you, only the beginnings of this.

I found strength again in my body, as I had always remained active, aerobics, step aerobics, kickboxing, weight training, never really seriously, merely as a way to stay in shape and really to let go of stress, to sweat out the daring voice that remained mostly quiet within. In grad school I was introduced to yoga. I had then found something that would soften me. It would help me get centered before a show, it gave me the tools that I needed to focus. We were required to take yoga in grad school, and as we know, most things that we are required to do we let go off, so I did.

I graduated from the National Theater Conservatory in May 1997, and moved back to Los Angeles, with my newly found daring voice, supported by my incredible instructors and the depth of a classical education. I found that my trade, of acting, in LA, at least my understanding of what it was, was not what was needed here. As I embarked on my path as a Hollywood actress, I found that who I wanted and needed to be did not match up to what I was doing. I began to live a life from the outside in. I put on as many costumes as I could, trying to be what I thought everyone else wanted me to be and not who I was. My daring voice, as it had been given life, did not want to stay quiet. “Integrity” it hollored at me. All I found was dissatisfaction, sadness, unhappiness, and eventually despair. That’s when yoga, somehow stepped into my life again. I found my first ‘teacher’ Naime Jezzeny. At that time he was teaching yoga at City Yoga in West Hollywood. I remembered that I walked into his class once, and he remembered my name from then on. Somehow, being recognized as me, Elsie, just, gave me more than I can describe. It was Naime’s passion, enthusiasm and especially his integrity with each and every one of his students that kept me coming back. Naime introduced me to Anusara Yoga, a hatha yoga style founded by John Friend, which is the yoga that I continue to study and align to. The Principles of Alignment of this yoga quenched my analytical mind, the Anusara Yoga philosophy spoke to my heart. It is life affirming, and freedom enhancing. The highest intention of practicing Anusara Yoga is to Align with the Divine. “As we deepen our alignment with the Divine, we step deeper into the flow of Grace…On our yoga mat we artistically offer our individual light and our unique music with the heartfelt prayer of adding more beauty, love, and goodness to the world.” Now who doesn’t want that?

So now I teach yoga, with my full and daring voice, and all I want really is to continue to add more beauty, love and goodness to the world. Yep, cheesy, but really, it’s all I want to be. If this path means that I teach yoga, the physical practice of yoga, for the rest of my life, great. If somehow, Divine Providence carries my heart somewhere else, here I am. I’m so ready to live. I am a reflection of those teachers, students, family members and everyday folks who live stepping into the fullness of themselves. I humbly say thank you to all of you!

As much as I am a yoga teacher and student I am also a Podcaster,  and this is the home of Elsie’s Yoga Class: Live and Unplugged Podcast. It’s really a series of yoga podcasts, live free online classes that are published weekly! (almost weekly😉 ) You can subscribe through the itunes music store, or any of the other podcast directories.

I have also began to delve into more Podcasting: YoGeek Workout, where I get to focus a bit more on other aspects of health, fitness and truly everyday life, and apply yogic principles to it. It’s all about finding your passion and working it all out🙂

My latest venture is with my fellow yoga teacher and friend Hillary Rubin, Mudra Moments. This lifestyle podcast delves into our lives applying yogic philosophy to our lives. It includes delving into tips, and hints of being a yoga teacher, helping yoga teacher trainees, tips about finding yoga teacher trainings, and making a living as a yoga teacher.

29 Responses to “About Me”

  1. jill August 31, 2006 at 10:50 pm #

    after years of living in larchmont, and never walking up the stairs, i finally took a yoga class: yours…the day you talked about your new niece. after taking a few classes, i remembered hearing that you had a web presence…so here i am. i admire so much that you’ve found what you love….and that you share that with the rest of us…and as life will have it…i know tanja barnes…we have worlds in common…tanja is a great spirit. at any rate, thank you again. i hope i get to take another of your classes soon,

  2. Elsie August 31, 2006 at 11:17 pm #

    Thank you so very much for your kind words. I’m so very glad that you walked up those stairs, it’s a crazy world up there🙂 Hope to see you in class soon!

  3. deborah brimacomb September 12, 2006 at 12:54 pm #

    Nice work Elsie,I really enjoyed the website and reading your story. I’m pleased for you and your discoveries and thank you for sharing. I’m looking forward to checking you out on podcast. You are inspirational.
    Namste,
    deborah brimacomb

  4. Sam October 2, 2006 at 12:55 am #

    You were very inspiring to many people in High School. Last time I saw you I delivered a pizza to your door many many years ago. Great to hear your story and see you’re doing something so athletic and artistic.

  5. YOUR UNCLE October 10, 2006 at 4:53 pm #

    Love you, and I´ll be in touch with you on this website.

    JJ

  6. Victor Cajiao November 11, 2006 at 2:15 pm #

    What can I say Elsie, you are a special person and I’m so very glad I can say I was the one to be your “Yoda” in podcasting and show you the way. You are a valuable and genuine voice in podcasting.

  7. Heath Patrie January 10, 2007 at 6:19 pm #

    Hi, elsie! I just found your podcast by checking-out what other ‘casts my listeners subscribe to. I Just subscribed, and i’m listening. Nice!

    ~heath (Tranquil Music by Heath)

  8. Rolando Medina López February 9, 2007 at 7:33 pm #

    Hola Elsie:
    Felicidades en ver que tu sueño que una vez me contaste ha crecido hacia dentro. Un día no muy lejano me encantará recibir unas clases de yoga de tí.

