Yoga in art

With my exploration of the human figure through yoga poses here,  I am searching for a personal drawing experience, just like a yoga experience on the mat, more than drawing beautiful postures. So ” Yoga in art” is not really what I am aiming at. Nevertheless I decide to research this subject and a whole world of esoteric shine and colorful chakras appear, which is mostly what I would like to avoid. Some artists stand out with their very different personal voices though.


Irish- Australian John Dalton explores yogaposes in a series he calls “gently does it”. Every image has elements of geometrical spheres, creating a layer of mystery. I like this combination of abstract pattern and the poses expressed rather vaguely but with a clear sense of how they can feel.

Johndaltonme. 2017. John Dalton – gently does it . [Online]. [20 June 2017]. Available from:


Thai artist Boonchu Tanti is a friend of mine that practices ashtanga yoga with the same teacher, Sharath Jois, and we have met during some of our journeys to India. Maybe I find his cartoon illustrations particularly hilarious as I know the stories behind them well!

What I can learn from Boonchu is to draw every day, to look around with humour and to just draw what he sees and hears.


Indian painter Anand is a master of Tanjali and traditional Mysore style paintings. I had the luck to study with him during my first trip to Mysore, India in 2010.

This type of painting is NOT creative, it is a form of devotion, or for the less religious- meditation. During the classes we students sit crosslegged on the floor and copy painstakingly detailed images of Indian Gods. It takes about a month to paint one image, and the copy does not leave room for any personal interpretation, except by the master. It is he who will add the eyes and eyelashes for example. If the painting is well done, the final touches are then done with real gold leaf, holding our breath while applying tiny tiny pieces of gold leaf.

I was painting an image of the elephant headed God Ganesh and I am not sure I learned much about painting, but it was a magic experience in immersing myself in the culture. I was the only western student, shifting around on the floor of Anands small studio among the sari clad Indian women. On Saturdays, the traditional rest day- Anand would take the whole little group on temple tours.


Since then, Anand has become a very famous painter in his genre. Two huge paintings adorn the modern Bangalore airport, painted by him and his now 10 assistants!




I like the use of pattern and the merging ranges of colour in Leslie Sabellas drawings, although I am not drawn to the too obvious motives of Fatimas hands and meditating figures in lotus posture. I am sometimes a little confused by where to draw the line between illustration and drawing, but these are clearly illustrations.

Truespiritartcom. 2017. Truespiritartcom. [Online]. [22 June 2017]. Available from:


The beauty in the simplicity of these single line drawings of yoga poses by Lovetta Reyes Cairo caught my attention.

They are a perfect example of exploring the line between finished and unfinished- how much can you leave out or crop and still clearly express the shape of the pose?

Loveheartsartcom. 2017. Loveheartsartcom. [Online]. [22 June 2017]. Available from:


Chris Carter combines a very simple line drawing with watercolour. Again I am drawn to the beauty of the simplicity here and I will explore something similar for my assignment.

Chriscarterartcom. 2017. Chriscarterartcom. [Online]. [22 June 2017]. Available from:







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