How do you start your day?
Start with a short Katonah-style yoga practice, warming up my hips and torso, some breathing and a plough pose ... then I go to my various decks of healing cards and choose one for the day. Sometimes I'll sage myself and/or my space, and sometimes I'll write. Then I sit for 20 minutes (at least 11, but mostly 20) and then wake my son.
What do you do when you are overwhelmed or stressed?
Breathe, go for a run, cook, or write. Writing helps the most—and teaching helps, too. I'm most clear when I'm working and listening.
What gives you the feeling of true bliss within?
Snuggling with my kid or my man. Post-cardio or post-yoga, or post-meditation. Eating good, clean food. Sharing tech-free time with friends over home-cooked meals is big on the bliss scale. Cooking. Love to cook. My favorite procrastination.
What are you currently reading?
A few books going on ... The Opening of the Way by Isha Schwaller DeLubicz. A Manual of Acupuncture by Deadman. Energy Medicine Yoga by Lauren Walker. The Fasciae by Serge Paoletti.
What are you listening to right now?
Olafur Arnalds. And this epic Above+Beyond custom mix for our yoga class together this past summer.
What is your go-to simple recipe?
My own Evolving Buddha Bowl. Daily.
What are some simple things you do for self-care?
Wash my face with honey and yogurt—sometimes honey mixed with Pangea Organic's Matcha Tea and Acai mask. Take frequent baths, weekly sauna/steam, and walk a lot. I make sure I sit at least once a day (preferably twice). I ask my son what I can do better at the end of the day and that helps me have compassion for all of us, especially myself. Learning how to leave beds unmade is a form of self-care for me, as I am a perfectionist, and it impedes my happiness at times...
What does nourishment look like to you?
A long home cooked meal with a few colors in it...
How do you make space for play?
I make time for my kid to play soccer with him, I make time with my man to take walks and practice yoga and meditate (which is playtime for us)...
What are some favorite mantras you cling to?
Om Namah Shivaya, the Maha Mantra from Siddha Yoga. I say that aloud and to myself a lot.
I chant Sa Ta Na Ma often when I'm feeling overwhelmed, a Kundalini Mantra that helps me remember the cycle of life and my place in things.
My Vedic Meditation mantra from Thom Knoles.
I also love the Compassion Meditation phrase from Sharon Salzberg:
Today may you live in safety.
May you be happy.
May you be healthy.
May you live with ease.
That helps to say aloud when I'm having a hard time with myself or anyone else.
Please share some words of wisdom you’ve learned as a direct result of soulful and embodied living.
1. Practice forgiveness of self and other.
2. Listen to your own heart and to the space around you.
3. Keep learning. Try new teachers, new wisdom, new music, new ways of movin. Never stop learning.
Elena Brower is the author of Art of Attention, respected globally for her distinct blend of alignment and attention in her offerings of yoga, meditation and motivational work. She's been studying and teaching yoga and meditation since 1998, and is influenced by several traditions including Katonah, Para Yoga, and Kundalini. Current classes with Elena can be practiced on YogaGlo.
To connect with Elena, visit—
Art of Attention