Yoga with Elena Brower: Witnessing Transformation

It’s interesting to think about a cocoon and the unique role this little homespun home plays for its inhabitants. A cocoon is described as something that “envelops or surrounds in a protective or comforting way.” It is, quite literally, a space where profound transformation can occur.

Last night, the Urban Zen Center became a cocoon – a comforting, protective home for transformation to take place. The brilliant and beautiful yogi Elena Brower brought her healing energy into the studio space to lead a slow, meditative yoga practice devoted to helping students find moments of clarity. Adding an extra layer of meaning to the event was the knowing that proceeds of the class went to Haiti, spreading the healing energy to the country that has captured the heart of our founder, Donna Karan.

Elena, with her potent sense of presence, encouraged students to, “slowly, respectfully, gently, equally, and consistently open,” a request that created a ripple effect of expansive receptiveness. It was a beautiful thing to witness.

Midway through the class, with the peaceful music performed by double bassist Garth Stevenson lulling in the background, Elena reminded students that, “These are moments when energetically we are able to reach out to other people who need healing and offer it to them. These are moments when we are able to receive the healing that is being offered to us.”

The mindful calm created during the class was palpable and reached far beyond the walls of the Urban Zen Center.

With a room full of budding yogis laying in supported savasanas, Elena closed the practice by reading this poem by Tara Sophia Mohr:

If your life doesn’t often make you feel

Like a cauldron of swirling light –

If you are not often enough a woman standing above a mysterious fire,

Lifting her head to the sky –

You are doing too much, and listening too little.

Read poems. Walk in the woods. Make slow art.

Tie a rope around your heart,
Be led by it off the plank,

Happy prisoner.

You are no animal. You are galaxy with skin.

Home to blue and yellow lightshots,

Making speed-of-light curves and racecar turns,

Bouncing in ricochet –

Don’t slow down the light and turn it into matter

With feeble preoccupations.

Don’t forget your true name: 

Presiding one. Home for the gleaming. Strong cauldron for the feast of light.

Strong cauldron for the feast of light:
I am speaking to you.

I beg you not to forget.

Wow. What transformation.