After taking a closer look at the art housed on the fifth floor of the Denver Art Museum, the Asian Art Association and museum planners started thinking. These galleries, home to the DAM's Asian and Indian folk art collections, contained many figures in yoga poses -- feet placed just so, hands in positions of intention. This observation led to the creation of "Union with the Divine: Art History of Yoga," set for Wednesday, March 12 -- a combination tour, lecture and yoga class based on the art.
"We've always had pieces in the gallery that show people doing yoga poses -- all the poses of Indian art have meanings behind how they hold their hands or the way they're standing," says Beverly Little of the DAM's Asian Art Association.
Though the idea for a yoga class infused with yoga history in the grand setting of the museum started coming together last summer, it took a while for the event to be fully realized. Coincidentally, Little says, the Smithsonian launched a similar full-on exhibit last fall, Yoga: The Art of Transformation, which will be traveling throughout the country over the next year.
The DAM's version will be a three-part afternoon series. Starting at 11 a.m. is a docent-led tour of the Indian Folk Art Gallery, followed by a lecture by yogi and Asian Studies doctorate student Sarah Magnatta of the University of Denver and another docent-led tour of the Classical Indian Gallery. Closing out the day will be a yoga class led by Kristin Bonk Fong.
Little says there will be plenty of room in the yoga class, but those interested in the lecture and tours should purchase tickets as soon as possible. There will be a waiting list if the day fills up, and the DAM will consider doing a repeat of the events if the program is successful.
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Tickets for "Union with the Divine: Art History of Yoga at the DAM" are available for purchase online, in-person at the museum or by calling 720-865-5000. Tickets are $10 for Asian Art Association members and $20 for non-members; visitors interested in the lecture only can get in for free if they are Asian Art Association members. Otherwise it's $7 for DAM members, $5 for teachers and students and $10 for all others.