How A Hotel Sparked My Yoga Sadhana

by Elsie on April 27, 2013

yoga begins in a hotel room

The impetus for this major transition that I’m going through began on Election Day 2012.

The Daddy of the house gifted us a surprise stay at a local hotel. This was the first time that our little family was going to stay at a hotel together!

It was completely magical.

Giant soft yet firms beds.

Enormous abundant fluffy pillows.

Huge shower.

So clean.

Plenty of desk space and hook ups for our gear.

Just lovely.

We had an amazing afternoon pretending we were in a new home. The girls were both ecstatic to be having this adventure.

Daddy and I were looking forward to following the election and watching cable as much as we could….we don’t have cable at our house, and of course doing just a teeny bit of snuggling on big fluffy comfortable pillows.

Everything was just delightful.

And then, in the blink of a moment it all changed.

At about 10pm my 14 month old Mae’s nose started to run profusely. She seemed slightly bothered by it but because of the newness of the surroundings she seemed to be ok.

I was wrong.

yoga practice begins in the midst of the everyday

I spent the entire rest of the night with Mae in her Ergo carrier getting up out of bed every 30–45 minutes or so to keep her from screaming at the top of her lungs because of the runny nose.

I got bursts of sleep, never any kind of deep sleep, and I was never in bed for longer than an hour. It was one of the worst nights I’ve ever had.

I never got a chance to relax in those luxurious beds.

I never got a chance to snuggle with anyone! I would have settled with just snuggling with a pillow.

I was SO conscious of doing my best to keep Mae from wailing away because I was completely overwhelmed by the thought that we were in a public place and there were other people that needed to sleep and I didn’t have to make their night at the hotel as miserable as mine.


That runny nose continued until January.

During those months I experienced a level of depletion, exhaustion and malnutrition that I can positively say was the worst of my life.

The entirety of myself suffered at all levels, but I just kept pushing through. I was living in a fog fueled almost entirely on sugar and caffeine.

So why am I sharing this with you?

Because I’m not there now.

I’m in one of the strongest places that I’ve been in a long time on all levels, as a woman, as a mother and as a teacher.

I feel grounded deep in my bones.

It was that immersion into this unbelievable dark place within me that was the catalyst to fiercely claw myself out and re-claim me.

I teach and most importantly practice yoga and it’s applications in the murkiness of the everyday.

My yoga is NOW.

It’s the yoga of blinks of meditation, one down-dog practices, bus pranayama and a daily practice of coming to my senses – literally.

The luxury of yoga mats, yoga studios, yoga clothes, yoga retreats, yoga workshops, etc. etc. etc. not part of my world at the moment.

My sadhana is diving into the painful, gucky, and crazy frustrating parts of my daily existence and allowing time and space to let go of that which is blocking the many layers of my Self to interact in a more efficient, harmonious interconnected level to the best of my ability at any given moment.

Allow and refine the process. Rinse. Repeat.

This is the most challenging spiritual practice ever! Holy mosey!

How about you?

What is your practice about? Where is your pain and frustration lie? What do you need help doing to get you to a place where you feel the most solid ground beneath your feet?

I’d love to deepen the conversation about this. It’s so necessary to embody and live the practice NOW. It’s time.

Share with me lovely. Let’s do this together!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Kay April 27, 2013 at 5:59 pm

I’m so glad you are in a better place now and that everything is good. I know how hard it is when your kids are sick — and mine are 31 and 33. But, I remember those times when they were both little and sick — it is hard. Stay strong, you can do it. But, remember, you have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of those you love. Kay


Elsie April 27, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Kay! I”m so glad I’m in a better place now 😉 I gotta tell you when they are sick, it’s some serious austere immersive practice.

Thank you SO much for your support. And yes, everything that is coming out of me now is because I have made self-care a top priority in my life. I recognize that now in a much clearer way than I ever did before.

Love to have you drop by! xoxoxooxox


Janet Rae Humphrey May 3, 2013 at 4:04 am

Dear sweet Elsie,
In my early days of yoga in 2004, you so inspired and nourished me. you brought me from disability to wholeness. I will never forget January 13, 2006, when I mastered L-pose at the wall 10 days before my 61st birthday. The whole class, mostly half my age, clapped when I came down off the wall. It was a major milestone in my life.
After we were thousands of miles apart, your podcasts continued to give me the best yoga training I could possibly want. You were there to inspire me when I was choosing which teachers training to take and to help me in my early days of teaching.
My adult children range in age from 40 to 28 . How I remember those early years! The middle one slept through the night from day one to three weeks, then got a strange virus, was hospitalized, and woke up several times a night for 2.5 years. I lived in a constant state of exhaustion while working full time doing medical research. Now he is a radiologist and having to deal with the ear infections of his own kids.
Each stage has its own set of problems, which thankfully change as time progresses. Slowly we grow stronger, wiser and more resilient. I describe being the parent of a adult child as a lesson in zipping up the lips and keeping the mouth shut while I let them run their own lives.
My children, yoga and life itself have made me wise and more understanding of others. You have been so instrumental in my being both the person and the teacher that I am today. We learn from each other no matter what our ages are.
Now I teach 10 to 12 classes a week with an age range from 16 to 92. I always felt your love when you stood in front of the class. Today I emulate you and give my love out to my students. They feel the love and give their love back in return.
I had dinner this evening with my retired lawyer boyfriend of almost 3 years. He commented on how I had, more than anyone else he had ever known, allowed him to be himself fully. Another yoga teacher, also in her 60s ,has been living with me for the last three months. She wrote me a note that I inspire and nourish her.
What ever struggles you are going through as a young mother, not easy to do in your 40’s, will pass. Everything you give to your students, real and virtual, will expand and spread. Your girls will grow and bless you in thousands of little ways over the next 50 years.
This too will pass. All these events will only make you more flexible, stable, wiser and ready to take on the world.
To daddy, next time arrange a sitter so the two of you can enjoy the fluffy pillows alone!
All my love to you and your family,
Janet Rae


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