Simple strokes in black and white. They are meditative. That’s how V Priya describes Zentangle art. She is an internationally certified trainer who conducts sessions on Zentangle for adults and children. “We use a micro pen and start making tangle patterns which are simple . This is done on a three-and-a-half inch square shaped paper tile. This size is considered the best for any form of creative expression.” It is like ‘yoga with a pen,’ says Priya. “Zentangle involves repeating the patterns in black and white which are called tangles (colours are avoided as it stimulates the right brain activity). As you get engrossed in making the strokes, it slows down your thought process. You become aware of your breathing and it has a calming effect, like doing pranayama or asanas.”
The patterns are done very slowly. Before the start of a session which usually lasts over three hours, there are a few introductory exercises. “I play meditative music to bring in the positivity. I then ask the participants to relax and breathe easy for 20 minutes. It’s the preparatory step. After they practise the patterns, they start work on the tile and finish it. It’s a structured art form which anyone can do. You don’t have to be an artist,” she stresses.
Priya took to the Zentangle art to control her temper. “When I realised that it calms me down I explored it some more,” she says. Priya is also an internationally certified heal-your-life trainer and coach, and an advanced trainer in transactional analysis. She says the therapeutic art has helped people with depression, cancer and other ailments. “It’s a great stress-buster as they focus all their energies on the moment and that’s when the mind relaxes.” Through her classes, Priya has reached out to over 150 adults and 60 children so far. “For children, it creates an interest in an art form. It helps them channelise their energy. They concentrate better. It makes them confident and gives them focus. In the later stages, it serves as a stress-buster tool.”
Priya also conducts Zen-inspired art where she introduces colours and gem stone designs, and more. People of all ages have enrolled for the classes. She says, “One of my students is a 70-year-old . It can become an everyday exercise for the mind. One can do it every morning as a meditation before starting the day. Zentangle art can be done anywhere, you just need a space to sit and start drawing. It energises you and most importantly you learn the virtue of patience.”