New Growth in 2019

Busy Busy, Busy…

Lately, I have been consumed by starting a landscaping business, too busy to make music or work on my website. I started this new landscaping business and am working now as a designer landscaper in Sacramento. It’s hard work, but certainly pays the bills in a way that I don’t think yoga ever could. The only rich yogis that I’ve ever met are the Jois’ and they have an incredibly tightly run business in Mysore, India.

Landscaping is my Future

I love yoga and I might love making music even more. I am continuing to teach indefinitely, but as I said in my last article, I do have to scale back my yoga teaching from 8 times a week to 5. Teaching 5 yoga classes every week will still give me the opportunity to improve my teaching while doing a full time landscaping gig.

Creation is the Priority

I’ve always loved making stuff. These new planter beds that I have built in old Roseville are some of the coolest I’ve ever seen. I am learning how to create high quality, long lasting landscapes. Learning is my priority and I’ve gotten good at using concrete and also at working with dirt and grading, plants, drains, and the whole process of putting together a nice backyard. But I also bought a guitar recently and have started playing, learning chords, and am going to start learning some songs soon. Even though I am busy, I am busy doing stuff that I love so I always have more energy! Until its time to fall asleep.

The Cost of Artistry

Honestly, life has been completely exhausting lately. I fell asleep at 9:30 on New Years. I had a couple beers, but man I can’t party worth a shit anymore! But I guess thats a good thing! I like waking up early anyways, so heading off to work at 5 or 6 isn’t a big deal at all. Only I have a really hard time staying up later, which is pretty weird for me. I’ve had mild insomnia for as long as I can remember. My New Years resolution is to work on staying up later, so I can have more social fun time! Also, to play a few shows in 2019, something I didn’t get a chance to do in 2018.

Finding Balance between Passions

My yoga practice has actually been revitalized in a big way by landscaping. I need it to take care of my joints and relax my muscles which get overworked on the daily from using power tools and you know, repetitive pounding motions. I think I have found a trifecta of things to do that I love!

Looking Forward to 2019

Expect more landscapes, different mediums of sharing my art and blog articles in 2019! Apologies for not writing in a while, but I’m excited to continue blogging. See you on the yoga mat…

Thanks for reading,

Elliot

Scaling Back Teaching Yoga

scaling back teaching yoga

Recently I have come to the revelation that I simply do not have enough time during the day to get the things done that I want to get done. This includes my recently started landscaping business, my music and this blog. So I have decided to do a little bit of scaling back teaching yoga and my yoga instruction schedule.

I want to spend more making things like EDM tracks and working on beautiful landscapes. My creativity is something that I feel I have to cultivate actively. I want to spend more time making things like this vector image below that is now my site logo. I also haven’t gotten as much time as I’d prefer to practice yoga on my own.

Elliots world logo
Elliot’s new blog logo

As much as I love teaching yoga full-time, it is an enormous time and energy commitment to teach even one class a week. Right now, I am teaching 7. So, I have decided to cut back on how much yoga I instruct namely my Friday evening class in Auburn.

Lately, I have gotten very focused on quality. I am producing less EDM tracks and spending more time with the tracks that I release. FlyBy, my most recent dubstep track, is a result of this. I have also felt the desire to teach fewer classes for quite a while, so that I can get deeper into music and landscaping. The same has happened with my writing.

This is the LAST WEEK I will be teaching the 5PM FLOW @ EW Auburn on Fridays.

We have a new teacher coming in to take over Friday night. I am excited to free up my schedule for more time to DJ and Landscape. Although scaling back teaching yoga is not easy; I am conflicted about it. However, I do think that the East Wind Auburn Community will be very happy with the new teacher. She will be an excellent addition to the studio.

Teaching Yoga is still my passion

Hopefully, I will continue to teach yoga for the rest of my life. But I don’t want to limit myself while I am young and able to do more physically. And let’s be honest, yoga is not the most lucrative endeavor on planet Earth. To survive comfortably as a yoga teacher, I need multiple jobs. That’s why I started landscaping.

