Yoga Instructor Kellie Elliott
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Student Spotlight Kellie Elliott

A Journey Into mySELF

On July 31, 2015, I got on a plane and started my journey towards my destination–the rain forest/beach at the Goddess Garden in Costa Rica. I went to spend two weeks training to be a yoga teacher at Marianne Wells Yoga School.

This day stood out in my mind –it was the second full moon in July, otherwise known as the Blue Moon. The reason we say ‘once in a blue moon’ is because it doesn’t happen very often.

I was embarking on an adventure like none other.

I didn’t choose to go to a 200-hour yoga teacher training because I’ve always wanted to be a yoga instructor. I was looking for something else at the time, but couldn’t articulate it.

I was drawn to Costa Rica. Always being the type to follow my gut, I found Marianne Wells Yoga School pretty quickly. Signing up was the best impulse decision I have ever made.

What I didn’t know at the time is that I was looking for mySELF. I had lost her somewhere in the corporate world in which I live. Looking for the girl underneath the fitted blouse and blazer. The girl with tattoos that told a story and stars in her eyes. She needed so badly to be nurtured.

Somehow Marianne Wells and her team helped me figure out what I needed to re-connect with mySELF. I am so grateful.

Each night at the training, as I walked back to my room, I could hear the nighttime sounds of the rain forest. Deep in the darkness there were howler monkeys, birds, frogs, and countless bugs and crickets. The crickets at night sounded like bells ringing in the forest. I was not surprised to learn in my chakra studies that the sound that resonates with the heart chakra is the tone of reverberating bells.

We went to bed each night tired, with our hearts open and happy.

Astrologers will tell you that the full moon is a great time to meditate on things in your life that you are ready to release. That is exactly what happened while the moon waned from full during our time together.

We let go. We let go of expectations and surrendered to the program. We let go of our daily routines and learned to live together where the rainforest meets the Caribbean Sea. We broke down walls we didn’t know we had. We shared and healed within our yoga family. We held each other up, and laid a solid foundation for lifelong friendships.

We learned much about yoga. We learned about our Selves, and how yoga helps maintain and regain our center and balance.

We didn’t just learn how to teach a dynamic flow. We learned how to take our daily practice off the mat and live the yoga lifestyle.

We lived two weeks of rising for 6 AM practice, along with anatomy lectures, asana workshops, sutra philosophy discussions at poolside, chakra studies, Ayurveda homework, and practice teaching. It all made for long, interesting days.

On the night of August 14, while in my room preparing for graduation dinner with my roommates (and browsing my social media feed), I realized it was the night of the new moon.

After two weeks of letting go, all the learning and studying, it was time to enter a new phase. It was a new moon! A new moon for a new start and a new yoga instructor. Such universal alignment with the moon watching over me and my yoga family on this journey.

It makes so much sense. Ayurveda teaches us that the moon belongs to the goddess, the divine feminine. It was no coincidence we all joined together under the blue moon.

I found what I was looking for, though when I set out on my journey I wasn’t sure what it was.

I followed my gut all the way to Marianne Wells Yoga School and found my SELF. She was always there inside me. She needed major nurturing and guidance to be found.

It’s been two moon cycles since that night. From one new moon to the next, I have not stopped nurturing that lost girl. She’s not so lost anymore. I am more aware of myself and who I am than I have been in a long time. I am practicing yoga both on and off the mat.

I am conscious and aware.

The day I returned home, I got a waxing moon tattoo on my left ring finger – the Ayurvedic moon finger – to remind me there is always a divine goddess inside me. She is simultaneously wild and peaceful.

I’m back in the hustle and bustle of my busy city life now. But there is a calmness, a voice in my head that reminds me to breathe. Breathe deep down into my toes, into my soul, and exhale everything…. Just let it go.

Kellie Elliott completed Marianne Wells 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training in August 2015

Student Spotlight Kellie Elliott, Registered Yoga Instructor

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