Short Hair & Other Resolutions

We could all use a little change – Smashmouth

My hair is short today. At the beginning of the year, I had long extensions. They were removed in the Spring. My hair was then just past shoulder length. Not a bad length. But then I got obsessive about my gray hairs and decided to have it colored, then highlighted.

Between all the chemicals and heat styling, my hair started dying. Rapidly. So it had to be cut down. Oh, it will grow again. Maybe.

Oh, and the weight gain…caused another back injury. Just as I arrived in Ecuador. Most of my food goes bad because I buy too much anyway. But I continue to wake up in the middle of the night to sneak Oreos from the pantry. Why are there Oreos in my pantry?!!!

Laundry day has become an all-day event, prompting me to buy more clothes?! Am I the only one?

girl-2705518_640Outward Representations

They say the outward is a direct representation of the inward. This year has proven that statement to be quite fair. I have taken a long inventory of the excess in my life as of late. My physical being told a great story.

Weight (This one Really Hurts)

I had a back injury in 2016. In addition to treatment, I was put on a Ketogenic diet to lose 30 lbs. This was a complete success throughout late 2016 and all of 2017. I felt better than I had in years!

But then, I thought I could have a cookie in 2018…Mind you, I had just begun a new relationship with a wonderful man and lost my soulmate (my dog, Chewy). So much emotion – and this will be another topic in the Shedding the Excess Process.

Because emotion plays right into eating habits for me, by the end of  2018 I had gained 15 of those pounds back. Now that doesn’t seem like much but let me tell you, I injured my back again. Additionally, heartburn and burning mouth syndrome have returned.

The solution to this: Find another healthy eating program. One in which I can afford. I decided upon HIITBURN after completing their questionnaire. For $97.00, I get a personal coach. This is extremely helpful since I travel a lot and cannot go into a clinic for weigh-ins.

Frontpet Pet Carriers


My house in Colorado was difficult to give up. So many memories. My son wanted to buy it to raise my granddaughters in the home they knew so well. Unfortunately, he could not come up with the money in time and my ex-husband was wanting his money.

This proved to be a blessing in disguise. The house did hold many moments in time. And it was time to let those moments go. Just as I had said goodbye to Chewy, I needed to say goodbye to the home I raised him within.

Again, this was an emotional process. I had already minimized so much and moved into an RV. But there was more.

How many of us hold on to a cluttered home because we just cannot let go of the dead energy that we know so well. There is safety in the familiar. I had learned this when I got sober. I had learned this when I got divorced.

I realized that I did not want the responsibility of a mortgage. I didn’t even want the responsibility of digging in roots anymore. It’s time to travel the world. It’s my time. And, it’s time to own it.

House sold.



Okay, I have a love-hate relationship with shoes. But especially boots. I have been stalked by shoes and boots on Facebook. But alas, I have no room for all the shoes that I once owned. Furthermore, I don’t need all of them!


When I am in my new landing spot in West Texas, I dread laundry day. Packing for my long-term trips around the world is a nightmare.

I had a flannel shirt for 15 years. It served me well until the holes could no longer be mended. After which, trying to find that perfect flannel again took another 15 years. I remember a conversation with my favorite pair of white pants when I was 16. “Okay, I am giving you one more chance to make it right. I’m going to wash you with bleach and if you are still pink when you come out, it’s off to the Segunda for you!”. They came out white again…

I downsized my wardrobe twice in 2018 and have concluded that I need to do this again. But clothing also has an emotional connection. This item was a gift, this other item was something I wore on a special day. How can I hold on to these memories while letting go of the piece of clothing that means so much to me?


Yoga Practice

How can one practice Yoga too much? When it starts to lean more on either aspect – the physical/spiritual. Yoga burn-out is real. It happens. It was happening to me. Just after a great year of taking two additional Yoga Teacher Trainings.

