“Yoga is not to be learnt and done but explored and realized.” Indu Arora 

eliza is of Irish, Cornish, German, working class, settler and ancestral lineages still being learned. eliza is an artist, expressive arts therapist, healing support person, accessible sound, movement and yoga facilitator and the leader of Expressive Arts Sanctuary and Liberate Yoga. Their intention in movement and yoga facilitation is to contact ancestral wisdom, well-being, creativity and relief from stressors arising from complex trauma, living in oppressive systems (white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchy) and in service to empowering wholeness and collective liberation. eliza is influenced by Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Trauma-Conscious Yoga and Restorative Yoga Practices as well as body-centered practices such as somatic abolitionism and somatic archaeology. eliza is guided in their work by Black feminist practice and thought (anti-racism, social justice, interlocking oppressions -intersectionality), Indigenous Wisdom, the earth, the body, mystery, presence, intuition, joy, play, curiosity, and creativity. 

I have been studying, exploring, and benefiting from yoga since my early 20's. With art as a primary resource, yoga is also what has helped me survive. My favorite yoga teacher at that time was a gentle person who taught a community yoga class I attended at It's Yoga in Cincinnati, Ohio. I remember this quiet older compassionate man who taught spiritual and psychological lessons as I moved my body, made shapes, and brought attention to my breath. This was an Ashtanga yoga school, and this particular community class felt slow and easy, which was also challenging. I felt the way this practice impacted me, yet it took me years to allow myself to pay the investment it costs to attend a teacher training program. 

In 2021, I had that opportunity when a friend told me about a scholarship at a local school. Shortly after completing a 200 YTT in that school, I found Nityda Gessel's work on Trauma Conscious Yoga. As a therapist, trauma survivor, and person invested in social justice, this philosophy deeply resonated with me. I also appreciated the way that Nityda incorporated 8 limbs of yoga in her practice. I now support this program as a teaching assistant. I strongly recommend Nityda's Trauma Conscious Yoga program you can find more about it here:

Earlier this year I said yes to a 300 hour program with Tamika Caston-Miller at Ashe Yoga.  Here I am learning about rest and energy practices. I love this program so much! I am getting particularly excited about Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra. I hope you will join me soon to share some programs I am dreaming up! As I learn more about yoga wisdom as a holistic Indigenous psychology, I'm more aware of how extracted this knowledge is applied to my training as a therapist. 

Some shapes for you to explore. How do these shapes make you feel? Here's how they made me feel during my exploration in Nityda's program. What do experience after practicing for a period of time? Such as a week, 2 weeks, 30 days. 

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