*image source : Pinterest
I have been feeling like sharing a little in depth about the origin of ArtKeyTypes and where the format and idea came from as I have had several people asking for a little more information on what this is all about.
Most of us yogis and yoginis who have been practicing for a while, know that for any yoga practice to be successful we must incorporate an understanding of the five archetypal elements: ether, air, fire, water and earth.
When we understand the function and characteristics of each element it becomes easier to apply this in our practice. There are a lot of resources and ayurvedic books on this subject and so I will not go into a lengthy discussion of each element. By all means if you are not familiar with the elements as discussed in ayurveda, I highly recommend checking out some of Dr. Lad’s , and Dr. Frawley’s writings, otherwise, you can also attend a retreat with me to get the lengthy details! I do draw from other sources besides ayurveda as the elements are not exclusive to ayurveda.
What I would like to share in this post is a little more about how to embody the elements during yoga practice in hopes of highlighting how such embodiment can be used beyond yoga practice.
Embodying the Elemental Archetypes
Embodying the earth element is when we ground ourself before beginning the practice. Connecting with the earth element in every asana, feeling the earth and how it supports us as we move on the mat.
Embodying the water element is when we flow gracefully, slowly without sudden halts and breaks in our movements. This is especially important in any vinyasa style practice. Flowing helps us avoid injury and requires a complete surrender and relaxation of the entire body.
Embodying the fire element is really engaging the bandhas, and especially the root lock. It is also feeling deep into the movements and practices especially those that offer cleansing such as fire breath, and a faster paced practice, as well as asana that targets working the core.
Embodying the air element takes place by paying attention to every breath we make and insuring that our breath and movement are coordinated. Shallow and choppy breath will always indicate that we need to back out and slow down our practice until our breath becomes stronger.
Embodying the ether element is what makes yoga a transcendental experience. Paying attention to the space we are moving in at all times and at the same time being in our body. It is literally having the capacity to have multiple vision or the ability to watch ourselves from the inside as well as the outside at the same time.
ArtKeyTypes, or the painting experience that I have developed from this understanding is really applying these concepts to the painting process, and literally becoming the elements through visualization, movement and embodiment. ArtKeyTypes is meant to be dynamic and ever changing, evolving and growing. This is not a method or practice and will become what it needs to in any given moment. It is personal to each individual. Because it has to do with creative process and creative process are by nature infinite, this process will have infinite ways of being and becoming.
I just submitted an expanded version of this writing titled: ArtKeyTypes: Bridging Jungian Psychology with Tantra, Ayurveda and Shamanism, for peer review in an art therapy journal and my heart skipped a few beats- I am excited to be sharing ArtKeyTypes for the first time this May!