BYU’s Museum of Art patrons may be startled to find the lobby filled not with famous art pieces, but with 100 people in downward dog.
The museum began its new monthly program Yoga at the MOA Jan. 31. Although it was the first such event, the number of participants not only filled the large lobby but also spilled beyond the designated area.
Kylie Brooks, who started Yoga at the MOA, said the ancient Indian practice of yoga has become “wildly popular” over the past few years. Brooks began noticing yoga events held in unconventional venues like aquariums and libraries and thought hosting yoga classes at the MOA would help introduce more people to the museum.
Brooks is a certified yoga instructor and teaches the class. Brooks said she first fell in love with yoga as a college student.
“I was trying to find ways to cope with working, school and insomnia,” Brooks said. “It has helped me relax.”
BYU Yoga Club instructor Emma Stucki got hooked on the practice for similar reasons.
“(Yoga) gives me that space where I can go and not be a student,” Stucki said. “As a student, your whole life revolves around studying and excelling in school and sort of the pressures to compete. But you don’t have any of those expectations when you come to your yoga mat.”
Hundreds of BYU students are taking advantage of these benefits through on-campus yoga classes, the Yoga Club and now Yoga at the MOA. The yoga classes alone have enough people to fill 13 one-hour sections.
BYU student Lyndsay Rich is taking her first yoga class this semester. With a background in weight and cardio classes, she decided to add in yoga to round out her health.
“I thought it was good to mix it up to work on flexibility and meditation and wellness instead of just hardcore intensity fitness,” Rich said.
After a few months of her yoga class, Rich enjoyed it so much she decided to try out the Yoga Club at BYU.
“I think our generation cares a lot more about wellness and taking care of yourself and loving yourself,” Rich said. “That is really important.”
The Yoga Club meets every Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. in 3222 WSC. Yoga mats are provided for those who don’t have their own.
Yoga at the MOA takes place in the lobby of the MOA on the last Thursday of every month. Due to its popularity, interested participants are now asked to register online to reserve a spot.