AMERICA

 

 

1785

Charles Wilkins translates the Bhagavad

Gita into English for the first time.

 

                         WILKINS

                         WILKINS

 

 

 

1849

Henry David Thoreau becomes the first

Westerner to write about a yoga practice.

 

 

“Depend upon it that, rude and careless as I

am, I would fain practice the yoga faithfully. . . 

To some extent, and at rare intervals,

even I am a yogi.” 

- HENRY DAVID THOREAU

 

 

 

 

1857

The Atlantic Monthly prints a poem by

Ralph Waldo Emerson entitled "Brahma".

 

 

 

 

 

1893

Swami Vivekananda represents Hinduism at the

World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago

and formally introduces the US to yoga.

 He addresses the group,

"sisters and brothers of America".

 

 

 

 

1903

 William Atkinson writes a series of books on

yoga under the pseudonym Yogi Ramacharaka.

 

                    ATKINSON

                    ATKINSON

 

THESE ARE THE FIRST YOGA BOOKS

WRITTEN BY AN AMERICAN.

 

100 YEARS AGO.

 

They're AMAZING.

 

Hatha Yoga or  

The Yogi Philosophy of Physical Well-Being

 

 

"Hatha Yoga is that branch of the Yoga

Philosophy which deals with the physical body -

its care, it's well-being, it's health, it's strength

and all that tends to keep it in its natural

and normal state of health.  

 

It gives a man a healthy body.

 A good instrument with which to work.

A fitting temple for the Spirit.

 

This exercise will fill the entire system with

prana.  The student will emerge with every

bone, muscle, nerve, cell, tissue, organ

and part energized.  Attuned by the

prana and their rhythm of breath.

A general housecleaning of the system.  

 

Practice it carefully and feel as if you have been

given a new body, freshly created,

from the crown of your head to the tips of your

toes.  We will let the exercise speak for itself."

 

- Yogi Ramacharaka

 

Other titles:


The Hindu-Yogi Science Of Breath
A Series of Lessons in Gnani Yoga
A Series of Lessons in Raja Yoga

 

 

 

 

1911-1919

Pierre Bernard opens a chain

of yoga schools in New York.

 

 

He studied the Vedic tradition and Hatha

yoga for 12 years with a Tantric Yogi

named Sylvais Hamati.

He taught yogic philosophy, asana, pranayama,

mantra, meditation, Sanskrit, etc.

 

In 1913, Bernard meets Blanche De Vries at one

of his yoga schools in Leonia, New Jersey.

 

 

"By 1914, Blanche had mastered Hatha Yoga so

well, Bernard put her in charge of his

yoga school for women."

 

"In February 1919, backed by several wealthy

patrons, De Vries opened an institute

teaching Yoga Gymnosophy - and here,

in a five-floor town house on

East Fifty-third Street, yoga took on its

most refined and modern incarnation to date."

 

"Students dressed in stockings or bloomers for

class and practiced on yoga mats.  Teachers

would verbally instruct small groups and

physcially assist those students

who needed extra help."

 

"De Vries, who was twenty-eight years old, now

managed twelve Hatha Yoga instructors

and they all met her exacting standards."

 

-Stefanie Syman  

 

 

 

 

 De Vries taught yoga for more than 60 years.

 

She passed away @ 93 in 1984.

 

 

"Yoga is a profound science

for integrating body, mind and spirit

into a harmonious whole."

-Blance De Vries

 

 

 

1936 - 1943

 

1936

Theos Bernard travels to

India & Tibet to study yoga.

 

                  

                  

 

Theos's father was Glen Bernard.

Glen visited India in the early 1920's.

He studied with Sri Yukteswar

(Yogananda's guru).

 

The yoga bug ran in the family.

Glen's half brother was Pierre Bernard.

Which makes Theos his half-nephew.

 

1939

Family Circle features Theos

on the cover of the magazine.

"Would yoga benefit you?, See page 14."

 

 

 

 

 

Fall of 1939.

Theos opens the

American Institute of Yoga in NY.

8 classes a month cost $20.

 

1943.

Theos gets a Ph.D. in religion

from Columbia University.

What did he do his doctorate on?

Hatha Yoga:  

The Report of a Personal Experience.

A commentary on the HYP

with citations from the GS & SS.

The work included photos of him in asana.

Some of the first photographs ever taken

of an American in a yoga pose.

 

 

 


Prior to the existence of a religion department, Theos Bernard pioneered Indian and Tibetan studies at Columbia University. As an explorer, Bernard was only the third American to ever set foot in Lhasa, Tibet, returning from his first expedition in 1937 with hundreds of volumes of books, film footage, and still photographs. The first American to be initiated into the rites of Tibetan Buddhism, Bernard published several accounts of the theory and practice of the religions of India and Tibet, including his PhD dissertation on hatha yoga. The founder of the first Tibetan Buddhist research institute in America, 

-Paul G Hakkett/Columbia250

 

 

"It should be thought very strange if one's hands and feet refused to behave, or behaved in a manner which showed that their owner had no control over them. Yet that is how too often human beings allow their most delicate instrument, the mind, to behave."

Theos Casimir Bernard (1908–47)

 

 

 

1961

Richard Hittleman stars in a nationally

broadcast television show called

Yoga for Health.

 

 

This dude is a BOSS.

 

He's responsible for helping yoga

reach "mainstream" in the US.

 

He wrote a library on the subjects

of yoga & meditation.

 

My favorite:

 

 

                       READ THIS BOOK

                       READ THIS BOOK

 

The future never comes; the past never was.  These are manufactured conveniences to facilitate the manipulation of mayic conditions.  If we make an effort to become very quiet in our bodies and to stop our thoughts for a few moments we may have an inkling that AWARENESS is occurring NOW.  Have we ever been AWARE at any time, in any dimension other than NOW?  The ordinary mind computer can spew forth all of the "facts" that comprise a "past", but we can be aware of these facts only NOW.  The ordinary mind computer can summon data from which it projects a "future", but are we aware of this future in the "future" or NOW?  We do not exist in time.  We exist only as SELF.  

... the Sanskrit term, maya, a fascinating word that is used to describe that state of consciousness in which the "deaf" man functions.  It is a state of illusion and forgetfulness, a type of hypnosis.  That is, a man, forgetting his true nature, his real identity, forgetting who he is, identifies himself with a body and a mind and attaches himself to the objects and conditions that his mind interprets as the world.  He then attempts to possess, manipulate and function among these objects and conditions in a way that he believes will result in his happiness and fulfillment.  This assumption constitutes man's "fall" and is responsible for all of his subsequent difficulties, which in oriental philosophies are described as "sufferings". 

...I become wholly immersed in mayic activities.  Seeking protection and aggrandizement of myself.  I contrive endlessly to experience pleasure without pain, happiness without despair, love without complications.  I engage in those activities which my reasoning, rational, logical mind and my emotions & senses have informed me will accomplish these ends.  In my state of maya I fail to understand that the selves I see all about me are also in this state of illusion and that the activities with which they are involved, those which their senses, emotions and reasoning minds have directed them to engage in, cannot lead to realization...

 

 

Other titles:

Yoga for Health

Introduction to Yoga

Guide to Yoga Meditation

Weight Control through Yoga

Yoga for Personal Living

Yoga: 28 day Exercise Plan

Guide for the Seeker

30 day Meditation Plan
 

 

 

 

 

1967

Elvis appears in Easy Come, Easy Go.

His character ends up in a yoga class.

He does some poses and sings a duet

called "Yoga Is as Yoga Does".

 

 

 

 

 

 

1975

The first issue of Yoga Journal.