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Smithsonian to launch world’s first visual history of yoga exhibit

Jan 28th, 2013
Staff writer

Photo Credit: Wikimedia CommonsThe Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery will unveil the world’ first exhibition of the visual history of yoga in mid October of this year. Titled “Yoga: the Art of Transformation,” the collection will include pieces borrowed from 25 different museums and private collections across India, Europe and the US.

“All over the world, millions of people practice yoga to find spiritual insight or better health,” the Smithsonian posted on their website. “But very few know of yoga's goals and means of transforming body and consciousness and its profound philosophical underpinnings.”

Featured will be eighty sculptures and paintings from the 3rd century to the 8th century, as well as about 40 colonial and early modern photographs, books and films. These pieces are intended to portray the journey of yoga from a superstition during the 19th century to a democratic practice open to everyone by the early 20th century. Some highlights of the exhibit will include 10 folios from the first ever illustrated compilation of asanas (postures), a film by Thomas Edison about India, and three monumental stone yogini goddesses from a 10th century Chola temple.