Yoga: The Art of Transformation

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The Transmission of Teachings from the Gods to the Mahasiddhas (Nath Charit) (detail), 1823. India Opaque Watercolor And Gold On Paper © Courtesy of Mehrangarh Museum Trust
Yoga: The Art of Transformation

200 Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
February 21st, 2014 - May 25th, 2014
Opening: February 21st, 2014 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM

Union Square/Civic Center
Tue-Wed, Fri-Sun 10-5; Thu (Jan-Oct) 10-9; Thu (Nov-Dec) 10-5; closed Mon

Breathe deeply, and get ready for the world’s first major art exhibition about yoga.
Millions of people around the world practice yoga to find spiritual insight and improved health. While many are aware of yoga’s origins in India, few may know about its philosophical underpinnings or its fascinating history over thousands of years. Yoga: The Art of Transformation goes beyond postures and delves into how yoga has evolved into a global phenomenon through an exploration of its visual history. Borrowed from 25 museums and private collections in Europe, the U.S. and India, the artworks featured in the exhibition date from the 2nd to the 20th centuries. Images ranging from benevolent deities and gurus to Tantric goddesses and sinister yogis reveal how yoga practices—and perceptions of them—have transformed over time and across communities. Exhibition highlights include stunning masterpieces of Indian sculpture and painting; pages from the first illustrated book of yoga postures (asanas); and a Thomas Edison film, Hindoo Fakir (1902), the first American movie ever produced about India.  

The Asian Art Museum is the only U.S. West Coast venue for this exhibition. 
Yoga: The Art of Transformation was organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution with support from the Friends of the Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne and the Ebrahimi Family Foundation.

Presentation at the Asian Art Museum is made possible with the generous support of The Bernard Osher Foundation, Helen and Rajnikant Desai, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, Kumar and Vijaya Malavalli, Society for Asian Art, and Walter & Elise Haas Fund.


We’re celebrating the opening of Yoga: The Art of Transformation with two amazing kickoff events:

Yoga Opening Night Party 

Friday, Feb 21, 7–11 pm 
Take a deep breath and dance the night away with MC Yogi, DJ Drez and DJ Sol Rising. Not your speed? Stretch out in a yoga class earlier in the evening led by MC Yogi or spend some time in our galleries. Either way, be the first to see the exhibition that The New York Times called “immensely pleasurable.” AcroYogis, Non Stop Bhangra with Dholrhythyms, gallery tours, storytelling, complimentary sips by Laughing Glass Cocktails, and cash bars make this a feel-good party for the body and soul. View the full schedule.

Yoga Festival 

Saturday, Feb 22, 10:30 am–4pm
Practice yoga in the museum’s beautiful Samsung Hall with your choice of one of three 90-minute classes taught by top notch teachers: the Art of Attention with Erica Jago; AcroYoga with Jenny Sauer-Klein and Adam Rinder; and Vinyasa Flow with Stephanie Snyder. Open your mind and chill out in our collection galleries and yoga exhibition. Got kids? Bring ‘em! Yoga for the little ones, art making activities, storytelling sessions, curatorial-led gallery talks, tours, and the Yogi Tea Lounge round out this family-friendly event. View the full schedule.
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