Tag Archives: Yoga

Morning Anxiety

If I were to define anxiety in general, I would say it’s formless. It is ever shape shifting.  Unique and different almost everyday. But I am determined now to befriend it, understand it instead of succumbing to it’s dark forces. Instead of labeling it a blanket term of “anxiety” I am starting to get to more detailed in what I am feeling in that specific moment. What I’ve learned is that it’s different every time.  And usually, as it’s occurring I don’t even realize it! Because anxiety isn’t a feeling. It’s a build up of a lot of feelings.

When I’m experiencing “anxiety” what I am actually “experiencing?” I am asking myself “what is coming up for me in that moment?” How can I acknowledge it and alleviate it? At the very least I’ve started to talk about it. It’s important for me to call attention to it instead of silently battling.

This morning for example, I woke up and could not bear the thought of getting out of bed. I had two errands and I felt like it was impossible. That’s a usual sign for me I’m having anxiety. I have learned to become a detective while I’m also not thinking clearly. It’s been a process. 

Why did I feel like it was impossible? Because I was tired? Maybe too tired? I was also cold. My lungs kind of hurt and there is that a Corona Virus pandemic we’re all dealing with.  Little by little any reason to not get up- started to pile up. Like a thousand soldiers of problems, issues, fears etc… all lining up towards the edge of an errant cliff and in one swoop of a domino like effect- all my problems could tumble me over the edge sending me into an abyss. 

A picture containing covered, table, man, mountain

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Dramatic huh?  

I think this particular anxiety occurs when everything seems beyond my control. So even the most basic “to do” list can seem impossible to me. The errands seem like a pile on to an already endless vastless list in my head. Subconsciously I am worried about health, taxes, bank balance, bills, relationships, work  etc…  things that I am  aware of but also not an immediate pressing issue. So I’ve also concluded anxiety is not rational.

Today I am in a new environment (staying in Chicago).  I don’t know my routine. I pulled the blanket over my head and hit “snooze.” I fell back asleep quickly but knew that if I didn’t get up with the second alarm, a worse anxiety would occur and that would be in the form of me yelling at myself all day for being an hour behind on things. That’s a real fun one!

 This state, I mind you, is a terrible start to the day. Overwhelmingly terrible. Terrible for my body for my brain and I am tangled into fear paralysis. No joy. 

So what do I do? I turn to my handy tools! This kind of morning, a self sabotaging anxious riddled morning I’ve learned it’s best to be extra cuddly with myself. So I turn to what is most trusted. A gentle yoga practice. Gentle because I need it to feel good. I need to feel better.

            I know what you’re thinking, “how does this woman have time to sit around and contemplate what her issues are? I’m so busy (with work, parenting etc..) when I wake up I don’t even have a choice!  I don’t even have time to deal with this!” 

            Yes my time is a privilege. And because of it- I am able to contemplate, create and construct simple and effective yoga routines to immediately help us all. Because you may not have time. But that doesn’t mean anxiety isn’t there.  If it is, here is an immediate way to support you for the most optimized day.

 If  you don’t have time to feel into it, or take time to listen to yourself, it doesn’t mean it “disappears.” It means it gets buried. Being busy can numb and suppress it and then years of stress and emotion can build. It’s important to pause and reflect. Practice the following for morning anxiety and you will have a complete and immediate turn around of your day. 

            The reason I wrote the above, is because sometimes we run around with a deep sense of uneasiness, fatigue, depression, uncertainy, fear etc.. I want to help link those feelings with this healing calming practice. So if you ever feel this faceless angst lingering at the edge of your awareness, you can crawl on to your yoga mat sanctuary and utilize this supremely serene routine!

Gentle Yoga for Morning Anxiety 20 minutes

Duration 4-5 minute each pose

The Space Between (Chicago and LA)

Safely tucked under a beautiful bridge in Downtown Chicago, is an inviting yoga studio appropriately named “The Space Between.” I had the privilege of practicing with the owner Daryn Schwartz. She was leading a Vinayasa class. We then met for a cup of coffee after.

