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Explore Yoga’s History with a New Exhibit at the Smithsonian

Written on October 24, 2013 at 1:56 pm , by

(Photo courtesy of Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)

Written by Alena Hall, editorial intern

Most of us know that the practice of yoga stems from deep historical roots, but we’ve never had an opportunity to experience this rich culture visually—until now. “Yoga: The Art of Transformation,” which opened Saturday, October 19, is the first museum exhibit of its kind to share more than 2,000 years of yoga’s diverse history through artwork at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Through the exhibit, yogis and history buffs alike can explore yoga’s various transformations and meanings through a collection of more than 130 pieces curated from museums and collections throughout India, Europe and the United States. The pieces reveal yoga’s ancient roots and how people have been trying to master their bodies and spirits through the practice since its introduction.

On Saturday, October 26, the museum will also host a free public festival, “Diwali and the Art of Yoga,” celebrating the opening of the new exhibit alongside Diwali, the Indian festival of lights. The event will include spotlight tours of the exhibit, Asia-inspired games, classical Indian music, Indian deity storytelling, and a chance to make some yoga artwork of your own. Not to mention free yoga classes throughout the day!

Yogis, make sure to visit this exhibit before it leaves Washington, D.C. on Jan. 26, 2014. It will appear next in the San Francisco Asian Art Museum (February 21 through May 25) and then the Cleveland Museum of Art (June 22 through September 7).

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