Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Playful Search for Beauty

I don't know much about ceramics, but I saw a captivating interview on TV this weekend with 98 year-old designer Eva Zeisel, a pioneer in industiral design. Her pottery is widely recognized in the U.S. because of its simple, striking elegance and the popularity of her work.

Two things struck me.

The first was her unique design process. She begins each piece by forming its shape in the air with her hands. At 98, she moves her hands with a fluidity and sensitivity the likes of which I've lost years ago. I have difficulty using my stubby fingers to button my shirts.

Just watching her move her hands through space was beautiful.

The second was a candid moment when the interviewer said that each of Zeisel's pieces felt "comfortable" in her hands. To this comment, Zeisel replied that she creates "no hostile pieces."

I immediately flashed to Patanjali who, in one of his rare comments about yoga postures, said:

"Sthira sukham asanam" or "The postures...should embody steadiness and ease," 2.46
So many times I've followed Nike's advice when it comes to yoga: Just do it. In those moments, if my poses were sculpture, they wouldn't pass the Zeisel test. They were hostile.

As you approach your practice today, take a page from Zeisel's book. She called her approach to design "the playful search for beauty."

Try to make your poses playful and beautiful, today and every day. The harshness melts away into the steadiness and ease that Patanjali calls us to.

Don't just read about it. Get up. Experience it. Experience yoga!

Kevin Perry

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved, Mo Yoga LLC.


Blogger Sofie said...

Hi Kevin,
Your current post on having fun and making the poses playful and beautiful hit home today. I was teaching my boyfriend's eleven year old daughter some poses. I led her through Sarvangasana pose and she said she was 'a lovely vase for a single beautiful flower with a tall stem'. And she wiggled her toes and stretched up just a little bit taller.

Sometimes we forgot to have fun like that!


2:07 PM  
Blogger Twyla said...

Beautiful photos and thoughts.

5:48 PM  

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