            I was extremely grateful for her time because little did she know she was the first an only person I had really spoken to since I’ve been living back and forth from LA to Chicago. 

            I was very moved during her morning class. I’m not sure if was the aesthetic of the studio (soft lighting, lavender mats, a beautiful selection of music).  Or if I was just relieved to be back practicing after some time off from traveling.

What I found most surprising after class however was that she said she was most interested in opening studios beyond just teaching. I was quite surprised given the level and passion she had taught this morning. It says a lot to become an expert in something that is only a fraction of one’s aspirations. I admire this quality greatly. She mentioned that she has just recently launched a second location at a hotel nearby.

            I had to asked her what inspired her to open her own studio?  Daryn mentioned she had the epiphany in a yoga class while in Los Angeles. She working for a marketing company. She alluded to being unhappy at her job and found refuge in yoga.  She thought someday she’d like to build her own studio. Daryn said she wanted to create a space that embodied more of her “spiritual” needs versus a “power class”  or a fad class like “hip hop” yoga. Something she felt was missing in her hometown of Chicago.  Months later she decided to move back home to pursue this endeavor. Upon discussing many studio names with her friend, who casually mentioned “the space between’ in conversation- she knew in an instant that would be the name of her studio. 

            Perhaps the symbolism of the depth of that moment “the space between” dark before light, head and heart, up and down, even the bridge connecting over head at her studio…it all sort of spoke to me that she had created exactly what she had intended to. And for me personally, it is the space between LA and Chicago. Of friendship, of yoga, of endings and new beginnings …I found somewhere safe to process my emotions through this “in between” time.

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.

10 things I’ve learned from 10 years of Yoga

My tenth anniversary of practicing yoga is coming up. I have learned so many beautiful truths by this gentle discipline. It has served my mind body and soul on and off the yoga mat.  I could only describe this as my wisest love affair with truth itself. There has been so much undoing and un learning, I finally am starting to remember who I am. I was so attached to ideas of myself. Things I thought I knew. But we are just humans, just babies born onto a planet, in a star system far older and wiser then us. How are we to know anything at all? I am so grateful to the ancients to who discovered this practice to help me connect to the divine.  Yoga is the science of the spirit.

Ten things I’ve learned in 10 years of practice…

  1. How to listen to my heart and in turn, listen to others hearts
  2. The poses come when I truly want them to.
  3. It took me ten years to realize who I am not and begin remembering who I really am.  This is a practice of shedding ideas, identities and false notions.
  4. We are an antenna, when my  eyes get tears, or  have  chills on my arms, that means my soul got the message.
  5. Heaviness in the body is only from heaviness in the mind!
  6. The breath is the portal to deeper levels of consciousness.
  7. Yoga teachers are like architects. The way architects understand structure, yoga teachers can help you access the potential of your home (in your mind body and spirit).
  8. There are always angels around you and people wanting to connect. Look up and out with your soul. Help is there every step of the way.
  9. Anahata heart chakra is the fourth primary chakra, In Sanskritanahata means “unhurt, unstruck, and unbeaten. Meaning we are feeling pain and suffering only from our attachments. We can live unbeaten and that is our truest ability!
  10. The discipline of doing the yoga is actually  more important then the actual yoga.

And lastly here is a poem I wrote last night to acknowledge my mental state on my 10th anniversary.


I used to know my soul.

My soul I used to know.

But due to life experience,

I started to out grow.

Then it took some time…

Many years, nearly ten?

To finally remember who I truly am.

There was a lot of yearning

Years and years unlearning.

But some how I’ve returned to seeing

My youthful truthful being.



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 Breakthroughs for 2017

Let’s begin this year with my best advice  for practicing yoga.

