Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Drawing and Yoga

Sketched on 1/18/12, Copic Multiliner SP pen, watercolor

Remembering the past and anticipating the future are generally where most of our minds live. I’ve been taking a weekly yoga class since mid-2010. It took me the better part of a year to get to the point where I could somewhat successfully exist, at least for that yoga class, in and for the moment instead of in the past or future. Even so, even during my most relaxed and meditative shavasana moments, my mind has been known to drift off into thinking about a conversation that went badly or wondering what I’ll have for dinner.

It turns out that drawing is my best form of yoga. Betty Edwards, author of the well-known book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain, believes that the ability to draw is predicated on having access to a part of the brain that receives information unfiltered by cognitive concepts that we all naturally learn in order to function. I didn’t fully understand Edwards’ theory until the moment I realized I was doing it – drawing and apparently getting access to that part of my brain – because I no longer saw a banana as a banana; it became a collection of lines, shapes and shadows. And I recognized it because it feels like the ideal shavasana: no past, no future, only here and now. So if the state of shavasana could be manifest on paper, it might look like this.


  1. I've read Edwards' book but haven't done any drawing in years. Thanks for the nudge. maybe I'll give it another try!
    I definitely strive to live in the present moment, and how elusive that is. Looking forward to more posts - kathleen

  2. Thanks for your comments, Kathleen. The here-and-now is indeed elusive. I'll look forward to hearing whether your drawing experiences help you find the present.

    - Tina


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