Today my Yoga Sista, Carissa, and I ventured off to Vira Yoga to take Anusara Yoga with the amazing Elena Brower. Elena is an incredible teacher, who is extremely famous. She has been on numerous covers of Yoga Journal, she was the teacher at the Rained out Central Park Yoga last year where I was honored to be an assistant, and most importantly she is also the proud Mamma of the incredible Jonah. I know Elena as a lovely lady, an amazing Mamma, a fellow Karate student, and a remarkable Yoga Instructor. Her adorable Son takes class with me alongside some incredible Teachers at Harmony By Karate each week. For weeks I have been invited to take class with Elena @ Vira Yoga by the whole family, as they all practice with me at Reebok & know I am a Yoga Teacher too. It was a Harmony Family Reunion. Normally, I am teaching at the same time as Elena, so I was never able to take her class, until today....YEAAAA!!!
I walked in and saw my lovely friend Carissa waiting at the entrance for me. She laid out two mats for us side by side in a packed Yoga Class. The Studio is Vira Yoga in Soho, and there had to have been over 60 people in attendance, and these seem to be regular students. Our mats were towards the back of the filled room. Elena began by announcing how she has been recently studying with the Incredible Rodney Yee. She announced how class would be slightly different as she has been inspired by her recent experience with Mr. Yee. She shared how Rodney had noticed how most playgrounds have gotten rid of the "See Saw". This observation was related to the awareness of the fulcrum action in a pose, the subtle tilt of the pubic bone and tail bone that initiates the safety in a back bend, softens the sides of the feet, articulates the spiral movements of the thighs, and also ensures longevity for the Psoas by making sure that we softly ease into the pose with proper alignment. She led us through a lovely class that kept returning to this theme of the tilt in the pubic bone and sits bones in order to get the safest alignment in our back bends. This is true Iyengar style Alignment, and it was so lovely to experience. Class was truly remarkable. At one point in the middle of her Instructing, Elena recognized me through the sea of Yogis, came towards me, smiled and welcomed both me and my lovely friend with whisper & smile, I couldn't help but thank her. I had already been in a state of gratitude for being in her awesome class. For an instructor to be so connected to each individual in the room is really magnificent, and Elena is that magnificent of an Instructor. Her eloquent way of speaking through the poses, with purposeful guidance, and encouragement is something everyone should experience. I am so grateful to have finally had this amazing experience with the Incredible Elena Brower, and hope to have many more. I was hoping to see the amazing Garth Stevenson. Garth is featured in this months Yoga Journal, he is a talented Bass Player, who normally plays live for Elena's class. Garth and I graduated Berklee College of Music together, so I was hoping to have had him play for the Yoga Class too, but he was out, perhaps another time.
If you have not opened your heart to the heart opening experience of an Anusara Yoga Class, you need to. Elena is one of the founders of Vira Yoga, an incredible famous Yogini, and an awesome woman to learn Yoga from. The Savasana was one of the most heart healing experiences I have had in a long time. After class Carissa and I were filled with so much gratitude for the experience. It was exactly what our Mind-Body & Spirit needed. Thank you Elena for an amazing Class!
Photo: Ambria, Elena & Carissa