When She was 23, Sara Auster broke her back in a traumatic accident and suffered from chronic pain. She was working as an artist in her studio in New York City, the floor collapsed and she fell over 15 feet to the floor below with all of her artwork. The pain was a constant reminder to be mindful of how she sat, walked, got dressed and so on. The emotional and mental trauma were constant as well. This forced her to have a greater awareness of her body and how she moved through the world.
Through yoga and meditation she began to shift her relationship with the pain by becoming more aware of choices and actions, moment to moment. Today, Sara is a sound therapy practitioner, meditation teacher, music composer and artist, still based in New York City.
Inside/Out: What are you working on now and what are your future projects?
Sara Auster: I am working on a series called "Sound Mo(ve)ments". These are unique Sound Meditation events inspired by one particular work of art or exhibition in a given museum, gallery or cultural institution, both nationally and internationally. The goal is to create a multi-sensory mindful experience to facilitate a deeper and more intimate relationship with the work, bringing a greater understanding of the work and artist as well as a strong sense of human connection among participants/viewers.
I/O: What are your thoughts on female empowerment?
S: I have always felt that women are powerful. We can use that power to compare ourselves and compete or to support and build each other up. The outcome will usually be best with the latter.
I/O: How do you achieve harmony in your life?
S: This "harmony" comes from a practice of deep listening. Each day I am tuning in to pick up cues from my body, mind and surroundings.
I/O: An expert you admire?
S: Ellie Burrows (co-founder of MNDFL). She embodies female empowerment, determination and kind-heartedness.
I/O: Your teachers?
S: I see almost every person I come in contact with as a potential teacher.
I/O: What does your community look like?
S: My community is creative, diverse, open-minded and radically inclusive.
I/O: Who or what helped you get where you are today?
S: The usual, I suppose. Teachers, family, friends, really anyone who has loved and accepted me unconditionally while challenging my strengths and weaknesses.
I/O: What challenges or obstacles do you encounter?
S: Ironically, I have always had a hard time taking pauses. When you have the opportunity to do and offer what you love, it makes it hard to want to stop and recharge.
I/O: What does your community consist of?
S: I'm lucky to be part of a strong community of teachers, artists, healers and innovators. Shout out to MNDFL and The Big Quiet. (See also our post about their event at the World Trade Center).
I/O: We know that both through your work and on a personal level you are a caregiver to so many people. So tell us, who takes care of you?
S: My husband, Alex Falk (aka Atonal Meditation aka Phaze 4k). 100%. He is my best friend, greatest love, collaborator in music and sound, and overall partner in crime.
I/O: Three words:
S: Authenticity, creativity, connection.
I/O: Tell us about your rituals.
S: I have a twice daily meditation practice. Not sure I could function without it. Fitness and exercise are usually changing for me, with yoga being the only constant. I usually do a 3-week cleanse in the Spring and Fall to reset and have a personal ritual around the new and full moons.
I/O: Do you ever "fall off the wellness wagon"?
S: I don't really consider it like that. I think we are all meant to ebb and flow in our experience of our bodies and our lives. We forget so that we can remember. That's one of the great things about being human.
I/O: What role does travel play in your life? Where do you plan to go in 2017?
S: I plan to do a lot more travel in 2017. Paris again (Inside/Out organised an event with Sara at Elephant Paname on April 13th), of course, and LA, London, Miami and the Bahamas.
I/O: What role does music play in your life?
S: Music is with me throughout the day every day. The song "Sunburner" by Cruture has been getting me going recently.
I/O: What makes you happy?
S: Being able to do what I love, surrounded by people who inspire me.
I/O: What do you do when something makes you unhappy?
S: Pause. Breathe. Ask myself why this is affecting me negatively.
I/O: What inspires you more than anything else?
I/O: A desire, a wish, an intention or manifestation for 2017?
S: Even more human connection and creative collaboration