Sunday, October 5, 2008

Across the Universe

July 2007
I grew up in a family of artists, so as a little girl I was fortunate to have made numerous visits to New York’s many art museums. I think I was 10 when I discovered that I shared a birthday with the French impressionist Auguste Renoir. I was thrilled. He was definitely one of my favorites, and I remember thinking that sharing a birthday might have also infused me with some extra special creative powers of my own.

Turns out, I did end up going to art school and, as my journey continued, I was equally thrilled to learn that George Harrison--the quiet Beatle--was in the same birthday club as Renoir and me. It became clear to me that the universe was sending me a message: I was a creative soul.

Of course, now that I have the wisdom of some years, I realized that all of us have the seeds for being creative souls, it’s just that they’re not always nurtured. It may take some people a few extra turns on their particular path to find their artistic nature, and some never do. But there are a few very special souls who are blessed with creative presence right from the start--people like Peter Max.

You may have noticed something beautifully different about this issue’s cover. That’s because Peter brilliantly and generously added his special over-painting technique to yogini Lisa Matkin’s already gorgeous image. Peter, who is also a yogi, reached out to Fit Yoga about a year ago because he wanted to share his compelling story with our readers (page 46).

At that time I met with Peter at his New York studio and listened in wonder as he shared his incredible life’s journey with me. Always a prolific artist, once he found yoga, both his art and his life took on new meaning; and he used meditation to tap into his creative reserves. I was mesmerized by his charm. We later discovered that we both attended the same art school and had the same drawing teacher. I started to feel that same gleeful, artistic connection I felt as a little girl. And then things really got synchronistic. Peter began to talk of his connection to the Beatles (that’s a big deal if you’re a boomer like me) and, in particular, his special connection and friendship with George Harrison. It had all come together.

When I left Peter’s studio that frigid December evening, I barely felt the cold. Everything made sense. I felt completely connected to the universe, body and soul. I knew that no matter how many twists and turns my path had taken, I was in the right place.

And once again, I find myself feeling gratitude on my mat. For it is my yoga practice that allows my creative spirit to soar these days. And it is my practice that introduced me to Peter and enabled me to finally understand that all is one and one is


Alissa Cherry said...

Hi Rita,

Your blog is wonderful. Thank you so much. I found it through your magazine! And, it's like reading a wonderful book each night before bed :) I just started my own blog which hopefully will be as good, at

I hope you enjoy it too! The first entry is from my story which will appear soon in a book of stories I'm publishing by Jan., "Stories From the Yogic Heart" which you can currently find at and you may want to add yours!

Also, I am taking an Erich Schiffman 10 day yoga teacher training beginning Friday, and I'd love to write an article about it so that readers can learn about this visionary teacher who focuses on energy lines and has been enthralled by yoga since the age of 12 when he received his first yoga book for his birthday.

It could be a profile or my first-hand account with his teachings or both.

If you're interested, please call me to discuss!

All the best,
Alissa Cherry
(my journalism site)

kerri said...

Hi Rita,
Thank you! Unintentionally, i created my own blog through this as well go figure! I plan to check out some others and hope others check out mine--what fun! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wisdom.