Greening – New Packaging!

I’m so grateful for returning clients here at Love HeadquartersThank you!

If you’ve purchased from me before, you may notice something different with your next order. Namely, I’ve eliminated boxes from my packaging and upgraded to a less disposable pouch.

There are two main reasons for this; this makes shipping multiple mala in one box much easier (and I promise just as safe for your precious new mala), and more important to me – it’s just a lot less wasteful.

I love receiving packages, whether they contain sparkling jewels, precious oils, or even once a fern! At the same time, my heart breaks when I throw away packaging, plastic or paper, it’s just so wasteful. I’m committed to reducing my impact as much as possible.

Right now this means that I don’t want to provide bulky boxes to people, I’ve heard from too many that they throw the box away. Instead, I’d rather provide a pouch that your piece can live in or can be repurposed or used as gift wrap. I hope you do find use for these pouches!

To begin I am experimenting with fabric and color and will be landing on a signature style soon enough. I always welcome your thoughts and feedback! Leave me a comment or email elizabeth [at] love-by-e.com!

Happy Birthday Love by E!

Today is a special day to me every year, it feels personal but it also reminds me of so many special people besides myself who make my business possible and who support me in all of my endeavors.

I’ve been quiet lately on this site, but it’s not for any lack of love for this business. The past year has been one of the most important in my life so far and there have been so many transitions and transformations in my life and in my work, it has required deep introspection and some quiet. I’ve had to conserve my energy and my words and even now I’m in the midst of some of this very personal work.

When I moved back to Brooklyn in February of 2017 I had a very careful plan that allowed me to feel safe making this move. In essence, I would change some things about my life that I knew would make me much happier, and I would still play it safe by keeping my life as a yoga teacher the same. The hard truth is that I wasn’t happy with my work life when I made this choice but  I felt safe and I thought that was more important.

As I said, Love by E’s birthday is an important day for me that represents my own independence, my strengths as a craftswoman, this day reminds me of my ability to sustain myself. Last year on this day, after feeling pushed, I made a sudden change to my teaching schedule and sacrificed the safety that I had in the hopes of something better.

This year was one of the hardest. Love by E, my beautiful growing business did carry me through some dark moments. So did an incredible support network of family and friends, my very special man, and several new communities that I’ve been privileged to join since returning home.

I feel stronger than ever before, and also finally stable again, as much as any yoga teacher and jewelry maker ever does. I’m so so grateful for the students that engage with me in private yoga and are making amazing transformations in front of my eyes. I’m thankful for Stamford Yoga, Tangerine Hot Power Yoga and WOOM Center for welcoming me into your spaces so warmly this year. I remain in awe of Love by E, and every single order that comes in. Especially to repeat Lovers who come back and purchase again and again. Thank you all so much.

Love by E will face some changes in its fourth year. I will not be releasing another Inspired Collection, unfortunately these collections are expensive to release and as so much of my work is custom or one of a kind pieces, the Inspired Collection often comes at a  cost to Love and I’ve decided to let it go. I adore working with inspiring women and donating to worthy causes. I will certainly be exploring new ways to do both and can’t wait to show you what I come up with!

In the coming months I’ll be releasing many one of a kind mala and gemstone jewelry. I’m also in the midst of designing the next Spiritual Threads collection of hand dyed jewelry. As usual I’ll be available for custom work and love collaborating with you to make your perfect mala.

Finally, as a thank you and as my annual tradition, save 25% on all orders placed through May 3rd with coupon code happybirthday (coupon expires at midnight on May 4th).

Thank you Lovers, I am a lucky woman and I owe it to you!

new moon january 2018

Tuesday offers another New Moon, a cycle beginning. This one is in Capricorn, which is the energy of a boss bitch who will get in your face if you try to resist her way. So, be steady, and be the boss this month. Set your goals and see your future, then go after it. Be gentle on yourself and the people you love, you might feel unsettled right now, just chill out and do something that makes you feel accomplished and happy while you settle down again.

