Author name: Elliot

34 y/o American yogi Elliot is a naturalist and explorer; he prefers to work outside as a landscaper and is actively writing music, stories, and creating art in his own style.

Unlock-Zen-1

Unlock Your Inner Zen – Daoist Yoga with Elliot

Enjoy this 30 minute Daoist yoga sessions for your major muscles and nerves.

Flow with your breath through the sequence and release into your mind.

Practice yoga with Elliot!

Yoga with Elliot | Episode 3:

Beginner/Intermediate Yoga Class

Unlock-Zen-1
yoga with elliot: Episode 3 Daoist Symbol | by Dall-E

Postures (asanas) for weight loss and mental health.

You can tell I am a little bit chunky in this video and I like to gain weight during the winter to stay warmer. I’ll get back into really really good shape later; eating a lot during the winter is a favorite past-time of mine.

This video is for people who are interested in yoga, but haven’t really experienced it yet. Anyone that is in a high stress environment, or that has to drive a lot or sit at a desk during the day. It is very general and focuses on major muscles groups, such as hamstrings, quadradus lumborum, shoulders, hips, glutes, lower spinal erectors, quadriceps and inner thigh muscles.

Yoga is Healthy, practice a lot to cultivate Santosha, happiness.

Most will find this to help release some of the cortisol from the major muscle groups in the body; but I would imagine that military professionals, police officers, firefighters, doctors, and nurses, as well as other people in high-stress environments can benefit a lot from yoga’s ability to process stress[1]. Cortisol is stress hormone and it is stored in the blood stream in muscles. With focused and meditative breathing holding postures and flowing through sun salutations can greatly improve sleep quality, relieve cortisol from the blood stream, enhanced coping, self-efficacy and positive mood[2]. Further, on evaluating the published studies, it is concluded that sleep and cognitive functions are optimized by yoga practice, which brings about changes in autonomic function, structural changes, changes in metabolism, neurochemistry and improved functional brain network connectivity in key regions of the brain.[3] Yoga practices can increase multiple neurotransmitters and hormones such as GABA, serotonin, and dopamine—all natural anti-depressants. [4] The practice of Yoga improves sleep architecture and mental well-being in young and middle-aged adults. [4]

“Yoga also boosts the innate antiviral response and brain health by enhancing natural defense genes and microRNA-29c expression. Notably, it activates telomerase, linked with cellular longevity, and promotes nitric oxide synthetase and neuroprotective gene expression, implying benefits for ocular health. In addition, yoga fosters DNA repair and cellular integrity maintenance by increasing oxoguanine glycosylase one protein and p53 gene expression.”[5]

What this means is that yoga helps your body to repair itself neurologically; in the brain neurological complexes that are required for sleep and the immune response and the body’s response to invasive micro-organisms. Eyes are generally thought of as a part of the brain; it is very interesting to see that this somewhat vulnerable area of the human body is augmented with inversions such as downward dog.

This 30 minute yoga class will get you relaxed and focused. The sequence is very balanced, in my opinion. Hold poses for longer! Experiment with your bodies endurance! And also be gentle and take it easy when you feel like you should.

Asanas and descriptions, some modifications

the yoga I practice is purely physical. Sometimes I end a class with a reading or something I am thinking, but I try to keep my teaching neutral.

  1. Tadasana – standing with intention in the feet
  2. Step back lunge
  3. Lizard Low Lunge
  4. Plank
  5. Chaturanga – specifics about alignment
  6. Half Lift – more alignment
  7. Forward Fold – release your neck and jaw and head
  8. Chair Pose – stabilize
  9. Warrior 3
  10. Lunging
  11. Pyrmaid Pose
  12. Triangle Pose
  13. Dragonfly Twist (make sure you get this on the second side!!)
  14. Standing splits
  15. Goddess Pose
  16. Meditation
  17. Savasana

References:

  1. Science Direct – Yogic meditation improves objective and subjective sleep quality of healthcare professionals
  2. De Gruyter – Using the Biopsychosocial Model to Understand the Health Benefits of Yoga
  3. National Library of Medicine – Sleep, Cognition, and Yoga
  4. MDPI – (Medical Yoga Therapy – read this!!!)
  5. International Journal of Yoga – Beyond the Mat: Exploring the Potential Clinical Benefits of Yoga on Epigenetics and Gene Expression

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Sardukaur Enlightenment – the E.T.

This is a track I wrote over the last 5 or 6 months. It includes most the my favorite sounds that I have ever made; there is one specifically that comes in around the first drop that feels like a robot moving out of orbit if you were somehow outside of a space station around planet Earth. All of the sounds have a lot of processing involved and it has become quite a fun process to adventure through the different possibilities with low frequency sounds.

