a blog by Ellen Davies


Friday favorites: The best yoga mat

Friday favorites: The best yoga mat

One of the most frequently asked questions is: What is the best yoga mat? My preference is for Jade Harmony yoga mats. They are made locally (near me in PA) from all-natural rubber. Jade mats contain no PVC, EVA or other synthetic rubber. The company plants […]

Modifications are good for your teacher

Modifications are good for your teacher

When you take a yoga class, how much do you modify? My post from the other day, about ending up in the “wrong” yoga class, got me thinking about modifications. Many people don’t modify, which frustrates me as a teacher. No matter how often I […]

Yoga props: do you use them?

One of my yoga teacher friends used to say: Yoga props are your friends, and it’s always good to have a friend by your side. I love that saying. But some yogis are resistant and don’t use props. I have helpfully sorted them into categories. […]

“I can’t even touch my toes!”

“I can’t do yoga–I can’t even touch my toes!” If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard that line from someone, I would have a lot of nickels. This seems to be the most common deflecting response when some people hear that I’m […]

I’m in the wrong class

What happens when you walk into a yoga class and, after the first five or ten minutes, you realize you’re not in the right class? Maybe you accidentally got gentle yoga instead of vinyasa. Maybe the temperature is too hot or too cold. Or maybe […]

just call me the yoga goddess

After my regular Saturday morning Power Yoga class a few weeks ago, one of my regulars said something that made me think. He said, “Ellen, you’re just the goddess of this class!” I kind of laughed, because that’s my normal response when I’m uncomfortable. “Kind […]

What does it mean to “set your intention”?

Often at the beginning of a yoga class, you’ll hear the instructor say, “Set your intention for practice.” What does that even mean? I used to feel a flash of anxiety when I was told to set an intention. What should I pick? It needs […]

Can you do those crazy arm balances?

“Can you do those crazy arm balances?” This is what I sometimes hear after people learn that I teach yoga. This comment makes me sigh inwardly, because it is so far off the mark from what yoga really is as well as indicative of the […]

When yoga hurts: a lesson in dropping the ego

Here is a true story. A few years ago, while practicing Vinyasa yoga, I noticed that my shoulder hurt when I moved through a vinyasa to Chaturanga Dandasana (aka Four Limbed Staff Pose). Here is what went through my head: Huh, that’s weird. Why does […]

Nemesis poses

Once when I was teaching, one woman looked up at me with alarm and said, “You’re not going to make us do that pigeon pose, are you?” Everyone laughed, including me, but I could relate. Here’s a secret about yoga: you won’t like every pose.