Elaine is Orri’s Yoga and Body Awareness Therapist and has been part of the team since day one! We sat her down to learn more about her approach and role within Orri…
How long have you been a clinician for and what were you doing before Orri?
I have been teaching Yoga and Mindfulness for 10 years and in clinical practice for 8 years. The year before joining Orri, I was teaching Yoga classes and courses whilst training in Menstruality (a mindfulness approach for women’s health, wellbeing and spirituality) and sharing Kirtan (a music/singing form of Yoga). Prior to that, for 7 years I worked as part of a multi-disciplinary team in a mental health hospital for adults and adolescents where I ran Yoga, Mindfulness and Body Image groups.
Can you tell us more about the type of therapy/discipline that you practice?
Through the disciplines of Yoga and Mindfulness I support clients with their relationship to their body, including body image, self-care and creativity. The foundations of my practice are Hatha Yoga; an embodied and mindful Yoga practice that I share in a trauma-informed way, and Cycle Awareness; a framework for practicing Mindfulness that honours the creative cycles of life.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Without a doubt, it’s the daily dose of Creativity and Connection. Orri is co-created through the amazing work of a multi-disciplinary team and the clients who use the service. It’s alive and ever-evolving and a joy to be a part of. On top of this, I really enjoy listening to our clients. They have such wisdom to share and it’s a pleasure to be part of their journey.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
The commute into London! I empathise with our clients who sometimes get up super early to make their way across London to be at Orri first thing. I make the most of the time on the train by studying, listening to music, or simply relaxing.
What do you wish people knew about yoga and mindfulness?
I wish more people knew that Yoga and Mindfulness are more about the connection to our life energy and developing an openness to change, rather being about being bendy or “calm” all the time.
What do you feel is most unique about Orri?
Orri is innovative, creative and nurturing. The team and clients are all part of the creative process, bringing forth a facility that supports each client to write their unique recovery story. It’s a really special and exciting place to work.
Outside of work, what do you do for your own mental wellbeing?
Lots of things! Yoga (of course!). I try to practice a little each day and attend a group practice session a couple of times a week.
Mindfulness, in particular Menstrual Cycle Awareness – often it’s as simple as just knowing what day of my cycle I’m on. It’s how I remember I’m a cyclical being, a part of nature, knowing when I need to rest, and opening to my creative energy.
Listening Partnership – Every week I talk for 20 minutes to my ‘Listening Partner’ (who I’ve never met in person), and she listens in silence. Then we switch over, and I listen to her. It’s a great practice for self-expression (venting if necessary!) and mindful listening. It cleans my emotional pipes! Finally, Kirtan – a heartful and expressive form of Yoga that involves singing mantras to melodies. It’s practiced in a group, so the energy is really supportive and uplifting.
If you had one piece of advice for a therapy-seeker, what would it be?
To trust the instincts that are leading you to connect. Feeling disconnected saps our life energy, and therapy can help us connect again – it helps us to stop and listen to ourselves and what we need for our next step.