I wrote a little about Sarah Jane Adams here. Quite simply said, Sarah is a beauty. But as we know, there are lots of beauties around, the question is what makes an older woman not just physically beautiful, but beautiful throughout—body and soul?
To see Mara, part 1 click here. Below, part 2.
How do you know when you are seeing something beautiful?
I feel completely seduced, enjoying a private joyous moment. It could be the way the light hits a wall, the reflection of raindrops on a window, a gesture, a moment, a sound.
Describe your beauty.
Spontaneous. Daring. Joyful. Authentic. Experimental. Sometimes shy. Playful. A touch of punk rock audacity, the modern encompassing the mystical ancient with a preference for renaissance palettes of gold, indigo, and red.
When do you feel most beautiful?
I feel most beautiful when I feel solid, balanced and harmonious on a spiritual level and totally comfortable in my body, moving through the world with ease.
What/who taught you about beauty?
Beauty has always been redemptive for me, as a reminder of things magnificent and magic, the extraordinary amongst the ordinary. Beauty gives me solace, when things are hard. Beauty is love manifest, in both its darkest and lightest forms. Beauty is a reminder that we are truly magnificent beings, though we are not often aware of how magnificent.
What taught me most about beauty was being told that I am not good or beautiful enough.
Mara and I first met a long time ago, when we were young. There’s something wonderful about saying that, “when we were young.” I think Mara would agree, and think she’d also agree with me that one reason is because the road from when we were young to now we are older, is fraught with all kinds of perils, traps even. And we’ve navigated them.
Today, right now Mara is here, very much in the present. She is doing her art; directing movies, performance art, taking pictures. She is traveling, doing hot yoga, planning new projects, perhaps a big move, and equally appreciating the big and beautiful as well as the smaller more subtle loveliness that is this world.
After having lost touch for many years, I bumped into her on Facebook, and like it is for kindred spirits of all kinds, it felt like we had never lost touch, it felt better even. Mara is an artist and a woman, both with capital letters. She is a seeker of beauty, especially subversive beauty. Check out her website here.
Imagine that, subversive beauty. Erica Jong wrote: “Sex and creativity are often seen by dictators as subversive activities.” Sex, creativity, beauty, honesty, the list is long and the dictators are present. They can be pretty like advertising, or brutal like fundamentalism. The results of dictatorship can be exile, illusion, isolation, but they can bring salvation, and beauty, subversively, in their wake. And that’s also what Mara does, she brings the beauty.
Tomorrow, more pictures of Mara doing her thing, and the answers to my beauty questions.
To see Ann, part 1 click here. Below is part 2, my interview with Ann.
How long have you been doing yoga? And how long have you been teaching?
I’ve been practicing yoga since 1991. I took my first classes with a teacher who had been stricken with arthritis as a child. By the time she was twenty she had to crawl up and down stairs in her home. But when I came to study with her, when she was in her 50’s, only her feet showed signs of the disease. Her poses were limber and graceful, and she said she owed her recovery in large part to her yoga practice. She was my first inspiration. I taught my first yoga class in England, back in 1992, when I subbed for my teacher who was out of town. I took my first official yoga teacher training in the spring of 1994 and have been teaching yoga ever since.
How many times have you been to India?
I’ve traveled to India to study yoga with yoga master, BKS Iyengar, several times over the years (read about “guruji” here). When I go there, I rent an apartment and stay for a month or two and practice about five hours of yoga a day. It feels incredible. Immersing myself in the yoga and the vibrancy of the Indian culture is a liberating tonic. I love India’s raw beauty and chaos. My ethnic roots also hale from there, so it’s a homecoming of sorts.
Where are you teaching at this time?
I teach my group classes and trainings at the La Jolla Yoga Center, in La Jolla, California. I also own a small studio there, where I teach one-on-one classes to students with therapeutic needs.
Look at Ann’s lovely website here!