Yoga is a part of the Hindu culture and Gandhi was a Hindu. Having said that for the record he was a yogi!  

Early Life

Before Gandhi was “Gandhi Gandhi”, he was actually trained to be a barrister (i.e a lawyer). He did his training in England and for the first 2 years after graduating from law school, he lived in London.

He spent those years trying to fit in with English culture of that time. He had an overcoat, a cane with a silver topping, and even took singing lessons, but Gandhi never felt like he fit in. This made him move back India.  And when he went to present his first legal case – to speak before a judge – he was unable to speak at all.  

South Africa

Gandhi was about 25 by now, and even up to that time, he  was still somewhat naive. So failing to get another legal job in India, he took a job in South Africa. So he  being a barrister, he booked himself a first class train ticket. So when he arrived by ship in Cape Town, he  proceeded to go into the first class department on the train from Cape Town to Joburg.

What Gandhi did NOT know (again naive) was South Africa at that time was under an apartheid system.  Remember Gandhi was dark skinned. So him being in first class on the train caused an uproar. A white woman who was also in first class complained to the conductor and Gandhi was asked to go back to third class. He refused and was violently thrown off the train. His pride and sense of justice was insulted, and that experience began his journey.

So for a next  couple of years, in South Africa, he organized and  protested peacefully against the apartheid system. This was with other dark skinned men and women, not just blacks.


After a few  years in South Africa, he moved back to India to deal with the issue of British occupied India. At this time,   Indians were second class citizens in their own country.

And over the next 20 years, he challenged the dominant British rule in many ways, and it was the combination of and Gandhi’s pushing and challenging the British rule that eventually lead to the British giving up on ruling India.

Gandhi in india

And in 1947 India became independent. Gandhi died a few years later and touch many people. He was for over half his life living yoga: doing yoga daily, meditating and living the Yamas and Niyamas.

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