“A true artist is not one who is inspired but one who inspires others.” —Salvador Dalí
Art Sarah Stieber, exalted as “San Diego’s Best Local Contemporary Artist” by Modern Luxury magazine declares that creating art has allowed her to make space for those who inspire her most. In the same way she told Sara McLean for a recent interview with Dunn-Edwards Paints, “My paintings also serve as a personal guide. I paint my way into the type of mindset I aspire to cultivate and into the type of person I’d like to grow into. I hope that my paintings can inspire all women to cultivate and celebrate the most expressed and authentic versions of themselves.”
Sarah Stieber certainly inspires me. The light, color, forms, and contrast that she brings into each painting shows the best in each person. Just like the classic yoga mantra, “Namaste,” she exhibits the meaning, “The divine light within me honors the divine light within you.”
Her paintings have been exhibited worldwide and were recently featured on billboards in Times Square New York, Picadilly circus in London, and on the Duomo in Milan. Stieber was named “One of 15 Female Artists you Need to Know from Miami Art Week” by CBS and “One of 50 badass painters you need to follow on Instagram” by Buzzfeed.
Sarah Stieber and myself (Hannah Faulkner Roman) with her painting of me as Peaceful Warrior on the cover of Bogamia Magazine November 2016
I had the wonderful opportunity to interact with Sarah during our Yoga Teacher Training (YTT 200 Hour) at Yoga One San Diego in 2015. She always beams with enthusiasm. World renowned spiritual teacher Eckart Tolle teaches, the word enthusiasm come from ancient Greek ‘en’ and ‘theos’ meaning to be full of god. “Enthusiasm is when the universe creates through you. You are involved in a creative act. You are bringing something new into this world. When that energy comes in, you feel an intense aliveness that flows into what you do. That is enthusiasm.”
Sarah developed her signature style, which she calls “electric realism,” early on, using vibrant colors to create emotive paintings of joy, confidence, and social justice. She proclaims, “Nothing needs to be the way that the art world or society tells you it should be. It all should be intuitive; that’s it."
One of her vibrant paintings combines not only Yoga and Art, but also Music!
She completed this Oil on Canvas as a commission piece.
The female subject has a passion for making music and playing the drums.
Using sound to connect to a higher state of consciousness is a common practice of most spiritual traditions. The sanskrit word nada means “sound”, therefore nada yoga is “the yoga of sound”. This Nada Yoga holds the concept that it is the sound energy in motion, rather than of matter and particles, which form the building blocks of the cosmos. Basically, physicists have discovered that at a subatomic level our atoms are “singing.” Great yogis believed sound was the ancient reality existing even before there were ears to receive it. Further, yoga chants and mantras create cadenced sounds to focus and quiet the racing thoughts of the mind.
“Yoga is like music. The rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul creates the symphony of life.” – B.K.S. Iyengar
Yoga Postures Along the same lines, the subject of the painting drapes herself over the drum in Wheel Pose. Urdhva Danurasana, can look like the arc of a rainbow. It represents the rainbow bridge of the chakras (described below). Wheel Pose opens the whole front of the body, lungs, and inner organs. It relieves stiffness in the upper back, shoulders and hips, while strengthening with shoulders, legs, and back. To come into Wheel Pose, start with Bridge Pose and only go further if you feel at ease there. Bridge Pose From lying on your back, bend the knees and scoot the heels close to the bum. Parallel the outer edges of the feet and the knees. Tuck your shoulder blades underneath you and reach your fingertips to graze the backs of your heels. Press your palms and feet into the earth and lift the hips, heart, and chin. Balance the pelvis so that your thighs roll down. Option to claps the hands behind your back. Take 5-7 slow breaths and slowly lower down.
To create a full wheel, place your hands to frame your face with the elbows pointing up and the finger facing your toes. Spread the fingers wide and seal the rim of your palms. When you feel grounded in the four corners of your feet and hands, inhale to lift up from the belly. Extend from the belly down through the legs as well as up along the entire length of the spine to the crown of the head. Keep the ears between the straight upper arms. Option to lift the heels for more space. Imagine that you are the beautiful arc of a rainbow filled with all of the colors as you take 5-7 deep breaths in through your nose and out through your nose in a place between tension and ease. Exhale to gently tuck the chin into the chest, bend your arms to lower the upper back and roll the rest of the spine and hips down onto the ground.
Wheels of Subtle Energy: Chakras
The wheels of the energetic body that we each embody are called Chakras.
Each of these seven spinning energy vortexes are represented as a color and a sound, while carrying much more symbolic meaning. Like the colors of the rainbow they stack along the spine: Red at the base roots, then Orange for the sacral region, Yellow at the core, Green for the heart, Light Blue for the voice, Indigo for the intuition, and Purple (or white) for the Crown of consciousness.
The Seven Chakras also imitate the seven tones of the musical scale in music: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti. They follow the pattern most commonly noticed in the C Major Scale: whole step, whole, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step.
In ancient yogic traditions, each chakra is associated with a seed syllable that can be chanted repeatedly to help balance that area in your life: LAM (root chakra), VAM (sacral chakra), RAM (solar plexus chakra), YAM (heart chakra), HAM (throat chakra), OM (third eye chakra) and OM, AH or ANG (crown chakra).