I can go weeks without actually "seeing" myself in a yoga pose. There are no mirrors in the studios I practice at, and unless I am working on a specific asana, I don't typically do my personal practice in front of a mirror. When I do catch my reflection, it is for a few seconds, at an odd angle, and fleeting.
And let's be honest - most of us don't pack the good camera in our yoga bag and ask our neighbor to "get a good one of us in down dog."
But seeing yourself in a pose does change your perspective. I distinctly remember the first time I saw a picture of myself in a yoga pose. It was taken on a cameraphone by my instructor, Mary, and it was dolphin:
|August 2010 - First Abbie-Asana on film|
But how do you translate the qualities of openness, joy, and calm that come with yoga inside of a two- dimensional image? This is a very different kind of asana photography - whose goal is to capture not just the physics of the pose - but the feeling.
Have you met Tracy? Because she gets it.
And captures it all for us.
She sees the joy - and exposes it.
Like my awe at the power of our practice.
Maggie's beautiful (r)evolution.
The inner rockstar in all of us.
Allow me to officially introduce our resident Kripalu photographer, and favorite photoyogini in Boston: Tracy Rodriguez of Tracy Rodriguez Photography. I don't just like Tracy's photographs - I love them. And I love Tracy. One of the most amazing gifts from my Kripalu experience is having met her. She is a positive, vibrant, and grateful yogini and her gifts to the world are many - photography being just one notable one.
People with this much light are the best type of people to capture an individual's personal relationship with yoga. Our practice is built on movement, so slowing that down into distinct moments in time - imprints of our muscle memory - requires knowledge of alignment and flow and a true appreciation for merging the physical environment with the internal beauty of her subjects. Tracy is a teacher and a student, and that marriage of wonder and discipline serves her well as she creates a space for yogis to root and rise. And sometimes, a little pun doesn't hurt anyone:
Crazy Three: Trees on a Tree.
A good photographer not only has a skill for individual asana shots, but for capturing the essence of community within the practice. During an early morning photo shoot on our last day at Kripalu, Tracy skillfully and efficiently directed a group of yogis who had only known each other for 36 hours, and took a portfolio of images that simply takes my breath away.
We salute the sun together, as individuals.
The chance to be ourselves in yogi's choice.
The sweet vibe and loving collective groove Alex is always talking about - she got that too.
And she captured friendship.
Whether it was between twenty seven souls -
Our practice and your light. It is how yoga should be - a gentle interplay between self and others, between body and soul. Thank you for finding the beauty in all of us, Tracy - and for sharing your gifts with our community.
Namaste and click away, dear friend.