WOMAN ALMIGHTY FOUR: ELENA BROWER
In true Alchemist fashion, everything Elena Brower touches turns to gold. Despite our distance, I was fortunate enough to interview Elena. She is kind of a big deal within the global conscious community. Teaching the likes Christy Turlington, Donna Karan and Gwyneth Paltrow is just the tip of the iceberg. She is globally renowned because her teachings nourish the student; she pays attention and she cultivates attention being paid to the physical body, the mind and the spirit. People gather from far in wide in their thousands to receive these teachings in gratitude.
My first interaction with this wonderful teacher was many moons ago, I have adored her work and wisdom ever since I was gifted her book "Art of Attention", some years ago. The book came to me from my sister, who judged a book by its cover (rightly so! Its extraordinarily beautiful) but also saw that inside contained important knowledge, lovely sequences and space to collect your thoughts, bring your attention inwards and write your own book within Elena's teachings, because all of our practices are so unique and different. A yoga book, but so much more than that.
Every aspect of her work is authentic and true. There is a complete flow from page to page, and from project to project. This flow exemplifies the flow of a yogic practice, incorporated into every aspect of her life and through offering this knowledge to the world she has assisted many people, across oceans and land.
I was stimulated to feature her in the Girl Almighty section of The Alchemists and after writing to her proposing the interview in March, the response was almost instant. With a plethora of new projects in the works for her, we were to touch base again in October - and that is what we did. She is profound, captivating and kind....and I could get that all that from our correspondence. She keeps her hands full, having recently developed a new website (Teach.Yoga) and with more products in the works including a new Audio Meditation Course titled "Cultivating Spiritual Intelligence".
I am endlessly grateful to have been able to speak to her for a few moments. Authenticity is so important and when someone is crystal clear in their intentions it is evident. So, take a deep conscious breath, feeling the prana flowing through your body and welcome the wonderful woman that is Elena Brower.
Ondine: What do you call yourself?
Elena: Mama. Daughter. Sister. Teacher. Author.
O: Zodiac Sign?
O: Would you describe yourself as a classic Libra?
E: I try to feel what it would be like to be all of them.
O: How do you define Alchemy?
E: The process of turning what hurts into what heals.
O: What do you do and why do you do it?
E: Every day I work on being the best version of myself.
I do that for my family, which includes my blood family and my soul family.
O: How did yoga present itself in your life?
E: My boyfriend's Mama brought me to class in 1992.
O: Yoga has been a constant in my life; my grandmother taught yoga in the 60's, my mum had her own unique practice and my godmother is a yoga teacher. Suffice to say, I began actively practicing at 7 years old and it has remained an important anchor throughout every aspect of my life. I received your first book "Art of Attention" for Christmas a few years ago; I instantly loved every aspect of it, from the beauty, and the tangible, to the complete ease of the book - from one page to another felt like a undulating, calm flow, generating conscious, inner work and attention. What was your goal with this book?
E: To create an artful yoga workbook that would evolve with each person adding to it - the one I'd been wanting to buy since I found yoga.
O: As a leader in the field of yoga, when did you realise that yoga was multi-dimensional and had the potential to change every facet of your life?
E: At least 5 years into it was when I realized it was going to be everything to me. Precisely when I began my first teacher training. I began to see that I had within me a longing to help, to heal myself so i could help others, but at that time I'd only had a few sensations in practice and not a clear vision of how I would do that. 20 years later it's becoming more clear...
O: Through your own personal practice you've been able to assist humans world wide in opening to peace as well as generating a practice for each individual. What is the impact of knowing you've shifted peoples lives?
E: Knowing I've shifted someone else's is what keeps me knowing I can shift my own. It's the hugest gift of all. For a long time I'd forgotten that.
O: I've been incredibly inspired about this idea of a 21st century Alchemist, someone who is creating change in the world and alchemising their own lives. Was there a specific moment when your knew you had to be an Alchemist in your world?
E: The day i got clean and stopped entertaining my addictions was one of those moments.
O: A lot of people freak out about this idea of change, but as alchemists (and as a yogi), we have to embrace it. How has change played a role in your life and your work and practice?
E: As a Mama, my child is growing and changing every day - his needs, desires, capacities and clarities. I have to be able to deftly shift with him and still stay super steady. Meditation is helping me shed my own fears and doubts so I can be cool and calm for him.
O: I am constantly inspired by women, who are actively working to assist the world to wake up, through their own unique offerings. The wisdom each woman can impart on the generations to come is so valuable. I call them Girl Almighty's. When have you felt most like a Girl Almighty?
E: When my kid tells me he loves me and that he feels loved and safe.
O: Who is your Girl Almighty? Living or otherwise
E: I have many of them. My best friends, my own Mom, my teachers...
O: What excites you and makes you happiest about tomorrow?
E: The prospect of helping other humans get clear on their own potential to be leaders in their families, to say they're sorry, to forgive and be forgiven, to be healthy, and to be wealthy - both materially and spiritually.
O: What quality do you most admire in a woman?
E: I have five qualities I most admire in a woman.
Elegance. Care. Spirit. Femininity. Strength.
O: Similarly, what quality do you most admire in a man?
E: The very same five!
O: To finish, if you had a moment when the whole world was listening to you- what would you say?
E: Three things.
Offer respect with your eyes, your thoughts, and your words.
Then teach the world how to love you by loving yourself first.
And if you wouldn't say it out loud, don't say it internally.
Photographs by Teddy Collatos; a sneak peek at Cultivating Spiritual Intelligence, Elena's new Audio Meditation Course, coming soon. For details about this Course and launch date, please click here.
Collage by The Alchemists.