Seattle Yoga News is on a mission to find and highlight all of the hidden, and maybe not so hidden, gems in our yoga community and beyond. We want you to learn about their experiences and perspectives, but also a bit more about their personalities, so we have a few fun questions for them. This week’s spotlight is turned towards Ellen Haines.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED WITH YOGA?

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Ellen Haines:

I started my yoga practice on Jan 1, 2011 out of a New Year’s resolution. Unable to keep up a gym routine, I wanted to finally find a physical activity I could stick with. From day one, I was hooked and quickly realized how badly I needed the practice mentally. I had never known or understood the feeling of syncing my breath with movement and I frequently felt as though my mind was running a million miles per hour. Yoga helped me find peace within myself and settle my racing mind.

WHAT KIND OF TRAININGS HAVE YOU PURSUED?

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Ellen Haines:

I trained under Yogi Chetan Mahesh Ji, founder of the Association for Yoga and Meditation in Rishikesh, India to get my 200 hour YTT certification. During this month long intensive, I learned the traditional and ancient principles of yoga, studying philosophy, asana alignment, pranayama, anatomy & physiology, and meditation. Since then I’ve done trainings with Day Christensen and Carson Clay Calhoun and hope to obtain my 500 hr YTT certification in 2020.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TEACHING METHOD?

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Ellen Haines:

I enjoy teaching challenging, yet accessible vinyasa classes which emphasize postural integrity, breath, and concentration. I believe that when you conquer challenges on your mat, you develop the strength and confidence to conquer the challenges you face off it.

WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

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Ellen Haines:

Prioritize a relationship with yourself. Take time while you’re young to explore the world. Be lonely, live by yourself, take yourself out to dinner. Figure out what you’re interested in and passionate about and define your values. When you’ve built a solid relationship with yourself, everything else falls into place.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST INSPIRATIONAL MOMENT YOU’VE EXPERIENCED AS A YOGA STUDENT? AND HOW ABOUT AS A TEACHER?

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Ellen Haines:

I’m not sure there’s been just one. I’ve taken many amazing classes from inspiring instructors over the years but I’d have to say the times I’ve felt most inspired have been when I’ve made a breakthrough in my yoga practice. Each time you move past a physical boundary you’ve worked hard to overcome, you begin to believe in yourself more and more. Over time I’ve realized that there are endless possibilities available to you if you work for them.

WHAT HELPS YOU GET BACK ON YOUR YOGA MAT WHEN YOU ARE FEELING DEMOTIVATED?

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Ellen Haines:

I think it’s important to recognize the difference between feeling a lack of motivation and knowing when to let your body rest. I generally look forward to the time on my mat but of course there are days where I just don’t feel energized or motivated. At times like this, I remind myself that the hardest part is getting to your mat. Once you’re there the practice is there to meet you exactly where you’re at. You don’t have to have an amazing practice every single day, you just have to show up.

WHY DO YOU THINK SOME MAY FEEL INTIMIDATED BY YOGA? AND HOW CAN THEY OVERCOME THIS FEELING?

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Ellen Haines:

I totally get this. I practiced in my living room with online yoga videos for 3 years before ever setting foot in a yoga studio. Just remember that no one is thinking about anyone else but themselves. It doesn’t matter how strong or flexible you are, or what the pose looks like. As long as you’re focused on feeling good in your body and are aware of your breath, you’re doing yoga!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE YOGA RELATED BOOK?

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Ellen Haines:

I really like Do Your Om Thing by Rebecca Pacheco and Close to Om: Stretching Yoga from Your Mat to Your Life by Andrea Marcum. I also read Psychic Intelligence by Terri and Linda Jamison recently which I would recommend to anyone wanting to learn how to tap into and trust their intuition.

  • Do Your Om Thing by Rebecca Pacheco

WHAT IS ONE THING MOST PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

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Ellen Haines:

I love scuba diving! Besides practicing yoga, it’s one thing that allows me to really shut off my thoughts and become fully present in nature.

WHO IS THE YOGI WE SHOULD FEATURE NEXT?

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Ellen Haines:

Sasha Hanway @thelittleblondeyogi – She’s recently moved to Seattle from Washington D.C. She works at Google during the day and teaches their employees yoga after work and during lunch breaks. She also teaches pop up yoga classes around the city and plans to start teaching at The Six Seattle when they open their second location in Ballard this fall. Sasha is passionate about yoga, nutrition, being outdoors, and is also hosting a surfing and yoga retreat in Nicaragua next year!

Ellen Haines’ Bio: Influenced by a variety of modern vinyasa forms as well as other exercise modalities, Ellen offers challenging yet attainable yoga classes. Her teaching blends the alignment, technique, and breath practices found in Ashtanga while allowing for creative sequencing and expression, to inspire a deeper mind body connection. Her intention as an instructor is to encourage students to try new things, push past their perceived limitations, and ultimately find joy in their practice. To learn more about Ellen check her website and follow her on Instagram.


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