Curatorial assistant,Yoga participants in gallery Jacqueline Abreo, reflects on her yoga experience during Third Thursday, a free, monthly themed event that features extended hours (until 9 PM), and multiple programs including Yoga in the Galleries, The Blanton Book Club, tours, and more!

I’ve been doing yoga on and off since I was in high school, and I recently decided to try The Blanton’s Third Thursday offering of yoga in the galleries. It was wonderful to experience something I had been practicing for years in a new environment. I was inspired by the art that surrounded me, yet I wondered if being in a public place would distract me from getting in touch with my inner yogi. But as I settled in on my mat, closed my eyes, and focused on breathing, the soothing soundtrack of Robert Wilson’s Princess Caroline of Monaco me into a peaceful mood.

Yoga participants sitting in gallery

The instructor guided us into a calm meditation, reminding us to listen to our bodies and do “what feels yummy.” After a hectic few weeks at work preparing for the opening of American Scenery: Different Views in Hudson River School Painting this was exactly what I needed! Soon I felt as if I was disappearing, escaping into my own mind and body and leaving behind any stress or tension that had built up. We slowly changed positions and stretched in various ways. Throughout the class my mind would wander noticing different elements of the museum that I wouldn’t normally see. For example, the glass ceiling above us reflected our every move and playfully illustrated the paintings and sculptures around us. Even as I concentrated on the sounds of our inhales and exhales, I could feel the energy of the colorful artworks floating throughout the space. I felt free and connected to the gallery. It was as if we were all artists collaboratively creating this yoga experience together.

We ended in shavasana, lying on our backs and blissfully relaxing after a gentle session. I always feel refreshed and rejuvenated after yoga, and now I could see the museum from a new perspective. Practicing yoga in the galleries was a real treat. I highly recommend it!

The next Third Thursday will be on March 15, 2012. For Yoga in the Galleries, attendance is limited to 28 people, and passes are given on a first come, first served basis at the Visitor Services Desk starting at 5:30pm. Namaste!

Images: Blanton visitors participating in Third Thursday yoga classes, courtesy Rick Hall

5 Responses

  1. Great Job Jacqueline, It looks like something I am going to have to try one of this days. Glad you enjoy it.

  2. Hey, I have saved all the ideas you have shared on yoga . They are very convincing and will definitely work. Thanks for the post.

  3. Marc says:

    Yoga is getting more and more popular all around the globe but these museum settings are incredible.Continue the good work. It helps on so many levels.Regards from a fellow yoga fan.

  4. A therapy cambridge clinic doctor actually told me that yoga can do wonders especially when it comes to debugging stress. It's a big decision for me now but once I probably gather enough commitment to go with it, I'll do yoga without batting an eyelash.

  5. Sarah says:

    It looks fantastic, I've taken yoga classes before but, I did never think of doing it in a museum, completely surrounded by art; thank you for the great idea, I'll live this experience soon!

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