Her first yoga class was through a continuing education program in a high school gym 16 years ago – a gift from her husband Mark. Her ‘mat’ at the time was an old towel and in spite of the less than ideal environment she knew that this practice was lovely. Her next yoga experience was a beginner level class with Joan Brandt at Living Yoga & Health. She loved the gentle movement. Lying on the ground in Savasana, with the blanket Joan floated over each of them, was heaven. Walking home, she was aware of a new sensation, lightness and ease in her body. Since then, yoga and meditation have been a gift and support through all parts of her life.
As a social worker, she had thought for years that there must be some way of integrating yoga and meditation with her work and that teaching yoga would be a wonderful way of deepening her own practice. In 2008 she participated in a year long Mindfulness in Clinical Practice program with Michael Stone and began to understand how this integration was possible. She completed the yoga teacher training at Living Yoga & Health with Jayelle, Lisa and Jacqueline in October 2012 and was delighted to be invited to teach there beginning in January 2013.
In her private therapy practice, she now introduces simple yoga and mindfulness practices that can be of benefit in coping with depression, anxiety and trauma. These experiences can cause the mind to be pre-occupied with thoughts about the past and worries about the future. Yoga and meditation bring us more clearly into the present moment, allowing for the possibility of calm and quiet, as well as resilience and acceptance when life’s difficulties and painful mind states arise. Further, these practices allow us to recognize habitual patterns of acting and reacting. She offers workshops at the studio with a focus on yoga and meditation for anxiety and depression.
The greatest pleasure for Elisabeth in teaching is the opportunity to spend time with others who are interested in exploring yoga, and its’ benefits for body, mind and spirit. She also uses what she has learned in her private therapy practice introducing simple yoga and mindfulness practices that can be of benefit in coping with depression, anxiety and trauma.
At the moment, Elisabeth is interested in flowing yoga practices, moving slowly through a series of poses, pausing at times to notice the breath and the echo of movement in the body. She continues to explore meditation in her personal practice, and in the Living Dharma program with Molly Swan and Norman Feldman.
This is the final part of a poem she loves:
Hey, silent one, Hey, great talker
Not two/Not one
Not separate/Not apart
This is the heart
Bliss is emptiness
Emptiness is bliss
Be your breath, Ah
And relax, Ho
And remember this: You can’t miss.
The Very Short Sutra on the Meeting of the Buddha and the Goddess