Yoga Shala / Thumbimpressions
Concept of Yogashala. ‘Yogashala’ is designed to facilitate the convening of yoga practitioners by offering a clear, fluid, free, and uninterrupted spatial container of around 78 feet span. As the practice of Hatha yoga employs minimum force in attaining a posture, thereby instilling a sense of lightness in the body, the architecture too uses spaced bamboo in a system that exemplifies its lightness, while still spanning significantly.
The form of Yogashala derives from the synchronization of the rising nature of the tension member and the falling nature of the compression member of the same material. A physical-spatial interpretation of the Yogic concept of Prana (the life force in the breath) is expressed through this alternation. As the opposites – Purak (inhalation) and Rechak (exhalation), are harmonized in the Kumbhaka (retention), similarly the alternating upward and downward curves of the spanning system, harmonize in structural equilibrium.
The choice of a material like bamboo is one of the distinguishing features of this project, which intended to present the profoundly expressive dimension of this material. It is further intended to catalyze the use of bamboo in this region, as a material of the future. The use of bamboo is also aimed to serve two further purposes. Firstly, increasing use of this material to create employment of the existent and available skill which is constantly being marginalized due to the overuse of R.C.C. and brick in buildings. Secondly, it aims to encourage diversity in the use of this material and more generally, natural materials in building construction as a strategy toward conscious living on earth.
Yogashala Construction. Thumbimpressions engages artisans from remote areas of Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat and trains them in high-skilled jobs. This ensures continuous engagement and upgrading of their skills to further expand on our social concerns realized through technical upgradation and expansion of opportunities. However, this empathetic view is coupled with a deep commitment to quality and professional outputs. This project’s team of bamboo artisans comes from the tribal regions of South Gujarat. The artisans involved have previously been working with bamboo sourced from the forests of the region. The relationship with this team started around 7 years back and it has continuously strengthened and expanded. In total, about 15 artisans with varying skills worked for three and a half months to build this structure.