Elli | From Restaurant Director to Yoga Instructor
BY ELLE ARSCOTT
I was born in Chicago to Greek immigrant parents who had moved to the U.S in the 70’s. I studied English in college simply because it was my strongest subject at school, and went on to study Fashion Design at the Illinois Institute of Art. I couldn’t find a job in the business (I didn’t try too hard to be honest) but had already been working at a small, family-owned restaurant chain, where I was close to the owners. They saw something special in me and persuaded me to pursue a career in the restaurant world. I stayed with them for 20 wonderful years until, finally, I started listening to the voice inside myself that kept telling me it was time to move back “home” and so I moved to Greece.
5 THINGS ABOUT
EXPLODING WITH DEEP PASSION | LOVER OF LOVE | RIGHT-BRAINED | PIZZA AND FRENCH FRIES | SECRET SINGER
LEAP OF FAITH
When I was young and we would visit family in Greece, I used to cry and hide before going to the airport for the flight back to Chicago. As an adult, I would visualise the wheels of the airplane having 3 tons of weight on them so that it wouldn’t be able to take off. In 2009, I had been going through a difficult period and discovered yoga. By 2013 I had become certified as a yoga teacher, and knew I wanted to share its benefits with the world. In February 2017 I came back from a trip to Greece and my boss took me into his office, closed the door, and asked me when I was moving. I had made the decision days before and he sensed it. I figured I didn't have anything to lose and less than a year later I was on a plane to Greece. Nobody that knew me well was shocked, except for my parents!
YELLOW YOUR SPIRIT
I am a private yoga instructor in Athens and I recently started a blog called Yellow Your Spirit. Through my yoga classes, I sell the practice of finding yourself, believing in yourself, and loving yourself via breath, movement, and self-discovery. On the blog, I sell happiness...but it’s free!
When I first moved to Athens I took some time off for myself and started teaching yoga to family and friends. I started Kundalini yoga with Lynn Roulo, also an American expat, who has built up a wonderful community in the city and, slowly, I met people who wanted to take my lessons. As I started having deeper conversations with people, I sensed that I had more to share and wanted to inspire people to search inside themselves. Everyone is searching for happiness and yellow is the colour of happiness! It lives in our core as the yellow chakra, and we simply have to activate it because it’s already inside of us. In January 2018 the idea of Yellow Your Spirit began, developing into a site that went live in April with a business plan on the horizon!
I have very few business overheads because my cousin is my graphic designer and I created my website on my own. Additionally, teaching yoga privately means I don’t need to rent a studio. I saved a little over a year's worth of money before leaving the USA, as a buffer in case I didn’t find work. We all know teaching yoga as a career is a hustle and, to be honest, I am still hustling! I love the idea of being involved in multiple projects and recently translated a book from Greek to English, and have started building a new travel business together with a friend. I also just sold my apartment in Chicago - a wonderful financial gift which is the key to my future endeavors!
THE TOUGH TIMES
From the beginning, I heard that I was crazy for moving to Greece during a financial crisis! However, I became aware very quickly that certain people were simply projecting their own fears onto MY dreams - I envisioned a protective barrier around me and bounced them right off. I believed what my soul was guiding me to do, so I didn’t need to know anything else but that. My decision was so concrete that every door kept opening right in front of my eyes...and still is! I’m not afraid of failure because it doesn’t exist - it’s just a bump in the road which points you in a different direction. Anything “tough” is an educational moment in time, which sucks, yes, but is necessary not only for our growth but also for our duty to enlighten others when necessary. I’m excited to see what bumps will come my way, how I will overcome them, and in which direction they will guide me.
5 INSIDER TIPS
- Pay attention to the signs. They are right in front of your face and you have to be conscious enough at all times to see and hear them.
- I love listening to anything by Mel Robbins especially How to Beat Self-doubt in 5 Seconds. Don’t think just do! The Power of Now is always in my backpack.
- Do at least 4 hours of work on your passion a day to keep you on track.
- Do not focus on the money. Put your energy into the idea, love, and commitment. The money will come when you do the right things.
- Be authentic to yourself, to others, and in every single thing you do. If you aren’t, then you are just fooling your own self and that is a horrible way to start every day.
My brother recently responded to me by saying, “It's going to happen. It only doesn’t work out if you give up.” I LOVE THIS.
WRITTEN BY ELLE ARSCOTT
Elle is a copywriter and digital creative from the UK. With a background in arts & museums, she currently lives in Athens where she works for a small marketing agency and enjoys the sunshine.