Exhibit Reveals Yoga’s Roots

Nikki Honda, Sports Editor

The yoga class traveled to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco on May 22.

14 students, yoga teacher Chris Walsh, and counselor Karen Friesen visited the museum’s “The Yoga Art of Transformation” exhibit.

According to Walsh, the exhibit consisted of a series of 3 rooms. The first room contained ancient art, statues from Buddhist monasteries and temples, and old paintings in Persian and Sanskrit. The second room explained how yoga came to the masses. It was originally only for the wealthy and religious. The final room showed how yoga was integrated into the west from India. Walsh said initially people believed yoga was “weird and black magic, and then the people found out what yoga was really like in the 1970s.”

Yoga student Tara Dadafarin enjoyed viewing the transformation of yoga over the years. “I thought the museum did a really good job of showing the timeline of yoga and how it became modernized in the west,” she said. Dadafarin said it was interesting to look at the exhibit’s pictures and it was funny to see poses she had done in class.

The class took BART to the museum, where they were split into 2 different groups for tours. Walsh said they were taken through each of the rooms and learned “about some particular paintings and artwork and what yoga meant in the 13th and 14th century.” After their tour, the class had lunch at the museum’s cafe.

The plan after lunch was for the group to go back into the yoga rooms. “They rushed through it [the yoga exhibit] but the students wanted to go upstairs because they had Asian art from Korea and Japan,” Walsh said.

Sarah Holden said she liked viewing the additional exhibits the class had not intended to see. Her favorite part was the unique statues.

Although they did not follow the planned itinerary, Walsh enjoyed that the students were able to see the whole museum. He said the Asian art “really complimented the tour.”

“I think it went great. I kind of wish we had a little more time for kids to go back and really look at some of the specifics of the exhibits because they were quite extraordinary,” Walsh said. He said the main objective of the field trip was for the students to be able to see some of the origins of yoga. “Hopefully they saw the length of this beautiful 5,000 year old practice that they’re a part of now which is kind of cool,” he said.

Walsh said the Asian Art Museum is the only museum in the whole west coast to have the yoga transformation exhibit. However, it was only in San Francisco from February through May. He hopes it will return next year so beginning yoga students can view the exhibit.

“I would recommend going because if you are a yoga student it’s interesting to see where it all came from and how it started,” Dadafarin said.