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Elana Katz was first introduced to yoga at the age of 11, while training as a classical dancer. She had a knee injury and visited many western doctors, yet nobody was able to help. It was not until she began to work with the gifted yogi Robert Boustany, that her injury finally healed. Robert’s intuition and gift for working with the body was distinctly unique, yet it was also clear that Robert had been trained in a tradition of healing art that possessed a profound understanding of the interconnectivity and balance of the body.
Since this time, Elana has had a deeply rooted respect for the tradition of yoga. She has since trained in many different styles, including classical hatha, Iyengar, Jivamukti, Ashtanga-based vinyasa, as well as completing a 200 hour teacher training in Kripalu Yoga. She still continues to work with her first teacher and long time inspiration, Robert Boustany, who has now founded a method known as Pralaya Hatha Yoga.
Elana left classical dance as a teenager, yet she always maintained a yoga practice, finding an essential sanctuary in yoga— in the cultivation of being present, the practice of compassion and tolerance, the stimulation of physical and spiritual energy, as well as the way in which the practice honors and opens one’s inner self and the complexities of one’s inner world.
Elana went on to pursue many varying fields, following her curiosities and aiming to develop a well-rounded character. This lead her to a BA in Post-Colonial Literature and a BFA in Photography from New School University in New York in 2008; and to Berlin, Germany where she earned a Meisterschüler (Germany’s MFA equivalent) in Fine Art from the Universitåt der Künste Berlin in 2010.
In 2008, performance art became Elana’s primary medium of artistic expression. In performance, Elana found a union between her conceptual artistic work and the use of the body as a means of expression. Elana’s performance work is marked by its critical nature, as it challenges social conventions, divisions, and ideals with unyielding intensity.
Her recent grants have included the DAAD Graduate Studies Grant and the Franklin Furnace Grant for Performance Art. In the past 3 years, Elana has exhibited/ performed in Germany, Russia, France, the USA, and Italy. In the Spring of 2010 she was selected by Marina Abramovic as a reperformer of Abramovic’s work at the MoMA [Museum of Modern Art] in New York, where she gave more than 200 performances over a 3-month period.
Since relocating to Berlin in 2008, Elana has taught yoga at HOME Yoga as well as Galerie Petra Vankova, where she founded YOGA for ARTISTS, a program that promotes the notion that wellness energizes the creative mind and body, and can inform and inspire artists to create. The program is a natural extension of Elana’s own experience of living as a yogi and artist. Classes take place at the Galerie Petra Vankova, and yoga is thus practiced surrounded by an exhibition — in a rich environment of expression and creativity.
It is Elana’s mission to move forward learning, living, and teaching the beauty that lies in awareness, reflection, inquiry, and expression—the basis for yoga, as well as all fields of art.