YOGA The Secret of Life by Francesco Mastalia, 2017.
YOGA The Secret of Life is a photo-documentary about the spiritual and physical journey of yoga. Through photographs and text this fine art book explores the personal experiences of 108 of today’s leading practitioners and how this ancient practice has transformed their mind, body, and spirit.
The photographs for the project are taken on glass plates using the wet collodion process, a photographic technique dating back to the 1850’s. With the use of a large format wooden camera and antique brass lens, glass plates are hand-coated to produce one-of-a-kind ‘ambrotype’ images. The collodion process transports us to another place and time. When the light-sensitive chemicals absorb the sun’s ultraviolet rays, we enter a mysterious world where art and alchemy embrace. The photographs take on another dimension with the words that accompany them. The text provides an intimate and enlightening account of each yogi’s personal journey.
Elena Brower from YOGA The Secret Life by Francesco Mastalia.
Beyond the physical postures, YOGA The Secret of Life delves deep into the purpose of our existence and how to live a happy and fulfilled life. It explores understanding who we truly are, why we are here, and what our ultimate purpose is on this planet. Included are world-renowned yogis Radhanath Swami, Sharon Gannon, Davide Life, Gurmukh Kaur Khasla, Sri Dharma Mittra, Desai, Shiva Rea, Rod Stryker, Seane Corn, Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, Elena Brower, Krishna Das, Jai Uttal and more.
Hudson Valley New York-based Francesco Mastalia is a documentary photographer and author that has traveled the world photographing tribal, religious, spiritual, and indigenous people. His first book Dreads, published by Workman Artisan is a photo documentary on the history of dreadlocks, which includes an introduction by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Walker. His recent book Organic: Farmers & Chefs of the Hudson Valley published by powerHouse Books is a photo-documentary of the Hudson Valley’s organic sustainable food movement. The portraits of the farmers and chefs therein were also photographed using the wet plate collodion photographic process resulting in a beautifully evocative narrative with a nostalgic feel.