Elena Grant, founder, owner and director of Yoga Central, began intensively practicing yoga at age five.  It was her mother’s teacher, Lori Maredai of Los Angeles, California, who encouraged Elena’s lifelong practice of mindful Hatha yoga techniques.  Upon opening Yoga Central in 2006 as the first and only Woman of Color Owned Yoga Studio in the Atlanta area, Elena had a few goals in mind: to share an unpretentious and accessible platform for yoga education unfettered by cultural appropriation, while providing safe guidance, and quality, experienced teaching to all human beings.  Fourteen years later, Yoga Central is a studio still based on integrity and community support.

From a young age, and through many hours of one-on-one study with her teacher, Elena learned the importance of skeletal alignment and structural integration as a foundation for healthy yoga practice. She has been a yoga instructor since 1994 (yes, you read that right), a yoga student for over 38 years, has over 40,000 hours of teaching experience, and many more hours of personal yoga practice experience.

Elena has continued to study ancient and modern yoga techniques through workshops and training in Vinyasa, Iyengar, Kriya, Bikram method, Ashtanga, Pre-and Post-Natal, Partner, Structural, Svaroopa, and Kundalini styles.  She has studied with a broad range of teachers including Jimmy Barkan, Lori Maredai, Makunda Stiles, Doug Keller, Manouso Manos, Roy Eugene Davis, Brian Kest, and Bikram Choudhury among others.

The well being of students are her top priority.  She values each student’s process and individual pace.  She encourages students according to their specific needs and capabilities.

Elena’s teaching and workshop resume include:

Developer and founder of Yoga Central, and Yoga Central International Retreats, and multiple workshops and popular yoga retreats around Atlanta, Georgia State University (led workshops and semester classes), Head Hot Yoga Instructor position at two well-known studios before opening Yoga Central in 2006, Home Depot (Corporate Headquarters), Turner Broadcasting (Corporate Headquarters), Bank of America (Corporate Headquarters), Emory University Hospital, and was the yoga program director at Tommy Cho’s Karate Studio.  She is also known for her quality one-on-one (private instruction).

Elena is raising and supporting two talented and creative daughters; one (now) college student, and a 17-year-old.  She attributes her lifelong discipline of yoga to supporting a healthy body image during childhood and adolescence; later, to supporting two unmedicated births and quick post-natal recoveries, and to maintaining her overall health and wellness while also managing the vicissitudes of life. These days her yoga practice has been helping her to maintain a balance of self-care, work, and family.  She has traveled extensively throughout Asia, Europe and Northern Africa, has a keen interest in interior space design, and best educational practices for children.