The Smithsonian Institution has organized what curators believe is the first exhibition about the visual history and art of yoga, including the origins of the practice and its evolution, according to FOX News.
The exhibit is called "Yoga: The Art of Transformation," and it will be on display through January. The exhibit will then travel to the Asian Art of Museum of San Francisco and the Cleveland Museum of Art.
"It examines for the first time a spectacular, but until now largely ignored, archive," Julian Raby, the Museum Director, said. "That archive is India's visual culture of extraordinary yoga-related artworks created, as you will see, over some two millennia."
The exhibit hopes to show the years of research and showcase the history of yoga over the past 2,000 years. That will be displayed through Indian sculptures, manuscripts and paintings, as well as posters, illustrations, photographs and films that will show the development of yoga over the past 2,000 years.
The exhibit examines the concepts and practices of yoga tradition dating back hundreds of years. The displays help people "understand yoga's transformative potential," Debra Diamond, the Curator of the Smithsonian, said.
The perceptions of yoga helped to determine how the tradition developed, and knowing that background is important for how Americans think about yoga today, Diamond said.
"There are so many debates and contestations about what yoga is in America," Diamond said. "Is it a profound individual embodied system of transformation?
"Or is it the thing that spawned a $5 billion industry in which yoga is used to sell cars?" she continued.
The exhibit is being funded partly by the Smithsonian's first major crowd-funding campaign, which raised $174,000 over six weeks.
"It teaches where yoga comes from," John Schumacher, a yoga practitioner and teacher in Washington who was an advisor on the exhibit, said. "You see there is a deep, philosophical underpinning to all of these practices and a variety of different philosophies."
Video about the new yoga exhibit at the Smithsonian.
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