Urban Yoga – Kristina Kashtanova

Feb 15th, 2016

Asana: What’s the inspiration behind the photography collaboration?

Kristina: I was commissioned to photograph for a yoga for men clothing brand OHMME yoga and that’s how I met Kostyantyn. I had been photographing yoga in the cities for quite a while, usually just for my personal project, but it was great to work with a brand as they sponsored Kostyantyn and paid me.

Asana: Why did you choose to work with yogis, dancers and athletes for the project?

Kristina: In January 2015 I discovered yoga while photographing a friend I met through Instagram. It was a cold morning, 6 a.m. in January on Times Square in New York. Then I spent the whole day with my subject of photography who opened a door to yoga for me. I started practicing almost right away.

When I came back to London I gained momentum first photographing with students of Central School of Ballet, then yogi. When I came back to New York I discovered street workout. I decided to make a goal to explore people’s movement and their motivation to do what they do. As I was seeing more and more incredible things people manage to do with their bodies I was inspired to share my discovery that anything is possible if only we believe in ourselves and keep working on our bodies regularly. Many people I worked with came to yoga and street workout being an adult, some were injured before. I even met a few ballet dancers who started their successful path at the age of 15. So I just wanted to show to the world and to myself that we are creators of our own reality.

Asana: The photos are taken in cityspaces in London and New York instead of the Nature, any particular reasons?

Kristina: I like urban environments because that’s where I spent most of my life. My original idea was to show that yoga exists in the busy cities and we can always find peace and calmness within ourselves no matter what’s going on around us. Even if it’s a busy street there’s always a way to pause and do something to connect within. I photographed few times in the parks though and on the cliffs around England. I’m still working on my nature-based project and only few days ago I got clarity what message I want to send with my new images taken in nature.

Asana: Can you share with us your upcoming projects?

Kristina: I’ve just started a project “Yoga Before Our Times” and I want to use landscapes and environments that make viewers feel that it’s from the different era, something prehistoric and primal. I’ve done my first shoot in Sri Lanka on the rocks while I was photographing for a yoga retreat that hired me. I’m going to another yoga retreat in Kenya just in few days and hope will be able to contribute to my project. Another project I’ve started doing is showing spiritual yoga practices of the world. I photographed my Kundalini yoga teacher, I’m planning to photograph a cacao ceremony shaman I know, and I also am planning to photograph a Kundalini yoga teacher who’s making healing ceremonies with snakes. It’s in the nearest future. I may find few more people and practices on my way.

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Asana Journal

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