Marianne Elliot

Marianne Elliott is a writer, a yoga teacher and a human rights consultant. Above all else, she collects, crafts and tell stories. Whether she’s writing a report on violence against women in Afghanistan, raising funds for a great cause, helping a client share their good work with the world or writing her memoir – her craft, her medium and her passion is story. When people ask Marianne how it’s possible to teach yoga online, she tells them:

I teach yoga through stories. Because stories are how we make sense of the past and how we imagine new futures.”

Stories are how we come to new understandings about each other, how we change our view of the world, how we teach, and how we learn.”

Marianne used to be a lawyer and for many years she worked in human rights. She was responsible for developing a long-term strategy for human rights in New Zealand, she learned that people use stories to explain what human rights mean to them, and that politicians need stories to understand why human rights matter.

Marianne also worked with the Government of Timor-Leste on the development of their own human rights strategy. In Timor-Leste she discovered the importance of listening and the value of a beginner’s mind: the ability to bring fresh eyes and curiosity to every situation and story.

Marianne worked for two years with a human rights organisation in the Gaza Strip, learning everything about resilience from my Palestinian colleagues, and how humour can bring light to even the darkest story.

Later, in Afghanistan she headed up a new provincial office for the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan, where she co-wrote a UNIFEM report on Gender-Based Violence in Afghanistan. Marianne learned the difference between striving for change and being of service. “These days, I aim to be of service.

At the heart of every useful thing I’ve ever done was a change, and a story. And these days that’s what captures my imagination most of all: how to model, lead & nurture conscious change; and how to gather, craft, tell, spread and amplify stories that help us all see ourselves, each other and the future in a new and beautiful light.”

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