1. Keep mats in every room

This is a pretty interesting development in my house. First of all I have very beautiful mats.  They are called “Magic Carpets.” They are so pretty that I decided one day to leave them out, one at the foot at my bed and the other in my living room.  Not only did they look very cool and chic, I noticed my urge to hop on it constantly.  Right after I shower I started a ritual of doing yoga on my mat while waiting for my lotion/oils to absorb.  It has helped me start the day so refreshed and awakened.  I also noticed working in my office living room how nice it is to get out of the chair and do a few yoga poses in between emails etc.  Trust me, this is game changing for your mind and body as well as your practice.

2. Yoga at Dawn

If you are anything like me, someone who loves to sleep in, this is going to be the challenge of a lifetime.  But the reward is ever more sweet. I do not think there is a lazier person on earth then me, deep down.  I could lay in bed all day if someone paid me.  I just love it. I love to rest! I started yoga because of the laying down “savasana” at the end! A girl like me could not be dragged to yoga in the early morning.  But there it was, this pestering, pesky, persisting desire to quite possibly make it to that 6:30 am  class, that way I could get a practice in before work. But for weeks, I snoozed right through it.  Finally, close to new years, I happened to spring up super early, in time to make it for class and I just bit the bullet and made myself go.  Maybe the pressure of starting 2017 off with good habits got to me. I don’t know.  Anyway all I can say, is upon arriving to class the sun was beginning to rise and it was so beautiful it took my breath away. Every day we  have this natural phenomenon that I just carelessly snooze right through. I was truly stunned. It also happened to be such a wonderful gentle class, I think one of my most profound yoga classes maybe ever.  Rising with the sun made me feel truly awakened. Like I was waking up with the earth.  It was so moving and peaceful I have continued to go! Take it from me, don’t fight it. Just show up and try it, see for yourself!  It finally dawned on me, yoga at dawn! For the rest of the day you will sail, you will soar! You will just be so at ease with whatever life throws you.

3. Read B.K.S Iyengar

Also known as the “Father of Western Yoga” he is one of the most brilliant yoga teachers from India who helped teach and share yoga in America.  I am currently reading “Light on Life” and it is a wonderfully deep knowledgable look into a life long yogis mind.  I feel like every page is a privilege. I always feel like I am just a beginner in my yoga journey and by reading “Light on Life” I reap the benefits of someone who’s entire life was dedicated to it.

4. Do yoga on your lunch break at work

Even if you made it to your morning practice, your body needs to stay moving.  This energy you craft and cultivate carries you forth. It is imperative to de-stress, work out any stiffness or tension and help circulation. This keeps you awake, alert, balanced and energized into the evening.

5. Pick a pose and work towards it

This is not an ego thing, just a way to keep yourself improving. For the longest time I had no yoga goals when it came to poses because I just loved feeling so blissful and peaceful. I realized though with a steady 8 year practice there were still some things I could not do.  I then began to realize in my practice I was quite lackadaisical. I started to see that I was far more capable of things yet I never really pushed myself. However once I set my mind towards it, what a beautiful sensation it is to achieve.  For example, having tight hips, lotus pose was very difficult for me. But through regular practice and yes sometimes I stay an additional 15 minutes after class, when I am nice and warm, to work on the series of poses I’d like to learn.   It paid off (those little extra sessions) because after a hot shower and waiting for my lotion to absorb I decided to hop  on my mat at the edge of my bed, and Voila! LOTUS! I thanked the stars! It was such a euphoric feeling to me. I knew it came from  my heart and my body and all the extra effort I have been putting forth.

Systematically you get rewarded if you put the right effort in.  But that comes from being in tune with your vibration and not your ego. I’ll save that for my next blog. But for now please heed these 5 easy ways to improve your yoga practice as they have been hugely beneficial for me!

Yoga and Death

I think the reason I like yoga so much is that nothing else in life prepared me for death, my death or anyone else’s.  We’re constantly surrounded by it whether we experience it first hand or not. And nothing I’ve experienced really  prepares me for it. Whatever it is, however it makes me feel, however it makes you feel- it always ends up in a question mark of how are we supposed to feel? Angry, sad, peaceful, relieved, dark, confused, complex, anguished, indifferent?  There are so many negative feelings and some positive about it.