It was time to change it up. I had no choice but to do so when I injured my back. Taking a look at the many different practices:

  • Hatha
  • Iyengar
  • Restorative
  • Yin
  • Kundalini

I landed back on Kundalini because, though it can be physical, it is also less stressful on the back for some reason. I found a lovely 40-day Kundalini for weight loss program. What I started to see as a continual topic through this program was “Shedding the Excess”.

This is just a small piece of the pie. (oh, I want pie).  There’s much more excess to cut:

People are flocking to the Minimalist Movement. But do they really know why it is so appealing? Do they understand the philosophy behind this movement? Or is this just another pop-cultural thing to do? Another “Shiny Object” to play with for a while?

For me, it has become a new prana. The only way to truly breathe now. And I realized this when I looked in the mirror and saw that my hair is short today.


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Ayampe, Ecuador

“Are you okay?”, the Native American Healer asks me. Good question. I can hardly reply, so the answer must be “no”. She continues, “Because you look like sh!t. Your energy is f*cked.”

I totally get it. It’s beyond vanity at this point. I have spent quite a few dollars changing my hairstyle, buying pretty flowers for my hair, etc. But there is something going on within and it is extending without.


I thought I had beaten my battle with sugar.

Unfortunately, this year got the best of me. Gluttony, sugar, smoking…What in the actual? What happened? Sickness, bad teeth and now another back injury have plagued me within the last 6 months.

So, I decided to spend a couple months in South America…alone. Well for the most part.


For the first wing of the trip, I flew my daughter and myself out to Ayampe, Ecuador. Ayampe is a lovely little surf town just 3 hours from Guayaquil. This place is off the beaten path. To buy any of the basics, like toothpaste, you will have to get a taxi or bus ride to Puerto Lopez.

We stayed at the beautiful Finca Punta Ayampe hotel. Wonderful staff, gorgeous setting, and delicious meals!  The Staff Manager, Santiago, was extremely helpful in helping us get to our other locations.


There were so many stairs to reach our room, and then more stairs to get to the restaurant. This reminded me of my stay in Oia, Santorini Island, Greece. Only, I’m not is as good of shape as I was then. More to work on…

The plan was to spend a week doing Yoga and learning to surf.  Unfortunately, I hurt my back lifting my bag during travel.  Then my daughter got smacked in the mouth with her board. So, we are both in paradise, hurting.

Of course, I push it trying to do Yoga. But after 2 sessions at Otra Ola, I know I need to stop. I know this path all too well. No Yoga flows for at least 5 weeks. But I can probably find some Kundalini Kriyas, which will more than suffice. It’s been too long since I have practiced Kundalini.

Then there are the surfing lessons, which Otra Ola also provides. I did much better than I thought I would. Didn’t think that surfing would make my back worse. It did. Alas, I will probably have to get back to that next year, when I return. Too much risk.  Well, at least we could take advantage of the soothing tea they brew when they are not teaching Yoga.

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I feel I cannot make this trip good enough for my daughter. We take walks along the beach, drink tea, and have some conversations. This was not the “retreat” I had envisioned…

I pull out my chanting books for my daughter and me to practice together. This is something we enjoy doing with one another.

But we meet the Medicine Woman. And we know that everything that has happened on this trip was for this divine appointment. We were meant to meet her this very day.

And the Medicine Woman has a lot to say to both of us. So instead of chanting. We listen.


Teaching Yoga from Abroad

As I stated in my last blog, I traveled to Greece and Croatia last month. This was at the peak of the classes I was teaching at an art gallery in Greeley, Co.  The students were excited for me, however, I didn’t want them to miss any classes.

Therefore, I took some time on my trip to capture some classes on video. Honoring an earlier blog: Perfectionism, an Imperfect Practice, I chose to post as is, with no edits.

This was also a challenge, as I had a fear of doing videos. Said fear has been overcome. I have become a Facebook Live Whore! So if you have a fear of spending money to go overseas, just traveling overseas, or shooting videos, I highly recommend you get off your @$$ and just do it!

