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Cleveland Museum of Art’s ‘Yoga – The Art of Transformation” calms and heals

Take a relaxing photo tour of the new Cleveland Museum of Art exhibit
Take a relaxing photo tour of the new Cleveland Museum of Art exhibit
Mark Horning & Co. Photography

As you walk through the various rooms that house the new Cleveland Museum of Art exhibit, “Yoga – the Art of Transformation” you cannot help but feel calmer with each step. As you spend time gazing at and reading about the various masterpieces of art (from as far back as 500 BC up to present day) you are irresistibly drawn to a feeling of refreshment and ease.

As you enter the exhibit you feel the cares of the world fall away
Mark Horning & Co. Photography

Part of this may be due to the quiet Indian flute music being gently piped into the space or perhaps it is the slight scents of perfumed soaps and incense on sale in the gift shop at the end. Whatever the reason you will find your journey through these treasures to be balm for your soul.

The exhibit is the first time ever in the world that Yoga has been the highlight of a major collection of artifacts and we are extremely fortunate to have that exhibit to be housed in the Cleveland Museum of Art.

The term Yoga refers to the physical, mental and spiritual practices (or disciplines) whose goal is to unite body and mind. The term is collective in that it refers to a variety of schools, practices and goals that include Hinduism and Buddhism (of which Vajrayana, Tibetan Buddhism and Jainism are a part). The direct translation of the term Yoga is “yoking together” such as one would yoke together a group of horses or oxen and has come to mean the yoking together of mind and body so that the two work together in unison.

Yoga has been around since the pre-vedic period of Indian traditions (around 400 CE). It was in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that Yoga found its way to the western world following the efforts of Swami Vivekananda. In 1980 it had a resurgence of interest as people turned to Hatha Yoga as a part of their exercise regimen.

This particular exhibition explores yoga’s core values and teachings through the centuries, its entry into the mainstream global arena and its goals to bring true enlightenment to all practitioners as they discover a new inner power, health and well being. This is all done through the exquisite display of detailed Indian art.

The exhibit contains over 130 works that include sculptures depicting historical and divine yogis, detailed Mughal paintings that illustrate various militant yogis and romantic heroes of its rich history, Islamic divination texts, larger than life scrolls that pinpoint the various chakras (energy centers of the body) as well as 19th century photos and films. Some of the drawings are so full of detail that magnifying glasses are supplied in order to get a closer look at the amazing detail. Some of the finer points such as peacocks look as if they were painted with brushes consisting of a single hair.

The award winning exhibit (it was awarded The Association of Art Museum Curators’ first place for best exhibition and best exhibition catalogue) will open to the public on June 22, 2014 and will close on September 7, 2014.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is located at 11150 East Boulevard in Cleveland, Ohio 33106.

Regular hours for the Museum are Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m. The Museum is closed on Mondays.

The Museum is closed January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25. The museum close at 4:00 p.m. on December 24 and December 31.

Tickets to the exhibition “Yoga: The Art of Transformation” are $15.00 for non-members and free to members of the Cleveland Museum of Art and are available at the Museum.

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