Do yoga that makes you feel steady, standing poses and twists, it can be a good time for binds that will give you structure to work with. Practice Pranayama and Restorative Yoga to stay fully charged so you can accomplish great things during this achievement driven Capricorn time. Prioritize yourself and you will feel important and strong.

Keep Citrine or Pyrite close this month for motivation and cultivating your inner power. Use Hematite or Agate for extra strength and grounding if you need it. Perform an intention setting ritual on Tuesday, take a nice bath, be quiet and receptive even if only for 30 minutes, set a little time apart for yourself.

I get much of my astrological information from my incredible Aunt, Lauren Coleman, who is so wise and has a wonderful way of writing. Check out her post on this New Moon in Capricorn here for more on what this New Moon means.

Keep loving yourself and sending love to the world. We all need it.

xoxo

E

Endings and Beginnings

I may be a couple of days late, but it still feels like New Year’s over here (plus I’ve got the snow blowing outside of my apartment, telling me to get this out to all of you). New Year’s is a beginning, it offers us a chance to reflect, and of course to think of what we’d like to achieve and manifest in the year to come. I am a pretty driven person, like a lot of people I know in New York City and its surrounding areas. Often, I’m focused on where I’m going, what I want, how to get there; when I spend my time focusing so much on what’s ahead it can feel like a lot of pressure. When we are always looking so far forward there’s no sense of satisfaction, our work is never done, like a hamster on a wheel.

This year’s New Year’s Day started us off with a Full Moon. A chance to see what’s behind us as well as what’s ahead. One of the things I’ve been practicing this last month is appreciation. Appreciating myself as much as I appreciate the incredible people in my life. Appreciating my efforts and the energy I put forth. It’s been changing my neurology in the best way. Helping me slow down and giving me some new perspective. I highly recommend doing this for yourself. Be proud of your hard work. It doesn’t matter if you see now that you could have done something better or differently, or even if the whole thing turned out to be a mess. Appreciate the fact that you tried and that you worked at something and learn from it all. This is how we level up and become our best selves. A lack of mistakes is also a lack of growth.

When I look back at the year behind me, I see a lot of incredible things. In 2017 I moved back to Brooklyn, a place that had felt like home for a long time and that I missed dearly. I moved back here to be closer to my teachers and to meet new ones, and I have. My community is amazing, both in New York City and Connecticut and I’m so grateful to have found a way to stay close to the people I really love in CT while feeding my own soul in NY. To everyone that has made this transition possible for me, I am so grateful, thank you.

The year to come looks incredible. I’m offering workshops in several new places, returning to one big and exciting event, booking some awesome vendor engagements, and starting relationships with some very special new studios as well as continuing onward at the amazing Stamford Yoga Center and Tangerine Hot Power Yoga, both of these spaces have treated me incredibly well this year. I feel very lucky, and very proud at everything I’ve worked so hard to build. I am really looking forward to seeing the seeds of the last year blossom in 2018.

I hope each of you feels the same. Full of pride for yourself, it really is time for a fresh start and to stop beating yourself up for the same things all the time. (By the way, that loop of beating yourself up is probably what’s got you repeating that pattern anyway!) Know that I am grateful for you, your presence here, your eyes and your hearts and every order and every time you’ve taken a class or a workshop or anything at all. Thank you all.

Happy New Year!

E

What I didn’t know three years ago.

Three years ago I didn’t know what it felt like to sell something I created with my hands.

I didn’t know that I was lost when I wasn’t making something beautiful.

I didn’t know that I was scared, sad, alone. I didn’t.

I didn’t know that people admired me.

I didn’t know that I could create something for someone I didn’t know and that it would be incredibly meaningful to them.

I didn’t know the incredible feeling of building a business from scratch. The feeling of clawing and scraping without any clue of what to do.

I didn’t know what it would feel like to figure it out one piece at a time and to find the right people who could guide me.

I didn’t know the fucking amazing feeling of watching it grow. Knowing it’s growing on my back and my blood, sweat and tears – And not only that, but feeling it must also have its own life and heart.

I didn’t know, and couldn’t have imagined, the path and the opportunities that would arise.

