One Crafty Portlander is Taking Instagram Yoga Selfies to Another Level
Portland yoga instructor and wellness coach Natasha Yeracaris started mashing up yoga photos, ink illustrations, and watercolors as a way to relieve stress, and now—in a sea of cookie-cutter Instagram yogis tackling handstands in trendy pants—her @mindfulfolks feed stands out with a simple but powerful collage aesthetic.
The project's conception was, as the Boston native describes it, "one of those exciting, 'wouldn’t it be neat if,' moments when an idea pops up seemingly from nowhere and quickly grows roots. I’m very taken with the surreal and the whimsical, and relished the notion of bringing together things I enjoy. I’m not the most proficient photo editor, and only dabble with art, so it was exciting to be challenged and teach myself something new."
To make each image, Yeracaris scan her sketches and watercolors, then layers and weaves them with yoga pictures in Photoshop. "I use both art and yoga as meditative, healing, transformative experiences," explains Yeracaris. "They can be powerful and passionate, tranquil and thought provoking—used as a way to escape, or a way to be extremely present. The human body itself is so artful, and there are seemingly infinite ways to capture its form. Weaving elements of yoga, dance, or other conscious movements with paintings and sketches feels very natural."
As for the rest of the yoga shots filling the Instagram currents, Yeracaris says the more folks out there "sharing everything from their first child’s pose to some wild one-armed inversion," the better. "Those complicated asanas are truly beautiful, and show the devotion and dedication it has taken to reach that point in one’s practice. If it inspires another to try out a class, some meditation, or feel happiness, I’m all for it. Hopefully, however, yoga comes across as more than those bendy poses. Simply sitting with your legs crossed and taking a few deep breaths is yoga. Wherever you are currently in your practice is exactly where you should be."
As for Yeracaris's own yoga practice, she explains "using drawings, and the accompanying words, has become a way to authentically express passion, positivity, gratitude, and self-love; to combine the consciousness of yoga with a bit of imagination." Scroll down to see more of @mindfulfolks #momentsimagined!