Yoga Sequences

Elena Brower’s Inner-Power Practice

Activate your inner power by refining your awareness and listening before you take action.

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Elena Brower, the founder of Virayoga in New York City, invites you to explore what power feels like as you move through this fun and challenging practice. “Inner power comes from your capacity and willingness to listen and be receptive to sensations as they arise, so that you know with total certainty how to direct your attention and energy in any situation,” explains Brower, who is an Anusara Yoga teacher.

When you cultivate receptivity for whatever comes your way—sensations in your practice, people in your life, challenges, or triumphs—it’s easier to forgo your initial reaction and instead take a moment to see things more clearly. And by cultivating patience, you create the space to refine your responses. Brower designed this sequence—which includes several standing poses that demand balance—to hone your patience and observation skills. She suggests you pay close attention to your breath as you practice: how it moves, sounds, and spreads a feeling of spaciousness throughout your body. In time, you’ll start to trust your ability to observe and move confidently toward balance in any context.

As you develop skill in this method of observation, you’ll learn to refine your responses in life. Be receptive and patient, and you’ll see your own qualities and life’s purpose with greater clarity. Ultimately, doubt and uncertainty will dissolve, leaving you with the taste of true freedom. What could be more powerful than that?

To Begin: Take a seat and rest your hands, one on top of the other, over your heart. Observe the qualities of your heart: Does it feel open or contracted? Warm or cool? Take 5 long, conscious breaths. Bring your palms together in Anjali Mudra. When you feel your mind is clear, begin with 3 to 5 rounds of your favorite Sun Salutation.

To Finish: Settle into Savasana (Corpse Pose). Place your right hand on your belly and your left hand on your heart. Feel the spaciousness there and in your body. Notice the slower pace of your breathing, the softness in the muscles of your face, the clarity in your mind. Rest in Savasana for 5 to 10 minutes.

Watch: Practice along with Elena Brower at