I didn’t know how much I loved working with yoga and meditation studios to create a piece specifically for their communities. (Seriously, that is one of my favorite things!)

I certainly didn’t know that strangers would start recognizing me because of my mala and tell me that they owned one of my pieces. (WOW!)

I didn’t know that I was as powerful and creative and intuitive as I am. I went to art school and I somehow forgot I am an artist.

Love by E gave me all of these things and so much more.

This beautiful business of mine, which I am so proud of, has taught me so much about myself and about this world; how lovely it is and how special it is to connect with each other through creative expression.

Three years ago, on May 1, 2014, when I launched my website and Stranded, a collection of 9 malas, I thought I was giving something a try. I thought I was going to sell a couple of mala a month for students or friends. I thought I would try, but I thought I might fail.

I didn’t know.

Three years later and Love by E is still a baby business. And I can’t wait to see where it grows, and where I grow in the years to come. I am grateful every single day for the privilege of this work. My work both as a yoga teacher for the last 11 years and this new layer of my being. I am so grateful for the space that allows me to be me.

I am especially grateful to every one of you who supports Love by E, and thus supports me! Whether you’ve bought from me many times before or you are just wandering onto this site for the first time, your presence and your energy contribute and I could not do this without you.

With a deep bow and my utmost respect, Thank you.

Love,
E

Inspired by :: Jean Koerner

I met Jean Koerner when I was 18 years old. It was my first day of 200 hour teacher training in 2006. I had signed up for training based on Alan Finger’s good reputation and a few Google searches, but had never met Jean before.

To say I was inspired is an understatement. I was in love.

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I continued on to study with Jean in my 300 Hour teacher training and chose her to be my mentor. Even now, ten years later, Jean is an amazing mentor. I know that I can reach out to her at any time, and that she offers this kind support to any of her students.

Jean’s teachings have shaped me as a teacher, but also as a woman. Her elegance and clarity are something I still emulate to this day. Jean is creative and loving, in fact, she has her own gorgeous line of jewelry, Gems that Heal.

Our common passions have made us close as student and mentor, as well as friends. Her energy feeds me every time I am lucky enough to be in her presence. I am beyond grateful to know her.

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Together, Jean and I designed the Awareness Mala. A lovely 108 bead mala made with Cape Amethyst, Amethyst, Crystal Quartz and Rose Gold Plated details. Strung on deep purple silk with a handmade silk tassel, this mala will connect you to your Third Eye Chakra as well as your feminine grace.

The Awareness Mala was inspired by the awareness Jean cultivates as a teacher. Her practices take you into your own body with clarity and kindness.

52 Poses :: Salamba Sarvangasana, Shoulder Stand

In 2015 I’ll be highlighting a new posture each week. Find sequences, benefits, and archives here.

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Following up my last post about Headstand (Sirsasana), otherwise known as the King of All Asanas, I’ll be looking at Shoulder Stand, Salamba Sarvangasana, also called the Queen of All Asanas.

Just as the benefits of Headstand go on and on, Shoulderstand is a pose that packs a HUGE bang for it’s buck. The benefits of Shoulderstand range across the board, with perhaps its most notable being the balance of the Thyroid gland (especially when it’s followed by Fish Pose). So many people suffer from a hypo/hyper-active thyroid and imbalance in this gland creates imbalance in your entire Endocrine System. Impacting your body’s ability to regulate your hormones. Hormones control nearly every process in the body: digestion and elimination as well as reproduction, stress, relaxation, happiness, depression, immunity, all are influenced by hormonal balance.

In addition, Iyengar says of Shoulderstand in Light on Yoga:

The importance of Sarvangasana cannot be over-emphasized. It is one of the greatest boons conferred on humanity by our ancient sages. Sarvangasana is the Mother of asanas. As a mother strives for harmony and happiness in the home, so this asana strives for the harmony and happiness of the human system…

This passage continues on to list the numerous benefits of the pose:

  • Cures most common ailments.
  • Benefits the heart and vascular system.
  • Increases blood flow to the neck and chest, relieving breathlessness, palpitation and asthma.
  • Soothes headaches, even chronic ones.
  • Relieves constipation.
  • Revitalizes and energizes

The list goes on and on.

