Practice You with Elena Brower

By Elena Brower

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Navigate and master life's transitions with bestselling author Elena Brower. This is your invitation to PRACTICE YOU. On the PY Podcast, expect raw, real inquiries into relationship, lifestyle, healing, education, spirit, service, ancient practice, and modern wisdom. Expect explorations that uplift our understandings, stories to support our strengths, and lessons in compassion to amplify our love. Together we’ll elevate humanity to spark, share, and sustain wellbeing. Welcome to PRACTICE YOU.

Episode Date
Episode 12: Liz Corwin

Former Navy Pilot, Founder of Walkabout Yoga, Liz Corwin on the victories that emerge from perceived failure, the choice to prioritize practice, and the ultimate walkabout.

Liz Corwin is world traveling yoga teacher, storyteller, and creator of Walkabout Yoga Retreats & Teacher Trainings. She is also a 15-year US Navy Officer and former F-18 Navy jet pilot. Today, she still serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserves supporting the Naval War College. She began teaching yoga to the military community while on deployment in 2008 aboard the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, sharing her practice and experience with other pilots and friends. Since then she has continued traveling the world teaching yoga to both our military community and civilian population as a way to bridge the divide of understanding. Liz's teachings and storytelling focus on deep inner shadow work, redefining strength and the warrior ethos, and embracing vulnerability as we uncover true self-acceptance, self-love, and healing.

She has recently been featured in the New York Times & Yoga Journal Magazine, is the creator of “Walkabout Yoga” Yoga Retreats and the free online video series “Yoga for Military Warriors” in partnership with Gaiam and The Give Back Yoga Foundation, cover model for Beryl Bender Birch’s book “Yoga for Warriors” and ambassador for the woman-owned yoga brand KiraGrace.


Upcoming Walkabout Yoga Retreats

New York Times Article "Yoga & Veterans - A Different Kind of Warrior"

Apr 13, 2019
Episode 11: Dani Shapiro

On welcoming compassion for the string of selves you've ever been, quotes from Hourglass and Inheritance. On the corrosive power of family secrets, and the healing of the secret that Dani uncovered about her origins.

About Dani Shapiro

Dani Shapiro’s books include the memoirs, Hourglass, Still Writing, Devotion, and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work spans diverse subjects from her tumultuous upbringing in an Orthodox Jewish community and the tragic death of her father to her explorations of spirituality and the nature of our deepest relationships. Dani’s New York Times best selling memoir, Inheritance, was recently published by Knopf.

Dani's essays and journalistic pieces have appeared in numerous publications including The New Yorker, Salon, n+1, Tin House, and Vogue, and have been widely anthologized. She contributes regularly to The New York Times Book Review and has been broadcast on This American Life.

Along with teaching writing workshops around the world, Dani has taught at Columbia and New York University, and is the cofounder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy.

In February of 2019, Dani launched an original podcast “Family Secrets” in collaboration with iHeart Media. The podcast features stories from guests who—like Dani— have uncovered life-altering and long-hidden secrets from their families’ past.

She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut.

Show Notes
Family Secrets Podcast

Apr 06, 2019
Episode 10: Diego Perez / Yung Pueblo

On meditation and the merits we carry as a result of our practice, engaging inward connections,  and cultivating heart community, with Diego Perez, the writer known as Yung Pueblo.

Diego perez is the writer behind the pen name yung pueblo. The name yung pueblo means "young people." It serves to remind him of his ecuadorian roots, his experiences in activism, and that the collective of humanity is in the midst of important growth. His favorite word, liberation, took on a deeper meaning once he started meditating vipassana, as taught by s.n. goenka. Through writing and speaking, he aims to support the healing of the individual, realizing that when we release our personal burdens, we contribute to a global peace.



Mar 30, 2019
Episode 9: Ally Bogard, Nadia Narain and Elena Brower: On Rituals, Practices, and Good Listening

On the occasion of the release of 'Rituals for Every Day' by Nadia Narain and and Katia Narain Phillips, we gathered to chat about our own practices of listening, praying and meaning-making./p>

Nadia Narain is one of the UK’s best loved and most respected yoga teachers. For more than 20 years, she has taught everyone from professional athletes to, pregnant women to total beginners and yoga sceptics, how to take care of their outer bodies as well as their inner spirit, she has inspired thousands to slow down, be kind and love themselves where they are. Nadia is also co-author with her sister of the international bestselling book “Self Care for the Real World,” and more recently, “Rituals for Every Day,” explaining not just why we have to look after ourselves, but how i simple achievable ways.

