Ellie Holbrook, MA, LPCC, RYT200 is…

…A Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor:  Ellie counsels women, men, adolescents, and professionals from all walks of life. She is committed to the well-being of her clients and dedicated to helping them meet their unique individual life and wellness goals as they optimize their personal satisfaction in life. As a coach, Ellie specializes in the art of positive living.

…A Registered Yoga Teacher:  Ellie is a certified yoga instructor, registered with the Yoga Alliance at the 200 hour level.  She is currently engaged in advanced teacher training.  Ellie teaches daily yoga classes at Satsanga, her studio, in Spicer, Minnesota.

…A Co-Founder of Satsanga:  Ellie, and her partner Ashley Christianson, are co-founders of Satsanga, a gathering place in which individuals gather to share the company of the “highest truth” through various means of study, practice, and reflection.  The ultimate goal is to assimilate the meaning of these personal truths into one’s daily life.  At Satsanga, we welcome you to join us in the practices of Yoga, Ayurveda, and Holistic Well-Being.

…A DONA-trained birth doula: Ellie is a DONA-trained birth doula. She is enthusiastic about childbirth, and passionate about supporting expecting women and their families.

Earth to Self. Can you hear you?

January 27th, 2015

It is the end of January.    This means that we should be making fine progress towards our New Year’s Resolutions, if we have not already crossed them off our lists, correct?

Just kidding.

While it is correct that January is already over, it is safe to assume that most of us still have considerable work to do before we are able to kiss our New Year’s resolutions and goals goodbye.  Which means that many of us have  life-work to do, and this work is undoubtedly some of the most difficult internal work we do as humans.

So, how do we get this work done?

First and foremost, it is important that we reignite the relationship that we have with our very own self.  This means re- tuning into the messages we receive from our bodies, our intuition, and the loved ones and endeavors that lift us higher.  As you do this, consider what it is that you transmit and receive in life.  What about this works for you, and what does not? In what ways do you dis/connect from yourself and others?

The following points are ways that many of us dampen and sever the connection we have with those most important to us, including our own selves.

Being everywhere but here:  In yoga, we often discuss the idea of “being present.”  But what does that even mean?  It means that we are able to channel our presence in order to be available to the moment that we are in.

Ignoring the body:  Many of us learn to disassociate from our physical bodies and instead learn pay more attention to physical habits that mandate our bodily attention , such as food ,body image, addiction, self-care, etcetera.  Regardless of your bodily experience, know that embodiment is the connection. Therefore, live within your body:  listen to its messages, relearn how and when to feed it, give it plenty of movement, and just as importantly, rest, and find faith in its processes.

Ignoring your thoughts:  Walk through a day-in-your-mind, and notice the commentary.

Attempting  to prove our worth:  You are enough, and you are worthy.  Worth is not proved.  It is inherent.

Mixing up priorities:   This is easier said than done.  Nonetheless, ask yourself:  What are your priorities in life?  How do you show prioritization to those that you cherish?  How do you prioritize your own needs?

Trusting outside information over your own intuition:   Ignore technology.  Ignore the media.  Ignore what doesn’t resonate.  Instead, let go and connect with the rhythms of your body and mind.

Compromising yourself and loved ones:   Stop people-pleasing.  Advocate and be assertive on behalf of yourself and your loved ones.

Find balance:  For most, balance does not exist in the sense that we pursue it.  Balance is not a fixed state, rather it is a fluid state of adjustment, adaptation, giving and receiving.

Limiting joy:  Make time for the things that feel good and light your soul on fire.  Laugh.  Play.  Embrace all that brings you joy.

