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YOGA in the West

by Mukta Being |

Yoga has a long and rich history that dates back thousands of years. It originated in ancient India and has been practiced for centuries as a means of spiritual and physical development. Yoga consists of a series of physical postures, breathing techniques, and meditation practices that are designed to improve flexibility, strength, and relaxation.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, yoga began to gain popularity in the West.One of the first people to bring yoga to the West was Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu monk and philosopher who traveled to the United States in 1893 to speak at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago. He introduced yoga and Hindu philosophy to Western audiences and helped to establish the Vedanta Society, a Hindu religious organization that promotes the study and practice of yoga.

Over the years, other teachers and gurus, such as Sri Aurobindo and Krishnamurti, also traveled to the West and introduced yoga to a wider audience and in the 1950s and 1960s, yoga experienced a surge in popularity in the United States and Europe, largely due to the influence of the counterculture movement and the work of influential yoga teachers such as B.K.S. Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois..

Today, yoga is widely practiced in the West and has become a popular form of exercise and stress management. It is taught in studios, gyms, and fitness centers and is often integrated into other fitness practices, such as Pilates and martial arts. Many people turn to yoga as a way to improve their physical health and well-being, as well as to find peace and tranquility in a hectic world.

While yoga has become mainstream in the West, it is important to remember its roots and the spiritual traditions from which it originated. What we've shared makes up a very small part of yoga's history. Whether you are a seasoned yogi or a beginner, approach your yoga practice with respect and an open mind, and to remember that yoga is much more than just a physical exercise – it is a way of life and a sacred practice based on ancient teachings.