So, better get practicing, right? Well, not so fast.

As is the case with most asana that claim big benefit, the risk involved with this pose is big, too. In fact, the vast majority of students in an average yoga class are performing this pose to their detriment.

In Sarvangasana, your body is turning completely upside down. Your weight is moving onto the tops of your shoulders and your upper arms. At the same time, your head is bent at a 90 degree angle with your chin extremely tucked into your chest. Herein lies the problem.

Most people are not flexible enough in their shoulders and necks to take this degree of bend in the neck without rounding their shoulders. This causes your weight to drop out of your upper arms and shoulders, and right into your neck. DO NOT DO NECKSTAND.

At any point, if you feel pressure in your neck in this pose you should immediately come out.

Just like Headstand, I never recommend learning this pose without an experienced teacher’s guidance. Here are some additional tips to help you keep your neck safe in this pose:

  • KEEP YOUR HANDS ON YOUR BACK. There are versions of this pose where you would lift your arms alongside your body. I’ve never seen someone execute this without compromising their neck. I’m not saying it’s impossible, I’m saying you have to be an extremely advanced practitioner to pull it off and it’s not something the average Yogi will conquer (I am talking about with your legs reaching straight up here, other variations are easier in this regard).
  • Use blankets under your shoulders. This opens up the 90 degree angle of the neck and will help maintain a safe curve in your back.
  • Very gently press the back of your head into the floor. Do not move your chin into your chest, move your chest to your chin.
  • Reach very strongly up through the legs to lift your weight out of your base. Use your hands to help with this by walking your hands towards your shoulders.
  • Start in Bridge Pose. It’s much easier to get your shoulders underneath you when you begin in Bridge Pose and this sets you up for a much safer Shoulderstand.

As you can see, I take this pose very seriously. That doesn’t mean it isn’t wonderful, amazing and worth learning! Take your time and don’t underestimate the intelligence and experience involved in performing this pose. When you think you have learned Shoulderstand is when your work is only beginning!

Safe practices and Balanced Hormones abound!

Until next time, Much Love.

52 Poses :: Sirsasana, Headstand

In 2015 I’ll be highlighting a new posture each week. Find sequences, benefits, and archives here.

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Sirsasana, or Headstand, is also known as the king of all asanas. That’s a pretty big claim for one pose, and Headstand lives up to its name toting incredible claims for benefits (see below). Certainly one of those poses that most people think of when they think of yoga, this is also one of the goals that many new practitioners set for themselves. Finding headstand without the support of the wall is a huge moment for an asana enthusiast and requires a LOT of practice, patience, and a helping of bravery to top it off!

Headstand is an ancient yoga posture, seen in some of the earliest descriptions and instructions for asana. Headstand requires strength as well as poise. When performed properly, this inversion is sending Kundalini energy from the base chakra directly to the crown. This balances the energy body and opens the 7th chakra, allowing entrance into samadhi (the bliss state or enlightenment).

In addition, BKS Iyengar writes in Light on Yoga:

Regular practice of Sirsasana makes healthy pure blood flow through the brain cells. This rejuvenates them so that thinking power increases and thoughts become clearer. The asana is a tonic for people whose brains tire quickly. It ensures a proper blood supply to the pituitary and pineal glands in the brain. Our growth, health and vitality depend on the proper functioning of these two glands.

People suffering from loss of sleep, memory and vitality have recovered by the regular and correct practice of this asana and have become fountains of energy. The lungs gain the power to resist any climate and stand up to any work, which relieves one from colds, coughs, tonsilitis, halitosis and palpitations. It keeps the body warm. Coupled with Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) movements it is a boon to people suffering with constipation. Regular practice of Sirsasana will show marked improvement in the hemoglobin content of the blood.

It is not advisable to start with Sirsasana or Sarvangasana when one suffers from high OR low blood pressure.

