For a number of years I owned a yoga and martial arts studio and I saw a lot of bodies. I’m the OCD neurotic type, I can’t even look at a baby if they have a runny nose I don’t care how cute. Which is why I spent a good portion of my yoga classes teaching from behind the back row. There are too many compromising positions to see your students in and then try to look them in the face the next day. Walking through a sea of happy baby cameltoes was my worst nightmare, and without careful planning, an inevitability of my every day life.
To keep my sanity while living half my life on the road I try to bring a traveling yoga mat with me in my suitcase, no matter what. Unless I forget. I lay the mat out on the floor of the hotel/airbnb and make a point to stretch and meditate for 20-30 minutes each day. This one particular hotel in Malaysia had only a tight little hallway where the mat would fit and on both walls were mirrors (score!). I was forward folding for quite some time when I caught my upside-down reflection in the mirror. I looked like a GD monster! Scared the shit out of me. And then excited me tremendously. I took on a new gremlin monster voice and didn’t look back until a vessel almost burst above (below?) my eyelid.
For quite some time I’ve had this project in my head. Take photos of otherwise normal looking people upside-down.
I had some of my very best friends invert for about 5 minutes before taking their portraits. You think having your regular picture taken makes you self conscience, this was the pinnacle of voluntary and sacrificial ugliness.
Take your time going through the pictures. Really stare at them for a while. I’ve arranged them in all different ways and hope to collect 100 of these before I die. So let me know if you want your upside portrait taken.
Pretty little babies…
Brave and loyal friends…
Some people pulled it off gracefully. I look like one of Shrek’s dumps.
How the eye wants to see it…