Sunday, November 15, 2009

The experience of art

-The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.
Albert Einstein

Art is full of mystery. It goes beyond the surface of the actual work itself. Viewing art awakens our imagination and takes us on an inward journey. We may remember something from our past, question something we think we know, or see possibilities we did not know existed.

Although it is difficult to agree on a single definition of art, everyone would agree that a world without art would feel incomplete. Paintings, sculpture, dance. music and even athletic performances can all be works of art. They all have the power to inspire us to go beyond our everyday thoughts.

Creating art is a means of discovery that unfolds with the exploration of an idea, emotion or fantasy. Art requires physical skill but it is powered by the imagination. What appears effortless is the result of dedication, time and effort. Art has a dynamic quality; it pulses with life.

Each yoga practitioner can be an artist. Just as art that does not go beyond the piece itself is really a craft, yoga that is done just for exercise is really just stretching. It has value but not the same quality as a true work of art.

When there is a balance of muscular and organic energy, when their is sensitivity to the alignment and when their is an inner joy that is expressed through the pose, yoga becomes art. It invites us to explore our bodies, our breath and our hearts in a way that is uplifting. The details are as important as the overall picture. Yoga involves using the breath to pulse between the details and the whole pose.

Rather than dispute what is art and what is not art, allow yourself to be open to the possibility that art exists all around us. It inspires us to feel more deeply and to see more clearly. Looking at art or practicing yoga we can reconnect with our inner spirit, we can experience the mysterious as it unfolds slowly layer by layer allowing us to feel deeply and discover more about ourselves and the world around us.

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