Regular and precise practice of Sirsasana develops the body, disciplines the mind and widens the horizons of the spirit. One becomes balanced and self-reliant in pain and pleasure, loss and gain, shame and fame and defeat and victory.

Clearly, there are lots of reasons to practice headstand, AND big poses usually carry bigger risks. This means that practicing good alignment, building slowly and asking a teacher for help are crucial to learning this pose and receiving its benefits.

Some important alignment points for practicing Headstand:

  • Your weight is directly on the crown of your head, where a baby’s soft spot is. This should ensure all 4 sides of your neck are evenly elongated.
  • Keep your shoulders drawing away from your ears (towards your heels), if your shoulders are tight, you may not be able to come upside down completely without risking your neck. Be patient and wait for your shoulders to open.
  • Your tailbone reaches towards your heels and your legs extend straight up to the ceiling. Try to remove any excess arch from your lower back and any hinge from the front of your hips.
  • Headstand has 4 traditional variations: bound, tripod (shown above), open hand and no hands. They are traditionally taught in this order (and numbered I – IV), as each progressive variation places more weight into the head itself.
  • Do not kick up into headstand. Draw one knee at a time into your chest (as shown above) and then extend your legs straight up. Eventually, you can lift both legs together and even keep them straight as you reach them up.
  • If you are not ready to do headstand, practice Dolphin. Place your elbows on the floor (shoulder distance apart), lace your fingers together, lift your knees up like Down Dog and walk your feet closer and closer to your elbows. In Dolphin pose, your head is off of the floor and stays off of the floor. This pose will build shoulder and hamstring flexibility as well as strength in your torso to eventually practice Headstand.

Finally, when we talk about Headstand I think it is very important to remember that everyone will meet this pose in their own time. Some people take to it very easily, even within weeks of their first yoga class (or before!), while others, like myself, will take years. Use the wall for support when you first learn the pose, be willing to do your prep work. And, most importantly, do not compare yourself to others or race to accomplish any pose. Allow your strengths to be your strengths and continually work to balance your own weaknesses. Practicing Sirsasana without proper form will injure you. Give yourself the gift of patience and know that with practice it will come.

How do you feel about headstand? Love it or hate it? Let me know!

 

52 Poses :: Bird of Paradise

In 2015 I’ll be highlighting a new posture each week. Find sequences, benefits, and archives here.

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Bird of Paradise is no simple posture. Your shoulders, hips and hamstrings all require serious opening to get into this tricky minx, and then you’re still left balancing on one leg! This pose takes time, and because it requires a rather extreme range of motion, it is not to be rushed. Let yourself enjoy the process of building into this pose, and practice accepting where your body is right now. (And always ask a teacher for help if you’re trying this for the first time!)

With that caveat, this pose can feel great and builds strength as well as poise. Practiced intelligently, it is a great antidote for modern living. The benefits of this posture include:

  • Stretches and increases range of motion in the adductors (inner thighs), shoulders and hamstrings
  • Strengthens the external rotators of the hip-joint
  • Opens the chest
  • Improves posture and balance
  • Cultivates grace and confidence

There are lots of reasons to begin working this pose (or some of its wonderful precursors) into your practice. Before trying Bird of Paradise, make sure that you’ve  properly warmed up. Several sun salutations, Warrior Postures, Side Angle, Triangle, Flying Locust and Squat are great poses to ready you for Bird of Paradise. Or have a 15 minute dance party to your favorite song and drop it LOW to open your hips!

