In her new book, Practice You: A Journal, Elena Brower invites us to gather our own wisdom through writing, self-inquiry, and reflection. Practice You is a portable sacred sanctuary to play, create, record fleeting gems of insight, find our ground, clarify our dreams and goals, bear witness to our evolution. Read on for Amanda Kriebel’s interview with Elena below and our giveaway of “Practice You” here.
Congratulations! Your book new book was in the creation phase during our first interview. Welcome and thank you for taking the time to chat with us again. How are you?
Feeling blessed, ever-so-slightly frazzled, but proud of the fact that I remembered to bring the snack to my son’s class today, and that I’ve had several days in a row of seven hours sleep.
Practice You is a brilliantly designed book, with thoughtful meditations, reflective inquiries and elegant artwork. It is an invitation to be the author of our own sacred text. What inspired you to write IT?
Two events inspired this project. One was a request from my publisher to create a journal, and just prior to that, the loss of my Mom. Her wish for me to make art moved this work along smoothly at every turn.
You are a source of inspiration. How do you fuel your creativity, besides journaling?
I read, I walk in NYC, and I visit the Met often. I lay on the grass in the Park several times a week too, which opens my mind to all kinds of new possibilities.
Give us five reasons to start our journaling practice:
1 // Each time you pick up your journal, you’re providing yourself with a safe space to connect to your own wise advice, both in the present and into the future.
2 // Writing with your hand means you’re spending a few minutes connecting with your own heart, and away from your technology, which is beneficial for your mood and your overall well-being.
3 // A new study has found that writing down your worries helps you re-arrange your brain and increase your efficiency. “Worrying takes up cognitive resources…findings show that if you get these worries out of your head through expressive writing, those cognitive resources are freed up to work toward the task you’re completing and you become more efficient.”
4 // Noting your thoughts in your journal allows you to see your thoughts on paper, so you can choose which thoughts you’ll pursue and which you can release.
5 // Journaling is the ultimate way to practice seeing and being YOU.
How has your journaling practice influenced your path and opened your heart?
It was only in hindsight – now that I’m almost twenty years into the study of yoga, and the practice of teaching, I have scores of pages of notes. When I began really poring over them, I saw the value in the pages as I was being introduced to concepts I’d yet to fully grasp.
Free writing and journaling are a vital part of my life. I feel totally different typing versus handwriting. Which do you prefer and what is your experience?
Handwriting. Your hands and your heart are inextricably, physiologically connected.
My yoga practice is also a journal entry, an expression of how I’m feeling through my movements and my breath. How does your yoga practice reflect your diary?
Did you just say that your YOGA PRACTICE IS ALSO A JOURNAL ENTRY? Woman! Yes!
In challenging times, in uncertainty, unfathomable struggles and when you are deep in the tenderness of vulnerability, where/who/what do you turn to for support? What would you tell someone going through an intense experience?
Keep writing. My most vulnerable times yield the most universally helpful sentiments.
The Body Book and The Longevity Book are about #LoveYourAmazingBody and they are guides to becoming yourself. In Practice You, you ask: “What is your practice of loving your body?” Tell us, what is your practice of loving your body?
Early to rise, moving a while, sitting a while, breathing consciously, singing my prayers, resting as often as possible.
One more for you from Practice You: “How do you let love in? How do you let love out?”
I let it in by receiving – love, weekly acupuncture, notes of gratitude. I let it out by listening (still a work in progress), and doing what I can for my boy, my family, my community, my environment, those in need.
You are a gem Elena! You are a loving lady, a caring human who lives illuminating generosity and kindness. I’ve started my journaling exploration of Practice You. Thank you Elena. Any final thoughts you’d like to share?
Thank YOU so much for your time and for such thoughtful questions… Grateful.
Read more of our interviews with inspiring women here.
Affectionately described by many as a yoga scientist, Amanda Kriebel is an innovative Doctor of Physical Therapy and Yoga Teacher who humbly claims to be a student of life. Contact her to schedule and appointment in person or via Skype. Learn more about her and her exclusive videos: www.awarenesspt.com | Facebook | Instagram @amanda.kriebel | YouTube Channel