Once upon a time I was a research associate in a fermentation lab. But after becoming a mom it became clear that doing that kind of work from home wasn't a great option. Once I recovered from the zombie phase of motherhood my hands became restless and I needed something to do for myself during nap time. I used to paint and draw pre-motherhood, but I wanted to find something creative with less mess, something more portable and easier to set aside mid project.
Just a few weeks pregnant still working in the lab
I thought hand embroidery would be a good fit so I bought a kit on Etsy and started watching videos on YouTube. And here I am a few years later with my own patterns and videos! It has been such a fun experience meeting other embroiderers on social media, plus I've loved getting to know customers when they request a custom piece. And teaching has been such a gift - I love to share hand embroidery with others. But even without those motivators I would still be taking the time to enjoy the meditative process of hand stitching.
Smiling and stitching in the studio
When I'm not busy chasing around my son or stitching up a hoop I am doing yoga. When I am on my mat breathing and concentrating on a pose there is no room in my head for any other thoughts or worries. I don't have to stress about my son's weird rash or when I'm going to race to the grocery store or where I put the last mortgage statement. There's no room for anxiety when you are 100% present in the yoga room. My teacher calls yoga a "moving meditation" and I have found this same sense of calm and connection when working on my embroidery. Just moving with my breath gives me such peace, whether I am creating art with my hands or making shapes with my body.
Smiling and stretching in the sun
About the word "Namaste"
From Miriam Webster:
"Religious and secular culture come together in the increasing use of namaste (pronounced \NAH-muh-stay) in English: the term is associated with both Hinduism and yoga. The word comes from Sanskrit and literally means “bowing to you” or “I bow to you,” and is used as a greeting. Sanskrit is the ancient and classical literary language of Hinduism which today serves as a learned language and lingua franca among scholars. Other well-known borrowings from Sanskrit in English include karma and nirvana."
This traditional Indian greeting migrated to the West with yoga and evolved a more spiritual meaning for some. At the end of each class our teacher says "namaste" and we respond in turn. After sharing our experience in the yoga room we say our goodbyes with our hands in namaskar ("in prayer") and bow as a sign of respect. For some people it is just a simple greeting but for others it can mean more. For me, personally, I find it a respectful way to thank my teacher. I love that the "bow" goes both ways - I learn from my teacher and my teacher learns from me. I feel the same about my embroidery students.
I try to apply the principles I have learned through yoga and meditation into my daily life, which includes my business, my designs and my art. For me it made sense to use this word I use in my yoga class in my business. I use "namaste" as a term of respect and gratitude for my students and customers. My goal is for my students to find the same joy and relaxation that I find when I am creating art through hand embroidery. And maybe they will try some yoga, too.