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Are you interested in dipping your toe into the world of yoga but are unsure of how to get started? One of the Museum’s lesser known programs is its Yoga in the Gallery series which takes place every Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art. Registered yoga instructor, Ashley Brooks of Holistic Movements, joins us weekly to provide our members and guests with an hour-long session that explores gentle and relaxing yoga poses. We took a moment to interview Ashley about her time teaching at the Museum and what our members and guests can expect from one of her classes.
Tell us a little bit about you. Where else do you teach? How did you get started and what got you hooked on yoga?
“As a kid, I was a dancer and a gymnast, so movement has always been a big part of my life. I first got into teaching movement 12 year ago when I fell in love with Pilates and became a certified instructor. Pilates and yoga complement each other so well, and I started to practice yoga more and more to help balance out my Pilates practice. Several years ago I decided to become a certified instructor in Ashtanga Yoga. I own a studio in Port Orange called Holistic Movements Pilates and Barre where I specialize in personalized private instruction of Pilates, Yoga, and Barre workouts.”
What is your favorite thing about teaching Yoga in the Gallery at the Cici and Hyatt Brown Museum of Art?
“The atmosphere of the gallery really brings something to the class, creating an experience beyond just the yoga. To be surrounded by such incredible artwork in a space so beautiful and open while teaching/practicing is truly like nothing else I have ever experienced teaching before. We have an amazing group of regular students. I love seeing their practice grown every week.”
What can people expect from your class when they attend?
“Expect to be truly transported out of your daily routine for an hour every week. The atmosphere of the gallery is the perfect tranquil setting for a relaxing style of yoga, where we take our time in each pose and focus on using the breath to eliminate tension and stress.”
Is this for beginners or for all levels?
“This class is suitable for beginners, but appropriate for all levels. For many of the poses, I will offer several variations, allowing those students that are more experienced the opportunity to push themselves a little bit more while letting those who are newer, or dealing with injuries, the opportunity to stay within a safe zone while learning the movements.”
What advice would you give first time attendees?
“On a very practical level, the floor in the gallery is very beautiful, but it is quite a hard surface. Many students like to bring two yoga mats to layer or a mat and a towel to provide a little extra cushioning. Also, it can be chilly to wearing something with sleeves is a good idea too. As for advice on the practice of yoga, come with an open mind and allow yourself an hour to move, breathe, and relax!”