Why I Love Landscaping

Back when I first started teaching yoga, I remember getting very discouraged with the state of the world. Most of my frustration stemmed from changes in the climate and unsustainable exploitation of natural resources. Landscaping seemed like a good way to create change in this area, and still does. I enjoy choosing plants that will thrive in environments. I try to create miniature sanctuaries for life within the yards that I design. Ideally, all the plants work in unison to support each other. The design and plant selection aspects of landscaping are my favorite!

I missed yoga today (10/24) because I was supposed to be working in the Bay Area

on a big landscaping project. I might have to work on it this Friday(10/26) instead, so if you are planning on coming to my classes on Friday this week, there may be a sub (they will be great, promise!). I don’t like getting subs, but it is unavoidable as I work on this job that requires a good amount of traveling.

Sorry to my students for scaling back yoga teaching, I hope you all understand why!

Journal Update: Finding ways to Create

Updates from the Thunderdome

This is going to be more of a personal update, I’m may just be probably almost about to go on a rant.

This week someone grabbed my phone from the back of the yoga studio I instruct at and trashed my phone. They didn’t even sell it or anything. Just ruined it. What a waste of an amazing piece of technology, humph.

So now I am blessed to have no phone enslavements and am just doing my best to simply continue onward. It’s just kind of disheartening to feel like my space was dishonored and some idiot who can’t even properly steal things trashed my stuff. I even think I know the person that stole the phone and I’m just disappointed in the whole situation. What a fucking waste of time! Nothing is more useless than some of these entitled, poor americans who feel like they deserve things and aren’t willing to work hard for anything.

The NFL is a great equivalent to this. What the fuck are those players doing? I don’t even think they really know what they are fighting for/against. I really feel like it is far more of an anti-establishment movement than an anti-cop movement. I mean, Obama is far more of a reason that minorities in this country are suffering than cops are; he basically tried to enslave the citizens of American to the corporate government allied banks. Worst president since Regan imho, and that is completely nuts, considering the Bushes were in office. The American media are huge liars, in so many aspects. What a bunch of idiots. But it’s probably this way simply because the banks & government own them. Watching the news has become so toxic, they literally just lie and embellish the entire time. So I only watch HBO now. WOOHOO WESTWORLD IS AMAZING!!! (just started yesterday) and I just watch a tiny, itsy bit of netflix here and there.

So here I am just spending all of my time creating yoga classes and music and writing and painting as much as I can, but I have also picked up some work trimming in GV to pay the bills. But now I have to figure out this whole phone thing, because I use it for all my music in yoga classes and I have been wanting/preparing to start a youtube channel for about 3 months so I need to camera. So yeah, money money money. BOO. I hate money :/

Always Working Hard on Yoga Instruction

I am still teaching 7 yoga classes a week, at East Wind Yoga in Auburn and Roseville and am constantly improving my delivery of cues and my dialogue. I am passionate, it is a calling, I love working with the yogis more than anything else. I am breaking through barriers, learning how to connect on deeper levels, and am teaching people how to use, honor, and appreciate their bodies as they learn to use them sustainably. I feel like it is part of what I am meant to do here. Maintaining my own practice while I teach is the most difficult part of this, but I am making it work. I could use another trip to India, honestly. The space that I had to practice there last time was nothing short of blissful.

I am writing a book that I am really excited about and am going to turn it into a beginner youtube tutorial series. It’s called, “Practice Yoga” and will be 25 chapter, or 25 days of practice. The idea is to “work up” to the final day, which is an advanced adaptation of the intermediate series of Ashtanga. I will also start a workshop for the primary series pretty soon here. Definitely excited for those things.

Exposing ‘the E.T.’ and the HAZE Album

Right now I am trying to use twitter and not getting any traction. Music is hard to submit to others because it is so unique and I really feel like people don’t give new, unique music a chance from people who are completely unknown.

