Ella Luckett ist Yogateacher und hat ihr eigenes Yogastudio Jai Yoga Arts in New York. Ich durfte drei Wochen an einem ihrem Teachertrainings in Costa Rica teilnehmen und habe eine wunderbare und sehr inspirierende Zeit genossen. Ich durfte sehr viel von ihr lernen und bin zutiefst dankbar für all ihr Wissen, das sie mit uns geteilt hat.
Wenn ihr einmal in New York seid, schaut unbedingt bei einer ihrer Yogaklassen vorbei, ich sag‘ euch, ihr werdet etwas ganz besonderes erleben. Nächstes Jahr hält sie auch wieder Teachertrainings in Nicaragua.
Ella hat für trainerella.com einige Fragen rund um Yoga, ihren Weg und ihre Erfahrungen beantwortet.
Ella, you teach Jai Yoga. What kind of yoga is this?
Jai Yoga is what has developed out of my own practice and is what I now teach. It is a vinyasa yoga class that is deeply routed in the yoga philosophy and has a strong connection to the ujaii breath and maintains a meditative quality through the whole class. I think the biggest difference between the jai yoga and a typical vinyasa class you might find in a lot of gyms and studios is that we really make sure that we meditate at the end of the class. We really keep the focus on mental emotional wildness and keeping the meditate of mind and really embodying the values of yoga which is that we are alle whole at the core. We don’t need any change, we just need to realize who we are and be joyful in that.
How long do you teach this?
I’ve been teaching yoga for sixteen years now. And the Jai name and embodiement just emerged over the course of this entire time. It’s still emerging, it’s always emerging. I constantly transform. But it had really started to codify when I opened my studio in New York in 2011. I had to put a name on things and really put it out there like who I was and what it was about, so that people understand it. That was really helpful for me to formulate who I really am as a teacher.
So since 2011 we’ve been teaching teachers to teach this style and it’s just been such a joy to see other people gravitate toward it, embody it and make it their own because every teacher then takes this and really makes it to their own personal journey as well.
What is a yoga teacher doing? What is your job as yoga teacher?
What I always really share with my teacher training students is that our number one purpose as teacher is to help people to get out of their minds and in to their body, their breath, get really connected with their own eternal energy, with their source of inspiration, with their source of compassion and love and to really feel that as their practicing and to maintain that as they walk off the mat. Make it a life experience not just an exercise experience.
Do you have your own definition of yoga? What is yoga for yourself?
Yoga is a practice, for me it’s a whole lifestyle but it’s also just a wonderful tool that helps branch the gap between the sometimes overwhelming experience being human and who we really want to be and who we can be.
How long do you practice?
Well, I was introduced to yoga as a kid when I was in Highschool I was always dancing and one of our dance teachers gave us yoga class just for fun. But I really started practicing only about a year before I started teaching. For me it was an instant klick. It was so instantaneous and it has had such an amazing turn around in my own personal life from the effects of it that when I found out that there is such a thing as teachertraining I just asked my teacher about it. I said: Yes I wanna do that. She referred me to where she trained and I just jumped in right away. I had no idea that this gonna be my professional career, I just knew that it really worked with me and I gonna be hold. I just launched into it after I graduated. It’s not something that is typical or that really happens very much. But it’s just how it happend to me.
How did Yoga changed your life? Which experiences did you make through yoga?
Oh god, every day. It’s like having a constant support in becoming a better you. Honestly, every week there is some big lesson that I learned I can refer back to the yoga practice. Because I’m still involving as an human being, working on my own struggles. When ever I take the time to dive a little deeper under the surface to face my challenges with these philosophies – which I always do especially when I’m teaching teacher trainings because I’m going on the journey with you guys – I just have made your breakthroughs and thanks that I struggle with long periods of time, people who I struggled with maybe. It just completely melt out and become easier and more clear and more peaceful and then I have access to joy.
