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Rachel Verbin

Life Imitates Art Imitates Life Imitates Yoga

When you do yoga, you make shapes with your body, calming your mind as you focus on your breath. You’re often reminded to keep breathing. Whatever you do, don’t hold your breath; just keep breathing (there are exceptions of course but I’d be going off topic and I’m not an expert, so not going there…).

When I paint, I visualize a series of abstracted shapes within a composition, then I focus on my paintbrush hitting the canvas, all the while breathing with control: in through my nose and out through my nose, just as I would during a yoga class.

When I compose a photo, I’m essentially doing the same thing. I look at my subject and its surroundings as a series of angles, shapes and light. Then I hold my breath and squeeze the shutter. Yes, that’s right, I hold my breath! It’s an old trick; you hold your breath to avoid camera shake. It’s funny, this is almost something that I forgot I even did… that is until I started taking yoga classes last year and began paying so much attention to how and when I breathe.

After years of feeding off of stress, yoga has taught me that a calm mind is a creative mind; a mind free from stress is a mind free to think and dream — and create art.  

Rachel Verbin