The Art of Yoga

If you haven’t yet seen the exhibition Yoga: The Art of Transformation at the Cleveland Museum of Art, you only have a few days left in which to see this amazing collection of work. I’ve been to the show multiple times, and each time I visited, something new was unveiled. 

For example, during a recent tour, our guide emphasized how important it is to realize that most of the representations of yoga in the exhibition are not literal but rather symbolic. This requires shifting our perspective to a different way of understanding what we see. He explained that in order to begin to understand the art, we need to know something about the stories symbolized by that art.

Furthermore, many of the items in the exhibition were never meant for mass public viewing. Rather, they were designed as personal devotional objects for focusing the mind during meditation. The amount of detail in these works is astonishing, and the magnifying glasses in the gallery help to reveal the subtleties of the art. One of my colleagues wondered if the production of these intricate works also served as a meditative practice for the artists, given the amount of focus and absorption into the work that must have been necessary to create such detailed items.

As I reflected on these ideas, I thought about the practice of yoga and how it parallels the wo

rks of art in the exhibition. That is, what we see and experience in yoga at first glance is only outwardly symbolic of the deeper practice taking place within. The asanas, or physical postures that are so popularly represented in Western culture, are only a small part of the larger practice of yoga. As we revisit the practice and allow a continued unveiling of new perspectives, our inner stories begin to unfold and we cultivate more awareness on subtler levels. In turn, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and the world around us – a true transformation. 

Yoga: The Art of Transformation is open through Sunday, September 7, 2014, at the Cleveland Museum of Art. 

Now through September 7, 2014, post a photo on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #ArtofYoga and receive one complimentary ticket to the Yoga: The Art of Transformation exhibition! Just share the image posted via your smart phone at the Yoga exhibition ticket counter on the museum's ground floor for access to the exhibition. Limit ONE ticket per photo posted.

Guest Author

Dawn M. Miller

North Coast Wellness

Dawn M. Miller is the owner and founder of North Coast Wellness and is a yoga therapist, registered Viniyoga teacher, and meditation instructor. She specializes in helping individuals to manage chronic pain and recover from injury and illness with therapeutic yoga practices at Connor Integrative Medicine Network at University Hospitals and at other locations throughout Northeast Ohio. She also teaches onsite classes for workplace wellness programs. Dawn holds a Master’s Degree in Medical Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University and has a long-standing interest in cross-cultural health and healing practices.

Blog Archive