And here they are, for your viewing pleasure:

Athens, Greece

On the balcony of our first Airbnb. My very first video, complete with errors. Ha!

Dubrovnik, Croatia (Part 1 of Flow)

It started to rain in the middle of this one! I had fun anyway because that’s how Yogis roll…


Oia, Santorini – Greece (Part 2 Flow)

This was about the best view ever. Unfortunately, I forgot how to use my tripod and so could only actually use the cooling down floor poses. Still, check out that background!

Hope you enjoyed this! If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? If you could teach a video class from said location, what would you teach?

The Throat Chakra – Be Real

The Throat Chakra is representative of creativity and communication. I have recently experienced a rebirthing of my originality and voice on the mat. Also, Living Elysian has just moved thru a rebranding process.

LE (7)

When I decided to get certified as a Yoga instructor, I had many expectations of myself. I wanted to be one of those deep, spiritual teachers, full of wisdom. Practically imagining floating above the mat, ha! Always, believing in “To thine own self, be true.”, I have accepted my sailor’s language.

Anywhere else but the mat. My expectations brought me to the point that I would become frustrated seeking the right words. Consequently, I managed to hinder my throat chakra. I believed my true words do not belong on the yoga mat. Well, F*ck that! In addition, this followed me off the damn mat.

Accepting oneself goes everywhere with us. This includes our presence in our Yoga practice. Fortunately, my beautiful students appreciate the “Real” Elysia!

A blocked throat chakra can drastically impact our ability to communicate efficiently. Mainly due to the fear of scorn or judgment. This may demonstrate as an inability to voice and realize our truth. When this chakra is unlocked and balanced, we have the ability to express ourselves with clarity and honesty. Clear and honest in any situation with full confidence.

When I was practice teaching at the Ashram in Hawaii, I started off with a quote by Martin Luther King Jr. My instructor expressed that this was nice, however, he expects me to share my story. As I was writing a sequence the other day, I found myself going to quotes again. Remembering my teacher’s words, I scribbled out the quote and wrote: “Share your story”!


Did you know that a throat chakra blockage may also manifest itself in the physical realm? Here a just a few physical symptoms:

  • Chronic sore throat
  • Recurring headaches
  • Dental problems
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Throatiness
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Laryngitis
  • TMJ
  • Neck pain

Non-physical signs of blockage common signs:

  • Fear of speaking
  • Inability to convey thoughts
  • Shyness
  • Speech and action inconsistencies
  • Social anxiety
  • Repression of creativity
  • Stubbornness
  • Detachment

I can so relate to most of these symptoms. But the good news is, we can unblock our throat chakra. How do we do this, Elysia?  I am so glad you asked!

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Meditate on and incorporate the throat chakra’s color, blue. Implement this color into your home and wear the color more often while feeling said blockage.

We can work through and release all negative emotions. This includes guilt, pain, and resentments. Enjoy a good cry. This may help considerably. I have a girlfriend who can cry at the drop of a hat. Does this represent weakness? I don’t think so. Admiring her strength and courage to show emotion, she has become one of my ideals!

Practice mindful speech, action, and deeds. Speak openly and honestly with others often.

There is nothing wrong with who we are! Authenticity may be an overused word, but it is a necessity in keeping our throat chakra open.

Be you. Be real. Love and appreciate you and your realness! Rise above it all like the mutha-f*kkin phoenix you are! And stay blissful my friends – E

Final Days at Konalani


Finals Yay!

“I am so over these geckos!” I exclaim to myself as I clean massive gecko poop droppings. These beautiful creatures were so fascinating in the beginning but they have become the biggest nuisance of my life. They poop everywhere, and my bathroom is covered in it. I am in full Pitta mode now. I am trying to find someone at the Ashram to blame for this. “Really?” I ask myself. As if anyone has control of the gastric contents of these reptiles.