I’m not playing any shows right now, which makes it kind of rough for me cause I spent the vast majority of my free time (whenever I’m not teaching yoga) to make music. I just wanna dance with the partiers!

For a few months I have been starting a youtube channel for ‘the E.T.’, and soon I will start live streaming out to all of my followers from my production sessions. I’m also considering making some sound design and mixing tutorials, which could be a really cool addition to what ‘the E.T.’ can bring to fans.

Oh and make sure you check out my HyperDrive music video, I think it’s the best one yet.

Letting go of what isn’t necessary

There’s no point in stressing out over my phone. At least something worse didn’t happen, but it is so damn annoying to have to spend my time on that, when I have so many other projects that I am working on. Oh yeah, I’m also finishing another painting! This one is super cool 😀

Lessons in Confidence and the Immediate Future

Right now, I am in the grind. Simply trying to get better at everything that I do, from teaching yoga, to writing music, to this blog, to creating new media for people to digest. I want to be able to offer the highest quality of service (because that is what I value) and want to be able to deliver before I start taking major leaps of faith, i.e. my first show as ‘the E.T.’.

When I step on stage, I want to have full confidence in my ability to deliver my message. If the audience doesn’t like it or appreciate it or whatever, that’s fine, but I want to appreciate it. Otherwise, what is the point? So I’m letting my confidence build and build as my skill level rises and can’t wait to see where all of these amazing projects take me.

Thanks for reading, happy Monday everybody! Tomorrow night’s yoga class is going to be fun, the class is going to be one of the most challenging ever!!

 

 

Life Update: Split Between Worlds

Split Worlds

Split Worlds of Yoga, Landscaping, EDM and Art

Sometimes, I want to just focus on one thing, but I seem to live within three split worlds. I’m almost always working. Teaching yoga isn’t lucrative enough to focus on completely, landscaping isn’t really a sustainable profession outside of my 20s and 30s, nor is it very lucrative, and music actually doesn’t make me money at all yet, though someday soon I hope it does. I want to play live (and am almost ready to), which is where all of the money is!

My music is starting to get hot. Check back in soon for updates on what I’m making for y’all.

Expressing Elliot’s Art

My focus is on creating the type of art that I appreciate, love, and feel. Honestly, its not worth it if I don’t appreciate what I’m doing, the process will become unsustainable, which in work is the name of the game. I love making music and teaching yoga, and landscaping, but get torn between the three as I try to grow.

My yoga teaching has certainly improved drastically over the past couple of years. I try to bring my own style into the art as much as possible to express what I have inside of me and share. This is true of teaching yoga, writing, composing, sound design, this blog, making music videos, etc. I am trying to express myself! It is extraordinarily time consuming to do all these things in my own way because I have to literally develop the style from scratch! And I get pretty hard on myself sometimes. And then when I’m not feeling it, I have to go back to the drawing board and completely rethink what the hell I am doing! It’s crazy how much effort I am putting into this stuff!

Unique Flavors

I am constantly working to create something that no one has ever done before. It’s part of why I am making my own visual for music and why I want to DJ and teach yoga at the same time. My sounds are all my own, next to the library professional drum and synth samples that I have collected and analyzed over the last 3 years, and I am slowly collecting all of the top-of-the-line software  that I am learning to use optimally within my productions. Yoga is something that has always been very personal to me, so learning how to develop my style of teaching is also really helping me to develop my style of ddm production.

Getting Equipment

I finally have my instrument and am in the process of learning how to use it in sync with my computer to create the kind of beats that I have been making in the last 3 years.

Yoga is really cool because it doesn’t require equipment at all. If the state of California weren’t a bunch of money grubbing bastards, I could start an entire business in a public park. No wonder that state wants a piece of yoga.

Landscaping is actually a lot like music in this regard. Good equipment helps to get the job done exponentially faster and with higher quality in the finished product. Plus, power tools are so much fun to use!

