Teacher Feature; Eleanora Gorodnitchi
Many times, meditation can serve as a gateway to a variety of practices that help to enrich the mind, body, and soul. For Eleanora, meditation is what eventually brought her to yoga. “My very first experience practicing yoga was meditation, kirtan, and chakra awareness when I still was living in Ukraine, more than 20 years ago,” she says, “After a few years living in Canada, I started practicing yoga in the gym. I totally fell in love with it. After my son was born, I returned to my practice when he was 9 months old. I’ve continued on with my certification in Yoga Teacher Training. One of my mentors at that time offered me a position to teach at a local gym where I started teaching a few classes a week. It was 9 years ago, but it was a great opportunity for me to see if teaching was really something I would like to do.”
As she began to grow with her practice, Eleanora started to take her desires to teach yoga a bit more seriously.”I returned to my full time job that I liked, but being a working mom, I realized that there was not much time for me and what I really loved to do,” she says, “I wanted yoga to be more than a part time job and hobby; I wanted it to be my life and blend it with attending to the needs of my family. I appreciated the fact that I could have flexible hours and decide how many classes to teach. I love the energy that you get as a teacher.”
“Yoga Tree was the very first yoga studio I was hired by and that was almost 5 years ago,” says Eleanora, “I was still fresh from teacher training, and felt extremely grateful to be a part of the community. It was very motivating to teach in a studio that was new and expanding. I always admired the focus of Debbie and Jason, a young couple building their studios, a strong community while raising their two boys. It’s the hard work that I felt very lucky to be a part of! It motivated to me to keep learning and to find my own style.”
For Eleanora, yoga is a very personal thing, and so she thinks it should be a personal experience for everyone, especially beginners. “The main thing for me is that yoga is a deeply personal and transformational practice. It is holistic. Having experience with practicing only meditation based yoga (Sahaja) in the past, I may say it is not that important what you start with; your meditation or your body, it will quite often teach you that as a whole being, you need both. To me, it is all about refining your awareness. Basically, we have to give yoga a chance, not rush to get ‘results’. In yoga, ‘results’ are happening here and now!”
Her favorite asana is not one that we have discussed before in our blog. Regardless, it is definitely one to explore. “I would say these days, Scorpion pose,” she says, “I am just working on it now, doing it by the wall. For a very long time, I had a fear of inversions, and now getting over it feels very liberating.”
Finally, Eleanora says that her favorite part of yoga, the thing that inspires her every day, is her students. “I always feel better after teaching a class. It comes from the energy exchange with my students. I do something that I love and believe in, and that is a beautiful thing.”
Share in Eleanora’s magnificent energy by taking one of her classes on Mondays from 8:45 PM to 10:00 PM (Vaughan location, Beginner’s Yoga), Wednesday from 12:15 PM to 1:15 PM (Richmond Hill location, Hatha Flow L1), Wednesdays from 8:45 PM to 10:00 PM (Vaughan location, Vinyasa Flow L1-2), and Saturdays 12:00 PM to 1:15 PM (Vaughan location, R. Heat Detox Yoga).