Elena Brower: New York’s Yoga It Girl

I’ve flown down from Miami to the Turks and Caicos islands and the super-cool resort of Parrot Cay, below, beloved playground of Hollywood’s finest (try everyone from Ashton to Zac Ephron).  I can see why the slebs love it – it’s absolutely gorgeous here. Definitely a highlight of my travelling year. I feel 10, no dammit  - I feel at least 11 years and six months younger just from looking out at these tiffany blue seas. And things can only get better as I’m signed up for a five-day yoga retreat with Elena Brower. above. Ms Brower is New York’s yoga it girl, she has down-dogged with the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Christy Turlington Burns and Eva Mendes. She says I’m going to be remarkable by the end of my stay. I’ll be honest with you, it wouldn’t be the first time people have made remarks about me. Moving swiftly on.

The bad news is I can’t stay for the complete journey through the chakras as I need to leave after day three. Will I have a limp or anything if I miss out on chakras five, six and seven? Thankfully not. But I have to tell you the truth – Elena scared me a little when we first met. She is pretty yogic (earnest, intense, given to asking questions like What are your dreams? Hey Elena, there’s a clue in my accent – I’m British, lets stick to the weather in London and maybe once we get to know each other a little better we can bond over some mild bitching about the Kardashians). Seriously, if I’d eaten the whole world’s supply of lentils yesterday, my bowels would still not be nearly as loose as her long, lean limbs and well chilled chakras. 
I was pretty fearful about how I would get on but her classes have been brilliant – hard work but exhilarating and intriguing. For example, Elena asked one woman if she came from a large family. Turned out she was one of six girls. How could Elena possibly have deduced this? Elementary, my dear Watson, the woman was her sister (joke). Elena explained that she could tell from the way the woman moved that she had lived in a crowded house as a child. 

The first class concentrated on the Muladhara chakra, the root chakra. You really won’t need sat nav to find it, girls, it’s between your genitals and your anus (sorry but don’t shoot the messenger please, particularly not in my muladhara). I loved loads of the poses but the one that I know will serve me well in future is simple but so effective. Drum roll…
Lie on your belly and then shift on to your right side, with your right arm stretched out underneath and behind you at ninety degrees, then raise your left arm up and over, palm facing upward and lower it back towards the ground. Repeat on the other side. It’s the ultimate computer-ache shoulder stretch.
By the end of day one, I was not just a fan, I was barely one notch off turning stalker and definitely ready to scream “Back off Christy, you’ve got Ed Burns,” and “Back off Gwynnie, you’ve got… Oh dear, that’s right you’ve got Chris Martin. Okay you can have Elena one night a week and every other weekend.”
To take our schedule for the week without having to spend thousands of pounds, sign up to Elena’s chakra classes on www.yogaglo.com (a bargain at just $18 for a month’s online membership). Sadly, these videos don’t include tiffany blue seas, bone white sands and all that neck craning to see if anyone else is making a complete asana of themselves as well. Of course, a quick scan of my fellow students confirmed that it was just me doing the impression of an arthritic pensioner looking for a contact lens.

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