Inner Compass

There’s a space, between right around my lower ribs that I try to tune into when I’m feeling a little lost. According to the Chakra map, it is right in the middle of the four elemental chakras, before you get to the higher ones. So, it sits between the ego and the heart on the top, and creativity and security on the bottom.  In this space, I envision lives a little compass. 

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Ella Luckett
Big Self Small Self

This week I went on a transformational journey in which I discovered some of the ways I’ve been operating out of my smaller self. I’ve been dealing with an injury that has been getting progressively more painful and upsetting. Robbing me, in some ways of doing the thing I love to do best: teach yoga, enjoy my friends, and feel vibrant and free. … Or so says my smaller self.

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Ella Luckett
Control

Control is one of those delicately balanced things that we need to handle the way we handle fire. Too much control squelches creativity and the ability to move and grow. To little control creates instability and chaos.

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Ella Luckett
Ahimsa

Have you ever noticed yourself “kicking” yourself for saying or doing something?  If you’re like most people, phrases like “That was really stupid!” or “I am such an idiot!” make an appearance at times, in your steady streaming mind chatter.

Ahimsa is the yoga practice of non-violence, or non-harming.

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Ella Luckett
Through

I had a friend once say to me once, “When you’re going through hell... keep going!” It makes total sense…I mean, why would anyone linger in a hot, troll infested, swamp of a situation? But our tendency to freeze, hold and grip, when life presents us with challenges, is not at all uncommon.

What yoga provides us is a way to loosen up the resistance in your spiritual, emotional, and physical bodies, so that you can move forward, and not linger in tension filled hell. But the key is, unwinding the tension, without completely unraveling…

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Ella Luckett
On Center

What is the center of your life? 

In yoga we have a practice called the Uddiyana bandha. It’s the engagement of the core area, sometimes called “The flying up lock.” To engage Uddiyana bandha you draw the navel center inward and upward on the exhale. You can practice this all throughout the asana practice, and let it go in the end during meditation and savasana.

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Ella Luckett
Power Forgiveness

Yogi’s, this month our theme is power forgiving. I mean it like I mean sit and sweat in utkatasana for fifteen breaths, because this is not easy, and don’t I know it.  This kind of forgiveness isn’t the floppy, hippy, one-love forgiveness that makes you feel weak like you just got walked all over like a doormat in the name of being spiritually enlightened. This is the forgiveness that takes all the wrong you feel in how things went and recycles the hell out of it. It’s a heat filled churning, burning process that alchemizes the hurt, the anger, the feelings of betrayal, and shines them into exquisite diamonds. Diamonds that are strong, powerful and radiate light. 

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Ella Luckett
Cleaning the Unconscious

We have different allocations to how and when to clean things. It’s probably pretty rare that you leave the house without having showered or brushed your teeth. But it could have been a couple of weeks since you swiffered under that bed. And you know the dust bunnies are getting busy under there. ;)

So what’s your cleaning schedule for your mind?...

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Ella Luckett
How to get through "Hard". Yoga’s Answer: From the many to One.

Hard is hard because it’s complex. There’s no getting around the massive amount of process around getting through something hard. It’s hard because its big and has so many moving parts, we struggle to hold the whole weight of it in our hands at one time. 

But hard is the very thing that yoga aims to get us through. How does it do this? By bringing the many into one. No matter how complicated something is, it has one through line, it has one thread, and can be gotten through one breath at a time. 

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Ella Luckett
Life Principle Mantras

Mantras are a form of meditation practice in which one chants the same phrase over and over again. The words or phrases are of a high spiritual vibration. This practice steadies the mind, giving the person space to breath, and look past all the “vrittis,” which is yoga’s way of saying junk, worries, anxieties, memories etc. Once these are out of the way, the practitioner can begin to know their true Self. 

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Ella Luckett
Staying Open Minded to Big Leaps

I think Big Leaps come easy and are fun when we are young (teenage/early twenties). A lot of big leaps are happening naturally, and are even expected from young people(choosing career, moving out of the parents’ place, going to college in a new town, traveling,trying new things, hobbies, sports). I had my probably biggest leap when I moved to US when I was 19, all by myself. I didn’t think much of it, enjoyed my life and took one day at a time. I never even considered it to be The Biggest Leap of my life until people who heard my story were making comments on how brave that was.