I decide that I need to take the Yoga class before our final exams, not caring about any physical limitations today. I need to burn this off and to find some good meditation. Being that it is Independence Day, Satyam has come up with a theme class based on freedom. We start off with a gratitude flower meditation, just what I need.

We each had to randomly select a peak pose for our 15-minute final. This was to be taught to our fellow classmates. Of course, I picked shoulder stand. My back will definitely not allow me to do this so I have JP and Miko on stand bye to step up and demo the pose as I cue it to the class.


I got bonus kudos from my ratings for this. My key needs for improvement were that I moved too fast and my voice was too low. My key strengths were using breath, my explanations of arms in Salabasana and the foot massage I added to Butterfly pose.

Yet, I still felt defeated. I felt like I got my ass kicked throughout most of my teaching. Though some would say I was too into my head, others would say that I was making so much improvement in getting out of my head. Most said they wanted my story when I taught, rather than the quotes I added throughout my teaching. It’s all good. I didn’t expect to be this awesome teacher at the end. Just a good beginner teacher and I was not sure I had achieved that.

Satyam explained to me that what I had learned during teacher training was like the first draft of one of my blogs. He wants me to use that and sprinkle my personal finishing touches in a way that everyone would be able to comprehend the published writing. I felt better, knowing I was up to the challenge.

Spirit had made a special lunch for all of us and it was delicious. At the table, Satyam and Abhaya said they could drive us down to the parade if we would like but we would need a ride back if we wanted to watch the fireworks. Most of us just wanted to stay back at the Ashram and have some downtime. So we all gathered in the living room and watched Kung Fu Panda III, per Satyam’s suggestion. It was an enjoyable night of just hanging together. I am glad we chose to do so.

Later that night, I was awoken by the loud fireworks. I headed to the bathroom and it was really dark. Some strange looking animal was coming at me. I thought it might be a young boar, but it turned out to be a bulldog that had wandered onto the Ashram. I was a bit scared at first but he just walked up to me and smiled like a bulldog would smile. Then he followed me everywhere. When I got to the bathroom, he tried to go inside with me but I had to say no. Then he wandered off toward Satyam who was walking around handing out ear plugs.

Satyam said to pay no mind to the dog. I thought the dog must have been scared by the fireworks and felt the good energy of the Ashram. He was gone by morning.

Graduation Day

We started out with meditation, then breakfast. Afterward, we were given an hour to clean and pack. Then we did our final craft assignment. The first being a braided necklace made from some of the plants that grow on the Ashram land. I am not good with my hands so I stopped at the first string and turned it into an earring.

I had better luck with the headband and I just loved it. Satyam wanted us all to get together for a picture and of course, Angela went right into a full headstand. “Angela, unless you can hold one of these branches with your toes, get down and take a picture with us!” I scolded. She laughed and joined us.

After another break to clean up and change for graduation, we each met outside the shrine. “I can’t believe it is over.” Alexa smiled sadly. We hugged. We were then taken into the shrine and organized in a circle. We all sang a song together, then Satyam and Abhaya presented us with our certificates and lovely kukui nut necklaces.

Satyam and Abhaya took turns sharing something about each of us and it was truly a beautiful experience. I am now a certified Yoga Teacher!

Afterward, I was more than ready to spread my wings and fly…or at least take a bus to the next part of my journey: the Hilo side of the island.

My Konalani Ashram experience was over and it was a worthwhile and meaningful part of my story. I will always look back on it with bliss!

Yoga Sequence – Forgiveness Part II

This is the second part of a practice, which has been effective to me in regard to forgiveness and surrender.

Sometimes, we are not ready to forgive the BIG perpetrator. We might start with smaller hurts. Maybe the person or persons who knew what was happening, yet did nothing to step in and help. They might have participated in tarnishing your reputation with gossip.

You might  feel the need to forgive yourself for being in this position in the first place or staying there too long. Most often, this is not true, yet our feelings deserve to be validated. So if this is what you feel then go ahead and forgive yourself.

