About five years ago, I spent a summer practising yoga about five days a week at the Yoga Lounge in Toronto. The studio was close to my summer job and the space at the Yoga Lounge remains my favorite in the city: it is big, bright, clean and incredibly welcoming (as are the instructors!). The four months of summer break from law school was a good amount of time to get well-acquainted with yoga and left me feeling comfortable enough to continue my practise in my the comfort of my own home.
I returned to Halifax and invested in my own set of bolsters and a strap and thought I was ready to go (Winners is great for those purchases). I quickly realized that while I was comfortable with my form in basic postures, I was in need of some guidance. And then I met Elsie.
Elsie Escobar is a yoga teacher and one of the first to create a yoga podcast. She teaches in Anusara inspired style, a type which is pretty physical and focuses on flow and alignment, but is quite grounded in spirituality. I realize that this may not be for everyone, but Elsie’s classes strike the perfect balance between the body and the mind for me.
The podcast classes are free and are available on the iTunes store or by streaming an mp3 on her website. There are more than 100 episodes available and classes range in level (simple meditation to advanced), in length (20 min – 75 min), and focus area (hip work, a rigorous workout, or opening the heart are three examples). Elsie is based in Pittsburgh, PA and records her live classes to share as podcasts with her students around the world.
She has an incredible ability to clearly verbalize the adjustments she is making to students in her studio that allows me to make those adjustments to myself and to deepen my pose every time. If you would benefit from visual guidance, her website has an overview of the poses for each episode, which serves to provide further direction.
I’ve got a variety of episodes downloaded to my computer and on my iPhone ready to suit any mood and any location. After a long week, one of my favorite ways to kick off the weekend is by plugging my speakers into my computer, lighting a few candles and doing one of Elsie’s classes. I hope you enjoy her as much as I do! Namaste!