On trusting that all is exactly where it should be. ~ Elena Brower

Via elephant journal
on Feb 6, 2012
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that everything I’ve just experienced was


that all the pain I ever feel is a doorway and a crucible and a chance to make real Light

that now, in my heart where it feels like it all might fall apart and crumble into

it is all actually Perfect, and I’m closer to G-d than ever

that I will know how to go forward only after I’ve told my truth—it has lived in here for way too long

that each time I’ve fully apologized and forgiven and stood up afterwards I am



Elena Brower:

Jonah’s mama, founder and co-owner of Virayoga in New York City, Elena has been teaching yoga for 14+ years.

After graduating from Cornell University in 1992 with a design degree, she worked in textile and apparel design for 6 years, living in both New York City and northern Italy. After completing a year studying Art Education at the New School and teaching art in two schools in downtown New York City, she trained with Cyndi Lee, subsequently met John Friend, and began studying Anusara. More than ten years of study with John Friend, Douglas Brooks and Hugo Cory led her to the Handel Group™, with whom Elena collaborates to bring practical, day-to-day relevance to the yoga. Elena’s classes are a masterful, candid blend of artful alignment and attention cues; they bring patience to your mind, articulation to your body and empowerment to your heart.

From the Museum of Modern Art to the Great Lawn at Central Park in New York; from the playa at Burning Man to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, she is honoured to offer larger-scale experiences of yoga, but Elena’s true service is in shifting awareness within the smallest interactions; one family, one household at a time. She holds Reiki Levels I/II Certification and practices Pranic Healing. She loves collaborative teaching, alongside colleagues such as Sianna Sherman, Christina Sell, Noah Maze, Christy Nones, Amy Ippoliti, Bill Mahony, Ross Rayburn, Elizabeth Rossa, Schuyler Grant, Nikki Costello, Kelly Morris, Leila Astarabadi, Seane Corn and Kathryn Budig. She’s been featured in the New York Times, Yoga Journal, Natural Living, the Element Yoga for Beginners DVD series, FitYoga, ABC News, NBC News and is the voice for Deepak Chopra’s groundbreaking video game LEELA, which blends meditation with game play. Elena is also the Executive Producer of ON MEDITATION, a series of short films regarding the reality of meditation, to be released in 2012. Recent classes are available online at Yogaglo.

Along with her own Art of Attention writings, Elena contributes to the Huffington Post, Kris Carr’s CrazySexyLife, elephant journal, TheDailyLove, and is an original board member of YogaEarth. Elena’s recently developed an essential oil blend called GIVE that proudly benefits her favorite global cause, Women For Women International.


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25 Responses to “On trusting that all is exactly where it should be. ~ Elena Brower”

  1. Provacateur says:


    925 million people on our planet are malnourished or starving.

    We live in a world where we know about these facts, and many many more that tell us that things are not perfect nor just as people would create them for themselves if empowered to do so. These hard facts inform our practice and work in the world. Right?

    Then why oh why does the yoga community need to keep peddling this "everything is exactly as it should be" jargon.

    It is NOT for way TOO MANY people.

    Please, can we please just get rid of this new ageism once and for all?

  2. aheartpractice says:

    Best comment. I <3 my practice, and I <3 looking for the good first, but I ALSO love remembering that my life is quite quite privileged and my practice only serves me as much as I am able to see the whole picture, the good and the bad, the happy and the upsetting. And not just in my immediate circle, but, like you say, in the world at large… Yes, it's great not to get angry with our friends and spouses, but also what about looking at how what we buy, where we donate, how our time is spent, and whether these things too are creating good, or not so good.

  3. Yogi says:

    Yes yes and yes to the comments. Its important to remember that there are many things we can't control but standing idly by while the world spins itself into a black hole is not why I practice yoga. I practice to seek truth, to be active in what I am passionate for and not simply accept things as they are if I don't have to. The "everything is exactly as it should be" is why many think yogis are hippy dippy, aloof, and inconsequential beings.

  4. jwoods says:

    what a GORGEOUS picture- she looks so happy and content! stunning

  5. sacredsourceyoga says:

    Thank you for sharing a really beautiful piece of artwork in words, Elena.

    It made me ponder an apology I made earlier today. I meant it much more fully than I said it (added the old '…but…" where it didn't belong). I will try again. Thank you.

  6. elephantjournal says:

    Always a good call to question new agey triteness. We hope we have long been and will continue to be a home for such questioning, and I welcome it.

    That said, I don't think Elena is saying that world hunger is NBD.

    I think this poem is exactly what Jody said…not saying "it's okay folks are suffering," but rather a poem about personal path. I think it's actually the opposite, in a wonderful way, of those first two comments…it's saying instead of pushing away pain or suffering and craving attaching to pleasure and our gated communities of the mind/heart, we accept all of it in, and work with it as it is.

  7. Provacateur says:

    Great input and perspective in the above comments!

    I will though stand by my original sentiment . World views such as:

    " everything I’ve just experienced was Exactly My Creation"

    were historically created and enforced by a Brahmanical/Priestly order that lorded power over an untouchable class for millenium.

    If people believed that THEY and not the oppressors were responsible for the wretched conditions of their life, why bother trying to change those pesky external conditions such as inequality, sexism, structural violence, caste, etc. Better to just give alms and pray for better luck next go round.

    Frankly, it might just have been this type of false belief that the historical guy (later named The Buddha) set out to topple.

    Just sayin.

  8. Me says:

    Provacateur, I just wonder how much time you spend on your own inner world to understand it before trying to understand and comment upon the outside world. All the great ones, saints, realized souls, those that brought the greatest wisdom to humanity, always taught seek first to “Know Thyself” before passing judgement on anything in the temporal world. There may be a reason for that. Nothing hippy dippy here. Seek first the kingdom. Then after you’ve had some experiences withdrawing from the “seen” world see what you see in the outer :)) It can never be understood intellectually it can only be experienced. Check out Ramana Maharshi, Paramahansa Yogananda, Vivekananda even Deepak Chopra and Echart Tolle….. see if their teachings are hippy dippy. In fact an inquiry into why there is so much suffering in the world if there is a “God” or such a thing as Divine Order may be the turning point into a whole other realm of understanding. And I mean that in the kindest manner.

  9. elephantjournal says:

    Love it. I think you're talking about social justice, and on that tip, I think you're 108% right. But on a spiritual level, seeing things just as they are: "good or bad, happy or sad, all thoughts vanish into emptiness like the imprint of a bird in the sky" is a healthy thing.

  10. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  11. Provacateur says:

    Mea Culpa! How dare someone such as plain old me attempt to understand their own world and actually comment on it without approval.

    And when pray tell would you justify me coming out of my cave and actually having something to say (and willingness to do) about the injustice of the world? Is there a specific threshold of (W)isdom & (K)nowledge ™ that one as un-evolved such as (I) should attain that would make you feel more comfortable before I try to have an opinion worth sharing with others in the spirit of open dialog?

    Shall it be upon entering the 4th Jhana ™ of meditative absorption or perhaps I should wait for the 5th or wait, maybe I should perceive (E)mptiness ™ first, or maybe wait until my ego is devoured by the divine (M)other….or?

    Shall I gain enough insight into my (S)elf from an all expense spa yoga mediation retreat in Costa Rica (V)egan meals of course) Hmmmm. Maybe I just need to read more books and quote people with fancy names, THEN I can have a valid comment here on Elephant Journal?

    Thank you in the (K)indest ™ manner for your advice for me to go back in the corner and be quiet so the more evolved people can handle all this ephemeral "seen" world. They clearly have been doing such a phenomenal job without low caste unevolved types such as me.

    Me, your comment is of the lowest taste and is the embodiment of all that should be avoided and disdained on the path.

    I'm sure you are reading this on your (Z)abuton drinking tea from a blessed cup.


  12. Larry says:

    the timing of such comments by Elena is more interesting than the content………..

  13. elephantjournal says:


  14. James says:

    It’s the new theme for this year’s Wanderlust festival.

  15. myriamsofialluria says:

    very moving and beautiful!

  16. myriamsofialluria says:

    I believe not only the yoga community, but many spiritual systems believe that all is in perfect order. For while it's a horrible truth that there is still so much hunger and poverty, we always have the choice to step up and make a difference. It serves to help us take responsibility for our fellow man. I feel that all is in perfect order for our evolution as spiritual beings. That doesn't mean those things are meant to stay that way.

  17. (applause!!) 🙂 yay!

  18. I read it the same way & found it personally touching and very timely. Rather that sitting around complaining or blaming–trust. I am where I am. As I speak the truth I will be able to move forward.

  19. Thanks for this Elena. Just read it for I think the 5th or 6th time since you posted it. It was exactly what I needed to read this week.

    Much love,

  20. Vero Barnes says:

    Thank you for this. Simple and beautiful. Seems to have fallen exactly at the right time for me too…

  21. Jean LeBlanc says:

    Excellent poem, Elena! You're quite talented. Hope to see more of this in the future!

  22. […] Grace with Elena Brower. Elena Brower strikes me as someone who truly understands what it means to give and recieve grace–deep in her heart. When I read the description of using asana, breathing and meditation practice to “invite the […]

  23. […] Then, I remember a moment where Elena said, “This is where you see yourself. This is where grace comes in.” (I’m paraphrasing. It’s hard to take notes while you’re in Vasisthasana). At that point, I let go of my self a little more. I let go of the fight and let in the grace. I thought of the person who I hard-heartedly stonewalled at the idea of extending grace to, and had a small flame of desire to see him, as he is, not as my wounded heart and ego think he is. I looked at myself and felt that everything was exactly as it should be, even the parts that hurt. […]