Posts in Creative Yogi
A 60 minute yoga playlist for a gentle inversion practice

A shift in perspective

We normally move through life looking at things a certain way, a way driven by our past experiences, our values, our belief systems. And in general, this works for us -- we garner a lot of information about ourselves and the world around us in this way. But every once in awhile, this way of working fails us. Often times it’s failure looks like this:

You start to feel foggy, unclear about a situation

You feel stuck, dull, or unmotivated.

You can’t shake your own negative thinking

These are all signs that you need a shift in perspective, a shift that allows you to see things in a new light.

Feeling stuck? Invert yourself.

An inversion is any position where your head is below your heart. When you invert yourself, there are many physical benefits including:

  • reversing your blood + lymph flow, which nourishes your tissues, organs and glands
  • Improving your circulation
  • Flushes oxygen (through your blood) into your brain, which stimulates your mental functioning and improves your memory and concentration
  • Strengthening of many of your major muscle groups, in particular all those small back muscles that support your spine.

Along with all these physical benefits, inverting your body has mental benefits as well. It helps you to feel more expansive and when your brain gets washed with blood, it can help to invigorate your way of thinking. When your body gets re-oxygenated in an inversion, you feel like a new person when you come out of it. It can help to change your perspective by jogging new ways of thinking. An inversion practice is like hitting the reset button and gets you feeling, breathing and moving in a new direction.

Here’s some gentle inversion practice suggestions + a 60 minute playlist I created to inspire your inversion practice:

You can also find this playlist over on spotify:

To begin your inversion practice, warm up with a few rounds of sun salutations, A + B, then add on these 5 Gentle yoga Inversions to disperse any negativity and shift your perspective:

  1. Puppy pose, forearms on a block, hands in prayer
  2. Humble Warrior I
  3. Wide leg forward fold with eagle arms
  4. Supported Shoulderstand (with blankets)
  5. Legs-up the wall


At the the beginning of the month, I decided to challenge myself to getting upside down at least once a day. Want to join me!? I challenge you to get your head below your heart 1x a day for at least 30 days. See what shifts and changes for you!



A Yoga Flow to Awaken Your Inner Voice

The way forward is inward.

Whenever I am feeling muddled or unclear about my life and the direction that I am moving (which is more frequent than I would like), I try to remember that the process of being in the dark is normal, necessary even. That this place of the unknown is actually a call to move inward.

If you are faced with a change in your life or if you ever feel unsure of where you are going, take it as an invitation to move within, to sit in the stillness and listen in to the voice inside of you that knows the way, that can guide you through the dark.

Focus on your core engagement + what aries from your center.

Intuition is often associated with the third eye, the space between the eyes, an energy center related to visions and inner seeing. What I’ve observed, is that while this is often where intuition expresses itself through intuitive thoughts or images that we “see,” it actually arises from deeper within. I believe that it originates from the core of our experience, the center essence of who we are. It’s that idea of a “gut instinct” and “knowing it to your core.” Nourishing the core can be really beneficial in empowering our intuition to bubble up into form.

This sequence is designed to help you awaken your core and move energy and blood flow into the pelvic bowl so that it may arise into the articulation of your intuition.

Spiral in + in and root down.

As you move through this sequence, focus on engaging the core and balancing the pelvis. To do this, first hug the inner thighs towards one another, then back. This action will tilt the pelvis back and create a curve in the low back. Then into that space, root the tailbone down as you draw your navel towards your spine and upwards. This action will tilt the pelvis forward and create length in the low back. As you move through the following flow, play with these two actions to find the balanced middle ground between them. See if you can keep engagement of the core and balance in the pelvis as you move.  

The following is a flow sequence for going into the core of who you are, the place that knows. I also created a Spotify playlist for you to listen to you while you practice!



Warm Up

Start on your back with a hand on your belly and the other on your chest while you begin to deepen the breath. Feel the breath move as it rises from the belly up into the chest on the inhalation. Exhale through the chest, ribcage and all the way back down to the belly. Continue breathing deeply for another 5 rounds of breath.

Leg Lifts. Inhale and lift your right leg in the air, while your left leg stays extended on your mat. Draw your navel towards your spine to activate the core. Exhale lower the leg back down to the floor. Do three more rounds of breath, rising your right leg. At the end of the third breath, bring both legs to the floor. Then inhale lift the left leg. Exhale release it to the floor. Continue for three rounds on the left leg.

Come into Downward Facing Dog, pressing the thighs back as you root the tailbone towards the floor.

