yoga

Yogic Photos

Yogic Photos

Photographer Christine Hewitt is a Canadian who spends a lot of time in India. Her images of people doing yoga in various surroundings in India are some of the best I’ve ever seen, and given that my wife is a serious yoga student and teacher, I’ve been looking at and photographing people doing yoga for a while now. (Some of my yoga images).

Christine’s images are excellent photographs period but also fascinating juxtapositions of people doing what is now a popular “new world” activity in the context of its ancient roots.

I ordered one of her calendars to support her work: Yogic Photos Calendar.

Anne warming up for yoga class

Yoga warmup, back bend

New Preston, Connecticut. Most Saturday mornings I try to get a few shots of my wife Anne warming up before our yoga class. Nothing formal, no one else in the room, just practice for me and she’s a willing, unselfconscious subject. Most of the time I throw these shots out, occasionally I keep a few is for no other reason as a place marker for an idea.

Yoga warmup: forward bend

Yoga warmup: side twist

Look at the back and shoulders on my 61 year old wife. Whoa!

Emily Darling

Emily Darling

Kansas City, Missouri. A year ago I did a photo shoot for my friend (almost a niece*) Emily Darling who owns, runs and teaches at Darling Yoga.

Emily is the real deal: a spectacular yoga teacher and practitioner with an open, warm heart and gentle touch. She really is a special person.

What’s interesting about Emily is that it’s almost impossible to tease apart how beautiful she is from how beautiful she is. That’s how beautiful she is.

I took hundreds of images of the various teachers and classes at Darling Yoga and I’m still working on processing them. I posted about the shoot here.

*Emily is my wife’s first husband David Darling’s niece and I knew her mother Pam professionally before I met my own wife. Small world.

Saturday Morning Yoga

Stretch

Stretch

New Preston, Connecticut. Anne and I get to yoga class early so we can begin the process of calming down, breathing more steadily, and stretching to better take advantage of the poses and vinyasas our teacher takes us through. Simply lying on one’s back and stretching one’s hamstrings, feet, and toes can do wonders.

The back end of lunge

The back end of lunge

Because our focus is generally forward we tend to overlook the back foot in a pose like lunge but how it’s positioned actually makes balance possible. I like to think that the energy of this pose can be seen in the position of this foot.

Back stretch

Back stretch

One of the most important stretches I do almost every day is this one. Lay on your back, stick your feet straight up in the air, spread your arms and slowly use your core strength (your abdomen) to lower your legs to one side, then slowly turn your gaze to the other side. Repeat this on each side a few times and you’ll be amazed at how good your back will feel. Anne’s face gives you a clue.

The bottom of mountain pose (tadasana)

The bottom of mountain pose (tadasana)

Our teacher tells us to build this pose (and others) from the ground up and that means being aware of our toes, the balls of our feet, and our heels and how our weight is distributed along the length of our feet. Curling one’s toes up is a way of checking to make sure one isn’t "clenching" them into the mat which we all do at times. Anne has particularly good toe control and can move them apart and back together at will. I think about it but nothing happens.

Yoga sleep (Yoga Nidrasana)

Yoga sleep (Yoga Nidrasana)

Anne assures me that yoga is not about limberness and I understand her point. However, it would be nice to be half as loose as one needs to be to get into this pose. I doubt I’d get much sleep if I somehow got into this but Anne seems quite relaxed in it and I had to ask her to stop rocking so I could take the picture.