The Prologue to My Manifesto In The Seat of The Teacher

by Elsie on May 15, 2013

The prologue to my yoga teacher manifesto. The most transparent and deeply personal writing I've done to date.

It was like putting clothes on that just didn’t fit.

I felt fake.

I felt like an impostor.

I drew back into myself and hid.

I might even say that I was scared.

In fact I was scared, I just didn’t know it when it was happening.

I wonder of you guys can guess what I’m talking about?

I bet you can’t guess!

All right, here comes a bit of truth telling. I’ve never shared this with anyone.

Totally not exaggerating, because I’m just now getting huge clarity about the why behind my actions.

The above statements are about teaching yoga.


I wasn’t afraid of teaching per say. I was not afraid of the study or the depth of what it took.

I feel teaching deep in my bones. I adore to guide bodies and energy and most of all to inspire delight, wonder and acceptance of every moment.

Seriously. I totally feel like that, it’s not some woo woo yoga talk.

I could easily do more and more and more trainings and workshops because I adore knowledge. The more I learn the more I want, and the more I can share with you 🙂

My biggest fears and inadequacies were with how I was supposed to be a yoga teacher.

I saw how all my teachers, other teachers and other teacher trainer trainees were doing things and that just didn’t fit well at all.

I felt totally awkward announcing where I was teaching. I didn’t even have a desire to do workshops.

And yoga retreats?

Forget about it!

Unless I was asked point blank where I taught, I almost never shared it.

Dreaming of traveling around the world, and being that yoga teacher that comes into a town and blows minds – nope not me.

I’m also not a fan of yoga pants, at least the yoga pants that I see most peeps wear, you know the tight ones (ok, that’s neither here nor there.) 😉

So I did nothing….again with the NOTHING!

I kept to myself.

Most of my classes* came to me*. Most of my privates found me.

And it was enough. I was perfectly happy.

Once I removed myself from the how you’re supposed to do things and dove into my rebellious I’m not going to do that because everybody else is doing it

I did what did align with me: that which made me feel special, powerful and of service.

I started to record my classes and offer them out as a yoga podcast in 2006.


Believe me. Most of my students had no idea what a podcast was. In fact, I’m sure there are still a ton that don’t have a clue.

I went at it MY way, and I loved it!

Years went by. Huge move from LA to Pittsburgh. Love. Babies.


And now it’s time for another paradigm shift. I’m feeling the same excitement that I did when I started podcasting.

Before getting into the paradigm shifting creative bubbling I’d like to cast light on some of my personal, um, shall we say challenges?

Why? Because it was because of them that I am now where I am, most specifically as an empowered teacher.

My mom would have referred to me as terca or caprichosa

Each one of our gifts can be our greatest faults, particularly when not in Alignment. (Click to tweet)

The amazing peculiarities that make each of us who we are are the greatest gifts to the world but man, can they also impede growth of we stay at the surface level.

I am by nature stubborn as all get out, fiercely independent and revel in alone-ness.

My first nickname ever was Dr. No, bestowed to me by my loving parents.

Ever since I could remember I would say no first.

I would push away first.

I preferred to stay back first.

I did this with the entirety of my being: stiff and unmovable, stone like…unyielding.

There was something about protecting my personal space that was absolutely necessary.

I had to create that space first, and for me it was by saying no aka get away from me.

For whatever reason this little elsieism helped me most of my life. It kept me safe. It helped me get to know myself (cause friendships and all that stuff just weren’t happening for me.) It helped me align with the Highest Why within me pretty early on.

It helped me make insanely ballsy decisions.

  • I moved out of my house when I was 18 and paid for a private university all on my own through scholarships and working 3 jobs at a time.
  • It propelled me to be accepted to one of the most prestigious MFA programs in the country. I was one of three women across the country that were chosen.
  • It helped me win awards and accolades in acting for choosing to portray blind male beggars and develop a one woman show changing the lead male character to a woman. (I’ll have you know I played Prospero way before Dame Helen Mirren.)
  • It catapulted me to move to Pittsburgh site unseen and leave everything behind in 2 weeks, all for LOVE (that’s a good story.)

I reveled in my own unique way of doing things and how I was different.

Even when I was an infant I carried my Dr. No persona within me. Get away from me!

As much good as my Dr. No-self gave me it also impeded the level of growth that was necessary for me to blossom as a human being, for no when not grounded in distilled Truth is Fear embodied.

And when you run because of fear, you only grow it. You cultivate it and fertilize it slowly but surely in all areas of your life.

And so it was.

My life no longer became empowered by NO but obstructed by no.

It became harder and harder to recognize the space that I longed for that used to be created by no.

I was ruled by unconscious boundaries that had begun to debilitate that which I valued most: fierce creative living.

I became ruled by outer consequences and merely became reactionary. Whatever action I took was mucked up by fear.

Even though I started to clean myself up and spark up that fierce inner space-maker I was covered in inner scum…Blah.

So this year, I decided to make a change.

In my I-haven’t-slept-a-full-night-in-forever-overwhelmed-overworked-financially-anxious-mama-state I mustered up the strength of that once powerful Dr. No, hunkered down, stood my ground, looked up and screamed “NOOOOOO!!!!”

And so I begin this new chapter.

Settling back into the depths of elsie- the fullness of ME.

Before, when I went on these journeys I travelled alone. But I’m done with that.

I want you along for the ride.

So, I will share with you as I create and step in…even though I am scared sh*tless!
*I’m not usually one that uses curse-words but that this is bringing that sort of passion out of me!

Let me know if you are up for the ride. I would love for you to be 🙂

Make sure that you sign up for my newsletter aka the Headquarters for The Divine Moxie League. That is THE place that I’ll be cultivating, experimenting, guiding, trusting and allowing greatness to flow – for all of us. As a community, to rise and evolve together.

Sign up below. I promise it will only be great.

And when I reveal The Divine Moxie League itself, you will be the first to know…



PS: If you want to hear me rant a bit about the NO and why the name The Divine Moxie League listen to the latest episode of Mudra Moments “Where are you in YOUR evolution” with Hillary Rubin.

Here is a direct link to the MP3 (right click to download)

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♥ Click To Tweet and Inspire ♥

.@yogeek shares how saying NO shifted her to re-discover her Truth as a #yoga teacher. Must read

As a #yoga teacher have you felt overwhelmed with what you feel you have to be? Start by saying NO! via @yogeek

When you run because of fear, you only grow it. You cultivate it and fertilize it slowly but surely in all areas of your life.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Cris Gladly May 15, 2013 at 2:00 am

“And when you run because of fear, you only grow it. You cultivate it and fertilize it slowly but surely in all areas of your life.”

Yes!!!! Yes!!! and YES!!!! … learning this … that as I make decisions to evade fear I only feed it.

Learning. Letting go!!! xoxo
Cris Gladly recently posted..Secrets and Silence


Elsie May 15, 2013 at 8:23 pm

Cris! That is a HARD one for me to learn DAILY. Work in progress…mindfully choosing ever more effectively. Thank you for coming around to say hello lovely 🙂


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