Yoga in the museum in the test

Art and yoga combined in Neus
On an “Ommmm” to the museum

Whether on the beach, on a meadow or in the studio: Yoga is practiced in different places. Clemens Sels Museum shows that it also works at the museum, and that the road from art to physical exercises is not that far.

The sun shines through the window front from floor to ceiling and offers a view of the city garden: A pair of greylag geese waddle in the meadow, a rabbit family enjoys the clover, the trees and flowers bloom. The large room on the ground floor of the Clemens Sels Museum Neuss is usually used for lectures or events. That day, seven yogis meet here to practice yoga in the museum with Esther Ortz, owner of the yoga studio Yogato in the center of Neuss. “My colleague Romina Friedemann came up with the idea for this special offer during the lockdown, so I could offer people a little art and culture during this time,” says Anita Hachmann, deputy museum director, recalling the first events via livestream. .

But before the participants roll out their mat, they can enjoy a short art tour by Melanie Seidler, a freelancer at the museum. She accompanies the group to a picture from the collection, which is part of the current exhibition “Find your access! Digital to the Original “is shown and first plays the sound image of the work. Pupils from two primary schools in Neuss have created this – you can hear seagulls screaming, bells ringing and shouting for help. Because: The work” Shipwreck off a Rocky Coast “, which is attributed to Adam Willaerts, shows two ships in distress. “If one looks closely, one can discover the Christian context in the crosses that can be found on the rock and in the hand of a sailor,” says the art historian, pointing to another level of meaning: the metaphor about “Navigatio Vitae” as the ship of life points to the turmoil and struggles that every human being must “navigate” through.

Jacqueline Tai from Düsseldorf came to Neuss with a friend who had discovered the Art Card offer and is excited: “I’m happy with this idea of ​​the museum and that I can finally do something cultural again.” time after a long visit to the museum, but this combination of yoga and art with the mini-tour opens up new perspectives for her.

Body and mind belong together in yoga, the effects of asanas (posture) are amplified through breathing and concentration. Art also combines this dualism of depicting inside and out, Seidler explains, referring to “Still Life with a Venetian Wine Cup”, a work by Georg Flegel’s circle around 1630. Concentrating on one aspect of painting means forgetting everyday life and you even almost meditatively when you look at the picture.

“First something for the mind, now something for the body,” the yoga teacher then leads on to the practical part. For the second time, “Yoga at the museum” can take place in person and both times Laura and Martina Estrich from Dormagen were present. “It’s a great combination: the brief insight into the art and then the yoga unit into this great room with that special view,” says the 61-year-old and her daughter Laura, adding: “During the trip, it all started with some exciting image of the shipwreck and then walked the still life very quietly. It is the same with yoga: Movement is followed by relaxation. “

“Yoga is uncomplicated,” says Esther Ortz, explaining the hype of getting yoga to take place in the most unusual places. “Roll out the mat and you’re ready to go”, it also works well for her on a lake or on a stand-up paddleboard.

One last greeting of the sun before the participants enter Savasana, the last relaxation – silence in the room, silence in the soul. After an hour and a half (tour plus yoga), Esther Ortz ends the yoga class and leaves the ladies excited and a little more flexible – in body and mind.

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