It's been a dream of mine for years to see my Phoenix printed on a yoga mat and quite literally practice standing strong in the midst of the fire. It's also been a dream to get involved with Shri (Support - Honor - Respect - Inspire) Yoga ever since their opening. Until now, I'd stuffed both of these dreams into the "someday" box, and it took a complete life overhaul to bring them back into the light.
Through this Kickstarter, your purchase of a Phoenix print or eco-friendly yoga mat will help bring these dreams to life (and you can even pledge for a private yoga class or wellness coaching, too!): offering meditative totems of hope in times of disparity, while simultaneously supporting my journey into Shri Yoga's "Path of Service" yoga teacher training, where I'll deepen my connection to under-recognized populations right in the local community.
With the direct support of the Phoenix, over the next three months I will be studying with Shri Yoga Founder, Alison Bologna, to learn the principles and techniques of teaching Shri yoga outreach classes. This 60 hour immersion will dive into:
About the Phoenix
I created this painting around the Fall Equinox of 2013. I was 28. It came about during a time of tremendous loss and grief; at the time, my entire life felt as though it had been shattered to pieces. So many of the people, places, and activities that I had come to identify myself with suddenly vanished, and I had no idea who I was anymore.
To cope, I'd travel to the mountains every weekend and cry until my mind became too tired to think any longer. With my mind finally stilled, I'd practice letting the sadness move through me like water, sometimes like a flooded rush from a mountain waterfall, other times like transient vapor slowly rolling in and blanketing the highest mountain peaks. I practiced sitting with this feeling, over and over and over again.
Gradually, the pain started to transform. Though I couldn't see it at the time, it was becoming fuel for creating something new; something that would fill me with hope and breathe new life into me. This was my yoga.
The idea for the Phoenix came to me as I was sitting under an old oak tree. I only had a vague idea of what it would look like. Even still, the pull to explore this concept was inexplicably compelling. I knew I needed to move through the process of bringing this piece to life, however it took form. It was the first time in my creative life that I truly felt I couldn't not do it.
Over the next three days, I found solace in my art studio and dove deep into the colors and textures of my grief. As I rhythmically dragged my fingertips across the canvas, a funny thing started to happen. I could feel my pain slowly shifting into curiosity. When the piece reached a crux point where I wasn't sure if the next step would "ruin" it or bring it all together, I felt that undeniable stoke in my heart saying go for it. It was there that I let myself go completely and surrendered to the process.
After all, it really didn't matter how the painting turned out - it was the taking action and being fearlessly present that was healing me. I became so completely immersed in the process that I grew unaware of my own hunger, thirst, or need for sleep. For those few days within Autumn's threshold, time felt like it was suspended. It was magical.
The Phoenix is what came out of that beautiful gift of creative release.
I learned through this process how tremendously healing it could be to allow myself to sit in the heat of difficult feelings and continue to let them wash over me and feel into them, rather than numbing them out or muscling past them.
To further support this process of svādhyāya or inward reflection, I said yes to a 7 year dream of becoming a yoga teacher through Eyes of the World. Through this year-long program I was challenged and pushed in tremendous ways to sit with my aversions and discomforts, to dig deeper than ever before into questioning who I was, and how I wanted to show up in the world. Eventually this opened the doorway to a lifelong journey of questioning everything I was (and am) not.
I've been teaching yoga ever since, and continue to make art that explores my deepest feeling states and curiosities within the physical world.
From a young age, art and yoga have both served as pathways for transformation, safety, and healing, My thirst for exploring the intersections of these practices is unquenchable - both in the vein of serving others, as well as in deepening my own path of (un)knowing and awakening.
About the yoga mats
These yoga mats are SOOO awesome!! They are made of a high quality, eco friendly, BPA and phthalates free, cellular vinyl. They offer a soft cushion feel, and contain a mesh center membrane for dimensional stability. Each one measures just under an extra long 74" x 24" wide, weighs approximately 3lbs, and is a comfy 1/4" thick.
The more you use the mats, the more "grip" you'll get with your holds, which is fantastic. Caring for them is simple: you can wash them with lukewarm water and a towel, and once they've dried, just roll them up and put them somewhere safe.
Non-toxic and latex free and 100% made in the USA.
Work with me
With this Kickstarter, I'm STOKED to be offering private and small group yoga sessions for local Providence-area folks, as well as some opportunities for wellness coaching! We can talk all about your goals and objectives and craft something custom just for you - this is all about how YOU want to transform!!
Thank you so, so, SO much for your support!!