No time for Wasting

Tons of my new songs are very very close to ready for release. Yesterday I spent the day getting organized and designing sounds. I’m getting close to the majority of tracks from the album. Most of them are fully structured, but the chord progressions and melodies all need work. I will release the album progressively as it helps people to digest the tracks (I honestly should re-release some of the tracks from 0, I feel like they are under-appreciated).

Yoga teaching is going phenomenally, though it always has its rough patches. I am really getting into my own flow and style and it is simply awesome to see that dream begin to form into reality. People are starting to get my message as I become more fluent in communicating it. Honestly, there are few things in this world as rewarding as communicating with and assisting other people in achieving what they want.

Landscaping is also going great, I have completely landscaped my mom’s backyard in Auburn. I am working on a multi-leveled trenching permaculture system to bring water to plants as it flows. I’ll do a post about the garden soon, once fall starts to hit. Landscaping makes decent money on the side of yoga and I get to spend time outside, so it works out great.

Conclusions of Split Worlds

Lots of the time, I wish I could just make music full time. I love contrasting melodies against basses and synthesizing sounds that I’ve never heard before and turning them into fat beats. Teaching yoga is such an important part of clearing my mind to create. I honestly couldn’t imagine one without the other. My main jobs are like the yin-yang, countering each other. Landscaping kind of sits between the two.

Anyways, here’s to the end of July! On 9/1 I am going to release my HAZE EP so get stoked. I will release the tracks progressively, as usual. I’ve also just finished a collab, and it is a very cool track. Be on the look-out from some live streams and yoga youtube tutorials, hoping to start them soon!

ttyl,

the E.T.

Teaching Yoga as an Outlet for Creativity

istockphotoyogastockphoto

Teaching with Passion

Over the past few months I have fallen into a new depth of relationship with teaching yoga. It is kind of parallel to my production of music in that I feel that my ability to express myself becomes more and more robust. All of the mediums I have at my disposal, including this website, are going to help me to connect in the world in a way that is so cool! I really enjoy being able to share all this stuff.

I’ve settled into 8 classes a week as a slight downgrade from the 9 I was teaching a couple months ago. A pace that I am glad to slow into because I need to continue my own yoga practice! It is a continual endeavor and honestly, I still like practicing my own yoga more than teaching. But that gaps gets smaller and smaller with time. I love the way that people take their time at the end of my class and the things that people say to me are so incredible sometimes. One of my students was telling my that he’s had tons of firsts in my class and that makes me stoked! It’s easy to get in your head about yoga and I try to involve the inner dialogue as little as possible. Feel that shit yo.

Evolution within communities

Anyways, I can’t believe how East Wind continues to create waves in the community and there are tons of people starting to sign up for classes and you can feel the community growing. The newer teachers are a big part of that and I’m super excited to teach alongside them. Obviously Scott, Tess, and Julie  hold down the fort, but its really nice to have some additional support to truly believe in and practice with. Ben and I have been friends for a while and I’m really supportive of him teaching yoga because the dude is a natural guru. Same with Francesca (also new to EW), I’m actually a little bit jealous about how well she connects with her squad. Anyways, both of them are going to be great teachers for me, once I get back into practicing in a studio. I just don’t want to practice anything but different ways to get into handstands right now, for some reason. Obviously that means that normal studio yoga classes aren’t quite “doin’ it” for me. It’s just me being an introvert.

Moving onto new things

Oh yeah, and Buck opened a new studio! Buck has always been a great teacher to me and I’m super excited to see how he evolves while doing his own thing. MomentOM is the name lol. I actually think that exact name was already taken by a studio in Pennsylvania ha. But shit man, he had like 60 people in that room in his Instagram post doing bicycles, it was nuts!!

Right now, I just want to be in my cave of yoga. practicing by myself, observing how the cogs of my mind reel and churn and do what they do. I need to spend the time alone, simply to post-process the amount of stuff that I am dealing with while creating all of this art. I want to stay as balanced as possible for this teaching yoga thing. Also, all that EDM music! Album on the way! (It might be called Galactic, or something like that..)

