I’m convinced that yoga is a form of artful expression. No, I’m not talking about beautiful yoga selfies on beaches at sunset, though they are very pleasant to look at. I mean the process of yoga, the act of practicing yoga, is like the process of creating art. You tap into the natural essence of the universe and express it through breath and through movement. Yoga is a pure form of expression. Like what dancers, musicians, writers and artists must feel. There’s a level of focus and concentration that is required, which is hard to reach without some tool to quiet the mind. How convenient that the tool that quiets the mind is also the a means to express!
We use art to express ourselves, to communicate a message or theme within ourselves to others. To create a product that is able to share our feelings and connect with others. At the same time, yoga is a self-indulgent art form. It’s all about the process, not the product.
Now I know many artists say that they create art for the sake of art, but the difference with yoga is that there is no final product. No painting to hang on the wall or book to self-publish. The posture, reaching expression of an asana, lasts for just one breath. Less than that really because each breath creates dynamic movement in the asana, a shift of energy on the inhale and exhale. So it is only for those brief moments, that pause between breaths, that there is something close to a product. It is fleeting. It exists only in the moment and only for the practitioner. It cannot be shared because it can never be the exact experience for all. Yoga is a deeply personal practice. While we use yoga as a tool to connect, we take group classes and have a community with other yogis, we never really have the same experience because we’re all on individual paths. We use the practice to connect with the divine and offer an opportunity for expression through our bodies. It is different for each of us, just as we each have different bodies, we each have different pasts, different relationships with ourselves and with the ultimate. And yet, that doesn’t matter, because we are all able to have the experience of yoga.
Art is one of the experiences that makes humankind unique in comparison to other living creatures. The creation, expression and enjoyment of art sets us apart. Yoga as an art is enjoying, creating and expressing life.
The art of yoga is the art of living.
The art of feeling. Of allowing ourselves to express something. Letting ourselves enjoy and at the same time it is our reminder that we are allowed to enjoy. Enjoy what we are doing in the moment. Enjoy the company of those around us. Enjoy the feeling of creation. It is an opportunity to enjoy the art of the process. A time to release worries, fears and expectations while we open up to the present moment. The art of yoga is being able to be present during the process of living. An art that we can only hope to master while we are alive.