Private Sessions





Individualized sessions develop the most therapeutic, invigorating, and transformational sequences for your body and mind.


To schedule sessions, email yoga@elizabethsilas.com or call 513-255-0166. My hourly rate is $110 for single sessions and $90 when you’re scheduling 5 or more sessions at a time.


Your sessions are planned specifically so that you progress in your movement according to what you already love, and enjoy, and intend—as well as what you need. I adapt what we do to how you feel and the conditions you’re dealing with day to day, as we navigate toward your longer-term goals and intentions. We can meet in person at your home, office, or outdoor setting, or meet virtually on Zoom.


We can adapt your sessions for you and another person, or for a small private group. The hourly rate is the same no matter how many people. (The more people, the less individualized the session is for each person, given your different intentions and needs, but the camaraderie and relationship-building can be great, too.)


Individualized sessions can also help you discover the most effective short practices to do on your own. I support you with short videos, audio files, handwritten notes, emails, or texts, depending on which format works best for you.


Most of my clients have been working with me for years, progressing their movement and breath practices through childbirths and deliveries, promotions and retirements, minor injuries and surgeries, improved chronic conditions and reduced medications.


To get a feel for how I teach, check my YouTube channel for short sequences I’ve created for my students when they’re traveling or to practice between our sessions.


For reading, watching, and listening resources that can inspire your practice, read the article below on “Inquiries & Intentions.”



Inquiries & Intentions


When I first entered the Jivamukti Yoga School on Lafayette, I walked up a grey and dank emergency stairwell. I pushed, more than I expected to have to, to open a heavy metal door, emerging into a bustling, curvy front desk area. Upbeat music played rolled mats, slung over shoulders and sticking out of backpacks, bumped the back of my head mixed scents wafted from the crevasse of a boutique crammed with books and CDs and China Gel and Indu. After paying, I walked past a rack of cotton yoga rugs and unitards that spilled out of the skinny book alcove and was confronted with a small sign, just about at eye level. It was an old building, and I think the little sign was posted on a pillar.


It asked me, "Are you ready?"


This question bubbles up each time I practice. It reminds me to set an intention or an inquiry for those moments.


Who knows what can happen? So much already has. Already is. Happening. Right now.


If I want to clarify how I want my effort and awareness to contribute to what is happening, I can do so. At the same time, I can stay open to how others are—how things already are becoming.


To sustain a practice that is regular and intense, it helps to make that intention specific sometimes. This can take the form of a question formulated to help us observe what happens during practice. Or a quality to cultivate in our movement and stillness that day.


That day, I thought I was ready. I already took hatha and Ashtanga classes regularly upstate. I had recently had a chanting, breathing, and moving experience at a little Jivamukti annex studio uptown that gave me access to feelings that I hadn’t previously let myself feel much. If at all.
But the mass of bodies in the communal changing room was disorienting. Many of the students leaving class jockeyed for the two tiny showers, dripping first with perspiration and then with water, while the rest of the people chatted around me as we hung street clothes on hooks and changed (into whatever we wore to the gym or to dance class, as not much of our clothing was yoga-specific in 1999). I was confused by the peppermint-scented, watery liquid coming from the small pumps at the sinks: Was it mouthwash or soap? (I may or may not have tasted it to decide. I soon came to love Dr. Bronner’s.)


I headed, barefoot and minty, down the narrow hall. On the studio door, another little sign counseled me that if I were arriving late, I would need to wait outside until the opening meditation ended and movement began. For once, I was not late.


As I walked in, the smells changed to Nag Champa and sweat—the good kind, clean and fresh when first emitted, and quite regularly scrubbed away and aired out, yet persistent. The wood floors got increasingly creaky as I walked across the wide room, or perhaps it just got quieter and I could hear more of what the floors said. The commercial busy-ness of the front desk and boutique dropped away suddenly, there was nothing to buy.


The small marks on the floor told me where to place a mat. It was warm and quiet, and most early arrivers sat cross-legged in silence. A few greeted each other, murmuring and hugging. Yoga was still a little weird, and Jivamukti was the weirdest—the studio walls were purple and blue and hand-ornamented there was clearly not going to be air conditioning and one wall featured a grotto of gurus, from Swami Nirmalananda to Bob Dylan to Glinda. Also, did I mention there would be chanting? And an initial talk from the teacher (which one childhood friend, upon taking her first class with Sharon a few months later, referred to afterward as the homily).


The weirdness—which also felt familiar, like coming home—made me realize that I didn’t know what would happen. Was I ready?


This swirl of weird and familiar included an altar, an organ-sounding instrument, chant books, and a sermon, like church simple and complex cues and choreography, like a dance class music and crowds, like a rock concert creaky old hardwood planks, like a one-room country schoolhouse reminders that this wasn't merely a physical practice, like a meditation retreat physical assists, now as from a demanding coach, later as from a skilled masseuse, yet other times as from a devoted mother. And some very specific breathing (which hatha and Ashtanga classes had primed me for mentally but had not made me feel so much bodily), like no place else I'd ever been.


It made me realize that I couldn’t know what would happen on my mat for that hour and thirty-five minutes. The possibilities were infinite.


Which then made me realize that I couldn’t know what would happen as I rolled up my mat and walked back into the other hours of life, in other places. The possibilities were infinite.


The shift, internally, could be tiny or massive.


