Lifestyle

Let it go: Why this art class wants you to destroy your work

The art of finding peace has become big business

Image: TNP/PhylliciaWang

A wealth of adult colouring books have tapped on the therapeutic effects of taking time out to colour in patterns. Then there is the vast and ever-growing yoga industry.

While many people feel a sense of achievement in creating and colouring, possibly taking and sharing pictures, there is an art meditation class where you are encouraged to destroy and dispose of your creation, without even taking a picture - all to promote a more peaceful mindset.

Keen to combine art therapy and yoga, Kathy Gabriel has created various unique meditation workshops such as floral mandala meditation and colouring meditation.

"Art and colour have long been used as a form of therapy. So that makes it a good starting point for any mindfulness practice," said the 25-year-old yoga and meditation instructor.

Image: TNP/PhylliciaWang

Everyone has their own tastes and that comes into play with this form of meditation. Practitioners can alter the flowers and colours to what they feel will suit them best.

"I believe that for each person, one fixed form of meditation may not necessarily work for them, hence the need to find different ways or forms to engage the individual," explains Ms Gabriel.

Teaching yoga since 2013, Ms Gabriel has focused on awakening creativity, breathing and presence. These, she says, help cultivate a sense of mindfulness.

Image: TNP/PhylliciaWang

Each of her classes holds an average of 13 participants. Before starting, participants first focus on a breathing exercise and meditation that relates to the body's seven energy centres, or chakras.

Explaining the process of making the mandala, Ms Gabriel says: "The session is entirely guided but the process is very much as fluid as each person wants it to be. It can depend on how they are feeling on the day, what colours they are drawn to, what chakras are open or closed and what themes they are working on."

Image: TNP/PhylliciaWang

Upon completion, there will be a 20 minute meditation. What happens next may surprise some people.

After the meditation, the works will be destroyed and left unrecorded - so it is not an Instagram opportunity.

So why take this approach to creativity? Ms Gabriel explains: "The point of a mindfulness practice is to teach how to enjoy seeing things as they are, to enjoy the moment as it is and not get attached to it."

She adds: "The whole process is to get over the idea that things need to always have an end result or serve a purpose."

 

Article first published on TheNewPaper

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