Also also, I am working on the free downloads of yoga classes. Hang in there. I might buy some software tonight to help, I want it to be working tomorrow.

Also also also, Yoga Tuesday nights at East Wind in Roseville are about to be off the chain! I’ve really tuned in my playlists lately #DJ

Well, of too spend my day off making music, first I’m gona run with a homie. Here’s to livin’ the dream!! <3

 

Back to Blogging (why I’ve been away from the blog)

back to the blog

Thanks for sticking with me…

I am continuing this blog for the foreseeable future. For those of you who follow this blog, thanks you so much for your support! I am definitely not one to give up on things and this blog is no exception. For the next few months, I am going to try and post an article every day; sometimes, hopefully, more.

The reason for my temporary hiatus was my focus on music; producing music came as a very unexpected change in the direction that I want to take my life and I am honestly still adjusting my goals to figure out where I want to go with my music. But it definitely involves big events, visuals, and all kinds of interesting stories surrounding the music itself. It’s one more medium for me to express myself and its certainly my favorite.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to spend time blogging because I like making music so much. Writing is great, but there is something special about making music for me; I can spend hours and hours on a song without even really noticing. On my 26th birthday, I spent the entire day making music and loved it.

New Ventures

This blog is going to transform into more of a resource for your yoga practice. I plan on uploading as many recordings from my classes as I can, as well as adding photos of poses and making videos about sequences, advanced variations, and general tips for practicing yoga away from the studio. Ideally, this blog can be a resource for you as you practice. If you want to know anything specific, you can always feel free to ask or comment on a post.

I am still writing a book and plan on continuing to post it on the site; currently, I am very focused on music, but soon I should be finishing it up and getting it edited. I have a few more fiction stories that I am working on, but The Wanderer will be finished kinda soon, I promise!

Staying Focused on the Blog

As much as I would love to post about politics right now, I am avoiding the subject completely. I prefer not to think about politics in my personal life, so I will just extend that into my blog world. Yoga is and has always been my first priority. Someday, I do hope to open a studio in Sacramento, but that day seems kind of far off right now. Music is a close second priority. Honestly, there’s just nothing I’d rather do than make melodies and bass lines. Writing comes third, then painting and the other things that I do in my free time like painting, or taking pictures, etc.

Ultimately, I hope to make this blog my home base for delivering my message of yoga to the world. So expect some youtube videos soon, check back for more class recordings, and get excited for some cool, very free, exercises that you can do while you travel or whenever you want really. All you need is some space.

 

Deepening

Deepening

I feel like I’ve let go of so much in the past, like there is so much behind me. The countries, the people, the experiences; I feel so spoiled for having experienced so much, but so lonely at the same time. It reminds me of India, which was a very lonely place, but full of happiness through meditation and stillness. It’s a good kind of lonely, but is a makes-you-stronger and toughens-you-up kind of thing.

I’ve felt like shit for the last month. I guess its how I feel about the first time someone has broken my heart. It hurts like nothing I’ve ever felt and I’ve taken some hits. Emotions are so powerful, I always forget. 7 years of rugby, 7 of football, 10 of basketball, a black belt, and 6 months of boxing makes me a pretty tough dude; this was worse than any kind of physical pain. Waking up and feeling that alone and rejected was completely agonizing, in a free-your-mind or suffer kind of way. Obviously my mediation evolved as a result and now I can find ways to make myself happy no matter what.

I was forced to figure out how to cope. I was still in love with someone who didn’t want to be with me anymore and had to figure out how to make myself happy. But it was hard to eat, hard to watch TV, impossible to make music, impossible to listen to emotional music. Especially the first couple of weeks. I picked myself up and got to work, which is probably one of the best things that I have done in a while. Deepening my gratitude for all that I have and get to experience every day has been getting me past it. But it still hurts.

