For Portland singer-songwriter Blair Borax, music and yoga are inextricably connected. In her own personal journey, one would not exist without the other. They have both given her tools of self-awareness—to be able to express herself, to trust her voice and to be vulnerable. And it is all of this that is embodied in Borax’s latest single, “Empty”—a beautiful acoustic pop package that explores how an empty room can open a channel to explore the big questions in life.
Recorded at Groundswell Studios and engineered and produced by Lewis Childs and James Julian Villa, “[Empty] is about a few different things,” Borax explains. “But it’s definitely about my yoga practice and how this empty room—partly meaning the yoga studio and the space that it has created in my life to understand myself and the world—it’s something that’s completely transformed my life.”
Borax’s own journey in both music and yoga started in tandem. Having moved to Portland in 2015, she was gifted a guitar by her roommate at the time, launching her own musical journey. Around the same time, in early 2016, she began her training to become a yoga instructor.
Since both have blossomed together, it makes sense that her music would so perfectly embody the ideas of mindfulness that yoga brings. For Borax, yoga is about more than just making shapes on a mat. The most important part is the way it helps to reflect, to show up and to confront the world and ourselves in an honest and vulnerable way—which is something she says is more important now than ever.
Back in June, Borax wrote an essay titled “Reflections on Nonviolence and Truthfulness ~ In Service of Collective Liberation,” exploring the principles of yoga and how they can be applied to better ourselves as human beings and to confront racism and white supremacy in our country.
“Yoga is a tool for self-awareness, and it is a tool for learning to see clearly. To see what’s underneath the surface, or to see what is unsaid, unspoken, or unseen,” Borax said. “It’s really easy to just bypass all of the really difficult conversations that we need to have and the really ugly things that we need to look at in our country and our personal lives. But yoga is like, you can’t hide from it, it’s here, and you’re gonna figure it out one way or another.”
With the idea of “Empty,”—finding the whole world in an empty room becomes an invitation to this self-reflection, to this confrontation, vulnerability and honesty. As both music and yoga have grown together to open this dialogue for herself, Borax hopes that others can find the same in their own lives—to find a space to reflect and be better both personally and in the world around them.