From left to right: Child's Pose, Dolphin Pose, Warrior II, Triangle, Prasarita Padottanasana (wide legged forward fold), Twisted Lizard Pose, Uttanasana (variation), Eagle Pose, Salabhasana, Bridge Pose. 

From left to right: Child's Pose, Dolphin Pose, Warrior II, Triangle, Prasarita Padottanasana (wide legged forward fold), Twisted Lizard Pose, Uttanasana (variation), Eagle Pose, Salabhasana, Bridge Pose. 

Flow #1

1. From Downward Facing Dog, lift the right leg to the sky for one-legged dog

2. Exhale and bring right leg forward between your hands. Place the knee on the floor for Low Lunge. Breath for 3 rounds of breath.

3. Inhale and lift the left knee off the ground as you rise up to High Lunge.

4. Exhale place the hands on either side of the foot, step back to Plank.

5. Exhale and lower the forearms into a Dolphin Plank. Hold for five breaths then press back up to plank.

6. Press back into Child’s Pose.

7. With the forearms on the floor, clasp your hands together and lift your hips for Dolphin’s Pose.

8. Press back up into Down Facing Dog, one hand at a time.

9. Vinyasa, repeat on the other side.

Flow #2

10. Inhale right leg up, then step it forward between your hands and rise up to Warrior II, front heel inline with your back, knee directly above your ankle. Exhale.

Warrior II

Warrior II

11. On the next inhale, straighten the front leg

12. Exhale and sweep right hand towards the sky for a Reversed Trikonasana (Triangle) Pose.

13. Inhale and come back to center, reach your right arm out in front of you to lengthen out the sides of your body, then exhale as you bring right hand to the floor for Trikonasana (Triangle) Pose. Stay here for three breaths.

14. On your next inhale, root down through your feet to rise back up to center. Bring your right foot to face the long edge of your mat, maintaining your wide stance. Exhale bring your hands to your hips. Inhale and lengthen sides of the body, exhale fold forward for Prasarita Padottansana (forward fold). Stay here for three breaths.

15. On your next exhale, walk your hands to the back of your mat, hands on either side of your left foot. Inhale, root the right foot down and press up into Warrior II

Triangle Pose

Triangle Pose

16. Straighten front leg, reversed Trikonasana (triangle pose)

17. Exhale and sweep right hand towards the sky for a Reversed Trikonasana (triangle) pose

18. Inhale and come back to center, reach your right arm out in front of you to lengthen out the sides of your body, then exhale as you bring right hand to the floor for Trikonasana (triangle) Pose. Stay here for three breaths.

19. On your next inhale, root down through your feet to rise back up to center. Bring your right foot to face the long edge of your mat, maintaining your wide stance. Exhale bring your hands to your hips. Inhale and lengthen sides of the body, exhale fold forward for Parsvottansana (forward fold). Stay here for three breaths.

20.  On your next exhale, walk your hands to the back of your mat, hands on either side of your right foot in a Lunge.

21. Vinyasa, repeat on the other side.

Flow #3

23. From Downward Dog step forward between your hands, Uttanasana.

24. Inhale, sweep your arms up over head as you bend your knees into Utkatasana (Chair Pose). Bring your hands down to meet at heart center.

25. On your next exhale, take your right elbow to your left knee for Utkatasana Twist. Inhale.

26. Exhale, and step your right leg back into a High Lunge Twist. Then open up hands, right hand comes to the floor, left hand high.

27. Place right knee on the floor, bend your knee, right foot lifting towards the sky. Lean your weight into your right hand, as you come onto the pinkie toe edge of your left foot. Reach your left hand back for your right foot into a Twisted Lizard Pose and lift your heart towards the sky. Stay here for three breaths.

28. Come back to center, both hands on either side of the left foot. Inhale to rock your weight into your left foot as you lift your back leg off the floor and towards the sky into Standing Splits. Exhale. Inhale, lengthen the sides of your body and exhale and sink deeper. Stay here for three breaths.

29. On your next exhale, take the right foot behind the left foot for a Uttanasana Variation

30. Keeping the left knee hooked over the right as you begin to sit back into the heel of the right foot as you rise up with your upper body. Bring your arms out in front of you and wrap your right arm underneath your left for Eagle pose. Stay here for three breaths.

31. On the next exhale, Release eagle pose by bringing the hands to the ground, lifting the left leg up behind you back into Standing Split. Inhale.

