Monday, February 24, 2014

Yoga at the Asian

A Smithsonian Institute exhibition on the cultural history of Yoga is making its only West Coast appearance at the Asian Art Museum through May.

The first room of the exhibit features some marvelous thousand-year-old Indian statues, including Vishnu above...

...along with the sandstone Yogini above on the left and a frightening depiction of a snake-embroidered Shiva on the right.

There are 19th century illustrations, including the advanced Siddha above, "experiencing his equivalence with the universe."

Movies and posters from the early 20th century demonstrate the Western world's fascination with the exotic Orientalia of Yoga, including a 1938 British ad for Koringa, billed as "the world's only female yoga magician." If I were ever to take up yoga as a serious discipline, Koringa would definitely be my avatar.

1 comment:

Namastenancy said...

I thought that the visiting cards of the naked fakirs were a hoot. but 19th century Europe/England was so puritanical. Who could have used them? The art in the first galley was awesome but I figured that a lot more guys would go for Koringa than the whistling yogini