    Yo, siempre soñando cine acá en El Salvador empujando un largometraje. Saludos a tu papá

  9. Melanie Salvatore-August June 8, 2007 at 12:31 am #

    Hi Elsie, I really enjoyed your class today, it made me feel inspired and exhausted🙂 … so I decided to look for you on the web…and here you are! What a joy! Well Aquarius, we were born exactly 3 days a part… boy was February 1972 a hot time. Cheers to you and the wholeness that yoga and sharing the practice brings!

  10. Janine Bouchard June 12, 2007 at 4:49 am #

    Elsie, how come you are so damn cool? We here at the lu would like to know. We love you!! Got some great feedback from guests who attended your class at the store.

    When you’re riding your bike back up the hill our way, come by the store and say hello.

  11. nadia July 18, 2007 at 4:47 pm #

    hello elsie,
    i would just like to say thank you for the heartfelt classes you send out to the world, you are quite amazing! nadia from london uk

  12. Elsie July 18, 2007 at 5:37 pm #

    Thank you Nadia! so happy you’re checking it out!

  13. Marc August 6, 2007 at 5:47 am #

    Hello Elsie,sorry to here your over there in Hollywood and I am over here in Rhode Island.I am presently a substance abuse councilor and a Reflexology major.I am glad to see such a remarkable woman do so many great things with your life.I wish you were closer and we could share so many diferent meanings of personal offering through teaching and prayer.thanik you for the gift of your smile and embrace!

  14. Erin October 16, 2007 at 5:46 pm #

    Hi Elsie,
    because Anusara is still in its infancy where I live, I’m always looking to connect with the greater kula…graciae s dios por el internet! Just wanted to say I really enjoyed your “Harvest”-themed class. It is really great to hear you laugh and interact while teaching…a warmer experience than a video or something. Buen trabajo, y muchas gracias!

    Erin
    Buffalo, NY

  15. Elsie October 16, 2007 at 5:47 pm #

    Thank you so much for the sweetness Erin! I so appreciate it!

  16. Michelle Flowers May 21, 2008 at 1:10 pm #

    Hi, Elsie! I was just thinking of you. Are you still at the Larchmont Center for Yoga?

  17. Darcy August 7, 2008 at 2:28 am #

    Dearest Elsie, I have listened and been inspired by all of your podcasts. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I am teaching yoga, mostly restorative and yoga for beginners. I’ve been thinking of trying to do some recording myself. Would you share what equipment you use to do your classes? I think the quality is really good!
    Keep up the fabulous work.
    Sending big love, Darcy

  18. NicHawclainlY January 6, 2009 at 10:05 pm #

    What is bumburbia?

  19. Keith May 5, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    Hi Elsie,
    Thank you so much for sharing your class with everyone online. I don’t have enough time to drive to a yoga studio during my lunch break, so instead I do my yoga right here in my office. Every day I look forward to 12 oclock to roll around so that I can put a sign up on my door, close the door, and turn on your podcast.

    Thank you *so* much!
    Many hearts, one love,
    -keith

  20. suzanne September 14, 2009 at 12:13 am #

    elsie!!! its suzanne your on and off student from swerve- the doc who would come weekly for a few months to that 730 class and then disappear for a year and when i’d walk in to class you’d call out: “welcome miss suzanne”- well, after you left la, it was hard to get backinto the groove and here i find you- ihear from natalie and others that you re continuing to grow and do good and spread love
    xo to you and namaste

  21. Tanya November 28, 2009 at 2:46 am #

    Hi Elsie!

    Just wanted to send you a big thank you for what you do! I am an actor and teacher living in Chicago, and my yoga practice is very important to me. Your podcast helps my practice be consistent, since I cannot afford to go to a studio often. It also has given me a great introduction to the basics of Anusara, and it’s a great alternative to more traditional Vinyasa. Thank you again!!

    • Elsie December 3, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

      Tanya! Thank you so much for taking the time to come and say hello! I’m so glad that you are able to use the classes😀 I so wish that I would have been able to use and practice yoga more seriously while I was performing and auditioning. I believe it would have helped me sooooo much!

      The crazy thing is that while I was getting my MFA we had yoga 3x a week in the morning! Really really really basic yoga, but still. I used to LOVE IT, and even did my take on the ‘sun salutations’ before I would go on stage.

  22. vcsbtown June 13, 2010 at 2:42 am #

    Hi Elsie! Just want to let you know that I always keep a handful of your podcasts on my mp3 player. I’ve done your sessions at home, at the gym and even outside! Keep up the good work and thanks again!

  23. Kim Norris July 2, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    Hello Elsie
    Here in the UK searching for inspiration and it came today…..Just found your podcast and just completed Number81. I am feeling so at peace in myself and cant wait to try more yoga with you. thank you. its just completed me day.

    Nameste ji

    Kim

    • Elsie July 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

      Jill!

      How exciting! Thanks for saying hello and I am thrilled that you got a little bit of sweetness. Love it!

  24. Slim Chandra-Shekar July 12, 2010 at 12:21 am #

    Hi Elsie,
    As a yoga newbie, I recently discovered your Suryanamaskar podcast and have been doing it every day! Thank you so much! You have such great energy.
    Slim

    • Elsie July 12, 2010 at 12:34 am #

      Awesome!

      Thank you so much! I’m very glad that it’s helping you out🙂

  25. Debbie McConnell October 8, 2010 at 6:25 am #

    Mwwwwaaaaaahhhhhhh! (Big Cyper Kiss)!

    Your offerings have changed my path and opened my heart.
    I do not have the appropriate words to express my sincere gratitude!
    Love and Light!

    Debbie McConnell
    Atlanta Kula!!!!!!!

    • Elsie October 8, 2010 at 10:57 am #

      Woooooo hoooo!!!!

      Yipeeeee!!! Thank you tons for stopping back Debbie🙂

      xoxoxoxoxoxo So thankful for YOU!

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