Art is defined as “The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.”
Yoga is an Art Form
So as such Yoga is in its self an art form, an expression where through our flows and postures or asanas, we produce shapes to be appreciated for their beauty, as well as to cultivate emotional power. For me as a student and teacher my practice varies hugely dependant on my emotional state and what my body needs. And likewise, my emotional state and mind-set change hugely when I practice. To have a yoga practice is to constantly be finding your expression of whats going on for you as well releasing what you don’t need and cultivating what you do! You have to adapt your practice and routine to best suit you for each day!
Teaching yoga is for me an expression of myself. I teach what I am working on in my own practice as well as what feels right for the students and what I can see they need during the yoga class. When planning my classes, I often think of a pose I want to work with and then sit with it and play with it on my mat to feel the pose and what comes naturally. My sequences are my expression, and for me is one of the key things I love about teaching and sharing my practice with my students.
With the increase of social media presence in the yoga community, sometimes this view of the practice as art and expression can be lost. We see a divide within the community between those who post beautiful, crazy poses, and those who believe that in doing this these individuals are the furthest thing you can be from a ‘true’ and authentic yoga practice. The truth (as with many things) is in my opinion somewhere between the two. It all rests on the intention and the individual and their personal journey of expression.
As yoga teachers, especially those of us relatively early on in our teaching journey like me we can feel pressured and wez know, beautiful shots of arm-balances and inversions helps to grow your following and presence. When we are starting out and building our profile, this often feels like in doing so we will get more chances for auditions, credibility and to get opportunities to share our passion. What can be seen as posts of arrogance, can actually be someone trying to support their business and gain credibility in a climate where social media is highly competitive tool to drive awareness and jobs are had to secure. I occasionally get negative feedback from my posts. As an ex-gymnast, inversions and arm balances take me back to being a child, they are my art and I love experimenting with the positions and seeing how they feel. The concentration and focus when I am in these poses is to me freedom from thought, and as a bonus sometimes they look pretty cool! But as a teacher when you come to my class, I teach giving options always to skip these poses and break them down. I try to take people back to that place of play that place of expression where they can feel the art and they can find what they want to express!
My Challenge for you…
So my plea…. Next time you are in a class, remember YOUR practice is YOUR art. It is subjective, it is YOURS, it is your personal EXPRESSION and your OPPORTUNITY to cultivate the emotional power you need in your life. Don’t be put off by what you see on social media, everyones art is their journey let them be them and you be you. And most of all art is for enjoyment so have fun!!!!
Yoga Hive: New Yoga Classes in The Curious Duke Art Gallery Tuesday mornings 7:30am £10. Check out my timetable for more details and come and express yourself!