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Elena Brower’s first book, Art of Attention, debuts this fall

Art of Attention

As the world has gone digital, so has yoga, with classes moving from the studio onto websites like Gaiam TV and Yogavibes.com, and to apps galore.

Elena Brower, founder of Virayoga in New York and a teacher known world-over, has embraced this. And while her online presence is huge, this yoga luminary also says she’s “bringing the book back.”

Her first book, written with co-author West Coast yogi artist Erica Jago, is a stunningly illustrated yoga workbook called Art of Attention, and it will debut in early November.

YOU’RE THE CO-AUTHOR OF THE BOOK

“Erica and I learned how to teach yoga before we had our juicy little iPhones,” Brower says, “so we were all about our notebooks and exploring the beauty of putting the teachings on the page as we listened to our teachers.”

Elena Brower and Erica Jago

Co-authors Erica Jago and Elena Brower

Brower and Jago hope this is how their readers will use Art of Attention—as a tool for spiritual exploration as they practice yoga, and also as a place for scribbling the thoughts and inspirations that holding a headstand may elicit. 

It’s divided into five chapters, each of which accompanies a video class available on Yogaglo.com, giving the practice a “vision” such as “Let Go of Blame” or “Explore your Highest Possibilities.”

And each chapter has a preface written by a star inspirational guru—Gabrielle Bernstein, Donna Karan, Gwyneth Paltrow, Christy Turlington Burns, and MC Yogi.

With these guest contributions, the book broadens the scope of philosophies that influence yoga or what you might personally learn from practicing it. It very well could be this generation’s The Artist’s Way.

PUTTING THE “ART” IN THE ART OF ATTENTION

That said, you may have to struggle to tip your pen to the pages of such a gorgeous book (Jago’s primary role, executed beautifully) with aspirational photography and illustrations, and details like “embossed silver titling.” But the authors are confident that there’s a need to do just that. “There’s something magic about having a notebook and filling it with teachings that move you,” Brower says.

Just don’t expect to drop into Barnes and Noble to pick it up. Brower and Jago are funding the project via Indiegogo.com. Those who contribute $50 will receive one of 3,000 hand-numbered first edition copies, along with other perks like subscriptions to Yogaglo.com and private yoga sessions with Brower, depending on your level of giving. And for every copy ordered, one will be donated to a teacher working with organizations like the Africa Yoga Project and Yoga Gives Back.

The self-publishing route is paying off: Art of Attention has already raised almost 70 percent of its $60,000 goal, with about a month to go. We expect a story book ending. —Lisa Elaine Held

The Art of Attention, starting at $50, will be shipped in November. For more information or to purchase a copy visit Indiegogo.com or The Standard Miami