Don't Break the Art, and Other Lessons Learned at Crow's Yoga in the Galleries

Trying to do warrior pose sandwiched between a stranger and a very old, expensive piece of art is nerve-racking.

"Yoga is for everybody," says Susan, who's ushering our group through a series of ancient postures at Crow Collection's Yoga in the Galleries. "Not every pose is for everybody." The 63-year-old instructor is balanced effortlessly on what appears to be her right toe. Whatever the pose is, it's not for me.

When the Crow Collection advertises yoga in the galleries, they're not being cute: it's literally right in the galleries. The sessions happen every Thursday at 6:15 in the grand gallery, so I decided to see if art plus exercise equals ultimate relaxation. What I found was an interesting mash-up event where novices and yogis practice their downward facing dogs together while surrounded by a Mughal Chatri (which looks like an Asian gazebo) and a centuries-old sandstone wall from India.

The hour-long session starts off with simple stretches and progresses to eight silken movements of Qi Gong. One move, hissing with angry eyes, is indicative of its namesake and involves hissing and punching. Ridiculous, yes, but oh so fun.

The last ten minutes are basically nap time. As you softly snooze, Susan will walk around and gently press down on your shoulders with lavender-scented hands. Three chimes and a namaste later, the yoga is over. I came as an unfit amateur and left feeling like a pampered, lean, and cultured individual. Plus I missed rush hour.

Yoga in the galleries is every Thursday at the Crow. It's free.

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