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.

Vulnerability as Strength

March 24th, 2015

Vulnerability is no easy emotion to experience.  In fact, most of us would have to agree that we tend to avoid it all costs.  And, of course, most of us would be able to recall numerous occasions that we  gracefully sashayed our way through a moment of vulnerability or two; however, all in all, most of us tend to avoid these situations when we see them coming.  And this makes sense, because after all, this is an act of self-preservation, is it not? 

Most of us have spent a great deal of our lives proving to ourselves and others that we value, strength, and character. We have worked hard to get where we are by aligning our strengths and confidences to overcome hardships and obstacles and trudge through the sloughs of wilderness that seem to be inherent to our human experience. As such, we have learned to maximize and rely on these virtues to thrive and survive, while taking care not to expose other parts of ourselves so that we may avoid our weaknesses and remain  strong, sure-footed, and unequivocal.  So, naturally, putting ourselves in a position to be vulnerable may feel foreign, counter-intuitive, and uncomfortable.

Yet, as we move through life, many of us come to discover that strength and vulnerability are not exactly opposites. On the contrary, vulnerability requires a great amount of courage, for being vulnerable is to be authentic despite our greatest fears.  For vulnerability requires that we accept and embrace the parts of ourselves that we would rather ignore, change, or deny. In fact, by its very definition, vulnerability even takes this one step further and requires that we do so in the presence of others, forcing us to acknowledge these parts of ourselves, talk about them as they are, and claim them as our own. The very nature of vulnerability requires that we feel raw, unsure, and exposed, both with ourselves and others. 

So, how do we evolve in the name of vulnerability, and allow ourselves to transform? Consider the following exercises:

Practice Self-Awareness: Begin this practice by simply being mindful of your feelings of vulnerability when they arise. Take note of what has triggered these feelings, ask yourself why they have arisen, and perhaps reflect on what you struggle to accept about these traits and why you would rather camouflage them.

Reveal Something: Revealing parts of ourselves can feel risky and vulnerable.  However, in doing so, we unveil glimpses of our truest selves by sharing who we really are.  By simply doing this, we encourage others to connect with us on a more intimate and fulfilling level.

State How You Feel. At That Moment: When you feel that you have lost your footing, find your voice and give a name to what you are experiencing. Not only is this transparency authentic and true, but it gives others permission to do the same. 

Admit When You Are Wrong: Be accountable. Accept your mistakes. Forgive yourself. Then, move on. You may be surprised to learn that most others will follow your lead.

Own (and redefine) Your Weaknesses: Despite the fact that no one of us is perfect, admitting our “weaknesses” to others can take great strength.  Yet, in doing so, we allow ourselves to be better supported by those that complement who we are and encourage our growth. .

Celebrate Your Imperfections: Allow yourself to be human.  Know that sometimes it is more than enough to be “good enough”. Embrace your idiosyncrasies. Reconsider your perceived “weaknesses” as instead being your gifts. 

And finally, fully accept all that you are, for that is heart of vulnerability, And even more so, that is authenticity. 

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Schedule for this week: 03.23.15-03-28.15

March 22nd, 2015

This week at Satsanga: 03.23.15 – 03.28.15

Join us this week for Asana and Meditation!  All bodies are welcome to attend class – even the most challenging of poses can be modified and attainable for everyBODY.  If you have questions about classes, please see the class description or inquire by email.  We excited to annouce that we will also be “Open for Business” for select hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. We would love to see you!  So, do stop by to say hello, ask questions about our services, smell our delicious Floracopeia oils, and see everything else we have to offer. 


After School – 5pm: Yoga for Kids



6.30am- Sunrise Yoga

4.30pm- Lower-Body/Creative-Core



5.30pm- Astanga



2.00pm-5.00pm- Open for “business”

5.00pm- Meditation

5.30pm- Happy Hour



8.30am- BodyBlend

10.00am- Gentle Flow

12.00pm-3.00pm- Open for “business”



10.00am Saturday Morning Surprise

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Open Your Heart

March 20th, 2015

In my personal asana practice, I have been paying extra-special attention to heart-openers and back-bending.  

These poses, hence their namee, involve the opening and blossoming of the heart. Which inevitably exposes the most intimate and vulnerable parts of our internal and external self.

