Artist Robert Sturman on Yoga and The Poetry of the Body

Robert Sturman, an artist from Santa Monica, Calif., recently traveled to Kenya to document the work of the Africa Yoga Project, a nonprofit organization that teaches and employs more than 70 local yoga teachers and conducts up to 300 free yoga classes for more than 5,000 people weekly in orphanages, prisons and other locales throughout the country. 

The result? A series of stunning photos that capture just how universal a language yoga has become.

“Yoga is a beautiful, poetic expression of the body,” Sturman tells the New York Times in this interview, which also displays a sampling of his stunning photos. “I wanted to go to Africa to celebrate human beings aspiring to reach their full potential.” 

More than perhaps any artist before him, Sturman has made it his mission in life to capture the poetry of the body via yoga asanas.

“It is the study of yoga that has triggered one of the most creative periods of Sturman’s career, resulting in a series of stunning portraits that capture the beauty and poetry of asana, the repertory of postures included in the practice of yoga.” says Tara Parker-Pope in The New York Times.

The visit to document the wok of the Africa Yoga Project proved memorable. Sturman traveled to orphanages, prisons, and remote villages.

“Visiting the Kenyan prison brought me unexpected joy,” says Sturman to The New York Times. The inmates, some of whom are H.I.V.-positive, told me that yoga has become a rare source of happiness in their daily lives. After a yoga class, I looked at the people in the class and I saw the hope in their eyes that they could become a part of something positive.”

For more on Sturman and his beautiful photography of yoga asana, visit his website at

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