Yoga on paper

With every new yoga teacher training session I realize more and more how much prep work goes into a class. As I’m shifting my perspective from solely practitioner to teacher and practitioner, I thinking more about how to set up a good, structured, engaging class – through poses, cues, tonality, variety, atmosphere, logic… yep, that’s A LOT of stuff to think about!

Having been to so many different classes throughout the years, I’m not lacking ideas, but certainly missing the structure. After jotting down some flow ideas and practically never rereading them because of my messy handwriting, I was at a loss how to get my thoughts in order – but good my “yoga connections” came to the rescue 🙂

I have been following Karin of Bring it om yoga studio since she opened her boutique gem in Kreis 8, and practiced with her a few months ago. She often posts on Insta some flow sequences that look straight out of a professional illustration. I thought this must be her other job or calling… but then I found out it’s actually a super handy skill everyone can learn!

The inspiring creator of this “yoga pose alphabet” as I decided to call it is Eva-Lotta Lamm. She is the author of Yoga Notes and other cool and fun accessories for yoga and more. And most importantly: she came all the way to Berlin to give a workshop on how to draw with this technique! So for once, I went into a studio not to practice yoga, but to sketch yoga 🙂

During this really well structured and fun workshop Eva-Lotta literally taught us a new alphabet from scratch: starting from what isolated dots, lines and circles mean, to how to bring them together in a proportionately looking human posture. Before we continue, I have to say I am not gifted in any way when it comes to handwriting or manual work. In Romanian I’d say I have two left hands (I know, it’s a very discriminating saying for lefties but you get the point…). However, I’m a very visual person so I need pictures and written material to absorb information, so thought I’d give this workshop a try.

I must say, I was surprised at how clear my drawings came out. Not because I had untapped some hidden talent, but thanks to Eva-Lotta’s super logical breakdown of every shape. It was very easy to follow her explanations, draw along, and then imagine how other poses would be depicted using this “alphabet”.

What was also a nice surprise and a positive side-effect of the drawing exercise is the fact that it made me think of the important details of the poses, such as:
What is the actual position of the limbs and especially the thumbs?
In which plane is the body moving in this pose?
Where does the gaze go?…

The point is not to work on a masterpiece, but to produce a simple sketch that shows all the essential details and focus elements of a pose. Working with different colors was also a very good tool to emphasize movement, show flow of breath or highlight intermediary poses.

Back home I took on the challenge of writing my next flow in “yoga pose alphabet” – it’s fun, mentally engaging and really useful! I think it will improve my patience, handwriting, memory… and hopefully lead to beautiful classes led by yours truly 🙂
Watch this space ♥


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