32. Exhale, step left leg back to High Lunge.

33. Vinyasa, repeat on the other side.  

Cool Down

34. From Downward Dog, make your way to your belly. Root the tops of the feet to the ground as you draw your shoulders on your back and clasp your hands together. Root your tailbone towards your heels as you inhale and lift the chest + the feet off the ground for Salabhasana, Locust Pose.

35. Release down on your next exhale and then push back into Child’s Pose.

36. Make your way onto your back with your feet planted on the mat, knees towards the sky. Inhale and begin to lift your hips. Draw your shoulders on the back and interlace your hands underneath you for Bridge Pose. Root the head back into the mat, so that your chin remains lifted. You may also like to add a block between your thighs, squeezing into the block as your root your tailbone down towards your knees. Stay here for 3-5 breaths.

37. Exhale, release down. Bring your knees into your chest and rock them around a little bit.

38. Release arms and legs to the mat for Savasana Pose.

Everything you need is within you.

When life challenges you, tap into the core intelligence and allow yourself to be powered from that place.

5 poses to elevate your energy and creativity

I have so much that I want to do and accomplish. My to-do list is like a million miles long. How about yours?

There are quite a few days where I just want to run from my to do list (even though it’s mostly full of exciting projects that are of my own design). I don’t feel like painting or writing or answering my emails or really doing anything at all. All I want to do, really, is take a nap. Or curl up on the couch and watch the entire series of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Zone out. Numb out. Peace out.  

But if I gave into that feeling every time, then my projects, my goals, ideas and big dreams swirling around in my head never come into fruition. They would lie in fragmented pieces, collecting dust in the corners of my mind.  

Sometimes, I just need a little more energy to go after all of the ideas I’ve got ruminating in my brain.

I also believe that my lack of focus + motivation comes partly from a place of fear of what will happen if I actually accomplish some of the things that I’ve set out to do. Will I be too visible? Will I be rejected? Will I look like a fool? Will I have wasted my time?

And that fear is super duper draining. It drains out all of my energy + creativity. And the couch and Netflix and my cozy blanket begin to look all the more appealing.

But then, I snap out of it.

Because I want to create a life that is full and lovely. I want to challenge myself to reach my goals and set a good example for my daughter. I want to stop avoiding myself and the creativity that wants to come streaming out of me.

I want to create cool things.

So I get to work. But how do you maintain and even elevate the energy and creativity to help you get going?

I have started doing a couple of things that seem to really help pull me out of my unfocused, unmotivated funk:

Write down 10 ideas everyday.

I started a practice of writing down 10 ideas everyday. Not necessarily ideas I’m actually going to do anything with or ideas that are even all that great. 

I just get the jumble out of my head and onto the page. It also helps me bump up my creative thinking and remember that creativity is an endless source.

It’s a muscle that keeps on pumping the iron when you work at it.

Diffuse Essential Oil

I am obsessed with essential oils and so I naturally love diffusing them. Not only do they make my house smell good, but they make me feel good.

Right now, I’m diffusing orange + peppermint oils. This combination wakes up the senses, uplifts your energy and helps you to concentrate and focus.

A couple of other good combos that can help pump up the energy: Lemon + Peppermint or Lemon, Tangerine and Grapefruit.  

Drink More Water

One of the things that I ALWAYS forget to ask myself when I am feeling drained and unmotivated is, “Eliza, have you had enough water today?”

If I did remember to ask myself that, the answer would most likely be, “Um, no. Probably not.” If you are feeling dried up of all your energy and it feels like your creativity is just not flowing properly, then go refill your water bottle and start chugging.

This always makes me feel better when I remember to check in with my water intake.

Jump Around

Jump, jump! Get out ya seat ‘n jump around. Jump up, Jump up and get down.

Ok, I’m back and out of breath because I may or may not have just turned on that song and started bouncing around my studio like a crazy person.

But seriously, if you want to quickly amp up your energy, move ya booty. Put on a fast + happy song (it doesn’t have to be a throw back but it can be!) and dance and jump around.

If that doesn’t raise your vibration, I don’t know what will!

Breath of Fire

This is fun breathing exercise that gets the energy flowing through the whole body pretty quickly. Take a comfortable seat and begin a couple rounds of deep inhalations and exhalations.

Then take one big inhalation, and push the exhale through your nose with a bit of force as you pump the belly button towards your spine with in quick, forceful exhales. The inhale will happen automatically. Do 30 exhales.

