YDC Before & After Portraits

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.

16 Responses to “YDC Before & After Portraits”

  1. Tamara Dragadze

    Lovely photos both before and after when in some you can see so clearly the benefits of living in such a beautiful place and setting aside the cares of this world. So lucky!

  2. Sylvia Boss

    Super cool! A) “Yoga works” but B) Amy Allcock is such a talented photographer!

  3. Chris

    Oh, the glow of the inner light shining through. Transformative, amazing, inspiring!

  4. Utpala

    How lovely to see. It’s as though their inner Light and Joy has moved forward, expanding & opening faces, shining out to the world.
    What a good idea Amy. Well done.

  5. maryjane

    i have the impression that the eyes are seeing more clearly in the after photos

  6. SBOSS

    I’m surprised there’s no “share” button on this page (and the other ashram pages, actually)

  7. sheila thomsen

    Wow Amy, you captured the YDC glow. The portraits a lovely.

  8. polly

    Beautiful Amy!!!! You can totally see the light and peace in their after photos. Nice job!!!! Keep going!

  9. Allison Alexander

    So much light and so much ease in the after photos. Thank you to all for sharing of yourselves in this way – what a lovely addition to all the other reflection of the YDC experience.

  10. Robert Pokroy

    Everyone seems full of Light in the after photos and the smiles are more natural.

  11. Joyce Oshanick

    My perception is that the entry photos are lovely guarded smiles. The one’s you practice in the mirror. The exit photos exhibit relaxed pure joy. Wonderful. I’ve known the face of Gregory Shkuratoff from the day of his birth and it is a joy to see the transformation.

  12. Purnima faith

    the before and after pictures were amazing and inspiring. Much Light to every one of you for completing a journey of a lifetime. Keep going all – including Sean!

    Light, Light, Light, Purnima faith


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