We’re excited to have Elka Haeckel share her experiences and passion at Yoga One. She is both a knowledgeable yoga teacher and a perpetual student (like most great yoga teachers). Elka infuses her classes with a fresh perspective and a contagious enthusiasm. See our full schedule here.
My favorite style of yoga depends on what I need at that moment. I’ve practiced yoga for over twelve years in many styles and modalities. Today, I practice what my body needs in that moment. Hatha Yoga is where I feel most connected with my body, breath and soul. However, I also love practicing Vinyasa Flow during Spring as that is the best time for detoxing and cleansing.
2. What first attracted you to yoga when you began your practice?
When I first started yoga, my goal was to “touch my toes” and be “flexible.” Then, after practicing for awhile, I realized that yoga was not about touching the toes, it is about the journey you’re on to get there.
3. What is your favorite yoga pose right now?
My favorite pose at this moment is Tadasana, also called mountain pose because you feel strong, stable and yet relaxed. Tadasana is the Mother Asana and the foundation of all other asanas (poses). I feel a strong connection with my body and breath when I am in Tadasana. One of my teachers once said, “show me your Tadasana and I’ll tell you who you are.” Tadasana tells the story of your life. It gives me a strong foundation to stay connected with the principles of my yoga practice: Sthira, Sukha (stability with ease). I love it!
4. What pose is still the most challenging?
I feel every pose is challenging because yoga is about being present within and not about how you look. I try not to get caught up in my ego regarding my yoga practice. I accept what my body can do and I honor all the poses with love and gratitude. If there is a pose that I am not able to manifest in a proper way, I let go of judgement and allow myself to surrender what is appropriate for me. The challenge of my yoga practice is to keep the integrity of the pose with the breath and awareness.
6. Describe what yoga means in your life using just 6 words: SURRENDER TO THE MOMENT WITH LOVE!
7. What might your students be surprised to learn about you?
This is my little secret… I am a WonderWoman :) I am passionate about my career and I am in a constant mode of creating and manifesting new experiences for my students. My passion for teaching gives me strength and energy to keep serving others. I have also met with many shamans and healers on my path and I’ve embraced all the gifts that I’ve received from them. In my classes, I always bring the healing aspect so my students will never feel they are coming to a regular yoga class but rather to a healing and “juicy” experience.
8. Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for new students?
Life is about unconditional love and it starts within. Love yourself just the way you are right now, with no conditions or judgements. Yoga will give you tools to increase your awareness and appreciation for everything you have. You learn to respect your body with love and care. You become ONE with all!