Holi happiness had by All!

IMG_1290 IMG_1282     Yesterday Body Awakening’s founders made their way to the Holi festival in Cardoza Park, Milpitas. The day was as bright and warm as the people spreading joy in the park. Greens, yellow, pink, purples, blues, and other colored chalk covered all who joined the mirth. What better way to enjoy a Saturday than with an all-loving day party where everyone accepts each other and enjoys one another’s company. In this moment we are honoring a triumph of good over evil, ushering in the creative energy of Spring. We dance to our heart’s content in our own fashion, just like everyone else. We connect with others, smearing colored chalk and hugging with no hesitation, remorse, shame, or fear. It is a beautiful experience. It is a celebration like this that honors the life we share. As with everyday, we are all the same, but Holi really drives that nuance home.IMG_1295IMG_1281

Thank you Milpitas for hosting a great gathering, uniting so many people joyfully. Thank you people for making our lives even more colorful!

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Happy Holi!IMG_1293

Mesmerizing mural for your musing mind

Body Awakening's Mural

An epic elaboration of archetypes, heroes, and gods awaits your presence in Body Awakening’s Studio. As many civilizations have looked to the heavens for inspiration, we beckon you to look above for the same spark.

As you enter our space, Ganesha, the Gatekeeper and overcomer of obstacles greets you warmly.

Keeping watch over the entryway and overcoming all obstacles

Hanuman leaps an unfathomable distance to pluck the sun out of the sky as if it were fruit.

Leaping a million yojanas to pluck the sun out of the sky as if it were fruit

Krishna charms all with his lyrical flute and cheery demeanor.Charming all with his lyrical flute and cheery demeanor

The sage sits contemplating the rhythms of the universe, while the poet writes the messages of the muses on the sage’s beard.

Contemplating the rhythms of the universe while the poet writes the muses' messages on his beard

Theseus, Greece’s greatest hero, emerges from defeating the minotaur in the maze; bringing his truth to light.

Emerging successfully from the maze, bringing truth to light

Shiva sits, meditating, observing peace during our era.Meditating on mountain peaks in observation of peace in our era

Silhouetted lovers embrace affectionately with our best energy.Earth's perfect duo in love

Artemis draws her bow exemplifying graceful feminine strength.The huntress draws her bow in honor of feminine strength

A majestic sun beams enlightening the cosmos.Enlightening the cosmos

Fierce Durga sits poised on her tiger, ready to provide feminine protection.

Fierce protectress on her powerful tiger

A bastion of peace exudes calming energy from his nirvanic state.An ever-present bastion of calm in his nivanic state

The dream of the universe is brought into existence by Vishnu, sleeping pleasantly on his bed of nagas in the sea of infinity.Dreams the universe into existence on his bed of nagas in the sea of infinity

All this, a stunning Westward San Francisco view, vibrant colors, and more beckon you for a truly inspired state of relaxation with a Body Awakening session.

We’d like to offer a special thanks to San Francisco’s Sonya Genel for bringing our vision of interweaving of myth, legend, gods, and cosmos into such a wonderful artistic manifestation: Shukriya, Shukriya, Shukriya!

Body Awakening meets Mánjari Sharma

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The artist, Mánjari Sharma, who captured the essence of Maa Laxmii, Hindu goddess of good fortune, visited Body Awakening on the full moon-lit evening of November. Making our way through ActivSpace, we take some time to get to know each other. Once inside the studio, our conversation journeys visually around the space. Laxmii immediately catches her eye. Her photoportrait is overlooking the studio space, as well as San Francisco.

I take a few moments to elaborate the artist expressions population our vibrant healing space. I highlight the elemental characters on the adjacent wall; water, wind, fire, earth, and the intangible element from four cultures across the globe adorning it. We admire the view to the West over San Francisco. Body Awakening’s paradigm for well-being surrounds a reflection box, upon which a gilded Buddha meditates.

We turn back to the Laxmii’s peacock blue wall adorned with a hand-painted peacock feather. The color and feather spark a conversational tangent where Mánjari and I discuss some of our more poignant dreams and their meanings. We are entranced in each other’s experiential perspectives of our worlds and the messages interpreted out of these; through dreams.

Mánjari and I sit on the midnight purple floor. She, like Laxmii, is generous enough to have brought her portfolio. I anticipate seeing a series of classic photoportraits of Hindu gods. They are there, but first she takes me through a series of emotionally cathartic portraits that emerged before the concept of reproducing Indian classics. I am gripped by the people in her photographs. They are pouring their hearts our in these visual windows of time. The emotional content is palpable. Coincidentally or not, all the photographs were taken between the hours of 11am and 1pm. My jaw drops at the realization that these were taken during the peak time frame for the heart meridian in Traditional Chinese Medicine. We are both awed by this circumstance bringing a moment of emotional outpour for the subjects in Mánjari’s Shower Series. Our chat weaves into a parallel association of massage facilitating emotional catharsis during a vulnerable situation. The people in her photo series find a moment of individual freedom very similar to that of a great massage.

Something about this experiential series inspires Mánjari looks to her roots. She taps into her cultures’ archetypes represented by Hindu gods; recreating, with as much precision as possible, classic images of Laxmii, Vishnu, Brahma, Durga, Saraswati, Shiva, Kali, Ganesha, & Hanuman. She informs me that each scene was “constructed around the person found to assume the role of these deities from scratch.” Without whom, the scenes cannot be developed. According to her, the world develops after the particular god is chosen to play the part. I find this particularly interesting in light of the way our own worlds are populated.  We all have our own unique character, and our environment is enriched by our attributes. These images of Hindu gods represent the same in a timeless, exemplary fashion. It causes me to think about what these deities represent: symbols of the best characteristics of humanity. Mánjari captures this nuance in her Darshan series.

She explains that each person depicting a god came to her through a combination of coincidence and serendipity. Each one had a tendency to honor that god in their own life: fortuitous coincidences. The person portraying Shiva, for example, was raised in Varanasi in a household which has celebrated the gracefully dancing god of destruction for centuries. It is no small task to emulate the character of a god, even for an instant. The subjects donned their roles well, and the result is stunning.

We are grateful to have Mánjari’s photoportrait of Maa Laxmii keeping vigil over our space, pouring good fortune over all in her gaze.

Thank you, Mánjari, for elaborating your passion for capturing characteristics of humanity through your photography, and, once again, visiting our studio. We are honored to have your art residing in Body Awakening.

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*accent added by Author to guide pronunciation of artist’s name