My Yoga practice has been a loving channel, which brings me through this process each time a hurt, angry emotion, or resentment begins to invade my inner being.

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

– Lewis B. Smedes

  • Forward Fold
  • Step back to Plank
  • Bring Knees to Floor to do a few Cat-Cow Poses
  • Devotional Pose
  • Slide nose to front of mat to Cobra poseimg_20160704_181630_kindlephoto-152752864.jpg
  • Downward Dog
  • Step forward to Mountain Pose
  • Right foot back to Pyramid Pose
    • This pose is good for calming and focus.
    • 3-4 breaths in this pose
  • Rise with strength and courage
  • Reset your hips
  • Left foot back to Pyramid Pose
    • 3-4 breaths in this pose.


  • Tree Pose Right Side
    • As we sometimes struggle in this pose we are reminded that trees grow and gain strength in adversity (When the wind is strong). Just like a tree, we are becoming stronger and more rooted in our authenticity.
  • Tree Pose Left Side
  • Warrior I Left Side (with hands on hips) – Transition to Humble Warrior
    • As we bend into this version of Warrior I, we acknowledge that surrender equates to victory.
  • Warrior I Right Side (with hands on hips) – Transition to Humble Warrior
  • Turn to side of mat – Goddess Pose
    • We recognize the courage it takes to become comfortable with who we are today.


Photo by Satyam Ehinger – Konalani Shambhava Yoga

  • Pivot left foot to turn to the short side of the mat, transition into Side Angle Pose Right Side
  • Return to Goddess Pose
  • Pivot left foot to turn to the short side of the mat, transition into Side Angle Pose Left Side
  • Step back to the front of the mat – Forward Fold to a ball then bring yourself down to the floor.
  • Bring Hips to Heels and do a few Flying Breaths
  • Bring feet to front for Staff Pose (sit on a blanket or towel)
    • Re-establishing our personal values as we inhale, pressing our sit bones into the floor, lifting our hearts. Keeping a soft bend in the knees to avoid a rigid hardness in our physical, mental and emotional state of being.
  • Boat Pose
    • Engaging your core (Naval to Spine) for power and correct navigation as would a boat on its proper course.
    • We are heading in the right direction. Freeing ourselves from bitterness, resentment, fear and anger.
  • Come on to back, bringing knees to a table top position.
  • Reclined Twists Both Sides
  • Bring knees back to center, bring your nose up, giving knees a big hug.
    • Remembering to accept self-love and appreciation for who you are and what you have to offer to the universe.
  • Cool-down of your choice to Savasana.



Stay blissful my friends! – E

Random Thoughts From the Ashram

Today was filled with learning, laughter, comradery and creativity.  I love being a part of this particular classmates. We alla bring various yoga experience and spirituality.

A few of us have begun meeting after dinner and showers in the Yoga tent to work on cueing up poses. It is here that I realize I have already lost my mala. We made them today out of Rudraksha seeds that have fallen to the ground on the Ashram land. So far, I have lost my mala, my lip balm, 2 pens, and the paper I was given which my chore instructions were written.

Plopping down in my tent, I am grateful that it is dark so I cannot see the mess in there. I have very little time to make it to each session every day, let alone clean my personal living space. We get Sundays off so I plan to take a few minutes to straighten up.

6:10 PM and we yoga teachers-in-training are totally spent. We learned 5 poses today and none of us had energy after dinner to do any homework sessions. Everyone else has gone to shower, then bed. I feel I must write now while I have a clear mind.

If I had a chalkboard right now, I would write the following words on it 200 times:

Inhale, press through feet to lift heart. Exhale as you hinge at hips.

Inhale, press through feet to lift heart. Exhale as you hinge at hips.

Inhale, press through feet to lift heart. Exhale as you bend knee.

Inhale, press through feet to lift heart. Exhale as you bend knee and hips.