I started to realize how depressed I’d been for a while. 8 months in long distance takes it toll, and this is my second relationship with distance. Instead of going out into the world and enjoying myself, I kept myself in my room working on my art, pretty inefficiently. I got super lonely, and took it out on the relationship. Not to mention the kind of negativity that started to move through me because of how lonely I felt. I felt victimized by being in another long distance relationship instead of remembering why I was doing it to begin with and being grateful. I forgot about my friends, the life I had built for myself. The distance took its toll.

I found consolation in the things that I realized in India; how much I love the sun, having time in the morning to practice yoga, and now I am working outside. I enjoy life, but I have to remind myself to each day. Yoga is my medicine. I get to work outside now and that is making me very happy. I am also creating a new garden with a pond and some cool water features that I am very excited about. But I realize that I am in charge of making myself happy no matter what; no one else can do it for me.

The last couple of weeks have been a blur of yoga and a new job. I remember how much I like being busy; just not stuck in a desk or in a room. I teach 5 classes a week now and work landscaping 4 days a week. Yoga balances out the work landscaping, makes it easier on my back. But I’m making money now and am much more comfortable than being on the yoga salary alone, which is pretty dismal; firstly because my classes aren’t super popular and second because its hard to make good money unless you own a studio.

Luckily I keep myself busy, but the message remains clear; I have internal work to do on learning how to make my life a place that I really want to be in. I think I focused a lot on traveling and a lot on learning and now its time to create and combine the things I’ve learned into my lifestyle.

I find myself being drawn to painting more and more. All kinds of creation. Music continues to get more complex and more instinctual at the same time; I also spend a few hours a week playing the piano, just to feel what is possible with chords and to practice my rhythm. Ableton feels like it flows through me now, the software is nothing short of amazing. I am making a dark electro song right now and it feels like it’s going to be really awesome. In combination with writing this blog and wanting to finish the Wanderer, it makes my time pretty full. Books are a lot of work. But I am spending most of my time outside and that is how I want my life to be.

My yoga teaching has been improving dramatically lately. I am simply getting more and more confident in what I am teaching and how I practice my own yoga and how I deliver that to my community. This makes me ridiculously happy because I have put a ton of hard work into teaching yoga and can now enjoy teaching without so much pressure on myself to improve. Though I will continue to focus on getting better, each and every class simply by doing my best in each one. I have taken to practicing before each class to come up with unique sequencing and am getting more and more familiar with what people need from their yoga classes.

My art is moving forward, but my heart is heavy. And that’s okay, I have some lessons to learn about myself and I enjoy making myself happy. Right now I need to be alone and learn to be completely okay with that. It’s nice to enjoy not having responsibility in my life right now, because I am sure that things won’t always be that way. I get to practice yoga every single day; my life is good 🙂

Hard times force us to dig deep and remember what we believe in and why. Ultimately, I am forcing myself to regain some discipline and to put my weight behind my word. Challenges have a way of uncovering the best in us, if we do our best. Here’s to the future and finding reasons to be happy and grateful for now.

Teaching Yoga Full-Time (Stepping in)

Teaching Yoga Full-Time Elliot's Crow Pose in Mysore Palace

Teaching Yoga Full-Time in California

is simultaneously the most rewarding and challenging experience of my life. I’ve had people walk out in the middle of class and ask for their money back. I’ve had people come up to me after class completely blown back by what I taught that day. I’ve also had people that I could tell didn’t enjoy my class or felt that something was missing in it, but don’t mention anything. I think a lot of people have really enjoyed themselves in my class, but think about the spectrum of reactions to different forms of art and you start to get a general idea of the types of response my yoga teaching gets.

At the end of the day, I realize that my class is valuable and that my particular subjective take on yoga is simply one subjective view; but that also gives me a lot of room to create my art. That is why I feel comfortable teaching yoga full-time; I’ve practiced enough to feel as though I should be a guide for others. I draw upon multiple teachers, a journey through India and into Southeast Asia, a journey through China, and my junior year of studying in Paris to create something that I consider invaluable; expressions of peace, love, and life. My yoga is definitely unique and constantly evolving. But, at the end of the day, letting go of “my yoga” is just as important as anyone else letting go of their ego while practicing yoga.

