When the Gibbes Museum opened in 1905, the nation celebrated what Charleston has always understood: the power of art – to inspire our imagination, heal our hurt, and nourish our souls.

Restore. Relax. Renew. Yoga in the Rotunda

Join us one Friday each month for our new series, Yoga in the Rotunda.

Yoga and art have both played an integral role in my life, and the fact that I am now able to teach yoga once a month at the Gibbes is such a beautiful and meaningful way of bringing my two worlds together. Both forms of expression have always allowed me to feel a deeper connection to not only myself, but also to the world around me. Yoga and art have also provided a meditative outlet for me, allowing me to feel more grounded and inspired. Art, acting as a form of pensive meditation, and yoga, acting as a form of meditation in motion.

Gibbes Museum Yogis enjoy the Friday morning flow led by Katie.
Gibbes Museum Yogis enjoy the Friday morning flow led by Katie.

I first realized the power of art when I studied in London during my sophomore year of college. I found myself often feeling homesick and anxious, and to calm my nerves, I would get lost in the city’s amazing museums and galleries. I would spend hours exploring the National Gallery, reflecting on the art that I had learned so much about while studying Art History at the College of Charleston. To see some of my favorite artists’ works in person, like Rembrandt and Vermeer, among other amazing artists, was such a treat for me. I would often get lost in the details and the symbolism in the artwork. This form of reflective meditation, paired with the distinct peacefulness of museums, allowed me to escape reality for even just a few hours, always re-entering the bustling city feeling calmer and more at ease.

Similarly, after graduating from the College of Charleston, I made the move to New York City. Again, I found myself feeling homesick and anxious in the big city. I found that art continued to be a calming force for me, and thus spent my days off at the Met, the MoMA, and the Guggenheim. It was also in New York that I found yoga. By focusing solely on my movement and my breath, I was able to let go of my thoughts and drown out all of the stimulation of the city. This practice allowed me to find calmness and grounding in an often chaotic world. Similar to retreating inside of a peaceful museum, I found a practice where I was able to retreat inside of myself, finding peace within. Yoga became so much a part of my daily life that I became a certified yoga instructor, in hopes of sharing this gift of grounding with others.

Snag a coupon for $5 off at The Daily at the Gibbes when you register for Yoga in the Rotunda.
Snag a coupon for $5 off at the Daily at the Gibbes when you register for Yoga in the Rotunda.

After a few years in New York, I decided to move back to Charleston, the city that I love so much. I wanted to find a way to combine both of my passions—yoga and art. My love for art and enjoyment in working events led me to my current role at the Gibbes, as Special Events Assistant. And now, I am lucky enough to get the chance to teach yoga in our beautiful Museum, surrounded by captivating art, and it’s a dream come true. I hope that those who come to practice with me also realize how life changing the exposure to art, and the practice of yoga, can be.

There is still time to sign up to practice with me on Friday, October 19, as well as our last class of 2018 on November 16.

—Katie Borges, Special Events Assistant

Top Image: Join us one Friday each month for our new series, Yoga in the Rotunda.

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