Smithsonian Spotlights Yoga


By YJ Editor  |  

Chakra Body, Folio 4 India,1824 Opaque watercolor and gold on paper
Chakra Body, Folio 4
India,1824
Opaque watercolor and
gold on paper

Now here’s something to put on your yoga calendar: In October the Smithsonian will launch an exhibition featuring yoga-inspired artwork dating back to the third century.  Its aim is to show the public the rich history of yoga and track its progression to become the global phenomenon it is today.

“Yoga: The Art of Transformation,” includes 120 objects gathered from museums and private collections from India, Europe, and the United States. It’s scheduled to open Oct. 19 at the Arthur M. Slacker Gallery and run through Jan. 24, 2014.

“The exhibition demonstrates that yoga inspired the creation of profound artworks that translate the transcendent into visual form and reveal yoga’s centrality in the social landscapes of India,” said curator Debra Diamond in a press release. “United for the first time, they not only invite aesthetic wonder, but also unlock the past—opening a portal onto yoga’s sublime and surprisingly down-to-earth aspects over 2,000 years.”

The collection includes historical stone sculptures, paintings, manuscripts, and other artifacts that illustrate yoga’s “central tenets and more obscure traditions.” Among the items are three stone yoga goddesses from a 10th century Chola and the first illustrated compilation of yoga asanas from the year 1602.

The exhibit will move from Washington DC to the San Francisco Asian Art Museum from February to May and the Cleveland Museum of Art from June to September. Read more about the exhibit here.