“The state of mind of the photographer creating is a blank. I might add that this condition exists only at special times, namely when looking for pictures. (Something keeps him from falling off curbs, down open manholes, into bumpers of skidding trucks while in this condition but goes off duty at other times.) ... This is a very special kind of blank. A very active state of mind really, it is a very receptive state ...”
Minor White

A Lousy but Illustrated Samasthiti

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I haven’t been writing much over the last few days and probably will be writing less in the coming days (if not beyond that) because I am caught up in an experiment. I though to write a few words about the experiment.

About two weeks ago I began playing with an idea on how to construct on-screen Yoga asana sequences on screen. It worked – you can see a demo and explanation of it here. It uses a relatively small Javascript to replace written asana names in an HTML document with correlated images.  I started using that to document one of my practice sequences (I really should complete the practice I started on – it’s almost complete) – and as I was doing that I began to push the idea further – because I still wasn’t satisfied with the process and the result.

Now I am playing around with some more complex Javascript. I have created a method of describing a two dimensional posture  using anatomical constructs such as limbs, joints and articulations. I spent the last week staring at stick figures and thinking of a way to transform them into code and then writing up some theoretical code based on my conclusions. Tonight I completed a first round of coding – I have gone from theory to a visual result – a messed up Samasthiti:

It’s a completely messed up visual result but it has a few great things going for it: (1) it exists; (2) there is a head; (3) there are 14 limbs (which is the number I was planning for). I hope over the next few days to debug and review some of the calculations that led to this result and to achieve a much better one (granted this result should be pretty easy to top).

If/when this works it will be possible to easily:

  • Create endless variations of two-dimensional postures by simply dragging joints around on the screen.
  • Build a generic quality online asana library that teachers and students can easily tailor for specific needs.
  • Construct practice sequences that can be illustrated for both on screen and printing resolutions.
  • Enable practitioners to maintain a log of their evolving practices.
  • Enable teachers to create and share online sample practices.
  • and much more …

There are still many steps to take until this becomes something usable, but for now a messed up samasthiti is satisfying progress for me 🙂

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