The music video came together pretty well. I loved the idea of Sardukaur training and initiation rituals so the name for this track came from a lot of recent sound design missions converging together. The graphic from a dune inspired graphic from chat GPT combined with some image processing and music visualization with magic and viola. I like how its kind of similar to an 80s cartoon. There’s a kind of journey in the music video. The track itself is meant to be pretty dark and the idea is that no matter how far our technology advances, humans will always resort to war as some kind of way to advance ourselves.

Sardukaur Enlightenment Music Video

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Robo Trash – the E.T.

EROS Part 3 – Track 3
ROBO TRASH

This is the Electro House adventure of a robot named T that travels through space to collect metal debris from the Exosphere, avoiding satellites and various supersonic frequencies to clean the passageways between Earth and Outer Space. This robot has a very spritely personality and enjoys also clearing the sound waves for other objects to pass more peacefully through the turbulence of the outer layers of atmosphere of planet Earth. T is also a big fan of the Sun and enjoys testing the gravitational pull at the edge of the solar winds.

This track has been out on Spotify for a little while, but I consider it to be a part of the EROS 3 music because the music has come in a sort of wave. This track specifically felt like a big breakthrough for my sound and I enjoyed the idea of playing it live quite a bit; it definitely has the potential to be mixed with other house tracks.

Bass Sound Design

My focus has been centered around the low end of the frequency spectrum for a long time now; I just love making womps and wobbles. When I get a chance to play live more; I am going to do a lot of experimentation with speakers and producing solid and fun waves that emanate from the lower spectrum.

ROBO Trash Music Video

I’ve been having a great time making these music videos and pushing the magic software to its limits. I am going to most likely start during some custom color corrections using code, but for now, the algorithms available in magic are pretty cool!

Robo Trash on Youtube
Robo Trash on X
Robo Trash on FACEBOOK

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Pure_Spice dune spice extraction inspired cover art by Artiphoria.ai

Pure Spice – the E.T.

Pure_Spice
dune spice extraction inspired cover art by Artiphoria.ai

This electro house track has been in the works for more than 6 months; I started with the vocal chops and got the original idea for the melody. The bass sound design was created as a compliment to the vocals, but its does take over a bit in the drop which I like a lot. It took a lot of working and reprocessing to get the bass to where it sits now. Phaseplant was very helpful with this process. There is a background atmosphere that I love as well that peaks in the middle of the track; it created a very mysterious vibe for the rest of the sounds to punch through.

Track 2 of EROS p3

Drums, and Bass House Beats w Vocal Chops

The drum beat is a fairly typical house combination; at the end of the track I do a little bass switch up that I think is fun and suits the temp change in the track. It becomes more of a half-time trap track about halfway through the album. This is one of the first pieces of music that I would describe as a journey. I think I have gotten to that point with a lot of the tracks of this album. I hope you like it!

The Visuals and Cover Art

I am really happy with the software that I use for the visualizations; it has a very unique distortion engine that is fun to apply to effects; I can see it becoming a very useful tool in the future of both live production and visualizations for music. The cover art was generated by prompting artiphoria.ai and edited using Befunky.com.

Pure Spice Music Video

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Twitch – the E.T.

In the not too distant future; one of the last human survivors on Earth, Liz, arrives on Mars to find that robotic lifeforms have previously conquered and settled the desert wastelands. Though not originating from Earth; the robot knows of Liz and her journey and proceeds to test for neurological robotic hardware that may be present in Liz’s brain. Liz performs her own testing on the sentience of the robot and find something fascinatingly familar about the robots behavior…. this is their conversation.

EROS Part 3

Track 1 – Twitch

This is the first track of the new EROS album that I am releasing over the next week. I’m still finishing the music; going as fast as I can here. It doesn’t help when I completely rewrite a track on the day of release; which I did with the track yesterday, but hey, can’t rush quality!

This track is very influenced by DAFT PUNK, Deadmau5, and MR. Oizo. I like the repetition of it and I think it has some potential for the club; it slaps I think! The drums are mixed well and the beginning could easily be looped to have a lighter and more playful beginning to the track; it’s kinda glitchy.

I made the cover art with Dall-E aka CHAT GPT; and the music video with Magic Music Visualizer, which I think I may play shows with someday! I used BeFunky to change the exposure and add text to make it a bit more cinematic. It would be very fun to have some randomized visuals going that sync with the beat.

