We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Elliott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had always wanted to open my own yoga studio. I had an opportunity in 2007 to buy the studio I worked in, but it ended up being purchased by YogaWorks. I was disappointed but was hired at the new YogaWorks studio so it ended up being a blessing in disguise. When the pandemic hit, the physical studios closed and most of the teachers lost their jobs. Many of the teachers began to teach online for themselves. I was teaching a training at the time and and had to immediately learn how to teach it online. As I learned different tools to navigate this new way of teaching I found that most of the teachers were doing the same, but everyone was on their own. My husband encouraged me to start my online studio and with the help of my business partner, Dawn Stillo, we created Yoga World Heart. Dawn and I are Yoga Therapists, so our goal was to create a site where we could host an online yoga therapy school. This is still where we’re headed but we realized that the immediate goal was getting teachers jobs and building a community of students.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been teaching yoga for most of my life. I was introduced to yoga when I was 17. My professor at school suggested that I should write my paper on yoga and meditation. She even gave me the books to write my paper and sent me to a class down by the University. I was pretty young and didn’t really understand it, but she must have seen something in me and that experience set in motion the rest of my life and career. I enjoyed school but had no direction. I ended up at massage school and really enjoyed learning about anatomy and the body. I continued taking yoga classes and when my massage school offered a training, I jumped at the opportunity! After that I never looked back. Over the last 2 decades I’ve continued learning, taking every training I could afford. In 2008 I went to LMU and became a Yoga Therapist. Over the last decade, I have been specializing in Yin, yoga anatomy and 200 and 300hr trainings. I’ve been fortunate in my career to teach trainings for YogaWorks and Wanderlust, while also hosting retreats and teaching at festivals all around the world. I’ve worked with many professional athletes and in 2016 I was on HBO’s “Hard Knocks”, teaching yoga to the L.A. Rams. What I love about my job is that I’m always learning, innovating and reviewing what I know. It’s fun to learn and I recognize that my students often teach me more than we both realize.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Pre-pandemic I would have taken my friends to Hollywood to take a yoga class in the city. We would walk around the Santa Monica Pier and the enjoy the farmers market at the promenade. One of my favorite memories is actually taking my friends to my favorite tattoo artist, Amanda Marie. She has her own studio that seems more like a yoga studio than a tattoo shop. She is vegan and uses all vegan ink and the experience feels very inspiring. Afterwards we hit up Sage Bistro for vegan appetizers and drinks, then would drive up the coast and take the scenic route though the canyons home. What’s also great about our area is that there is so much to do if you enjoy the outdoors. There are the amazing areas to rock climb, road bike and hike.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to give a shoutout to the whole Yoga World Heart team! First off, my husband was the first one who made this a reality. He pushed us to start and got us going with the website. My business partner Dawn Stillo has been working hard with me these last six months to make our dream a reality. And honestly, we couldn’t do it without all the teachers who put their all into every class they teach.
Website: https://jenniferelliottyoga.com/, https://yogaworldheart.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jenniferelliottyoga/, https://www.instagram.com/yogaworldheart/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JenniferElliottYoga?ref=hl, https://www.facebook.com/YogaWorldHeart
Robert Sturman Jake Laub