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The Carnegie and The Westmoreland pair art and yoga for an immersive experience | TribLIVE.com
Art & Museums

The Carnegie and The Westmoreland pair art and yoga for an immersive experience

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Viewing art and doing yoga are both meditative experiences. Put them together, as two area museums are doing, and you take both activities to a new level.

At The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, visitors are invited to practice yoga on their own, while the Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland offers a group class.

Five yoga mats have been available during public hours at The Westmoreland since January. Mats are located in a mobile storage unit in the Post-1950s gallery for easy access. There is no fee to use them.

“The sign on the storage unit for the mats reads, ‘Take Five — Use these mats to relax, meditate and contemplate in our galleries,’ ” says Claire Ertl, director of marketing and public relations. “We also have movable chairs located in the galleries for visitors to use, to place where they like to take in the art.

“Our visitors and staff have been putting them to use, both to practice some yoga and also just to view the art from a different perspective.”

The idea for providing the mats grew out of staff brainstorming sessions used to develop new ideas and projects for the museum, Ertl says.

The Carnegie’s weekly drop-in yoga class meets from 7 to 8 p.m. Thursdays.

“They’re designed to be energizing, to get you ready for the weekend,” says media relations manager Jonathan Gaugler. “They’re staged in one of our most beautiful spaces, usually the Hall of Sculpture.”

The 18-and-over yoga classes started as part of a wellness series with individual sessions featuring movement and meditative exercises, Gaugler says. They proved so popular that they became a regularly scheduled event.

“People really responded to doing yoga amid all the art,” Gaugler says.

Fee per session is $10, $5 for students. A 10-session pass is $75, $50 for students. Attendees do not pay museum admission and must bring their own mats.

A musician from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is scheduled to play at the last session of each month, at least through midsummer, Gaugler says, although the date may change due to musician availability.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750 or [email protected].

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