Elysabeth Williamson has been teaching Principle-Based Partner Yoga and partner yoga teacher training for most of her 30 year career as a yoga teacher. Yet she thinks people can sometimes get caught up on the ‘partner’ aspect of it. They think they can’t do it if they don’t have a partner, in the traditional sense. It’s hugely beneficial to have the experience of doing a yoga practice with someone else, but Elysabeth feels that it’s just as important to be your own partner. She teaches her students how to be fully present and aligned in their own beings in order to make authentic connections with others and themselves. Elysabeth believes that only when we are grounded and aligned in our own space can we truly support another person. That’s the foundation on which Principle-Based Partner Yoga, and Elysabeth’s new practice of Illuminated Embodiment, rests.
What is Principle-Based Partner Yoga?
Principle-Based Partner Yoga is a yoga practice designed for two or more people to practice together. It’s often a way in to yoga for people who find yoga to be ‘inaccessible.’ Elysabeth has taught many people who have tried yoga numerous times, mostly men, but find it makes them too tight, or think that yoga is only for ‘super skinny flexible women.’ Then they experience the partner practice, with ‘simple touch and added nurturing,’ and they find their way into the practice of yoga.
Partner based yoga is all about giving and receiving energy. And when we’re very connected, we see that giving and receiving are the same thing. But we have to be really present with ourselves to see that. When we take responsibility for our own alignment that’s when we can really support each other. People who experience Principle-Based Partner Yoga and who do her partner yoga teacher training say that it really opens them up to trusting themselves and other people. When we practice group postures, or with another person, we get an energetic sense that we are all one. Which is, as Elysabeth believes, the key to changing the world.
How Illuminated Embodiment Will Help Us Change The World
It’s no secret that we are being challenged recently with negativity around the world. When Elysabeth and I spoke, I asked her why she felt that the work she was doing would spread the positivity that’s so desperately needed right now. She spoke of how, when we use partner based yoga, we see that the things we do directly impact others. ‘What happens to one person affects us, even if we don’t see or know it’s happening.’ We also must keep in mind that the only change we can truly affect starts with ourselves. With these two beliefs, that what we do affects the world and that change starts with us, we start to work towards a solution.
When we can deal with our own fear and anger, instead of sending it out into the world to be managed by others, it brings us back to what is truly important. In Elysabeth’s own words, “we all have bodies and hearts. We all want to feel needed and valued. We all want to feel connected. We all want to feel that we are contributing.” She believes that we need the tools to help us learn how to resolve conflict and relate to one another.
Learning How To Spread Change With Partner Yoga Teacher Training
Perhaps that’s exactly what brings so many people, from so many different backgrounds, to learn from Elysabeth. She has been teaching others to spread her method of Principle-Based Partner Yoga with her partner yoga teacher training for a while. Now, she is beginning to teach others about her newest practice, Illuminated Embodiment. This practice came to Elysabeth as a way to reach more people, who might be frightened off by the prospect of ‘partner yoga,’ not believing that they have a partner. Elysabeth is showing us that, traditional partner or not, we can still partner with ourselves to enact change.
The people who flock to Elysabeth, to learn her methods, do so to go deeply into the practice. They come from all different backgrounds to bring what they learn back to their communities. What’s special about Elysabeth’s partner yoga teacher training is that it’s not just yoga teachers who take them. Therapists, relationship counselors, midwives, dance teachers, body workers, athletes, and couples take these trainings, ready to incorporate them into their arsenal.
Maintain Balance While Traveling
It’s no secret that travel is inherently unbalancing. We do it because we can’t live without it, but that doesn’t mean our bodies don’t occasionally suffer the consequences. Elysabeth is a fellow travel lover. She loves to see, in her travels, how we are all at once very different culturally, and essentially the same at our core. She feels that travel adds a richness to life, but she recently took a retreat from traveling for the past two years. When asked why she needed to take a step back from travel, she responded that she needed to re-balance after a period of intense travel.
Travel, for Elysabeth, is all about balance. She needs to have balance within her year, within her travels, and within the amount of teaching she does in order to maximize her energy. Since, as we’ve already established, achieving balance within ourselves is key, she wants to make sure she stays connected to her own being in order to facilitate her partner yoga teacher training.
What are some ways that we can achieve balance in our own lives, especially if we travel frequently? Make it a priority to check in with yourself daily. Do a meditation, a short prayer, or say some affirmations in the mirror. Try to have a connection with yourself as a foundation to meet the world.
And a way to incorporate Principle-Based Partner Yoga into your everyday life? If you have a partner to practice with, try the back to back sacrum connection. Sit back to back with your partner, feeling the essence and humanity of the other person. This simple practice helps us see and feel how we are all connected, all one.
If you will be in the San Jose area this Fall, Elysabeth will be presenting at an event called ‘Science and Non-Duality Conference‘ at which Deepak Chopra will speak. Physicists and modern spiritual teachers are coming together to talk about how science and ancient wisdom teachings are merging.
If you’re reading to jump right in and learn from the best, Elysabeth is offering Level 1 & 2 Principle-Based Partner Yoga Teacher Training in Santa Barbara this fall. For East Coast people interested in studying with Elysabeth, she regularly teaches at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health and will be presenting a five day introduction to Illuminated Embodiment early 2017. Click below to sign up with WeTravel.
Elysabeth Williamson has been an innovator in the world of Yoga and a internationally recognized teacher for over twenty-five years. Her unique, heart-centered teaching style comes from over thirty years of practice and training in a variety of yogic traditions. Elysabeth is the founder of Principle-Based Partner Yoga™ and the author of ‘The Pleasures and Principles of Partner Yoga’, a seven year undertaking. She recently released a state of the art iPhone app, ‘Partner Yoga Touch’, both award-winning projects.
Certified as a Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, and accredited through Yoga Alliance as an ERYT 500, Elysabeth incorporates a wide variety of ancient and modern healing modalities into her teaching. She is thrilled to see the global expansion of Partner Yoga through international Partner Yoga Teacher Training and the wonders of modern technology.