Balasana and Uttanasana

Hi gang. Sunday greetings everyone ūüôā We are miraculously blessed with 58 degree weather here in NYC, and the mercury is climbing. This is great! Within an hour I’ll be laced up in my sneakers going for a run in the park, with the sweet sounds of my iPod flowing through my ears.

Although the aerobic exercise will do me good, my favorite physical (and spiritual) practice is yoga. Yoga is an art model’s best friend. Most models I know are heavily into yoga and it shows in their work. Models utilize balance, strength, and flexibility in their poses, and yoga improves all. It has a direct, palpable impact on my performance. When I slack off in my yoga practice or my schedule gets too busy to make it to a class, I can feel it in my work clearly. More than a few times, I’ve been posing, feeling less limber and supple than I should, and right in mid-pose, I think to myself, “Shit, I have to get to a yoga class!”.

For some reason, forward bends have always come easily to me. Even before I started doing yoga I think. Backbends require much more practice as it is a less natural direction for the body to move. Fortunately, yoga offers many poses which work the backbending motion: Cobra, Upward-facing Dog, and my favorite, the Wheel. I’m improving in that area, but I still can’t quite get the bottom of my foot to touch the back of my head. Not for more than three seconds, at least! To form a complete circle like that is a powerful, spiritual display of the body’s energy, and that move has become my personal holy grail of yoga. I’ll get there eventually. In the meantime, I’ll just keep rocking my forward bends.

There’s the saying, “You’re only as old as your spine”. How true that is. Yoga enthusiasts are well aware of that principle, and believe me so are art models! In fact, we might know it better than anyone.

I’m thankful for yoga every day. My art modeling would be so different without it. I had a terrifically flexible day down at Spring Studio recently, and my friend Bruce Williams was there to capture some of it in these gesture drawings. Namaste, everyone . . .

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One thought on “Balasana and Uttanasana

  1. I did attend a yoga class once, but I’ve gotten most of my inspiration for gestures and poses from yoga drawings. I have modified many traditional poses to make them easier to hold for longer durations. But I do have reference drawings for quite a few poses that I have labeled “30 Seconds”, so that I don’t make the mistake of trying to hold them any longer! Toppling Tree would be one of those. Kudos to anyone who can hold still during that pose for even two minutes!

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