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I lost my map!

Park City, Utah

Jan 7, 2019 was the day I officially started yoga again after a long winter break/holiday. I know that actually is a bit late to the whole “New Years Resolution” program. But I had zero resolutions I was clear on making…mostly because I was distracted trying to survive skiing for the first time (which is utterly terrifying). So through the hysteria of falling down a mountain every 5 feet trying not to die by veering out of control over the cliff, a resolution was not made- just a resolve to survive the next turn. Perhaps a metaphor eh?
Coming home to LA, albeit relieved, I was in a lull I had not experienced for sometime. My yoga clients are still traveling and my schedule has been hard to fill. I also have this new book out and suddenly I am not sure what I anticipated by having a book published? Wild success? No…perhaps eventually (sigh). I know better than that…but still, no real map on the next step of what that entails. Let me be more specific, no real budget.
No  budget, no clients, no income, no hope. I’ve sat in my apartment since last week wondering if I had some how become agoraphobic and a recluse? Suddenly noise seemed noisier and crowds more crowded. Does anyone else hear that high pitch ringing? I just wanted to stay home with myself. Avoiding yoga avoiding everyone.
I went on one job interview (that did not go well) and that some how sent me back to a level of hurt form being rejected that I had endured in the 11 years of LA.  I’m just kind of tired of beginning again. This time I’m trying to be a nanny! So many years of composing music, then teaching yoga, now writing a children’s book… I don’t know how to answer the question anymore when someone asks “What do you do?”  uh…
The deep dive into depression I go! But at least I am used to this swim. I stroke familiarly agains the tides and hold my breath for even longer. Silently praying (screaming) in my head “NO! NO! NO!”   I cannot be here! I cannot! I have fought too hard, developed too many skills! Yet to be this uncertain and this terrified for my future? Crippling anxiety takes hold, the worst thought ever arises- was this all a mistake?

None the less, I know when I am in this mindset, there’s one thing I’m avoiding most. Going to yoga. So today out of the depths of my despair and self pity I rose (late of course).  Just so I could yell at myself all day for being late…and made it to yoga. 
The class was fantastic. Just what I needed. My 5 pound…ok, 10 pound heavier Christmas body was strong, flexible and the fluidity was returning and…ah…sigh… my mind was calming. 

I had the realization that my mind was a crumpled ball of paper. How could I write any intention on it? At the end of practice though, it returned to a smooth white paper, ready for me to act upon it. A clear list of intentions of actions were ready to be written. I knew I had lost my map, but at least I found my way back to my mat. That’s all I can do for now. Uncrumple Kailand.

Into Africa (Part I)

Location: Zambia

Hotel: Victoria Falls Hotel

Currency: The Rand

Book Suggestion: Out of Africa

My first trip to Africa is almost too mega to put into a blog.  That is why there will be many parts.  One for each place I visited.

To start, I boarded the plane from LAX, there we flew to Washington D.C. And then took a connection to Johannasburg.  Below are some products I use to keep my skin glowing and fresh for my travels (it really works because I did not have a single break out!) Use this mask on the flight 🙂


When we landed there was  a beautiful hotel 10 ft from the airport.

After a fantastic dinner, massage and hot shower, I went to bed and woke up completely refreshed.

 We headed back to the airport and flew to Zambia.

There I was to see one of the 7 natural wonders of the world The Victoria Falls (also known as “the smoke that thunders”) and stay at a nearly two hundred year old hotel.  Words will never describe this experience so I will just post the photos.

Water Fall:

A word of advice: Wear flip flops and shorts (or capris)! I was absolutely drenched from the ankle all the way up to my hips and freezing!) Had I dressed properly I would have been fine.

It completely took my breath away.

To my delight, on the last day there, my boyfriend scheduled us a helicopter ride. It was the first time I had ever been on one and it was to fly over a waterfall in Africa.  One of the most spectacular moments of my life.


Stay tuned for the Victoria Falls Hotel! I spent the whole day photographing it and it deserves a blog in its own right.


Kyle Elizabeth

5 Yoga Poses to Help Fight Fatigue!

Happy Chinese New Years!

After attending a workshop by spiritual leader Todd Savvas I learned that this Chinese new year (although has many promising blessings) happens to also mean I will be visited by the Energy Reducing Star.  After sleeping an unusual amount last week  I already  feel it’s affects taking hold. What’s a gal like me to do?

Yoga of course!

Do you feel low energy? (I usually feel a lull in the late afternoon).  But have no fear, instead of reaching for a cup of coffee, there are great yoga poses that bring an uplifting energetic effect!

Side Body Stretches


Here with the arms raised over head and gently leaning to one side,  begin to open the ribs. Lengthening and creating space here opens up the intercostals along the side body and can create an uplifting effect.   Be mindful that your shoulders don’t tilt down towards the floor, keep the side body long and open. Be gentle with the stretch do not over do it.  I like to take deep breathes to help open up my lungs, deeper breaths = more oxygen = more energy!

