Yoga, The Secret of Life: Yoga Class with Beryl Bender Birch and Book Talk with Francesco Mastalia
November 3 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm$10 – $50
Come share an enlightening afternoon of photography and yoga. The afternoon will begin at 4 pm with an hour-long yoga class with internationally acclaimed yoga instructor, and author of Power Yoga and Yoga for Warriors, Beryl Bender Birch. Beryl has been an avid student of classical yoga since the 1970s and she has been the director of The Hard & The Soft Yoga Teacher Training programs since 1980 and is the cofounder and board chair of the Give Back Yoga Foundation (GBYF). Founded in 2007, GBYF is now the gateway nonprofit for yoga service projects in the United States.
At 5 pm, following the yoga class with Beryl, photographer Francesco Mastalia will discuss the making of his book, his creative process and photographic technique used for YOGA The Secret of Life. Francesco will share his illuminating journey and signing copies of the book.
YOGA The Secret of Life is a photo-documentary about the spiritual and physical journey of yoga. Through photographs and text this fine art book explores the personal experiences of 108 of today’s leading practitioners and how this ancient practice has transformed their mind, body, and spirit. The photographs for the project are taken on glass plates using the wet collodion process, a photographic technique dating back to the 1850’s. With the use of a large format wooden camera and antique brass lens, glass plates are hand-coated to produce one-of-a-kind “ambrotype” images. The collodion process transports us to another place and time. When the light-sensitive chemicals absorb the sun’s ultraviolet rays, we enter a mysterious world where art and alchemy embrace. Learn more about the book here. Advance purchase of Francesco’s book is available below – the book will be here waiting for you!
Above Images © Francesco Mastalia
Beryl Bender Birch
Beryl is a renowned teacher, not only for her knowledge of classical yoga and her studies of the Yoga Sutra, but for her abilities to brilliantly and intuitively access a student’s weaknesses and misalignments, both physically and psychologically, and prescribe specific yoga practices for healing and growth. Her down to earth, accessible style of teaching has made her a beloved and highly sought after teacher.
She pioneered the introduction of yoga into the athletic community in 1980, when she became the Wellness Director of the New York Road Runners Club. She continued in that position until 2002, teaching yoga classes in New York City to over 100,000 students in that 22 year period of time. Beryl coined the term “power yoga” and her Power Yoga classes in New York (and workshops all over the country) were the first and original “power” yoga program. Based on the astanga sequences (Beryl’s personal practice since l979), Beryl adapted the power practice for athletes of all sports, ages, and abilities, which is one of the reasons the program rocketed to success.
Her first book, Power Yoga, was published in 1995 and sold nearly 300,000 copies. She has since then written 3 more books, Beyond Power Yoga (the philosophy of the 8 limbed yoga path), Boomer Yoga (practice for aging athletes), and Yoga for Warriors (written for veterans and men and women in active duty military).
Francesco Mastalia has traveled the world photographing tribal, religious, spiritual, and indigenous people. His first book DREADS, published by Workman Artisan, is a photo-documentary on the history of dreadlocks. Photographed on location in Ethiopia, Kenya, Angola, Namibia, Senegal, India, Japan, New Zealand, Jamaica and throughout the United States, now in its eighth printing, DREADSincludes an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker.
His second book “ORGANIC” Farmers & Chefs of the Hudson Valley, documents the Hudson Valley’s organic sustainable food movement. Published by powerHouse Books, the 17,000-mile journey includes over 100 of the regions farmers and chefs. The portraits for the project were photographed using the wet-collodion process, a photographic technique developed in the mid-19th century. Works from ORGANIC are included in the Permanent Collection of the Library of Congress.
The current book YOGA The Secret of Life is a photo-documentary about the spiritual and physical journey of yoga. Through photographs and text this fine art book explores the personal experiences of 108 of today’s leading yoga practitioners and how this ancient practice has transformed their mind, body, and spirit. YOGA The Secret of Life is included on Elizabeth Avedon’s list of Best Photography Books of 2017.