Friday, 16 January 2015

Yoga and Art (Yoku): Starting together

yoku: painting together
Last night was the first Yoku night of 2015 and the theme was 'starting together'. First we talked about how the start of the year was for each of us. My year started with a great James Bond party organized by my friend and I. I rested well during the holidays, but now I am already becoming tired as it is very busy and literally nerve wrecking at work.
yoku: my hand covered in paint
We didn't do much yoga this time, we did a meditation Kundalini-style: thumbs tucked under our armpits, fingertips touching the chest bone and the inhalation was through an open mouth causing a whistling sound, exhalation through the nose. Inwardly you cited the mantra: 'Ong' on an in-breath and 'So Hang' on the out-breath. It made me focused on what I was doing and I associated the sounds of the whistles with howling wind. I was really tired from work but the mediation energized me. 
yoku: painting together on music
We let the mediation do its work throughout out bodies and slowly we started to move on the sounds of a relaxing melody. The music became more upbeat and we were coaxed to dance and to use the whole room as a dance floor.
yoku: painting a heart
Finally, we were invited to start painting on a huge piece of paper so we were not making our own painting but a collective one. I felt like painting with my hands instead of holding a brush. I moved on the music and moved my hands on the beat, if felt great! We were all doing 'our thing': one was working with forms, another with colours, and yet another was scratching through the top layers. We were all over the place, adding to what was already on the paper, enhancing or changing it to something else.
yoku: final common painting
Above is the first final painting. You can clearly see some people's little areas like the heart and the blue graphic shape on the right. My contributions are below the upper levels, they are covered by other layers of paint which is totally ok for me. But you could say I didn't make a clear statement which I don't mind because I enjoyed the movement, I enjoyed working with paint, music and each other.
yoku: second painting
After the first painting was finished we moved on to the next, see above. This became a totally different painting, caused by us sitting down instead of standing up and the different kind of music. People were more keen on a little area of their own and leaving their mark on the sheet. Looking back I notice that I am shy in starting on a white canvas (in this case paper), but after two invitations to paint in someone else's work I happily took up on those and continued with what was already there. In both cases it was not about leaving a mark, but about interaction and change. But first I needed approval to actually do that. The other let go of their work first before they invited someone else in their territory.
This was totally fun to do and a great idea to do with friends or family on a special occasion.
See here the painting in detail.

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