The Art of Asana

To soothe my nasal congestion pains, I treated myself to sushi. It’s my comfort food.

Waiting for my take-out, I was watching in awe of the sushi master, creating tiny pieces of rice art. Most of everything Japanese has always fascinated me. Their precision and skill towards their craft and aesthetic beauty provoked me to almost move there a few years ago.

Although much of the delicate rolls they make I don’t eat anymore, the way in which they work is art. Origami, meaning “folding paper”, takes a simple sheet and turns it into an object of beauty.

Like yoga, I take a simple body from Tadasana, Mountain pose, and I fold and flip, twist and bend body parts and limbs to create postures of beauty. And although sushi chefs often spend years, even decades mastering their art, yogi’s are already creating art on their first class, on an individual level and on the collective – contributing to the harmony and masterpiece as a class.

Yoga is built upon the triad – science, philosophy and art. The science of alignment and biomechanics of the body and the philosophical lessons are evident in class, but the artistic aspect is harder to observe. The student moves his or her body into origami sushi-like shapes, but its not always seen this way, especially when you’re wondering how a foot is suppose to go over the head like that. Although I’m there to instruct and inspire, the practitioner  is ultimately both the artist and the art.

Da Vinci can see his Mona Lisa and her obscure beauty (up for debate), but the art of yoga is mostly experiential. As quickly as the poses are formed, like sushi on a table, it only last for so long before it gets devoured like a spicy tuna roll. A pose begins, is sustained and then diminishes. Therefore this kind of art is temporal, so when you do experience creativity and its beauty while practicing, savour it, but also let it go.

Knowing this, that I am the artist and the art, then I am creative and I create. The possibility of creating anything is real. My arms and legs are paintbrushes and the mat is my canvas. Life is a never-ending mural to paint your vision and dreams.

 

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