Happy Monday all! To start off the week I thought I would share a new gem in the & Pens Press library, Mazdaznan Health & Breath Culture, the First Six Exercises.
This soft bound, saddle stitched zine, explores the relationship between Mazdaznan, Johannes Itten and the Foundation Courses he taught at the Bauhaus.
If you are not familiar with Mazdaznan studies it was a religion founded by the Dr. Otoman Zar-Adusht Ha’nish in Chicago at the start of the twentieth century. A couple interesting facts that we learned about Dr. Ha’nish was that it is rumored that Edison named the first lightbulb Mazda in his honor and that Henry Ford attributed the dawn of the motor-age to Ha’nish’s influence. The Swiss artist and teacher Johannes Itten was also a devout Mazdaznan and its exercises were an essential part of his courses at the Bauhaus.
To give you a general overview Health & Breath Culture is a practical guide to performing the exercises taught by Itten at the Bauhaus. Throughout the zine you are lead through six exercises in thought, posture and breathing to help improve different senses.
The six chapters concentrate on:
1. Sight and Concentration
2. Hearing and Intuition
3. Smell and Memory
4. Taste and Will Power
5. Touch and Nerve Energy
6. Feeling and Heart Culture
Accompanying the six instructions are these beautiful and sweet line drawings of current Foundation students demonstrating the exercises, illustrated by Ian Whittlesea. (Admittedly the drawings are what lead me to spending more time with the text.)
Following the first section of the book is a selection of found texts and images on the belief and history of Mazdaznan, which is pretty interesting.
So, if you are struggling with the Monday blues today this publication is a great item to have on hand, or in your bag, when you have a quiet moment and need a release. (Our favorite exercise to try at the shop is Taste and Will Power.)
Available (even for skeptics) in the bookstore, here.
Mazdaznan Health & Breath Culture, The First Six Exercises
By Otoman Zar-Adusht Ha’nish.
Illustrated by Ian Whittlesea with drawings of current Foundation students demonstrating the exercises, followed by a selection of found texts and images on the beliefs and history of Mazdaznan.