Postures step by step

Here I plan to draw some of the Ashtanga yoga asanas I usually practice physically as an exercise in studying the figure in the postures, and to gather ideas in my sketchbook so as to then let go of these precise forms and allow more experimentation and flow.

Starting point: Samastitih, equal standing.


Raising my arms into “ekam”, the first inhale, feeling the simultaneous pull upwards and downwards, grounding.


Dwi, trini..


I am looking for how the pose FEELS. Here I can see the hands and feet growing roots into the ground, connecting. These roots can dominate the drawing. They are an intricate system of letters and words maybe.

This is me doing Salabasana and upward dog:


I need to take a look at feet and hands..


Downward dog


These above poses are repeated over and over again during the practice. The repetition of these more geometrical simple poses in the same drawing could create interesting patterns and shapes.

The warrior sequence:


Vyrabhadrasanas- the warrior sequence- clearly defining a goal and following it fearlessly. Pointing arrows.


The triangle poses- geometrical again and possible to build together in sequences, patterns. Here I drew the arms too long and think of playing with amplifying that further- long long arm reaching up.

I also just did some fototransfer experiments ( see separate post) and am intrigued by using dense text that can look like skin. The left side pose would be possible to explore with a bodysuit of small patterns /letters/symbols.

Here some trials of that idea using collage and newspaper:

Connecting heaven and Earth, the arm long reaching upwards and the figure merging with the background. The newspaper parts would be a phototransfer of the yoga sutras of Patanjali in sanskrit for example, or possibly newspaper text in Kannada language.

Padangushtasana and Pada Hastasana- they look very similar but feel different. For Padangushtasna I hold on to my toes, for Pada Hastasana the palm of my hands are under my feet.

I drew these above drawings on old pages of exercises in mark-making and really like the effect- I will use some more old drawings as a background.


So here I was just having a little fun with an old drawing of strawberries…With pink yogaposes 🙂 The persons like small insects climbing with their funny poses on the huge stawberries.


Virabhadrasana B- the second warrior pose. Rotating gathering of strength and shooting out towards a goal.

Here I am using a page of sutras in sanskrit from the Fototransfer experiment:


The pose is Utthita Hasta Padangustasana and not very successful, but I really like the skin like texture of the background and possibly the contrast with the pink Uniball pen, but it has to be done differently.


A few more poses.. I don’t see how to develop the upper standing poses further, but a close up of the upper body of Utkatasana could be interesting.



Paschimottanasana is an intense forward bend, cultivating humility and looking inward . This is a recurring old image as well, the feeling of a huge weight placed on the back like a huge stone. Sometimes a Mysore teacher will lay on the back to produce that effect and it maybe looks scary but it feels amazing- like exploring inner corners that were previously hidden. Here I tried it out in pencil, black ink and watercolor.

Kurmasana/ Supta Kurmasana:


Kurmasana and Supta Kurmasana- the turtle poses-  are the first leg behind the head postures of the primary series. Leg behind the head is an intense hip opener and if the contrary- the backbends- invite to open the heart also emotionally, these poses invite to set clear boundaries and learn to say No. I was playing with the idea of a turtles shell of course because of the name, but will not pursue that.

Prasarita Padottanasana:

Here again I come back to old ideas with the two drawings on the left.  When in this pose, it almost feels like the body gets turned inside out, and there is an intense focus on the space between the shoulderblades. A new “I”, “eye” emerging. And seeing the “fearbird”, my own symbol for hidden fears. This is an idea I definitely need to develop.

Garbha Pindasana:

Garbha Pindasana- the embryo in the womb posture. This is a pose I have never tried drawing before, maybe because it comes easy for me to do but is difficult to draw. Now I see a lot of potential- the name alone brings a lot of ideas.


I can imagine the posture in a womb like bubble, rather dark and around it again old sanskrit texts , maybe trough phototransfer.


Some “womb” experiments. I am not sure what media would be the best yet, but this is a pose I am curious to explore further.


Here some more details of hands and feet:


Marichyasana A, the first in a series of 4. Here it would be possible to play with some more extreme foreshortening:

IMG_0744Some more hands and feet in various stages of tension:


Savasana, the corps pose or simply “take rest” is the last pose of the practice and the last pose I will draw here: