These last few days find me in an interesting place, an awkward place, and a fruitful one. After teaching yoga for two years (and building up a separate business around that) I have come to realise that separating the two is blocking me both as a yoga teacher and artist. As my practice becomes increasingly wellbeing orientated I find it unproductive to maintain these two identities as if they were separate.
A few years ago an artist friend said something that stayed with me, she was talking about how every time she tried to define herself or label her practice, it would unravel itself again. I have found this to be true more than once. Creating identities and businesses can become a habit. It is fun, creative, it seemingly makes things make sense. However what I find in that process of branding and labelling, is that it gradually masks the creative seed I have to give, my true message and what I am really trying to say both as an artist and teacher.
This week I found myself deleting my yoga websites and social media accounts, and merging them with this website here. This comes at a time of low mental health and big life decisions, of needing to shed skins. A time which is fragile, but is allowing something stronger and simpler to surface. I realise many things, such as how my yoga clients’ assumptions about my other work (and them not really getting it) has affected my sense of self. How trying to fit in with yoga trends and business advice is impacting my creative state of mind.
I also begin to think about my practice on a deeper level as collaborations like Project IRIS take place. Recently Jaime Jackson and I worked with Meadow Arts to create an arts and wellbeing installation that combined digital imagery, creative movement and natural remedies to connect people with plants. I contemplate how bringing together arts and wellbeing can work for me, and how I can give back something unique from that fusion.
The word yoga is related to the words yoke or union, meaning making things whole and bringing things together. As I go down this road my practice begins to feel more holistic, my mental health lightens, the future looks clearer, new ideas start to grow.
I plant some seeds.