The Beloved Ellen Mathews

The Beloved Ellen Mathews
If you’re in the Los Angeles area, you won’t regret making a trip to the San Gabriel Valley – or reaching out on Zoom – to take a class with the incandescent Ellen Mathews. She is living proof that yoga changes us for the better, and her classes are renowned throughout the community at Yoga Madre, a studio in Sierra Madre, California.

Ellen finished her first teacher training at Yoga Works, and took time to teach and reflect on what she learned there before signing up for the 300 hour advanced training with Yoga Madre. “I’m technically a 500 -ERYT (Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher) by now,” she states, “but have not applied for that certification. I just teach.” Beginning her career at a studio in Long Beach, then moved to Yoga Madre in 2003 when relocating to northeast Los Angeles County. There, she wore many hats – yoga teacher, training assistant, manager and social media developer. Unfortunately, the pandemic led to the closure of Yoga Madre, forcing Ellen to strike out on her own. Today, she offers classes on the Internet while she waits to see what the future will bring.

In addition to studio teaching, Ellen’s been active in bringing yoga to the workplace. For many years, she taught twice a week at Von’s corporate center, as well as at an aviation company which offered after-work classes for employees. There, as in every other setting, she was revered for her commitment to the people she taught. “I want to know my students, from their health issues to who they are as people,” she notes. Developing long-lasting relationships is a priority for her, and she works hard to maintain the connection while she verbally cues and mirrors poses.

Ellen follows the sri vidya/Tantra branch of yoga philosophy, using daily mantra, meditation, and pranayama to keep herself balanced. While she’s worked hard to perfect a variety of physical poses, she realizes that the practice is about more than achievement. “Honestly, who cares if you do a handstand?” she says. “But if yoga has calmed your anxiety and changed your perspective about issues in your life, then that’s success for me as a teacher.”

Need advice from this wise woman? Ellen recommends that newcomers as well as veterans try practicing asana three times a week to enhance muscle memory while improving flexibility and strength. She also suggests familiarizing yourself with the entire Eight-Fold Path as delineated by Patanjali, noting that it’s a “lovely road map to follow to get into a meditative state.”

With Zoom classes currently supplanting in-person teaching, now is the time for students all over the world to contact Ellen about her online offerings. Beyond her classes, she offers private instruction. She can be reached at ellen.mathews@roadrunner.com for those of you interested in reaching out to her.

Disclaimer: I have taken classes from Ellen, most recently over Zoom during this last year. While we are personal friends, I have received no financial compensation for this article and have paid for my classes with my own funds.



You Should Also Read:
Studio Classes Are Worth It!
The Eight Fold Path

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Content copyright © 2021 by Korie Beth Brown. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Korie Beth Brown. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Korie Beth Brown for details.