Co-author of the hit book The Art of Attention, Erica Jago started her career as a graphic designer in San Francisco. Now she splits her time between Hawaii and Amsterdam, holding global retreats and working on Angelus, an experiential chakra workbook. “Yoga came into my life when I needed more courage, fearlessness and willingness to go after my dreams,” she tells us. Meet Erica and be inspired to go after your own dreams.
What motivated you to write The Art of Attention and how can it help our readers?
You will use this book to craft your own profound practices, and make your yoga your own. The five chapters are templates to guide you through contemplative class themes, artful sequencing, anatomical focus and give talking points to teachers of yoga. Our intention was to consider all touch points of a yoga class and help those with home practices to create context and spark conversations within about how, when and most profoundly, why you practice.
You are trained in both Vinyasa and Kundalini yoga. Can you tell us a bit about the major benefits of each?
Vinyasa uses your breathing and artful sequencing to link postures together in a continuous, rhythmic flow. When I feel stuck in perfectionism and want to master a profound love in my attitude I practice Vinyasa.
Kundalini is best described as the science of the chakras that combines spinal strengthening, eye focus and hand gestures with precise breathing. I practice kundalini to organize and spark creative energy and direct my emotional experiences into the higher vibrations.
Interesting that you mention chakras. Our new limited edition is The Ritual of Anahata, which is named after the heart chakra. Your new book Angelus deals exclusively with the chakra concept. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Chakras can be mysterious, but they don’t have to be. The simplest way to know if a chakra is out of balance is to acknowledge where you are experiencing pain or suffering in your life. This is not a sign that something is wrong, but an indication of where you can place more love.
The workbook that I am creating with Roos van der Kamp will pioneer the way you connect emotionally to your body with 21 yoga sequences and 7 creative exercises. It will help you relate to each one of the energy centres with visually powerful art.
We feel so strongly about the value of this book that we decided to make one sample chapter available early. You can head to www.angelusbook.com to download and start mastering the chakras today!
We’re definitely interested in anything that keeps us in balance. Speaking of that, with your various projects and home bases (Amsterdam and Hawaii) do you feel you’ve struck the right balance between work and home?
Because I’m a yoga nomad, my environment is always changing. I’ve had major lessons on how to adapt and stay fluid on this creative path.
What are my top three priorities? What exercises do I desire? Which loving family and friends would inspire? What nourishing meals do I want to prepare? Taking the time to design, delegate and execute only the tasks that are aligned with my visionary artist career keeps me grounded so that when I go to sleep at night I feel accomplished, proud and fulfilled no matter how far from “home” I travel.
And how does a visionary artist incorporate daily rituals into her life?
Each morning, my art begins with structuring my day; I use a Moleskin journal to my “morning pages” where I write for 30 days. Once my entire mind is dumped on paper then I can choose compassionately how I want to structure my day.
Before bed each night and first thing when I wake up, I drink some hot lemon water to cleanse and alkaline my system. Also, with every meal I take a combination of sea minerals and liver cleansing pills to help with digestion and boost my immune system.