Slovenia native Anja Humljan turns spaces like subway platforms, grocery store aisles and basketball courts into studios for reflection and balance. She created The Urban Yoga Photo Book to help people feel connected to their environments. “As far as the poses are concerned, my aim was to connect, intertwine and mimic the urban space,” she says on her website.
The photos were shot on location in New York, Paris, Madrid and Ljubljana, Slovenia, by photographers Emilio P. Doiztua, Jaka Vinšek and Antoine Le Grand. During the photo shoot process, Humljan says bystanders’ reactions to urban yoga varied by city. In New York, passersby treated the shoots as a “spectacle” and crowded around taking their own photos. Parisians largely ignored her. In Madrid, bystanders expressed concern for her safety and stood by watchfully.
The project already produced a magazine edition that launched at Paris Fashion Week. The next goal is to produce a hardbound book funded via a Kickstarter campaign. By the last day of the online fundraising campaign, the initiative collected more than the $10,000 goal. A PDF version of the book, promised to its Kickstarter supporters, is slated for release in March.
The Urban Yoga carries personal undertones for Humljan. As a former track and field star in Slovenia, she knows what it’s like to feel out of place and to find a sense of peace in the right environments. She left athletics because her “heart wasn't in it” to pursue art and in the process combined her talents into The Urban Yoga.
“Sometimes we feel like the urban environment limits our freedom, causes stress, and disturbs our inner peace,” she says. “But only few people know that it is not geometry and function, but what we touch, smell, taste and hear that defines most whether we feel good or bad in an urban environment.”