Blame Vivekananda for all those yoga studios on your block

I’m not precisely sure of the reason for this article, but there’s a piece in Sunday’s New York Times on Vivekananda, who brought yoga to the West and America. It was he who came to Chicago 1893, wowed crowds, wowed the Harvard set, wowed the Hollywood types and “introduced” yoga.

My headline is drawn from a line in the piece. It also points out that “an exercise cult with expensive accessories was hardly what he had in mind.”

Apparently there will be big celebrations in a year and a half to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth.

Still, why this piece now? I don’t know, but it’s the New York Times. It’s yoga history. It’s Vivekananda.

So, it’s worth a read, right?

A key part:

For most of the rest of the month, Vivekananda held the conference’s 4,000 attendees spellbound in a series of showstopping improvised talks. He had simplified Vedanta thought to a few teachings that were accessible and irresistible to Westerners, foremost being that “all souls are potentially divine.” His prescription for life was simple, and perfectly American: “work and worship.” By the end of his last Chicago lecture on Sept. 27, Vivekananda was a star. And like the enterprising Americans he so admired, he went on the road to pitch his message — dazzling some of the great minds of his time.

Link is here.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

2 thoughts on “Blame Vivekananda for all those yoga studios on your block”

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