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Ithaca is People: Ellie Renee

The #IthacaisPeople Files

Week 3: Little Miss Yoga and the Red Tail Tattoo

You may already recognize this week’s @VisitIthaca Instagrammer from seeing her around town. If not, you may already be following her on Instagram. If not, it’s about time you did. Ellie Renee is a lighthearted Ithaca “newbie” who has taken her yoga practice to the next level, posing in front of public murals throughout Ithaca and Trumansburg. She’s no joke, going so far as to contemplate getting one of her favorite pieces tattooed on her body (for reals). But don’t take our word for it… read on, and follow us on Instagram to see Ellie's artful postures.

Where are you from?

Originally I’m from Missouri. Columbia Missouri

How long have you been here?

Two years.

So why did you choose Ithaca as your new home?

I came here to go to [Veterinary] school at Cornell.

Being relatively new, what has been your favorite part about Ithaca so far?

I think that the people who make this place kind of funky and unique have started to come out of the woodwork the longer I’ve been here, and so I feel like the more time I spend with the locals that have been here all of their lives, the more I discover all of the cool little things that are happening, and the places to go that you wouldn’t necessarily know unless you were “in” with the local people.

Yes, I totally get it. So what is your favorite thing to do?

Doing yoga. (laughs)

Of course! And how long have you been doing yoga?

I’ve been doing yoga on and off for several years. I started doing it more as kind of a daily personal practice a little over a year ago when I was healing from some health problems I was experiencing.

Yoga heals.

Yes.

Do you have a favorite place that you go to do yoga?

I do yoga everywhere and anywhere I can manage. I also practice at Lakshmi Living Arts in Trumansburg, as well as Mighty Yoga on State Street downtown. I’ve also practiced a lot at Cornell with their group classes, and of course my personal practice at home.

What difference does yoga make in your life?

Uh… it keeps me grounded. And it keeps me from getting too much into my head. Vet school is very stressful, and it’s the essential tool that I have found to be able to manage that stress and to feel… like I can function as a human being (laughs) and still go to vet school!

What specifically are you doing in vet school, may I ask?

Right now I am entering into my third year, which will be my last “academic” year in school before starting the clinical part of it, and right now I am in the process of deciding what I want to focus more on. I think I am actually going to use my experience in vet school a way to become an advocate for wellness for people within the veterinarian community.

Oh, very interesting!

Yeah, using yoga, and lots of other things to help manage all of the things that come up when you are a student and a practitioner.

You do yoga poses in front of murals throughout Ithaca and Trumansburg. Do you have a favorite mural?

Ahhh… that’s hard. Um… actually no, I do! There’s one of a red tail hawk. It’s on the side of the Cornell Press building. I don’t... the artist has his Instagram handle painted on it underneath, but I can’t remember what it is right now. But that’s by far my favorite, and every time I pass by it I’m like, “I want to do yoga in front of that!” (laughs)

Yep, I know the exact one!

I’ve also considered getting that image tattooed on my body somewhere.

Whoa! Well, I don’t know who the artist is, but we could certainly find out for you. It was part of a project called "Get Up State".

It’s so cool! All of it. All of the art around that whole building is so cool.

Ok. Lastly, we ask everyone at the end of their interview the same question. If you could describe Ithaca in one word, what would it be?

(not laughs here, but giggles. actual giggles.) Oh gosh! I wish I would have had time to think about this before I came here!

Well, that’s the whole point. This makes it authentic.

The first word that comes to mind is “funky”.

Funky. That’s a good one.

Namaste.

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