Energetically more can be answered about death. Energetically we can still feel the spirit, we can sense it. I want to tune in to that energy because there  is healing power there.
This is our 7th chakra. We need to develop this skill and open our minds to this communion.
Yoga helps one become so present, that each moment is a life and death in itself. And with that level of clarity you can began to surrender to the idea of this unknown, permanent departure. Although we are burdened with the knowledge that death is coming, through this practice we become at ease. Tranquil mentally, spiritually and physically.  The union of this trifecta will silence the outer world and allow you to harmonize with your true vibration of your inner world. You will know peace.
I don’t know anything about death, but I found this thing, this yoga practice in life- and it’s showing me a way to be ok. To surrender and relax to the purpose of why we’re all here. The reason we take “corpse pose” (Savasana) at the end of practice is to begin the mindset of departing in peace. If we leave in peace, may be we all will live in peace.
I am sorry if this brings up any raw feelings!  I just was contemplating this today.
Kai Elle

Yoga Sequencing: Building towards the Peak Pose

When I first began yoga, for many years (yes years) I had no idea there was a rhyme or reason to the practice. It was because I was totally out of my depth and element. The teachers would say things in sanskrit, I was battling a mindful of distracting thoughts and at some point I usually just prayed we would get to the “laying down” part at the end ( I LOVE that part, perhaps more than most).

However, there was one thing I did extraordinarily right. There was one thing I achieved in yoga that most people never have or will.  And that was my attitude.  I have the best attitude when it comes to yoga. My attitude was, and always will be, zero expectations.  I do not wander into yoga demanding anything from it that day.  I don’t care about seeing results, I don’t over analyze what I can and cannot do. I do not hold any hope or expectations  for my teachers. Just carry simple gratitude that they are there to maybe show me just one thing I didn’t know about myself or about yoga before that day. This humility provided me a limilitess enjoyment and engagement with the experience and still provides me the same wonder and awe today.

So as I ventured on to my mat, in this realm of an unknown experience I tried to make sense of it all.  As I got into my certification and training I realized that practice wasn’t just some random poses strung together said by a teacher in half english. There actually was a course to navigate and a linear path.  Each pose helps lead to the next.

In my previous blog I broke down the warm up. Here I will explain what happens after you’ve dropped in and begin to flow.

Sequencing in yoga is a strategy that is implemented to help take all the component parts offered in warm up, to guide you consciously and subconcsioculy towards a peak position.  So basically 1/3 of the way through you’ve already built this pose bit by bit and towards the apex you put it all together.  So it’s not just chaos! It’s a systemic approach.

Hence why there should be zero expectations at the beginning of your journey. Do the work and all will come together.  No matter the time. So an example of a peak position (which could be anything, which is why the practice is so limitless and exciting) let’s choose Handstand.  A good way to sequence a practice around handstand is to break down what exactly is required for this pose.

07/18/2015 Kyle Lardner Beach Shots

Shoulder strength

Fearlessness to go upside down



With these  component elements in place, there are tangible parts of your warm up which have already started incorporating these parts. For example during warming up, downward dog is a wonderful way to build shoulder strength. In addition you are already going halfway upside down (since you are raising your hips above your head). The mind is already experiencing in a very safe way, life upside down.



The Surya A’s and B’s (as mentioned in my warm up blog) are also wonderful series that work nearly every muscle group as well as start incorporating balancing and flexibility.


So even if you don’t put it all together for the peak pose, eventually after repetition and practice, you will have already done everything it takes to take it a step further and begin raising your legs up over your head for handstand.  I’ve noticed in practice that eventually poses reveal themselves to you, through proper breathing, practice and instruction from the teacher.  Which is why having no expectation is the best way to approach yoga.

