a blog by Ellen Davies

Recent Posts

Is yoga Christian?

Is yoga Christian?

Several years ago, I had a brief conversation with a woman who is a strict Christian. I happened to mention that I taught yoga, and she immediately put up her hands, as if to ward off evil. “Oh no, I don’t want any of that […]

3 Ways to help you teach during a crisis

3 Ways to help you teach during a crisis

Yoga teachers are people too, and stuff happens to us just like it does everyone else. A family crisis, a death, a health scare, a financial mess, whatever — yet you still have to teach your yoga class. What do you do? How do you teach […]

Crystals, incense, mala beads, Sanskrit: what are these things?

Crystals, incense, mala beads, Sanskrit: what are these things?

Walking into a yoga studio for the first time can be intimidating. If you are new to yoga, the studio can seem like a strange place. It may smell weird, because of burning sage or incense. There might be unfamiliar symbols on the walls, maybe […]

Making peace with pigeon, my nemesis pose

Making peace with pigeon, my nemesis pose

I’ve written about nemesis poses before. You know what those are: the poses you absolutely hate. Of course those are the ones that have the most to teach you, so the generally accepted rule is that your nemesis pose is the one you should practice […]

adventures in vegan cooking

adventures in vegan cooking

I’m a yogi, but I’m not a vegan, or even a vegetarian. However, I am exploring different dietary options. For example, I recently eliminated (almost) all dairy from my diet, and I’m amazed at the results. My allergies cleared up! Empowered by those results, I […]

flower buds and possibilities

flower buds and possibilities

Flower buds are powerful symbols. They represent new life, the arrival of spring, and the possibilities of beauty. It’s been a very cold winter in Pennsylania, with more snowstorms than I can keep track of. I’m a person who really loves snow—but even I am […]

A Gentle Yoga Practice

A Gentle Yoga Practice

Back in January I wrote about the power of gentleness: If you want to make changes, you have to be gentle with yourself. This 30-minute practice with mantras and affirmations will help you treat yourself gently.   Begin standing in Mountain Pose. Bring your hands […]

What I’m reading – March update

What I’m reading – March update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my reading list! Here it is. And what are you reading? Leave a note for me in the comments section.   Euphoria by Lily King. Quick read, novel based on the life of Margaret Mead. Reminded me of […]

9 Different types of yoga, in my own words

9 Different types of yoga, in my own words

Here are my own brief descriptions of the different types of yoga, based on my experience with practice and teaching. You, dear reader, can easily Google “Hatha yoga” and get a specific, scientific, precise, history-backed definition, so please do that if you need. These descriptions […]

Ahimsa and releasing pain from the past

Ahimsa and releasing pain from the past

In the spiritual practices of yoga, called the yamas and niyamas, the first yama is ahimsa. The word ahimsa translates to mean non-violence, compassion for yourself and others, and non-pain. Now, that “non-violence” part is easy, because most of us aren’t violent humans. Most of […]