Sayonara Interview with Basia Lipska – Ashtanga Yoga Teacher – and Artist

Tokyo is losing Basia Lipska, superstar of the Tokyo yoga world. Basia is following her heart all the way to Miami, USA and is completing her Master of Fine Arts Degree.

Q. It seems like you create art on every available space, walls, tables – everywhere! Where did your artistic journey begin?

A. My mother often reminds of a time when I was 4 years old in Poland (my birthplace) where she would often find me squatting under the wooden dining table drawing various hieroglyphic-like symbols on the inside of the table. She said I could spend hours in solitude burrowed in my interestingly chosen art spaces. She speaks of this with a smile, however there is another memory which brings on a frown to her face. My other preferred canvas was her passport. Within were numerous meticulously drawn symbols arranged in a neat fashion.

Q. You seem divinely inspired, could you tell me a little about that?

A. Although it’s something difficult to define. I would think that being raised by a devout Catholic grandmother who survived the work camps in Siberia and Kazakstan during the war, a wise and steadfast priest for a father and spiritually inclined Mom who made the practice of holistic thinking into a practical art form ….would bring one to appreciate the notion of “faith” and the habit of revealing a natural beauty and wisdom in everything.

Q. You are also a yoga teacher as well as an artist, how does the yoga influence your artwork?

A. Actually it was the revelations in my yoga practice that led me back to my art. Aspects of yoga i.e. the deep philosophy, the beauty of postures, the methodology, the ritualism, then became the main subject of any of my art projects, you could say the hub of my wheel of life.

Q. Almost all your artwork has a spiritual theme, how did that come about? Could you tell me about that?

A.Since college I was drawn to the images in different cultural myths as well as in alchemical texts. Many of the topics were elements i would come across and attempt to decipher i.e. time, purity, evil, transfiguration, dreams, genesis.

Q. You have built a new website to show your artwork to the world, can you tell me a little about your new website?

A. It’s called Sacred by Design.
Sacred by Design. It’s basically a reflection of my lifestyle that strives for health, balance, comfort and inspiration. it hopes to remind one of the details in their own lives that are worth singling out and replenishing with meaning, colour, decor.

Q. What else inspires you? I hear you are a raw foodist? Could you tell me about that? Where did you come across this idea? Isn’t it hard to eat raw food all the time? What do you eat? How do you get protein?

A. Stories of transformation in people’s lives, ways, thinking…inspire me. Heroic stories, myths, adventures will always interest me. I heard of it through the yogic grapevine. It led me to David Wolfe’s I eat fruits and veggies that make sure the little amounts of protein I eat are absorbed properly. It is not hard to maintain this diet if it ties in with a yogic practice/ lifestyle. I load up on veggies, avocados, nuts, seeds, fruits, dried foods and at times will throw in some simple grains, lentils, peas. The hard part lies with the need to shift belief patterns.

Q. You visit your yoga teacher/master Sri K. Pattabhi Jois each year in India at the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute. Could you tell me about him? How long have you been studying with him?

A. For 4 years now. I have been to his Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute 5 times. After each visit I would experience a paradigmatic shift in consciousness. Values and priorities would shift and unnecessary habits challenged. It was magic to be witness to the wisdom and clarity he repeatedly demonstrated through the simplest of words, gestures. I am honoured to be authorized to teach Yoga by the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute.

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