edited by Noa Glow
Meet one of the hardest-working yogis in Vancouver (if not the world)! Trevor Ellestad is forever connecting with BYV students through email, blog posts, Twitter, Facebook and the like, not to mention helping us present our best face to the world. He’s also responsible for all the great retail items available for purchase at our studios – from hot yoga shorts that actually make our butts look good to water bottles that really keep our drinks cool!
Tell us about your very first Bikram Yoga class …
My first class was in 2001, in a muggy basement studio in Calgary. I was just out of high school, and not living the healthiest lifestyle. Since I’d been practising hatha, power and yin yoga since I was 14, however, I felt confident I’d be able to do my own slight variations on the 26 postures if I needed to. Boy was I wrong. The instructor pretty much tore me a new one! I felt miserable after class and went straight home to bed. It would be five years before I returned to the hot room.
How often do you practise these days?
I just did a 30-Day Challenge (my first in 16 years!) but normally aim to practise three times a week. On days I don’t do class I sit in the sauna at Hillcrest Centre. My goal is to sweat, somehow, for at least 15 minutes a day.
What are your top practise spots?
On wimpy days I like setting up in the so-called “pregnancy corner” (in front of the mirrored door) at Kits or under the right-most fan at Cambie. On He-Man days I practise front and centre, with no regard for maximum exposure to airflow.
What benefits have you received from Bikram Yoga so far?
I’ve dealt with anxiety and depression my whole life. Though I use several modalities to treat these issues, including diet, sleep, western herbs and meditation, sweating is my No. 1 go-to when I’m feeling anxious or down. Bikram Yoga gives me space to sweat like a crazy person (I literally produce a small lake when I practise). I figure it’s all the bad ghouls and goblins making their way out of my system.
What do you love most about Bikram Yoga? Why does it work for you?
As someone who’s dealt with many highs and lows in life, I’ve always sought balance through yoga, meditation and breathing. Bikram Yoga is definitely about balance. The more you practise, the more you realize that every asana contains an equal and opposing movement: a forward compression countered by a backward compression, or an extension to one side and then the other. The postures continually force you to work toward a perfect point of equilibrium. Every class brings me closer and closer to achieving that balance of body and mind.
What do you like best about working at BYV?
I get to see a different side of BYV than most. Twitter, for instance, has allowed me to get to know our social media-savvy students intimately. Whenever I spot a BYV tweep in class I realize they likely haven’t a clue they’ve been chatting with me online all day! I also love that I get to help people feel better, live better and move toward realizing their full potential. I’m a huge believer in getting the most out of life, which often means doing things that are difficult, working our butts off and learning as much as possible along the way. I feel lucky that I get to play a part in helping others realize theirs, too!
What do you wish students knew about your job?
The Internet NEVER sleeps, making it pretty hard to get away from my job. I found my niche in the world of social media and health & wellness, but it can be an exhausting career choice! Being the virtual voice for a brand, any brand, can make for a seriously schizophrenic way of thinking.
Got any insider’s secrets you’d like to share?
Be careful what you say about Bikram Yoga online. I’ve got so many searches, alerts and filters set up that I pretty much have a tap on anyone, anywhere, who even starts to type the words “Bikram Yoga” into a keyboard!
How about a staff/student shout-out?
Noa, for sure. We started working for BYV around the same time and have been partners in crime every step of the way. We may get to work behind the scenes but we expose ourselves daily through the things we post online. Getting to work with someone who shares my vision is rare; this, combined with Lisa’s overarching knowledge of the practice and the industry, has helped us create the best Bikram Yoga blog and resource in the world. Seriously.
Speaking of Lisa, I can’t thank her and Danny enough for their continued support. With their desire to move forward and ability to see the big picture, our owners inspire me daily and continually remind me why we all came to BYV in the first place: to help people heal.
Visit Trevor’s Vancouver Online Marketing website or ollow Trevor on twitter @trevorellestad, especially if you like cats & robots