So excited to share this new TRA (the Raw Advantage) interview with long term low fat raw fooder and amazing Yoga teacher Ellen Livingston.
Transcript below!! 🙂
Together we go over where she came from, where she is at and where she is going!!
Ellen has a awesome site called Living Yoga Now chalk full of amazing info, tips, as well as sharing her story and her new ebook/book that outlines the simplest way to transition to a optimally healthy active raw lifestyle. Nearing 10 years as a low fat raw vegan, truly walking the walk in thought word and action I know Ellen has so much to share with you all.
I feel blessed to call her a friend and colleague, looking forward to all future interactions.
I really hope you enjoy her interview, find some inspiration and check out her site 🙂
Enjoy the Transcript if you prefer 🙂
Interview with Ellen Livingston of Living Yoga Now:
Ellen in Red 🙂
So I’m sitting here with Ellen Livingston with Living Yoga Now.com and I want to talk a bit about where she’s at, where she came from and where she wants to go.
How you doing?
I Just finished a fantastic Kundalini yoga class with Chris (blessings) so I’m in a perfect state for an interview.
It was fun, I loved it, I loved it… Ellen’s a yoga teacher as her website presents and we are both also going to be at the Woodstock Fruit Festival right? Both teaching yoga there and going to hopeful be attending all of the lectures and the fun stuff there. (Yes) I’m pretty excited about that.
I want to get into as well as your being a yoga teacher, you are also a raw food coach and a low fat raw food vegan as well as I am correct? (Yes)
So I am just wondering what kind of led you into that lifestyle and maybe what kind of stuff you encountered in applying that lifestyle.
It’s been a long journey for me, I had some health fall apart in my early twenties and I started studying and learning how to heal myself naturally. It was about 20 years later that I discovered a raw food approach and I have now been on a low fat raw vegan diet exclusively now for just about 10 years, a little over nine years and the benefits just keep coming so there is no turning back at this point (yes, yes)
That’s clear to me… And about four years ago now I started offering what I had learned to other people. I’m feeling very passionate as most raw fooders do about shouting the benefits from a mountain top but I got a little more graceful about it over the years and stopped scaring people away.
You wanted to be evangelical about it to in the beginning… (Laughter) Just like me!
I like to think I’m getting to a place where I can be a bit more effective now without frightening them away. (Yes)
So I have been teaching a variety of classes, workshops, respite, transformational or transitional classes… I have a 30 day class which is sort of my signature class where I serve people a low fat raw vegan dinner and then we have a coaching session. (Beautiful) I do have some previous training in counseling so that has been really handy and art therapy as well which I planning on using at the retreat. So, I have in the past facilitated a lot of coaching and therapy techniques… so I bring that approach in with the raw food coaching because I recognized early on with myself and with all other people that go on this approach, it’s a lifestyle not a diet we all know that (huge, huge, oh for sure!) There is so much emotion involved.
Yes, so much of the healing is emotional, I’ve found myself in that role too sometimes and I can imagine it is such a blessing to have that formal training, help and recognition from those aspects.
And just the training from having gone through it yourself you know? From having been through this a number of years and knowing what happens after a month, after months a year, after a year, five years and the changes that just keep coming (forever) That’s really my biggest training is having lived this (Yes) and being able to expect what is going to come up for people and be able to ask the right questions of them. So, the group coaching is really powerful because people are bringing up all kinds of stuff about what is blocking them (yes) from not only eating the way they now believe they should in order to get the benefits they want but also stepping into living life fully. (Yes) A place where you just lean into your fears and bust barriers and start living your life like this! Out in this gorgeous place. Being here is just renewing my commitment to getting closer to this kind of a lifestyle. (Sure) So, I do the best I can in Michigan where we have cold winters and I’ve learned to get through.
It can be done! I’ve lived in the middle of the winter… Do you find, something I’ve found is that the first few years of a raw vegan diet, the food is so much the focus that the difference in quality or climate can really impact you a large amount? I’ve found personally that throughout the years I’ve found that it takes a bit of a back seat.. Of course it’s a huge part of my focus but it has mellowed out a little bit. I can be in the cold for months out of the year and be totally fine, it doesn’t affect me.
The commitment becomes so second nature, so internal that you find a way to maintain the commitment wherever you are (Yes) Some places are easier than others (Yes, for sure) but you find a way and it isn’t such a big deal. I do travel South for winter every year and it lasts longer and longer but you know that the focus on food is powerful in the beginning as it needs to be for the learning curve but eventually the focus comes on living fully… Having all of the aspects of your life come into integration and feeling total integrity.
Interview with Ellen Livingston of Living Yoga Now:
Holism in every aspect, which is perfect out here in a place like this where you have a connection to the earth, the meditation and the yoga that we can bring and clean air and clean water, all things equally important.
