Contact ELLEN


*Have you tried to contact me, but never heard back?  In a super-fun technological glitch that existed for most of 2017 - I never received those emails. It's all fixed now. :)

Indianapolis, IN


How can I help you Thrive?  I'm Ellen Leonard, a huge nerd using my expertise in Ayurveda, Yoga, Positive Psychology, Stress Management and Health Coaching to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.  Be happier, be healthier.

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The Best Self Wellness blog discusses ideas for you to be your best self.  Discover what health and wellness professionals are doing for their health and wellness through interviews and features.  Learn about exciting academic research in the heath and wellness fields.  And read about some of my experiments gone awry in and some ideas I have about the fields of Yoga, Ayurveda, Positive Psychology, and Stress Management. 


Four Ayurveda Benefits of Playing Pokemon Go

Ellen Leonard

Ok, so taking the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda and applying it to Pokemon Go might be totally insane, but....

There are definitely some detracting features to a game like Pokemon Go, the word "Go" itself tells you that there is some danger of aggravating your vata dosha.

What are some potential Ayurveda benefits of playing Pokemon Go?

1.  Social interaction = Ojas building

You can't buy Ojas, I tried.  It's your vital essence, and only you can build it and nourish it.  This is both good and annoying, especially if you are an introvert like me.  One great way to build Ojas is hugging and love.  While I haven't been hugging random people at the Pokemon gym, I've had really amazing social interactions with people my introverted-self would have never met without this game.  One of my favorite social interactions because of Pokemon go has been with kids - they love explaining the game to old people who can barely use their phone (which is clearly me at 39).

2.  Getting me out in the summer sun = breaking up kapha dosha

As someone with a predominantly pitta dosha constitution, I actively hide from the summer heat.  For real.  I am generally not out and about from 11am-3pm during the crazy summer heat and humidity because it makes me generally unpleasant.  I get frustrated.  Shorter temper.  General aggravation.  But this does tend to limit my movement and outdoor time.  But getting out and catching these stupid Pokemon has gotten me wandering around outside like a lunatic during the summer heat - and, inadvertently, helping me battle the cold, heavy, dense nature of kapha dosha.  If we are going to get technical, movement in general helps to battle kapha dosha. 

3.  Distracting my pitta mind with this thing called 'fun'

Pitta predominant people are generally always thinking - they are that annoying friend that always wants to know the 'why' of everything.  My pitta mind tells me all the time that I need to be working and learning and evolving.  It's exhausting.  I was teaching yoga, meditation and healthy cooking at a camp this summer and my favorite part was watching how kids can just have fun.  Do you remember 'fun'?  True fun.  Not going out and drinking 'fun', but that kind of 'fun' where you are just doing what you like for no other reason than you like it?  Ha! I've totally lost that part of me.  It's gotten lost in a maze of 'shoulding'.  I have 'fun' when I'm looking for Pokemon, because it is absolutely ridiculous: catching creatures that don't exist inside a game that has absolutely no meaning.  It's fun.  For me.  This is literally an augmented reality that I get to spend time.  

4.  Exploring new places = increases awareness

As a Yoga Instructor and Ayurveda Practitioner, I spend a lot of time being aware of my surroundings.  I appreciate beauty.  I notice things.  I pause.  I take time to smell the roses. Pokemon Go has something called Pokestops.  They are places that have been designated as landmarks.  There are places within a mile of my home that I never knew about.  Plaques that discuss historical things, random art. How did I miss them?  How did I not value them?   Expanding my awareness helps to cultivate an open mindset. 

Pokemon Go can lead to lots of bad things, just like anything else, especially things that involve using your phone more than you already do.  But give it a chance, don't take it too seriously, go out and make some friends, and have fun!