More About Yoga in Museums: Another Reason to Visit Baltimore

yogabma2From the comments of my previous post on Yoga in Art Museums: Growing Trend? comes this explanation from Brianna Bedigian, the yoga instructor at the Baltimore Museum of Art who also has a BA in art history:

The space that the class is being held in typically limits the type of postures that may be used. In the large Contemporary gallery we are able to do a lot of standing postures. For example, one week I focused on a large beaded curtain by Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Untitled (Water). Since Gonzalez-Torres was interested by interaction, interconnectedness, and the idea of viral art, I had the students line up in two rows facing each other on either side of the curtain and reach their hands through to practice partner yoga while I told them about Gonzalez-Torres life and his work.

In the African collection gallery, which is a much narrower space, we practiced Chakra Yoga (the seven energy centers according to the yogic philosophies). In the class focusing on the Solar Plexus Chakra, we discussed a ceremonial Tobacco Pipe from Cameroon, Grasslands. This object lent itself to the discussion of the chakra perfectly not because smoking involves the lungs, but because smoking can be both mundane or be elevated to the level of ritual, just like the breath can be both a conscious or an unconscious act.

Sounds quite amazing and worth a trip.

More info on the BMA’s yoga classes via Laura Kuah of the Baltimore Contemporary Art Examiner:

2 responses to “More About Yoga in Museums: Another Reason to Visit Baltimore”

  1. I’ve been attending the Baltimore Museum of Art’s yoga program taught by Brianna Bedigian for over a year and it has really enhanced my yoga practice and my relationship with the museum’s collection. I’ve always been a fan of the museum, but, looking back, my relationship to the collection (and the museum) was pretty distant until I began attending the yoga programs. I think these types of programs are a great way for museums to increase their relevance with the general population, especially at a time when financial concerns might be keeping people from membership and donation.
    One thing that has made the BMA program a stand-out is Brianna’s significant knowledge of both yoga and art history. She is a kind, knowledgeable teacher of yoga for all levels, and her experience with the museum’s collection enables her to fully explain the different pieces and answer all of our questions. I would encourage anyone considering attending a museum yoga program to keep in mind the experience, knowledge and personality of the instructor.

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