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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


By Free Marketing Directory

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

Ep 83- 25 Minute Meditation: Finding Your Center In Difficult Situations

30 Aug

Space- Artwork for Ep. 83 of Elsie's Yoga Class

These past few months I nearly got overwhelmed by anxiety.

This hasn’t happened to me in a LONG time.

I lost control of my rational thought process and simply dove into a feeling that was suffocating and terrifying. I can’t say that I was in any way comfortable. The only thing that pulled me out of it was my toddler Hunter. She forced me to get out of myself and engage her. The moment that I disconnected from her off I went into a very uncomfortable sense of overwhelm.

I refused this.

Take Control of Your Anxiety and Fear

Instead of allowing myself to be pulled by this avalanche of anxiety and fear I chose to meet it, with softness and full consciousness. I looked at it straight in the eye. I used a technique that I heard in a podcast, and I sooooo wish that I remembered what episode and what this guy’s name was because I would share it, believe me, but at this moment, finding the episode would take me YEARS, so that will wait. I may update this post to add the info.

Anyway, the technique was to feel where the emotion was in my body, fully. You are to notice which was its winding, clock wise or counter clock wise, and slowly unwind the feeling the other way until it dissolves. At first just moving into that hard ball of tension in the middle of my diaphragm was enough…but as I practiced this technique I began to see that I could literally unravel the anxiety!

Unraveling- It’s all about creating space, space to feel, to choose, to remember, and to find your ground. Most importantly, finding space helps you remember that you are part of something so much bigger. Anxiety is about disconnection and isolation. It’s an emotion that rises when you absolutely become limited and small. As you unravel the feeling, you begin to get more spacious, there is literally more room in your body, your breath, your mind, your heart, and you can step back a bit and see things as if you are watching from a bird’s eye view.

You are ok. You truly are. You are more than ok in fact :D

A couple of days ago I received and email from one of you requesting a more breathing centered practice. Although this simple audio meditation is not specifically about the breath, there is no way to escape the breath. Space is breath.

Every time choose to center myself and incorporate this very accessible and easy meditation practice, you get the opportunity to re-attune yourself to align with something more than anxiety and fear.

I want that!

Listen, practice and do this and tell me what happens! I’d love to hear if this works for you

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listen here button
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Do you have any techniques for dealing with anxiety and challenging situations?

Remember I’m here to serve you, so feel free to comment and tell me if meditations like this offer you support and ease :D

BTW, the following is the song that I used in the meditation. Was that not the most beautiful song?

Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai Sampler, Vol. 1-4Kitaro
“South Wind” (mp3)
from “Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai Sampler, Vol. 1-4″
(Domo Records)

Buy at iTunes Music Store
Buy at Amazon MP3
More On This Album

Ep. 82: Stay Open, Learn, Choose the Highest and Share Level 2, 90 Min Yoga Class

10 Aug

YoGeek iPhone mudra, Polaroid, iPhone 4 yoga, iPhone 4 love

An iPhone 4 Yoga Class For Your Enjoyment!

And here I thought that I was going to get some time to be able to publish more episodes to you guys…in JULY.

Not so much, but alas! Here’s a yoga class to start the month off right! This one is close to my heart. It’s focus is all about the way we are swayed and often times misguided by what we see and hear all around us, especially the media. It is a call to take responsibility for our choice making and the way we go about making choices. The inspiration for this class came straight from all the hoopla around the iPhone 4 and its antenna issues.

If you happen to follow me on Twitter or are part of the Facebook Elsie’s Yoga Kula Community, you would know that I have an iPhone 4! Yipeeee! So I speak from my own experience with the device, and I’m totally loving it!

Given that I’m sure you have heard at least something about the whole antenna thing, so I sorta offer my 2 cents about it and wrap it around a yoga class.

What’s interesting about this theme is that it mirrored the hoopla around an article on my beloved teacher John Friend in the NY Times. If you haven’t already, please read the article, John’s response to the article PLUS Elephant Journal’s exclusive interview with John. Interesting how perspectives and opinions shift and change if you simply choose to step deeper into them :) And move from your heart.

This week’s online yoga class

This yoga podcast class is a level 2 class, and if you have a yoga block in the house, please feel free to take it out and play with it during our backbends towards the end of class. I cut a bit of the class in the middle because I did a demo that doesn’t really work if you weren’t there so why put you guys through it :) If you do hear references to it, or to another demo that I had a student do, just dismiss them. Pretend that you went to the bathroom during that part of the class!


