Versatility

A fresh start always feels good. This is the debut of my new website, brilliantly designed by Samantha and Dan at Graphics Westchester. I can sigh with relief as I finally have a clean, well organized space to promote my yoga business as well as my artwork! I hope you enjoy navigating the new site and have some time to check out, or for some of my previous followers, reintroduce yourself to my portfolio page.

This post also acknowledges the reinstatement of my blog. I hope to keep you updated with my latest art projects, as well as thoughts, experiences, and articles on yoga. For those of you who do not yet know me, I have been practicing yoga for the better part of ten years and began teaching this summer. After spending a year in graduate school (2010-2011) for art education and realizing that I did not want to be an art teacher, I must say it was a little surprising once I realized, all these years later, that I did want to teach after all: yoga.

Getting my 200hour certification was as rewarding an experience as receiving my art degrees and my current goal is to combine these two aspects of my life… dreaming about a yoga studio/art gallery. Big plans for the future and lots of work to be done. In the meantime though, I am ecstatic to be teaching classes independently. I won’t lie that it has been challenging going it on my own, needless to say costly when I add up all my advertising and materials costs. Promoting yoga in rural mountain towns is difficult and no matter how many rack cards I hand out, I am still very much dependent on word of mouth. Always keeping a positive outlook, of course.

With the yoga studio dream somewhere in the near/distant future,img_0307
I am lucky enough to find spaces to rent by the hour. My Saturday morning class is held in a beautiful room with hardwood floors, plants in the windows, and a mirrored wall. It was built as a Tai-chi room and has great energy in it. While I sometimes envy my fellow classmates who have gone on to teach in some pretty incredible yoga studios, I can’t help but feel grateful for my alternative yoga spaces. A couple of local classes that I still attend are held in some pretty unique locations: a warming hut for a ski slope, the town library, etc.

I suppose that this is bringing me to my grand point of yoga being such a versatile img_0343activity; you can literally bring itimg_0309 anywhere with you. I recently spent some time in Yosemite National Park, which aside from its jaw droping granite peaks is a place filled with spiritual inspiration. We went on a few hikes and even though I didn’t have a mat or a blanket with me, I couldn’t help but take a few moments to stretch while in the presence of such natural wonders. It was invigorating to place my hands on the rock and dirt, to feel the hum of ancient forces at work beneath the crust of the earth. I was reminded of all this while reading through some articles yesterday. One collection of photos really played on my heartstrings and adrenaline as I looked at yogis balancing from great heights or in the heat of the desert. You can check these photos out here.

Yoga and art are like these perfect little carry ons that you can bring with you no matter where you go. As my mid-twenties turned into my late-twenties, I would sometimes ha350px-great_wave_off_kanagawa2ve these small anxiety filled moments of “What am I doing?! I went to art school and now I wait tables so I can try to pay off my loans as quickly as possible…gahh!” Regardless, I truly have no regrets, even as my exorbitant amount of student loan debt looms in the background like Mount Fugi in a Hokusai print. I now have two skills and passions that I can bring with me around the world, as well as the ablity to develop and refine them in the comfort of my own home.

While my own free- standing studio may be waiting for me in the future, I make the most of what my home has to offer for my own daily practice. We have a nice house that is big enough for us to live in, but with every available space being used. That is to say, there is not much open area and I’ve had to get pretty creative with those spaces, interior and exterior, that are just wide enough for me to lay my mat down, as you can see from my photos below.

Another article I was reading through on How To Create A Yoga Sanctuary At Home had me yearning to build a spacious sun room off our living room and fill it with plants, cushions, and a permanent spot for my mat. For those of you with the space, it’s a great little article on how to accessorize your yoga nook. I bring a lot of accessories (essential oil diffuser, assorted crystals, chaimg_0345kra flags, Buddha statue, etc.) with me every week to my class because a little ambiance never hurts. Taking time out of your day to spend on your mat is a great reward for yourself and being able to peronalize the space in which you practice is another great gift. I always find myself thinking that “taking time for myself” seems like such a selfish act, especially when I read everyday of ensuing violence and turmoil throughout the world: I should be putting more effort into helping others… But how often is the time we take for ourselves actually benefiting us in a healthy way? Sure, it can feel good for a while to have a new outfit or indulge in that fourth glass of wine, but what long lasting good are we actually gaining? Spending even fifteen or twenty minutes to bring yourself some peace and positivity can go a long way. After all, we can’t expect to make a difference in the world around us if we cannot sustain the world within us.

So I hope I’ve gotten you all feeling motivated to take a little bit of yoga with you to wherever you go today, even if it’s just to a corner of your home. Next time I’d love to share the progress of a painting I’ve been working on along with more yoga musings. For now, I’ll leave you with a little poem I wrote…

 

A breath ’

a step

e x t e n d       calm your mind       r e l e a s e

exhalation

soul vibration

discover inner peace

 

S.