Posts in Teachings
A Master Class in Miniature Painting

An integral part of the Inspired India 2018 creative yoga trip was a chance to spend a day with India’s award winning artist Sri Ramu Ramdev, learning the art of Indian Miniature Painting from within Jaipur City Palace…

…Miniature Painting is a practical way to experience yoga within painting, through recognisable physical techniques such as breathwork, as well as that subtle devotional quality that resonates throughout the images, the artists and the atmosphere of the studio. Art from the heart…

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Houses of the Holy: Yoga at Galtaji Temple

…We arrived in the dark hour before dawn and climbed the steps to a temple courtyard, which we shared with a group of young monks who were chanting their morning prayers. Music and mantra filled the air, and so did the local monkeys, who began to leap around the rooftops as the sun came up. We moved and breathed and bathed in the devotional sound, we jumped through vinyasas as the monkeys jumped into trees, and we sat in stillness on the stone floor that we shared with our young spiritual companions. After practice, droplets of rain began to fall from the sky and we were welcomed inside for hot chai and sweets with His Holiness, Maharaji of Shri Galta Peetham….

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Prints for the People

...in the interest of spreading joy and spreading the teachings of yoga, here it is, another little glimpse into the many ways that we can access union, connection and a deeper understanding of the humanity around us. I quickly learnt that the stories I'd imagined about many of these people were not even close to the truth, that their real lives were way more interesting than I could have guessed, and that it wasn't always appropriate for me to share in their experiences. This small project has given me a new perspective to creating portrait images of strangers, a chance to question more deeply what the art is trying to show. It offered a further glimpse into the culture around me, and an increased appetite for exploring the unknown while letting the moment lead the way.

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The Everyday Yogis

I like coming into the park and sitting with the elders as they practice their pranayama and morning prayers. The energy is quite potent, quite still in here. A certain type of quiet, even as the sounds of morning life still filter through the iron fence that circles the space.

I came upon these 'Everyday Yogis' quite accidentally while walking along a new route. They are an assorted group of people...

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The Art of the Line

The Art of the Line is another name for Indian Painting as the line work is the most essential characteristic of the art. It is a smooth, elegant, flowing line that becomes emotive as it takes on the characteristic of each form in the image. A balance of force and flow, applied with delicacy and deliberation. The most effective way of learning how to paint this way is to spend time with one who has already mastered the technique, and then do as they do in order to try and experience what they experience.

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Tikam, the 19th Century Street Photographer

If you visit Jaipur you'll be sure to walk along Hawa Mahal Road; a bustling street in the Old City that connects the City Palace with the Palace of the Winds and that is located right next to the Johari Bazar, the heart of the local gold and gemstone markets. This area is a great way to explore architecture, collect souvenirs and experience market life, and as such it's a tourist hotspot that is home to many traders and quirky businesses that speak to the needs of India's many visitors.

One resourceful and innovative entrepreneur has spotted an opportunity within our collective obsession for photography, selfies and photo souvenirs, and has set up on the street with his grandfather's 150(+) year old Zeiss camera. Located just outside of shop 120, near the Jalebi Chowk gate of the City Palace, Mr Tikam Chand offers street photography with a 19th century twist, and will take your portrait with his traditional camera gear and develop the photograph right there on the pavement as he has done for a lifetime. 

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Monkeys in the Palace

Thanks to the reverence that Hindus place on these creatures, they live (almost) harmoniously alongside local people and all the other city wildlife -of which there is a lot! The people are wise to the monkeys' tricks and as such know how to operate in a way that allows the monkeys to do their thing with minimal disruption to the lives of the people.

And I find that pretty admirable; how the locals here are happy to let nature meet the urban landscape, and treat their animal friends as (almost) equals. It's pretty different to our western culture, where generally we feel the need to tame any creature that we interact with on a regular basis. Observing the city wildlife is a beautiful teaching in how to live among nature, rather than feeling the need to constantly be controiling everything, and everyone, around you.

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