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Where Started

When traveling Canada be it, Vancouver, Victoria , Kamloops, Banff, Jasper, Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Regina, Saskatoon,  Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, London , Halifax, St Johns  or abroad in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Bali, Thailand, Costa Rica New Zealand, Greece I tell the same story, yogas foothold in North America began in 1893.

This is when Swami Vivekananda gave his address at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. This was first contact for North America with an ancient and mysterious tradition.

Swami

Swami Vivekananda had many students, and one of them made the trip to America 27 years later. In 1920 Sri Paramahansa Yogananda made an address to the conference of religious liberals in Boston.

Sri Yoganandas mission specifically was to spread the message of Kriya yoga with the west. He shared Yoga through speeches, and through authoring many books. Arguably the most popular of which, Autobiography of a Yogi, remains a popular read to this day.

From the late 1920’s on, the cultural exchange between North America and India grew. Many Americans travelled to India to learn from the Yogic Gurus. A select few were trained by the masters and returned to write books and teach the west about what they had learned. This continued for several decades.

The Next Shift

The next big shift in popularity for yoga came between 1950 and 1970. Books published by B.K.S Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois hit the shelves, and people like Richard Hittleman pushed for Yoga on Public TV.

Yoga was hitting the mainstream day by day, but it was not until 1968 when The Beatles traveled to India, did the western world get drunk on the East. The origins of yoga teacher training in North America began at this time.

Practices such as Yoga, and meditation became ever more popular and trendy. This increase in popularity drove the birth of numerous Yoga studios across North America, starting in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, San Diego first.

As the years past and the Yoga movement remained strong. It was around this time that the advent of newer styles of yoga started cropping up. Adaptations on the practice, although new, had taken a hold of a new subculture of Yogi.

1980s To Today

Into the 1980s and beyond Yoga began to be shared through the latest media technologies. At home Yoga VHS, and later DVDs gave birth in part to the strong trend of Self Study ytt’s we see today.

The convenience and power of a Yoga class in the comfort of one’s home meant even more people practicing. This trend has only continued to grow up to the present day.

With companies like Gaia Tv, and others providing a variety of teachers at the click of a button, accessibility is better than ever. We are at the cusp now of a new age of Yoga.

Today’s new technologies sit primed to transform the practice and transmission of Yoga worldwide. What is the future of yoga? Only time will Tell.