I am a scientist by background, having gained my first degree in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, where one of the most fascinating parts of my degree was Neuroscience. I subsequently started working in the pharmaceutical industry, initially in the field of mental health, which I have been interested in ever since. I also completed a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) post-graduate degree and work part-time as a strategic marketing consultant in the biopharma industry, where I run my own consulting company.
I started my own mindfulness journey around 15 years ago, having been drawn to it by the growing scientific data for mindfulness and its effects on brain physiology and mental health. After spending a number of years developing my own practice on both the Mindful Based Living Course (MBLC) and Compassionate Based Living Course (CBLC), I practiced regularly with a Soto Zen buddhist group and more recently have co-facilitated sessions with a meditation group that shares the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese buddhist monk and peace activist.
In 2016, I began training as a mindfulness teacher with the Mindfulness Association, of which I am now a teacher member. I completed my training to teach the MBLC in January 2018 and soon after was listed on the BAMBA website (British Association of Mindfulness Based Approaches) as a recognised mindfulness teacher - you can find my entry here if you search for Elanor Kortland. Following this, I trained to teach the 8 week 'level 2' Compassion Based Living Course (CBLC) with the Mindfulness Association, which allows those who have already undertaken an 8 week mindfulness course such as the MBLC, MBSR, MBCT or Breathworks course to further develop their mindfulness and compassion training and to learn how to gently ‘turn towards’ difficulties, whilst developing the inner strength, capabilities and resilience to do so, and to expand their capacity for compassion to others and the self. I have also completed the Mindulness Association's 'level 3' "Insight" training in order to deepen my own practice and understanding further.
I trained to teach the 8 week Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Cancer course (MBCT-cancer) with Trish Bartley, who is the author of "Mindfulness: A Kindly Approach to Being with Cancer" (2016) and one of the founding members of the core mindfulness teacher training team at the Centre for Mindfulness, Research and Practice (CMRP) at Bangor University.
In 2020 I trained to teach a number of recognised mindfulness courses for 9-18 year olds with both the Mindfulness in Schools Project and the Mindfulness Association. This allows me to share mindfulness both inside schools and youth groups (in the case of MiSP), and via courses available to young people publicly (in the case of the MA course).
I have a longstanding interest in Zen Buddhism, and am curerntly training to teach the Zenways 8 week "Practical Zen for Health and Wellbeing" course, which I hope to be able to offer shortly.
I have a strong mindful movement practice, having practiced various forms of yoga and dance for over 20 years. I am a qualified yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance (200 hours), and run yoga classes in the community, corporate setting and privately across Cheshire and online. I have also undertaken further specialist yoga teacher training with Yoga in Healthcare Alliance (60 hours) to teach the 10 week, NHS endorsed 'Yoga4Health" course which introduces people with prediabetes, increased heart risk, mild-moderate depression or anxiety or those suffering from stress or social isolation to the benefits of yoga. My love of mindful movement has also encompassed '5 rhythms' conscious dance and various other dance practices, including modern jive, lindyhop, salsa and ballet over the years.
I abide by the ongoing Good Practice Guidelines laid down by BAMBA (British Association of Mindfulness Based Approaches). This requires that I maintain my own regular (daily) mindfulness practice, participate in at least annual mindfulness retreats and ongoing Continued Professional Development, have regular (monthly) supervision with an experienced mindfulness teacher, and maintain a commitment to my own ongoing development through further training, keeping up with the evidence base, networking with other teachers etc. I would recommend that when choosing a mindfulness teacher you check that they are a listed member of BAMBA so that you know they have been through a rigorous training process and are appropriately insured and equipped to teach a course with a strong evidence base.
I hope you are becoming curious enough about mindfulness and yoga to start your own journey with me!
"Smile, Breathe, and Go Slowly" ~Thich Nhat Hanh