I have been living a wellness-based lifestyle since I began attending college in UC Santa Cruz back in the mid 80's. I was an avid student of yoga in college and knew that some day it was something I wanted to share with people because I associated it with truly coming into my power,opening my heart and expanding my consciousness.
Yoga Teaching Style and Background:
In fifteen years of teaching, Elana has cultivated a teaching style that is alignment-based, and logically thought out in terms of sequencing and structure yet fluid and graceful and not so full of words that you can’t tune into your own breath.
We come together for practice, to lift each other up and celebrate life, not focus on how we compare to others or all that we can’t do. Every asana is a poem that we offer up with our bodies, to the Divine! I am just there as a guide and to make sure we offer it in a way that is harmonious with the individual needs of our bodies.
I have studied Hatha Yoga extensively, much of it in India, with different teachers of myriad orientations including the family of B.K.S. Iyengar in Pune, Rajiv and Swati Chanchani (senior Iyengar teachers), Richard Spahn (from France - Ashtanga Vinyasa), and Clive Sheridan (From U.K. - Vinyasa). I owe gratitude to some of my most inspiring teachers including Judith Lassater, Julie Kimball, and Baba Hari Dass.
I have integrated my influences into my own sharing of yoga - I have been teaching since 2001 and my approach to teaching yoga is about balancing Yin and Yang principles - the Yin aspects of nurturing, listening, softening with the Yang aspects of challenging, engaging, and building Tapas (heat, energy), while honoring the steady presence of the Breath and the proper alignment of the body. Movement. Stillness. Lengthening. Strengthening. Probing limits, yet accepting limitations - these are all aspects I try to bring into the fold of my teaching. I also see incredible value in sharing the practices of Pranayama, or yogic breathing techniques and has a soft spot for teaching gentle/yin/restorative classes to unwind tension and soothe the nervous system. I will sing gentle mantras to you at the end of class.
Bodywork style and background:
I have over 600 hours of training in various modalities including Hawaiian Lomi Lomi, Shiatsu, Swedish/Esalen and Deep Tissue. I have been working professionally as a massage therapist since 2000 in various scopes of practice - Chiropractice offices, spas, wellness centers, and health clubs. My style is firm yet fluid, nurturing and intuitive contrasted with deeper focused work. My experience as a yoga instructor has brought a better understanding of people's personal body dynamics and holding patterns.
In December of 2011, I finished a 15-month course of study in functional nutrition at the Bauman College in Penngrove, CA and became a Certified Nutritional Consultant (N.C.). I can offer guidance in finding a more healthful way of eating and addressing specific medical or nutritional issues through diet. Some of the things we can address together:
- Identify food allergies
- Finding the right diet to lose, gain, or maintain weight
- Support the needs of the endocrine system (hormones, adrenals, etc.)
- Balance blood sugar
- Support intestinal issues (Crohns, GERD, Colitis, Candida, etc.)
In addition to spending as much time by, in, or near the ocean as possible. I am an avid surfer and feel like Yoga has been a big part of my skill and strength building in terms of surfing. (Check out my first ever Surf/Yoga retreat I am offering for women this year in Sayulita on my 'Retreats' page!) I am a musician - singing, playing guitar and percussion, composing music and playing with other people whenever the opportunity arises. I love to sing 'mantra' (sanskrit invocations, songs or prayers) and also am available to teach them in private lessons.
Here is a link to one of my original songs that I wrote and regarded about my love for the ocean: