This project is a series of portraits of yoga practitioners, with their explanation of what yoga does to them.
I began practicing yoga - like many of us - in the spring of 2020. I was looking for something that would allow me to relax, while being phisically active. Yoga not only helped me during that strange time, but also taught me to focus on simple movements and to notice microscopic progressions.
I initially struggled with this chaturanga pose, because I didn't have the strength in my arms and shoulders. I still remember how great it felt once I got better at it and started to notice the increase in strength in my arms.
Tree pose is my all-time favorite pose in yoga. The rootedness of the feet in combination with the arms high up in the air and finding stillness – I love it!Trees experience the world around and remain unmoved. What have they not experienced in their lives? Trees are nourished by the compost of their dead leaves and make room for new leaves at the same time. I want to be more like a tree.
Ardha Baddha Konasana
I have chronic fatigue syndrom (CFS) and so I have problems getting rid of the waste stuff.
My body gets stuck.
Through yoga, my body relaxes and my organs are stimulated to get rid of the toxins.
But most importantly, yoga gives me peace, both mentally and physically.
Sugarcane pose requires strength, balance, flexibility, and focus. Once these 4 points are aligned on the mat, this pose is as sweet as it sounds; I feel free and I'm one with myself. And I'm also constantly seeking this powerful moment of oneness in my day-to-day life. Because that's for me, the practice of Yoga.
I like to lay down with my back against the ground. It feels like I am more in contact with the ground and the ground is taking care of my body and mind.
It is not a complicated movement but one that for me exudes both peace and strength. Standing still for a moment and breathing through and while powerful in the pose and drawing energy from everything, both above my head and below my feet.
To me means elegance, grace, but also strength and flexibility.
ZUZA & ADA
She and I ... completely different and completely the same .
Crazy yet controlled .
Adventurous for the NEW yet conservative .
Emotionally hyper-sensitive yet so strong .
Strong in character yet empathetic .
Yoga allows us to be even more ...even closer in spirit and body ... Mother and daughter ♥️
Finding and keeping balance, building strength and endurance. And also a bit of the feeling of flying and being free :)
Yoga gives me stability, mind - body connection, and more awareness in my daily life.
Yoga just makes me feel good and happy, fresh and light. What I also love about yoga is that you can continue to discover and deepen endlessly with every posture. It never gets boring because it always feels a little bit different. It is difficult to choose one favorite posture, but in Trikonasana I find the feeling of making space in your body so fantastic: by stretching and reaching in all directions.
When thinking about which is my favourite yoga pose my mind goes to lots of different shapes my body can make. I guess that’s what I love about yoga, the versatility of it. One day it can be a simple child’s pose for rest and grounding and the next a headstand for the strength and challenge. But I think if I have to really acknowledge one pose or a set of poses it would be anything that requires me to absolutely focus. All balancing poses ask of me to still my thoughts and control my breathe in order to be totally present to create and hold a balancing pose with my body and mind. ☺️
ANAËLLE & JASMINA
The weekly yoga ritual with Jasmina is one of my favorite moment of the week: On Tuesdays after work, we usually go to the park when the weather allows it and choose a yoga session that is either relaxing or more active depending on our moods. The session is often interrupted by my dog taking our place on the mats, giving us unexpected kisses, and by laughs and reactions to the different poses. It’s a moment of calm and joy which allows me at the same time to process the day, to be mindful of the nature around us, to deepen a lovely friendship and to connect with my body.
The reason I am choosing this pose is firstly because I love the name of this asana and secondly for me the tree pose represents standing strong and unbothered no matter what.
When I am in the pose I feel balanced, steady, strong (as a tree) and confident to deal with whatever comes my way. Exercising this pose comes with a lot of benefits such as improved balance and focus.
Tree is a universal archetype which appears as a symbolism is counteless civilisations. As per Jung, the tree symbolises the Self in terms of self development and growth.
I started practicing Yoga in 2018 in Japan as a way to manage my shoulder pain.With time i notice other benefits: I am calmer, I sleep better, and I am more focused. As I was (and still) struggling with emotions, yoga became one of the first mechanisms to cope with the stress around me. My favorite asana's are headstand and child pose because: it took a long time to master the headstand and i feel proud and child pose because is so relaxing.
I like it because this is a hip opener and I often feel like I have a lot of stuck energy/emotions in my hips which get released a bit with this pose. At the beginning I always feel a bit overwhelmed and challenged but then through the breathing and sinking in the pose I come to relax much more. This is the perfect balance between challenge and comfort for me which is also what I love about yoga: the coexisting experiences of feeling grounded and light, of challenge and comfort, and of practising acceptance towards my inner life and where I am at in the moment of the session.
Do we live our lives true to our nature? …Or do we constantly adapt to the environment around us?
What I learned is that my inner voice shouldn't be quiet, hard to hear and easy to influence. It should be roaring, strong like a striking scorpion. With complete determination, I will focus on my goals and design the life I want.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
I mostly practice yoga together with my wonderful friend Anaëlle and her lovely dog. This little ritual brings us an opportunity to relax and socialise on a weekly basis. I find Bridge Pose a great pose to strengthen my spine muscles and therefore navigate easier the downsides of the sedentary nature of my work.
Since five years, you can find me upside down almost every day! The challenge and joy my handstand practice gives me, is indescribable. It’s a never-ending journey, going from challenge to challenge, from little victory to little victory. Balancing on my hands completely gets me out of my mind into my body, constantly adapting and correcting the smallest details with that one goal to not lose balance. When seated meditation isn’t working for me, going upside down is the solution!
I don't really have a favourite pose. What I like most in yoga is moving from one pose into the other. But if I have to choose one: let's take Dancer pose. Because two assets of yoga come together here: making space & balance. It's a great heart opening pose and a challenging balance.
(Side crow - Funky balance)
This asana represents for me funky part of yoga. I love to play with my body, explore possibilities and in the same moment, accept limitations. It's about my life attitude too: I like to jump out of my comfort zone, explore what’s there, find the balance between comfort, pleasure and challenges, and have incredible fun during the whole process. Balance asanas bring stability and strength, and it gives me clarity of mind and calmness. How you do Yoga, you live your life, so be aware… 😊
I started practicing yoga in 2020 (many of people did, right?) It became my everyday routine and ritual, it kept me sane and it was very often challenging. I like to see the progress, milimeter by milimeter, but what I like the most is the flow, combining movement with mindfull breathing and truely slowing down.