So let’s jump to the yoga students. Many people are scared to start with yoga because they think they can’t go through all the postures or they can’t do it because they have not enough flexibility and mobility. So how do you support your beginners?
I love beginners. I always feel so honored when someone comes to me and says ‚this is my first yoga class‘. And I: ‚yeeaaahhh, I’m your first yoga teacher, that’s amazing.‘ Banding because they are open to it. They obviously showed up, that’s the biggest and hardest step.
How do I support them? It’s hard because, yoga has become an industry with advertising and a lot of instagram is going on and all this stuff and people has to kind of market themselfes. So there are a lot of pictures out there and images of people doing fancy poses, things that look beautiful and look impressive. A lot of people say like: ‚Oh, I can’t look like that, I don’t look like that what people in their bikini on the beach are doing, this forearmstand and touching their foot and their head. If that’s what they are doing in yoga classes? I’m not showing up for that.‘
I really just try to tell people that it’s not about reaching any kind of fancy pose. It’s about doing the poses that are available to you and it’s really about finding this enternal river, what we call the river of Prana. There is an enternal river within all of us that gets damned up, that gets blocked up by experiecnes, by doubts, by fear, by stress, by anger, by frustration. Any yoga pose itself, its purpose is to open up that river. So that you are able to flow more freely on the inside. And that happens in every pose on every level from the most basic simple pose that anybody can do to the most challenging pose that you see in all of these pictures.
I just want people to know that there is no good and bad at yoga. A lot of people when I talk to them and they find out I’m a yoga teacher, they wanna tell me, if they are good or bad at it. Mostly they say, ‚ Oh, I’m terrible at yoga, I cannot even touch my toes‘. But there really is no such thing is good or bad because that’s like saying, ‚I’m good at being a human being or I’m not good at being a human. It’s just not a such thing. It’s about your eternal experience, so you can not put a judgement on that, you cannot put a grade on that or a value on that. It’s just your experience.
So what do you tell your students at classes to what they should focus on?
I tell them to listen to the sound of their breath. Because for me that was the most powerful teaching when I first started and still is to this day. When I can listen to this sound of my breath everything becomes simplier. Everything becomes true. Everything gives my mind and my heart and my body a deeply resonance place to be. And when I see people really doing that they are just so present. And that’s all it is.
What do you wish for your students when they leave your class?
I wish for my students when they leave my class that they feel free, that they have lifted any self judgement from their shoulders. And that they feel all like they have greater access to their own self expression. You know, as a dancer and artist and creative person I feel best, when I can express. And I know that for many people being able to express themselves wether it’s at their job or in their relationship or in their family or friends that’s one of the biggest challenges in life, to be fully open, honest, easy going, but clear, be able to share their emotions on a happy, joyful, sorrowful level and each level they are, being able to tell people what they need, when they need it. Just that they have greater access to that.
The last question is about the yoga teacher training. We are here now since 20 days. It was great for us as students, but i’m sure it’s also a special experience for you. How do you feel after this weeks now? There were so many things we shared and we received in our group. You are the teacher but you were often also a part of our group. So how do you feel after these weeks now?
I tell you, I have such an amazing job, because every group is so different and has its own personality as a collective and as individuals in a group. This particular teacher training was very gentle. This group was very quiet in a really beautiful way. For me was this a really nice level of humility. Being in the present of this group and having to kind of get on to the level where everyone was at with their shyness and helping them coming out, this really helped me to find my own humility while these couple weeks. So this was a really special gift for me. In every teachertraining that I have I alway get a special gift like that. It’s different every single time and it’s as tranformating for me as for everybody else. I’m just glad to get to see everyone go through it and hold the space for it and be there and get something out of it as well.
Thank you very much, Ella, for your time, your answers and your Inspiration!
Ella Luckett is a yoga teacher since 2000 and runs her own Yoga studio Jai Yoga Arts in New York since 2011.
Her next teachertrainings are in April and August 2017 in Nicaragua. Find all Informations here!
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