Although the two things I love and practice most (Art and Yoga) don’t often intersect without intention, their special connection for me can’t be denied. I welcome their persistence, vying for my time and energy as they play so nicely off each other. A unifying purpose often comes into focus in these two realms for me.
As I wrote last week, renewal frames my January each year. It is a welcome celebratory dance of gratitude and gratefulness after the holiday season. I find the theme of renewal happily invading my art, my writing and my yoga practice. My mind races with enthusiasm about the possibilities ahead as the idea of renewal lifts me curiously into newness.
So I find it interesting, that right on the heels of my renewal phase, a new focus came to my attention – restoration. Being “open to grace” I listened. I have become curious about learning more about restorative yoga practices. But in my current research I am also awakening an interest here in how my visual art can be part of the restorative process. This winter journey is encouraging a deeper yoga practice supporting renewal and rejuvenation as well as a creative path in my art practice.
We practice yoga for its many physical benefits, and can forget about the wonderful restorative benefits the practice of yoga brings to our bodies and our psyche. Yoga’s multi dynamic approach can answer physical, emotional and spiritual questions. Many of these only remedied by a simpler path when we practice a restorative mindset, even if it is only in savasana. Restorative Yoga by definition is a deeply relaxing and more static form of yoga often using props to support the body allowing it a better environment to rest and rejuvenate. Without going into the entire process, I would like to just say it is easy for me to leave the restorative practice aside. But we shouldn’t. I am hoping Including more restorative practices in my winter routine will open my mind and heart more creatively.
Restoration of art is of course an entirely different animal, but I am curious as to their intersection for me.
Many of you know I am an artist; I also journal and meditate, writing about my yoga experiences. As I continue my journey this month, I intend to explore combining these areas further. I will let you know what I discover! As funny as that “art math” above may look, I am referring to my mantra: cultivating an inspired, more artistic life… in this case, combining art and yoga in new ways.
Renewal and Restoration
An aside for those art lovers reading this:
Art restoration denotes the repair or renovation of works that have already sustained decay with the attempt to restore a work to its original, undamaged appearance, while conservation refers to the maintenance and preservation to safeguard against future damage and deterioration. I find these parallels on this topic interesting as well – again humans and art intertwine for me.
Art restoration is intended to preserve the integrity of an original work of art. The value of a piece of art can be deeply degraded if it is not kept in a safe climate but it is also paramount that any restoration be done by experts. Simple environmental elements such as humidity or dryness can wreak havoc on a painting. Water damage and wind erosion on outdoor sculpture or architecture can destroy all surfaces and recognition. The human body and spirit can have remarkably similar boundaries and challenges. How interesting, don’t you think?
Aside from the physical similarities and limitations, degradation of a previously created work of art, or human body has to be minimized and then gently restored. There is sometimes a need in our yoga practice to gently restore our physical bodies, nudge our consciousness and support our spiritual awareness just like in art restoration, preservation and conservation.
So renewal and restoration it is! Onward on this part of the discovery as the month powers on. The January practice to renew growth and restore inner peace with ourselves and with the world continues. What are some ways to work toward restoring our physical and emotional well being? Ways to preserve and conserve what is going well, and to begin to heal what is not. As winter moves on, I am going to add a restorative mindset to my journey of renewal and see where it takes me.