Ella is a mover. She surfs, dances, does bush walks, bike rides and trail runs, hangs off monkey bars, jumps off wharves and kneads bread (yes, that's movement too!). She believes that when it comes to moving the body, the more variety the better.
But, she wasn't always like this. For her, "movement" used to be called "exercise", and it was a chore. It was something that needed to be checked off the daily to-do list, because she believed it would make her body look better and because societal norms said so.
In her late teens and early twenties, Ella battled depression. There were a number of tools that she used to help herself pull through - the most pivotal of which was yoga. Her first class was in 2008 at an Iyengar studio on Auckland's North Shore. For that one hour, she was transported out of her anxiety-riddled mind and into the physical sensations of her body. It was bliss. The pathway out of depression is slow and winding, so it was another four years of on-and-off classes before Ella realised how instrumental yoga had been for her recovery.
This understanding came with the unexpected arrival of her son Jack in 2012. This event was the culmination of a tumultuous few years, and Ella found that a regular yoga practice served as her grounding light as she navigated her way through single parenting.
In 2015, Ella completed her 500HR Teacher Training programme at the NZ School of Yoga. This was a vigorous Iyengar-based course that covered foundations like yoga asana, pranayama and how to tune into subtle shifts happening within the body. Ella still uses this fine attention in her approach to teaching movement today.
Since her yoga training, Ella’s curiosity has led her into into a progressive path of biomechanics and functional movement. Through her own experience of injury and persistent pain in her body, along with hearing similar stories from other yoga teachers, Ella came to realise that strength is as important as "flexibility" for the body to function well.
Functional movement started to shape her yoga practice and teaching, and it was a natural progression from there for Ella to start playing around with adding in some kettlebells and dumbbells to her sessions on the yoga mat. Running started to come back into her routine too - something that she hadn't done since her teens. What she had once perceived as the dreaded daily "exercise", had now become an extension of her embodied movement practice. She found that by applying the same mindfulness that she would on the yoga mat, she was able to enjoy any sporting or movement modality. By staying connected to her body's experience, Ella could now respect and love what her body could do for her.
Today, Ella is currently completing her Personal Trainer Certification through Open Polytechnic and Skills Active Aotearoa. This new step has opened a door for her to take her place in the world of strength, fitness and nutrition.
She continues to offer Functional Yoga classes and private sessions, while she deepens her knowledge of the science behind human movement in her new role as Personal Trainer. You can find her every Thursday morning teaching yoga at Kanuka Yoga Space, or training clients throughout the week at Tomfit Gym. She also offers a mobile service for private yoga or PT sessions at her clients' homes or nearby parks.
To book in with Ella, email or call her and check out her payment packages by clicking the button below.