By Radka Holisova
B.K.S. Iyengar was a leading figure in the creation of modern yoga. He was one of the most influential pupils of T. Krishnamacharya. The many serious illnesses that crippled his body fueled his fierce commitment and long dedication to the understanding and practice of yoga. He developed “Postural Yoga,” which formed the basis for the systematic discipline now known as “Iyengar Yoga.” This type of yoga highlights the integration of body, mind and spirit. It is based on the eight limbs of yoga as defined by Patañjali in the Yoga Sūtras. Although Krishnamacharya was often called “the father of modern yoga” , B.K.S. Iyengar too was often accorded this title latter in life due to the popularity and impact of his extensive writings and teachings.
By Tracy Sachs
Śri Aurobindo lived a colorful, multifaceted life. He was a scholar and a revolutionary; a poet and a politician; a yogi and a convicted traitor. Above all, he was a visionary propelled by possibilities of freedom – freedom for India, freedom for all the world’s people, and freedom for the human soul. Śri Aurobindo’s history is a complicated one. His legacy tends to be overlooked, but its presence lives on, and may prove to be a vital breath for the future of Yoga and its potential to serve as a vehicle for social change.
Bishnu Charan Ghosh and His Influence on Modern Postural Yoga
by Bonnie Knight
Elizabeth De Michelis gives a definition of Modern Postural Yoga in her book A History of Modern Yoga as “a stronger focus on the performance of āsana (yogic postures) and prānāyāma (yogic breathing) .” This paper will take a look at one particular yogi named Bishnu Ghosh and his influence on Modern Postural Yoga. The name Bishnu Ghosh is seldom heard among the names of yogis considered to have influenced our understanding of Modern Postural Yoga even though he is a contemporary to other well known Modern Postural Yoga teachers such as B.K.S. Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois. Bishnu Ghosh provides a linkage to the ancient tradition of Kriya Yoga through his family, as well as the development of the physical culture movement in modern India through his creation of the Ghosh College of Physical Education. He has also influenced the modern hatha yoga practices known in the western world through one of his students, a well known Modern Yoga teacher, by the name of Bigram Choudhury.
by Jake Jacobs
My introduction to yoga began in the late 1970’s with a 1/2 hour morning program on
KCET, the local PBS station, taught by a man credited with producing the first yoga
program on American Television; a prolific author of yoga books and audio/video on
Hathayoga’s asana and breathing practices, nutrition, meditation and yoga philosophy.
His name is Richard Hittleman (1927-1991) and as well known as he was then, he is all
but forgotten today. I was reintroduced to Mr. Hittleman recently, which triggered an
important memory and a bit of research confirmed why he got me into yoga; he taught a
complete life system, not an exercise class, in easy to absorb 30-minute chunks. One
thing he said about diet has stuck with me for ever since; eat nuts and legumes although it might have started with veggies. Reviewing a few of his books particularly Yoga for Health, I recognized that while modernized to speak to a 20th Century educated,somewhat elitist and spiritually searching audience, his teachings structurally align with the Hatha Pradipika (HP), leaving out the more religiously and ascetically influenced overtones to the extent of virtually ignoring the use of Romanized Sanskrit. Like the HP, he understood marketing as well as yoga.