Shreya Mehta x Payal Parekh
Shreya: Why is it beneficial to meditate with art?
Payal: When I experience art, I am transported deeply within myself. I believe art is a gateway into the soul. Art can inspire states of joy, relaxation, and ease in the viewer. I am curious about the intersection of art and mindfulness practices and art as a vehicle for peaceful abiding and equanimity.
Shreya: Why did you decide to collaborate with me?
Payal: Firstly, we are dear friends who share a passion for art and spirituality and I love your process. Secondly, I am also a yoga and meditation teacher. It was alot of fun and it felt natural to lead guided meditations inspired by your artworks. We began this collaboration at the start of the Covid-19 global pandemic. I know we were hoping to reach as many people as we could and to send a message of support, love, and compassion to the world.
Shreya: What are some tips for meditating with art?
Payal: The breath is a good place to begin. You can sit down or stand in front of the work. When you look at the work of art, notice your breath. Let your eyes wander around the object. Close and open your eyes. Feel any sensations in the body. When you close your eyes, what do you remember about the artwork? What color do you see and where can you feel it in your body? Keep it simple and playful.
Shreya: How do you choose which works of art to meditate with?
Payal: It’s an intuitive process. There are moments when an artwork reminds me of a particular meditation. When this happens, I pair the two! It’s interesting to see how a particular artwork can deepen a method of breathing or enhance chanting. Art can even incite a yogic shape in the body. It is my hope that ultimately people may open up to their own bodies and hearts by gazing at the artwork and simply breathing with it.
My body is my temple and asanas are my prayers. –B.K.S. Iyengar