Ellen was first introduced to yoga by her mom, who began attending classes in the Chicago area about seven years ago. Originally from Chicago, Ellen was living in Minneapolis, Minnesota at that time. After learning that she had been accepted into a Creative Writing Master’s program at McNeese State University, she moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana in 2011. While in graduate school, Ellen needed an outlet to take her mind off the stress of school, so she began regularly attending yoga classes at the Yoga Center of Lake Charles.

In the summer of 2013, she decided to get her 200-hour certification at a studio in North Adams, Massachusetts called Frog Lotus Yoga. She is certified to teach Vinyasa Flow Yoga and Hatha Yoga. Teacher training was an amazing and challenging experience that taught her about the limits of the body and the attachment that the ego has to the physical practice. This lesson didn’t sink in completely until about a year of teaching yoga in Lake Charles. After pushing herself to learn advanced poses and focusing too much on the physical asana practice, she had to take a step back due to overuse injuries including tennis elbow and back pain. She had moved to Baton Rouge at that time, and she took a break from teaching yoga and dedicated herself to a daily personal practice in the early pre-dawn hours. During these practices, she went back to the basics, often not even practicing downward facing dog. She connected with her breath and reconnected with her body, the alignment of the basic poses, and the spiritual aspects of the yoga practice. She believes developing a personal home practice is the most beautiful and rewarding thing a student of yoga can do.

As a teacher, Ellen likes to have fun on the mat, enjoy a good playlist, get creative, and flow with the breath. Yoga is such a personal experience, and she wants her students to feel that deep self-connection and power within as they practice. She has been so grateful to have found a yoga family at One Heart Yoga and will miss her time here dearly!