Monday, August 29, 2011

Yoga Art Anantasana Reclining Posture

The word "ananta" in Sanskrit means Eternal. It also refers to the serpent bed of Vishnu, the Hindu god, lying on the ocean of eternity. In yoga, it is an asana for improving the mobility of the spine and hips and opening the groin. In this asana, the body reclines on the side, one leg extending up toward infinity. It is a relaxing pose but intense too. While the head is resting comfortably in the palm of the hand, the challenge is in stretching the other leg straight updwards while keeping the body in alignment.

I think, Lochanadevi is well-versed in doing this pose although, being an elephant she does need the help of a flower belt to keep her leg upright. Even in this pose, she looks like an Indian Queen, all bedecked in colorful jewelry!. This pose also is inviting to the Baby to curl up snugly against Mom. What do you think she is doing with the flower cord around her trunk--being mischievous or helping her mama?

The inspirations for my yoga art come from my long practice of yoga and, from raising a family with all the ups and downs that go with it. We know as parents, the joy of when our children want to be exactly like us, the puzzlement of when they absolutely do not want to be like us and the satisfaction of when they learn to find a balance.

I depict mother elephant and her calf instead of humans in my yoga art humans because elephants are matriarchal and very family oriented animals. Elephants are also the most beloved of Indian animals and they are also very agile and flexible and it was entirely possible to imagine the mother elephant doing all those yoga poses while the little one watched. Hathi means elephant in Hindi and hence the play on Hatha yoga as hatha (i) yoga.

The painting is done in Indian folk art style--the images are unidimensional but have great details. In the typical folk art style, the watercolor paper was first dyed into variegated brown shades using several natural dyes. The painting itself is done mostly with primary colors. There is also a border around the central image, also typical of this style of painting. I call the mother elephant Lochana because she has such big beautiful eyes.

The elephants are heavily decorated which is a commonly found in Indian paintings and in real life also.

Available in my Etsy shop and for more work on my yoga art series please visit my shop

**Proceeds from the sale are donated to support physically handicapped children and adults. For more information, go to

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