the history of yoga in america

Have you ever wonder about the history of yoga especially in America? It was not only long story but also amazed us. 
We all know about the benefits of yoga such as increase flexibility, reduce stress, improve blood circulation...Yoga is a 5000 years old system of mental and physical health originating in India. Back to 1800s, Swami Vivekananda – a religious teacher considered as a major force of Hinduism in modern India has introduced about the philosophy side of Yoga at Chicago. In pursuit of Swami’s footstep, a man - Yogendra Mastamani has set up a branch in New York in 1919 to promote the principle of Yoga. At that moment, Mastamani was one of the pioneered who introduced Hatha Yoga to the American.


History of Yoga in America

Then in 1924 the United States imposed quota on Indian immigration. For that reason, the Westerners who want to teaching yoga has to travel to East in order to reach the Yogis in India. Theos Bernard was one of the Westerner who across the seas to India and when he came back in 1957, he wrote entitled “Hatha Yoga”. It was a major resource book about yoga and is still read up to now. What a coincidence! In the same year, a Russian Yogi named Indra Devi opened a Hatha Yoga studio in LA and was notable as the first lady who brought yoga to American. 
One of the remarkable man who introduced more Americans to yoga than anyone else was Richard Hittleman. He came back to US after several years studied in India in 1950. The American society is influenced by his non-spiritual version of Yoga. He was not only sold a millions copy of his book but also he was the one who leaded a yoga program on television.  Even he was influenced by a spiritual yogi – Ramana Mahrshi but he presented a nonreligious yoga for American mainstream which focused much more on physical benefits.

Physical benefits

The early of 1900s saw a boom of fitness and body building across the US. American take care their physical body and mental as well. The expanding interest in physical exercise helped the rise of modern Hatha Yoga in America. Many teachers began focus on the asana side of Yoga beside of meditation and physical health.
American has been seen the fitness industry’s explosion during 1970s and the physical practice of yoga involved as well. “No pain, no gain” became a catchy slogan for American who wanted to rise in fitness related pain. For staying fit and heathy, you should suffer pain and overcome it. 
According to a report of yoga studios, more than 16 million yoga practitioners in America today. The yoga market become bigger and bigger day by day, it increases more than 87 percent from 2004 and still develop. Over 70,000 yoga instructors across the US. Today, yoga has become the lifestyle for most of Americans.
Yoga studios

Whether people are drawn to yoga for whatever reasons such as physical health, treatment, mind body connection…, it is clearly known as a best remedy for your soul and body as well. The vital key is that through yoga you will fell inner peace and self-knowledge.


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