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Yoga and Meditation Schedule for the week of 1.26.15-1.30.215

January 27th, 2015

Yoga and Meditation Schedule for the week of 1.26.15-1.30.215

8.30-9.30am: BodyBlend
After School- 5.00pm: Yoga for Kids

4.30-5.30pm: Lower-Body/Creative-Core
6.00-7.00pm: Yin Yoga

6.30am-7.30am: Sunrise Yoga
5.30-6.30pm Astanga Flow

5.00pm: Meditation
5:30-6.30pm: Happy Hour

8.30am-9.30am: BodyBlend
10.00-11.00am- Gentle Flow
5.30pm-6.30pm- Happy Hour!

12.00pm-4.00pm- Winterfest Spa Day at Glacial Ridge Winery

6.00pm-7.00pm- Candle Light Yoga

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Introduction to Yoga!

January 27th, 2015

We are excited to announce that we will be holding another Intro to Yoga Series!

This series will begin Monday February 2nd from 5.30pm-7.00pm, and will be held for six weeks.

We ask that you pre-register for this class, as space is limited. We also request that you bring your own yoga mat.

The class is $60.

To reserve your spot, email us at satsanga139@gmail.com


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New Year’s Resolutions: For the Birds?

December 30th, 2014

Happy New Year! And welcome to 2015.

As we reflect on the year behind us, many of us will find ourselves making New Year’s Resolutions, in some form or another, in hopes of making positive changes in the year to come. And, if any of you are like me, you will conclude that New Year’s Resolutions are for the birds, reasoning that no one really sticks to them anyway, right?

Right. Or so seems to be the theme.

Yet, why is this? Why do so many of us struggle to follow through with keeping such resolutions? After all, they are in our best interest, are they not?

I suppose the answer to this question is that, for many of us, New Year’s Resolutions and similar personal goals rapidly change from a genuine desire to make a positive change to something else that we “should” do each day, which often turns in to a “won’t”, “don’t”, or “can’t”. Instead of approaching a goal with determination, insight, conviction, and resolve, we set a lofty goal for ourselves without properly assessing why we want to make such a change, how to go about it, and perhaps most importantly, how and why we got to the position that we are in to make such a change in the first place. Without the understanding of what is keeping us stuck, it is incredibly difficult to get “unstuck” and move toward our goals.

And this is understandable. Because changing our habits is hard, even when we recognize that certain habits are not good for us. We may resolve to develop new habits that will serve us better, yet, if a stronger inner commitment and deeper understanding of our goal is missing, we are very likely to get in our own way.

So what can we do about this very human tendency? Here are a few tips:

1. Focus on the present. By this, I do not mean to “be here now”. Rather, adopt a mindset that focuses on the choices that you are making right now, not tomorrow or next week.

2. Ask yourself, “What do I really need to focus on at this time in my life?” The answer to this question will likely come to you, in some way, almost immediately. This means that you know what you need to do.

3. Be mindful of your goals. Meaning, keep them at the forefront of your mind by being intentional, visualizing success, and being open to the process and outcome of change. With this same mindfulness, make decisions, big and small, throughout each and every day that bring you closer to the manifestation of your goal.

Ellie Holbrook, MA, LPCC, RYT200

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Registered Yoga Teacher

Satsanga | 139 Lake Avenue North, Spicer, MN 

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Yoga Schedule for the Week of 12.28-1.03

December 28th, 2014

Sunday, December 28th

6.00pm- Candlelight Yoga- Unwind from the holiday week/weekend and ease yourself into another busy week.  Take this time to relax and rejuvenate.  


Monday, December 29th

8.30-9.30am: BodyBlend- Give your holiday week a strong start with this hot and strong practice! 

3.45-5.00pm- Yoga for Kids- Are your kids going stir-crazy?  Or perhaps they need to unwind from the holiday stress as well.  They will be able to do both during Yoga for Kids :)

5.30pm-7.00pm: Intro to Yoga


Tuesday, December 30th

4.30-5.30pm: Lower-Body/Creative-Core

6.00-7.00pm: Yin Yoga


Wednesday, December 31st

6.30am-7.30am: Sunrise Yoga

8.00am Astanga Flow- Because it is New Year’s Eve, we will practice Astanga first thing in the morning.  Join me in this practice to let go of 2014, and welcome the New Year!


Thursday, January 1st

5.00pm: Meditation

5:30-6.30pm: Happy Hour – What better way to celebrate and honor the New Year!  


Friday, January 2nd

8.30am-9.30am: BodyBlend

10.00-11.00am- Gentle Flow


Saturday January 3rd

10.00-11.00am Easy Like Saturday Morning Flow

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Yoga and Meditation Schedule for the Holiday Week

December 23rd, 2014

Yoga and Meditation Schedule for the Holiday Week: 


Tuesday, December 23rd

4.30-5.30pm: Lower-Body/Creative-Core

6.00-7.00pm: Yin Yoga


Wednesday, December 24th – All classes will be held as normally scheduled.  This is the perfect way to prepare yourself for the holiday. 

6.30am-7.30am: Sunrise Yoga

5.30-6.30pm Astanga Flow


Thursday, December 25th- No plans for Christmas morning?  Neither does Ellie :)  Celebrate the holiday with her in mindful meditation and asana.  

9.30-10am: Meditation

10.00-11.00am: Happy Hour


Friday, December 26th

8.30am-9.30am: BodyBlend

10.00-11.00am- Gentle Flow


Saturday, December 27th

10.00-11.00am- Easy Like Saturday Morning


Sunday, December 28th

6.00pm Candle Light Yoga

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Men’s Club

December 4th, 2014

Men’s Club: Thursday, December 11th at 7.00pm

Are you a MAN? Are you interested in yoga? So often we hear that men are curious about doing yoga, but intimidated by attending classes with primarily woman.

Of course men are welcome and encouraged to attend any and all classes, but this one is just for the boys:

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Introduction to Ayurveda

December 4th, 2014

Join us at SATSANGA for discussion on Ayurveda


Over hot tea and lovely conversation, Ashley Christianson, CCA Ayurvedic Health Practitioner Intern, RYT200, will be hosting an introduction to Ayurveda.  In her discussion, she will address the basic foundations and benefits of Ayurveda and yoga. 


Wednesday, December 10th, 2014.

Astanga Yoga:  5.30pm-6.30pm.  $10/person

Introduction to Ayurveda: 6.30pm-7.30pm.  Free of charge.

Please feel welcome to enjoy one or both sessions. 

To ensure enough space, please email us at satsanga139@gmail.com



We Welcome You

139 Lake Avenue Spicer, Minnesota| Satsanga139@gmail.com


Ellie Holbrook, MA, LPCC, RYT200 | Ashley Christianson, CCA Ayurvedic Health Practitioner Intern, RYT200

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December Daily

December 3rd, 2014

It is December, and the “holidays are here”. And as we all know, this season can be taxing, mind, body, and spirit. Yet even so, we should also remember that it does not have to be this way. So with this in mind, I have been posting a daily thought with the intention of inspiring reflection, meditation, and positive action this holiday season.

Here is what I have shared so far this month in December Daily:

12.01.2014: Today, do one thing. No matter what that one thing is, do it, and find peace in doing it mindfully and with intention. Rather than focusing on how much you accomplish today, allow yourself to adopt a different pace, and be content with whatever it is that you do.

12.02.2014: There are days that we start off on the wrong foot. And, sometimes, these days are hard to turn around. Yet even so, remember that you can create a “start-over point” whenever you want. You do not have to wait until later, or tomorrow, or Monday, or January 1, or for whatever you are waiting for to occur. You can create a plot-twist whenever you want. And if you want, that is exactly what you should do.

12.03.2014: Embrace the gray area in life. As much as we would like it sometimes, life does not actually happen in the black, nor the white. Rather, most of our life happens in the grey area, where the lines are often blurred and where certainty exists. Yet, even so, this area is a thing of great beauty. For this is where we find balance, moderation, and compromise. Therefore, live in the grey. Find the in-between. And if that is a lil’ quirky, let it be.

