Sarah Ellman, owner and instructor at Sarah Ladybug YOGA, has always believed improving one person’s life improves others’ lives, eventually creating a healthy and loving community. Ellman has done so much for the Northwest Indiana community through her work and activism, which has been influenced by nature and the idea that everything and everyone serves another.
Ellman was born in Crown Point, but acknowledges Hebron as her childhood home.
“I lived in [Crown Point] until I was 9-years-old. My family moved to Hebron where I spent the bulk of my childhood,” she said. “To my recollection, Hebron is where I grew up.”
After graduating from high school in 1999, she took a nontraditional route and travelled around Europe using money she had saved from working after school. When her first child was born, Ellman settled down and got started on her college degree. She graduated from Valparaiso University with honors, the first of her family to graduate from college.
From there, Ellman got started on her businesses and passions. She started a bridal company a few years ago that, to this day, keeps her busy. Nevertheless, it was her passion for yoga that lead her to follow her heart and start her own yoga company.
“I am still active in wedding work but my focus is on yoga. I teach, speak, and volunteer as a yogi through Sarah Ladybug YOGA,” Ellman said. “I followed my heart. It is that simple when I look back at it. Sometimes it dragged me down into a dark spiral, but I had to get down there to find something I had lost. And with time, I learned my lesson and we moved on to brighter places with more possibilities.”
She has been able to find that place with her work and hopes she can help students and everyone she meets do the same.
“I am certain that what I do is important work,” she said. “I am just a conduit. Sometimes we need that from someone. Sometimes we just need someone to hold space for us to just be exactly as we are that day, that hour, that minute. I have the honor of getting to be that person for my students.”
This stems from Ellman’s compassionate character and her desire give back to a community she loves.
“I think we can take a cue from nature, in that every aspect of this planet serves another,” she said. “I know that giving back to the community is at the heart of serving the common good. I know that reaching out and improving someone’s life, even if it is just a bit, improves the lives of everyone. I see no reason why one shouldn’t practice giving back to the community.
Ellman not only draws her inspiration from nature and the world around, but also from writers, bands, and her own family to influence her life, actions, and beliefs.
“My largest influences were from those I never met. They’re found in books, lyrics, and poems. Writers like Kahlil Gibran, Charles Dickens, Maya Angelou, and Nayyirah Waheed,” she said. “Songs by Otis Redding, the Grateful Dead, and so many others. Their words brought me through darkness time and time again. They also remind me of all the good in the world, how amazing we can be.”
“I can and do thank my mama for working hard throughout my youth and for letting me be myself. I think that really helped me to know my heart well enough to follow it,” she said. “I will forever thank my Paka (my grandfather) for being the kind of human who was ruled by kindness. My husband for pushing me in the direction of love, to encourage me to be me. And all of my friends, family, my children, and my students.”
Ellman’s personal community has provided her with the inspiration and passion for giving back, from her students looking for a welcoming and safe place to be themselves to those in the community who are in need.
“Our community has families and individuals facing hunger, homelessness, and harm in general. I think too often we overlook this fact. I think we owe it to one another to keep finding ways to do better by each other.”
Sarah Ellman has taken that idea and made it into her own personal mission to build a strong foundation for her community through connections, friendships, and an atmosphere influenced by being selfless.
“My favorite part of this community is that we have the chance to really have those lifelong friendships. We have generations of families that have helped build this community,” she said, “We are still on the small side with so much potential to build upon. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it is where we live. It is our home. Each of us has something we bring to the table. And everyone needs help at some point throughout life. Those within our community are no exception.”
For more information about Sarah Ladybug YOGA, please visit www.sarahladybug.com.