Carrie Green, friend and yoga instructor, at home in her mid-century designed lake house in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Every great Designer is enthralled with chairs. From French Fauteuil to classic Barcelona. There’s something about the silhouette, the architecture, the sheer beauty of the design that fascinates us and also challenges us. I love picking really different chairs as accents for my client. And this isn’t about form over function, they have to work within their beauty – is the client tall or short, like a cushy or firm seat, need back support, or prefer to sink in? These are all factors when picking the perfect chair.
Upon a recent visit to the recently reveled interactive Gallery One at the Cleveland Museum of Art, screens pulled up a “Chair tour” through the museum. I can’t wait to go back when I am “kidless” and explore such an appropriate topic! Such amazing technology and a wonderful collection of chair design through the Ages in our own backyard.
But what is it about the chair? Last week in yoga I struggled with the classic chair pose. The whole time I’m in it, I want to be out of it. Yet there is a marriage of design and yoga, (yes I am getting cerebral on you) that makes a house a home.
I asked my friend and yoga expert, Carrie Green, to elaborate on this idea:
“Chair pose (Utkatasana) translates as “powerful or fierce.” This yoga asana, or posture, maintains the function of strengthening the leg muscles, massaging the abdominal organs including the heart, and toning the back. Through proper alignment, one’s body constructs a “chair.” While practicing this deeply challenging pose, an internal heat builds to help detoxify the body while challenging one’s mental focus and strength.
Yoga means to join together mind, body and spirit. The asanas in yoga, while lengthening and strengthening our bodies give us a window into our mental states. Oftentimes we approach a physical challenge unaware of the tension we hold. The art of yoga is to practice movement while using our breath to begin to let go. Chair pose is practicing for those moments in life that hold their greatest challenge. When we learn to find a steady, calm focus and as we pair it with deep breath, we begin to let go, moving out of our legs and into a steady mental space.
Yoga is a moving meditation and when we come to sit at the end of our practice in either a fabulous, functional chair or find that we are without one, but our own strength to support us, allow your space to be about letting go and surrendering into the moment you are in. It is in the present that we have our greatest power and in seeing what is right in front of us, we find the beauty and openness to begin to live every moment and breath with strength and grace.”
So take a look at these fabulous chairs I love. All different shapes and sizes, which style do you prefer? Take a breathe and have a seat!