Yoga isn’t weird, anymore, in most of America. And it’s blending and synthesizing and filtering so much in America that it’s not, maybe, useful to call it ‘yoga’ anymore. (Authenticity and purity don’t interest me I just want us to communicate as clearly as we can about what we experience, acknowledging that our words and gestures are approximations even as we attempt to approach precision.) I wasn't completely blind, even back then, to the appropriation and the performance of it. And I don't want you to be, either, whether you're just starting this journey or have been on it for years. But I also don't want you to miss out on those moments that inspire us to ask important questions and formulate new intentions.


Sparks to Ignite Tapas (Fiery Self-Discipline)


That studio is closed now, but that first class was one of many sparks that lit my path of movement and breathing. There is inspiration for our inquiries and intentions all around us, in the most historic translations of texts, in strictly traced lineages of teachings, and in the most recent cultural syntheses in film, literature, and music.


To weird your movement and breathing, and find the familiar in it, too, I offer you a list of some of the many works that have lit things up for me.


Are you ready?


Some Modern Fiction and Nonfiction with Yogic, Buddhist, Tantric, and Vedantic Themes


Tenth of December (short stories), The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip (children’s book), The Braindead Megaphone (nonfiction articles), and Congratulations, By the Way (commencement speech), by George Saunders


Oblivion (short stories definitely start with "Good Old Neon"), Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (more short stories, linked), Consider the Lobster (nonfiction articles), and This Is Water (commencement speech), by David Foster Wallace


The Razor's Edge, by Somerset Maugham (novel)


The Island, by Aldous Huxley (novel)


Franny and Zooey, by J.D. Salinger (novel)


Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut (novel)


Bee Season, by Myla Goldberg (novel)


Life of Pi, by Yann Martel (novel)


Fabric of the Cosmos, by Brian Greene (nonfiction physics)


The Order of Time, by Carlo Rovelli (nonfiction physics)


I Heart Huckabees, directed by David O Russell (film)


Some Words about Philosophy and Meditation Practices (Mostly Eastern, Some Western)


A Path with Heart, by Jack Kornfield (Buddhism, meditation practices)


The Mirror of Yoga, by Richard Freeman (yoga, ethics, metaphysics)


A Life Worth Breathing, by Max Strom (yoga, breath, ethics)


Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart (and other books), by Mark Epstein (psychotherapy and Buddhism)


Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth, by Michel Foucault (western philosophy)


Bodies That Matter, by Judith Butler (western philosophy)


Ecrits, by Jacques Lacan (western philosophy)


Hatha Yoga Pradipika, preferably the translation by Swami Muktibodhananda and the Bihar School of Yoga (hatha and tantra yoga practices—asana, bandha, pranayama, mudra, shatkarma)


Light on the Yoga Sutras, trans. by B.K.S. Iyengar (yoga, ethics)


The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, trans. by Sri Swami Satchidananda (yoga, Samkhya)


The Principal Upanishads, trans. by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (advaita Vedanta)


The Upanishads, trans. by Eknath Easwaran (advaita Vedanta)


Dhammapada, trans. by Glenn Wallis (Buddhism)


Buddhism Without Beliefs and Alone with Others: An Existential Approach to Buddhism, by Stephen Batchelor (Buddhism and western philosophy)


The Deeper Dimension of Yoga and Yoga: Technology of Ecstasy, by Georg Feuerstein (yoga and Tantra, mostly philosophy)


The Tree of Yoga, by B.K.S. Iyengar (yoga, ethics)


Words to Help You Understand Asana (Postures), Pranayama (Breath and Energy) and Related Practices


Jivamukti Yoga: Practices for Liberating Body and Soul, by Sharon Gannon and David Life


Yoga: Moving into Stillness, by Erich Schiffman


Yoga for Wellness and Yoga for Transformation, by Gary Kraftsow


The Heart of Yoga, by T.K.V. Desikachar Dynamic Yoga and Hatha Yoga, by Godfrey Devereux


Yoga for Healthy Backs, by Rachel Krentzman


Light on Yoga and Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health, by B.K.S. Iyengar


Structural Yoga Therapy, by Mukunda Stiles


Taoist Yoga: Outline of a Quiet Practice, by Paul Grilley


Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy and Ashtanga Yoga: The Intermediate Series, by Gregor Maehle


Pilates Mat, by Ellie Herman


Yoga as Therapy (plus all his great articles for Yoga International and yoga Journal), by Doug Keller


The Breathing Book, by Donna Farhi


Anatomy of Breathing, The Female Pelvis, No-Risk Abs, and No-Risk Pilates, by Blandine Calais-Germain


Pilates Anatomy, by Rael Isacowitz and Karen Clippinger


Words to Expand Our Understanding of Anatomy and Biomechanics


Anatomy of Movement and The Female Pelvis, by Blandine Calais-Germain


Whole Body Barefoot, Move Your DNA, Diastasis Recti, and Dynamic Aging, by Katy Bowman


Yoga Anatomy Coloring Book, by Kelly Solloway


Anatomy of Hatha Yoga, by H. David Coulter


Scientific Keys, Vol. II: The Key Poses of Hatha Yoga, by Ray Long, MD


Words to Help Us Eat in Ways That Are Good for Us and for Others


The Omnivore's Dilemma and Food Rules, by Michael Pollan


Healing with Whole Foods, by Paul Pitchford


Diet for a New America, by John Robbins


Fast Food Nation, by Eric Schlosser