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Asian Art Museum
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Yoga and the Body

The physical and the metaphysical body
One section of the exhibition focuses on the body - both the physical and the subtle, metaphysical bodies - as they appear in the art of yoga. One example, the Bahr al-Hayat, or Ocean of Life is likely the first illustrated yoga textbook ever created. Written in the early seventeenth century, its illustrations depict seated postures (asana) that were designed for meditation. 

Other images reveal the subtle body. In yoga, the subtle body comprises a series of centers called chakras, which are connected by a series of channels called nadis. Two paintings from Jodhpur depict the cosmic and individual aspects of this subtle body.