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The Yoga Class Sequence

REMEMBER THAT IF YOU OWN THE IPHONE APP THE CLASS SEQUENCE COMES WITH THE EPISODE :)

Downward Facing Dog

Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana Opening Hip

One legged Downward Facing Dog opening the hipOne legged Downward Facing Dog with crazy open hip

High lunge onto straight leg on the front leg

straight legged lungeparsvottanasana variation

Downward Dog

Plank

Bend elbows 3 inches

Crescent pose into Lunge Twist

Uttanasana x ardha uttanasana

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

Hands on hips shoulders up stand

Arms up interlace hands

Tadasana With Arms Interlaced Above the Head

Contrast shoulder loop

Big shoulder stretch

Surya namaskar x 2

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

Wide stance uttanasana with arms interlaced behind the back

Surya namaskar to Downward Facing Dog

Vira 2 into reverse vira

warrior IIreverse warrior

Vinyasa

plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Trikonasana/ ardha chandrasana/ trikonasana

Down dog

Trikonasana sequence

Vinyasa

plank pose chattarunga dandasana cobradownward facing dog

Uttanasana/ardha uttanasana

uttanasanaardha uttanasana

Standing hip stretch

Standing Hip Stretch Front (shrub)Standing Hip Stretch (shrub)

Standing hip stretch into standing baby craddle

LOTS OF TALKING

deep lunge with back leg straight

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

ardha bhekasana

DD with knees bent for lower back adjustment

Pigeon with Thigh stretch

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana with a thigh stretch

Downward Facing Dog

Uttanasana

hands of hips shoulders up stand up

BLOCK GATHERING

setubandha with block in between the thighs

(optional into Urdhva Dhanurasana)

setubandha with block in between your shins

(optional into Urdhva Dhanurasana)

Urdhva Dhanurasana or Bridge pose

easy supine twist

Supta Padangustasana variation with bottom leg bent/straightening the bottom leg

Savasana

Ep 81: Immerse Your Value into The Heart and HOLD! 85 min Level 2 Yoga Class

20 Jun

Elsie Escobar and Hunter Rose Miyan

The them for this class was inspired by this episode of Merlin Mann’s talk at Rutger’s University. Check out the talk. Not about yoga, but very yogic. I think he’s awesome.

Let it Go From Your Head and Drop In Your Heart

I know that if I asked you who or what you hold valuable and dear you could tell me without much thought. I’m sure that you’ve thought about how much your family, your homes, your friends, your culture, etc. means to you. I’m sure that now that I’ve brought your attention to this, you have a clear idea in your head and feel pretty strong about where you place your value.

The thing is, that we think about this too much. I mean that we keep that which we value in our thinking mind. We intellectualize much more than we internalize it, within our hearts. There is a level of detachment that comes with it. Yes, we love our family. Yes, we love our friends. Yes, we value our home. Here’s the question: Do your actions, from day to day, from moment to moment honor and abide by that higher intention? If we could graph our daily activity, and our daily thoughts, what truly takes up the majority of our days? What would it show?

I know that for me, my graph would show huge interaction with my cellphone and my ipod. It would also show me constantly checking my email, FB, Twitter, and stats. (Note the word checking, there is no actual engagement involved.) And these are my physical behaviours behaviors I am also guilty of being with my daughter and having my mind full of everything BUT my daughter. I think more about podcasts, blog posts and creating content on a daily basis than I think about my breath, my body and growing my relationship with those that I have said I hold valuable. There are countless opportunities to deepen relationships. There is enough time. I know that I tend to leak my energy in places, thoughts and actions that in no way deserve it. Unconsciously, through my thoughts and actions I am serving and cultivating less than optimal relationships.

The level of commitment and discipline required to sustain an optimal level of engagement and relationship in our lives is great. It requires that we choose, and choose again, always refining and clarifying moment to moment. We must sustain the focus throughout our days, slowly building a strong internal practice, that lets us be at once soft and steady.

As I became aware of this for myself, I had to share this. I know that I am not alone. My desire is to place what I value in my heart, not in my head. My desire is to engage and hold the sacred where it’s meant to be.

How about you? Do you observe your behaviors and thoughts serving and cultivating less than optimal relationships? In what ways to do abide by the Highest?

Start By Breathing

FYI! There’s a video towards the end of the post to supplement this episode :)

And speaking of the video…Thank you my dear and lovely sponsors Prancing Leopard Organics! The clothes that I’m wearing in the video are from them and I ADORE them :D Listen to the intro to this episode to get your coupon code for 15% off your purchase!

This episode’s online yoga class podcast is a Level 2 class.

This class was recorded at BYS Yoga Studio in Pittsburgh on April 29, 2010


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The Sequence of Yoga Poses for this online yoga class:

Downward Facing Dog Hold

Uttanasana Hold

Downward Facing Dog/Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana/Straight Legged Lunge

downward facing dogone legged downward facing dog with hips squaredstraight legged lunge

Uttanasana

Hands on Hips Shoulders up and Stand up

WIDE STANCE TO THE SIDE

Warrior II

warrior II

Prasarita Padottanasana

prasarita padotanasana

Parsvakonasana

Parsvakonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana with arms interlaced behind the back

prasarita padotanasana

Trikonasana/Ardha Chandrasana

trikonasana ardha chandrasanatrikonasana

Prasarita Padottanasana with option to hold the big toes

prasarita padotanasana

Tree Pose

Uttanasana

Plank

Chattarunga Hold

chattarunga dandasana

Upward Facing Dog

Balasana

Eka Pada Rajakapotasana

Pigeon Prep

Downward Facing Dog

Heel Sit

Supported Back Bend With 2 Blocks

restorative backbend with blocks

VARIATION Supported Supta Virasana With Blocks

Child’s Pose

Supported Supta Baddha Konasana

Supported Baddha Konasana

Savasana

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