February 4, 2011

elephant’s Official Yoga Valentine’s Gift List. ~ Elena Brower

Elena Brower’s Love List: websites for yoga-inspired trips, jewels, daily inspiration, clothing, gifts, causes to contribute to in the name of your sweetheart, even teachers to watch.

Waylon asked me to put together my LoveList of gifts for your Yoga Valentine, so here we go. (I coulda gone on recommending stuff for days, so if I forgot anything, let me know in comments below). ~ Elena


One note on what it takes to stay in a relationship, in the very esteemed words of my man, the purveyor of light, Bentley Meeker:

To be in love and stay in love is about “being able to first identify what you’re ashamed about in yourself, every day, and then to actually confess those things so they’re out in the open. Then the shame disappears.” He adds that “forgiveness cannot be a position you stake out, it actually has to be an absence of judgment at all times.”

So your gift might just be owning up to something that makes you uncomfortable, and you might just get nothing but sweet forgiveness in return, and that might just make for the best Valentine’s day ever.

And in case you need more, I hope this list helps you find the perfect treat for your Valentine.

Practice in Your House:
Yogaglo subscription. There’s meditation, Yin, vinyasa, Anusara, and more. The studio setting is gorgeous, the founders are really excellent human beings, and I’m proud of to be part of it.

Contribute from Your Heart:
These are my favorite causes and a great way to raise awareness and bring about change.

Retreat for Your Sanity:
Wanderlust Festival. 3 options: Miami in March, Vermont in June, or Tahoe in July. I’ve done Tahoe twice and both times had huge openings in my teaching, made connections that will last my lifetime, and thoroughly soaked in the sun, the yoga and the music.
> Love MindBodyGreen, love Colleen and Rodney. Dear friends, enormous hearts and important visionaries of our time, both together and individually. Both have been big inspirations for me for years.
> One of my favorite East Coast retreats: Omega Institute. I’m honored to teach there with Kris Carr in July, and again on my own in late October.
Kripalu is my other East Coast fave. The Buddha Bar there makes me so happy that I actually eat three nourishing macro meals a day and my body sings while I’m there. Plus, I’ve been teaching there for 7+ years and every year the connection deepens, to the students and to myself, whilst I’m there. Very special spot for me. I’ll be there in March and again in August for an as-yet-to-be-announced Anusara melting pot weekend. Oh yes.
> Save your shekels for Parrot Cay retreat with me in November. It’s decadent in terms of price, and so healing that it might change your relationship to your body forever.

Sweets for Your Sweet:
> Vanessa Barg, founder of Gnosis Chocolate, is gorgeous, as is her chocolate. Her chocolate is the finest raw chocolate in the land, and she’s got special Aphrodisia chocolate for Valentine’s Day along with her brand new truffles.

Wei of Chocolate founder Lisa Reinhart infuses her chocolate with Lotus Wei Flower Essences, so this is an entirely different ballpark of healing potential in a tiny, potent little chocolate. My favorite is the Daily Love.

Treatments for Your Wellness:
There are so many great healers on both coasts; I’m picking one on each. It wasn’t easy but here you go. Whomever you treat with a session with either one will be thankful.

Products for Your Beauty:
> If you love high-vibration oils, check out Lotus Wei. I use their Infinite Love mist whenever I feel like sabotaging my body with a cigarette, and it works. There, I said it. I like to smoke. It’s disgusting and horrific and I’m mortified, and this mist is my saving grace. Now you know I’m giving you the real skinny on everything.
> I live for Pangea Organics anything. Founder Joshua Onysko came over to my house many years ago and trashed about 800 bucks worth of toxic cosmetic products, and I’m convinced he saved—or at least prolonged—my life. Major integrity and superb quality.
> Loving my daily dose of Yoga Earth. I promise you that when I miss it, my skin gets mad. Watch this company closely, they’re about to make it a Yoga Earth. No kidding.

Jewels For Your Goddess:
Mary Margrill makes pieces that inspire and invoke. My first choice is the Believe necklace…it had such an impact at such a particular time that I even wrote about it recently.
Sarah Perlis is a dear longtime friend whose pieces I literally never take off. The disk earrings and some custom pieces she’s made for me out of old pieces of my own are my favorites, but she’s known for her engagement and wedding rings too.
Recently, a stylist friend handed over a couple of rings and told me to wear them to my heart’s content. I did, and they ended up on a magazine cover within a week. Elegant, simple, raw in their own way, my Pandora rings are now stuck on me.

Books for Your Seeker:
Crazy Sexy Diet is not a diet book, it’s a wellness manual that will help you and anyone who doubts to get on the track and into your health—hilariously and with heart.
Light X Design. Evidence of what Light can be on a human level, on this earthly plane, and how delicious any space can be with the right light.
The Reality of Being is an outstanding intro into the Work of getting to know and master yourself, written by Jeanne DeSalzmann, whose writing is at once both inviting and completely daunting. This is the one book to buy if you want to work on yourself this year.
> And for the parents, Magical Parent Magical Child: The Art of Joyful Parenting is woo-woo title for a genius book. So helpful, inspiring, uplifting, and real. Backs up claims with science, and leads you to treat yourself and your child with a new level of respect and understanding.
Poised for Grace is the definitive book on Rajanaka Yoga, one of the cornerstones of my understanding of yoga.
> And The Actor is another one of the books that defined me. Hugo Cory, one of my first teachers, is still a major influence for me.

Clothes for Your Practice:
Music for Your Soul:
Garth Stevenson plays with me almost weekly in NYC, and often on the road too. Magical, epic bass, his music is haunting, spiritual, sweeping and cinematic.
David Newman, old friend, old soul, GORGEOUS cause.
Wah! Favorite is the Shavasana album. Still.
Jai Uttal. Loveland. Say no more.
> Benjy and Heather are Shantala and they’ve inspired my practice for over a decade.
Todd Boston is one of the purest hearts out there. Met him when his music was used in a video last year to promote Wanderlust, and then taught while he played, and it was perfect from moment one.
Suzanne Sterling. Voice of an angel.
Snatam Kaur Khalsa is a staple on every flight. Another angel.

Teachers for Your Life:
(First names only. Learn them if you don’t know them.)


Elena Brower is a Certified Anusara® Yoga Teacher and the founder and co-owner of Virayoga. A student of John FriendDr. Douglas Brooks and Hugo Cory, teaching 13+ years, she’s been featured in the New York Times, Yoga Journal, FitYoga, and the Element Yoga Beginner DVD series. Elena collaborates with Flavorpill to offer large-scale yoga classes worldwide, most recently at the the Museum of Modern Art and at the Great Lawn in Central Park. Elena offers online classes in HD at yogaglo.com.

Visit ArtofAttention.com for Elena’s schedule and other offerings.

See more of Elena Brower:


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