Headshot A Feb 2012Ellen Stansell, PhD, RYT is a writer and teacher who specializes in the philosophies of India’s yoga tradition. At University of Texas at Austin, under the direction of Stephen Phillips, Ellen wrote a doctoral dissertation on the karma yoga teachings of the Bhagavad Gita and a master’s thesis on the yoga teachings of the Upanishads. Her graduate work included translating portions of the Bhagavad Gita and other texts from Sanskrit.

After graduating in 2008, Ellen published academic papers in various topics of yoga philosophy, including Tantra. She continued translating Sanskrit. She is currently translating the Yogasutra.

Ellen is passionate about serving yoga teachers and practitioners. Ellen seeks to be a balanced intellectual. While still pursuing academic interests, she is a yogini whose life is rooted in the here and now of cooking, work deadlines, mothering a preschooler, getting enough sleep, laundry, finding time for a snuggle on the couch with her husband. Yoga, as philosophy and practice, is part of the warp and weft of this “householder’s” life. Applied in everyday life thus, yoga philosophy is a catalyst, a leavening agent, alchemical. Labor pains become a path to self-discovery; spousal disputes finally start to go somewhere good; tackling the “laundry glacier” is a meditation on peace; and the seasonal, local vegetables that must be washed, peeled, and chopped for supper represent eternity, reminding the cook of her true self. Ellen is passionate about sharing yoga philosophy with others and has worked with more than five hundred students of various walks of life and places on their yogic paths. She teaches in clear, vivid language, illustrating subtle concepts with stories from everyday life. Ellen is as at home with the fine points of yoga theory as she is with the bigger picture of how yoga philosophy has evolved over the centuries. But she cares most about what it all means for the practitioner today; her goal is to give practitioners access to this tradition so they, too, can put yoga philosophy into practice—right where they are.

Ellen was a member of the faculty of Yoga Yoga Teacher Training, Austin, Texas for seven years. She has taught in numerous yoga teacher training programs as a guest instructor including Beauty Blossom Birth, Blue Moon Yoga Teacher Training, and Lotus In The Flame Teacher Training.

Ellen has taught Hatha Yoga classes since 2005.

Ellen has been interviewed as an expert on yoga by the L.A. Times and is quoted as a reference in two About.com articles (Hatha Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga).

Ellen served, for two and a half years, as the Director of Curriculum Development for The Natural Epicurean Academy of Culinary Arts in Austin, Texas, a plant-based health-supportive professional cooking school. She has a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Foundation and is an avid home cook. Ellen offers workshops on yogic diet. She is passionate about promoting diets rich in local organic vegetables.