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5/19/15

39. poses and transitions



liz recently had the pleasure of photographing one of our favorite yoga practitioners, kristen woods. shot at the beautiful yoga union studio in new york city, she captured kristen in moments of both stillness and motion as the waning sunlight transitioned to shadows. we were so inspired by the shapes and poses created in these photographs, that we asked kristen to share with us her thoughts about the focus of the shoot and her current yoga practice:

every few years i get the incredible opportunity to take photos with liz mcbride (of this fabulous blog) and when we scheduled this time around, i knew i wanted to capture something a bit different from previous sessions. i wanted to focus more on the details of each pose, what it takes to transition in and out of them and the energy running through each pose. as my dear teacher alison west says, "go to the pose, through the pose". we are always in some state of variation. if we bring this very idea to the forefront, perhaps we can achieve greater overall agility and adaptability in our lives. learning to go with the flow while organizing oneself around a clear, mindful path all while leaving space and courage to accept unknown possibilities.




"each pose is a series of transitions". i'm putting this in quotes because i am sure i've heard it somewhere. it resonates loudly in my mind, and my practice and teaching have been largely centered around this idea. the question "am i ever really in the pose?" is always popping up. as i spend more time studying alignment and breathwork, i feel as though i may be getting closer to what it is all about - this yoga thing that is. it's not finding a perfect pose per se, but approaching a place of balance and freedom in the body, and dare i say, the mind. smoother entries, fuller shapes, steadier, calmer breaths, quiet mind.



alignment yoga is sometimes described as a practice where one "holds the pose", which to some extent is true. however, i have a hard time with the static nature of this statement. no matter what we do, things are always shifting and changing. the breath that is in my body now is different from the breath that was there a moment ago. thinking that the work is over once we arrive in a shape is limiting and erroneous. the pose is always going to evolve in one way or another. the actions in yoga, like everything in nature, are governed by inevitable change.


-kristen





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