Yogic principle to take to my art: Acceptance

Continuing in my series about ways that my yoga practice can enhance my painting practice. Today is acceptance.

My days have been quite similar the past few weeks, mainly consisting painting, being ill, being tired and doing yoga and meditating when I can. I had a birthday last week (happy birthday to me!) and now it’s back to it.

My body has suffered from being ill, and so my yoga practice has changed. I didn’t do a vigorous practice for about a month, I had to really tone it down to restorative practices and slow, simple vinyasa practices when I felt up to it. I’ve lost fitness because of this and am slowly trying to bring my body back to the condition it was in December. It’s slow and stuttering, hence the tiredness.

Because my yoga has always been therapeutic for me and meant to make me feel better rather than worse I have always been very accepting of my body’s condition at every given time when I come to practice yoga. If I’m tired I do a slow practice, if I’m feeling anxious I do a simple practice, if I’m feeling unenthusiastic I allow myself to do a practice I find interesting. If it’s too hard I don’t practice at all, and I don’t beat myself up about it. I try to do what’s appropriate and I’m accepting of that.

Applying this to my painting would mean being aware of my current body and mind state and allowing myself to work in a way that would benefit it (or at least not harm it) So this would mean accepting that when I’m tired I cannot just push push push as much painting out as possible. I have to accept that painting is a very draining activity. I have to take regular breaks, I would benefit from being mindful of any feelings that come up (tiredness behind my eyes, panic rising from it not going the way I want it to) If I’m too tired to paint, draw. If I’m too tired to draw, look at other people’s paintings and think. And accept that I’m doing the right thing in the long term by not bleeding myself dry at the easel every day. Even external factors have to be accepted: today it is too dark to paint in natural light. So I’m not, I’m planning on what I’m going to work on next and I’m looking through my art books.

I do the best I can given the conditions that are present and I look after myself. I accept that I am doing my best.


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