I had an opportunity to do some yoga asana life drawing. What better way to combine yoga & creativity!
Life drawing is a wonderful way to fulfill your creativity but also, as a study of the human form, it is very helpful to yoga instructors. In fact, I recently came across a website dedicated to this creative practice!
Observing bodies is part of the job of a skilled yoga teacher. When we teach a class we are confronted with a group of people all with different anatomical make up, physical challenges and experience.
Teach people, not poses
We are all unique and our muscles, joints and posture all work together to give us our own personal, physical blueprint. As a yoga teacher we need to identify and work with these differences adjusting asana and using props to serve our students best.
As I’ve heard many an experienced yoga teacher say – ‘teach people, not poses’.
So, if you have an opportunity to do some yoga asana life drawing take it!
Keep your sketching loose. Use a soft pencil or pastels to keep the marks you make fluid and not too precious.
You already know the form of the poses but when you look at the student from a sketching perspective you really observe the position of the hand in relation to the shin in trikonasana. Or the length of the spine in a forward fold.
As you sketch you’ll notice how differently the over flexible students form the pose in contrast to the new student or the yogi working with injuries or limitations. All useful visual information to help you in your asana and anatomy understanding.
Use sketching as a way to keep learning and understanding more about the human body. Use it as a tool alongside other ways of constant learning about the art of yoga.
Asana Life Drawing – the Perfect ‘Pop up’ Class
Sketching in this way is much like yoga class planning. Using your knowledge and experience of yoga to create a flow sequence of poses that work together like pencil marks to form the bigger picture.
See if your local studio is offering a yoga life drawing class, and if they’re not, suggest it. They’re the perfect idea for a ‘pop up’ class and lots of fun to do!
Use your creativity to inspire your teaching and class planning.