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Elsie’s Yoga Link Love for the Week Ending 3/7/2010

7 Mar

Remember the Goddess: advLA on Twitpic

The Wisdom of the Community

A thrilling week for me in terms of social media connection and the Anusara Kula. In Los Angeles, the shakti filled Advanced Intensive took place, and from what I have read and gleaned from the online kula, John infused it by invoking from each participants a level of commitment to the whole experience that came from a deep sacred space within each individual heart which infused both the space and the kula as a whole. My first love link gives you a bit more insight into this, written by powerful and wise teacher Christina Sell:

Sunday Morning

“John wrote a letter that was sent out to the participants outlining the protocol for the three days: He wanted everyone to treat the practice space as a temple, or mandir and observe silence while we were in the practice hall. There were some other instructions about not chatting, not leaving the room unnecessarily and he asked people if they could not perform an asana to simply stand in tadasana or sit quietly doing japa.”

You guys have got to read the whole article as she even gives us the sequences that John Friend taught through the weekend!!!!!!!!!! LOVE

Not At The Advanced Intensive in LA? 3 Ways to Align With the Kula From Far Away– This is me sharing my feelings and process of being unable to travel around easily to practice with John and the kula. Oh being a householder yogi, what a journey! Check out a bit of the lovely conversation in the comments 😀

Just discovered Bay Shakti! A blog dedicated to Anusara ™Yoga in the San Francisco area! It’s a great source of inspiration. It has awesome interviews with Anusara ™ teachers both in video and in transcription (MY FAVORITE!!!! I absolutely ♥ that they do this) Plus awesome insights by the writers.

These next 2 posts are of a series and they all have to do with John Friend himself 😀 Not to be missed!

Interview with John Friend: Founder of Anusara Yoga

Part 1

♥♥ Part 2

♥♥♥ Part 3

These next 2 posts are really fun. Do you guys know that I have a gazillion yoga asana pictures over in Flickr? They are all the pics that I use in the posts. Did you know that you can use them in your blogs if you want? All you need to do it just give me attribution (a link back to me!) In the following posts they did just that. Love them!

The Ultimate Downward Facing Dog

10 Yoga Postures Performed By Cats

Did you all know that I have another podcast? Yep. It has been a while since our last posting. It’s called Mudra Moments and it’s aimed specifically at yoga teachers, yoga teacher trainees and yoga teacher wanna bees 😉 My friend Hillary and I basically have candid conversations pertaining to the life of a yoga instructor and the realities behind being a yoga teacher. In our latest episode we have our first ‘guest’ call in! She is a Mudra Moments listener and relatively new yoga teacher. We chat all about what it means to change careers, identities or perhaps titles in your life and work. Check it out. It’s really great conversation 😀

Re-Inventing Yourself and Your Life: Actor to Yoga Teacher, Yoga Teacher To…Who Are You?

Hope you guys enjoy these!

As always these links are taken from the posts to the Elsie’s Yoga Kula Facebook Fan Page. Come join the fun 😀

Thanks to @toffernelson for the Twitpic


Not At The 2010 Anusara Advanced Intensive In LA? 3 Ways to Align with The Kula

4 Mar

In my dreams I had planned on going to the 2010 Anusara ™ Advanced Intensive in LA. The last time that I was able to gather with the kula was in February 2008 for this same event. During that Intensive I intuited that I was pregnant, and I was, 3 weeks pregnant to be exact. It has been the blessing of my daughter and new family (plus all sorts of other *cough-finances* logistics) that has kept me from traveling. The reality of my life now is that I simply cannot fly across the country to study. I can barely make it to a public yoga class in town!

And gosh darn it, it’s crazy frustrating.

I cannot say that I was not disappointed that I was unable to attend the Advanced Intensive. I also cannot say that I didn’t have feelings of jealousy and *gulp* guilt, yep, I said it, guilt, for not being able to make it. I felt within me that I had let myself down and John down. I know that there are plenty of members of the kula that travel with their babies and family and I seriously wonder “how in God’s name are they able to do that?”. These feelings of jealousy and guilt are unfounded, I know that, and of course this was an opportunity to be a ‘grown up’ and embody the teachings and so I hunkered down, looked at myself square in the Heart and addressed these feelings. And lo and behold, sweetness flowed.

3 Ways to be Anusara when Away from the Kula

Adhikara (studentship) ★ I can step wholeheartedly into my studies *again*, all my past teacher training notes, the Anusara ™ Teacher Manual, handouts that John has passed out during past workshops, etc. I have a lot of inspiration and teachings. It’s just easier to step into all of that when you have hundreds of like hearted and like minded folks blasting off energy to each other! 😉 Part of this studying is also observing the expression of the kula via social media. There are plenty of teeny bits of wisdom being tweeted and Facebooked and blogged and Twitpicd. In fact a hashtag has been created just for the Intensive #AdvLa and #AdvINT 😀

Honor ★ I can honor my kula, all my teachers that have inspired me in this path, especially John by teaching in a way that reflects the clarity and authenticity of my heart and the larger vision. I can choose to continue to always do my best and be my best in any and all circumstances. I may not be able to see my teacher face to face. I may not be able to even contact him in a way that shows him who I am as a teacher. I can continue to cultivate goodness and authenticity and enhance life. I hope that this energy may travel through time and space and perhaps tap my teacher on his shoulder 🙂  The rest of this week’s classes will be in honor of the beautiful gathering happening in the West Coast right now!

