Skip to Content Skip to Search Go to Top Navigation Go to Side Menu

About How Glowing Is Not Easy

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Yoga has been part of my life for the last 7 years supporting me in the toughest times, helping me heal in the most painful ones, bringing me joy and opening my eyes when I needed it. I understand what yoga brings into my life and I understand the benefits it can bring to people since I witnessed it myself. And yet, something about a lot of yoga teachers I met always made me feel… Intimidated ? “Intimidated” may not be the right word but something invisible about them intrigued me. It was something that I had a hard time understanding or even pointing out which is why I decided to contact a yoga teacher.

Skadi is a dutch yin and vinyasa yoga teacher. I attended a couple of her classes last year but had never actually talked to her before I started working on the design assignment. She is the perfect example of a glowing, radiant human being. Even before I had the opportunity to meet her in person and have an actual conversation with her, I could feel all of the love and kindness and patience and generosity that was shining around her. There was something flawless, some kind of purity about her that I could not explain and that I was almost afraid of. That something became even more powerful once I met her.

Our meeting was generally good. Nothing exceptional happened, nothing terrible happened. We talked about yoga, life and how she experienced both. We had a nice conversation, we got along well. To be honest I was excepting some kind of grand revelation, an explosion of inspiration which would put me directly on the right path for the development of the assignment when in fact, I felt completely lost. My mind was blank and inspiration was nowhere to be found. The more I thought about what I could do, what I wanted to do and the more I got frustrated both with myself and with her. The frustration was not directed towards her as a person but towards the expectations I had going into our meeting.

crown tree

first sketch. > second sketch, very representative of my state of mind at the time > below: What my first idea would have resulted in.


I knew I had to start somewhere in order to find my way. I started thinking of how I could communicate the feeling of frustration I was dealing with. What material could I use to represent Skadi ? How could I materialize the negative mindset I was in ? How could I detach myself from it ? My first try out was pretty literal. I used velvet to represent the flowy and soothing energy that radiated from Skadi and added to it my element of frustration represented by small pieces of metal wire. The result was supposed to be some type of cape, a protective piece of clothing.

Here lies the remains of the material of my first try-out.

Here lies the remains of the material of my first try-out. The more I looked at it, the more I tried to work with it and the more I hated it. I ended up "destroying the evidence".

That is when I realised I needed something light. I needed something fun to transform that frustration into something positive. I thought, why not try to actually make that strange and yet soothing energy I was so curious about ? Why not represent it and materialize it from my perspective ? After freeing myself from this negative mindset by not so simply breaking the barriers I had surrounded myself with, I finally found the material I needed to work with. I was immediately drawn to balloons. The idea came after seeing a 5 year old child riding a bike decorated with party balloons. This is when I connected with this material which, to me, breathed lightheartedness. This was exactly what I needed.

Rainbow Waterfall

A rainbow Waterfall,
result of a first try out with a material full of lightness and playfulness.

I saw the energy that glowed around Skadi and other yoga teachers as something that was natural to them now. Something they had in them. But I believed that most of them probably had to struggle in the past to earn what was now simple. This is what I chose to represent.

The following video offers my interpretation of this experience.

Get the Flash Player to see this content.

Wrestling with Lightness

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Log in