Virtual Satsang

Resources for the community of seekers

Teaching Yoga in India, Back in the day

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The recent “Take Back Yoga” campaign had me thinking of the plight of yoga and yoga teachers in India, 50-60 years ago. Long before yoga exploded in the West, yoga wasn’t getting much support and attention in India either. In addition, recent research has shown that the relationship between modern asanas sacred texts aren’t as strong as previously claimed. So to me, the “Take Back Yoga” campaign is most likely just a clever marketing campaign.

From B.K.S. Iyenggar’s Light on Life, page 53:

… As I have said, society as a whole thought that anyone who wanted to make a career as a yoga teacher was mad as well as a good for nothing. The climate of opinion was that it was acceptable to become a priest or a renunciate, but yoga as a profession was beyond pale. An even greater source of pain was my family’s disapproval and ostracism.

… Hindus are also traditionally forbidden to cross the sea. After my first teaching trip to England in 1954, I stopped in Bangalore to pay my respects to my maternal uncle. He refused to even let me in the house.


Written by virtualsatsang

February 9, 2011 at 7:35 am

Posted in History, Yoga

2 Responses

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  1. […] Iyengar asks “Why is the West Interested in Yoga?” Some passages reminded me of the “Take Yoga Back” campaign . As far as Iyengar’s prediction that the West would one day influence Yoga in South Asia, […]

  2. […] Student”, pages 20-23, Yoga Journal, Sep/Oct 1977). Yet another essay affirming that the “Take Back Yoga Campaign” is 33 years late to the party! Our educational authorities are still debating the propriety and […]

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