Yoga is a several thousand-year-old practice of breathing techniques (pranayama) and physical postures (asana) that are meant to cleanse and tone the body, allowing the mind to become calm, to think and act clearly, and bring about a greater personal well-being. Obviously, the whole tradition of yoga is not so simple as I’ve described here, and it contains many other aspects, but this is the essence of the practice.
In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the fundamental text of yoga, sutra (or verse) 1.2 states that yoga is the ability to direct and sustain the mind in a single direction, or on a single object. The practice of asanas and pranayama is a proven method of improving this capacity. The beauty of yoga lies in the fact that it is a personal journey. Each person will find certain aspects easier or harder and will progress in their own way and in their own time. There is no competition with the person next to you.
One of my favorite quotes, by Arthur Ashe, sums this up eloquently and is essentially the way that I look at yoga: “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”
So, why is a definition of yoga on a design page? Well, it’s a perfect place to start from when designing, writing, having a first client meeting – whatever. You have to listen, breathe, pay attention, and start from the beginning (even if the beginning is in the middle). This was my introduction to my yoga classes when the studio was open, but I’ve left it here as the design header because, truthfully, one cannot be done without the other. If you can’t maintain your focus, doing anything else well, being in a state of flow, choosing what is essential – these will escape you. Look, I haven’t mastered the art of being in flow 24/7, but I’m trying; I’m paying attention; I’m improving. Thus, I’m on the journey…and that’s exactly what every single one of us is doing in life when we’re trying to live our best life. A lot more philosophy than you thought you’d get on a design intro page, right?
Yeah, well, design IS a philosophy and mine just so happens to be the quote from above. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” I love taking used things and making them into something new. I’m not a master craftswoman (yet) when it comes to making furniture. I like using what I found at a flea market and making it look like a million bucks. The world needs to learn to reuse things. To take what’s there and recycle it. There, I’m including politics, too. I’m aghast at the state of the environment and I think design should look to help correct the state of things. Design is useful, functional, practical beauty. Just like the planet, Nature, doesn’t include anything superfluous, neither should design.
If you share my philosophy, or just want to chat about it sometime, let me know. And if you have an exciting project that you’re looking to make truly one-of-a-kind, I’d love to be a part of your journey.
Contact me and let’s see what we can create!