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Ep 84: Are YOU Listening? A 90 min Level 2-3 Yoga Class

19 Sep

Listen Completely

Have you ever had someone ask for help and they just won’t listen?

This is what this week’s yoga class is all about.

I have a friend that I love dearly. This friend (let’s call him Pete) is kind hearted, he is giving, he is committed, he is loyal, and he has so much to offer the world. He comes to be for advice recognizing that there are some things within his life that are not working. I offer my advice. He seems to take it all in, quietly listening to me, at times even writing notes 😉 and yet…a couple of weeks later, Pete comes back to me with the same issues.

I was wondering if I was missing something?

Was I not being clear?

Nope, I was plenty clear.

What did I have to do in order for Pete to actually listen to me and accept the advice that I was giving?

This really bothered me, and it almost made me want to stop offering help completely. In fact, I did pull away from being available.

As I sat with this situation I began to see a pattern emerge within me. I became utterly conscious of what it takes for someone to truly listen and to accept and act. I chose to look at the way that I did this in my life.

Boy was I in for a surprise!

Well dear ones, I write to you to tell you that I DO THE SAME THING THAT PETE DOES!

Holy cow.

Now there was a realization.

I’ve been complaining, and mulling over very specific issues in my every day life. I’ve received very actionable and highly auspicious advice from people that I love and respect- OFTEN. I have heard them and chosen not to listen to them.

Why? Here are some reasons that I came up with.

Why do we choose not to listen?

  • The answer that I was getting was not the answer that I was looking for.
  • I had already decided on the answer, I simply needed confirmation.
  • I did not want to work hard nor have to step out of my comfort zone.
  • I didn’t want to truly look at myself and take responsibility for my own actions.

hmmmmmm

This situation has helped me recognize that listening is an artform that requires great humility and honesty. At times recognizing and accepting the truth that is revealed to you is a far greater challenge than maintaining the facade. Once you choose to see it, there’s no going back, you must transform.

Transformation requires skilled action, and at least for me this was the hardest part.

I am now listening, with all of myself, and taking the time to digest and discern (another key teaching) while taking appropriate action when necessary. I feel stronger, I feel calmer and most of all I feel a great sense of joy. It has even helped me be better at being a friend as now I get the opportunity to watch Pete discover listening again, at his own time, in his own way.

Do you listen?

I’d love to hear from you! :

  • 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:

Elsie’s Yoga Kula Facebook Group!!!

View Elsie Escobar's profile on LinkedIn


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This week’s online yoga class

I made the peeps at Yoga Matrika work a bit for this one! I did a few demos and lots of handstand work, which I have to say that I did my best to cut out. It doesn’t do well for audio classes 😉 I’ve also posted a little video that gives you a bit more info into getting the culmination pose- Vishvamatrasana! Needless to say, this is a more advanced yoga class.

If you are in Pittsburgh, come on by Yoga Matrika on Monday nights at 6pm for some Anusara Inspired Yoga 🙂

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The Yoga Class Sequence

Downward Facing Dog

Twisting Downward Facing Dog

Straight Legged Lunge

straight legged lunge

Downward Facing Dog

Plank chattarunga x 3

chattarunga dandasana

Wide legged uttanasana

standing forward bend with legs wider apart

Bending one leg then the other in Uttanasana

variation of standing forward bend bending the leg

Wide legged uttanasana

standing forward bend with legs wider apart

Parsva wide legged uttanasana

Side Variation of Standing Forward Bend

Tadasana

Surya namaskar

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

Silent Surya Namaskar x 3

Handstands

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

Eka pada handstands (check me out doing this video)

More handstands

Deep lunge

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

Trikonasana

Salabasana with arms interlaced behind the back

Trikonasana

trikonasana

Vinyasa

plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Bound twisting uttanasana

Parsvakonasana bound

Parvakonasana bound

Pigeon

Pigeon Prep

Vashistasana

vashistasana prepvashistasana

Parsvakonasana bound into trikonasana bound

Parvakonasana boundtrikonasana bound

My demo: Corresponding Video

Vishvamatrasana

Teeny Tiny Vishvamatrasana Tutorial from Elsie Escobar on Vimeo.

paschimotanasana

Seated Forward Bend

pavrita paschimotanasana

Twisting Seated Straight Legged Forward Bend front viewTwisting Seated Straight Legged Forward Bend back view

supta tadasana

supta padangustasana sequence

yoga hamstring stretch, reclined big toe stretchReclined big toe stretch to the sideReclined big toe stretch twist

knees to chest

apanasana

savasana

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Five Essential Beginner Yoga Books For Women To Buy And Start To Their Yoga Education (Video)

21 Aug

Ladies! Build Your Yoga Education At Home 🙂

I know when I first got into yoga the FIRST thing I did was to buy a book. I’m a fiend when it comes to books 🙂

The thing is that there are so many yoga books out there and I had no idea which were the best yoga books to buy, let alone yoga books that were accessible and not too full of yoga jargon with concepts that at that time, I wasn’t ready to digest.

I’ve decided to offer you some of my favorite yoga books for you to buy (or borrow from the Library. I’m a huge Library proponent) in order to enhance your yoga and health know-how! I have to disclose fully that they do have a bit of a female bias, but for my male subscribers, you’ll still find a wealth of information applicable to both men and women.

