As a long-time avid yoga practitioner and teacher, I’ve found inspiration from beautiful images of people doing yoga postures. An artistically-composed photo or drawing of someone in a nicely-aligned, well-executed pose is pleasing to my eye.
Of course there are many yoga images that are not as inspiring or pleasing to look at, at least by experienced practitioners who are familiar with the forms of the poses. There are many photographs and posters of people in slumpy-shouldered seated meditation poses, or in sloppy, floppy mis-aligned poses that will lead to injury if the models continue to practice that way (my Iyengar Yoga training is showing). There are also too many images of skinny, scantily-clad women in provocative, contortionist-exhibitionist positions. This is not yoga.
Yoga Photographic Prints and Posters by Gosia Janik
Quirky, Gritty, and Whimsical
But there are still many beautiful images of people in yoga poses that I would be happy to have up in my studio and practice space. Among the favorite yoga images I’ve found are photos and prints by Polish / Spanish freelance photographer Gosia Janik. Her work is quirky and whimsical, and different than any other yoga images I’ve found online.
You can see many of her artistic yoga photographs on Flickr/Gosia Janik. Her subjects are often in jeans and casual tops, and photographed in black & white or sepia, or desaturated for a gritty, edgy look.
(Note: The images I’m showing first are found on AllPosters, but they are also found on Amazon. I’ve included the Amazon links near the bottom of this page.)
Yoga in High Heels
The first poster I found by Janik is the one above, of a woman in Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. I had been teaching this fun but difficult pose to my more experienced yoga students, and I wanted to write a few thoughts about it on my yoga studio blog.
While looking for an image to illustrate that post, I came across this delightful photo! No of course I don’t recommend the average yoga student to try this post in high heels, but wow, what a striking image! Each time I see this photo, I smile.
Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana – Half bound lotus standing forward bend. One leg is placed in lotus (on top of the opposite thigh) while standing, then going into a forward bend. An easier version is to take both hands down to the floor, or to blocks or a chair (that’s the version we were working on in class). There’s also a seated forward bend that’s similar.
More Delightful Yoga Prints
I also found the other photographic poster prints by Gosia Janik on AllPosters, and I’m delighted with all of them. I enjoy the whimsical settings, and I appreciate that the models have a good understanding of the poses. There’s a dignity here that is lacking in the more exhibitionist images I’ve seen online, even in the couple of photos that show more skin.
Halasana – Plow pose. This is often done from Sarvangasana (shoulder balance). In Iyengar Yoga, the style I practice and teach, we usually do these two poses with two or three folded yoga blankets under the shoulders to protect the neck. We’re taught not to turn the head to the side, since this could injure the neck, although I like the effect in this yoga art print (it’s one of my favorites, especially with the cat).
Paschima Namaskarasana – Reverse Prayer Pose (hands at the back). This refers to the arm position in the art print title Joga Naga. It’s an excellent position for creating more flexibility in the shoulders.
Garudasana – Eagle Pose. I’ve been taught (and I teach) this pose a little differently than in this photographic yoga print, in a more upright manner, but Janik’s image looks more like a perching bird of prey. I love the birds in the image background.
Utthita Parsva Hasta Padangusthasana (or Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana variation) – Standing leg to the side stretch. This pose is one of the two in the art print With Basia. It’s a challenging standing balance pose with one leg stretched to the side. Another version is stretching the lifted leg forward. If it’s difficult to keep the lifted leg straight, we use a strap across that foot. In Iyengar yoga, there’s a strong emphasis on learning to straighten the legs, rather than letting them bend in these types of poses. Since this is not possible for many people in its final form, we use a strap to let us approximate the full pose with better alignment and integrity.
Astavakrasana – Eight angle pose. This is the second pose in With Basia, a difficult arm balance. Good core strength and body awareness are both needed to be able to do this pose.
Natarajasana – Lord of the Dance pose. This graceful backbending pose requires great shoulder and upper back flexibility. Also done with both arms reaching back for the foot (er…but I’m glad she didn’t do it in this image since I want this page to be family-friendly).
Urdhva dhanurasana – Upward Bow Pose (or Wheel Pose). Another graceful backbending pose. I love the use of the table as a platform to showcase this pose.
Ekapada Raja Kapotasana – One legged King Pigeon Pose. Looks like a pigeon with its chest puffed out. Can also hold the foot with both hands reaching back. Note the similarity to the standing Natarajasana earlier. Both are very difficult and beautiful backbends.
Artistic Yoga Prints on Amazon
Just in case you are more of an Amazon shopper, these prints can also be found there. You can compare prices, sizes, and availability.
(12×12) Gosia Janik Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana Art Print Poster Art Poster Print by Janik , 12×12Halasana by Gosia Janik, Art Print Poster 12Joga Naga – Poster by Gosia Janik (12 x 12)Garudasana Poster Print by Gosia Janik (12 x 12)With Basia by Gosia Janik, Art Print Poster 12Nata Rajasana – Poster by Gosia Janik (12 x 12)Urdhva Dhanurasana by Gosia Janik, Art Print Poster 13Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana Poster Print by Gosia Janik (19 x 13)
I Hope You Enjoyed These Yoga Photographic Prints!
I hope you enjoyed browsing through these excellent yoga pose images! Don’t you agree they are amazing?