Full-Time Yoga Teaching

Over the last two weeks I have pushed myself pretty hard. I’ve taught 9 classes in 5 days and 10 classes in a four-day weekend, which is quite a bit. I’m also working other jobs to make ends meet, so after this last week I have been exhausted. I’m aching to create music, but yoga is taking priority right now, which I like. I enjoy sacrificing one form of art for another. And it’s nice to have an excuse to practice extra yoga.

Make no mistake, yoga teachers are absolutely undervalued by our society. I blame a lot of this on the overly religious assholes out there like the evangelical ministers who prey of people’s weak beliefs in god to make money (check out this episode of “Last Week Tonight“, its great!) and other types of people who try to make spirituality into a profitable enterprise at the cost of their consumers. We are considered more or less exercise coaches that might have some experiences with meditation and spirituality. But in reality, there is a ton of sacrifice that goes into teaching yoga full-time that the majority of Yogins never see. Every class takes more effort than the time in the studio and many times it is at least an extra hour of work (not including driving). But at the end of a class, the reward of having happy people around you far outweighs the costs of what it took to teach yoga that day.

Making Ends Meet

I have recently added a Friday night Yin class to my schedule at East Wind Yoga in Auburn, CA and that means I will be teaching 5 classes each week, not including substituting for other teachers, which I do as often as I can. It’s about enough to pay rent and eat extremely minimally, so I have to find other work on the side, tutoring, doing odd-jobs, and most recently I’ve started driving for Lyft, though it’s not an everyday opportunity for me. This site is just getting close to breaking even, though it’s not very expensive because I do most development myself.

So it’s pretty hard to make a living wage as simply a yoga teacher. I think it will be possible in the future, but right now it’s not. That means I don’t get to spend all of my time on my art, which is a shame, but I have high hopes that yoga will become more respected in the near future. Plus, who knows, I’ll probably open my own studio eventually. First, I want to become a better teacher and build-up to sustaining myself by teaching yoga. Music will always be happening as long as I have extra time to spend learning and creating in front of my computer. Music has become a single pointed obsession, perhaps even more than when I first started practicing yoga. It’s as if I’ve found something I’ve wanted to do my entire life, except I’m 26 and have graduated from college and neither yoga nor music were things that I studied or cared about then. I’ve always loved music, but began making music when I was 24 after I downloaded a trial of Ableton Live. I played clarinet in third grade and it made me despise music, honestly. I feel like I found my passions a little too late in the game.

But alas, always in my mind there is hope and self-confidence and I will pursue what I feel called to do, which right now means teaching yoga on a full-time schedule and doing work on the side. Ramping up more and more to create sustenance for myself, then using what I can to fuel my musical and artistic endeavors. Obviously, writing will be a large part of this as well, and I’m just finishing a new painting. I’m also going to put out a podcast on Sundays with my friend Kyle, but we haven’t quite gotten started on that yet so don’t hold your breathe. Honestly, I just want to create all kinds of things over the next 60 years or so until I have to stop because I’m an old man or dead. It’s all about the future generations and creating for them. The youngsters and the kids.

It’ll take a few more weeks to get truly comfortable in an apartment by myself, cooking a lot, driving, etc, but I am definitely happy where I am. I get to ride my bike to teach two yoga classes today, which will be a blast in less-than-crowded streets of Sacramento! I really enjoy cities, especially after spending a lot of time in Paris when I was 20. Moving back to Sacramento is really a cool feeling, now it’s as if I am trying to affect and support the people who I grew up with in the place that I am from. It feel right, whatever the fuck that means.

Following Passion

I am sure that I will be happy over the next few weeks, for the pure joy of following things I love to do. Struggling makes me feel alive, I’ll always want a little bit of discomfort. I guess what is right feels good to me at this point, which means I am at least somewhat aligned with whatever it is that I am supposed to be doing here. Onwards and upwards I guess!

