The State Memorial and Natural Preserve "Museum-estate of Leo Tolstoy "Yasnaya Polyana"
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Exhibition “Life Is Motion”

11-previewOctober 5-27, 2013
Yasnaya Polyana, Volkonsky House

Opening: on October 4 at 14:00. Hours of operation of the exhibition: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 16:00. From Tuesday to Friday booking a visit in advance is necessary (+7 48751 76110); on Saturdays and Sundays admission without reservation.

Shortly before the relay of the Olympic torch whose way goes through the Yasnaya Polyana estate, we invite you to visit an exhibition about sports and their role in Leo Tolstoy’s life.  

Among the exhibits are documents, photographs, manuscripts from the collections of Tolstoy museums, and the writer’s personal items related to his interest in various sports.

Tolstoy always put special emphasis on the harmony of body and soul, on the “beauty within.” His understanding of physical health, which is maintained by following a regime and doing physical exercises, and healthy diet, was closely connected with moral self-perfection. In a letter to his doctor D.P. Makovitsky, Tolstoy wrote: “There are two ways to struggle with illnesses. One is to strengthen oneself to ward off disease (by living healthily), and the other is to cure the disease after you get it… The first way is slow, but it’s much more important.” Tolstoy believed any excess was bad and tried to “be closer to nature.” He was always concerned with self-improvement and tried to prove the direct connection between a person’s state of mind and physical health. And that work was never-ending: “The one who has improved himself cannot believe that the process of improvement is over.”

Tolstoy lived 82 years. And his life was so long in many ways due to his constant work on his own body and mind which went on until his death. “Effort is a necessary condition for moral improvement,” he wrote.

Tolstoy’s love of sports and his well-trained body let him do real work – physical labor which he valued higher than any other kind. The life of peasants was an integral part of his life. Tolstoy judged people by their attitude to labor. He thought that the more useful the work a person does, the more useful the person.

The authors of the exhibition not only want to tell its visitors about the role of sports in Tolstoy’s life, but also to use his experience to remind everybody about some simple rules. First of all, we should never give way to despair. There is always a way to change one’s life for the better and to start anew. Planning and schedules can be helpful, like the rules Tolstoy created for himself.    

Secondly, if we want to remain healthy and live long, we should stay active. Doctor D.V. Nikitin used to say that “in all his life and many years of practice” he had “never seen such a young and strong body of an old man, without any signs of age-related sclerosis: Lev Nikolaevich had strong muscles even in his old age and his skin still had the freshness of a healthy person.”

In addition, sports are important for a cheerful mood, which makes communication with other people easier. And sports are important not only for achieving certain results, and health, not just for living longer. For Tolstoy sport was never a goal in itself, but rather a life style, but his life’s goal was love for people.

After the exhibition is shown at Yasnaya Polyana, it will be displayed at schools in Tula and the region.

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