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Rooted: A journey through yoga that led to art.
Justine Sto.Tomas

Rooted: A journey through yoga that led to art.

"I believe art plays a part in getting us through healing when it feels impossible to reach."

What is my biggest WHY?  My deep why is because I needed to find myself. If you are a mother or someone who is going through a transition, change of role, trauma or big life event and trying to find who you are today, perhaps you can relate to my story. In 2010, my daughter started preschool and I found myself trying to decide how to get back into the swing of things after being a full time stay at home mom. A yoga studio had just opened within walking distance and I decided to create a new routine while my daughter was in school; something that I could look forward to while I tried to figure things out. What began as a once a week yoga class quickly turned into 3 times a week. Six months later, in February 2011, the studio offered its first "Yoga Challenge" daring us to 20 yoga classes in 28 days! At that time, my yoga practices had become an anchor for me and I had fallen in love with it. My yoga teacher encouraged me to register for the challenge adding that I may just be surprised with what I would learn in the end. I signed up and decided I would journal about the challenge. For a few months back before this, I had been collecting stained, square coffee filters that I wanted to repurpose as a journal to write on.


The writing never really started,  the pencil hit the filters running with lines and doodles instead. It was as if I was always meant to draw on them and not write. It felt so easy in the heart to do. I simply followed the subtle hints between the coffee grind stains and slowly metaphoric, angelic images surfaced and I couldn't shake off the wings. The colors I chose felt very natural and guided after each yoga class. What I thought would be a one time share with my yoga teacher became a daily exchange after each class. I felt like I was discovering an area in my heart that I didn't realize existed. You see, my formal college studies and degree is in architecture. In Architecture, we would calculate everything twice or more before anything got on paper. Everything is cerebral and surrounded with fear of judgement and expectation from colleagues, clients and the City. A lot of my drawing happened using computer programs where we connected coordinates to create lines, and lines connected to other lines until it became a building. With art it was different; it was led by my heart and I didn't stop to judge it; there was no time to get in my own way. I was just FREE to express myself. I was truly free. I was finding myself. The me I thought I had lost while celebrating becoming a mother to my beautiful daughter. And instead it was truly what led me to the TRUEST me. Freeing myself of self judgement and expectations, I felt healed from something I didn't know needed healing.  And today, since my art helped me begin that journey of healing, self acceptance, and self love, my mission is to continue sharing my story and the art that was born from it.

Perhaps your why is also because  you need to find yourself again, too.

If so,  know you are never alone. May my pieces resonate something within yourself that is new and  yet familiar and comforting at first sight.

Coffee Filters