Archaeologist Teagan Schweitzer, a Penn Museum consulting scholar and a PhD recipient from the University of Pennsylvania, knows how to stretch, and in her capacity as a yoga instructor, she’ll help you stretch, too. In fact, she is a lululemon Ambassador—one of a select group of athletes that the brand, lululemon, celebrate as “a community of driven athletes and inspirational people who harness their passion to elevate their communities.”
When lululemon approached her to select a place in the community where she would like to be photographed—for a large-scale picture to hang prominently in the Center City Philadelphia branch store—she knew just where she wanted to be: the Penn Museum’s lower Egyptian Gallery, in front of the Sphinx of Ramesses II.
The Penn Museum has long been an important place for Teagan, and it seemed like the right place to show off her love of yoga, as well.
When not stretching, Teagan spends a lot of time in the Zooarchaeology lab, a part of the Museum’s Center for Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM), where she has access to a rich selection of comparative animal skeletal materials vital to her research into historic food in Philadelphia. Kate Moore, a key mentor for her during her dissertation days at Penn, now serves as a colleague and lab director, providing her with collections access and, as always, scholarly support and perspective.
For Teagan, the road to yoga began in graduate school more than a decade ago
“I began doing yoga because I had been a dancer my whole life. I tore several ligaments in my hip in a dance class and could no longer be as active as I was used to being. A friend suggested I try yoga and took me to a class. It felt great in my body, and also, the discipline of yoga asked me to focus in a way that I felt would be extremely helpful mentally in graduate school.”
It wasn’t long before the student was a teacher—Teagan currently teaches yoga classes, workshops, and teacher trainings at Maha Yoga (1700 Sansom St, 6th Floor) and Sanctuary Yoga (1233 Locust St, 1st Floor), as well as offering private instruction.
Is it possible to find two more disparate fields than yoga and archaeology? Teagan thought about that—and saw a connection between her two passions:
“There is a through line, a common desire to understand humanity and the human experience, that runs between the two fields,” she said. “As someone interested in archaeology, I've always been drawn to discover and to tell the stories of particular people in specific places and times. As a yoga instructor, I work with individuals in a particular place and time, so I am an active part of shaping their lives.”
“It is all very satisfying,” she said.
And that is not a stretch.
Teagan Schweitzer’s photo is on view at the lululemon store located at 1720 Walnut St. She is one of their five store Ambassadors. Aside from archaeology and yoga, Teagan also went to culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where she finished top of her class. And she continues dancing as much and as often as possible. Find out more about her yoga teaching at www.yogawithteagan.com.
Photos, top and bottom: Teagan Schweitzer in dancer’s pose before the Penn Museum’s Sphinx, the largest ancient Egyptian sphinx in the Western Hemisphere. Photo: Dominic Episcopo. Below: Teagan and Dr. Kate Moore, Director of the Zooarchaeology lab in the Penn Museum’s Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Material (CAAM), share a laugh. Teagan is holding up cow mandibles, or lower jaws, from the collection. Photo: Penn Museum.