Yoga in Museums: Not Your Typical Yoga Studio
Hello fellow yogis!
For those of you who don’t know me – I’m Meaghan (Mugs), a friend of Renée’s. We got our start at the age of 9 as competitive swimmers. When we finally hung up the suits, we both ended up turning to yoga as a great way to stay in shape (though Renée definitely took to it more than I did!) and I’m so excited to bring my own experiences to this fantastic blog!
Since my background is in museum studies, I thought I would bring both worlds together and chat about a new-ish trend of hosting yoga classes in museums. I haven’t had the chance to actually participate in one of these sessions, but after doing a little more reading about it – I just might have to.
Image from: Iowa State Daily
Many art-galleries and museums have started inviting visitors into certain galleries as part of their outreach programming. You can enjoy the physical connection of a yoga class while surrounded by priceless art. I have to admit my reaction to this was two-fold.
As a yogini, I thought it was a really neat idea. I really liked the idea of being inspired by art, and finding a tranquil place surrounded by beautiful cultural pieces. It reminds us that we can focus on our practice in spaces beyond the traditional yoga studio. For example how amazing would it be to practice tree pose next to Road with Cyprus and Star (1890) by Vincent Van Gogh?
Image from: Arts Everyday Living
Or Dancer’s Pose next to The Rehearsal (1873-1878) by Edgar Degas?
Image from: Harvard Art Museums
As an emerging museum professional, I was a tad skeptical. I have an interest in public programming, and I had a hard time finding the educational or thematic connection between hosting a yoga class and understanding art or cultural objects. Perhaps the best case could be made for the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. As yoga practices historically derived from the Asian continent, the museum brings culture and art together in their in-gallery yoga classes. In 2014 they also had a temporary exhibit on the history of yoga, which would have been the perfect connection!
Overall, a yoga practice can help you turn inwards, bringing your surroundings with you. If more people learn to appreciate art and culture through the reflective and meditative practice of yoga, I’m all for it. I think that the two activities can complement each other very nicely, perhaps helping us get more out of both our yoga practices AND our visits to museums.
Image from: AGO
Want to try a class? Check these ones out:
Yoga at the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto ON)
Community Yoga at Niagara Falls History Museum (Niagara Falls ON)
Adult Yoga Classes at Museum London (London ON)
Have you done a yoga class in a gallery or museum? What were your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!