Spinal Rolls

After lengthening and breathing into each side I continue until I  feel open and elongated (usally 2-3x).  I like to follow this side stretch with spinal rolls. This helps tension melt away from the body because the body needs to fully relax in order to roll up and down.


Easy Pose

 After this pose you can gently come into Sukasana, easy pose.  Sit with your legs crossed and spine lengthens through the crown of your head.  Inhale one arm up and over as the other supports you on the ground.  Gently repeat a few times on each side.


From here,  gently come onto you hands and knees into a table top position. Inhale the hips up to the sky and end with  Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward dog). Try to stay in this pose for at least three long smooth slow inhales and three long smooth and slow exhales. Here the blood and the lymph nodes will be affected by the reverse of gravity.  It benefits the heart by easing blood flow to the brain. It also can change your perspective and lift your mood.


Side body stretches and Down Dog are great preparatory poses for our final asana, which is Handstand. (If you are a beginner then I recommend staying in down dog). Hand stands are a wonderful way to change your mood and energy! I’ve never seen someone come out of their handstand without a smile! And remember you can always do this next to a wall for support.

Body as Temple
Body as Temple

This 10-15 minute mid afternoon routine is a sure way to help increase energy and vitality in the mind body and spirit. Of course you can also do it at any time and be sure to finish with a nice peaceful meditation (even if it is a short one). It will help you focus on what you really need to achieve!


Kyle Elizabeth

Yoga and Listening to Your “self”

Listening to your “self” may be the hardest and the scariest thing we ever do. Our whole lives we are taught to listen to others and conform to their idea of what we are and should be. You’ve had moments when the “self” spoke up, but if you weren’t ready to listen you pushed it away.

This voice tells you how you look every day. How to dress. What to worry about, it compares you constantly to anything and everything “better than you” this voice keeps you paralyzed by fear, doubt and drama. This voice is so busy occupying your mind, that  your wisest part of your being your higher concsciouncess is often never heard.

Do you want to go through your whole life bombarded by your ego voice, or silence it and let the real you shine through? The one that knows you are unlimitedly blessed and talented and can help you focus on  the gifts which contributes to you achieving your dreams. The direct line to your higher power and being. Your guide inside. Listen to that voice.

“But I’ve never heard it.”

That’s because you never mastered quieting down your ego. We live in an egoitiscitcal society. Look at  social media, everything is an “enhanced, perfected and un true” super state of reality we want the world to believe we exist in.  These images can can crush our inner true voice.  The part of our being that rings out with hope and purpose.  We need to hear that part of ourselves in this noisy outside and inner world.

Since we were little we were conditioned by our parents, siblings, peers and teachers at school, programs, expectations, commercials, television all telling us how we should think, feel, look, act and “be.”

Silence. Is. Golden.

Have you ever stilled your thoughts so deeply you heard true silence of the mind? I have. I was floating under water with sunlight pouring all around me, surrounded by leaves that fell from a tree.  Time did not exist. I was never the same after that deep meditation. To experience true silence from the inside was such a mind altering experience.

Go to yoga and connect to your breath, calm your mind, quiet the frantic voice of the ego and listen to your “self.” That is the most powerful essence of your being.  The world is excited to meet the true you! Let the light shine from behind your eyes, glowing with inner wisdom and confidence, beauty and strength. Namaste.


A Guide to Beginning Yoga

A reader who is new to yoga reached out to me and was very interested in how to begin practicing. I understand it is not necessarily an easy thing to dive into since it is still pretty foreign to us.  However! This is what I really pride myself on, helping new people navigate and get the results they are looking for as soon as possible. This way they have not only a good practice but a profound one as well. Please note yoga is not a one time thing that fixes everything. It is a life long philosophy and discipline.

Here were his questions:

 How often do I do it?

Often people say once a week, but if you want results it has to be twice a week.

 My advice for beginners is  take a private lesson.  That way they have one on one time with a teacher who can fully explain to them and guide them through an individual practice. If you are serious and want life lasting results, one lesson is a great foundation! It beats years of going to class clueless (like I did!) Many teachers will come to your house- or call a local studio and ask if anyone gives private lessons there.  I also recommend Hatha Yoga (which is a wide variety of poses and breathing techniques and a grounded practice that can take you into the higher realms of consciousness) it also really strengthens the mind body and will. It is what I teach and having tried other methods I still recommend this to beginners.  So make sure when calling a local studio, that they offer Hatha Yoga. Here is what look for in a teacher:

A 500 hour Teacher Training Certification* This would be a great teacher to hire for  a lesson because they have had extensive training

A 200 hour Teacher Training Certification is next best and probably offers a lower rate.


