This morning we caught up with the lovely Eleanor Bramwell of Be Well with Eleanor, on all things yoga, travel, and inspiration. We can’t wait to welcome her for a 2 part Therapeutic Acro Workshop later this month on 4/22 + 4/23!
How did you find the yoga path?
I was 6 years old the first time I stepped onto a yoga mat. My aunt was a bit of a yogalebrity traveling and teaching and she found a local Iyengar teacher and scheduled me with twice weekly classes. Later in my teens, I traveled and spent 2 years at the Himalayan Iyengar Center in India, where I had the great privilege of mentoring students, empowering and elevating them on the yoga path and helping them to safely adjust students.
Yoga was truly the language that was being spoken and modeled at home so I got lucky. I grew up knowing that our opportunity as a human being is to explore our inner landscape. This I believe and practice daily.
What teachers have inspired you?
Susan Huntington: The Iyengar teacher I first started practicing with at age 6. She taught me to notice what is in front of you and acknowledge and embrace it.
Jane Fryer: My aunt and profound Restorative Yoga Teacher. She has consistently reminded me that doing less and slowing down means more, because I am able to bring so much more of me to the experience.
And of course…
AcroYoga: Which has taught me how to play in my body. “If you’re not enjoying it, it isn’t actually helping you!”
Tell us a bit more about Therapeutic AcroYoga, which we understand is drastically different from the Acrobatics we typically associate with Acro.
Therapeutic Acro Yoga is really amazing because it is safe and it is for everyone. It’s delicious and a deep release, and it allows you to hang upside down and allow gravity to traction your body. Ultimately the person who is flying is presented with the opportunity to surrender and breathe, and if they do this they can deepen the experience, as the more they let go the more they can release, and so the deeper the experience.
This is precisely why Therapeutic Acro Yoga is so great for those who spend their time in a dynamic vinyasa practice weekly. We remember to be more present to our moments especially the small moments that carry the nectar and sweetness of our lives. We also recognize that the way we approach the practice offers a mirror for how we approach life. So, if there is hesitancy for someone allowing another to base him or her, then perhaps they feel afraid to be vulnerable and to be held up in their life too!
Oh and of course you get a massage in the air that feels incredible and you learn to use the intrinsic muscles for stabilization, which allow you to invert and balance with more support and true power. Not to mention we focus on the fundamentals of bone stacking that remind us to be safe in our asanas. And your hamstrings stretch and lengthen which all of us could use a bit more of!
What about books that have inspired you along the way?
> The Body Keeps the Score: Bessel Van der kolk
Written by really the first scientist that endorsed yoga therapy and trauma sensitive yoga, this book underscored for me that trauma and our experiences are stored in the body not the mind.
> Wizard of Oz Books: When I was a child my father would read to me every morning and evening from these books, so they really are apart of me.
> The Prophet: Khalil Gibran
This book of 26 prose fables reminds me that you don’t need to say or do a lot to have a profound experience, and it allows me to remain in this state deep wonderment.
I grew up truly believing that a completed mind is the most amazing tool, so any books by the philosophical greats such as Descartes I’m a big fan!
Needless to say we were amazed and inspired by Eleanor and we didn’t even mention that she graduated High School at age 15, and by 17 had started her first company, a Child Care Company, in Nosara, Costa Rica, which offered an innovative way to care for and empower children.
She’s the type of person you want to take for tea and get lost in her wisdom and storytelling, and we are so grateful to welcome her here for some Therapeutic Acro and Anatomy yoga story telling.