I have been making paintings while I am here, small watercolor and ink drawings. I love taking the time after practice to look at old drawings of asana in books. Then I make my own.
Making art is a funny thing. It requires paper, paint and pens. The paper was the heaviest thing I carried in my suitcase. Good smooth white water color paper.
The drawings I am referencing are illustrations from a book on Yoga in the Mysore Palace by N.E. Sjoman. The book is a very serious academic exploration of whether or not yoga was influenced by gymnastics. Fundamentalist Astangi’s say this perspective is just another example of the white man taking power away from the brown mans ancient wisdom and contribution. It seems to me that perhaps there is some middle ground.
Krishnamacharya was a brilliant man and a visionary. Perhaps he was aware of the health benefits accrued through a more rigorous use of the physical body including actively building strength and aerobic health. Perhaps he found a way to incorporate some of these principles into his yoga offerings?
The illustrations use ropes and some props, including a pole, a rug, a strap and a sling for hanging. Mostly, I am infatuated with the beautiful drawings, the range of names for familiar poses and I am glad to simply be a part of the crowd who is interested in this strange subject we call yoga.