The Approximate Yogi

Conquering life one breath at a time


Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

Ok, I don’t usually do multiple posts a day, but this is a quick one that I couldn’t resist.

Here’s a photo of some of the non-yoga things I have been up to inside this winter since my body and the weather is determined to keep me there!

cultivating succulents & making stamps

cultivating succulents & making stamps

I have to credit the composition style to Geninne Zlatkis at Geninne’s Art Blog. And, actually, the inspiration to start making my own stamps as well!

I haven’t figured out how to link other’s posts, but here’s some other cool interpretations at Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside



Weekly Photo Challenge: Object

Hello friends, and happy weekend! It has been a long week for me with my silly knee injury –finding that balance of not pushing myself too much, which I have a tendency to do, leaving me quite exhausted most nights. I even forgot to do my daily meditation one day, and I was on day 20-something! I didn’t have time in the morning and I was so tired that night that after my leg exercises I crawled into bed and just forgot. I awoke at 2 a.m. and remembered. I have forgotten once before during another meditation, remembered in the middle of the night, and gotten up to do it. It felt right then. This night, it did not feel right. Feeling right this week is being gentle with myself, allowing myself time to heal, giving myself a break. Now, what feels right, and what is easy to do are sometimes two different things, but I am working towards giving myself that break.

What does that have to do with this week’s weekly photo challenge? Nothing, but I felt like sharing a little 🙂 This is, after all, primarily a word blog, enhanced with, and sometimes inspired by images.

But onto the images. Object. I often find objects in nature that stick out to me, I suppose most of these fit in with last week’s word –juxtaposition, because I am drawn to the juxtaposition of man-made objects found in nature, or how we re-purpose nature into objects, or even objectify nature. I’m reading a lovely book right now, Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey. The book is a chronicle of his time spent in Arch’s National Park (when it was still only a national monument, and not yet built-up into a big tourist attraction). When he first arrives, his thoughts are often on trying to see nature for nature, for what it really is, without anthropomorphizing it, or (my words here) objectifying it. He writes:

The personification of the natural is exactly the tendency I wish to suppress in myself, to eliminate for good. I am here not only to evade for a while the clamor and filth and confusion of the cultural apparatus but also to confront, immediately and directly if it’s possible, the bare bones of existence, the elemental and fundamental, the bedrock which sustains us. I want to be able to look at and into a juniper tree, a piece of quartz, a vulture, a spider, and see it as it is in itself, devoid of all humanly ascribed qualitities, even the categories of scientific description. To meet God or Medusa face to face, even if it means risking everything human in myself, I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with a nonhuman world and yet somehow survives still intact, individual, separate. Paradox and bedrock.

What a brilliantly monumental task! Is it even possible? I think, sometimes, that is exactly what draws us into nature. I also want to be able to look at and into a juniper tree –how fantastic! The following photos are perhaps the opposite of this, or perhaps the beginning. What do you think?


man making nature into object, Bell Rock, Sedona

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such a symbolic object for man, in the middle of natural beauty, Sedona, AZ


nature as object: dead fish in Great Salt Lake, UT


nature as object: seaweed, Hampton Beach, NH

Here are some other lovely nature as object photos from the challenge:


Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

Trying something different for this post. This week’s Weekly Photo Challenge spoke to me. I think because my two legs have been constantly on my mind since injuring my right knee almost three weeks ago –a juxtaposition of movement and form. My left leg elegantly maneuvers through whatever I ask of it, strong, holding up more than its share; my right leg, all of a sudden unfamiliar to me, working so slowly, plodding along so carefully and diligently, the quad beginning to atrophy from under-use, reminding me of a much older leg. Juxtaposition –left leg confident, a bit of a show-off; right leg, the hard working under-appreciated assistant. Left, ready for adventure at a moments notice, full of possibility and joyful movements; right, surrounded by the unknown, fear, vulnerability.

The more I think about this word, juxtaposition, it is present throughout yoga as well. Our movements and muscles are often in juxtaposition –pulling, pushing, tightening one muscle, while relaxing another. This is especially true of balance poses, where part of our body is strong and rigid, while other parts need to be flexible and forgiving. And of course meditation is a constant juxtaposition of the active thinking, mind with the passive, observing Self.

But enough talk, this is a photo challenge! Since no one really wants to look at pictures of my legs, I’ve selected a few photos I feel more poetically express juxtaposition. I have always been interested in the difference between old and new, natural and man-made.



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