Inhale, press through sit bones and feet to lift heart. Exhale as you hinge at hips.

Inhale, press through sit bones to lift heart. Exhale as you lean back and work legs together.

Inhale, press through floor to lift heart. Exhale as you tilt the hips and bend to side.

This is our new language…If it were possible to tattoo it on our brains, it would already be done.

It is very humid and by the end of each day, I totally smell like ass, which makes the shower all that more enjoyable. It was raining tonight as I was showering under the Bamboo tree. The rain out here is nice. Not cold and frigid like home, which makes me cranky. This Kona rain brings me into a state of blissfulness. It felt like I was getting a much needed double cleansing. I felt so lovely and peaceful. Surely, I smelled better afterward…


Today is the longest day of the year! Summer Solstice. We awoke to the most beautiful moonlit ocean view.

As I had hoped, our Yoga class was focused on Sun Salutations. It was a lovely practice, honoring the Sun and all the energy it provides creation.

The back was kind enough to let me partake in this Yoga celebration. At the end of class, I gave myself a big hug and thanked my body for all it does for me.

Though it was hot and humid, making me sleepy, I took my break over at the grassy slope under the Bodhi tree and laid down inverted. A wonderful sensation flowed through my back and I even got in a nice snooze!

My biggest challenge for the week is staying awake during meditation.

Fallen leaf on the grounds of Konalani

From my creative writing challenge “40 Days and 40 Nights”

Leaf flickering as it falls from the tree.
It is red as fire and smaller than a bird’s feather.
Arriving to the ground, it has found it’s new purpose – to feed the hungry ants, who will feed the hungry gecko.

As demanding as this schedule is, I know I will miss it when it is over. So I choose to remain present in each moment, remembering to keep a soft bend in my knees while standing. I have been told that doing so honors the intention.

Stay Blissful my friends! – E


Well, I have finally arrived at Konalani Shambhava Ashram in Kona, HI! I shared a cab with a nice young man, who goes by the name of JP.  We are greeted by Satyam and Abhaya, who give us cool wash cloths to wipe off any stickiness from the trip. Then we are presented with leis and freshly squeezed mango juice. Yum!

I will be staying in a tent cabin and at this very moment, I am ready to pass out for a while. There are two semi-outdoor bathrooms for each of us staying in the tents. Since JP is male and I am female, we are in separate tents and he chooses the bathroom at the far end. Our showers are outdoors underneath beautiful bamboo trees.

Satyam has given us the best instructions to keep the geckos and bugs out of our tents and bathrooms as much as possible. The first time I see a gecko, I scream. But I get used to them soon after. The main reason to keep them out of our tents is that they like to poop everywhere. Gross.

There are six of us taking the teacher training. 5 women and 1 man. So far, I think it is a good group. I have always thought of the number 6 as lucky.

Our home for the next 3 weeks is lovely and the view is awesome. We are located in what is known as “The Mango Belt”, and when there is a soft rain, the sweet fragrance is pleasing to the nasal senses. We all get to know each other at the dinner table, sharing about our lives, careers, and goals.

I don’t know if it is the humidity or the pain killers making me nod off. Staying alert during orientation was quite difficult. We must be on the mat at 5:30 am and coffee is ready at 5, so I plan to get up super early to have a cup.

Our schedule is as follows:

5:30 AM               Warm up and practice teaching.

6:30 AM               Meditation and Chanting in the Shrine

(skirts required for women, slacks for men).

7:00 AM               Breakfast

7:30 AM               Seva (Selfless Service)

8:00 AM               Break

8:30 AM               Yoga workshop and lecture

12:30 PM             Lunch

2:00 PM               Meditation/Chanting

2:30 PM               Yoga Workshop

5:00 PM               Dinner


Morning begins at 5AM. Note to self: Make it 4:30 AM…

It’s 5:00 am and I am still in my tent, fidgeting in the dark, trying to find my flashlight app when I hear “Good morning, Mija!” I had inadvertently dialed my mother’s phone. “I am so sorry mom,” I say, “I can’t see. I love you.” Then I hang up and find my way to the bathroom.

