Ellie graduated from the Yoga West Teacher Training in 2020. She is a dancer and choreographer and works part time at the studio. She is covering Amy's Thursday lunchtime class this month from 12:45-1:30. She has just recorded her first pre-recorded film for the Yoga West on-demand library.
How did you get into yoga?
I have danced since I was 3; as my dance training became more serious, yoga practices filtered into my training and I immediately connected to its benefits both mentally and physically. In all honesty I don't think I quite understood or wasn’t practicing enough when I was 17 to fully understand the immense power of yoga and how important it is. I just knew it made me feel good, as though I'd pressed a reset button. So purely based off of this I knew yoga was going to be a part of my life.
Was there a moment when you realised that you wanted to pursue yoga seriously?
Yes, I was in a bit of a limbo period. I had just returned from a hugely transformative dance programme, living on a Kibbutz in Israel. I came back to London with a foggy vision as to what I was going to do next. I knew I wanted to hold on to my creativity and pursue my dance and choreography. Living in Israel was peaceful and liberating and I wanted a piece of that in London where there’s this sense of constant pressure and a much faster pace of life. Yoga was a way to combat this and it helped me to be the best version of myself going about day to day life. This is when I started practicing 5/6 days a week and it was, and still is, bliss.
How has yoga changed you?
I have spent a long time trying to find this "work, life" balance that is so often spoken about, with the nature of my creative work and the never ending stress of freelance life and trialling many a well paid corporate job that just wasn't for me, it's about how you take care of your mind and body that makes all of the above possible. For many years, I had been trying to find my way both in my professional and personal life. I have found solace in my practice, and I mean this both physically and mentally. Some days it's not even about asana but yoga of the mind. In moments of sheer anxiety and stress and how taking a simple inhale, exhale and thinking of my moral compass can bring me back down to the ground and help set my best foot forward.
Yoga has made me more rational, aware, calm and it has shown me a way to see hope and beauty in the smallest of places. "Little pockets of Joy" I like to call them.
I'm so pleased to be a part of such a strong, welcoming community at Yoga West, working and teaching at the studio has been an absolute gift following on from the Yoga West Teacher Training.
Advice to people considering it?
Don't be afraid. I spent far too long worrying that I wouldn't know what I was doing, that I wouldn't understand things a teacher was saying, or I might fall over. This is the beauty of yoga, it's a safe environment for you to discover how it will benefit you. You may find that a certain class or practice didn't work but then the next approach gives you a euphoric experience. It's all about the long game with yoga and how transformative it can be.
My favourite quote as a yogi:
“Our desire to control by description, interpretation, and consumption robs us of much of the scent, taste, and beauty of life. The ability to withdraw our senses and so control the noisy mind may sound like a kill-joy, but in reality it restores the pristine flavours, textures, and discoveries that we associate with the innocence and freshness of childhood. This is truly an example of "less is more," as overindulgence can exhaust the senses.” - B.K.S IYENGAR: Light on Life