If there aren’t any local teachers to hire,  begin to take once a week a public beginner yoga class, quickly bump it up to two as soon as possible to double the speed of your understanding/results.  Remember yoga is not about the poses. It’s about finding who you truly are beyond who you think you are.

How long should the session be?

Private and public are usually an hour, I say start there. Don’t overwhelm yourself with longer practices.  *I also wouldn’t recommend hot yoga to start. The heat can be distracting.

Some of my clients truly prefer a 45 minute session and I don’t push it.  The philosophy of yoga is “meet yourself where you are.” Meaning accept that you may not be able to focus  for a long period of time.

Can I do it in my house or do I have to go somewhere?

Private lessons in the house are nice because it is an environment you are comfortable in, public classes may seem a little distracting but that is because you are not use to shutting off your senses and really focusing inside yourself.  That comes pretty quickly when you train yourself to “observe your thoughts” suddenly no one in the room exists. The sooner you get to group classes the less distracted you’ll become. They usually offer yoga in a park as well.

  As far as doing it from the house  check out the answer to the question below.

Are there DVDs I can buy and watch to follow along?

Here I will defer to the schooling that gave me my highest 500 hour teacher training certification:

They have online videos and tutorials and I have had many trainings with many of the teachers and they are very credible as well as incredible people.  This also gives you a nice break down of yoga and in a private setting.

Even if you want to do online yoga, I still highly recommend a private lesson first (if available).

Are there books to read?

Almost endless. But to get you started here are a few I suggest:

The Little Book of Yoga– It’s practically pocket sized and the most SIMPLE break down of where yoga comes from, as well as breathing techniques and a majority of popular poses. I LOVE IT! I bring it with me to class and use it for a reference afterwards when I take notes.

Light on Yoga- I think nearly a million copies of this book have been sold.  It is a much more in depth version of the book listed above.  Written by B.K.S. Iyengar, for whom hundred of Iyengar insitutes all over the world are named.  If this is too much too soon, then stick with the first book.

Autobiography of a Yogi– This is the story about a guy from India who came to the U.S. about 100 years ago.  He is an integral part of the spiritual revolution in the West.

My advice: Create a little bookshelf/shrine of these books and perhaps place a candle or a buddha it is important to have a meditation station in your house.  An area designated to your spiritual growth is a helpful reminder to do it daily.

Should I be making a yoga journal?

YES. I believe passionately in having a yoga journal. Although it may seem like a nuisance  or additional work, the progress directly relates to the progress your making towards your inner self. It is really great to have a journal. This is serious work and watching your journey and the depth of the practice unfold over time is a beautiful thing to witness.

I use The Yoga journal.

The Yoga Journal is a dynamic 3-in-1 tool for yoga lovers of all skill levels and style preferences. Part tracker, part journal, and part reference guide, it offers everything today’s yogi needs to bring the benefits of yoga off the mat and into their daily lives.

I hope this outlines a successful strategy to beginning your yoga journey and puts everything within reach. Even if you choose to do just one of the things (take a lesson, read a book, watch online or go to class) you are doing yoga!

May this journey help you soar ever higher.

Yoga and Prayer

Through yoga I realized prayer is an energy. If you kindle that energy and grow it within you and become very clear and self realized you can direct that energy of the prayer like a current of electricity.  It is a way more effective way of sending your hopes into the universe.  So instead of dialing up, I began to dial in.  I would dedicate my practice to someone or something in the beginning and by the time I mediated at the end a very profound inner voice would always bestow up me the answer I was searching for.  For example: I dedicated many practices to a family member who was unwell at the time and by the end a voice rang through me and said “You are all here suspended in time, float in your passion.”


Weeks later he was much  better and asked to do a yoga beach themed photo shoot  (he being  a talented passionate photographer and I a passionate yogi)  The photos are what I use for my yoga blog and the magic of the shoot was a result of our divine passion.

I never intended to collaborate with him I just wanted him to feel better, but by directing all those vibes his way he ended up returning it back to me ten fold.

In yoga philosophy they believe humans are the conduit between heaven and earth. I have to say in yoga class I have had many divine experiences and felt so connected to myself and universe.

At the end of the day yoga means to link. So therefore you can use your practice as a way to connect you to your faith. Yoga helps you connect to the divinity already within you, once that is established one can feel a stronger connection to the divinity around us.

Yoga practice stabilizes mental fluctuations and daily stress as well as opening up body and strengthening it from the inside out. It is a scientific way of becoming more spiritual and perhaps the best energy enhancer as well as channeler. I now have the self knowledge to direct my energy to those I love and need it most. My advice: Try dedicating your practice to someone before it begins, watch the magic unfold as time goes by.