When you’re warmed up and ready:

  • Start in Malasana with your feet wide apart, lift your hips to be in line with your knees or a bit higher
  • Slide your left shoulder behind your left leg. The more you can get your shoulder behind your knee the easier it will be to keep your bind in place.
  • Reach your right arm to the sky, wrap it around your lower back, and join hands around your left leg. Use a strap or a hand towel to assist you if you aren’t able to bind yet.
  • Shift your weight into your right leg and slowly begin to lift your left foot off of the floor. Prioritize keeping your spine as straight as possible so as not to put pressure in your lower back.
  • Stand up completely straight first, keeping your left leg bent. Be sure to keep your chest broad, your arm bones gently rolling back to open your collarbones. You may lean slightly forward to elongate your spine if you aren’t able to stand tall without rounding your shoulders yet. If you’re not able to stand tall without rounding your shoulders or tucking your pelvis under, work here to achieve that BEFORE trying to straighten your left leg.
  • With your spine tall and your pelvis in neutral begin to straighten your left leg. You can see in my photos that the left hip will swing out to the side and lift up as your leg straightens. Keep working your left sitting bone towards your right heel to level off the pelvis, while simultaneously keeping the right sitting bone and tail bone from curling forward (in a “tuck” position)

Most importantly for this pose, stop at any step along the way and breathe for 5-10 breaths. Do not force your body using leverage, look for the strength and the stability of the pose to come from your deep muscles. Postures like this one (think Compass or Visvamitrasana) are so easy to force your way through using the leverage of your arms, but practicing this way puts your hamstrings in major jeopardy. Practicing this pose with your knee bent (as in the first photo above) is an excellent way to open your hips and hamstrings and puts much less pressure on tight muscles.

Be patient with Bird of Paradise, it may take months or years to find your way into this posture. Enjoy the ride and allow yourself to soak up the benefit of each step along the way.

How do you feel about B.O.P.? Love it or hate it? I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time, Be well and Live well,

E

52 Poses :: Bhujapidasana, Shoulder Pressure Pose

In 2015 I’ll be highlighting a new posture each week. Find sequences, benefits, and archives here.

I missed a couple of weeks of poses! Thanks to a nasty flu, I fell a bit behind and so here is pose number 9. The good news, I’ll be posting three poses the next week to take us into April.

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the beautiful Kathryn Budig in a lovely Bhujapidasana

 

Bhujapidasana is one of my favorite arm balances. Although it looks like something reserved only for  contortionists (and you do need to have some seriously open hips to pull it off like Kathryn up there), Arm Pressure Pose is surprisingly accessible with some practice.

For one thing, the risk of falling on your face in this variation is pretty slim. Most people have the opposite issue actually, falling on your butt. And let’s be honest, falling on to your butt is not that scary (unless you have a very sensitive tail bone).

Here’s a run-down of how you end up in Bhujapidasana:

  • Before you start, you need to seriously warm up your hips and shoulders. Place this pose towards the end of your practice.
  • Come in to Malasana with your feet nice and wide.
  • Lift your hips to be in line with your knees, about half way between squatting and forward bending.
  • With your feet a bit wider than your hips, walk your hands and arms back to place your hands behind your feet. Keep your hands shoulder distance apart, and point your fingers forward.
  • Walk your feet a bit closer and wiggle your shoulders behind your knees.
  • Start to sit your hips on to the back of your arms, your elbows can bend a bit as you come into the pose.
  • Wiggle your feet closer together in front of your nose. Hook your ankles and flex your feet.
  • Continue shifting weight into your hands and lift your low belly in and up to lift your feet.
  • Keep drawing your belly in and up to straighten your arms and lift your feet in line with your nose.
  • Beginning Variation: try using blocks under your hands if you have trouble placing your hands behind your feet. Work on sitting back onto your arms and don’t worry about lifting your feet yet. Take this pose as you can, if your hamstrings or hips are restricted, don’t force it! Your body will open in time.
  • Advanced/Ashtanga Variation: After lifting your feet, begin to point your toes to point them back between your arms. Lean forward to bring your head to the floor.

Sounds a bit confusing? It certainly is in the beginning. Take the time you need and ask your teacher for help with this pose.

What are the benefits of Bhujapidasana? According to BKS Iyengar’s Light On Yoga:

  • Strengthens the hands and wrists.
  • Tones and strengthens the abdomen.
  • A feeling of lightness, uplifting.
  • All of the muscles of the arms are strengthened, a great prep for handstands.

Do you have a favorite arm balance? A pose you’d love to see featured? Let me know!

Until next time,

E