May 31, 2010

Scaling Up, Paring Down: 10,000 Strong in Central Park. ~ Elena Brower

I might not care about being perfect in my practice, but I care about who I am when I try.

As we enter the sultry moment of 2010, I have the privilege and responsibility of offering a free yoga class to celebrate the first full day of summer, right in Central Park. Flavorpill and I have been a team since early 2009, offering large-scale yoga experiences, first at the Museum of Modern Art (on 3 occasions) and now on our Great Lawn.

Urbanism at its finest, this endeavor isn’t just about manifesting the biggest yoga class or the Guinness Book, although both have had some airtime. This is about making art, and it will affect us all beyond the permanence of an object, beyond space, and beyond time. This is a visual, physical, emotional, intentional expression.

In order to refine my own art-making, the effort in these days is to slow the pace of my internal life. It’s helping me to watch, in super-slow-motion, all the ways in which I make moments more complicated, clumsy and cluttered. The slower pace helps me choose instead to recognize, respect, and refine my expression in any moment.

As my dear colleague Christina Sell recently offered (pardon the paraphrase): I might not care about being perfect in my practice, but I care about who I am when I try. Patience is my art, and my practice, and I see how it’s shifting the complexity. I’m very interested in seeing what comes off of so many people attempting to slow the pace, cultivate recognition and make art in unison.
The convergence of hearts, bodies, yoga traditions and ideals in such an organized, structured movement literally rewrites the meaning of art. Lest there are any doubters about the scope of this class, consider a painting or a poem that feels closely personal for all who view it – precisely due to its far-reaching, impersonal resonance. The scale of this class is only going to magnify the artfulness and accessibility of the yoga, deepening its meaning for everyone involved. In our vision, that evening will reach far beyond the lawn, deeply into every receptive heart in New York.

Ele readers far and wide, register now to win your flight to NYC and a night at the Standard Hotel! Contest ends soon.

When you register be sure to spread the word to your friends. Envision 10,000 people bowing to their own greatness…

Elena Brower, Certified Anusara yoga teacher, Jonah’s mama and founder and co-owner of Virayoga in New York City, has been teaching yoga for 13+ years. She’s been featured in the New York Times, Yoga Journal, FitYoga, and the Element Yoga for Beginners DVD series. Elena collaborates with Flavorpill to offer large-scale yoga classes worldwide, most recently at the Standard Hotel NY for EarthDay, the Museum of Modern Art, and at the Great Lawn at Central Park on the first day of Summer, 2010. Elena is the Global Yoga Ambassador for adidas, teaching the methodology of Anusara yoga to their instructors globally. Currently she supports Yoga Gives Back, the Acumen Fund, Women for Women and Institute for the Advancement of Complementary Therapies. Elena is also an original member of the YogaEarth Yogi Leadership Board, an accomplished corps of yoga teachers coming together to pioneer yoga nutrition, and offers classes in HD online. Stay tuned for her website and online coursework coming soon.

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