Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 19: Connectivity & Compartmentalization.

A long, long time ago, back in second semester of my senior year of college, I had the wonderful opportunity to study figure drawing with Bunny Harvey (yes, that is her name). I loved the skeleton project and at home drawing assignments, there was always a way I could conceive of the connections between that and work in architecture studio - something along the lines of Ashtanga and Iyengar - she tenderly nurtured that.

When it came to working in class with our wonderful model Lib, for some reason, unless the cosmos properly aligned I could never get her body to consistently appear as whole.

The top half of her body would be gestured/sketched/rendered well, as would the bottom half.
However, probably 50% of the time it looked as though her body had been cut in half and haphazardly sewn back together. (Fwiw, the one day we had a pregnant model that was the one day filled with consistency and thankfully I could align all the seams properly.)

Fast forward to 2005, I decided to take a life drawing course at the Corcoran.
Same body sewn in half issue - but much worse - the top and bottom halves of the body might as well have been drawn on two separate newsprint pads.

Instead of torturing myself, the teacher, and the models, I dropped the class.

Plodding my way through primary and sitting in
marichyasana-a this morning, shoulders down my back and chin lightly grazing my right knee, I realized something - quite profound. For me, for the most part, the asanas in and of themselves prove little quandary. The micro-muscular movements are there, engagement of the various bhandas while in a pose are there. There is strength and counter forces and intelligent use of flexibility. This is why I probably enjoy Iyengar so much, as most classes/sequences are asana-centric.

Sure I can sit in a pose.

But ask me about vinyasa, I become all left-footed.

Grace flies out the window. There is no connection between my top half and bottom half, let alone the breath of my body.

How do I find connectivity?

Lightness within a dense Eastern European-Anglo female frame?

Movement with breath that's not robotic?

The main reason I started practicing Ashtanga was because of the grace, the vinysasas.

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