6 Questions with Elena Brower
THE INTERNATIONALLY-ACCLAIMED YOGA INSTRUCTOR, TEACHER, AND AUTHOR Elena Brower is not unfamiliar to conscious and inspired living. In fact, she is pretty darn famous for it and has made an impact on audiences worldwide for her thoughtful and intuitive teaching style that works effectively in syncing body, mind, heart, and soul. From her beautiful and contemplative book, The Art of Attention to her insightful and artfully-executed yoga and meditation classes, Elena continues to facilitate healing in others through a graceful process of self-discovery both on and off the mat. In this brief interview, we got the chance to ask Elena more about her ever-evolving relationship with the practice of yoga, mindfulness, and conscious living.
ELENA, OVER THE YEARS YOU'VE SPOKEN OPENLY ABOUT THE CHALLENGES YOU FACED WHEN DEALING WITH WHAT YOU DESCRIBED AS "TWO OPPOSING SIDES OF YOURSELF" AND HOW YOGA HELPS TO MARRY THEM FOR YOU. HOW HAS THIS EVOLVED OVER TIME IN YOUR PERSONAL LIFE AND TEACHING METHODOLOGIES?
I practice apologizing and forgiving a lot. We all forget that beneath our opinions and leanings, we are a force of love. For the moments when we forget, the recalibration of a beautiful apology or moment of forgiveness brings it all back to that love.
AS A YOGA TEACHER BASED IN NEW YORK CITY, A PLACE THAT MOST WOULD SEE AS DIFFICULT TO FIND CLARITY AND CALMNESS, HOW DO YOU NAVIGATE THE CITY'S CHAOS WHILE STILL FINDING A WAY TO CONNECT TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS?
The city is the best place to practice. The chaos I used to feel was in me; not outside of me. The city gives us the perfect backdrop for locating the quiet within ourselves.
CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT PARENTING AND HOW YOU AIM TO PASS THE WISDOM YOU'VE ACQUIRED ON TO YOUR LITTLE ONE?
I lead by example. Just by paying attention to what I'm doing, he's learning to be more attentive and caring in any context. As I go through the day and make various choices, we talk transparently about things. He sees me working to harmonize all of the seemingly disparate aspects of myself, and he learns from my struggles and victories there. Ultimately I think good communication with our kids is absolutely essential, and perhaps even more importantly, for them to see the adults in their world modeling good communication is invaluable.
THE BOOK YOU CO-AUTHORED WITH ERICA JAGO, "ART OF ATTENTION", WAS A GREAT SUCCESS AND ONE FROM WHICH I DRAW INSIGHT AND INSPIRATION REGULARLY. CAN YOU OFFER A FEW SIMPLE TIPS FOR HOW TO BEST INCORPORATE THE ART OF ATTENTION INTO ONE'S DAILY LIFE?
Do one thing at a time.
Be thankful, and make thankfulness a habit.
Get lots of rest.
Meditate twice a day so your attention reserves are always full.
WHAT OTHER FIELDS OF BODYWORK, SELF-CARE, OR HOLISTIC PRACTICUMS DO YOU FIND EFFECTIVE AND ARE INSPIRED BY?
Taoist philosophy, which means also Chinese medicine. Reiki. Energy Medicine practices, also known as Qi Medicine. The subtle work has me in thrall right now.
YOUR BELIEFS ARE IN LINE WITH SO MUCH OF PURE GREEN'S ETHOS, MOST ESPECIALLY LIVING A CONSCIOUS AND INSPIRED LIFE. ASIDE FROM THAT, HOW DO YOU PRACTICE SUSTAINABILITY OR HAVE AN ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS? WHAT IS ONE CHANGE YOU HOPE TO SEE IN YOUR LIFETIME? ?
Specifically for the environment, I carry my own utensils and always have shopping bags with me. More broadly, i am certain to share with my son anything I'm learning, be it about the environment or my inner state.
I make time to play, cook, receive healing treatments, bathe, meditate and make art. These seemingly simplistic practices are what make the world go around daily. May we all be joyful, nourishing and nourished, healing and healed, restful, clear and creating. This will make the world a better place for our children.