When it’s the thick of winter, finding refreshing indoor activities can become one of life’s greatest challenges. I stumbled across NamARTse a little while ago, and thought: I love yoga, I love crafting.
NamARTse is the baby of Lauren Howard-Tripp. With many years of experience teaching yoga and meditation throughout the world, Lauren recognised that many people, including herself, have a deep desire to create but were often blocked by something, most commonly self doubt. So Lauren has created workshops that allow people to share both a creative and meditative space.
The particular session I went to was to create clay mandalas. Mandala has a pretty complex meaning, but Lauren spent some time speaking to us about the spiritual aspects of it. Essentially a Mandala is something that is generally circle shaped, and represents wholeness. It reminds us of the relationship to the world both within our bodies and minds, and beyond them.
Held at Work-Shop Melbourne in Fitzroy, this session attracted a beautiful crowd of women. Some were keen yogis, others had a past life in pottery, and one lady was a recent mother who just said to herself, ‘I need to play with clay!’
First Lauren took us through some yoga where we created round mandala like shapes by connecting with each other, in order to create a sacred and creative space within the group. We then did a series of heart opening asanas to allow us all to truly connect with our own creative flow and confidence.
The clay side of things was pretty great. First we cut off our own piece, before being guided through a meditation while holding it. After a tutorial in pottery techniques Lauren simply set us on our way without too much said, in order to allow each individual to guide themselves through the creative journey. We got to throw the clay around, shape it squish it, whatever your little heart desired.
Lauren is a fantastic creative facilitator and yoga teacher. I highly recommend her classes to anyone who feels they need an outlet for their own thoughts and energies, or simply wants to find something to do in doors to keep them going through the winter.
Maddie Kilby is a freelance writer amongst many vocations and is the type of person who gets bored easily and likes to find herself in weird places doing weird things. You can follow her at @MadKil6.
NamARTse has a yoga and creative journaling workshop at Work-Shop (195 Argyle St, Fitzroy) on 9 July.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of NamARTse.
Photo credit: NamARTse.