A five-storey, 600,000 cubic feet industrial space is transformed for this walkthrough exhibit.
There’s a new wellness trend on the scene, and it’s decidedly arty. In cities across North America, museums and art galleries are now offering yoga classes as part of their programming.
It may sound unusual at first, but for many eager yogis, art and yoga are the perfect match. “Even the terms we use to describe artwork—terms like balance and symmetry—can also be used in a yoga class,” says Allison Wyckoff, manager of public programs at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.
Looking to stretch your body, soothe your soul and get a little artistic inspiration at a museum-based yoga class? Here are four places where you can give it a try. (All classes welcome beginners and drop-in attendees, and some have yoga mats to lend. Check museum websites for schedules.)
Early Morning at the AGO
Gentle one-hour sessions held in the early morning—before business hours—at Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) give yogis the luxury of having this inspiring setting all to themselves. The classes are hosted in the new Douglas fir and glass Galleria Italia (added to the museum in 2008 by architect Frank Gehry), where participants can watch the sun rise over the rooftops of downtown Toronto.
Yoga classes at The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla., are held in the Raymond James community room or outside in the Avant-garden, both spaces offering gorgeous views of Tampa Bay. The ashtanga-vinyasa classes (on special occasions) include mantra chants, exotic instruments and poetry, and incorporate live music.
Om in Oceanville
Located beside a nature reserve, The Noyes Museum of Art in Oceanville, N.J., offers a tranquil setting for drop-in yoga classes. Yogis can gaze out at pretty Lily Lake through large picture windows. The wide-open galleries are arrayed with sculptures and ceramics, so watch where you place your yoga mat.
San Francisco Storytelling
Yoga classes at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco are led by instructors who also happen to be artists and musicians. Drawing on the origins of the yoga practice and the museum’s collection of South Asian art, they share stories about Hindu and Buddhist deities while teaching asanas.
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