Jill Miller met fellow yogi Elena Brower this past October when they both presented at the Ojai Yoga Crib, and the two immediately struck up a friendship. When Jill found out Elena was about to publish a yoga workbook called Art of Attention (co-authored by Erica Jago), she knew she wanted to have a heart-to-heart interview: teacher-to-teacher, innovator-to-innovator and woman-to-woman. Here is Part Two of her interview. To read Part One, click here.
Q. The Internet is a great way for new yogis to explore the practice. I actually discovered yoga through books, videos and magazines as a pre-teen living off the grid in Santa Fe 30 years ago! My first yoga video was Raquel Welch on Beta. I simply had no access to a “live” teacher at the time. In fact, one of the reasons I created my Yoga Tune Up® videos was to inspire students through the medium of media the way I was.
The web is also a great place for both new and experienced yogis to reach out to the larger yoga community. I think you and Erica were so lucky to have found each other through YogaGlo! Given the ever-expanding array of yoga teachers who create virtual classrooms and communities, what advice would you give to an emerging yogi who is seeking to find their teacher/muse online? So many students simply do not have access to teachers in their local community or have not found a teacher they feel a connection with. What’s the best way to create a real connection to an online yoga teacher who inspires your at-home practice?
A. As with an in-person class, keep searching until you’ve found someone to warm your heart and really make you feel at home with your practice. I also use your Yoga TuneUp® DVDs a fair amount, and I love those.
Q. This is a question for teachers: When you conceive of a yoga practice for your students, what are your top three priorities?
A. My priorities are that as a student in my class,
1. you feel comfortable in your own skin
2. you feel the connection between the movement and the message
3. you are more kind and attentive to yourself and others when you leave the mat
Q. What is your “desert island” yoga pose? Meaning, if you were only allowed to do one pose for the rest of your days, which one would it be? (Mine is Supta Padagusthasana #3.)
A. Same as you. That supine stretch is so comprehensive and really feels incredible, thanks in no small part to your Yoga Link Hip Helpers DVD!
Q. I see that “Book One” is part of the title. Are you planning more books in this same style? Or will you be expanding into a different sort of book for the future of the Art of Attention series?
A. Yes. The second will be a book on the chakras and will be beautiful, informative and comprehensive.
Q. What haven’t I asked you yet that you’d like to tell the world?
A. That at the end of each chapter, we have placed workbook pages so you can create your own sequences, doodle, take notes on inspiring words or phrases. Delicious, collaborative pages!
Oh and that I’m ridiculously grateful for my job.
Q. Why did you decide to self-publish rather than seeking out a publisher or a “book deal?”
A. Erica and I wanted to be able to give books away to teachers and teachers in training who might otherwise not have access to them. We loved building a community around the shared goal of bringing the book to life. We also enjoyed seeing our creative vision through to the finish. We wanted to run a campaign on Indie Go Go geared at giving copies to teachers and teachers in training with Africa Yoga Project, Every Mother Counts, Women for Women, Somaly Mam, Lineage Project, Akasha Project and Yoga Gives Back. The process of making a video, designing perks for the contributors, building a community and getting their feedback with inspiring comments. It was all a rush of gratitude down to the last hours of the campaign.