I wash my face, take meds, brush teeth, change clothes. (I will later sleep in the clothes I will start my day in and have my bag packed to save more time…) Grab a quick cup of coffee before entering the Yoga deck at 5:25 AM for our personal practice.

The coffee is a welcome joy to my senses. Gazing at the ocean view below us, I couldn’t imagine a better setting for the next three weeks. What a gift! What a life!


My personal practice consists of a much modified Sun Salute then a Yin Yoga practice. At this point, I realize I should have taken the pain meds. Because they made me dizzy, I thought I didn’t need them anymore. More likely, it just means I need less. I make a mental note to take a half dose at breakfast and see if that works. It does. Why does pain have to be so high maintenance?

After personal practice, we are given a presentation on feedback and suggestions. It is called a “Wish and a Star”. Starting with a wish, which is a suggestion and finished with a star for the positive points. I understand the concept, though, toward the end of our training, some have become accustomed to doing the “Star” first, followed by a “But…” Somehow this disappoints me. Still, a small issue, overruled by the many positive experiences we will share.

We then move on to meditation. Today, learning something new: We don’t just “arrive” at our meditation. We move into it, slowly coming into stillness. Satyam is teaching this and uses a “bobble head” analogy that is quite fun to do. We then move into a small 3-count breath in, 3-count breath out walking meditation in a circle.

Breakfast at 7AM with more coffee! I am enjoying the vegetarian cuisine so far. We had oatmeal with bananas and nuts, Greek yogurt with honey, and mango lassi. Our meals are eaten at the patio table facing the ocean. No phones allowed as we are expected to commune with one another during mealtime. I love this! Today, we get an hour to ourselves and I will be drinking more coffee!

Abhaya gives us a class on anatomy and we take pictures to view our postures. I can see why I might be experiencing back pain.

It is so humbling to have limitations. I had worked so hard with strength training since February and was hoping I could get tips on some complicated poses. For now, I am just grateful for the ability to attend this training.

Time for ego to step aside and let Spirit take over. Nothing short of amazing that this is not too difficult a feat. Even when some of the other ladies go into headstands and splits, I feel content that I CAN bring SOMETHING to the mat.

This recovering addict/alcoholic had never imagined herself here in Hawaii, studying to become a Yoga Teacher. In addition, having the finances to do this very thing, was beyond my wildest dreams. Now is as good a time as ever to be grateful and enjoy the sunset.


Stay Blissful My Friends – E

Emotional Energy

Emotional Energy

Crying is good for you, it means that you’re alive. If you were dead, you couldn’t cry.

We are a week and a half into our Yoga teacher training at Shambhava Yoga Konalani and have somewhat found our rhythm in the Ashram lifestyle.

One of my favorite practices is selfless service, aka Seva. Seva is to be performed in silence or while chanting. Today, I began chanting “Om Namah Shivaya”, during Selfless service. I found this to be a blissful practice and I plan to implement it in my daily life when I return home.

Yesterday, a few of us hit the wall emotionally. One of my dear fellow students collapsed in my arms, sobbing. We had a nice chat and shared many hugs. I was reminded of the effectiveness of our pranayama training for our sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.

Our cook told me afterward that she, herself had a good crying session.

We all returned to study hall but by that time, my energy was tapped out. I decided to skip dinner and take a nap.

I find all this emotional energy to be quite normal and appropriate at this juncture in our training. Just think about any other form of higher learning and you will find many young women in tears over grades and deadlines.

But our tears are not over mid-terms and finals. At least not yet. There is so much more or maybe just different concerns in Yoga teacher training. We have the meditation, breathing and the Ashram lifestyle. We are partnering up for complex poses, giving each other honest feedback. We experience communal meals and the vulnerability of presenting asanas and sequences.