I’ve uploaded the video to both Twitter and Youtube in an effort to decentralized the music and also to get the platforms to talk to each other more. Copyright is going to be a big issue in the future and I am doing my best to position myself to own all of my own rights to my music; my heart goes out to TSwift, Motley Crue (did I spell that right?), and any other artists that have lost rights to their creative endeavors; that’s messed up.

Follow my channel on Youtube!

Here’s the video on X if you prefer:

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Cover art for the E.T.'s Helios' Haven (by chat GPTs Dall-E)

Helios’ Haven – the E.T.

I wrote a track this morning and used my most recent drone footage to make a music video. I think it turned out nicely; it’s definitely some of my most ambient work so far. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the Heliosphere recently and this footage seemed to also match the tone of the music I created; I have been trying for months to make more “chill music” very unsuccessfully. I have lots of new electro because of this effort 😉

Eros Part 3

comes out in two days! And tomorrow night, I will play an EROS show at East Wind Roseville; I am really excited about it!

details about Helios’ Haven:

This media is a tribute to the awesome power of the Sun; pretty cool that we have such a thing, in my opinion.

The drone footage focuses on the American River and “No Hands Bridge”, which to my understanding is the tallest bridge in the western half of the United States. It is monumental and also a really great hike that I highly recommend.

I’ve included a link to the download and cover art. You can stream the music video on X or on Youtube as you please 🙂

Helios’ Haven Music Video

Helios’ Haven Cover Art (thanks to Chat GPT)

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The History and Origins of Christmas

Elliot’s Note about this article

this article is not meant to be exhaustive; the history of Christmas is an enormous subject with lots of cultural history from the civilizations throughout recorded time.

Christmas is primarily a christian holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus. However; it is speculated that the date of the 25th of December was chosen because it is exactly 9 months before the day of his conception, on March 25th which is the Spring Equinox. There is some evidence to suggest Jesus was actually born in December; however the sources aren’t very good[1]. Some believe that the celestial event of the star of Bethlehem, which could have been in June; or perhaps October[2]. The evidence isn’t clear, in my opinion. Generally Jesus is considered to have been born between 6-4 BCE because King Herod died in 4 BC.

When and Where was Jesus Born?

Jesus was most likely born in Bethlehem, a town in the West Bank in the Judean Hills of Jerusalem; currently this is contested by Israel and Palestine and not a good place to visit due to the Isaeli/Palestinian conflict (12/2023)[5]. The Church of the Nativity, built in the 4th century, is one of the oldest continuously used churches in the world founded by St. Justin Martyr, a 2nd-century Christian apologist.

I believe that it is likely that Jesus was born in Nazareth, his hometown, and that the journey to Bethlehem was added later to satisfy the Old Testament prediction which fulfilled the prophecy of the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), which is currently debated by scholars. I don’t think there is enough evidence to truly know this. This account only exists in the book of Matthew and is supported by the gospel of Luke. Bethlehem, meaning “house of bread” in Hebrew, was known for its fertile land, which ensured bountiful harvests.

It is likely that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. According to modern biblical scholars; there are two competing theories as to why this date was chosen for Christmas:

First, The “Calculation hypothesis” suggests that this date was calculated as nine months after March 25th, believed to be the day of Jesus’ conception.

Second, which I believe, the “History of Religions” hypothesis, proposes that the Church chose December 25th to coincide with Roman pagan festivals, particularly the birthday of the Unconquered Sun (Sol Invictus), a popular deity during the later Roman Empire.

There is no definitive evidence of the day of Jesus’ birth, although it is possible that it was December 25th.

A Strange Coincidence?

The festival of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the “birthday” of the unconquered sun, was celebrated on December 25th. This date later became significant in Christianity as it was chosen as the date to celebrate Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ. The choice of this date for Christmas is often seen as a way to Christianize or replace the popular pagan festival. The worship of Sol Invictus may have influenced early Christian practices. The use of solar imagery in Christian iconography, as well as the adoption of December 25th for Christmas, are examples of possible intersections between the two traditions. After Constantine the Great embraced Christianity, the significance of Sol Invictus began to wane, although the cult continued for some time. Its legacy, however, can be seen in various aspects of Roman culture that persisted even after the adoption of Christianity as the empire’s state religion. The worship of Sol Invictus was established in Rome by Emperor Aurelian[6] in 274 AD, although the concept of a sun god was not new and had been a part of Roman religion in various forms. This particular cult combined aspects of earlier Roman sun gods like Sol with elements from other deities, especially from Eastern religions.

It is most likely that this holiday was created as a way to merge traditional paganism with the up-and-coming tenets and celebratory practices of Christians; but that’s just my opinion.

