Elena found yoga in 2001, when she was searching for a way to become healthier and more at peace, after the death of her mother. A life-long learner who dealt with anxiety and depression growing up, she is always continuing to expand her knowledge around self-care, healing and yoga. She has completed three, 200-hour yoga teacher certifications and obtained her 500-hour Advanced Yoga Studies Certification through Asheville Yoga Center in 2017. She is currently working on her 1,000-hour yoga teacher certification from the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. She is also a certified TIMBo (trauma-informed mind body program) facilitator and a certified Life Coach through the Coach Training Institute (www.coactive.com).
In 2008, Elena volunteered at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health for over a year, and this experience catapulted her into the world of health and healing. It was during this time that she completed her first yoga teacher training at Kripalu. Then, her study of yoga took her to India where she spent several months in 2010 and completed a month-long course at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram. More recently Elena has been exploring the intersections of mindfulness, anxiety reduction and yoga. So, within the past few years, Elena completed a 5-day Mindful Self-Compassion Intensive and took several trainings on trauma-informed yoga. Towards that end, Elena also teaches trauma-informed yoga to veterans at the VA hospital in Asheville. She enjoys empowering others to find their own self-healing by leading classes that place an emphasis on one’s inner experience and by coaching clients towards their highest authenticity, values, and goals. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Boston University and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School. In addition, she is pursuing a Masters in Clinical Mental Health Counseling through Lenoir-Rhyne University. www.elenamansour.com
Trauma-Informed Gentle Yoga (All Levels, Beginners Welcome)
Wednesdays from 2:15 to 3:30 pm
Appropriate for all students, this is a gentle, safe, and soothing yoga class that is designed for anyone who may think that they are too unhealthy, out-of-shape, depressed, or un-flexible to do yoga. This class is designed to turn on the relaxation response by using deep yogic breathing combined with slowly flowing coordinated movements and stretches. Towards that end, time will be taken at the beginning of each class to get grounded and focus on the breath. Students are encouraged to listen to their own bodies and take the class at their own pace. If you are new to yoga, would like a gentle introduction, are highly sensitive, or are working with a personal challenge or injury, this class is a good place to start.
Anxiety-Releasing Yoga (All Levels, Beginners Welcome)
Thursdays from 2:45 to 3:30 pm
This is a safe and soothing gentle yoga class that is designed for anyone who may experience anxiety, depression, PTSD or other form of trauma. This class encourages calmness of the mind by focusing on calming the body. Towards that end, class generally begins in a lying down position. Then, we focus on the breath as a way to get grounded and in touch with our inner experience. Please note that we will not come to standing in this class. Instead, the emphasis is on witnessing your own experience and being kind to yourself while in the class. If you are new to yoga, have gotten triggered in yoga classes, or are seeking a supportive environment, this class is a great start.