Yoga and Art: Two Universal Disciplines

Instead of “art for art’s sake” and art for commercial use, Shrii Prabhat Rainjan Sarkar, has firmly declared that “Art is for Service and Blessedness” and created an organization called RAWA – Renaissance Artists and Writers’ Association. Why would the Gurudeva of Ananda Marga, a spiritual organization, involve himself in discussions about art? Let us see…

Among the various benefits of yoga that are recognized by the scientific community, we find the development of intuition and creativity. In this sense, we see an excellent connection with the artistic disciplines, which are often enhanced by yogic practices. In art, one finds inspiration within and then expresses it in different shapes and colors, movements, and sounds. In yoga, we find that the first five tenets of Yama and Niyama are devoted to the intro-external manifestation of beauty and grace as expressed in the world. The second five tenets of Yama and Niyama, along with the physical aspects of asanas and breathing enable one to observe one’s inner nature, to learn to know oneself through the movement of the body in space, through chanting, listening to one’s own breath, and through meditation. The Art disciplines provide the ability to express one’s being that in other ways would likely remain unexplored, even more so when we consider the variety of tools and techniques available.

For children in particular the union of yoga and art is immediate and easy to understand. Children are free of the limits and obstacles that the average adult has in the field of creative expression, and thus they have a greater ability to reproduce their own inner worlds to the outside. Thanks to this ability, the child is at ease both in manual and creative activity. They are similarly free to participate in the disciplines of yoga, which are often experienced in the form of play and song. Contrast this with adults who say, “I’m too fat to practice yoga” or “I’m not flexible enough” or “I can’t concentrate well enough to meditate” and on and on and on, depriving themselves of the joy of uniting the external with the internal.

Personal change dictated by self-awareness is a vehicle that can be translated into broader social dynamics.

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By Bhavanii