Workshop: Lungs and Landscapes

Lungs and Landscapes was the least structured workshop I have taught so far, which seems fitting when your subject of study is something so elusive and literally airy as atmosphere.

What happened this morning can be described as a walking and breathing workshop with the RCA’s Expedition Society. I was asked to collaborate with the Society for Mental Health Awareness Week.

Our focus on atmosphere attuned us to Prana – that’s universal shared energy in yogic philosophy. We acknowledged that breathing isn’t just a human activity; parks themselves are sometimes described as the ‘lungs’ of a city.

For a little while, we sat to breathe consciously together in a dappled glade, inhaling the oxygen generated by the giant trees… I think that this interlude of pranayama (control/extension of life force) heightened our responsiveness to atmospheric connections.

Here are some of my memories:

  • small seeds floating in the air
  • bright colours accentuated by clear skies
  • sound of willow leaves in the air like swishy wind chimes
  • ripples across a pond where air breaks and texturises the surface of water
  • the glare of the sun on one of the first ‘hot’ days of the year
  • feeling the relative coolness of the shade on my bare arms

 

lungs-landscapes-2

Contemplating a cloud.