The more days and years pass in my life, the more I realize that the most potent part of living is in the slowing down, in the noticing, in developing a deeper connection with myself and therefore the world. But the world demands a certain pace, an often-frenzy of technology and commitments and messages to look outside oneself for fulfillment and meaning.
As a yogi, my practice teaches me to go deeper into the inquiry of the self, to be a witness to each moment. At its root, the word yoga means union. In its essence, it’s about coming back to yourself, your true self.
And while we can be a witness to this moment, our experience is deeply personal to our own journey in life. No two viewpoints are the same. It is this unique perspective, or layers of our own lenses and filters, from which we view the world. Photography too can help us reach that place where you have a moment of connection with your true self. To slow down, witness, and capture a moment or a subject. Our unique layers of filters, lenses and perspective becomes our art.
In yogic philosophy, they say there are 5 layers of the self, layers of awareness, called koshas. The koshas start with our physical selves and work inwards towards the core or true nature of our being, our bliss body. So as with photography, you too can have a journey with the koshas. You start by seeing a subject or a photo with your physical eyes. It passes through all the layers…does your breath change, are you analyzing it, can you relate to it…eventually moving inwards to that place of heart connection and pure joy.
That doesn’t mean all photos need to elicit joy, but they can cut through the mental chatter and to-do lists and help us pause, notice our reaction, and reach some part of us that is longing for that connection with our true selves, for that union.