Tag Archives: Twist


For many years I have enjoyed doing yoga. I like to feel my feet on the ground,and the breath in my body. This summer I have really been savoring my yoga classes so I decided to revisit Twist:Yoga Poems , a book by Janet Wong that I illustrated several years ago. Here are a few of the pictures with Janet’s poems.                                                                                                                                                                    


Crow depends on his elbows.

You cannot always fly.

You need somewhere to rest

the weight of yourself.


Trees watch.

This is why

they grow tall,

this is why they bend and sway,

so they can see around a house,

over a hill,

beyond a fire.

Look, not just on a windy day.

See how they move.

At the tip of each branch

there is an eye.


A warrior

takes his stand,

feet planted sturdy and strong.

Before long, he sees

he is heading the wrong way.

He turns and

takes his stand,

feet planted sturdy and strong.


I looked at many Indian miniatures while I was working on the book. I was inspired by the colors, the patterns, the delicacy of the painting and the way the space was divided.  (An interesting fact I learned is that the beautiful yellow paint was made by feeding mango leaves to the cows then collecting, drying and grinding the cow urine into pigment.)

In yoga class I always felt like a phony when I used sanskrit words like drishti or namaste. But this summer a teacher explained that when you use the foreign words it slows you down and you can understand the meaning in a different and more thoughtful way. That makes sense to me. In that same way I am always trying to understand the art that inspires me and to look at it closely; the act of translation helps me twist and stretch. I want to use foreign words or imagery but still speak my own language.