It is truly an honour and a privilege to offer you my interview with Elena Brower. Although I have never met Elena in person, my teaching has been influenced to an absolutely huge extent by her classes on YogaGlo and the class on loops that I took with her at Wanderlust Festival last year. I love Elena’s grounded, practical approach to explaining how the practice of yoga translates into the real world and how each alignment cue offers a deep teaching that surpasses the physical.
Elena is the founder and director of Vira Yoga in New York. She also travels to teach and it is my dear hope that she will one day make it Down Under to spend some time with us!
How did you get into yoga?
A friend’s sister took me to a class and I was cooked from the first moment. Loved it. Had been taking proper ballet classes and my body was definitely longing for something a bit more comprehensive as a movement practice.
The following words describe the community as well as the philopsphy and technology of Anusara: open, engaging, smart, nurturing, loving. This tradition helped me tap into my heart’s voice as a teacher, and opened my listening for the first time, which was like moving a mountain…
What was your certification journey like?
At the risk of redundancy, like moving a mountain. 4 videos. I was a brat. It takes a supremely high level of attention to be Certified as an Anusara teacher, and it took me a while to really give it. At so many turns in the road I had to take constructive criticism and help, and every time I went past my little resistance and took in the feedback, I got better, and was more attentive, and more present to what needed to happen. The crit-receiving practice has helped me so much since.
Organic Energy. I have to WORK to remember to articulate that Principle when I’m teaching, so I’ve been watching that for a while and it’s getting better.
I have a love affair with the loops that includes them all, equally. I favor ankle and kidney loops in particular, both feel so delicious at all times.
What has your Yoga Inventure revealed about who you are and what you want to do with the rest of your life?
In the past year I’ve been working closely with the founders of the Handel Group to arrive at the core of the core of my fears, limitations and beliefs – so I can truly begin to do my service in the world.