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At Peabody Essex, yoga classes fold into a ‘very tranquil’ art installation

Anila Quayyum Agha’s glowing installation "All the Flowers Are for Me" is the backdrop for a new yoga series.Courtesy Peabody Essex Museum

Stressed? Join the club. It’s called 2020.

To help us get by, Salem’s Peabody Essex Museum is offering “All the Flowers Are for Me: Yoga & Mindfulness” inside the calmness that is Anila Quayyum Agha’s installation. A fan favorite since 2017, Agha’s piece consists of a steel cube laser-cut with Middle-Eastern floral motifs, bathing an entire gallery with pattern and light.

“It’s an incomparable experience, being able to do yoga in Anila Quayyum Agha’s installation,” said Bethany Beatrice, PEM’s creative engagement producer. Her team got the idea from “thinking about how to reach our community [and] to pull together something that would really allow for tranquillity and mindfulness in these very uncertain times,” Beatrice said.


The three-week series kicks off this Sunday at 10 a.m. Yogis of any level and age can participate in two ways: via livestream or in person — just mask up and BYO mat. Either way, advance registration is required via the museum’s website. PEM members can score free livestream classes; non-members can do the downward-facing dog for $5 per livestream (or $10 for all three). A limited number of yogis can participate in-person for $15 per class or $30 for all three.

PEM was happy to partner with Salem’s Salty Buddha on the classes.

“They’re a relatively new yoga studio that really loves to focus on a contemporary take on the age-old practice of yoga," Beatrice said. “They have a fun feel to them; they feel like yoga shouldn’t be taken too seriously, that we need to take ourselves lightly, especially in these times.”

And don’t worry about flexibility — the goal here is serenity.

“The thought is [to make this] restorative and nourishing to the body and mind,” Beatrice said. “We wanted to embrace the space of ‘All the Flowers Are for Me,’ which is a very tranquil, meditative space.”


And if the series hits the right flow? PEM just might carry it through 2021, Beatrice said. “We’re hoping if this is successful, that it will build into an ongoing series we can offer throughout the winter and into spring.”

Sign up at www.pem.org/events/all-the-flowers-are-for-me-yoga-mindfulness

Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. She tweets @laurendaley1.

Lauren Daley can be reached at ldaley33@gmail.com. Follow her on Twitter @laurendaley1.