Yoga among masterpieces: Paris' Louvre opens its galleries for sweaty Olympic-style workouts

Yoga taking place in Cour Marly
Yoga taking place in Cour Marly Copyright Credit: The Louvre
Copyright Credit: The Louvre
By Theo Farrant
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The programme includes yoga sessions amidst sculptures, dancehall in historical courtyards, and disco in royal ballrooms, curated by choreographer Mehdi Kerkouche.


The prestigious Louvre museum in Paris has been hosting yoga and exercise sessions within its iconic galleries as part of a city-wide cultural initiative leading up to the Olympics.

Named "Run in the Louvre", the programme is inviting participants to engage in hour-long workout sessions featuring four 10-minute exercises in some of the museum's most famous areas.

“The Louvre is physically in the centre of Paris, it will be physically at the centre of the Olympic Games,” said museum chief Laurence des Cars.

A group exercising on yoga mats in the Louvre's Khorsabad courtyard
A group exercising on yoga mats in the Louvre's Khorsabad courtyardCredit: The Louvre

Yoga, dancehall and disco

The fun begins with a yoga session in the Cour Marly and Cour Puget, where the courtyard is decked out with sculptures originally from King Louis XIV’s chateau. Participants can strike poses amidst historic sculptures, like Nicolas Coustou's depiction of Daphne fleeing Apollo in a one-legged lean. 

Following the yoga session, the next stop is a dancehall session in the Khorsabad courtyard. Continuing the tour, participants will enjoy disco in the Salle des Cariatides, once a royal ballroom, named for the four towering female figures supporting the musicians’ gallery. 

These tours, running until the end of May, start before the museum opens to the public each day and have been curated by choreographer and dancer Mehdi Kerkouche.

The Louvre isn't the only institution in the City of Lights flexing their cultural muscles and embracing the Olympic spirit. Thanks to the Cultural Olympiad concept, hundreds of events, shows, exhibitions and projects combining art, culture and sport are taking place across the city. 

A temporary stadium on the Place de la Concorde is hosting skateboarding and breakdancing events. Meanwhile, the Petit Palais is also connecting sport and art with its new exhibition "Le corps en mouvement", featuring 50 works, including paintings, sculptures, antiques, and drawings.

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