Then take a deep inhalation and pause, holding the breath at the top of the exhalation for a few moments and then exhale, release the breath. Take a few normal breaths, noticing any effects from the first round of breath of fire. Then try another 2 rounds!


Of course it’s on the list! It’s my go to. Right now, I’m looking back and forth from my couch and my mat. Mat, couch, mat couch. If I needed to elevate my energy and get the creative juices flowing, the choice would be a no brainer.  

If you have a handstand practice, doing a handstand against the wall or in the middle of the room is a great way to get the blood flowing to your brain. It’s an instant pick-me-up.

If you don’t have a handstand practice (or even if you do, but want a few other yoga poses to try out) try out the following poses:

Here’s a couple of energizing hip openers. Opening the hips and the energy of pelvis energizes the whole self--and it is also grounding. So it’s good practice for creating a focused yet energized feeling.

(it’s always a good idea to warm up with a couple of cat/cows or sun salutations before trying sequence)

1. bound hands side angle pose (BADDHA HASTA PARSVAKONASANA)

Come into warrior II, with the right toes facing forward to the top of your mat and the left toes pointing toward the side of the mat. With the right knee bent and directly above the left ankle, align the right heel up with middle of the back left foot.

Keep your legs in this warrior II stance, as you clasp your hands behind your back. Inhale to lengthen up from your waistline to your armpits. Exhale and fold towards the side of your mat. Inhale, hug your legs towards one another, pulling the muscles up from the grounding of your feet into the core of your pelvis.

Keep that as you exhale and press your hips back and extend through the spine to the crown of the head. Draw the shoulders towards one another as you lift your clasped hands towards the sky. Breath for 5 breath cycles. Then exhale, root through your feet and inhale, to rise back up to warrior II.

Switch legs and do the other side.

2. Lunge pose (ANJANEYASANA) 

Start in downward dog, from down dog, inhale and bring your right foot forward between your hands. Exhale, take the left knee to the floor. Inhale, draw the right hip back to square the hips towards the front of your mat.

Activate the toes (by lifting and spreading them) of both feet to engage the muscles of your legs. Keep that as you inhale, bring your hands to your hips and lengthen up through the sides of your body to the crown of your head.

Exhale and allow gravity to pull your pelvis towards the floor as you lift the spine up towards the sky. Breath for 5 breath cycles.

Come back to downdog and then switch sides.

3. extended hand to big toe pose (UTTHITA HASTA PADANGUSTHASANA)

Standing in mountain pose, root down through your left foot. Lift and spread the toes of the left foot and then place them back down, but keep the activation of the leg muscles of the left leg. Maintain a steady connection to your breath as as you begin to lift the right foot off the floor and bring the knee to your chest.

It helps to lock your gaze on an unmoving point somewhere in the room. Take your right hand to your right knee and open it out to the right side OR grab onto the outside edge of your right foot and extend the right leg out to the right side.

Continue to root down through your left leg, draw the tailbone towards the floor as well and at the same time, extend from your pelvis out into your right leg, all the way to your toes.

Stay here for five breaths or as long as you can, then do the left side.    


From downward dog, inhale and raise your right leg to the sky. Exhale and bring the right leg forward, placing the right knee on the ground near your right hand and bring your right shin down to the ground as well, with your right heel pointing towards your left hip.

Take the left left back and place it on the ground. Draw your right hip back and your left hip forward. Energize both legs by engaging the toes, reaching the right pinkie toe towards the floor and pulling the legs into your pelvis, so much so that you can bring your hands off the floor and to your heart.

Keep that as you inhale and lengthen up through the sides of your body and exhale, extend from the pelvis down into the ground and out through your legs.

Breath for 5 breath cycles. Then come slowly back to downward dog and do the other side.

5. lateral seated angle pose (PARSVA UPAVISTHA KONASANA)

Sit on the floor with your legs out to either side of you. If you are really tight in your hips and low back, sit on the edge of a couple of folded blankets. Inhale and point your toes towards the sky and draw from your feet up into the core of your pelvis. Exhale and and extend back out, pressing the pelvis into the floor and out through the feet.

Then lengthen up through the spine and keep that length as you twist your upper body towards the right and begin to fold over the right leg. Exhale and move the breath down into the back of the leg as you stretch. Continue to keep the left leg involved by pulling it in towards your center.

Stay here for 5 breaths. Then when you are ready, exhale root down through the legs, inhale come back up to center and then move to the left side.

