Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yoga & Art & Psychology

Welcome to my fantasy world. In this world, I get to do all my favorite things at once. And since this is my fantasy world, let's also imagine I am wearing roller skates, blue dreadlocks and eating vanilla custard in a waffle cone with rainbow sprinkles... in the summertime... beside a swimming pool... while listening to the Beastie Boys... among good friends.

My work philosophy, if I haven't said so already, is that I don't want to do anything for money that I won't do for free, which is why art therapy is so fantastic for me. But know what would make it even more fantastic? If there was some yoga thrown in for good measure (and maybe roller skates, but I'll try to keep it real for the remainder of this post). If I could do yoga, art and psychological thinking all at once, that would be an ideal fantasy world moment. I know people actually mix these three, but I'm still trying to figure it out for myself in a way that I feel good about in the real world.

This past Saturday I went to a Journey Dance class at my favorite yoga studio. It was a very exciting class and I left feeling all warm and healthy and full of wonder about how to visually express the intention I had in my head during class. Journey Dance isn't really yoga, at least in a traditional sense, but the mental gymnastics of non-judgment, self-acceptance and intention exploration might be similar, so for today's purposes, I'm putting them together. Anyway, I made this.

Let Go, January 2010, mixed media

"Let go," was the mantra I repeated to myself when I started to worry that I was looking like a dork. I don't know if making art based on an intention discovered during a yoga class would make a good directive or not, but it worked for me.

I have seen people do things like draw their chakras, but I'm not so sure about the accessibility of chakras for the average American. Art to yoga or yoga to art with a therapeutic purpose is something I intend to continue exploring though.


If this also interests you, I recommend a book I got not too long ago: Meditation and Yoga in Psychotherapy by Annellen M. and C. Alexander Simpkins. I just started reading it and thus far it is practical and provides believable research and evidence.

Also, I would love to go to an art & yoga workshop and maybe Aquarian Teacher Training if I had the extra time and cash. I cannot speak to its awesomeness, but it looks like there could be some good art and yoga combinations to come out of such training.

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