Stretch: Yoga and Pacific Asia Museum

Yoga at Pacific Asia MuseumPacific Asia Museum is many things.  It is the art, the exhibitions, the programs. But all of these have one common– they teach us about the cultures of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Without the fantastic traditions of that region, we wouldn’t be here today!

Yoga, a practice that has found a home in many cultures around the world, has also found a home at Pacific Asia Museum. Its origins lie in South Asia, where it’s associated with Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. While the most common form of yoga in the United States is Hatha Yoga, many different forms have been and are still practiced all over the world. As both a spiritual and physical discipline, yoga works toward health and spiritual insight through meditation and often physical poses. However, the history of yoga is broad and varied, with many different philosophies underlying the practice across time, space and cultures. Yoga was first brought to the United States in the late 1900s and grew in popularity over the following century, and today yoga classes are popular offerings at gyms, community centers…and Pacific Asia Museum!

For the past several years, instructor Jill Zepezauer has taught Lunchtime Yoga in our auditorium and has built quite the following. “I love that it’s intimate and adjusted to our individual needs,” said Linda Baum, who has taken the class for over a year. “It’s gentle, but Jill always gives modifications to push ourselves.” Because it’s at lunchtime, this class is a chance to step away from a busy day and just relax for an hour. That’s why Tasha Arratia has loved coming to the class for the past year and a half. “The class makes me feel good about taking time for myself,” she said. “I feel stretched out and very relaxed after the class. I feel like I can face the rest of the say calm and at peace.”

Despite the myriad changes in context and philosophy, practicing yoga today still connects to its ancient roots. And as our class has discovered, there’s no better place to feel this connection than Pacific Asia Museum!~CM

To learn more about our yoga class, visit our website.

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