Open To Grace ★ Being the 1st principle of Anusara Yoga ™ I say this all the time. This teaching has shifted and changed for me since I began my studies 9 years ago. Now it’s about letting go of expectations, and especially any limitations that I place on myself in a different way. It’s all about softening to feel me, as a mother and the yoga that is my daily life with my daughter. I am not *just* me. I am my family as much as I am myself. Before I choose to act, before I ‘make plans’ I must soften and align with the Divine energy that is now embodied clearly in my family. If I soften I can see the abundance, if I harden and choose in disconnection, I will be disappointed and will cultivate dis-ease in my Heart. I will continue to work toward studying with John again as soon as I can, but at the same time I must stay open and ebb and flow with the currents of embodied Grace of my family.

I do believe that my longing to be near the kula and study with my teacher is not an isolated feeling that only I have. I think that there may be quite a few of you that feel the same way that I do. In what ways do you, that are unable to travel and connect with your teachers or teachings, take action with respect to this issue? In what way are you shifting yourself to make your actions exemplary?

Please share!!! Add light and it will help us all become brighter 😀

These 3 things are not something you do only when the Advanced Intensive is going on 😉 *duh* But we are certainly forced to bring more meaning and more value to them when we feel disconnected 😉

In support of a fellow Anusara Yoga Teacher and Friend: Camilla Bergstrom

6 May

I am in shock

I am speechless and my heart goes out to one of my friends from L.A.

Camilla Bergstrom was on of the reasons that I began my studies at City Yoga in 2000. I used to take her 12:30 Community T/Th class religiously. She was the first female yoga teacher that I tuned it to. In everyclass I found myself immersed in myself and yet deeply connected to the bigger picture. I had no idea this was happening of course 🙂

I remember thanking her once for giving me the opportunity to find my practice in the midst of a public class. Even though I was around a bunch of people I always felt that I was experiencing and enhancing my own personal practice. She has this incredible gift of allowing space, for all, to choose to step into themselves.

So I reach out to you now, all of you to support my teacher and friend, as she needs the help of the Kula. You are many, and even a little may help. This is an email I recieved yesterday. I’m sharing it with you. It speaks for itself:

To the City Yoga community;

We regret to inform you all that our dear friend and colleague Camilla Bergstrom was in an accident yesterday at the Sunset Horse Stables in Hollywood.

Camilla was in the process of buying a horse and was spending some time with it on Sunday when tragedy struck. The horse spooked and her hand got caught in the rope. She has lost parts of 3 fingers of her left hand. The nature of the accident was so severe it does not allow the reattachment of those fingers.
Sadly, they are gone.

She is “ok”, which is to say stable. She is in the hospital and will probably be home tomorrow. Thankfully, there were no other injuries, though she will be very sore from the trauma. She went into surgery late last night and is recovering today.

Rebecca is with her now and she has some of her Swedish friends corresponding with her family in Sweden. Unfortunately, her family is not able to come over to be with her.

Some of us have known Camilla for a long time and others have just come to know her but we all have come to love her tough Swedish shell which encases one of the most compassionate, beautiful souls. In talking with her in her moments of clarity she has spoken of gratitude. Gratitude for the smallest things. Camilla has gone through a lot and she is the first to say that she is grateful for every challenge because it has taught her about herself and made her stronger.

She will need all of our strength and support in the coming weeks and months and I know we will all be grateful to give all we can. At the moment, please just hold her in your hearts and send her love. We will be sending out more information. It will include more specific things we can do to help.

One of the first things she will need is money. Fortunately, she has insurance but as is the case with most Americans, it is only disaster insurance. That means high deductibles and items not covered, not to mention her inability to work for a while. We are planning a fundraiser for her with in the coming days but you may start by sending money instead of flowers to:

Camilla Bergstrom c/o
City Yoga
7904 Santa Monica Blvd
Suite 214
West Hollywood, CA 90046

ANY amount you can give will be extraordinary if we act as a community.
Please DO NOT call her cell phone. She will need time to get settled and in touch with her family since the time difference is so great and I’m sure she will be exhausted.

Thank you all in advance for your love and support of our dear friend.

In her service,
Rebecca and Anthony

Episode 60: The Guru Inside (my last class in L.A.) Level 1 90 Min Yoga Class

23 Dec

So sorry that it’s been so long since my latest class 😦 Living in Pittsburgh with a full time non yoga job, and in the process of getting myself a class to teach. In a way my yoga podcast is suffering a bit, but I don’t doubt it will get better very soon!
I hope you forgive my sporadic posting, as I’m getting all sorts of new and wonderfull things ready for y’all 🙂

Please leave me feedback! 310 651 6238

Wizzard Media

this is Elsie's profile

The Sequence:

Hands and Knees

Downward Facing Dog

downward facing dog

High Lunge/Straight Legged High Lunge

straight legged lungeparsvottanasana variation

Uttanasana/Ardha Uttanasana x 2

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

1/2 Sun Salutations x 3

Surya Namaskar x 3

tadasanaurdhva hastasanauttanasana ardha uttanasana plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing doguttanasana ardha uttanasanaurdhva hastasanatadasana

Crescent Pose

crescent pose


Parvakonasana with forearm on thighparsvakonasana prep

Vira II

warrior II


Handstand or L Pose at the Wall

handstand prep 1handstand prep 2handstand prep 3handstand at the wall

Tree Pose

tree pose



Deep Lunge on Forearms

Deep Lunge with back knee on the floor deep lunge with forearms on the floor


Pigeon Prep

Ardha Bhekasana

Ardha Bhekasana

Pigeon (yes again)

Pigeon Prep


Dhanurasana Prepdhanurasana




Omega pose (wide baddha konasana)

Easy Sukhasana forward bend


Ardha Masyendrasana

ardha matsyendrasana sideardha matsyendrasana