After one has achieved the peak position, the practice then typically shifts towards cooling down.  We cultivate a lot of heat and energy working towards this goal. In my next blog I’ll go through the details of the cool down.

This is a typical break down for a beginner and intermediate yoga class.

Let your work be the expression of your commitment and all will come. Or as I like to say “Do the work and all will calm.”



Yoga Philosophy and the American Dream

I think more then anything what we really want to do is communicate through our soul, but because we didn’t have the knowledge or tools to access our spirit, we communicate through ego.  As a result things we covet tend to be materialistic. This lead us into becoming a nation of consumerism.


To communicate by soul,  means we have to have a communion with our “selves” with our “higher purpose.”  This can be a  very confusing journey inward (as our ego for so long has ruled our mindset and will quickly encourage you “give up” because “this feels uncomfortable”) the ego will quickly identify with your lack of “results”  and quite often misguides and misleads you back into consumption of fulfillment that someone else  is selling (slick gym clothes, air brushed models on magazines, sodas, makeup, candy, fast food, expensive things).

The ego will mislead you and never let you walk over or through the bridge that leads to your higher consciousness .  Here, in that space  exists your dream. Your truth.  Your limitless potential. Here is your beauty, your grace and your timelessness.  It is your inner spirit dwelling inside you,  a life force waiting to be called upon and heard. It is always speaking to you-but in a world where we are so assaulted not only by outer noise but also frantic inner noise, our minds tend to be busy, distracted, unfocused and sadly to say probably negative.


Look at yourself inside, the health of your body and your mind.  Yoga is the manifestation of us realizing our pure potential! Deep inside you is a treasure, a truly unique gift that separates you from everyone else on earth.  When we practice yoga we begin to align our inner spirit with the universal spirit.

Namaste (I see the light in you)

Kyle Elizabeth

Beginner Obstacles and A Way Around Them


There are immediate obstacles when one begins yoga.  This causes many people to give up and quit. From physical discomfort to the lack of ability to focus it begins to hold up an uncomfortable mirror to our actual mental physical and spiritual shape.

Beginner obstacles and a way around them:

Chaotic mind: Focus on the breath, it immediately will drop you into the mind. Visualize your thoughts like a ping pong ball. Is it rapidly going back and forth and all around? Use your breath and slow it down mentally. Eventually it becomes a slow game of ping pong and one day, the ball will go completely still.  The mind chatter will be silent. Experiencing a silent mind is the holy grail of a yogic experience. And it is very possible!

Stiff body: Surrender in the warm up, re connect with yourself and be kind. No need to criticize yourself. Speak kindly and lovingly to your body, nuture it and stay present. Rememeber your body is in a constant state of change. There will be things you can do one day and not achieve the next. Go with the flow and meet yourself where you are.

Weak body: Yoga is a very different kind of physical demand on the body. For starters, sitting down at a computer or driving in a car or flying for long hours takes a toll on our posture and deep muscle strength. Know that over time your body will become stronger and stronger from the inside out. Go at your own pace and rest as many times as you need.

Inability to focus: Stay with the breathing and focus on the alignment of your body, listen to your teacher they will be very specific about what to move and where. When you really begin to listen they will guide you in and out of the pose and time will float on by.

Distracted in the practice due to others in the room: Eventually in yoga, you detach from your senses and are so immersed in your body and silent mind, no one exists in the room. It is easy to be intimidated or self conscious but focus on your breathing and your body and how you feel that day. That’s all that matters. Over time you will notice less and less and grow ever more confident in your own practice.

Entering yoga practice armed with the knowledge of these obstacles one can EASILY surpass them.  It’s knowing how to guide your mind through it effectively that will lead you immediately to a much more profound practice. The goal is to move beyond things in yoga that cause you pain and even things in yoga that cause you pleasure. It is about becoming the master of your “self” and remaining unattached to your mental and emotional fluctuations. Invite a sense of playfulness and joy into the practice, it does  not have to be serious work!