The Blanton Museum is one of my favorite places in Austin. I wish I had taken advantage of my grad student status for free admission when the museum opened in 2006 because it’s both a stunning space and has interesting programming. One of their recurring events is Third Thursdays. They have free admission on the third Thursday of each month (actually every Thursday is free), extended hours, tours, talks and YOGA in the galleries. They’re making room for other events at Third Thursday this summer, so I happened to catch the last yoga class for a couple months.
The free yoga class takes place in one of the large gallery spaces on the second floor, nicely marked with blue tape on the floor. Visitors to the museum continue to walk around the galleries as the class goes on, and we could have easily been mistaken for performance art. It was a little strange to be on “display” in the middle of the museum, but it was also a very cool experience with amazing acoustics. The teacher Adriene (check out her videos at Yoga with Adriene) encouraged us to explore and play as we practiced in an unconventional location, surrounded by beautiful art. We were also surrounded by the sounds of school kids touring through the museum, and I caught quite a few smiles from passersby.
It was nice to experience yoga in a completely different and inspiring space. It felt lighthearted (thanks to Adriene’s sense of humor), playful, non-judgmental, airy and even a bit daring. The best part was exploring the galleries before class – unhurried, observant and resonant. Letting whatever the art conjured up in me emotionally before class made me feel more open and perceptive. I’m not an art expert in any way, but I want to think that’s the point of art and also the point of yoga. Feel whatever feels that come.
On that note, here’s a piece of art that left me with many thoughts and emotions. I’ll let you work out whatever bubbles up.
Blanton Museum of Art
The University of Texas at Austin
200 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Austin, Texas 78701