Friday, 18 July 2014

Yoga and Art (Yoku): Alive

getting ready for Yoku class
Last night I went to the Yoku session for the second time, I loved it so much the first time that I wanted more of it. In this session three people participated, this a small group but I noticed it doesn't really matter what the size of the group is, large or small both have their (dis)advantages.
my feet on a yoga mat
The theme of the evening was: alive. We started out with a little chat about what made us feel alive. For me it is looking at colours and images. Images are very important in my live, taking photographs or looking at photos (mine or other peoples') simply make me happy. Also, a quiet walk around the block with my camera lift up my spirits.
This talk was continued by a 40 minute session of Kundalini yoga, our teacher gave us exercises to make us feel alive and boy did I feel alive after that!
vases with flowers
After a little rest and a pranayama we were to sit at the table and to look at the flowers. Simply looking, no thinking of what might be coming next, just taking in the colours, textures and shapes.
vase with stems
My eyes were constantly going back to this part of the arrangement. The teacher gave handed us a piece of paper with a cut-out square. Looking through the square made it all different for me, it felt like contemplative photography: you look at something and every else around it falls away. Everything in the square is what matters, the rest does not.
The other two participants felt rather restricted by this little square.
simple painting of vase
We were to paint what we liked most or where our attention was going most of the time, it didn't have to be perfect. My attention was still with the vase so I started painting that in rough bold lines. I have not painted in about 20 years so I am still unfamiliar with the materials.
I am painting
photo by Jasmijn
After a short while we were asked to lay down our brushes and to look at our painting with fresh eyes: leave the flowers behind and look if you could see something else in your painting. I turned it around and around a few times and then continued up-side-down. I felt it needed a different colour: pink.
my changed painting
The top of the vase was now like an opening from which pink and red garlands were flowing down. When I think about it, I choose warm colours again and brought some movement into my work. Maybe that is the effect of the fiery Kundalini yoga? Anyways, I realized this kind of painting makes me happy and I could sit there for hours.
painting utensils
We could paint until we were ready and surprisingly that was about the exact same time.
three paintings in a row
At the end of the session we laid down our paintings side by side and again I noticed such a huge difference between the three works. My painting is in the middle and it's the only abstract. I was also the only one who turned around her work. I was a little surprised at that, I guess I had not expected that. The wonderful thing about non-conceptual painting is that nothing is right or wrong. I felt free to paint what rose up in me.

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