Whether we like it or not, we have a true connection, psychically, spiritually, and emotionally. I have complete confidence in our training staff and how they address uncomfortable conversations. I also know that we will come out of this part of our individual journeys as effectual, spiritual beings.

I woke up from my nap to a strong rainstorm. It’s as if the sky had great empathy for our group and nature wanted to partake in a good, cleansing cry alongside us.

We’ll, time to get back to memorizing sanskrit:

Vrksasana is a tree.
It starts with the letter V.
Her branches are raised up high,
For all the world to see.
Vrksasana – Tree Pose.

Stay blissful my friends – E

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Gravity Was Not My Friend


“What the hell is this?, I ask myself loudly in my mind. I’m in my first inversion and I have no idea what the teacher just called it. All I know is that every part of my body and skin is sagging toward the floor and it does not feel good at all. When did gravity stop being my friend?

But something about my first Yoga class inspires me to return. I am 3.5 years sober, 185lbs and I smoke and in a very sick marriage. I am so unhealthy, spiritually, and physically. I have learned that Yoga means “Union of mind, body, and spirit”. This is exactly what I am looking for.

For the next few years, I will research Hatha, Kundalini, Yin, and Hot Yoga. I will find the unifying qualities in each one.

When I suffered from Panic Attacks, Kundalini helped bring me, courage, peace and calm. When I had Gastroparesis and was too weak from lack of nutrients, Yin Yoga kept me going. When I was able to do more, Hatha. Now, I have found Hot Yoga and Yoga Sculpt with weights.

What is most delightful to me, is that there is a Yoga for just about any situation in our lives. Don’t get me wrong, it is not a cure-all. But Yoga helps us get through each circumstance as long as we are open-minded and spiritually willing to seek it.

Yoga has no bias towards age, race, body size. Yoga is true union, not just for those who are from the east, hippies or new age. Yoga also evolves with each cultural shift in each community. There  is no need for a purist attitude. Traditional Yoga is just as powerful today as it was in ancient times. Alongside traditional Yoga, Power Yoga, and Bikram bring about other options for various needs. One size does not fit all, and there is a Yoga for every type of individual alive today!

There is much controversy over Yoga. Some consider it a religion. In the Christian world, I have heard many warn of the demonic spirits present during such practice. I have let this type of influence keep me from trying Yoga for several years. Fortunately, I have experienced a wonderful spiritual awakening.

I no longer have to live with such religious restriction, concerned about my salvation. I have confidence in my relationship with my Christ. It is a wonder how many women are made to feel shame and guilt for our careers, hobbies and interests, and even our own form of worship.

I believe that God is loving, kind and forgiving. Not the vicious disciplinarian who can’t wait to strike us down with lightning for each transgression we have made. The message of Christ is one of grace and salvation, not damnation and destruction. Furthermore, Christ is not as restricting as he is represented within the church.

When I think of the video explaining Savasana below, I think of this scripture:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24

We believers in Christ, allow ourselves to die to the flesh daily and be born again in His Spirit. I truly believe that God speaks to us as we best listen and receives us as we uniquely worship Him. My worship is no more better than my brother’s or sister’s, it is just mine.

Since I started my yogic journey, I have:

  • Lost a lot of weight
  • Gained some weight back
  • Left an abusive marriage
  • Quit smoking
  • Suffered and overcame Panic Attacks
  • Suffered and overcame Gastroparesis
  • Got remarried
  • Bought a House
  • Got a promotion
  • Became a grandmother

My practice has been with me through it all. I have often uttered these words:

“There is not much else that can fill me with the same exhilaration as my Yoga practice. When I arrive on the mat, I am blissfully home.  This is a joy I would like to pass on to as many people possible.”

Yoga has brought me closer to my God and I see Yoga as one of my greatest gifts from my God. And after many years, gravity and I have become friends again!

Stay Blissful My Friends – E