Gaux Girl - Ellie Burrows2017-05-28
In the midst of this busy season at Margaux HQ, we're striving to set aside time for a little self-care. Our featured Gaux Girl Ellie Burrows of the cult-favorite meditation studio, MNDFL, knows a thing or two about the positive impact of slowing down, and fostering healthy habits.
Having previously worked in film, Ellie recognized a need to change her lifestyle to find a deeper sense of fulfillment. With an interest in meditation and personal well-being, Ellie now finds herself at the helm of (and in a true girl on the go spirit, constantly visiting!) MNDFL’s three plant-laden locations throughout the city.
Even with each studio’s modern and sleek interior there is sense of warmth that the space emits as soon as one enters. We felt that same inviting energy from Ellie herself, who had us over to visit MNDFL’s newly opened Williamsburg location. Despite meeting on a particularly grey morning, our day was brightened as Ellie gave us a tour of the jaw-dropping studio and cup of tea before heading off to enjoy breakfast in the neighborhood at Rider.
Read on to meet Ellie who chatted wellness, life in Williamsburg and where she’s heading next in our Pointe ballerina in Leopard Haircalf.
Meet Our Gaux Girl:
Hi. I’m Elle Woods and this is Bruiser Woods and we're both Gemini Vegetarians… Kidding. I'm Ellie Burrows and I'm one of the co-founders of MNDFL. I help make meditation accessible to all New Yorkers.
How would you say MNDFL has helped redefine the way you approach wellness and what is your "perfect pair” when it comes to your day-to-day essentials at the studio?
It's not MNDFL that has redefined my approach to wellness, it's my actual meditation practice. It simultaneously has created a lot of structure around self-care. It supports my overall approach to exercise, sleep and diet. These are the four pillars of my self-care ritual. On the flip side, my practice has also taught me to be more compassionate toward myself when it comes to my self-care routine. If I miss a workout one day or indulge in a dessert, I'm not beating myself up - I can allow life to get in the way and work on not being so rigidly attached to ideals. And my perfect pair at work is my co-founder, Lodro Rinzler. We have such complementary skillsets. MNDFL is like the child who inherited all of our best traits. I don't know what I would do without him.
From Williamsburg to the Upper East Side how do you hope MNDFL provides a modern oasis for the girl on the go?
In this chaotic city, it's hard to find "the space to breathe" and quiet is an elusive thing (almost a fabled thing). At MNDFL we hope to provide you with both in a way that seamlessly fits into your daily routine - that's why we mainly offer 30 and 45 minute drop-in classes where our expert teachers are here to help you disconnect, relax and develop a consistent practice. Also, all of our studios are located either on the same block or a couple blocks away from major subway stops - convenience and accessibility are two things that New Yorkers value.
We love that you’re styling our Pointe flat! This particular collection was inspired by New York elegance and city life. Where can we find you in Williamsburg after a MNDFL class?
To be completely honest, if you see me out and about on the streets of Williamsburg, I'm often on my way to the L train to head back to Manhattan to visit one of our other studios! There's a chance I might be picking up lunch from Urban Rustic or heading to a lunch meeting at Cafe Mogador or Rider. But after class, I'm usually the one at the front desk! We joke that the MNDFL uniform is a grey tee or sweater (depending on the season) and jeans. My outfit is generally classic and casual with a novelty accessory like these leopard flats and statement earrings. And, I never thought I would say this, but glitter socks have become the most crucial part of my outfit. MNDFL is a shoeless space!
How would you say your line of work has inspired your style and in your opinion why do ballet flats play an integral role in the modern woman’s wardrobe?
One of my favorite benefits of a consistent meditation practice is that my baseline level of relaxation is higher. I'm a lot more relaxed around my overall style. Whatever I wear needs to be comfortable to sit in - both to practice meditation and sit and respond to emails. Since I opened MNDFL, I gave away all my miniskirts - true story. Flats are an essential part of a modern woman's wardrobe because they are practical, make traveling throughout the day more efficient and they keep us grounded, literally.
At Margaux we’re learning that there is a ton of value in kicking off our shoes and indulging in much needed self-care! What advice do you have for our gaux girl community when embracing mindfulness and wellness both physically and mentally?
When it comes to meditation, the first challenge is discipline. You wouldn't expect to go to the gym and lose ten pounds in one visit, but if you go regularly you will definitely see results. Meditation is similar - the effects are cumulative. When it comes to practicing, consistency is key: consistent amount of time, consistent time of day, consistent environment and consistent pacing. The second challenge is accountability. When someone drops into one of our 30 or 45 minute classes, they’re meditating for a good chunk of that time and (thankfully) someone else is keeping an eye on the clock, guiding them every step of the way. Lastly, meditation helps you become familiar with all of who you are and it can be intimidating to peel away the layers of our personal onion - that's why we recommend learning with a certified expert that can help you move a little more gracefully through that process. And, be kind to yourself - it's called "a practice" for a reason.
What does being "a girl on the go” mean to you and where do you hope you’re going next?
I always hope I'm "going” to try and be more present for whatever moment I'm currently in.
Gaux and learn how to meditate. All that quiet helps you really listen to your heart which possesses infinite wisdom to guide you on your own personal path. One of my teachers once told me that, “True control comes from doing nothing.” I repeat this like a mantra when my emotions are heightened in my personal or professional life. From an evolutionary perspective, our body doesn’t know the difference between a bear that’s attacking us and an angry email from a boss or client. When our bodies fill with adrenaline, we want to act out in various ways by fighting or flying. We do whatever we can to try and get a handle on our emotions and gain control of the situation. But in states like that, we end up making decisions with a total lack of clarity. Sometimes if we just sit with ourselves in the discomfort and let it move through us instead of acting out or responding right away, we start to feel empowered instead of powerless.
Ellie wears our Pointe in Leopard Haircalf
Photos by Bridget Badore for Margaux