Susan Convery

Art 

and 

Kundalini

Yoga 

As a KRI Certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher + Florida Certified Art Teacher.  I combine yoga practice as taught by Yogi Bhajan with one or multi day mindful drawing and painting workshops.

 

What is Kundalini Yoga?

Kundalini Yoga is called the "Yoga of Awareness". It is a dynamic, powerful technology that is designed to give you an experience of your soul.

In Kundalini Yoga we harness the mental, physical, and nervous energies of the body and put them under the domain of the will, which is the instrument of the soul. This technology precisely and consciously combines breath, mudra, eye-focus, mantra, body locks, and postures to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, expand lung capacity, and purify the blood. It brings balance to the body, mind, and soul.

"In Kundalini Yoga the most important thing is your experience. It goes right to your heart. No words can replace your experience. Your mind may accept the words or it may not, but your consciousness will not accept just words."  -Yogi Bhajan

 

Kundalini Yoga is not a religion. It is a centuries old technology for maximizing human potential by elevating the spirit, body and mind.  It is for everyone. It is universal and nondenominational.  Follow these links for more info:

 

https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga

Article on Kundalini Yoga from Huffington Post

A Kundalini  yoga class lasts about 1 to 1 1/2 hours and can be taught before an art workshop

Workshop Menu

One Day Workshops

No Skill Required

Find Your Ikigai:

According to the Japanese, everyone has an "Ikigai" ( a reason for living) . Finding your Ikigai is the key to living a longer, happier life.  It is the place where passion, mission, vocation and profession intersect such that every day is infused with meaning. Working through a series of thoughtful questions, creative exercises and inspirations you will illuminate your purpose and increase the joy in your life.

Meditative Mandalas:

Mandalas, meaning "circles" in Sanskrit, are sacred symbols that are used for meditation, prayer, healing and art therapy for both adults and children. Mandalas have been shown in clinical studies to boost the immune system, reduce stress and pain, lower blood pressure, promote sleep and ease depression.  When creating and viewing a mandala, the left side of the brain (responsible for reasoning and problem solving) rests, creating a shift into a relaxed state of inner calm. Learn to design your own Mandala in pen, ink and color.

Enso Circles:

In Zen, ensō ( , "circle") is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. 

The ensō symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void). The circle may be open or closed. An open circle is incomplete, allowing for movement and development as well as the perfection of all things. Zen practitioners relate the idea to wabi-sabi, the beauty of imperfection. When the circle is closed, it represents perfection, Once the ensō is drawn, one does not change it. It evidences the character of its creator and the context of its creation in a brief, contiguous period of time. Drawing ensō is a spiritual practice that one might perform as often as once per day.

Vision Board:

A vision board is a tool used to help clarify, concentrate and maintain focus on a specific life goal. Making a vision board is a wonderful way to bring clarity to a general desire and turn it into an achievable goal.  Creating and using vision boards help you to; identify your vision and give it clarity, reinforce your daily affirmations, keep your attention on your intentions  and the more your board focuses on how you want to feel, the more it will come to life.

 

Mindfulness through Figure Drawing (Gesture, Blind Contour)

Everyone can draw.  As children we draw instinctively, making marks that please us and it is only later that our inner critic tells us that we cannot draw unless we draw well.  Instead of living in the virtual world, instead of focusing on all the things whirring in your head, you can stop, clear your mind and just be. Return to mark making through meditative observation of the clothed human body.

 

Acrylic Pouring:

Create modern abstract art using special fluid acrylic paints poured over a canvas.  No drawing ability required.

 

Mono Printing with Natural Objects:

Create one-of-a-kind prints using natural objects, stencils and textured lines and thread.  No drawing ability required.

 

Perception vs. Observation - Train your mind:

Education has trained us to think symbolically and our mind now recognizes the symbol as the object itself.  The symbol for a person is a stick figure and that is why so many people say they can draw only stick figures.  Our mind wants to give us the quickest solution to every request.  In this class we will take the time to mindfully engage with and observe the object we are drawing and to notice all the details of  how it really is.

