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.


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. 


Positive Abhyangha – the ulitimate self-care

Ellen Leonard

Ayurveda has lots of great ideas for taking care of yourself on a daily basis, including the ancient practice of applying oil to your body, a.k.a. Abhyanga

That’s right! 
Ayurveda is so awesome that it asks you to
take time everyday to rub oil all over your body.

Abhyanga, for me, is about reconnecting with my body on a daily basis.  This is a short (or on awesome days – long) moment of my day spent by myself on myself for no other purpose than self-love.  I apply the oil in slow long strokes on long bones, circular motions on my joints.  I can feel myself centering.  I can feel myself grounding.  I feel tension melt away.  I begin to notice areas of my body that need more attention or feel a little wonky.  I pay attention.  

For me, Abhyangha was a purely reflective practice.  And some days it still is – a chance to check out, clear my mind, and let go.  However, since I started The Certificate in Positive Psychology Program at Kripalu, led by author and Positive Psychology guru Tal Ben-Sharar, I have slowly integrated more aspects of positive psychology into my daily life.  

What if I combined Positive Psychology
and the beautiful practice of Abhyanga? 
I decided to try Positive Abhyangha. 

It’s simple:

As you apply oil to your body declare you love for each body part.  “I love you. I love you. I love you.”  Repeated again and again as you work your way through the application of oil onto your body.

One of the things I love most about Ayurveda is its simplicity.  Like increases like, opposites balance.  Ayurveda is infused with non-judgemental awareness, cultivating awareness about your body and what it likes and what it needs.

New to the practice of Abhyanga?  Check out a great article here.

What kind of oil should you use?  I use Coconut Oil in the summer and Sesame Oil in the winter from Banyan Botanicals