Tracy Lynn Pristas

Breathing In Color

Dec. 5, 2004
World Learning Guide
Susana Galilea Nin
"Yoga is a creative process and a living art, and we need to be able to adapt and expand based on who we are," reflects yoga instructor and visual artist Tracy Lynn Pristas from her painting studio in Ravenswood. As a teacher, Ms. Pristas encourages her students to enter a space of graceful self-inquiry, helping them access their own potential for creativity and vibrance. As an artist, she engages daily in a similar exploration, allowing herself to become, in her own words, "a conduit for a vision, while the painting unfolds itself before me." A certified instructor from the White Lotus Foundation in California, Ms. Pristas draws from a tradition of yoga that is non-dogmatic and open to all levels of ability. Her teaching stresses the adaptation of poses and communication styles, in order to address both the needs of the individual student and the unique group dynamics of each class. She describes her role in the classroom as that of a supportive facilitator, seeking "to hold the energy of the room, to set the pace of the practice, and to guide." After nearly a decade as a yoga instructor, her conviction remains that "you need to teach people first, and asanas second." An accomplished visual artist whose work is represented by Spring Street Gallery in Galena, Illinois, Ms. Pristas credits her daily yoga practice with greatly enhancing her intuitive process. As she explains it, the centered focus resulting from a yoga session helps "siphon off" the overflow of ideas and creative energy an artist will often have to contend with. The richly textured, evocative quality that permeates much of her work is a tribute to the profound link bridging her spiritual and artistic journeys. Ms. Pristas teaches ongoing yoga classes at a variety of locations throughout Chicago, including an introductory 8-week course covering the basics of Hatha Yoga.