Marianne Elliott

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Tara Mohr on Playing Big

Sunday, October 12, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

The first conversation Tara Mohr and I ever had, about four years ago, was about her desire to write a book (I was writing Zen Under Fire at the time) and how she was confronting the fears, doubts and challenges that come with the kind of ‘playing big’ it takes to do so.

About a year later we met in Taos, and I discovered that Tara is all the things I look for in my friends –  smart, warm, funny, brave, able to be vulnerable and courageous in equal measure, generous, creative, kind and loyal. I’m grateful to call her a friend and deeply admiring of the important work she’s doing in the world.

Because now she has written that book. In fact, she has written a very important book, a book all about women ‘Playing Big’ by which she means simply finding the courage, the skills, the tools and the support to voice and implement the changes we want to see—in ourselves and in the world.

Playing Big provides real, practical tools to help women quiet self-doubt, identify their callings, “unhook” from praise and criticism, unlearn counterproductive good girl habits, and begin taking bold action.

In this interview Tara and I talk specifically about callings (how do we recognise them?) and how we’ve both had to learn to receive both praise and criticism with perspective and some detachment.

Get your copy of Tara’s book here:


tara mohr playing big



Yoga and Body Image

Thursday, October 9, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

Today my dear friend (and 30 Days of Curvy Yoga co-teacher) Anna Guest-Jelley has a beautiful new book being released into the world: Yoga and Body Image: 25 Personal Stories About Beauty, Bravery & Loving Your Body. I love everything Anna touches, and am honored to have a chapter in the book on how shame found me on the yoga mat.

Justine Musk on ending the quest for perfect

Saturday, October 4, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

As a party of my 30 Days of Yoga retirement party, today we’re revisiting a brilliant post from Justine Musk.

Justine’s writing regularly arrests my aimless internet clicking (I know I’m not the only person who gets caught in that loop), picks me up out of my seat, turns me around and sets me down again with my spine straightened and my commitment to being utterly true to who I am reinforced.

I love this post not only because it starts on a yoga mat, but because it speaks to one of the most potent – and revolutionary – gifts yoga has given me: the ability to see myself as whole. When Justine writes that greatness lives in the spaces in between, and that releasing the need for perfection allows us “to step more fully into them.” I wanted to cheer. And I wanted to roll out my yoga mat and step into some of those spaces again.

Rachel Cole on our relationship with ourselves

Friday, October 3, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

A quick reminder: Registration for the last round of 30 Days of Yoga closes tomorrow! I’ve been practicing yoga and meditation for a decade, which means I am pretty in touch with my own feelings, hungers and desires. I know what I need. But until I spent a day at a Retreatshop with Rachel Cole last year, […]

Why my yoga practice & teaching is part of my humanitarian work

Thursday, October 2, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

Today we hear from Amanda Scothern, my co-teacher for the 30 Days of Yoga for Aid Workers course (which begins on 6 October). Amanda has been working in the the humanitarian sector for 15 years, practising yoga for 10 years and teaching yoga for three.   Why my yoga practice & teaching is part of my humanitarian work […]

Michele Lisenbury Christensen on her yoga practice

Monday, September 29, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

Registration is open for what will be the last session of my 30 Days of Yoga courses. As I retire these courses, I’ve asked a few friends to join me in reflecting on why yoga and meditation are so crucial to their lives. We started with Susan Piver and today we’re turning to Michele Lisenbury Christensen; I think you’re really going to […]

Susan Piver on mediation, sadness & music

Sunday, September 28, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

Registration is now open for what will be the last session of my 30 Days of Yoga courses. I first offered this course in January 2010 because I needed to get into my own regular home yoga practice as part of my yoga teacher training certification.


Four years, five new courses and many thousands of gorgeous online yogis later, it’s time for me to retire these courses and concentrate on my work in human rights and social and environmental justice, and on teaching and supporting others to cultivate the courage it takes to step into the change-maker role that is calling you.

As I retire these courses, I’ve asked a few friends to join me in reflecting on why yoga and meditation are so crucial to their lives. We’re starting with Susan Piver by looking back at a post she wrote last year around this time.

I deeply appreciate Susan’s perspective, especially when it comes to her take on how meditation allows us to be in the world. This post is all about the potency of connection and how it allows us to see, feel and be with suffering while also allowing us to access the comfort and beauty can bring. Yoga has opened me to both.

Yoga Straight Talk with Grace Quantock

Friday, August 29, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

Today’s post is the last in our Yoga Straight Talk series – and it takes a bit of a different spin. Grace Quantock, 90 Days of Yoga alum and wellness writer and speaker, shares a glimpse into how yoga has been a refuge for her when dealing with the ongoing struggle of chronic illness. Her reflections are spot-on for all of us:

Yoga welcomes us home to our bodies.

Meet 90 Days of Yoga mentor, Natalya Pemberton.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

Hi lovely. I’m thrilled to introduce you to Natalya Pemberton, our yoga mentor for this final round of 90 Days of Yoga.  As an experienced home yogi  and 90 Days alum Natalya is full of tried and true wisdom; here’s one of my favorite bits from our interview with her: Start small, and declare it […]

Yoga Straight Talk with Petra Gimbad

Tuesday, August 26, 2014 by Marianne Elliott

Meet Petra.

Petra is a lecturer, writer and volunteer with homeless communities. Prior to her current job, she worked with various human rights organisations and as a yoga teacher.

She writes for and can be found on Twitter under @petragimbad.

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