Yoga, Yogis, Magic & Films At Asian Art Museum With Dr. Qamar Adamjee

Kamla Bhatt Show show

Summary: (, Yogis, Fakirs, Magic & Films  is the subject of a fascinating exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. In this interview Dr. Qamar Adamjee ( walks us through a visually rich exhibit that traces yoga's 2,500 years old history. She is an associate curator for South Asia at the museum. Today, yoga is a multi-billion dollar ( business and is practiced by millions around the world. In today's world yoga is synonymous with exercise, specifically with various types of "asanas (" (poses) like downward-facing tree, downward-facing dog, crane, bow, cobra and so on.  And finally  today yoga is also associated with various forms of breathing techniques or Pranayama ( But,what do we know about the hidden history and evolution of how yoga started? How was it perceived by the west? How did technology help spread viral images of yoga, yogis and fakirs around the world? The "prana" or life of yoga started about 2,500 years ago in India. Over the course of centuries yoga evolved and went through different stages and it is this evolution and transformation that is captured through art, music, films and multimedia at the Yoga exhibit. This is  the first major exhibit on yoga in the world and San Francisco is the second city to have this exhibit after Washington DC. Dr. Adamjee walks us through the exhibit and shares how yoga evolved and the landscapes where yoga was practiced by yogis. Think Mount Kailash which is located in the Tibetan plateau and is a holy pilgrimage place for Hindus. Yoga was embraced by Jains, Buddhists and other religious sects with in India. Perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of the exhibit is how the west perceived yogis in the late 19th and 20th centuries. This is when knowledge about yogis and yoga spread through modern technology and communications like postcards and films. It appears that by mid-19thc the word "fakir" was used quite a bit when it came to describing yogis and the magical powers they possessed. For example, there is a fascinating 1902 silent film by Thomas Edison called "Hindoo Fakir (," that is basically a magic show of sorts by an Indian magician. It is only in the last 40 years or so that yoga has become synonymous with asanas or poses. You can discover the hidden and untold history of Yoga and how it was perceived by the rest of the world through the ages at the Yoga exhibit (  ( the Asian Art Museum from Feb 21 to May 25, 2014. Photo credit: Asian Art Museum . AAM Yoga Group of Fakirs 21s EX 2014.2.116Group of Yogis, approx. 1880s, by Colin Murray (English, active 1871â??1884). India. Albumen print. Courtesy of Collection of Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck, 2011.02.02.004.   Related Post: Koringa, The Only Fakir In the World by Dr. Qamar Adamjee