Art + History + Yoga = A Mindful Afternoon in RVA

This weekend, my darling husband and I made some fun for ourselves.  I've wanted some yoga pictures for the blog and we were blessed with a beautiful afternoon to enjoy together.  We decided to take advice from the 10 Ways to Relax & Get Mindful post and have our own yoga photo shoot. 

Often, when you see a picture of someone doing yoga, where is it set?  In my estimation, yoga photos usually take place in gorgeous, exotic locations, like a beach shoreline, a mountaintop, or some tropical oasis.  (Look here for a Google image search of beautiful outdoor shots.) 

That is really wonderful and the pictures come out magnificently, but unfortunately, Danny and I do not live at the beach. Or on a mountain. Or an oasis.  We live in Richmond, Virginia.  So, what better place than to take some yoga pictures than our own backyard?

We wanted to capture the unique beauty, interesting features, and age of our small city.  If you've not been to Richmond, Virginia (better known here as "RVA"), you should plan to come.  In addition to the fantastic weather, Richmond is a lovely place with a variety of alluring sights.  We were inspired and influenced for the photo shoot idea by the following:

1. As you likely know, Richmond has a long history, at least by American history standards.  It is home to St. John's Church (where Patrick Henry declared, "Give me liberty or give me death!"), was the capital of the Confederate States of America in the Civil War, and has remained a notable historical location since; places like Belle Isle and Monument Avenue exude this historical presence, while remaining welcoming to casual visitors.

2. Due in large part to the influence of Virginia Commonwealth University and their esteemed art program (in 2012, US News and World Report ranked VCUarts the #1 public fine arts school in the country), RVA is quickly becoming somewhat of an art "scene" (as this article and this blog post assert).  Art has been popping up all over and transforming the city.  Click here to see photos from the RVA Street Art Festival.

3. A few years ago, on the way to a music festival (the Folk Festival) downtown, Danny and I got goofy and took the following picture in front of one of Richmond's beautiful murals.  We loved it and when discussing interesting spots for yoga shots, we remembered what fun we'd had:

mural by Ed Trask
at Haxell Point
in Richmond, Virginia
As we live in a suburb of Richmond, we made a short drive to our first destination and walked around downtown for many of them.  We had a great time, made memories, and captured some cool images. 

Welcome to our afternoon and our charming city!

[dancer pose]
"G40" mural by Never2501
at 11 S. 18th Street
in Richmond, Virginia
(read more here and about the artist here)

[side plank pose]
former Main Street train entrance
Richmond, Virginia´╗┐

[extended hand-to-big-toe pose]

[standing hands at heart center or prayer position]
mural also by Ed Trask
(featured in both of the above two photos)
at Kuba Kuba
in Richmond, Virginia

[easy pose with hands at heart center or seated prayer position]
in the street
in front of a Richmond Trolley
in Richmond, Virginia
[warrior III]
in a lot downtown
in Richmond, Virginia

[reverse warrior--with straight arm]
a downtown cobblestone alley
in Richmond, Virginia
We thought this would be a good reminder that you do not need to be in an exotic location to do yoga (it is accessible anywhere and to anyone--just start slow!), nor do you have to be far from home to make your day fun, mindful, and memorable.´╗┐
Have a happy Thursday, [y']all!

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