 

 

Teaching Yoga Full-Time in California

teaching yoga

A photo posted by Elliot | ET (@pada_yogi) on

Challenging My Self w/ Teaching Yoga

I am a yoga teacher. This past weekend I taught seven yoga classes. Nine if you include Thursday and three of them were on Saturday. By the end of the class I was a bit delirious; my mind blurred all three class sequences together and couldn’t even remember what we had done so far in the class. I did my best, no doubt, but I was definitely pushing my limits in a lot of ways. It felt great.

Since returning to the states I have been looking for as much work teaching yoga as I can find. Mostly this has amounted to substituting classes for other instructors that are busy or sick or whatever. I think its time to see how much I really like teaching yoga and to push my boundaries to be as flexible as possible.

Teaching Intense Yoga

I prefer teaching yoga at a high level of intensity in my yoga classes; I believe this lends itself to self-discovery and stress releases during the yoga class, especially in the integrative poses of inversions and savasana.

I am teaching all levels classes, which offers a particular set of challenges for an instructor, most notably making the stretches available to the vast majority of the room (sometimes it is inevitable that a stretch isn’t possible, especially with the elderly). So this requires explaining variations, giving people alternate stretches and being fully present in the room. Ideally, each person can spend the entire class finding their own personal focal areas to stretch. The outline comes from me.

Yoga was never meant to be really intense, but in today’s modern world I think we need the intensity. Yoga teachers have to structure their class to provide this, making teaching yoga at high-intensities taxing on the instructors. It helps to wake us up out of our delusions or the lies that we tell ourselves. It makes everything more real when you start to hit your limits. It helps us to realize our humanity.

Teaching Yin Yoga

Yin yoga has been particularly prominent in my practice and in the practice of the people at my studios. I really enjoy teaching yoga in the different yin and yang styles because it gives us an opportunity to balance our asana instruction between talking and stillness, intensity and softness, and helps to keep things dynamic. I wouldn’t like to always teach the exact same class; this is part of the reason I don’t practice Ashtanga or Bikram every day anymore.

Yin has been a sweet spot for me, because I do love silence when I teach. I am focused on creating stillness and meditation in each class for my students.

Appreciation for Yoga Instructors

Sometimes teaching yoga is a bit rough. The pay is not great. It is okay though. The amount of effort that the classes require is probably more than a lot of other jobs, but that also makes it extraordinarily rewarding. I don’t think I need too much appreciation beyond the normal appreciation of being paid enough to make a living, which I am hoping to be able to do at this point. But there is a special kind of respect reserved for yoga instructors in the area for many people, coupled with a disregard and skepticism of others. It is somewhat of a conundrum to be honest.

Since beginning to teach yoga, I’ve been extremely poor. I didn’t even make money for the first six months of teaching yoga. My trip to Asia was nothing short of a miracle and I wouldn’t be able to do a trip like that again. Making ends meet is difficult mostly because it is hard to find work, but I think that I have a good shot at filling up a weekly schedule with 12-15 classes, ideally. I am hoping that August is the month where I can make that happen!

No doubt the area is fairly saturated with yoga instructors because of the emphasis on fitness in California, but I think that differentiating myself from other teachers will be possible with my experience traveling and practicing yoga. I’ve also been teaching yoga for nearly two years now, which doesn’t hurt.

The Future of Teaching Yoga

Yoga is going to change drastically over the next 20 years, I would guess mostly in terms of customization and personalization. People want to feel personally attended to, personally connected to their instructors. We may very well see the rise of some very down to earth and high quality yoga teaching, but I really hope the emphasis on celebrity yoga fades away. Hopefully it will all be even more casual and playful in the next five years; I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see Tai Chi and Qui Gong techniques start to emerge in the yoga rooms across the country. Only time will reveal which direction the art is taken in.

As for me, I am setting down some roots in Sacramento. I have just moved to Northern Oak park and am hoping to find another studio on top of East Wind Yoga and Asha Yoga that I am teaching yoga at a few times a week. Here’s to the future! (If you want to see when I teach, check out my schedule)