Students Practice Yoga Among the Artwork


(Photo by Chris Samuels)

(Photo by Chris Samuels)
(Photo by Chris Samuels)

Students found inner peace among art exhibitions Tuesday at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.
UMFA hosted free yoga from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the exhibit “Krishna: Lord of Vrindavan,” which showcases artwork from the eleventh century to the twentieth century. The exhibit is dedicated to the Hindu god, with displays of both secular and sacred pieces of art.
Iris Moulton, coordinator for campus engagement at UMFA, said the free yoga series is meant to combine art and yoga.
“The idea behind the yoga and art is I want [attendees] to feel a new energy at the museum,” Moulton said. “I love that while there are people looking at the amazing art we have, there is a chorus of ‘ohms’ in the background.”
The Krishna display is being exhibited alongside the Moksha Photography exhibit, which includes pieces photographed by Fazal Sheikh. The display features young and elderly widows in India, living in what is known as the holy city of Vrindavan.
Moulton said she thinks yoga ties in well with the exhibits.
“It is the perfect collaboration. The yoga instructor, Scott Moore, incorporates the artwork into the practice,” she said. “We begin with 10 to 15 minutes exploring the galleries and talking about the ideas of Krishna and telling the stories and what we can learn from them. Then we go into the Great Hall.”
The poses of yoga are highly influenced by the displays, Moulton said.
“Moore explains what the poses mean and what they are,” she said. “The Krishna pose imitates Krishna playing his flute. Through yoga, we are putting ourselves into the pieces of art that we just experienced visually.”
Each yoga event brings about 20 to 30 students per session.
“We had 62-year-old women and athletes. The yoga we offer has something for everyone,” Moulton said.
Erika Smith, event coordinator at UMFA, said the event is free to the public but costs the museum about $125 an hour.
“There is no better place for a soothing and zen activity than an art museum,” Smith said. “It helps us all to experience the art in a different way — the yoga in the art museum creates a new perception.”
Ylessa Rizzi, a freshman in exercise and sports science, attended one of the sessions.
“I think the collaboration is great,” Rizzi said. “College is expensive, so having something for free is definitely appreciated.”
Rizzi said she thought the yoga helped her get some much needed relaxation.
“College is stressful, but yoga is relaxing and stimulating. It’s beneficial to be offered for free,” she said.
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