Nadia has a range for chemical free candles and perfumes and yoga retreats

Rituals for Every Day

Mar 23, 2019
Episode 8: On the Evolution of Digital Practice, with Derik Mills, Founder of

Glo founder Derik Mills joined me for a sweet, edifying conversation on my last trip to film at Glo. We touched upon the last ten years of digital evolution, the future of virtual practice and the heart of what we do together at

Derik is the CEO/founder of Glo, formerly YogaGlo, a health and wellness brand that challenges people to live a fulfilling life. Glo believes in a world in which we all live our true potential. In 2008, Derik teamed up with his younger brother to found and self-fund Glo. They started by converting a Santa Monica workspace into a recording studio to film yoga and meditation classes that were free for the public to attend. The online service grew to empower subscribers to experience yoga, meditation, lecture, and online continuing education courses taught by world-class instructors from anywhere in the world. Today, in 2019, the company remains self-funded and has expanded to a team of more than 100 people, including faculty, and produced more than 10,000 classes. The company is currently expanding into additional wellness modalities--all in service of providing a personalized experience that makes it easy for members to integrate self-care into their everyday lives. Featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Forbes, Goop, Oprah, and more, Glo has become a cultural phenomenon driven by Derik’s devotion to contributing to something larger than himself.


Mar 09, 2019
Episode 7: On Growth, Your Purpose, and Whole Life Leadership with Claudia Chan

How Claudia began. Watching her powerful, entrepreneurial Chinese Mother do it all.

Sex and the City. 2000s. Power of the media to influence Women’s values.

Half the Sky: learning about the state of women and girls in the Third world, developing countries, maternal mortality and sex trafficking. In the US: the pay gap and gender inequality.

First SHE Summit. Showing women that they can become leaders and change agents.

Innovation means seeing the invisible. When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible.

Living in the discomfort. It’s where you make the most change.

Spiritual growth has to precede personal growth. Personal Growth has to precede Leadership development. Leadership Development leads to Social Change.

Leadership Development means being really clear on your purpose. Being a Visionary, leading teams.

We’re always going to bump into new challenges that will trigger things from our childhood. For Claudia, this often shows up as money issues.

You need spiritual growth in order to be rooted in something bigger than you, because it takes so much to move our destiny forward.

Claudia’s mission to inspire leaders to take action, to create a more equal world.
Identity of boys and men is also in transition.

How traditional institutions were built on masculine traits. Feminine traits are now starting to permeate the culture.

15.43- 17:41
For several years, women have created movements around particular topics e.g: Christy Turlington’s Every Mother Counts:, but we also need more Men creating groups that mobilise around particular causes and topics. EVRYMAN is a great example:

More gender diverse workplaces are more successful.

The Thirteen Pillars: Purpose, Vision, Faith, Resilience, Energy, Productivity, Humility Gratitude, Grace, Community, Self-love, Courage and Mindfulness.

On identifying purpose. What are you meant to do and what are you leaving behind? Start where you struggle.

On Resilience. A gem can not be polished without friction.

On Energy. To be intentional about it.
Neville Goddard The Power of imagination

35: 58
How the 13 pillars intertwine. Use as a check-list for growth. Humility. We stop learning when we think we know it all.

Treat your whole life as the organization you are leading. Whole-life leadership.

See yourself as a leader. Start to develop and create your vision.

Outside-in thinking. Your destiny is greatness.
Pastor: Your schedule is less about what you need to get done and more about who you need to become.

Elena reads Honoring Community poem from Pixie Lighthorse’s book Prayers of Honoring

48:13-54: 53
Claudia's Relationship with Money. Be aware, and forgive yourself for thinking a certain way.

The Abundance Price by John Randolph Price
This is How We Rise
Prayers of Honoring
Money, A Love Story

Claudia Chan is a recognized leadership expert and social entrepreneur dedicated to activating individuals and organizations to lead culture change and accelerate equality.

Claudia founded the award-winning global leadership conference, S.H.E. Summit, making the advancement of women’s leadership and inclusive culture change accessible and actionable. Year after year, the event connects, educates and activates change agents and champions of equality; speakers have included Deepak Chopra, Kelly Clarkson, Carla Harris of Morgan Stanley, Sallie Krawcheck, Gabrielle Bernstein, Soledad O’Brien, and UN Ambassador Samantha Power, among others.

Claudia also leads S.H.E. Globl Media, a corporate platform helping Fortune 1000 companies by providing strategic and operational tools to empower and activate ALL employees in creating permanent culture change. A sought-after speaker on how empowered talent can and should create a world of true equity, Claudia was called the “Richard Branson of Women’s Empowerment” by Fast Company and named one of 2017’s “20 Most Influential Moms” by Family Circle. In 2015, Claudia became an official U.S. State Department Speaker and has visited countries like South Korea for countrywide speaking tours to educate women on how to empower themselves and others in their communities. She was the 2015 global spokesperson for Gillette Venus #UseYourAnd empowerment campaign, a movement encouraging women to celebrate their multi-dimensionality.