This whole thing was inspired by the crazy amount of emails that I get asking for advice about this very subject 🙂

Here’s the latest email from one of you lovely folks:

I am a beginner at yoga and just subscribed to your podcasts. I am interested in reading more about yoga and was wondering if there are any books you would recommend?

You can refer to the video above for a more in depth description of why I chose these books, but I’m linking to all the books that I mention below. All links to these books are using my Amazon Affiliate links, which will give me a little bit of cash to buy even more yoga books 😉 Wouldn’t you like to support my yoga reading habits?

yoga for women's health

The Women’s Book of Yoga and Health by Linda Sparrowe and Patricia Walden

This is one of my all time favorites! I use it for reference all the time. This is a MUST for your yoga library.

relaxation and stress relief yoga book

Relax and Renew by Judith Lasater

I was able to build a restorative yoga practice at home following some of her sequences. So much great information.

Anusara Yoga philosophy book

Yoga From The Inside Out: Making Peace With Your Body Through Yoga by Christina Sell

I have more sticky notes in this book than in any other book in my Yoga Library! Sometimes I just open it and use one of Christina’s sentences to inspire an entire class 😀

ayurveda for women's health

Ayurveda For Women by Dr. Robert Svoboda

This was the first Ayurveda book that I bought. I now a own a bunch more by Dr. Svoboda and have learned tons about this incredible way of life.

mother and daughter wisdom

Mother-Daughter Wisdom: Creating a Legacy of Physical and Emotional Health by Christiane Northrup

I bought this book when I found out I was pregnant. At first I thought that it was meant to be a book for mother’s of daughters but then I realized that it was a book for daughters. All women are daughters. All women have mothers, living, dead or absent. I guarantee that you will be inspired by what you read in this book and how it can help you be as healthy as you can be.

Do you have any books to add to this list?

Please share them in the comments below! I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s looking to build her yoga library 😉

Beginner Yoga Advice: Benefits For Knee Joint Health and Weight Loss

16 Aug

I got a comment here on my blog and instead of simply writing him back I decided to give a video answer!

The question was all about knee health and whether or not yoga is good for weight loss.

I started a running program 3 weeks ago but only succeeded in aggravating a knee/patella (kneecap).  my running days are over as I’m in extreme pain.
what, if any are the benefits of yoga on knees and joints as well as weight loss?

Knee Health and Yoga

Let’s talk about the knees and joints, here’s what yoga does:

  • Yoga creates the ability for your joints to remain stable
  • Yoga creates the ability for your joints to increase in stability
  • Yoga incorporates the muscles around the joints, increases their strength to create this stability within the joint.
  • Through proper alignment and action, yoga helps maintain optimal blood flow and proper lubrication within joints for more effective movement and overall health.

Due to anatomical/biomechanical issues in our bodies, either due to habitual patterns, injuries or genetics certain joints may become more prone to injury. The knee joint is a highly movable joint that often times gets easily aggravated and misaligned. Through proper alignment and action within yoga postures one is able to create the possibility to strengthen, re-align and perhaps even heal an challenging knee.

Please remember that this is possible when one practices consistently, consciously and with a qualified teacher to guide the student to become more adept at moving into their optimal blueprint. Any kind of knee therapy requires work and diligence.

The majority of public yoga classes are fast moving where focus on alignment is at times glossed over. If you are working with a knee injury, and are new to yoga, I would search to find the best qualified teacher to practice with, attend classes that have a slow pace and incorporate lots of optimal alignment and action within the poses.

Yoga and Weight Loss

As we all know, one needs to ingest less calories that one burns in order to loose weight. This is best achieved by doing aerobic exercise.

Yoga is not an aerobic exercise.

It can certainly get your heart beating fast. It will make you sweat. At times it you may even get out of breath. You certainly will massage and work your internal organs such as your heart and your lungs. You will burn calories. You will tone your muscles.

These are some pretty awesome benefits to the practice. Given those benefits having yoga be a part of your weight loss routine is key toward weight loss maintenance, but in and of itself, I don’t believe asana itself can make you loose weight.

Yoga will give you greater insights of your mind body and heart. Yoga will push you to places that may at times prove to be quite uncomfortable. Yoga will force you to make choices. Yoga will offer you new ways of seeing the world.

All of these things are great assets toward being a healthy human being, from the inside out. When you choose to practice yoga you will inevitable begin to make better and better choices for yourself, and one of those choices can be living within your optimal weight and being the best that you can be!

So there you go, those are my thoughts about knee joint benefits and weight loss from a yogic perspective!

What do you think? Do you have anything to add?

Sparkles of Ease: A Way To Nourish and Sustain Moments of Contentment

14 Aug

Riding the Ease of Everyday Moments

I was inspired today by the mighty Brit Bravo and her tweet regarding her awesome gift to herself for her 41st Birthday.

She asked:

I’d ♥ yr suggestions 4 how u make time 2 do what nourishes u.

The video above is my response to her question. It’s all about what I’ve come to refer to as Sparkles of Ease. I’ve hindered my ability to step into the moment and to its healing aspects due to the fact that I was focusing so much on that which I was unable to do: no 1.5 hr yoga classes, no movies, no quiet times reading books all afternoon, no long luxurious showers, etc.

I shifted my perspective to see that which was possible. What was possible were these incredible moments of magic, although fleeting, still amazingly powerful. These Sparkles of Ease within my day are my connection to the wealth of Spirit which is our birthright, and they are greatly sustainable, as they literally don’t require any time at all!

🙂

Share with me your Sparkles of Ease!