“Yoga is like music: the rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul create the symphony of life.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
Christine Hewitt, a fantastic Canadian photographer based in South India, ignited my passion in photographing yogic movement. Her emphasis on capturing the beauty of human lines, alignment of pose (or asana) while amalgamating everyday life and color are some of the many principles I cherish and carry in my arsenal today.
I started using Leica systems a few years ago with the Leica M (Typ 240) and an old 50mm Summicron lens. The incredible sharpness, detail and color of the final image coupled with a simplistic toolset are just few of the reasons why I have never looked back. I finally purchased the new Leica SL (currently taking donations for the 24-90mm Vario Elmarit lens!) and I now shoot exclusively with the SL coupled with the excellent M lenses. The SL system is truly a pro camera that enables me to see, no matter the light. I rely primarily on natural light and the ISO capabilities are phenomenal, rendering excellent images and detail even in the toughest of light conditions. 11 fps also enables me to capture conscious movement and the true expression of a yoga pose.
In my mind, a great camera system is really a means to an end. It simply allows the photographer to focus on creating pictures while gently stepping aside. The Leica SL is that camera. It enables me to capture human emotion in a pose and focus on the intricate details as subjects create the symphony of their lives. It captures pain, exhilaration, calm and joy in full color and vivid detail. The EVF is a window into the world and one must experience it to believe the previews it is capable of. Using this tool, I created a unique opportunity to show the world the capacity of the human body; to bend and twist without break, to meditate and illuminate.
Yoga for me personally is much like my journey with photography. As Pattabi Jois, the father of Ashtanga Yoga says, “Practice and All is Coming”. I constantly strive to get better at yoga and photography and they both enable me to lead a more balanced and productive lifestyle.
With Yoga, all you have is you. All you have are your thoughts, whether positive or negative, mundane or random, to carry you through practice. And within these swirling sea of thoughts lies a fundamental truth. That your are alone with your own self. You have no one. Once you let it sink in, you realize that it is an exquisite thought. And from that point on, you flow.
Born and raised in India, Neil moved to the United States 12 years ago. Neil is a Product Manager by profession and currently resides in Austin, TX. One of his greatest passion lies in photography and capturing human movement as he photographs yogis and athletes across the globe. You can follow his work on Instagram or connect with him at www.lifeinanimage.com.