Elle aka Eliza Landgren from Queensland, Australia is a yoga teacher and the creator of Elle Fit Active. Currently in school to finish her law degree, she’s a self described stretching and yoga lover, surfer, chronic list-maker, lover of the outdoors, enthusiast of sunrises and sunsets, novice cook and Instagram addict. Elle’s online guides Get Bendy, Get Split and Get Inverted are all about aiding others to find the physical and mental benefits of stretching. She opens up with us about what she does, tells us about a time she accidentally slipped a crude note to a teacher, and gets us craving chocolate.
Tell me about where people connect with you and what you’re doing online.
EL: Elle Fit Active provides tools to help people take charge of their own health and wellbeing, reaping the benefits of stretching—something everyone can do. A little guidance on what to do, and where to start, goes a long way. The site has downloadable guides, free tips and tricks, my blog and the story of how I started. My personal Instagram began as an online diary for tracking and sharing my journey to combat chronic fatigue, food intolerances and stress. It is now a mix of stretching, yoga, nature, my Leonberger pup, family and friends. And sometimes food, but I’m usually too hungry (or hangry) to stop and snap a photo! The ElleFitActive Instagram is a place for community, sharing inspirational content, photos and stories of people using the guides.
You promote stretching for everyone. Give me a snapshot of the benefits.
EL: Stretching is simple and effective. It is amazing for pain relief, flexibility and it’s an opportunity to connect with your mind and body. Stretching can also help with anxiety, stress and depression – I know this firsthand, because it has helped me.
I see lots of photos of you beaming with positive energy. That bright smile has a story—can you share it?
EL: I had braces as a teenager, but had to get them back on recently—at 23! I’m not talking about the clear, subtle ones, but the metal train track ones. Having braces at this age was challenging and my confidence took a hit. In the end, I’m glad I got them because I’m completely happy with my smile, and smiling, for me, is so important!
A warm smile is said to be the universal language of kindness! Was your toned and fit physique always something you felt comfortable with?
EL: I’ve always been a lanky giraffe. When I was younger I thought my arms were too long, and when people called me “chicken legs” I thought that meant I had fat thighs and skinny ankles (don’t think that’s what they meant!). I’ve faced insecurities, but these days I’m getting better at not letting them get to me as much and learning to be kinder to myself.
Also, despite having 2982 photos on my Instagram, I ironically hate getting my photo taken! A yoga photo is no problem, but as soon as someone gets me to pose face-on in a photo I can’t help but pull a goofy face.
I’m the same way with photos! For some reason, I’m very comfortable holding the camera, but as soon as the lens faces me I’m not sure what to do and get a bit embarrassed. Now I’m blushing! Can you share an embarrassing moment of yours?
EL: Haha yes! My mind goes to the retreat my class took, in Year 12 [senior year]. Everyone had an envelope on the wall, and during our stay we could go up and pop in a warm and fuzzy note to let people know how awesome they were. My English teacher’s envelope was directly above my best friend’s. My best friend and I boarded together that year, and we mastered the art of silently doing number 1’s and 2’s in the bathroom! Instead of telling my best friend how proud I was of our “great skills” and “achievements,” I mistakenly slipped the note in my teacher’s envelope. On the bus ride home, she made everyone try to guess who wrote the note. I guess everyone knows now!
Getting a bit more personal now (if possible)! When we focus on getting fit and getting active, we’re not only focusing on our bodies—our minds, our spirits and our emotions get involved too. Can you share any recent moments that pushed you to get really emotional?
EL: Probably very recently, over a heartwarming Facebook video I stumbled across. Or yesterday, when my nephew Rex decided he wanted to brush my hair (but then hit me with the brush instead). Or last week when I felt completely lost and overwhelmed in general. Turns out I cry a bit, whether I’m happy or sad!
When you want to treat yourself (happy or sad—I know many moods can inspire the need for a treat!) what’s your go-to?
EL: Being coeliac and predominantly dairy free, I’d say a Pana Chocolate bar. Mint, to be specific. Happy to eat the whole pack in one sitting, too. It’s indulgent because it’s a treat, but also indulgent in terms of money: $7 a pop!
Many of your followers are on the edge of taking a big leap, ready to pursue their own passions as you have. What words of advice would you offer them?
EL: If you have an itch to do something, scratch it. Don’t compare yourself to others because there is only ONE of you in the world. You have unique perspectives and a gift to offer. Do what you love, be kind and you will be happy.
Read Elle’s tips and tricks and get her stretching for everyone guides on ElleFitActive. Keep up with Elle @elle_fit and her adorable dog’s adventures @klaus_woof. Connect and get inspired with the whole community of folks getting bendy, split and inverted here @ellefitactive.