grew up in rural Wisconsin and set flight for Manhattan when she received a scholarship to attend New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Graduating with a BFA in Acting (Cum Laude), and training from the Lee Strasberg Institute, Experimental Theatre Wing and Stonestreet Studios, as well as improv training at UCB and storytelling at the Magnet, she tackled the acting industry equipped with skill and confidence. But, it wasn’t long before her passion and unique talent for using performance as a tool to cultivate awareness of the physical and spiritual body led her to the art of yoga. Yoga inspired her to use movement, breath and meditation to fearlessly work, play and dream in all realms of truth, and inspire others to do the same.
She completed her 500 hr. RYT in Manhattan, and received additional training in Iyengar, Reiki, Reflexology and Vipassana meditation in India during a 6-month solo-backpacking trip across the country, prompted by a sudden infatuation and desperate need to understand where “free will” and “divine orchestration” converge. Her spiritual quest ended with a visit to Thailand, where she fell through a roof (long story) and severely injured her back, leaving her immobile for several weeks on the island of Koh Tao.
Upon her return to New York City, her injuries led her to Katonah Yoga, an esoteric practice developed by Nevine Michaan, which combines Hatha, Sacred Geometry and Taoist philosophy that teaches students to explore a relationship to the physical body using imagination to discover one's center through circumference. This practice was a game-changer for Eli, as it helped her not only to heal her back, but also spiritually come to terms with the phenomena of what it means to be in a human body, which, until then, had been the catalyst for many sleepless nights.
The language and practice of Katonah Yoga helped Eli develop a more powerful and conscious relationship to time and space, her responsibility as an autonomous being to set up the conditions for her own happiness, and the invisible universal forces that map it all together.
Drawing from all of these experiences, she developed techniques to weave together her knack for storytelling and performance with her expanse of yogic knowledge to empower her students and audiences to be the hero of their life's own epic journey, eventually giving birth to Divine Your Story™ in 2017.
Eli is also the founder of the internationally acclaimed company, Drunk Yoga®. She currently resides in Manhattan, busily “CEO-ing” both Drunk Yoga® and Divine Your Story™ while writing her next one-woman show, Kill the Buddha, premiering in 2020.