We have much to discuss in the world, and now, more than ever it is important that we hear each other without creating more separation. We can begin to heal our human wounds and our global problems by being present in the face of difficulty, listening more and judging less and by having open-minded non-violent dialogue with others as we work together toward solutions. I’d like to think that this could be done with kindness, practicing Ahimsa. – Ellen Mosko
The VibeWell HONORS Festival is coming to NJ on May 11, 2019 and we are so humbled and grateful to announce that Ellen Mosko will be taking the stage alongside her friend, Cathy Madeo.
As we started to prepare for VibeWell HONORS – an epic immersion into the passion and magic of yoga – we realized it only made sense to reach out to Ellen and learn more about her.
Read on. You will be SO inspired + beyond excited to spend May 11th with her!
How long have you been practicing yoga and why did you start practicing yoga?
In college my friend, a Physical Education, was introducing Sun Salutations and other yoga postures to a small group of her fitness class students. She asked me if I’d be interested and I joined the group. We practiced twice a week during the month of January. This was long before yoga became so popular. I loved the class and would often practice in my dorm room and at home in the years to follow. My first yoga studio experience was when I started going to a local studio in the late 90’s with a friend.
Describe the practice you are offering at VibeWell Honors:
So excited about this pairing of asana styles! I’ll be teaching the Yin part of a class with Cathy Madeo teaching the Yang part. We combined our love of both active and passive styles of yoga to bring out the best in both. The Yin half sets up still reflections of the poses we will actively engage with in the second half of class, the Yang part.
What will “yoga” look like in 10 years?
My 10-year look to the future of yoga is hopeful considering that more students are studying yoga with an awareness of the holistic benefits of the practices. Contemplating how this will shape yoga classes in the future I imagine that discussions on yoga philosophy and the application of the yamas/niyamas may begin to transform how we approach daily living.
The yoga classrooms will be unconventional, accessible for all and include the ability to interact through an online connection. Our schools and work places will offer classes each week in both asana and mindfulness.
As our minds become more focused and present the internal practices of pranayama, concentration and meditation will be offered with more consistency on yoga schedules in the future. The return to a meditative style of practice including the support of Restorative styles of yoga are used as tools to steady the mind, slow the pace of life and nourish the body. People consciously incorporate these valuable practices into every day in order to shape the way we communicate with one another worldwide.
What style of yoga do you practice and what makes that style most effective?
My home practice is based on Iyengar, Vinyasa Flow and Restorative/Yin Yoga. The alignment-based style of Iyengar Yoga utilizes many different prop set-ups to make most postures more accessible. The system of learning is organized and progressive so what is taught in a Beginner class will directly apply to an action needed in a Level 1 posture. As a teacher, I enjoy the way this approach engages students to cultivate awareness from the beginning. From a therapeutic point of view, the practice is very supportive.
My study of anatomy and alignment informs the way I approach Vinyasa sequencing, typically tuning in with how I feel internally as I carefully observe my breath. If I have a larger amount of time to practice, I enjoy a warming Vinyasa flow with longer holds incorporating the actions needed for a peak pose. I may not get to where I planned and instead work through the stages in order to open up or strengthen certain areas in the body.
The slower pace of Yin and Restorative yoga bring balance to my home practice.
What is the single most defining issue facing the global yoga community today?
Communication may not be a single defining issue but it does affect us all. How we apply yoga philosophy to our everyday interactions and encourage greater understanding could be a catalyst for positive change. – Ellen
With social media arenas enjoying a large impact in the digital age, how we communicate our ideas to each other plays an important role in what we hope to accomplish as a global community. Greater amounts of time are spent on these platforms connecting us across the globe. What we actually say on line, how we treat each other verbally and how we come across in the ethers does matter. Conscious, clear communication will be an issue going forward and is often non-existent or at best reduced to a few snappy sound bites in much of the online dialogues.
Recently I spent time teaching about the yamas in my weekly asana classes. Focusing on one yama at a time allowed for reflection and integration. When I think about Ahimsa (non-violence), I can’t help but wonder how much advancing technology has inadvertently created a buffer zone in which accountability is diminished? Sadly, most of us have witnessed a few conversation threads unfolding in a way that is deleterious for both sides of the discussion. In speaking truthfully (Satya) we can, as the Sutras point out, base our words and actions in Ahimsa. Truth, after all can be somewhat subjective, as demonstrated in the Star Wars scene when Obi Wan tells Luke about his father… “So, what I told you was true… from a certain point of view. Luke, you’re going to find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”
As a yoga community we can set a higher standard right now by communicating well and observing the principles of the yamas, especially when we disagree. We often don’t know how much we impact another by our speech. Unintentionally or otherwise, the way we speak to each other can cause feelings of hurt, exclusion and shame. Would the words be the same if the person receiving them were right in front of us? How we clean up after a messy interaction is important as well… but, that topic is for another time.
We have much to discuss in the world, and now, more than ever it is important that we hear each other without creating more separation. We can begin to heal our human wounds and our global problems by being present in the face of difficulty, listening more and judging less and by having open-minded non-violent dialogue with others as we work together toward solutions. I’d like to think that this could be done with kindness, practicing Ahimsa.
What is your dharma, your life mission?
My work creates a safe space to guide and empower students to become present to the inner dialogue that limits or motivates action. I utilize breath work, yoga postures and study Nature’s rhythms to inspire and support others and myself.
Why did you decide to start teaching yoga?
Truthfully, I followed my intuition. I enjoyed yoga so much I wanted to share that good feeling with others. Funny story though, during my first teacher training we were asked to go to the front of the room, sit on the teachers mat and talk for a few minutes while answering this very question. As I walked to the front and sat down my heart was beating so fast. I recall looking out over the 30 faces and thinking “what made me think I could ever do this?” I seriously wanted to run away. Luckily the other, smaller voice said “you can do this.”
My advice? Listen to the voice that uplifts you.
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