Deeply inspirations to be in a place like this. Can I talk about where I’m going now with with…? (For sure!) After teaching for four years, first what I discovered, not surprisingly was that the most effective way I have found to help people move forward lasting by leaps and bounds in the lifestyle that they really want to live and the person they really want to be is to spend concentrated time with them. So I know Chris, you do really awesome live-in retreats where you can come and live right in your own environment where you can help transform that environment and your integration into that environment so it works for you there. I have been working more and more for retreats where people come to me either individually or in a group to an environment which is set up as pristinely as possible to facilitate your transformations, your connection to the earth, to the energy, the air, and then with yoga… such as you and I have a common thread. The power of the yoga on a raw path is to help you come into yourself and find your essence and connect with it so that you can use that strength and connected source with which to make those choices and changes that you so want to make for your food and your lifestyle. You need something that holds you there and keeps you connected. So at my retreats there is yoga, group coaching, private coaching, there is a sense of total emersion, not so much in a sense of just the didactic teachings but of the experiential teachings. What do we eat, how do we make it, where do we get it? What kind of exercise do we do? How often, where, when?
Just seeing the whole lifestyle hey? Experiencing it; seeing it; feeling it too.
And doing it in a place that would be as close to what our natural environment would be so that even if we can’t live in this place we can learn from it, grow from it, take it in. I have to leave tomorrow and I am taking this entire day just literally drinking in the incredible amount of oxygen, the layers of emollient, I feel like I’m an avatar. It feels like there is five dimensions out there, it is just incredible so I would like to bring people on retreats here next winter and will be doing retreats in the summer at a beautiful spot in Michigan.
I hope someday to accompany you in those, if I can ever facilitate anything I am more than happy to.
It would be fun, look to the future and anything is possible right?
Yes and that’s sort of the crux of my teaching with people, is that honestly, anything is possible and you are the creator of your own reality. The work is just to strengthen our connection to that knowledge, we have the power to create whatever we want and that raw food is just one of many tools as is yoga, to help us be as pure and healthy and integrated as possible so that going forth we can give our biggest gifts to the world and be happy and comfortable doing so.
Yes, that’s awesome, that’s a blessing right? Life becomes a joy when you’re in that integration.
Work becomes play, it all becomes living wealth.
Yes, you’re doing what you want to do the whole time and all the while facilitation other people as best you can.
Because it’s about sharing, I need playmates on this path. (Yes, Yes) So come on retreats and play with Chris and I and learn to play fully…
More to come, more to come for sure! That’s one last thing want to ask too, I started yoga before I got into raw foods but when I got into raw food I felt that yoga just brings it much deeper and fuller. I just felt passion bubble forth for me in all of the aspects of life that I really wanted to create sense of self in. Did you start yoga and raw foods around the same time or was one before/after one?
Great question because I started yoga back in my twenties (Oh wow) and didn’t discover raw food until my late thirties. So I chose my name for what I do “Living Yoga” because I was yoga focused but when I integrated into raw food I kind of wanted to take some time teaching raw food classes for people who wanted to learn about that and yoga classes to people who wanted to learn about that and people kept telling me “you shouldn’t call yourself living yoga, you should call yourself living raw or something like that” I said no, it’s really about the yoga and I just haven’t figured out yet how to integrate the teaching, but I have now and the retreats are a great way to do that because we thoroughly integrate the raw food with actual meals and the living of that lifestyle with the yoga and it helps to pull it all together so that’s partly why I am so passionate now; To get the whole thing together.
So you would like to come out to places like this, Finca de Vida, and create your own space to facilitate that yourself in your own living space?
I have a opportunity at home in Michigan now, on a ten acre property that has the possibility of a private retreat space so I would be able to do both. With people that want to immerse themselves in their own private journey with guidance on a daily bases from me and a perfect setting on your own time period of whenever it works for you in the year. I’m going to be able to provide that to people as well as the group retreats in a setting like this where Jody and Brian have just poured their hearts into the entire infrastructure you need, all of the facility, it’s just absolutely comfortable. Rugged yet doable and just deeply deeply awe inspiring and I haven’t been to another place on the planet that compares.
No, me neither. I’m back and I’m going to be back a lot more!
I’m going to be back here a lot more so I hope you’ll all be out her too.
Who knows, I might even be out here during your retreats you know? I’m the chef out here now so I’m loving it!
I just might move in!
Well with being here, out doing live in retreats and visiting family I can’t imagine a better world. Consciously creating every step we take. Every breath.
That’s what it really is to me and to sum it all up and hoping to convey to people. It’s about conscious living and being every moment.
Every moment and every thought; everything actualizing.
That sounds daunting but with the yoga and the guidance behind you it does become second nature to you and becomes easier and easier to feel that.
Yes, it’s a beautiful beautiful thing. Thank you so much Ellen. It’s been great talking to you and I just want to check if there is anything else you want to chat about, anything else you want to put forward and if not then a simple end is great.
I guess I want to leave you with the words that we are all designed to play. (Beautiful)
Thank you so much and see you guys again on another interview!
I’ll say one more thing, I just put my thoughts together in a book (Oh beautiful!) so you can find that on my website and it’s called “The Ultimate Raw Food Diet Detox and Wellness Program” It’s only about a hundred pages and I tried to put all of the details of coming down this path (perfect).
Is that in eBook format and…
It’s in eBook and paperback format. (Cool)
Ok, check that out for sure and hopefully you will see us together again and at Woodstock and who knows beyond that.
Thanks so much!