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Ella Luckett
Big Moves

Hanumanasana is a very beautiful yet intimidating pose that I find myself rarely attempting. It is one of those poses I put in the "I could do that when I was little" category, as if I now have completely different hamstrings that won't budge now that I am twenty-five. However, because of a consistent yoga practice, I am currently flexible, so I have been attempting more since the announcement of this theme. And I am much closer than I thought!

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Ella Luckett
The Big Leap! Hanumanasana

...powering through all the circumstance that seems to clog the way forward. We simply fly over all the doubt, and the complex landscape of many moving parts that make decision making, and big actions hard. The way forward becomes clear as you take the leap itself, and are already in the air stretching yourself beyond what you thought were your limits. You’ll be letting go of fear and elongating your stride to it’s absolute maximum capacity. It is cathartic, cleansing, and the results manifest in your life as well as your inner constitution.  

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Halloween! The Fear Factor

Halloween is a time where we have fun with fear! We actively seek out ways to scare ourselves, and indulge in images of death, which is supposedly our greatest fear. It’s said in the pagan wisdom that fall is the time when the portal between the worlds of the living and the spirits is the most open. This openness can play on our anxiety of the unknown, but with a playful willingness to entertain the mystery of life and beyond we can build boldness in living in the here and now...

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Ella Luckett
Passion and Patience (October 2017 Theme)

Lately, I’ve been recognizing my tendency to thrive in a state of passion, and get a little depressed when I’m confronted with the time for patience. Driven for my creative endeavors and deeply searching for love, I launch into projects with complete focus and high drive intensity, and then become depleted and sad when they are finished, subside, or seems stalled in some way. I’ve realized I need to develop a taste for the interludes where I might have less control or direct effect, but instead I can wait for the earth to respond to seeds I’ve planted. Sitting in the waiting room of your dreams, may seem passive. But if patience is a counter to falling into a state of disappointed drudgery, then it becomes the stealth secret force beneath the ocean tide that’s always moving all of us in the right direction.

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The Neurological Magic That Happens When We Slow Down

A few weeks ago, an old knee injury started acting up again. I was in a great deal of pain.

The only way I could avoid aggravating it was by not going anywhere (not an option), or walking really really slowly. Slower than a senior citizen living in Alabama on the hottest day of the year. Yeah, that slow.

You can imagine what an odd thing it was to slow down that much. As a New Yorker, I was careful to move out of the way of the typical Ferrari-paced person as they revved up behind me and needed to pass.

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Ascending the Summit

One day when I was rock climbing, I found my way to a large ledge just a few yards from the top.

I tried to get over it or around it for several minutes. Finally, exhausted, I yelled down to my belay partner “Coming down!”

He said, “Nah, you’re almost there!”

“Yes,” I said, “but I can’t get past it, and I’m exhausted and just done.” I said this in complete satisfaction of the height I’d reached, it being the highest I’d reached yet. As a yogi, I lack a competitive nature. Well, actually, I was born that way—there’s not a competitive bone in my body, not even with myself.

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Communication - The Throat Chakra

The Throat Chakra

The fifth chakra is our seat of communication.  The reason the quality of our voice is the best way to know our practice is progressing, is because the fifth chakra is the last and highest of the chakras that manifest on a physical plane. All the work we do to balance ourselves out from the first chakra on up will be reflected on the top level. Just as a top blanket will be only as smooth as the sheets and other blankets beneath it. When the top is smooth, we know the under layers are smooth as well.

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Bhav

Bhav, or Bhaaaaav means just like how it sounds, a delicious yogic mood.  It’s the quality of living in a divine state. We often think of our mood as something we have little control over. Like the weather, we are subject to the things around us, what happens to us, how much sleep we get, hormonal fluctuations and well, yes, the weather itself.

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Happy Habits

From “Should” to “sweet desire…”
Most of us have no problem indulging in things. Come on… What’s your vice? Mid-afternoon latte? After dinner chocolate? Happy hour drink?  Yet, what people often report to me about their yoga or meditation practice is that they “should be better about it.”  I try as best I can to shift the mindset from “should” to one of sweet desire

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