Yoga Passport Teacher Profile; Kirsten Rachford, Meditative Art

Yoga Passport is a unique Yoga Immersion and Teacher Training that I’ll be co-teaching at FocusOm beginning in January, 2109. It emphasizes the ultimate goal of yoga: to connect with one’s inner spirit. We’ll explore not only the tools of classical yoga, such as asana, pranayama and traditional meditation, but more modern practices as well. Many current practices help create a state of “yoga”, by quieting the mind, cultivating a healthy life, and connecting us to our own inner wisdom. This program offers a survey of many tools presented by many teachers, to broaden the students scope on their spiritual journey. If you’d like more details about this program, click here.

I’m excited to introduce you to one of our tour guides on this journey, Kirsten Rachford. Kirsten is an artist, who is exploring the creative tools for quieting the mind.

Kirsten studied art and architecture, worked in graphic design, and taught art in schools and private art studios. She blends yoga, meditation, and art in her own personal practice, and she refers to this as “Meditative Art”. This the passion she will share in Yoga Passport. Words from Kirsten:

“My morning always begins with meditation and mindful breathing. I also set aside time every day for at least one creative endeavor, whether its writing, building, planning, painting or drawing. They’re all very necessary practices for me.

“I have found that I am much more balanced when I’m doing something creative on a regular basis. A fellow artist once told me that I need to be creating every day to stay happy, and she was right!  Sitting down to paint, draw, sculpt, etc. has a clearing effect just like meditation. When I get lost in a project, time dissolves and I feel invigorated and balanced. Like yoga and meditation, art takes me away from all the chatter in my brain, and that distance lends perspective. 

“What exactly is the Meditative Art I teach?

  • Meditative Art is a way of putting mindfulness into practice. So whatever materials I give students, they are asked to focus solely on that. For some it may be frustrating, but just as with anything else, if you stick with it, you will find the reward. We explore the motions of being mindful at a task that one may not necessarily believe they can do. 

  • People have attachment to outcome when they start an art project. Every class I teach I see students overjoyed or disappointed by what they imagined they would create when they came in. Ego is really tough to leave at the door when making art.

  • When you get absorbed in an art project, it narrows the senses and you can become completely unaware of what’s going on around you. 

  • The very act of creating is such an important human ability and key to inner liveliness that we should all be tapping into it on a regular basis.

  • Everything can be seen as art. So whether our potential yoga instructors include art in their lessons or not, they will have a better understanding of art as a tool for self-discovery. A project doesn’t need to be a masterpiece on a museum wall to be of great value.”

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