12.04.2014: In yoga, we often use the term “drishti”. Our drishti is the point of focus where our gaze rests during a posture and meditation practice, allowing us to gaze outward while bringing awareness inward. This yogic gaze is a technique that develops concentration and teaches us to see the world as it really is. Whether you practice yoga or not, know that our focus influences how we see the world. And this determines our reality.

12.05.2014: Appreciate all that is “wabi-sabi”. Wabi-sabi is a Japanese term that appreciates and nurtures all that is imperfect, impermanent, and unfinished. And when you really think about it, this is much of life. Because, most simply stated wabi-sabi describes life as it really is: Nothing is perfect, nothing is everlasting, and nothing is every entirely complete.

12.06.2014: For the past three weeks, my Yoga for Kids students have practiced ahimsa, which in Sanskrit means “nonharming”. On the surface, this concept is easy to understand, yet it is much more difficult to put into practice once we dive deeper into its true meaning, as the true meaning of ahimsa is to do no harm to any one or any thing, in any way at any time. So, as you apply ahimsa in your own life consider the impact you have on all things, all being, at all times, including yourself.

For more, see www.ellieotteson.com or www.facebook.com/yogawithel

Ellie Holbrook, MA, LPCC, RYT200

Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor and Registered Yoga Teacher

Spicer, Minnesota

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Redefining the Holidays

November 19th, 2014

For the years that I have been writing this column, I have typically written a holiday submission that has focused on finding gratitude, grounding, and balance amidst the hustle and bustle of holiday stress.  And while this subject still has great merit for many of us, life circumstances have helped me realize that this topic has inadvertently overlooked those of us that do not experience the holidays in the same way.


So, this year, rather than focusing on the “overabundance” of the holidays that many of us relate to, I would like to make a shift and highlight another perspective.


…Traditionally, the holiday season views holiday happiness as time spent with family and loved ones.  And while this may be true for many, it is not true for us all.  For, in truth, holiday happiness depends much more upon our personal perspectives and experiences, much more than who we spend our time with.


Yet, when we spend the holidays alone, this is much easier said than done,  for if we find ourselves alone on the holidays, it is ever difficult, yet ever so important to remember that being alone does not have to equate being lonely.


So, with this in mind, consider the following the suggestions to avoid feeling lonely this holiday season:


First and foremost, redefine your expectations of the holidays:  Liberate yourself and know that there is no reason whatsoever that you cannot enjoy yourself and find meaning in this holiday season, no matter what your circumstances.  Make this time, whoever you spend it with, count.


Extend invitations:  Be proactive, and do not assume that everyone has plans, and know that many people look forward to a change of holiday-pace even if they do. If there is something that you would like to do, and you would like to share that time with others invite them to join you.


Accept invitations:  Again, be proactive.  Assume that the invitations you receive are sincere, and accept them if they sound appealing.  If they do not, graciously decline, and accept ownership for your decision to do so.


Redefine company:  Regardess if it is your own company, that of a beloved animal, or something else that is not human, do something special and out-of-the-ordinary with the company that you have.


Reflect:  Use this time to reconnect with yourself in a different way.  Reflect on your resolutions, your intentions, and your direction.  Absorb the silence and use it to your advantage during this time of solitude.


Indulge:  Indulge in yourself, and indulge in others.  If you have the desire, give yourself a treat of some kind.  And also, consider how you may give of yourself to connect with and benefit others in a way that is unique to you.


Be creative or productive:  What have you been  meaning to do with your free time?  Whether that is creative or productive, invest your resources into that project, and it is likely that you will find a sense of fulfillment. 


Get away:  Explore a change of scenery, whether that is near or far.  Travel, no matter how you define it, takes on a whole new meaning and introduces you to a whole new word when you are flying solo.


Ellie Holbrook MA, LPCC, RYT200


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