Earlier this year SERENE created a wellness pop up at BANDIER in NYC, a space in the city where we were all encouraged to slow down in the city buzz! I got to travel to NYC for the first time ever. I came to see the vibe and get a feel for what is going on across the pond. I left a week later amazed, inspired and feeling like I needed to move there immediately! One of my greatest moments that week and something that will stay with me for a long time was attending a yoga class taught by Elena Brower in our SereneHouse.
I quickly realized that Elena was something magical, when someone resonates with me during my yoga practice to that level, touching areas deep inside with softness and love, that have been in the dark without awareness, I know I’ve found a teacher. I was left overwhelmed yet grounded, soft and empowered. I was so excited to learn that Elena was coming to London to teach…I immediately signed up!
I’ve been practicing yoga for nearly twenty years, and teaching for over ten. I resonate with honesty, humility, softness, strength, mindfulness and empowerment all of which this amazing woman has and shares. She is not just a teacher, she is a TEACHER.
After her class in London, Elena kindly took time from her busy schedule to answer a few questions:
Davina Wellesley: Having experienced a class with you in NY, I was struck by how you translate your understanding of the body so beautifully and originally into your teaching. I asked you after the class if it was influenced from Scaravelli, as this is my only reference point for a different understanding of the body. You’re reply included influences from Katonah style and Para Yoga, these styles are relatively unknown in the UK, so how you would you describe their influence on you and what are their defining characteristics?
Elena Brower: If I had to use just a few words – alignment, geometry, longevity and integration. The combination of Para Yoga and Katonah Yoga with a touch of Kundalini yoga creates a feeling of buoyancy and integrity in the body that suits our lifestyle – its so fast and frenzied, and these styles create an experience of self-awareness and self-care that helps.
DW: Our understanding of the body and its mechanics has developed immensely in the last two decades. Should this new understanding encourage us to develop from the more classical, traditional teachings and training of Hatha to something more subtle and intrinsic?
EB: Being drawn to all of it, I’m not sure there is necessarily a chronology or linear path. I’m interested in tapping into the transcendent state beyond all the styles, to a deep love for ourselves. I reckon that is the ‘subtle and intrinsic’ of which you speak.
DW: I just saw on your Instagram feed you were recording mantras recently, have you made an album before or is this something new for you?
EB: A dream of mine is to sing; it scares me and elevates me greatly. I was invited to sing on Maya Fiennes’ upcoming album and I’m also prepping to record an album with Aya Summer of Aya and Tyler.
DW: Teach.yoga is a new resource for me, its full of inspiring articles and teachers and I can’t wait to read more. Can you tell me a bit about how and when it came about, and how you hope it will develop?
EB: It’s intended to be a wellspring of inspiration – no more or less… by the teachers, for the teachers, that holds all traditions sacred and relevant. My hope is that it continues to be so! I’ve learned so much by creating it and watching it unfold. We are now in 80+ countries worldwide each week, with an extremely engaged community of teachers.
DW: Our past creates lessons and from these lessons we can transform new direction and develop our wisdom. As a mother can you share with us some of the lessons that have come from your practice that you have felt really important to teach your son, or that you would like to teach the younger generations at large?
EB: Always be ready to say you’re sorry, and own when you make a mistake. Love yourself. Practice being in interactions with yourself that are nourishing and supportive. Take care of your friendships.
DW: Is there anything standing out for your presently, something that is loud in your conscious & coursing through you that you are just having to teach and share in your classes? If there is, can you elaborate please.
EB: Bring light to every interaction, especially with yourself!
Thank you so much Elena!
Bring light into your own interactions, especially with yourself! For me today, this is just what I need to practice.
If you’ve not heard Elena’s “Ritual to Recovery” at Wanderlust I would heartily recommend it. It shows beautiful strength, its phenomenally humbling with a potent message of self-work, self belief and self love.
London Lead, SERENE Social
Davina has been working in the Health and Wellness industry for over fifteen years and has been teaching Yoga for ten years. Davina’s classes encourage you to come home into the body using the beauty of combining the breath with movement and mindfulness with stillness. Having taught and lived in India, Italy and Ibiza Davina has now moved back to London bringing with her a wide experience and knowledge of alternative therapies, diet and nutrition and wholesome living. She teaches regular weekly group and private classes in Hatha Yoga, Yin Yoga, Pre and Post Natal yoga throughout central London. She is also the founder of GlamRaw.