Prior to launching S.H.E. Globl Media, Claudia was President & Co-Owner of the popular women’s entertainment company Shecky’s for 10 years. Claudia is a lifelong New Yorker, proud alumnae of Smith College, Mom of two and an equal partner with her husband, John.

Mar 02, 2019
Episode 6: On Parenting through Divorce, with Jonah Lyon

In this short episode, Jonah and I touch upon:

- his experience of what we did well in our separation (we minimized fighting, always apologized, and shared stories of the trajectory in a loving way)

- advice to parents for how to handle separation and divorce (no fighting, always apologize, and be kind)

- not requiring eye contact with your kid - allowing the kid to open up more freely

- our shared appreciation of Sex Education on Netflix

- on sources of stress in his life

- a friendly meditation challenge

- Better Apart

Feb 23, 2019
Episode 5: Remembering Mary Oliver

On the occasion of Mary Oliver's passing, a reading of dear passages and poems. Mary’s work has informed mine since 1998; reading her words brings me back to the earliest days of teaching and learning to lead.

Readings from:

A Thousand Mornings
A Poetry Handbook

Feb 16, 2019
Episode 4: Collecting Difficult Moments in Relationship, with James Benard

On the intelligence of risk, radical independence, and decoding the real conversation that happens in relationship. 

Feb 05, 2019
Episode 3: It’s All a Teaching, with Elena

Seeing difficult moments as evidence that it was always coming together.

Length: 5:00
Seeing that every difficult moment is a teaching.
A Call For Revolution by His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Seek evidence that it was always coming together
Hold a state of peace within our hearts
“...respond to terror with increased democracy, openness and tolerance”

May we be more gentle with our fear
May we apply the tolerance, non-violence within our own homes
May we look upon those closest to us (with whom we might be challenged) and continue to believe that there is a teaching in this challenge.

Feb 05, 2019
Episode 2: Collecting Difficult Moments, with Ally Bogard

On the energetic and practical wisdom of gathering difficult moments; seeing them as food for your journey.

Length: 54:07

Eternal Two Step by Mark Nepo, p.33, Things That Join the Sea and Sky

Collecting difficult moments like little gems.
Don't try to avoid them; gather them up like fuel, food, treasures.

When you're a child, the imagination still reigns; there isn’t the impression of meaning just yet… the meaning of what's occurring is entirely open to our interpretation. Meanings begin to be collected and change us. Collecting difficult moments puts us back into the world of imagination, allowing us to reclaim creativity.

That moment you started to feel like the adult with your parents.
Collecting moments of trusting that everyone has their path.
AB the pleaser; letting go of the need to control other people's experience.
Collecting the difficult moments makes them sacred. Reclaiming lost bits of ourselves, our imagination.

Self Compassion practice; Rod Stryker- Sanctuary app
What hasn’t been healed? Acknowledging what hasn’t been healed. Giving love and compassion to those aspects. What is it that hasn't been healed?

EB the fixer; growing the heart v. boundaries. Committing to self in the midst of relationship.

AB: Loving yourself is never somewhere we get, it's a never-ending journey.
Knowing that you, yourself are your person and committing to that.
“Her” film: the computer loving her 800 humans.
What if my self-love can be so big, it doesn't get rid of my self-hate, it can simply expand to hold and encompass it?

Practicalities. Scheduling. What is on your calendar that map that self-love?

AB: I tend to schedule things for someone else; having spare time means meeting myself in the blank spaces. Schedule the void diligently. The busyness is just my way of avoiding myself. I don't want to keep accumulating difficult moments without processing the wisdom / extracting the gold from them.

I have to make mandatory space in the early morning. So I determine the energy I run in the day. And at least once during the day touching down with someone that nourishes me.

On distractions
EB: Business is my favourite distraction; traveling is a good way for me to just stare into space and get great insights about how I want to show up.

EB: collecting difficult moments with kids; realizing that she doesn’t need to have Jonah be anything or anyone other than who he is.

EB: Taking space to take space in order to respond to a difficult moment as it’s happening. Moving from baseline overt volatility to softening.
AB: Moving from silent treatment / avoidance / repression to learning how to fight.

EB: Learning from James’ experience with mens’ work how to listen, communicate. On truly listening. Accepting what the other person is telling you, and then also offering your side.
AB: Can I suspend my first judgement of thinking this is “good” or “bad” - the wisdom of hindsight teaches me that all the tough moments were other than what I thought was being asked of me.

I'm grateful that life or God always knew what was needed.
Who do i want to become with what's happening, so that we aren’t passive bystanders?
What current of energy are you running in your system?

