guest post by marianne elliott*

marianne & me
marianne & me, taken by susannah conway {2007}

The last few days I have been able to rise in the morning earlier than Cedar and rather than wake up my bones with a steamy cup of yerba mate, I went to youtube to find a 30 minute yoga series. My body  has been yearning for it.  Oh I have missed it so and subconsciously, I have created every excuse possible to not practice. One of them being that all the classes and teachers around town that I love are at times when I am with Cedar. Stretching my body, doing sun salutations with the morning misty air tickling my skin and my husband quietly busying himself about getting ready for work, felt like a healing balm, like home. It also felt sweet to see my husband excited for me while kissing me goodbye. He knows how much my soul needs this.

When I shared this with my dear friend in New Zealand, Marianne Elliott, she gently, humbly encouraged me to try her ecourse and I couldn't believe how perfect the timing was. 30 days of Yoga with one of the most inspiring and amazing women I have ever met in my life. It felt more intimate for me to be guided by a friend that has walked with me on my life journey. So, in October, I will be doing it! I would love if you would join me for more than just your body, mind and soul...there are deeper, more meaningful reasons Marianne is leading this course. Read on to find out...


30 days of Yoga Banner

Karma, Yoga and the Kindness Revolution

Like my dear friend Denise, I have a lot of capacity to feel the suffering of other people. I’m guessing many of you share this trait. It can be hard, to feel so much. But I’ve learned that the pain I feel when I see suffering can be a catalyst for me to take action for positive change.

And it doesn’t have to be hard work, this action for change. We can bring about change in ways that use our unique mix of strengths, passions and resources. In fact, we do our best work when we are following our enthusiasm and our joy. So why not do our best work for good?

That’s why I’m taking what I do best (teaching the yoga of kindness) and using it to change the part of the world that is within my reach.

My 30 days of yoga courses are a gentle path to a more compassionate relationship with your own body and spirit, and they are sparking a kindness revolution. This October, I’m taking the revolution even further.

30 Days of Yoga: the Karma edition

Every dollar spent on the October session of my 30 days of yoga course will be donated to support projects addressing the HIV/AIDS crisis in South Africa. (NB: The money will be donated via the Engage Network, the parent organization and 501(c)(3) for Off the Mat, Into the World. For more information on how the money will be distributed and spent, please read on here.

But the donations are not the only way in which the Karma edition differs from previous 30 days of yoga. I’m going to have a very special offer on the price for this session. The offer is designed to give everyone a chance to take part, no matter what their resources, and at the same time, it will allow you to be as generous as you can to the great cause we are supporting.

Registrations are open now, and they will remain open until 3 October. So if you think you could benefit from some ‘kind yoga’ in your own home, then sign up now and please – be as generous as you are able.

Why am I doing this?

In some ways it doesn’t make sense. I’ve invested so much time and money setting up my course. I’ve finally covered all my expenses and could start making some money from it. So why decide to give it all away?

It’s because I now know why 30 days of yoga was born. I never planned this course. It created itself out of a random invitation I made on my blog one day, calling on people to join me in a 30 day yoga commitment. I have sometimes wondered what it was all about. Where did it come from? How did it fit into my purpose?

Part of my purpose is to spread the revolution of kindness, to free people from the tyranny of fear and self doubt and help them find the courage to become a force for good in the world. 30 days of yoga has become a big part of how I do that. I teach the transformative yoga of self-kindness, and it really does help set people free.

But free to do what? I hope it sets people free to serve others, to live a life of courageous compassion, to create positive change.

Which is where the Karma edition of the 30 days comes in. This is an opportunity for you to deepen your own yoga practice, your practice of self-care, at the same time as you help create positive change in the world. It’s the coming together of two incredibly important parts of my life and I really, really hope you’ll be part of it.

And if yoga isn’t your thing – or if now isn’t the right time for you to begin the 30 days of yoga – you can still support the projects I’m raising money for by making a donation (more information about how to do that here.

“I’ve been yoga-phobic my entire life. Marianne Elliott changed that (and my life in the process). Her 30 Days of Yoga is amazing. She’s one of the best teachers I’ve ever experienced (and I’ve been a teacher for many years). She customizes your class to meet your physical and emotional needs while staying totally mindful of your available time. If you want to do something extraordinary for yourself, I can’t think of a better teacher!” – Brene Brown

More information:

For any more questions about the 30 days of yoga, see the 30 days website and check out these FAQs.

For any more questions about the projects we’ll be supporting through the 30 days Karma edition, check out this page.

marianne elliott bio pic
Marianne Elliott is a change-maker, a human rights advocate, a yoga teacher and a writer. She is the creator of 30 days of yoga: an online course to establish a regular home practice of yoga and to build a kinder relationship with your own body. She is currently writing a memoir about her life as a UN peacekeeper in Afghanistan.


Love this photo taken of marianne, boho boy and me by susannah during their trip out to the states in 2007:

marianne, carsten & me