Featured Teacher: Elonne
A self-confessed perfectionist, Elonne looked to yoga for personal sanctuary. Although she started practice through self-learning, this native New Yorker has gone on to complete various teacher trainings and gain insight from yoga masters around the world.
Where are you originally from?
New York City
How long have you been teaching?
Since January 2003
Who was your very first yoga teacher and what was he/she like?
I started on my own, with books and tapes, when I was 14 years old. I also had a running coach in high school who was a Buddhist, and he introduced me to meditation and helped me discover Eastern religions/philosophy.
How long have you been practising?
Over 16 years now
Originally, what attracted you to yoga?
Growing up, I was a perfectionist and an over-achiever - Yoga was my sanctuary. During Yoga practice was the one time I was at peace, the one time I felt truly perfect (as we all inherently are).
What motivates you to practise today?
My students and my teachers (past and present)
How would you describe your personal practice?
It takes me about an hour to do my Pranayama and meditation every morning. My Asana practice is Ashtanga Vinyasa.
Before you became a yoga teacher, what did you do?
I studied journalism - I am a writer.
What do you love about teaching?
Teaching IS an act of love.
What do you find challenging about teaching?
I hope for at least some challenge in every class - without challenge how can there be growth?
Describe your ideal class (as a teacher).
I don't believe there is such a thing as an "ideal" class - ideal by what standards?
What teacher has had the biggest impact on your practice?
I have had many influential teachers in my life. Although every single one of them has shaped my practice, my parents have inarguably had the most influence on me. They are the ones who first taught me how to love.
What is your most embarrassing moment in the studio (as a teacher or student)?
Maybe it was so bad that I have blocked it from my memory!
Where is the strangest place you've practiced yoga?
I once had to do an Asana demonstration on a concrete sidewalk, in the middle of a crowded shopping mall in the Bahamas.
Aside from yoga, what other hobbies or interests do you have?
Writing, reading, running, hiking, laughing
Describe your most profound yoga experience.
There have been many! All of them are personal, and none of them could be summed up in a few sentences.
If you weren't a yoga teacher, what would you be?
There are many ways to teach Yoga -- you don't have to teach Asanas to be a teacher. When I took my first teacher training course, I actually thought I would teach through my writing. I didn't necessarily want to become an Asana teacher. Whatever I do, I will always be a Yoga teacher - it is my Dharma. Because I will always be a teacher, the implication is that I will also always be a Yoga student.