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Why Elena Brower Left Anusara, by Elena Brower

in YD News

photo: derek beres

While her letter of resignation was rapt with gratitudinal homage, it left little else, other than our own speculation, as to why Elena Brower, longtime devotee and female counterpart to John Friend, decided, after a decade under the Anusara designation, to curtsy and exit stage left.

Then she replied to our post with this. In her own words, Elena shares her reasons for departure and her intentions for the future (emphasis ours):

Appreciate the piece and the thoughtfulness. Searched my soul for a long time, years, in fact, and realized that I’d been worried about my teaching not lining up with the Anusara sequencing nor the philosophical tenets, for quite some time.

What I found is that I wanted more, I wanted to know how to feel as amazing in my house as I’d felt on my mat. As expansive, as calm, as beautiful, as connected, as real. I couldn’t link my behavior at home to my composure in my practice, and I needed other ways to learn how to be more remarkable as a Mama, an ex-wife, a girlfriend, and most importantly these days, a daughter. My practice was giving me feelings of fulfillment but they didn’t last, and I was still going home and acting out of alignment with my yoga, which was getting painful.

So I sought out coaching, other styles of yoga, other voices, other visions, quietly, over time. And in that process, while I found more rules, I also found more freedom. Through coaching I’ve found that I can finally look at my behaviors head-on, and not flinch, but instead, HANDLE them. Talk about them. Apologize for them instead of being too proud to address them. And then – most importantly – SHIFT THEM. I’m proud of that most of all.

Going forward I have no desire to create my own style; there are plenty of styles. Let’s call me a Hatha-Vinyasa yoga teacher, who will always do her best to bring you to your heart.

Here is my dream: I’m inspiring millions of people to be remarkable in their families – to have the hardest conversations and tell the truth – by gathering as many people as possible to practice, meditate, and be clear, together. When I sit down in my seat as a teacher, I feel privileged, touched, and thrilled. My writings, audio meditations, filmed classes, books and radio shows map out the practices and behaviors to raise the frequency of the entire planet, honouring of all teachers, and the highest Source of all teachings. Everyone who comes into contact with my teachers, colleagues, collaborators or me experiences their practices and their lives as pure refuge.

YogaDork rules.

We think you rule, Elena, for your candor, clarity, heart and guts.

But are you sure it wasn’t because John Friend is turning into Harry Potter or Han Solo?

Meanwhile, we await the opening and majestic grandeur of J Fri’s Anusaraland Ranch coming 2012.



23 comments… add one
  • I have so much respect for a senior teacher that doesn’t feel the need to “trademark” what they’re teaching as “their style” with a name, branding and so on. It’s classy and puts the onus back on the teachings, not the personality of the teacher.

    I’ve been studying with one of Simon Borg Olivier’s senior teachers, and going to Simon’s workshops when he’s in Melbourne.

    Only a few weeks back in his most recent Melbourne workshop, he said something like: “People call what I teach ‘Yoga Synergy’-style yoga but to me, it’s just traditional Hatha yoga”.

    He is probably the most famous of Australian yogis and yet he is humble while at the same time being amazing and teaching in a way that few others do.

    I’ve never had the pleasure of an Elena Brower yoga class but from reading her comments, I can tell that I’d like to.

  • Here is a spirit that listened to her life and is truly following her path. How yogic!

  • Erich Schiffmann says that there comes a time in your life as a student that the yoga dogma you were brought up in must fall away and you come into your own and listen to your own calling.

    sounds like that’s what happened.

    • p.s. frankly, I think there’s a back story to it because there always is in these public partings — such as with Gary Kraftsow and Desikachar — but in the end, it really doesn’t matter.

  • Hear hear Elena, to learn from all the differences and create our way and stay true to who we are, I totally dig that. Good luck!

  • Grace

    I am SO grateful for this article. Elena is brave to come out so strongly and state what is true for her.

    I am in a similar space and have been feeling lost and a little “What is wrong with me?” for breaking with Anusara. Not that I will throw out everything I’ve learned, but rather, the Anusara method will be only part of what I teach. I’m on a path of new discovery as well and find it reassuring that there are others who feel the same.

    Thank you for your honesty, Elena, and thanks to Yoga Dork for the story!!!

  • Zettelyss Amora

    Regarding the exodus of 3 anusara instructors…A most apropos quote from Ram Dass and words I strive to live by each moment, each day of my life:

    “My commitment must be to truth, not consistency”

    • Zettelyss Amora

      …and truth is continually unfolding…

  • thank you Elena for sharing your heart and your wisdom. It is so, as expressed in another comment by Linda, that there is a time when you come into your own and own it. Blissings and blessings on your mission and vision.

    love annette

  • You, the Inner Parent, were looking for your Inner Child seems to me. Whoever you are.

  • Jabez

    We find that the older schools were not so bad….That the rules that once seemed so strict and oppressive are actually tools of liberation

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