And not surprsingly, this can feel scary, uncomfortable.  Yet, it can also feel beautifully and incredibly naked and raw, as these poses gently encourage us to peel away our protective layers and let the magic of our hearts shine.  They force us to drop our head and mind back into the unknown behind us, which exposes our neck, driving our chest forward to allow our heart, soul, and intuitive gut lead the way and journey, sometimes blindly, into the unknown before us.

Yet, as scary as this may be, we need not move in the direction of fear, or we will forever be stagnant.

Instead, move in the direction of your heart. Let it open. Expose yourself. Be authentic, raw, and naked. Liberate yourself. Dance with life. Open your heart to the cosmos.

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Classes this Weekend: 3.19-3.22

March 19th, 2015

Yoga and Meditation Classes for the weekend (3.19.15 – 3.22.15)

Join me today for a sweet and powerful meditation and asana practice to honor the Solar Eclipse and Spring Equinox
5.00pm- Meditation
5.30pm- Happy Hour Yoga

8.30- BodyBlend- Welcome the sun and the Spring Equinox with 108 Sun Salutations!
10.00- Gentle Flow

9.30am- Yoga Flow at InspirHer

8.00am- Meditation at InspirHer

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Kundalini Yoga Workshop

March 18th, 2015

Kundalini Yoga:  A journey into the Soul

 “Kundalini Yoga is the fastest way to establish an aligned relationship between the body, mind, and soul.”  – Yogi Bhajan


 Kundalini Yoga is known as the “yoga of awareness”.  It is a practice that is designed to connect you to your divine truth…Sat Nam.   Kundalini Yoga includes mantra, movement, and meditation.

 The workshop will open with a short private reflection that will lead into a kriya (set of postures/movements) to clear and release the blocks holding you from a life you truly desire.

 After you’ve released what is holding you back, you’ll be guided through a kriya that invites you to allow the blessings and guidance to flow freely in your life.  You will experience a deeper connection with yourself and gain clarity for moving forward.

 The workshop is perfect for beginners and advanced yogis alike!  Absolutely no yoga experience is required for this practice.  This workshop is a perfect fit if you are ready to say yes to living a happier and more fulfilling life.


 May 9th, 2015. 9.00am-11.30am.  Space is limited.  Advance registration is required.  $40. 

Email Jen at jennifer@inspiringradiance.com to secure your spot.

Jen Grant is the founder and passion behind Inspiring Radiance, a business that allows her to focus on her mission to lead with love! She’s the author of a new book, “Dying to be Good Enough” and travels locally and nationally speaking, writing and coaching people that life is a choice. Jen is the co-host of the “Happy, Healthy and Fit Life” Podcast, has been a featured expert on KARE 11 News in Minneapolis and is a certified instructor in Kundalini Yoga. Jen’s deep life experiences and focus on growth will show you that you can fill your life with love and make your dreams a reality!


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Floracopeia Essential Oils

March 16th, 2015

As the only wholesalers of Floracopeia Essential Oils in the state of Minnesota, Ashley and I are often asked why we have fallen in love with Floracopeia over other common brands. This is an excellent question that we feel excited to answer, as it provides us an opportunity to educate people on not just one, but many philosophies, that we fee passionate about!

“…Floracopeia was established to promote the use of medicinal plants and high-value crops for grassroots healthcare, poverty alleviation, ecological benefits and the preservation of ethno-botanical wisdom. Floracopeia provides customers with the highest quality essential oils and other botanical aromatic treasures through the support of ecologically sustainable agricultural and agro-forestry projects.

Floracopeia was established to support these important goals:

1. To economically support and uplift ecologically-responsible farmers around the world by purchasing their high-quality aromatic products.

2. To support the preservation of forests by purchasing aromatic products from sustainable agroforestry projects.

3. To lower the cost of top-grade essential oils, attars, hydrosols, and natural perfume ingredients by bringing them directly from distillers to retail customers.

4. To provide education about the medicinal, ecological, economic, and spiritual benefits of medicinal and aromatic plants in the form of workshops, multi-media events, meditation retreats and publications

5. To help preserve and promote traditional and indigenous ethno-botanical knowledge of medicinal and aromatic plants and their uses.”


Please take the time to visit their website to be further moved:  www.floracopeia.com

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Perfect, Schmerfect

March 12th, 2015

Once per week at Satsanga, we practice Astanga Yoga, which follows the same series of poses each and every time of practice, according to the Astanga tradition.

