How I went from being frustrated and confused to clear and confident through online yoga.

Back when online yoga was just making its first forays on the web, I was struggling.

Struggling to wade through the enormous amount of often contradictory information.

Wondering if yoga was for me, or if I was for yoga.

Constantly failing at staying consistent with my practice.

Picture of middle-aged woman with long blonde hair smiling at the camera, waring a light grey off-the-shoulder top.

Hi! I’m Ellie.

A recovering academic, yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and writer with a persistent curiosity about the world, both natural and human.

Born and raised in Cornwall, U.K, I moved to Japan for a one-year working holiday after graduating from university in 2005. Many years later and I am still here, where I help people like you navigate your way into the often confusing realm of yoga. 

about ellie online yoga

People often ask how I got started with yoga, and how to stick with it.

You can find more of my thoughts on how to stick with it here.  

I was in my mid-twenties when someone recommended it to me as a tool for weight management. I tried it, hated it, and felt incredibly sore the next day. As a result, I ended up tossing the CD (remember those?) that included two 90-minute advanced practices onto my bookshelf never to be played again. 

I then subscribed to a fitness program which subsequently had me jumping around my living room feeling like a total wally.

I lost balance with every lunge, I star-jumped with the grace of a startled groundhog, and my body released a deep-seated rage every time I held weights (or water bottles in my case) over my head for what seemed like unnecessary lengths of time. Eventually, I slumped into self-pitying puddle of despair on the carpet. 

People often ask how I got started with yoga, and how to stick with it.

You can find more of my thoughts on how to stick with it here.  

I was in my mid-twenties when someone recommended it to me as a tool for weight management. I tried it, hated it, and felt incredibly sore the next day. As a result, I ended up tossing the CD (remember those?) that included two 90-minute advanced practices onto my bookshelf never to be played again. 

I then subscribed to a fitness program which subsequently had me jumping around my living room feeling like a total wally.

I lost balance with every lunge, I star-jumped with the grace of a startled groundhog, and my body released a deep-seated rage every time I held weights (or water bottles in my case) over my head for what seemed like unnecessary lengths of time. Eventually, I slumped into self-pitying puddle of despair on the carpet. 

Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodaha

Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali 1.2

But all was not lost. 

This program also had some online yoga classes. Firstly, the classes didn’t involve any jumping and there were no weights to be held over anyone’s head.

Secondly, though I didn’t understand a word of what the teacher said, I felt a sense of accomplishment. The seed was planted. 

But, these classes were way too advanced for me. I huffed and puffed my way toward one injury after another. That sense of liberation everyone was banging on about had evaded me entirely, it seemed. 

Searching YouTube in desperation, an intriguing video with about 1000 views popped up.

The teacher had an amazing smile, provided numerous modifications, and laughed every time she wobbled out of a pose, reminding us that this was normal. I laughed with her and wobbled out of every pose. She told us to come back the following Monday for a new video. It was still challenging, I still felt like a wally, and there was still frustration present – but this time, I knew this was OK. 

It gets better with practice. 

And that was it. I was hooked.  Yoga began to work its magic and now I am certified to teach Hatha, Yin, and Trauma-informed yoga. 

That magic, for me,  takes the shape of more self-confidence, better breathing, a deeper connection with my body, but moreover an unshakable trust in myself, in that part of me that cannot be reached, let alone damaged, by anyone else.

But all was not lost. 

This program also had some online yoga classes. Firstly, the classes didn’t involve any jumping and there were no weights to be held over anyone’s head.

Secondly, though I didn’t understand a word of what the teacher said, I felt a sense of accomplishment. The seed was planted. 

But, these classes were way too advanced for me. I huffed and puffed my way toward one injury after another. That sense of liberation everyone was banging on about had evaded me entirely, it seemed. 

Searching YouTube in desperation, an intriguing video with about 1000 views popped up.

The teacher had an amazing smile, provided numerous modifications, and laughed every time she wobbled out of a pose, reminding us that this was normal. I laughed with her and wobbled out of every pose. She told us to come back the following Monday for a new video. It was still challenging, I still felt like a wally, and there was still frustration present – but this time, I knew this was OK. 

It gets better with practice. 

And that was it. I was hooked.  Yoga began to work its magic and now I am certified to teach Hatha, Yin, and Trauma-informed yoga. 

That magic, for me,  takes the shape of more self-confidence, better breathing, a deeper connection with my body, but moreover an unshakable trust in myself, in that part of me that cannot be reached, let alone damaged, by anyone else.

So, now what?

Well, that brings me to you.

I have seen and experienced how yoga can be really confusing and overwhelming. I have been put off yoga numerous times, and I have seen the same happen to others. And if you’re one of them, I get it. Yoga classes can sometimes leave you feeling defeated. 

I am committed to helping people like you get started on your yoga journey so that you can reap its benefits without feeling too frustrated or lost along the way. 

I believe that in order for yoga to really work for you, you must set strong and steady foundations firmly in place. 

Without that, you’re on the road to confusion, disappointment, frustration, and perhaps even injury. This is where I come in. I have been through all these things too many times and yet been gently guided onto a better path. 

It is necessary to build strong and steady foundations for a safe and sustainable practice that helps you move forward in yoga with clarity and confidence. 

And yes, there needs to be that much alliteration for that concept to stick. 

So, now what?

Well, that brings me to you.

I have seen and experienced how yoga can be really confusing and overwhelming. I have been put off yoga numerous times, and I have seen the same happen to others. And if you’re one of them, I get it. Yoga classes can sometimes leave you feeling defeated. 

I am committed to helping people like you get started on your yoga journey so that you can reap its benefits without feeling too frustrated or lost along the way. 

I believe that in order for yoga to really work for you, you must set strong and steady foundations firmly in place. 

Without that, you’re on the road to confusion, disappointment, frustration, and perhaps even injury. This is where I come in. I have been through all these things too many times and yet been gently guided onto a better path. 

It is necessary to build strong and steady foundations for a safe and sustainable practice that helps you move forward in yoga with clarity and confidence. 

And yes, there needs to be that much alliteration for that concept to stick. 

about ellie online yoga

So, here, at Ellie Smith Yoga, you’ll find lots of free valuable content, and soon some online courses, to help get you started with yoga in a way that makes sense for you. 

Though I don’t have all the answers and I will make mistakes, it is important to me that the yoga I provide here is as authentic as possible. In that respect, please trust that I learn from teachers who have a clear link to yoga’s origin, India.

What I deliver won’t always be polished and I will still wobble in and out of poses, we are all works in progress after all. But I do promise to give you value. Also, expect some really, really cheesy awkward humor along the way.

If you got this far, thank you!

I hope that you’re inspired to continue learning with me. I’d love to connect with you. The best way to do that is through my newsletter – hit reply and let me know what is and what isn’t working for you. You can also catch me on Instagram, and check out my weekly blog. I am so excited to be with you on this journey!

If you got this far, thank you!

I hope that you’re inspired to continue learning with me. I’d love to connect with you. The best way to do that is through my newsletter – hit reply and let me know what is and what isn’t working for you. You can also catch me on Instagram, and check out my weekly blog. I am so excited to be with you on this journey!

A black circle outline with the initials E and S in the cente and the word YOGA underneath the initials but still within the circle. The left-hand side of the circle is bordered by a semi-circle outline, to represent the moon and the sun.