Christmas Trees, Decoration, and Lights

Evergreen Christmas Trees

have a fascinating history. Humans have worshipped, or appreciated trees for a very long time. The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands to symbolize eternal life was a custom of the ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Hebrews. Tree worship was common among the pagan Europeans and survived their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the Devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime.

In Germany placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house during the midwinter holidays became popular in the 16th century, because of the garden of Eden mythos. It said believed that Protestant reformer Martin Luther was the first to add lighted candles to a tree, inspired by the starlit sky as he walked home one winter night. The Christmas tree symbolizes life and rebirth in the midst of winter. Early trees were adorned with fruits, nuts, and later, candles. The custom spread throughout Europe and was brought to America by German immigrants. It became enormously popular in the 19th century, especially in England after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were depicted in a published illustration with their decorated Christmas tree. Thanks Europe!

The Rise in popularity of Victorian Christmas Traditions

Henry Cole invented the Christmas Card in 1843

At the dawn of the 19th century, Christmas was hardly celebrated – at least, not in a way we would recognize today. It was Sir Henry Cole, the first director of the V&A, who introduced the idea of the Christmas card in 1843. Cole commissioned the artist J.C. Horsley to design a festive scene for his seasonal greeting cards and had 1000 printed (you can see the first cards here) – those he didn’t use himself were sold to the public. Later in the century, improvements to the chromolithographic printing process made buying and sending Christmas cards affordable for everyone.[10] Increased prosperity across Britain saw a rising market for mass-produced toys, decorations and novelty items such as the Christmas cracker. Inspired by bon bons (French sweets wrapped in paper) he saw during a trip to Paris, sweetshop owner Tom Smith first invented the cracker in the 1840s. It wasn’t until the 1860s, when Smith perfected its explosive ‘bang’ that the Christmas cracker as we know it today became a popular seasonal staple. Along with a joke, gifts inside could range from small trinkets such as whistles and miniature dolls to more substantial items like jewellery. The Victorian age placed great importance on family, so it follows that Christmas was celebrated at home. This creates a logical depiction of how and why we celebrate Christmas in the nuclear and extended family; the presents are stylistically very similar to what evolved during the Victorian era of Great Britain.

Lights at Christmas

The early 20th century saw Americans decorating their trees mainly with homemade ornaments, while many German Americans continued to use apples, nuts and marzipan cookies. Stringed popcorn was added to trees’ decoration after being dyed bright colors and interlaced with berries and nuts. Electricity brought about Christmas lights, making it possible for Christmas trees to glow for days on end. With this, Christmas trees began to appear in town squares across the country and having a Christmas tree in the home became an American tradition.[8]

The earliest lights were candles in the 17th century. This posed significant fire hazards and many tools were adopted to keep homes from burning down. Then, in 1882, Edward Johnson, Thomas Edison’s associate invented the first string of Christmas lights in red, white, and blue; three years after Edison invented the light bulb. Grover Cleveland displayed an electric lit Christmas tree in the White House in 1895, but adoption was still low due to the cost of lights. Once the cost of lights went down, they were widely adopted across the US and numerous technological advancements in lighting led to LED lights. Now, lights symbolize joy, celebration, and the bringing of light during the darkest time of the year. The story of Christmas lights is a testament to how technological advancements can transform cultural practices and create new traditions that last for generations.

Conclusion

From ancient Egypt to Bethlehem to modern America, from the birth of Jesus to celebrating the garden of Eden in Germany to making LED shows with high-tech lightning on giant evergreen trees; this is the history and evolution of the wonderful holiday we know as Christmas. Celebrate away humans! (if you have questions or additions, comment!)

References
  1. Wikipedia – Jesus’ Date of Birth
  2. LiveScience – When was Jesus Born?
  3. Britannica – Biography of Jesus
  4. Wikipedia – Chronology of Jesus
  5. Smart Traveller – Israel and Palestine Occupied Territories
  6. Wikipedia – Emperor Aurelian
  7. Britannica – Christmas Tree
  8. History.com – History of Christmas Trees
  9. National Geographic – History of Christmas Trees
  10. vam.ac.uk – Victorian Christmas Traditions
  11. Wikipedia – Sir Henry Cole
  12. The First Christmas Cards

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Elliot Telford Yoga – Yin Yoga Meditation Video #1

take a load off your mind and meditate more

I recorded a little video before my class this Wednesday about what I do when I meditate. Meditating is a great way to clear the mind and relax the body; it can be a great way to take a quick break from work.

