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“The Union of Yoga” Combines Art with the Human Body to Bring Asanas to Life

Healing | Health

When you first glimpse Emma Fay’s amazing artwork, you might think you’re seeing paintings on ordinary canvas. But if you take a closer look, you’ll realize there’s something truly special about these pieces.

 Not only do these incredible paintings use the human body as their canvas, but each painting also brings a different yoga pose to life.  


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 Yoga Asanas and Body Art

In her series called “The Union of Yoga,” Fay’s models hold yoga poses while she uses body paint to transform them into the plants and animals that give each asana its name. The results are unbelievable! Not only are these paintings incredibly realistic, but they also show the deep relationship between yoga and the natural world. 


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Using the human body as her canvas gave Fay the perfect way to explore the spiritual essence of yoga. In an interview with the Daily Mail, she explained that her love of body art stems from its temporary nature and the unique challenge of painting the human body. 


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“Part of the appeal of creating the artwork is the illusionary quality and the human element,” she said. Her goal for “The Union of Yoga” was to create a series that combines the spiritual practice of yoga with her unique artistic medium. 


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The human element is what makes these paintings so spectacular. But it’s also what made them such a challenge to create. Each painting took almost a day to complete—not including the research and experimentation Fay had to do beforehand. “We had to test the poses to find the right angle to shoot the work so that we were also true to the yoga pose itself,” she said to the Daily Mail. 


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Painting the models’ bodies while they held the pose wasn’t easy. While they didn’t have to hold the pose during the entire painting process, Fay made sure to choose models who were also practiced yogis to make sure they got each asana right. “That made it a little bit easier as they are used to holding still and having discipline with their body,” she told the Daily Mail. 


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These paintings are so gorgeous that it’s impossible for us to pick a favorite. Fay, however, especially loves the paintings that required two models to complete. “’There are two pieces that use two models and one of these is probably my favourite, which was the piece of the peepal tree. This is the tree that Buddha is said to have sat under when he gained enlightenment.” 


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Though body art is indeed only temporary, the results were captured by her partner, photographer Jonathan Macauley, for all the world to enjoy. Check out this mind-blowing video to see how Fay created these incredible paintings! You can see more of her work on her website and Instagram @emmafayofficial.

Which painting is your favorite? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Featured in New York Magazine, The Guardian, and The Washington Post
Featured in the Huffington Post, USA Today, and VOGUE

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