Click the link above to see a timeline of yoga history in the United States!
We are so young, it’s true. Some cultures started literally thousands of years ago; histories date back to biblical times and before that, with ancient legends of mystic gardens and brutal wars, but the United States? We date back a whole 250 years.
God, we are like, sooooo behind.
Similarly, we got a bit of a late start to the yoga culture as well. Yoga is one of the ancient arts, dating back 3000 years to its traditional roots. The United States didn’t even have a Swami in its midst until 1893, when Swami Vivekenanda came to Chicago. It wasn’t until 1947 until Indra Devi brought hatha yoga to the United States, opening the first hatha studio in the west. Consequently (and ironically), I thought yoga in the United States was actually younger than that. That means that my grandma could’ve been a yogi as early as her her late teens and early twenties, being the first generation of yogis in the United States.
So how did it take so long to catch on, and then over quadruple in size in just ten years?
Media, my friends.
It’s really amazing (and quite funny) to think that there was a TV show in the 70s about yoga. Did a lot of people watch it? Was everyone wearing brightly colored spandex and headbands with their big hair? I hope so.
But with the advent of social media and the Internet in general (and, you know, the US catching up with the times), yoga has spread across the continental United States as it gains attention for its various health benefits, both physical and mental. I know I don’t have to list this all for you, since you all already know, but seriously, how did it take us this long to figure out how great it is?
Better late than never though, right?
Namaste. Have a great week, y’all.