I am excited to share more content like this for a few reasons:

  • Videos are cool; I am looking for collaborators; please!
  • Breath expansion into the body is the primary goal of yoga; meditation should help this
  • Yoga practice and meditation practice are the same thing in many ways
  • Being present to your breath is what yoga is all about
  • Yoga should be fun and short meditations can be effective
  • You want to enjoy yoga; a minute or two is great. I know I look serious but that’s just cause I’m alone in a yoga studio taking videos of myself and that is kinda weird to be totally honest with you.
  • I’m performing pranayama breathing through my nose the whole time in the video; follow along

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What to Expect in Your First Yoga Class

3 hard and fast rules for doing yoga in public

Everyone should try yoga.

Public classes are fun and a cool way to meet new; healthy people.

Yes, you have to take your shoes off.

The First Time

So you’ve decided to take the leap: you’re going to your first real life studio yoga class.

Oooooh how exciting. You have finally devoted some time to your mental health. You researched a little about meditation and the body-mind thing and you’re going to take it a step further. Destiny, your girlfriend has been telling you to do yoga for at least a decade and you are finally giving in; plus your back is killing you and you need to relax from your boss’ bullshit temper tantrum last week. Maybe you’ve done some stretching and yoga videos online and you are ready to get into your first ever yoga studio class. This is a special time. Savor it.

Real life studio yoga is amazing; there are some very special humans that get into yoga; it’s an art form that is unparalleled in its humanism.

I started practicing yoga with my mom when I was 20. I think I only went once or twice on a Saturday morning with her to East Wind in Roseville (hot yoga, but not Bikram, what a jerk!) and it was one of the hardest workouts I have ever done. I got hooked after about 3 months because of the mental clarity it provided and also the physical aspect of losing weight and also developing abdominals muscles; which I had always lacked due to my passionate love for pizza and ice cream.

#1: Get comfortable

Actually, this is kind of a big deal. Relax. Go to the bathroom before your class starts, probably go to the bathroom at home first. Pass the gas outside. I remember going to the bathroom every morning at 4am in India before my practice. Yoga can kinda reset your circadian rhythm somehow. Your body has internal timings that usually know when you are about to exercise; which is a fun part of yoga. Learn your body!

It’s easy to let out a squeaker; it’s not a big deal, we’ve all been there. My back makes weird fart sounds on my mat all the time and I just laugh about it to myself. However, if you feel like your fart might smell, like bad; as they often do; then you should go to the bathroom and let loose. Try not to stink up the yoga room.

#2: Don’t be Creepy

This is probably geared more towards guys; but hey girls can be creepos too! Try not to be weird, especially around attractive people; they won’t like you as much. Your yoga teacher is a person too; try to value their time also. Nobody really wants to be judged superficially, everyone wants more aquaintances and wants to be loved; be good with people. Try not to stare at the beautiful girls butt that is right in front of your face; unless of course, it’s your wife or girlfriend! Then, with their permission, stare away! But generally staring at other people is not ok, especially in yoga. Focus on your own body; love your self. Spending time with your mind is also a benefit.

#3: Have Fun and Meet Some Cool People

Generally people that practice yoga are not assholes. They are nice! It can be superficial; but I believe it is the instructor’s job to ask people to dive deeper. People are always nicer after the yoga class; it is essentially a dose of endorphins, dopamine, serotonin; the whole kit and kaboodle. So afterwards you will likely be more social. Try not to overdo it and overshare. Yoga increases self-awareness, or self-consciousness and makes for a generally fun and sometimes transcendent studio environment. I’ve had several classes that are like a zoo, an insane asylum, and a massive party simultaneously. It is up to you to help create the atmosphere of a yoga class, so create your experience in it!

More Tips for Hot Yoga

  1. Dress to sweat; sweats are fine, but also shorts for a hot room are nice. Don’t be weird about taking off your shirt; it’s fine guys.
  2. drink water BEFORE yoga; hot yoga generally requires increased salt and electrolyte intake; Liquid IV is pretty cool.
  3. don’t eat much heavy food; tea is fine; an apple is also usually fine. Orange chicken will not be fine(I actually love orange chicken keep it away!).
  4. breath deeply through your nose. Close your eyes. Feel your body. Heal it.
  5. Invite a friend! Yoga is an awesome bonding experience

Conclusion: In short get ready for an exercise class that is also mental; just be how you are regularly and you’ll probably have fun! Unless you hate exercise, then you might hate it! Some people hate spinach; it’s a crazy world we live in.

If you need a mat, get a manduka PRO. 10 years and running for my mat and its like new still.

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