Due to the repition of poses, this approach to asana lends itself to mastery and progression, each and every time you come to your mat, but never a perfection of the practice. Because, really, no matter how often you practice, your practice will always vary…

So, in practice, we do not strive to be flawless. Rather, we embrace all that is human about ourselves and we own this experience, while also striving to progress and transcend at the very same time.

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Solid Foundation

March 2nd, 2015

This week’s yoga challenge focused on activating, and therefore, strengthening the lower body. Unlike a few weeks ago, when we paid extra-special attention to the opening of the lower body and the emotional reservoir that it can be, this week focused on the strength and stability of the very same region, which also happens to be the foundation of our physical and energetic bodies.

As if referring to yoga, Henry David Thoreau has been quoted as saying, “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

And so it is in practice. In yoga, just as in life, the integral structure of anything physical is built upon its foundation. And when the foundation is strong, it keeps us grounded by providing stability and support and allowing for balance. It is only when we are rooted in a strong internal and external foundation that we are able to ebb, flow, and move with strength and grace, for when we root deeply and surrender, trusting that the earth will support us, we are able to rise and expand upward.

In yoga, we can this “sthira sukham asanam”.

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Lent 2015

February 24th, 2015

As many of you probably know, this year’s Lent season began last week.  Traditionally, many of us honor Lent by making a sacrifice of some sort, abstaining from something, fasting, or removing something that we will miss during the 46 days leading up to Easter.  Ideally, the commitments that we make as we honor Lent are made with self-improvement in mind, as we look within ourselves and discover what we may do to better ourselves and our lives as a whole, which, quite often, includes eliminating something from our lives, temporarily or, sometimes, permanently.

And because the intention behind this releasing of obstacles is to better one’s self, I fully support it, no matter one’s spiritual background, denomination, belief system.  Yet, I recognize that we do not all approach this season in the same way, so I enjoy reading up on it.  And as I did so this year, I came across,  yet again, the idea of using the season of Lent as a time to release something old so that one might create or embrace something new in their lives.  And I love this idea.  I love the idea of setting the intention to give up something that no longer serves us, so that we may embrace something that does.  This idea is called a Positive Lent, which refers to making the commitment to add something into one’s life in a positive manner, rather than emphasizing the idea of foregoing something else. 

In my reading, I came across an article by Reverend James Martin, who suggested that those who acknowledge the Lenten season approach the season differently this year and instead do something positive for themselves, or the universe as a whole.  Specifically, followers of this thought are encouraged to practice a “positive” Lent  rather than a “negative” one that emphasizes sacrifice and abstinence, by taking the time to do something good, or as he writes, to “bother to love”. Instead of giving up behaviors or habits that you are trying to kick anyway, why not focus on doing something positive for yourself, or more importantly, for others. 

Reverend James quotes Jesus in the Gospel, saying “It is mercy I desire, not sacrifice.” So whether you are Christian or not, why not take these words of Jesus literally and bother to share the love that has filled your heart.  Show compassion and mercy to those you encounter.  Pay attention to your loved ones, and bestow loving-kindness upon them. And do the same for yourself by embracing your own goodness, and allow others to do the same for you.

…With this said, perhaps you are not ready to replace your current Lenton season with another approach, or perhaps you do not celebrate this season at all.  And if so, that is okay.  Yet, nonetheless, give this idea some thought during other times of the year, and reflect on how you might benefit from letting things go, so that you may let other things come, which, really, is the heart of this lesson. 

So, if you feel moved to do so, take the opportunity that is this Lenten season, and invest your energies in doing something positive.  Be kind.  Do good.  Bother to show your love.  To yourself, and all beings. 

Ellie Holbrook, MA, LPCC, RYT200

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National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

February 24th, 2015

Welcome to National Eating Disorder Awareness Week (February 22nd-28th 2015).

The awareness of Eating Disorders is especially important to me, on both a professional and personal level.

As a therapist and yoga instructor, I work with many individuals that have struggled to create a harmonious relationship their bodies, exercise, and food, for various reasons and in various ways.

As a human, I have a deep understanding of this struggle, for I struggled myself for may years. In fact, it was 15 years ago this very week that I was hospitalized for my own Eating Disorder.

So, for those of you that understand this struggle, no matter how or why, I encourage you to spread the ‪#‎NEDAwareness‬. And for those of you that need further education, I encourage you to seek that out.


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