Saturday, December 10, 2011

Interview with a Yogi :: Julian Bialowas

When I started this series, my intention was to go 'beyond the mat' with the people I talked to. I am a big vinyasa fan, I love to live and breathe and move on my mat, but yoga is so much more than asana. Yoga is union, it's living your life to the fullest, it's finding harmony with that which is around you.

So today, I'm all giggly excited to share with you some insights from a brilliant artist who has inspired me no end. Introducing Julian Bialowas, a Canadian freelance designer and photographer, and brains behind the 365 Day Project (how I came across him), his new exploration 16 Hours, and of course Julian Bialowas + Hey Bialowas, his Tumblr page.

I have an admission - Julian, I love you.
And readers, when you check out his phenomenal soul work, you will too.

Whoever believed photos and quotes could be so life changing?

Julian, How do you find peace and befriend your life, where you are, with all the mayhem of the world going on around you?  Juggling freelance work, personal projects and wrapping up design school, day in and day out, can certainly take a toll — even though I absolutely love what I do. I still need to remember to take moments and unplug for a while. I do this by venturing out to the mountains. And not just the actual summiting of a mountain — but everything building up to it. 

The moment the alarm clock rings at quarter to the five in the morning to driving through a dark, quiet motionless city to pick up my best of friends. To be on an empty highway before dawn breaks listening to the sounds of Ára Bátur by Sigur Rós. And into the woods before the sun has risen. To rise onto a ridge as the sun peaks overs the nearby ranges, to continue climbing and finally stepping onto the summit. 

Which is a feeling I cannot put into words. Thatʼs where I find my peace, and inspiration. Itʼs what I live for.

Describe your yoga practice - remembering that yoga is union, and not just asana. How do you live yoga on the mat, and off the mat? This could absolutely be about your inspiration for starting your photo project.. where you get yr quotes from.. how it came about..  My "yoga" practice is a simple one, to find peace not necessarily through silent meditation but through activity:

To go out, and simply — do

To tackle that mountain, or go for that run you’ve been putting off. To get outside and travel, explore, have an adventure. Hop on a plane, take a road-trip or just go to the park. Never waste a day, you'll be surprised how at peace you are by the end of it.

Is meditation part of yr practice? If so, in what way? I guess for you, finding that peace you capture so well in your photos is absolutely what meditation is about - space, breath, peace..  As I said, I believe for myself at least, my meditation and peace is found through travel and adventure. These two topics aren't typically related to peace, but I find it's the best way to obtain it.

What is your fave book? site? studio? style of yoga? pose? sequence? For you, this could be yr favourite author, inspirer, place to snap, place to think.. Music plays a large roll in my work, and life as it does for the majority of people. Artists and composers such as Olafur Arnalds, Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Richter, Sigur Rós and Jonsi all impact me greatly. I believe it shows in my work too. I can't quite explain how or why, you'll have to go listen for yourself as the music truly does speak for itself. 

As for favourite locations to photograph and think, once again I'd have to say the Rocky Mountains. They'll never cease to amaze me and you'll never have the same experience twice. Be it because of weather or season, or your mood going out. You can hike the same mountain twenty times and still be amazed by new colours in the sky & different views of the vistas below.

As someone who'd love to be more creative myself, I'm very much in love with your work.. it is so peaceful and touching. How can we all find that spirit in our lives?  At all costs, you must love what you do. It's as simple as that. If you don't whole heartily enjoy your work the inspiration and enjoyment will never come.

What is one thing that today you are grateful for?  Being able to wake up excited in the morning for the work the day holds day in and day out.

How do you slow down and smell the roses?  Try every weekend to tackle a peak. To leave the phone and mac at home and off for the day.

Any ideas on stressing less & enjoying more?  Not to sound like a broken record here but again—love what you do. When I say "work" it shouldn't feel like work. Do something your passionate about, it'll make all the difference.

Readers, some hOMework for you:
Pull out that camera/or that iPhone, and look at the world today through the lens. Take a 10 minute walk if that's all you can do. And SNAP. Furthermore, SHARE. Don't look for the perfect shot. Take 20 photos in a minute, snap snap snap, look up, look behind, look down. And be creative without trying. Pull out that right side of the brain creativity, and see the world differently. Not into snapping? Paint it, collage it, whatever it.. just Do It. Love to see what you come up with :)

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