4 helpful ways to get out of bed for yoga (+ my at home yoga space)

This is me on auto-pilot:

I get up around 7 (after sleeping through my three alarms).  It's usually dark still in this part of the country and I'm usually not very awake. I'm naturally a bit of a kicking-screaming-fighting-to-get-my-butt-out-of-the-comfort-of-my-bed kind of person and I won't be able to converse with anyone in anything except grunts, for at least a full 30 minutes. My hips hurt and all. I. Want. Is. Coffee.

This is me on a morning yoga kick:

I hit my alarm around 6 am and I get out of bed and roll out my mat (I used to practice right next to my bed, but these days, I practice in my garage-turned-studio). I put my space heater on right up close to my mat (because who likes to be cold early in the morning) and I get my body moving. Afterwards, I feel less achy and tired and a little more excited about what the day will bring.  Whenever I get myself on this daily, am kick, life starts to feel and look a lot brighter.

Do you want to start or rededicate yourself to a morning, home yoga practice too?

Here are my 4 tips to amp up your am yoga routine:

(or what I do when I am on a morning yoga practice kick)

  1. Set up a yoga space
  2. Rework your day before
  3. Have a plan
  4. Create a ritual of You Time  

Set up a yoga space

Having a place to practice has been a crucial part of keeping myself aligned with the goal of an am yoga practice. Even if it’s just a mat + small altar set up beside your bed, having a space prepared will remind you of your intention to practice and help you to get all the pieces in place to get up a little early.


All you really need is a space long enough to lay out your yoga mat. It can be right next to your bed or in another designated spot in your house. You could even create a mobile space, by putting all of the things you need in basket and carrying that to the place you want to practice. Your mat is really the only necessary thing that you need to practice, but there are a few other things that can help set your mind in yoga mode:

  • a candle or some other soothing, low lighting
  • music (if you like to practice to music)
  • a few items that inspire you: art, pictures, flowers, etc. I have a Ganesh statue and Nourishment Yantra and a few special stones.
  • You also might want to have a block or two, a blanket and a strap, just as you would at a yoga studio!

Rethink your day before

The day before your am practice will directly effect your success. For me, drinking caffeine too late in the day, eating dinner late, eating too much chocolate for dessert, and/or stay up too late, challenges my well laid plans to get up in the morning to practice yoga. So think about your day before. What can you do to assure you get to bed early enough to wake a little earlier and what can you do to help yourself  get to sleep when you do go to bed. A couple of things that help me are: 

  • avoiding caffeine later in the day
  • avoiding chocolate in the evening  
  • doing a little bit of breathing/pranayama before bed
  • journaling before bed (to get out any of the thoughts that might keep you awake)
  • putting Lavender essential oil on the bottoms of your feet and pillow
  • giving yourself a foot massage (this helps to ground you and alleviate an anxious mind)
  • drinking warm milk with nutmeg before bed

Have a Plan

Have a plan for what you are going to do in your morning yoga practice. If I know what I am getting out of bed for, I am 10 times more likely to get out of bed. Decide the night before what you are going to do for your practice. You could pick a sequence out of a yoga or fitness magazine or find some sequences on Pinterest or Youtube (check out my pinterest board for at home yoga practice ideas). I have also used online streaming yoga videos before. Here are a couple that I’ve used and enjoyed:

A plan helps get you out of bed, but it’s also good to be willing to let go of your plan once you are actually on your mat. For example, if your internet keeps cutting out or you are really exhausted and need a slower practice than you planned, it’s important to go with the flow and do what is right for your body and mind in that moment.

Create a Ritual of You Time

I have a lively 2 year old daughter, so as you can imagine, I don’t have a whole lot of quiet, downtime to myself. So the promise of a special time just for me has been a huge motivator in getting me out of bed these days. Inspired by  Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning, I created a series of morning rituals for myself that help satisfy my soul, my body and bring my mind into a prime position to start the day. My morning ritual includes:

  • Morning Pages with a cup of hot lemon water
  • A few minutes of pranayama/breathing exercises
  • Yoga practice
  • Meditation
  • a few minutes at my altar

I don’t always get all of these pieces in everyday and actually, allowing that to be ok is a key part in my success in getting out of bed for any of it at all. Some mornings my daughter wakes up early and I only make it through part of my routine. Other days, I only have time for an abbreviated version of this routine. And that has to be ok.

Release the Drill Sargent and be your own personal soul soother.

Even 5 minutes on the mat is better than no minutes at all. Practice not perfection.

What would you include in your own ritual of you time? Will you get up and practice with me?