a blog by Ellen Davies

Inspiration

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Four Ways To Increase Your Creativity

Four Ways To Increase Your Creativity

Have you been feeling stuck lately? Sometimes we just feel blah and uninspired. Here are four ways to shake off the same-old, same-old and spark creative inspiration.   Get moving. Are you sitting and staring at a blank page? Start moving your body. Take a […]

Envy, inferiority, and the Practice of Asteya

Envy, inferiority, and the Practice of Asteya

The other day I wrote so confidently about aparigraha — non-covetousness, non-collecting. It was easy for me to walk away from the tempting shops in San Francisco. I didn’t need to buy anything. But a few days later, I realized I was still coveting something. […]

Practicing non-attachment

Practicing non-attachment

Recently I was in San Francisco, staying near Union Square. Because my wrist is injured, I couldn’t practice asana. So I focused on what I could practice, and that was non-attachment, or Aparigraha.   I love taking classes when I travel (you may remember that […]

How affirmations can cure the Yoga teacher blahs

How affirmations can cure the Yoga teacher blahs

Even yoga teachers get the blahs.   The blahs are not the same thing as yoga teacher burnout (that’s another post). I recognize the blahs in my teaching on the days when I can’t think of anything new to say to my classes. I’m sick […]

Practice Loving-kindness even when you do something stupid

Practice Loving-kindness even when you do something stupid

Recently I did something really stupid, and I beat myself up about it. For a while I forgot that I had made a commitment to practice self-compassion. It got me thinking… when you screw up, do you love yourself anyway? Or do you beat yourself up? […]

Self-Compassion

Self-Compassion

What is self-compassion? Self-compassion is being nice to yourself. Right? Sounds so easy. Are you nice to yourself? Really?   I had a conversation with a friend recently about self-compassion, and it led to new insights for me. I was inspired to make self-compassion a […]

Meditation on a snow globe

Meditation on a snow globe

I have always loved snow globes. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the south, and we rarely got snow. Maybe it’s because I can’t resist the urge to pick one up and shake it, so the snow swirls around, looking so beautiful.   Our […]