By Amy Allcock
During the Yoga Development Course (YDC), participants spend three months working on themselves. As someone who has both participated and taught in this course, I know that change occurs on multiple levels – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual. As a photographer I was curious: Does the inner change that happens also appear externally? What is the nature of the observable changes? How does internal transformation manifest or present itself externally?
Inspired by a similar project, I photographed participants during the first and last week of the course. Keeping the setup identical – using the same camera and lighting gear with the same settings in the same positions – the intent was to remove as many variables as possible to document the visible changes in the participants. The same process was followed as each participant sat for their portrait, including repeating the Divine Light Invocation mantra together before the photo was taken.
During the image selection process, I tried to match their expression between the two photos to ensure consistency.
The photos were used at the end of the course as a tool for reflection. Participants were given their photos and asked to reflect on what changes they observed and if they see themselves differently. Many participants commented on how much lighter, brighter, relaxed and open they looked and felt.
Let us know what you think about the photos in the comments below. What do you see?
A photo from the “After” photo shoot:
About the Photographer
Amy Allcock is a karma yogi currently living and teaching at Yasodhara Ashram. Passionate about the transformative power of yoga and Swami Radha’s teachings, she supports communications at the Ashram.