In all difficult moments you were met by grace.
Seth Godin - difficult moments will not be helped by brute force.
How can we get creative with what’s happening or happened.
We're not passive bystanders.
Choosing what kind of energy you’re running in your system.

With what are you identifying in this particular moment?
Flexible identities v. fixed identities.
When we look at collecting difficult moments; it's not the identity about what happened, but what we chose to do with it. eg. I was abandoned, so I chose not to abandon.

AB chooses her charity: Navajo Water Project fundraiser.
Help provide solar power and water where need is greatest in our land.
EB realizing early on the lie being told in American history books.

AB: When you stop working, do you feel that your existence doesn't matter?
If i stop, it's almost as if everything is about to fall apart.
EB: Trying to stop being perfect or productive in every moment; just practicing sitting still.


1. What needs healing?
AB: Developing an unshakeable faith in God and trust in the Creator/ Divine Mother. Remembrance that we’re being walked. I'm doing my very best to live with an unburdened heart.
EB: To heal my judgement, learning to contextualize the person i’m judging. Becoming more deeply familiar with what the other side is doing / saying so it’s not surprising anymore.

Van Jones on Tami Simons, Insights at the Edge.

2. What's your favourite view?
AB: Eye to eye, voice to voice, heart to heart.
(We never get to sit together and just be eye to eye with no device, no distraction.)
EB: The back of my son’s neck. Formerly my Papa’s. James’ too.

3. What does prayer mean to you?
AB: Prayer means recovering a lost language - the true mother tongue. Prayer got taken out of our hands and put into the hands of others. Prayer is a place where I have to humble myself. Ask for help. Say thank you. Silent prayer makes me wonder who could listen to my quiet, inner place. That must be inside of me, inseparable from me; it’s a redirect to something inside that’s listening, that wants to hear.
EB: Provides confirmation that it’s all inside of each of us. Prayer used to be more asking and collapsing. Now it’s more the relaxing rather than the asking. Affirming my humility. The fact that I don’t know, i don’t have an answer, and i don’t know what to do. But i'm listening.
AB: Praying for God's will - the woman AB met in MX stopped praying for her perceived needs and started praying for God's will, soon realising that her needs were met, under God's will, and her mission was just to get right with what is. Being grateful for exactly this moment. How do I get right with this.


Hear and map what your inner voice has been telling you about difficult moments. Make it artful, beautiful, scary, real.
From the map, write a list of what scares you and/or a list of your dreams.
Bless things more. Find aspects of your life to bless.
Ask a couple of people for feedback. How am i handling difficult moments? What could I have done better today? Don't "identify" with what feedback they give you; identify with what you can do to heal it.

“Eternal Two Step” by Mark Nepo.
From Things That Join the Sea and Sky

Difficult moments are like little deaths. Get good with them.


Roshi Joan Halifax
Van Jones on Tami Simons, Insights at the Edge

Feb 05, 2019
Episode 1: Collecting Difficult Moments, Intro with Elena

Seeing difficult moments as our treasures. Strategies and perspectives for releasing stories and tensions.

Vanda Scaravelli quote: Tension is a theft.
To be in adherence with the present moment.
On the stories we’ve repeated in our minds to create tension
“Notice the stories you hold in your mind. Let go of the ones that cause tension.” -Yung Pueblo

On our being accustomed to - and recreating a baseline neutral of tension…
On the contradictions we’ve adhered to - and seeing them as the treasures and the lessons
On stopping the fight

Welcoming the child in us that we’ve shunned
And collecting the presence, creating a sacred space for that part of us

How to be with those parts of ourselves that we’ve denied
Making time for compassion
Seeing your child bring forth all the parts of you that you’ve denied

On being with the sting of childhood, seeing how it’s still likely driving our choices
Not dramatizing, nor glorifying, just giving it compassion and love

Rod Stryker on Glo
Seeing what hasn’t received my full compassion and love

Feeling the lesson now; observing and choosing with more clarity

Our PRACTICE for this episode:
Noting and writing what still hurts.
What part of you needs your compassion
How old were you when that happened / was happening
Write it out

My example from 5th grade

If we wish to help and serve, to land in the source of lingering childhood pain is a viable endeavour - write it out…
Then note:
What’s a good response, from the perspective of the person that you are now?

Complaining less
Serving more
More transparency
Recent conversation with my son
There's no map for parenting; we don’t really know how we’re doing

Jonah's honest response to my burgeoning self-compassion

Your writing out the difficult moments will serve as your map.

13:00 - 16:45
As you observe the choices you’ve made as a result of the tension you’ve cultivated unconsciously, here are some possible practices.

Looking ahead to Episode Two with Ally Bogard.


Sanctuary App
Glo with Rod Stryker
Ally Bogard

Feb 03, 2019