Art, in all its forms, is an expression of feelings, emotions, attitudes, experiences, accomplishments, failures, heartbreak, and love. Just as a painting, a mural of graffiti, sculpture, or dance demonstrates the artist’s experience, so does yoga.
Beyond the health benefits of an asana practice, the cathartic experiences that occur on the mat bring to life our struggles, hopes, and desires. In yoga, there is a quest to be better. There is a sense of purpose that each practitioner brings to his or her practice. The movement of asana is an offering that gives us the grounds to explore creativity by constricting and opening, grounding and lifting. We engage energetically with the mind, body, and soul to discover personal growth.
In a New York Times blog post entitled “Turning Yoga Into Art”, famed photographer Robert Sturman remarks on yoga as being a creative trigger for his work. He says, “Yoga offered me an opportunity to change my life, but it was also something that was so beautiful to study, the poetry of asana.”
For those of us who are avid yogis, the “poetry of asana” is not a new concept. We feel it in our practices and seek out that connection with others. Many of us peruse social media sites such as Instagram, intrigued by the artistic expression found in photos posted there. Just as some follow famous artists, we “follow” yogis we are drawn to, finding inspiration in their form. Their use of backdrop and light is engaging. It encourages us to explore new parts of our practice. We can relate to the “yogi artists” we see because we are on similar journeys. On yoga as an art subject, Sturman says why yoga appeals to him. “It’s the only thing I’ve ever seen that really shows humanity on its best behavior, of people aspiring to touch something bigger than themselves. They do it is a very pure, longing type of way. It embodies not only the joy of existence, but there is an element of embracing the suffering.”
The art of asana doesn’t just stay within the pose – the artistic expression extends to clothing the practitioner wears. The colors chosen, the style of clothing, the flow of the fabric against the skin – all lend to the emotion that the pose evokes. Noli’s Graffiti Yoga Pants were created with this in mind. Inspired by pictures of yogis in front of walls of graffiti, the leggings capture the artistic expression that is unique to each of our practices. They allow ease of movement that lends to our ability to explore and discover your creativity within the yoga.