a blog by Ellen Davies

Yoga

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Five yoga poses to help unlock creativity

Five yoga poses to help unlock creativity

One of the things we do in my Writing and Yoga workshops is focus on the throat chakra, the center of your creativity. The issues of the second chakra include communication—listening, speaking, and finding your true voice. In my workshops, one of the goals is to […]

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 […]