The story of Ella-Dabney Carrow….
About me and my life in Abu Dhabi:
Namaste beautiful beings,
My name is Ella; and I have been residing in Abu Dhabi for just shy of two years; with my father, stepmother, and my little brother and sister. I am currently working as a Nursery Teacher by morning, and a Yoga Teacher by evening; so needless to say my days go from energized to relaxed, yet always enjoyable. I am originally from the United States of America, but I have lived more than half of my life outside of the USA. I grew up living and traveling internationally, and from my many travels and adventures, the two places that will forever hold a special space in my heart are India and Italy. Growing up around the world, interlaced with a diversity of history, culture, religion, cuisine, and overall lifestyle taught me so much about myself, but even more so, it has gifted me with an understanding, appreciation, and respect, for everyone else.
I moved to Abu Dhabi with a plan of only living here for a few months, but as many of you may relate to, not everything goes as we, ourselves plan, but I do find that there is always a reason, and a greater plan at play, set by the Universe. I started working as a nursery teacher 2 weeks into living in Abu Dhabi, and in January of 2016 I began studying Early Childhood Development, which I completed this past December. In July of 2016, I traveled to India to pursue Yogic studies in a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher training course; and in January of 2017, I continued my studies in a 95 Hour Kid’s Yoga Teacher training course, based right here in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi is a beautiful place to live, from the serene blue water, to the unending desert horizon, and my very absolute favourite, the stunning sunsets that I am mesmerized by each day: as the bright orange glow of light, gleams through the clouds, painting the sky a golden yellow and rosy pink, and slowly descending to brace upon the sand dunes, it is the purest and most divine form of nature, with each as captivating as the last. When I am not teaching at the nursery or in the studio; I enjoy relaxing on the soft, sandy beach, paddle boarding through the inviting, deep blue ocean, exploring the continuously evolving music and art scene of Abu Dhabi, and expressing my unending thoughts through writing.
How did you hear about Inner Seed UAE?:
I have been following ‘Inner Seed’ on social media since November of 2016. I met the founder, Laura, a beautiful ray of Light, in May of 2017, as we both teach Yoga at the same studio. I have not yet been able to attend any workshops, but I hope to attend upcoming workshops on Mindfulness and Healthy Lifestyle, especially relating to children and teens. As a nursery and yoga teacher it is important to me to always create a deeper sense of awareness and mindfulness within the next generation. Yoga and Mindfulness go hand in hand, so for ‘Inner Seed’ to provide and accommodate, with the expert knowledge, and the tools to further create this sense, is an absolute blessing.
Share your Yoga Journey and how it began:
My Yoga Journey is my metamorphosis. I started this Journey in June of 2015; so when Laura asked me to share my story for the month of June, I felt grateful, humbled, and beyond excited to celebrate this 2-year anniversary with ‘Inner Seed’.
I embarked on this journey because I wanted to make a change in my life; honestly, I needed to make a change in my life; and after years of feeling the need for a shift, I finally had the strength, ability, and mild understanding to begin my pursuit to a healthier lifestyle. I had struggled internally all through my teen years; I was constantly in a mental battle with anxiety and depression, and I felt completely uncomfortable in my own skin. Which is sadly very common among many youth today, and is also the main reason as to why I share so openly about my own experience, in hopes that others will see that it is never too late to come out of a negative fog, and never too early to incorporate mindfulness into every day life.
Know that you are completely capable of transforming your mindset, and choosing a greater, more positive perspective. You already have all of the knowledge inside, but some external guidance is always helpful. Anyone that knows who I am today would never guess of the internal struggle I went through in the past. I truly felt like I had no insight to who I was, or where I was going in life; I was my biggest critic, and not my biggest fan. Fear of the unknown ruled me, and my every thought, along with the external pressures and expectations of society, and even loved ones; I felt I had to live up to. Through everything, I am grateful for my past experiences, because they guided me to my present, and presently I am comfortable in my own skin, and I choose to not judge or criticize myself.
