Francesco Mastalia has traveled the world photographing tribal, religious, spiritual, and indigenous people. He is the photographer and author of YOGA The Secret of Life, ORGANIC and DREADS.
YOGA The Secret of Life is a photo documentary about the spiritual and physical journey of yoga. Through photographs and text this fine-art book explores the personal experiences of 108 of today’s leading yoga practitioners and how this ancient practice has transformed their mind, body, and spirit.
Beyond the physical postures commonly associated with yoga, Yoga: The Secret of Life delves deep into the purpose of our existence and how to live a happy and fulfilled life. It explores how we can understand who we truly are, why we are here, and what our ultimate purpose is on this planet.
Included are world renowned yogis Radhanath Swami, Sharon Gannon, David Life, Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, Sri Dharma Mittra, Krishna Das, Tao-Porchon Lynch, Shiva Rea, Yogarupa Rod Stryker, Seane Corn, Rodney Yee and more.
Photographs are taken on glass plates using the wet-collodion process, a photographic technique dating back to the 1850’s. As a manual art this labor-intensive craft requires each step be performed by hand. During its fragile journey, it is essential that the glass plate be sensitized, exposed, developed and fixed while remaining wet. Emerging as a positive image on glass, an “ambrotype” is miraculously brought to light by a divine force. Using time to record the energy of light, the collodion image transports us to another place and time. When the light-sensitive chemicals absorb the sun’s ultraviolet rays we enter a mysterious world where art and alchemy embrace and the image reveals itself.
This union unveils the synergy between the yogi, photographer, and flow of the universe. As the exchange of energy is absorbed, it creates a fleeting moment in time, never to exist again. “Ambrotype,” from ancient Greek, means “immortal,” capturing an impression for eternity, its essence revealing the spirit of the soul.