What is an Inspirationalist? Well, technically, it’s a made up title I have given those who have, against all odds, devoted their life to their passion. I have asked Elyse a series of questions to understand the view into her journey.
There is priceless value in community for any artist, so lean in and learn about Elyse…
Who is Elyse?
My journey with yoga began five years ago when my best friend asked me to join her to a yoga class. I had no idea what yoga was, so I really had no expectations. My first impression was, I think, similar to everyone else’s which is that yoga was surprisingly hard! The challenge is what kept me going back, but it was something else that made me want to be a teacher. This “something else” is hard to explain, it’s what people call the “spiritual side” of yoga. Really it’s the change within you that begins to happen when yoga works. I believe that I was intuitively drawn to Ashtanga yoga, without really knowing much about it I knew that I wanted an Ashtanga based teacher training. I also knew that I wanted to travel to Thailand, so I found an Ashtanga based training on the island of Koh Samui. During my training is when I first learned about, and practiced, Mysore style yoga.
I fell in love with the practice and decided to travel to India a month after my training to practice Mysore in Goa with another certified instructor. Lucky for me it wasn’t difficult to find an authorized Ashtanga instructor when I got back home to Oakville, Ontario (little did I know Toronto has the second largest Mysore community outside of Mysore India!) It took time after I came home to seek out this community but after a year of practicing at home I decided that I needed a teacher. So I took a course at the Ashtanga Yoga Center of Toronto where I met my teacher David Robson. I’ve been studying with David for a year now and it has been a life changing time.
Since studying with David I’ve developed a daily practice, split my practice in to the second series of Ashtanga yoga, I go to sleep at
10pm, I wake up at 4:45am, I don’t smoke at all (I use to smoke casually), I don’t eat meat (still eat fish), I don’t go out often, I drink a lot of water, I quit my job bartending, I cut off my long hair (bun got in the way of leg behind the head), I care less about money, clothes and appearance, all of these changes are just ripples made by my total commitment and focus to my practice. Physically a lot has changed as well, that’s what this practice does, it demands change. My dream is to become authorized to teach in the Shri K.Pattabhi Jois lineage and to have my own space where I can teach people traditional Mysore style yoga. I’m currently planning my first trip to Mysore, India for this coming fall/winter 2014/2015. My life is dedicated to my practice and to the continuous study of Ashtanga yoga. This commitment comes with a lot of sacrifice but I couldn’t be happier.
If you were to give yourself a title, what would it be?
What is one word that describes what you do?
What is your current challenge?
My current challenge is an asana (pose) called Pincha Mayurasana (feathered peacock pose). It’s a balancing posture where you hold yourself inverted on your forearms, the challenge is not only building the strength but to also get past the fear of falling over.
What is your current motivation?
My current motivation is my own practice. The changes that I continuously experience in my practice and my life are what motivate me to continue.
What do you associate the colour red with?
How do you describe what you do to your family?
When I tell anyone that I practice yoga every morning they usually have their own idea of what that means. What I do isn’t easy to explain, so unless someone asks me more about it I just let them have their own idea.
How do you start and end your day?
I start my day with coffee and yoga, I end my day with some reading or Netflix before bed.
To what do you owe where you are at right now, to?
Why be inspired by Elyse?
What I find most inspiring about Elyse is her hunger for learning. She has committed and accomplished so much with her yoga, however her attitude and outlook maintains an organic level of modesty that is beyond refreshing. Never boastful, she recognises that success is not reaching a certain point, does not involve a dollar figure, number of “likes”, or level of fame. She feels rewarded with learning, and teaching. She doesn’t require the type of validation we often see in the attention-seeking, “look at me” attitudes that flood our world today.
I love how it all started by her trying something new. I am constantly going on about how powerful it can be to do this, and Elyse is the perfect example of how stepping out of her comfortable zone, has led her to a passionate, rewarding new lifestyle. Elyse also is a reflection of the power of community and how valuable it is to get involved with like-minded people, to learn, share and grow.
To me, Elyse embodies everything that is important to pursuing your passion:
1) Don’t make it about the money
2) Don’t stop learning
3) Get involved in a community
4) Commit to the lifestyle
5) Embrace the journey
Click here If you are interested in taking a yoga class with Elyse
Check out more of her impressive yoga moves by following her Instagram
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