Yoga has blessed me and continues to bless me daily, with the understanding and ability to heal even beyond myself. I started Yoga through meditation, in hopes of healing my mind, and creating a more connected sense of self. My practice did just that, and more. After a few weeks of daily 20-minute meditation practice, I continued, while also incorporating a 20-minute asana practice, by following an online guide. I attended my first Yoga class in July of 2015, and the teacher was absolutely divine, her energy touched my heart and gifted me a great sense of clarity. From that day, I knew Yoga would be a lifestyle for me, in connection to mind, body, and spirit; and I knew I wanted to build on my practice, and dive deeper into the history and philosophy in which Yoga was founded.
That September (2015) I signed up for a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher training course in India, not with the expectation to teach, but for myself, and to explore how to integrate yoga and mindfulness into my every day life. That course is where I became ONE with my divine self, and Universal Divinity itself! The joy, love, understanding, and gratitude I received from my experience in India, and the handful of incredible teachers I learned from, placed me on the path I am on today, and showed me instantly that I wanted to continue as a lifelong student, and begin my journey as a teacher.
How often do you practice, and why do you believe it is vital in our Life:
I practice Yoga daily. If I am breathing and I am aware of my breath, in every sense, than I am practicing Yoga. Yoga is in everything I do, from thoroughly enjoying a delicious meal, by recognizing each and every flavor, to flowing through an asana practice, allowing the movement of my body to connect to each and every breath. I am alive because of my breath, my breath continues whether I ask it to or not (unconsciously), but when I consciously bring my awareness to the current of my breath through my body, I am present, and if I am present, I am in a state of ‘Yog’ or union, connected with all divinity.
I believe Yoga is vital in our life because it is connection, to our self and ultimately to everyone else. Pranayama is a key practice in Yoga, ‘Prana’ translating to ‘Life Force’, and ‘yama’ meaning ‘control’. So, we control or become aware of our breath, our Life Force, and we become present or One with it, with our self. If each of us was to practice this simple task of Mindful Breath, we would all be living in a state of ‘Yog’, being in Yog, with one another, and aware of how connected we truly are. If all that is separating me from you is space or air, and we both inhale the same air, then where is there separation?
How did Yoga change your Life?:
Yoga has changed my life in more ways than one, many of which I have yet to find the words to express, but more so share, through Energetic Presence. I call Yoga my metamorphosis, because it is my second life, my life of spirituality, intuition, clarity, and connection. A life that was always meant to be, and always within me, it just took, what feels like, a whole life before to discover this divine self. Just as a single coloured caterpillar transforms from one life to the next, into a multi-coloured butterfly, after gifting time to oneself for growth and realization.
Today, I live in the present, fly freely, share openly, act without fear of judgment or expectation, and everything I do, I do with love! I am far from perfect, but perfection is not what I strive for. I strive to be a better version of myself than the moment before, comparing to no one else, and placing no judgment on anyone else with where he/she is in his/her journey. If I choose to share the best version of myself with others in this life, in my experience, they relate, and choose to share the best version of themselves with me, because we are all Reflections of one another.
What would you recommend to your readers?:
There is so much more I would love to share, but I will leave you with this… Discover yourself, your wildest dreams, your greatest passions, your artistic expressions, and share them with the world, there is no such thing as a dream too big, or even a dream too small. Allow your clouded thoughts of the past, and unknown thoughts of the future to clear like clouds in the sky, and Live in your Presence, Love everything you do, and everyone around you.
You have the power to manifest anything and everything you want in this life. The moment you set an Intention from pure thought, you continue by Affirming this Intention aloud, once you have spoken your Affirmation, do all that is in your power to physically manifest it into existence, if it is meant to be, it will present itself, and the Universe will gift you. The present moment is called ‘present’ for a reason, it is a gift, and life is a gift, each and every breath.
So breathe, live, and be present, with yourself, and all of the life around you, because there is no separation. We Are One.
If you have yet to start a Yoga practice of your own, and you are reading this today, then take this as a sign, because on the 21st of June we celebrate International Yoga Day!! So join the Yoga community and get your Asana on.
Love and Light,
Social Media Accounts:
“May all beings be Happy,
May all beings be Healthy,
May all beings enjoy their Life.”