Welcome fellow creative yogis! The quick and dirty is that if you are a creative professional (or if you like, starving artist) and currently practice, or have ever entertained the notion trying yoga, this blog is for you. The aim of "Art in Practice" is to translate the ancient wisdom of yoga, into practices (simple and tough, physical and mental) that support and inspire your creative livelihood and lifestyle. The 'Quick Sits" category will contain short 'practices', aimed at stimulating creativity, focus, clarity, energy, inspiration and confidence geared towards artists, for example: breath work for singers, meditation to calm the nerves before performance, mantras for focus and creative, finger stretching for painters, or legs up the wall for ALL! There will also be bi-weekly editorials and guest contributors sharing stories and insights into the struggles and successes of being a professional and yogi.
Sold? OK, now all you have to do is get back to your home office (isn't it nice?!) and get working, your first 'Quick Sit' is on its way!
Now, for those of you with longer attention spans, (or maybe with a bit more free time while waiting for your next big contract!) here's the full story:
I returned home from India last June with a vision: I am a writer, so I should be one. Bold, gutsy, or just plain stupid, I deferred stable work for the stressful insecurities of freelance writing. My time in India, and the people I met, made me realize that instead of feeling guilty for everything we have, we should make the most of it: how insulting to squander our liberties and blessings, to not pursue our passions to the fullest! In addition, to the amazing life we have been blessed with in this country, we have the ancient wisdom of yoga to use as tool for self-transformation and more importantly (for the purposes of this blog) - as a means to support our life goals and passions. Knowing that my yoga practice is a tool that supports the lifestyle of my choosing certainly gave me the courage for this new and very real, the most real, adventure of my life.
Seeing as how pretty much all of you reading this blog are 'householders' in that you may practice yoga, but you live in society, as opposed to permanent meditative isolation in a mountain cave, its important to realize that we are in a process (individually and socially), of interpreting and redefining the art and practice of yoga, in terms of what it means in our socio-cultural-spiritual context. This, in my experience, has been very confusing, sometimes feeling guilty about enjoying earthly pleasures and thereby defying the yogic principle of Bramacharya (abstinence), but on the other hand, feeling socially alienated and labelled too "new-agey" when talking about my health in terms of chakras. In terms of work, I have felt equally confused: As yogis should we strive to avoid the struggle for money and the desire for material pleasures and things? But how do we sustain ourselves in a society that necessitates a certain level of this mindset to survive? How do we strike a balance?
Unless you are actually planning on moving to a cave and living off of air and divine energy, this is where translation and re-contextualization come in, what does being a yogi in 2011 in the western world mean? I have been blessed with insightful teachers who are already far into the process of answering this themselves, and the results, they are living lives that are aligned with their passions and the greater good of those around them. My hope is to share their (and my) interpretation of the practice of yoga so that it can become your shield of compassion and sword of purpose and vision. So it helps you to blaze your trail, and battle the adversity inherent to life, while living in harmony with those around you and your deeper principles.
You can’t buy yoga, but you can buy into it, and you can’t have shares, but it must be shared. Yoga wont make you famous, or published or signed, YOU do that. Yoga is not a product, it's a practice, and just like any art form, you must practice A LOT. Also like any practice, there is a subtle art to it. I hope this blog will support your practice and enhance your artistic product, and help you find joy and balance along the way.
This blog is dedicated to Natacha Rousell (aka Chacha Roux), fellow Kripalu yoga teacher, singer, dancer, writer, visual artist and creative force in the universe: You never cease to provide inspiration when the candle burns dim and the ink has dried. I also dedicate this blog to the women of India with whom I was fortunate enough to share a brief moment of their lives.