By Ali Van Putten
A live bass cello, mid downward-dog tribal tattoos and the voice of what can only be described as a poetic angel guiding students through an intricate flow, sound too good to be true? Throw in an experience where the asana takes second place to the cut-through-your-mind-chatter life lessons and you have the scene of a “yoga” class with Elena Brower on Wanderlust’s kick off day here in Stratton.
To call it a “yoga class” doesn’t seem to do it justice, it’s a magical journey.
You start at one place, with your baggage, physical limitations and the mundane mental churnings of “what should I have for lunch” or “is that so and so from last year” but you leave someone else, having been taken somewhere else entirely.
It’s a healing journey. A deep physical analysis with verbal instructions that are so descriptive your mind paints a visual x-ray of your tissues, organs and muscles, while seconds later you feel like you’re sipping tea (or scotch) at an exclusive speak easy listening to a poetry reading that penetrates your soul. It’s that kind of powerful.
When you leave your cup is full of gratitude, for the teachings and for an eloquent instrument who delivers them with such poise and grace, creating an intoxicating energy which penetrates the Lucy dome and leaves each yogi a little lighter in their step.
How to get the gratitude glow? Here is a small “dose” of her wisdom, courtesy of Elena, served chilled of course, to complement the sunny 70' weather of Stratton.
Sing gratitude more of the time
It’s why we’re here, it’s why we practice and it’s the idea that turns a negative situation into a positive. When you can control nothing else, focus on being grateful for what you do have. It’s simple, and epic. Just like her teachingsJ.
Appreciate the “wedges” from thought to thought
It might be tiny, even microscopic, but there are moments of peace, of stillness and nothing-ness between the hamster wheel of our mind and thoughts. Be grateful for this, work to lengthen this time, and know that once you’ve tasted it, you’ll keep coming back to your mat for more of it.
Keep opening when you want to close
This seems so powerful. When you want to pull away, when you experience discomfort, these are pivotal moments, turn in not away, choose to open instead of close and be present instead of trying to habitually comfort and distract the mind. Those who change their patterns, change the direction of their life.
Ali Van Putten is a blogger, yoga addict, lover of food, sunsets and laughter with a big appetite to bring balance to the lives of hardworking New Yorkers through her events company, Well Fed NYC. Check out www.chasingsunsets.me
for more daily doses of inspiration.