As a nation, the U.S. is known for its love of wellness and fitness. It’s not surprising that yoga has become one of America’s favorite practices – so much so that it was recently named the most popular workout in the country! But how did this ancient practice spread from India to America? And who can we thank for spreading such an important message? Find out in this blog post.
Yoga was first introduced to the U.S. in 1893 by Swami Vivekananda
Yoga has been practiced in the U.S. for over 100 years, and it’s gaining popularity among people of all ages. Swami Vivekananda first introduced it at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893.
He spoke about the benefits that yoga could have on a person’s body and mind if someone were to practice it regularly.
Yoga has become more popular today because there is evidence that regular yoga can reduce stress levels, improve sleep quality, help with weight management, boost immunity, prevent heart disease and cancer-related deaths, as well as many other health benefits.
Yoga is a natural remedy that can help you reach your fitness goals and beyond. It has been shown to reduce blood pressure, blood sugar as well as aid in improving mental health issues such as anxiety and depression through regular practice.
On June 21 of every year, millions of people around the world participate in a global celebration called International Day Of Yoga. It was first proposed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 12-10-2014 and has since been celebrated annually with large crowds stretching through postures at San Francisco’s Marina Green park or New Delhi’s Rajpath boulevard to show their dedication towards inner peace and personal growth.
Also of interest: Gentle Yoga: Practicing the Form of Slow, Soft and Gentle Yoga
The first yoga studio in America opened in Hollywood, California
One day, in the 1950s, a tall American woman walked into an Indian temple. She was Indra Devi, and she had traveled to India for her next book. What she found there would change not only her life but also that of many others around the world – including you!
When Indra Devi opened her yoga studio in Hollywood, the town’s housewives from New Jersey to Texas were standing on their heads in their bedrooms. Her three popular books had made them curious, and they wanted more than what was available locally, so she took a risk as the first Westerner to study with Sri Krishnamacharya, which led him to become known as “the grandfather of American Yoga.”
Devi’s promise that yoga would defend against aging and illness had caught the attention of many American housewives and certainly in Hollywood, where she opened the first yoga studio. It started to garner more interest when top stars like Gloria Swanson expressed their support for this ancient practice.
The Beatles – Yoga Fans in the 1960s
The Beatles first met the Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in 1967 and were fascinated by his techniques of Transcendental Meditation (T.M.). They visited a spiritual training camp he set up in Rishikesh, India, only two years later!
The Beatles were profoundly influenced by their time with the Maharishi. They had been inspired by his words on much of The White Album, which also helped popularize yoga in the West. They did so not only by influencing other musicians to explore Eastern philosophy but also because they played a part in making Rishikesh such an important stop for Westerners interested in India’s ancient culture.
When people heard that John Lennon was doing T.M. coursework at one point or George Harrison became involved with Indian music after meeting Krishna Das Kirtan artists Trilok Gurtu and Lakshmi Shankar via international trade routes.
The popularity grew from there- especially as Michael Jackson mentioned he wanted to learn more about meditation during interviews around 1984.
Also of interest: Common Types of Yoga Mats – Which Style should you get and use?
1970 – Iyengar brought his form of Hatha Yoga to America
In 1966, B.K.S Iyengar’s Light on Yoga was published in the United States, which is still considered a Bible for serious Asana practice today and has been credited with being one of many factors that led to an increased interest in yoga across America during this time period.
In 1973 he traveled halfway around the world from his home country India where he had established himself as a guru following a series of events described by some, referring to them as miracles. He was teaching Westerners who were interested in what it can do for their bodies according to anatomy precision guidelines set forth by him at Ann Arbor, Michigan, under invitation given by Mary Palmer. She was the leading mother figure involved with establishing the first-ever school dedicated solely towards instruction about Anatomy Precision Guidelines.
Today – over 20 million People Practice Yoga in the United States
The popularity of yoga has continued to grow as more Americans are jumping on the bandwagon. But it’s not just its physical benefits that make it appealing, but also for how much easier you can find peace in this digital age where stress seems to follow us everywhere we go.
Yoga has been around for centuries and is highly popular. There are over 6,000 yoga studios in the U.S., with about 30 million Americans practicing it each year. This number only continues to grow as more people turn their focus on self-care rather than turning solely inward as many did before 2010 when there was a considerable rise of “selfie” obsession that studies showed had no benefits at all. The popularity of this ancient practice can be seen by the fact that $16 billion were spent recently every year alone on classes, clothing, equipment, or accessories just from American’s!
It’s never been easier to learn yoga with the help of apps. In addition to popular in-person classes, you can now use a number of mobile applications and programs that will allow you to do your own personalized practice at home or on the go. This global trend is predicted only to continue as more people recognize how beneficial it for their physical health and wellness!
Also of interest: How to Practice Yoga Without a Mat – Yoga Mat Alternatives!
Yoga going Forward
Swami Vivekananda would find the idea of yoga as a physical practice, something that he himself did not do, odd. The Swami was more interested in how it helped people connect with their spirituality and understand India’s culture better by looking at its philosophy from different perspectives.
You may have never heard about this Indian monk who came to America over 100 years ago, but his efforts are what led us to where we are today when it comes to Yoga – A popular form of exercise for many Americans across all races/ethnicities!