How’s going it?
What are you up to?
Do you feel like taking a momentary runaway to sandy beaches,
Crashing waves and a sense of calm? Like the taste of a freshly blended mango smoothie?
Don’t worry if now isn’t the time.
It’s a bit stressful, I get it. No worries!
If you do-
I have something I want to share with you.
Koh Phanghan, Thailand.
An island located in the southeast region of the country.
And let me introduce you to Helle.
A well trained/ well immersed yoga instructor from Denmark. I’m lucky enough to be able to call her a dear friend. She is an incredible human with a heart of gold with a sneaky sense of humor. Helle was gracious enough to donate 2 hours of her time sharing her practice as I photographed. The best kind of friends are the ones who are quick to say “Yes, ok!” when approached with the ultimate question- “I have an idea…!”
During the mid-month of February I grew a close connection to practicing asana on the shores of Koh Phanghan. I spent ten days in the beginning of the month being treated in hospital for Dengue fever and the weeks following being released was a rocky transition filled with immense anxiety being around people. The only way for me to get through this period was to go walking, for miles, loud music with angsty rifts + loud drums, burning off all the nervous energy my body was holding. Second, was learning to surrender, to relax. I began to take my yoga practice to water, being to explore into relaxation. As a workaholic human who feels her value is based on what she can provide- this was a scary process.
Moving through water, being held by water, learning to fully relax to float effortlessly on water.. powerful.
I knew I needed to capture the feelings I felt in my practice on digital media. I knew it had to be Helle. Her strength and grace, as a yogi and as a human, was crucial for this vision to come to life. Luckily- she said yes!
I want to share with you five images from our shoot that she posted on her instagram. The quality is not up to par as I am uploading screen shots. I am excited to share more in time; My photography storage is in current transition from being packed up + shipped from the ashram to home in Canada due to my epic passport adventure of 2020 / getting locked out of Thailand. (Can you say the ultimate lesson in non-attachment?)
This photoshoot made me question everything I thought photography should be. I love that I can post these photos without editing a single aspect of the photo. I am going through a lot of internal changeover and it has been uncomfortable. My views, beliefs and attitude are shifting faster than I am comfortable with. A question I sat with after our shoot- can a photographer look portrait photography without editing the final image? Even exposure/ contrast/ technical edits. Humans are so fucking beautiful as they are- why do we need to edit the present moment? I understand we photographers do it to help create the emotion, but is there a way to tell the story without taking away from the truth of the moment? Thoughts to ponder!
What I know for sure-
If you live in (or near) Denmark, you NEED to check out Helle’s yoga classes. You can find more information of her offereings at: www.yoga-kalundborg.dk.
Follow her Yoga page at: Yoga-Kalundborg
What I’ve learned from my immersion in Tantra yoga- asana should feel as relaxing and peaceful as breathing on the ocean shore. If this is not the experience you have, try to relax everything not necessary for the asana. Let yourself find a level of effort and relaxation so your conscious mind can rest. Relax. Be floppy. Each moment should feel divine.
This is all training for life off the mat.
I hope you enjoy the mini drift away to sandy beaches, blue skies and a sense of complete relaxation.