World’s First Exhibit on the Art of Yoga

  • February 9, 2014
  • By Phil Cartwright


_x000D_ A 1903 illustration of the chakras and energy channels of the body by Swami Hamsvarupa 
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_x000D_ Yoga: The Art of Transformation explores a largely untapped resource—visual culture—to illuminate both central aspects of yoga practice and its hidden histories. Many people are aware of yoga’s origins in India, and the discipline is widely recognized around the world as a source of health and spiritual insight. But the aspirations that compelled countless individuals to pursue yogic paths and are little known outside of scholarly and advanced practitioner circles. Even fewer are familiar with yoga’s rich diversity—its varied meanings for practitioners and for those they encountered.
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_x000D_ Yoga is the first exhibition to survey this leitmotif of Indian culture. The exhibition’s 133 works, which were created over two millennia, range from devotional sculptures and illustrated court manuscripts to colonial photographs and early films. They shed light on yoga’s meanings and philosophical depth, the practice’s centrality within Indian culture and religion, its movements over time and across communities, and the genius of artists who transformed profound concepts into material form…
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_x000D_ Read the full story on the Smithsonian’s website.
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_x000D_ Bifolio from the Gulshan Album  India, Mughal dynasty

_x000D_ Click here to see more images from the collection. 
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_x000D_ The exhibit will close in Washington, DC on January 26, and will travel to the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (February 21-May 25), then on to the Cleveland Museum of Art (June 22-September 7)

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Phil Cartwright

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