One Hour - One Painting:

This is an exercise in slow looking, spending an hour contemplating a single painting in a museum setting. In our overly busy, 21st-century lives, there is a growing call for the time and space in which to slow down for long enough to rest in rapt attention to something of value and importance, and to offer the mind the relaxation and refreshment that it sorely needs.

At the start, we discuss the blend of meditation and contemplation skills that participants need, using the breath as the anchor for attention and the means to bring it back when it begins to wander. This is followed by alternating periods of open-eye contemplation of the painting on the wall in front of us, and closed-eye internalization of what it is we’ve seen. I avoid “talking about” the content of the painting, but simply walk participants through it, drawing attention to details of form and image, color and texture, as appropriate to the individual work. I ask them to look intently, to see what’s actually there, in front of them, rather than the preferences or assumptions they have brought with them. The looking, I explain, should precede judgment, like or dislike. Meanwhile, the closed-eye, meditative moments are used both to rest and refresh the eyes, and to seal what we’ve seen in the visual memory, the mind’s eye. At the end of the experience, people are usually eager to talk so I leave at least 10 minutes for feedback and discussion. It usually stretches far longer, beyond the limits of the actual hour, and is usually animated. Participants want to talk about what they have seen in the painting, yes; but they also want to talk about the experience of looking at it in a way

 

Multi-Day Summer Workshops

Meditative Mandalas:

Mandalas, meaning "circles" in Sanskrit, are sacred symbols that are used for meditation, prayer, healing and art therapy for both adults and children. Mandalas have been shown in clinical studies to boost the immune system, reduce stress and pain, lower blood pressure, promote sleep and ease depression.  Learn to design your own larger and more detailed ink and watercolor Mandala.

 

Journal Your Life:

Our lives are always changing, unraveling, transforming.  How do we make sense of it, create our own order?  Creativity is not a luxury, it’s the essence of life.  How can we have perspective on what matters, deal with change without being overwhelmed, or recognize the long succession of small epiphanies?  By making art we can record what we are living through and what we are learning about it.  A drawing and a sentence or two in a sketchbook turns those everyday moments into something significant. Our sketchbook will set a frame around this period, or this place, in our lives  and give perspective in what really matters. A sketchbook is a visual record of how much we already have - Our real treasures.

Mindful Drawing:

Like meditation, drawing quiets our thinking mind and brings us into union with the present moment.  Drawing is the perfect antidote to our high speed, high tech world.  It requires us to slow down and appreciate the world around us.  In this workshop we will work through a series of exercises for any skill level from Wendy Ann Greenhalgh's book "Mindfulness & the Art of Drawing" designed to bring us into a deeper relationship with ourselves, with life and the act of creativity.

Mindfulness through Figure Drawing (Gesture, Blind Contour)

Everyone can draw.  As children we draw instinctively, making marks that please us and it is only later that our inner critic tells us that we cannot draw unless we draw well.  Instead of living in the virtual world, instead of focusing on all the things whirring in your head, you can stop, clear your mind and just be. Return to mark making through meditative observation of the clothed human body.

 

Mixed Media Quote Illustration:

Beginning with a mono print from natural objects we will practice several techniques for adding imagery and lettering to create a finished artwork illustrating a favorite quote.

 

Perception vs. Observation - Train your mind:

Education has trained us to think symbolically and our mind now recognizes the symbol as the object itself.  The symbol for a person is a stick figure and that is why so many people say they can draw only stick figures.  Our mind wants to give us the quickest solution to every request.  In this class we will take the time to mindfully engage with and observe the object we are drawing and to see it as it actually is.  Over a period of days we will use a variety of drawing techniques to become more deeply aware and engaged with our subject.

All groups should have a minimum of 8 participants and must be booked well in advance.  Please contact me for a price quote and availability for each course.

© 2020 Susan Convery