PLDN Talks – Elodie Frati – ‘A passion for education’


WELCOME TO PLDN TALKS! AS WE ALL KNOW, CORONAVIRUS HAS GOT A HUGE CHUNK OF OUR INDUSTRY WORKING FROM HOME AND AS CREATIVES. WE LAUNCHED PLDN TALKS AS A SUPPORT PLATFORM DURING THE OUTBREAK. DAILY, BITESIZE EDUCATIONAL CONTENT FROM CREATIVE MINDS ALL OVER THE WORLD TO KEEP OUR COMMUNITY INSPIRED.

Hi, I’m Elodie, and I’m a yoga teacher in London. It took me a little while to get to this point. I first moved from France to Leeds to train contemporary dance, so in conservatoire training and I think it’s really at that point that I learned what hard work was. Up until then, I think maybe things have been quite easy for me.

Going into that environment really teaches you, self-discipline, a hard work. this idea that there’s always someone that’s prepared to do it better than you are somewhere else. how healthy that is, I don’t know. but after that time, I perform for a couple of years in London and alongside that, as many dancers do, I was working in the service industry.

And then after that time, I randomly ended up working in event production and my work to, therefore, while, which was really unexpected, but became a set of skills that I’ve used quite a lot since then. And during that time I started going back to yoga classes purely because I couldn’t go to professional dance classes anymore.

I really noticed a change in how I was feeling on the day to day basis. After a while I thought, you know what, actually I think I’d be okay at sharing this. So. On a bit of a whim, I went off on teacher training, in Morocco. And since then I have trained all over the world with a variety of amazing people.

It’s kind of set me off on this path of continually trying to better my education, try to become an expert in my field. So since then, I have embarked on a, on a degree in osteopathy. I decided to go back to university as an adult. So I’m now in. Yeah, three out of five and a part of my reason for doing that was because I felt I was starting to have to rely on other people’s opinions in order for me to make up my own, and I didn’t really like being in that place.

[It’s funny how you realize that over time all your skills start to weave into each other, even though they might feel slightly unrelated. Initially for example, as a child, I played the piano quite a lot. And, I sang for a while and then when I started teaching Jeeva – which was quite an autistic field of yoga, we’ll say, where we do a bit of chanting.

I started to play the harmonium, which is, this beautiful instrument here. And I did that just thanks to other skills. I taught myself how to do that. So I’m using this time and quarantine to actually keep that education, up. So I’ve done a hundred hours of teacher training in my front room. I’m with a guy in San Francisco and I’m trying to move past a self-taught road to try and actually, do some online courses for me to actually learn how to play this thing properly. Then I’m also writing my research proposal for my undergraduate masters. And funnily enough, I’m writing it about dancers and their treatment-seeking behaviours. So all our skills weave into each other. And I think it’s really a wonderful time to be able to use lockdown to educate ourselves more about whatever.

It is just something that you’re passionate about, something that lights you up. Whether that’s even just through exercising. I know I’m making a point of exercising every morning. That might be yoga, but it’s also other things. I’m trying to educate myself by doing all sorts of different classes from around the world, which has the amazing benefit of being able to do this.

I’m through all of those pathways. I’ve now managed to find a really lovely point of balance where I’m working for Hotpod yoga as a lead teacher, and I look after their teacher training umbrella. So hopefully communicating a lot of the information I didn’t get as a trainee, to upcoming teachers, which is really, an amazing feeling to be able to do that.

Working as a freelance under my own umbrella teaching classes, teaching anatomy, and. Funnily enough, all of that works. Now. I had to transfer to screen time, which is really weird because all of my skills are, as I realize now, people skills, which normally would be great, but now it’s become quite challenging and it’s become very weird for me to interact with my students over a screen.

It’s really nice to be able to connect with them. And the thing that I’m noticing is the people are struggling to, accept the way that they’re feeling. So the way I like to look at it is that all this education’s great and no matter the things that some people know a vast amount of information and they can really critically appraise things, which I think for me, this idea of critical appraisal and information is really crucial to any human being, but it doesn’t really allow us to unpick how we’re feeling.

We can acknowledge something critically without actually. Registering how it makes us feel. And I think that’s really important. And for a lot of us at the moment, we’re not entirely able to do that. We’re minimizing our experience because we feel that way, the privilege position, and of course. We all, if we have the internet home, we are way more privileged than people that don’t have a roof over their head or who are working on the front line.

It’s really important to acknowledge that, but we also have to see how we are and just be able to watch that without judgment, which is one of the things we do in yoga. We call that witness consciousness. So this idea of being able to watch the thoughts and just acknowledge that they’re there without any judgment.

One of the beautiful practices you can do to help with that is a loving-kindness meditation. Which is a really lovely way of being able to meditate, but also, apply love and compassion to others and also to yourself. So I really invite you to seek that out.

Check back each day for a new topic, from a new creative – you might learn something useful!

TO FEATURE ON A PLDN TALK, EMAIL – LUKE@PARADISE.LONDON