If there’s one thing I’ve learned from artist and yoga photographer Robert Sturman, it’s that life is meant to be enjoyed. Without trying, Robert reminded me that allowing every moment to organically unfold is what makes life fun. He has an ability to approach life with an ease that is contagious. We often hear in yoga, "try easy." This mantra is something I’ve always tried to live by, and after meeting Robert, I believe it can actually be done.
Interviewing Robert felt like a regular conversation you’d have at a cafe with a friend. I forgot the cameras were rolling as he described his love of art, truth, and beauty. Not only does Robert create art with asana, but he has a intense attachment to humanitarian work. He often travels abroad to places that many of us refrain from visiting, establishing relationships with the locals through yoga. Robert cares deeply for those who can’t speak for themselves, and uses his photography to expose what is truly going on in communities that most of us don't see.
When we asked Robert how he prepares for a shoot, he said, "I don’t plan it out." Based on his impressive artistic work, this wasn’t the answer we expected. He shared with us that he appreciates the organic element of art, and that calculated preparation has no purpose in his work. Robert meets someone on the street or in a cafe, sparks up a conversation, and finds a connection through yoga. He spends time with the person he meets, lets the day fall away, and ends up with a portfolio of beautiful images. To me, this is what yoga is all about: the journey, not the destination. Robert allows the naturally unfolding aesthetic to simply occur in his artwork. By only taking one shot of a posture or moment, he holds an intention to preserve each moment without overshooting. We laughed when he began giving us pointers on asana photography. "How do you take photos of asana?" he asked us rhetorically. "You see this button? You press that," he answered, pointing to the shutter. The entire day was filled with enlightening moments like this.
Robert is so confident in the journey of life that he is able to ignore the foggy unknown. He also holds his passion for seeing the truth within others above his success as an artist. Despite his relaxed demeanor, he has a fire within him that keeps him focused on his purpose in life. This brings me back to the mantra, "try easy." We can learn from Robert that we won’t achieve success through trying so hard to "make it," but rather by allowing life to be what it is. This is yoga.
Want to follow us on the best yoga tour ever? Visit us on Facebook @LIVEBEYOGA, Instagram @LIVEBEYOGA and Twitter @LIVEBEYOGA for the latest stories from the road. Connect with us @YogaJournal and @Gaia + share your photos with #LIVEBEYOGA.