Welcome – About Me
Hi, my name is ellen. Thank you for exploring this page and learning more about my history and love for Yoga.
I began my study and practice of Yoga in 1984, shortly after graduating from the University of Rhode Island with a BA in Psychology with an emphasis in Human Development, Counseling and Family Studies. I am a certified Yoga Therapist (C-IAYT) with the International Association of Yoga Therapists and also a 500-hour registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance.
My passion for Yoga, as a path for personal growth, arises out of my personal (almost 40 years) experience of applying the teachings of Yoga to my life. These teachings have become the compass by which I navigate my days. I see Yoga as something that can be practiced but more significantly I see Yoga as a lifestyle, as a lived philosophy.
As a Yoga educator and provider for more than 25 years, I have also been blessed to witness the alchemy of Yoga awaken countless number of students, colleagues and friends. I think I will always be fascinated by the way a small dose of mindful attention, to body and breath, can open doorways to a lifetime of deepening awareness and diminished suffering. I feel honored to say that I have taught thousands (yes, thousands) of classes and many hundreds of students and I continue to experience great joy in sharing this multifaceted philosophy and psychology of life.
As a faculty member and student mentor in the Kripalu School of Integrative Yoga Therapy, I am involved in the education of Yoga Therapists. My work in this program is constantly pushing my own growth personally and professionally. It supports me in staying on top of the current Yoga research and it ignites my interest in exploring/implementing strategies for transformational education. I have no doubt that I learn as much from my students as they learn from me. I really love to teach. Of note here, I also have the joy of offering (14 years) the Integrative Yoga Therapy 200-hour level Yoga Teacher Training program in Rhode Island (most recently on Zoom). This program is loved by students interested in learning how to teach Yoga as well as those wanting to dive deeper into their personal understanding and practice.
My Professional life – Before Yoga
Prior to devoting my life to the personal, and professional discovery of Yoga, I worked in the human service field. I held positions in both public and non-profit organizations. These occupations include; Independent living specialist for adults with developmental disabilities, Day Treatment Clinician for adults living with mental health challenges, Manager of Foster Care Services for adolescent girls and Social Worker for the Department of Children Youth and Families. These experiences piqued my interest in the application of yoga to “the challenges of being human” and is the essence of my Yoga Therapy & Mentoring practice. To learn more click on Mentoring or Yoga Therapy
My first formal training as a Yoga Teacher was in 1994. In California I studied with Joseph Le Page and Integrative Yoga Therapy. As a part of this program I was graced and inspired by many wise and skillful teachers including Donna Farhi, Georg Feuerstein, Richard Miller, Eleanor Criswell Hanna, Dr. David Simon and Frances Vaughn. The breadth of this program ignited my early interest in Yoga Psychology and Yoga as a therapeutic modality for personal growth and healing.
Since this time I have continued my education in other styles of Yoga and the healing arts including:
- Certification in Vinyasa style Yoga by longtime teacher and friend, Tom Gillette.
- Certification by the Lotus Palm School as a Thai Yoga Body Work practitioner.
- Second degree Reiki training.
- Extensive training with Gary Kraftsow and the American Viniyoga Institute.
- Certification in Yin Style Yoga from Josh Summers and studies with Yin teachers Paul Grilley & Paulie Zink
- Angela Farmer’s emphasis on keeping practice organic and receptive supports my belief that Yoga asana (postures) should be an expression of what is arising in each moment. Not an expression of a conceptualized aesthetic but an expression of an interoceptive, felt experience.
- 20 years of study and silent meditation retreats with Adayashanti
- Study with the Prison Mindfulness Institute, focus on bringing mindfulness practices into prisons and other underserved communities.
A Personal Note
On a more personal note, I am awed by the splendor of nature and outdoor activities feed my soul. I have a passion for international and domestic travel. My heart is enlivened through encounters with different cultures and ways of being. Gardening, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, biking and being still are among my favorite activities.
It is not unusual to find me walking with Rumi, a quirky four legged being, who prefers his ball over his dinner or snuggling with Rumi’s side kick, Dude, as he purrs me to sleep.
I love and relish time with my partner, family and friends. I comfortably share that I do not have children but I derive great joy in watching my 4 great nieces and 4 great nephews blossom (their parents and grandparents are pretty cool too).
I never hesitate to say that life is good in “little house”, my home, in RI, from where I create and offer my services.
I love welcoming all into to my heart and home.
I look forward to making your acquaintance.
p.s. contact me at anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org