Tips from the Top: Chandresh Bhardwaj

Continuing the series of Tips from the Top (top tips from instructors) I would like to introduce Chandresh Bhardwaj.  He hails all the way from India and has a spiritual center on Long Island and a huge following all over the world.  Chandresh is often busy traveling so I was happy and honored we had the chance to catch up.  Unlike some of the other yoga  teachers I’ve interviewed, his class is a meditation class and bases a lot of his teaching on Tantra.  Meaning one can just go and sit or lay down and connect to the divine.  He comes from a long lineage of Spiritual teachers and one gets the sense this was quite literally something he was born to do.


I asked him the same question:  could you lend me a quote or advice  you give to help beginner students understand yoga?

Hi Kyle,

Here’s my advice

“Do not fight your anger, ego, greed, and desires. The more you fight with them, the more they will come after you. These elements are part of you. You cannot experience your higher self if you keep running away from these elements. Once you start to meditate, these emotions channel into higher consciousness. And your real self starts to bloom. Meditate and continue to discover this world with a childlike curiosity!”

– Chandresh Bhardwaj, spiritual advisor and founder of Break the Norms Movement (

Too Legit To Quit

If you have tried yoga and didn’t like it, you are the norm and that also means you probably ended up quitting.  Trust me I feel you. For a good year, possibly two, I hated yoga. I didn’t do it a lot and when I did, so much anger and frustration and lack of understanding came out. But… there was one thing in it I enjoyed, I loved laying down at the end! Not many work outs offer that golden ritual.  After I came out of meditation I was noticeably calmer happier and more creative. I took notice of that and wanted to know more about the science of it.

(Also people seemed to like me more after I practiced. That took me by surprise…I guess I am not always a delight!)

Here is why you probably hated it: It brought up everything you’re not good at.

1. You didn’t deem it as a work out {yet oddly everything was physically challenging}
2. You couldn’t focus your mind – it was chaotic with thoughts {yoga makes you face that, as a result you may  have then felt angry that you couldn’t or didn’t have the tools to be present}
3. You aren’t flexible {HELLOOOO That’s not getting any better as you age, matter of fact you’re only going to get more rigid}
4. The instructor seemed a bit out of touch with reality, saying foreign words like namaste and likening everything to a lotus flower or tree and talked about the infinite { When  you allow yourself to visualize it, peace and serenity will enter you and you will begin to connect to not only nature but your inner nature as well}
5. Everyone in the room was looking at you! And you we’re embarrassed.  {They weren’t.  Once you focus on your breath, realize no one is looking at you at all. Sorry just another lovely trick of the ego.}
These are the top excuses I had when doing yoga as well as common excuses I hear daily.
Change your attitude and get into it. Perhaps your resistance is the exact reason you should go fearlessly towards it.  Yoga is an ocean of yourself and you are diving into you, it’s exciting. Learn how you think, how your body works. Get to know true self.  What comes easy and what doesn’t. You’ll be surprised and you will become more patient with yourself.  The more you understand the deeper meaning of your limitations you can began to turn them into endless possibilities.
I know I said 5, but there is one more I would like to add and that is
Time. Most people make the excuse that they don’t have time to do yoga. I will be releasing a blog soon about how to fit it any time anywhere! Have no fear.
 If you experienced these reasons to quit, here is my advice: Don’t!

Tips from the Top: Jeanne Heileman

So many of my friends and family do not do yoga. This is why I felt compelled to start my blog- to familiarize them with what it is truly about, in hopes that when and if they try it is not a frustrating experience. I want people to see that yoga is for every body.

With this mission, I decided to ask the top teachers from LA to India to please lend me a quote that I could give me readers, a quote for beginner students to help them find their zen sooner without years of practice. I asked them all the same question:

What is a quote or piece advice to help beginner students understand yoga?

Their responses were incredibly insightful!

Starting with my Tips from the Top series (I will release an article daily or weekly) I would like to introduce to you my mentor Jeanne Heileman. Jeanne is a teacher at Yogaworks and leads workshops all over the world to help students become more knowledge in the practice of yoga. No one I’ve met has demonstrated more mastery over the description of the poses and how to guide you through them.

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Hi Kyle,

Oh, this is so great and so vast! To me, the most important thing new students need to realize is that yoga is not about the poses. Most new students are unfamiliar with moving their body in this way, and many don’t know how to be IN their body. The body is a tool to get to their breath. The breath is the tool, which when extended and slowed down, will calm the mind. The calm mind is the key to gaining access to our inner wisdom, beauty and place of pure love. We all have that place, we all have a body, a breath and a mind. So we all can be doing yoga. The selfies don’t mean that someone is doing yoga. Being still and accepting is doing yoga. And, I recommend that each new student practices at least once a week for six months, consistently. No questions about getting it right or is it working. Just show up at least once a week for six months. Then the inner wisdom will start to awaken and can do the rest.