The history of Yoga, according to my ignorant mind: Yoga got its start in the early 1980s by a few Southern Cal vegan hipsters who wanted to, like, totally find inner-peace through deep breathing, sitting in a lotus position, and doing the “om” chant. Now for some reality: while it is true that yoga didn’t take off in America until the 80s, it’s actually an ancient Indian practice that originated 5,000 years ago. It’s evidently effective enough that on December 11, 2014 the UN passed a resolution (with a record 175 countries endorsing it) that recognized Yoga as providing “a holistic approach to health and well-being” and called for more awareness about its health benefits on the world population. Let’s take a look at 10 famous yoga gurus who left an indelible mark.
1. Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888-1989)
He’s considered the “Father of Modern Yoga” after all. He’s known for creating the Vinyasa method as well as the rival of Hatha. For most of his life he toured around India espoused the benefits of yoga as a means of restoring health. He was able to control his heartbeats and it is said that he could even hold the beats. Whatever he was doing it certainly worked. The guy lived to the ripe age of 100 after all.
2. Bikram Choudhury (1944)
He’s famous for introducing Bikram, which involves 26 types of postures (with each pose benefiting a particular part of our body) that are intended to be practiced in temperatures of 40°C with the goal of bringing the body back to the brain.
3. K Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009)
His method of yoga is known as Ashtanga Yoga, which is based on an ancient text called Yoga Korunta. Sting, Gwyneth Paltrow and Madonna were just a few of the adherents of his yoga practices.
4. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918-2008)
He could be considered the first Yogi of the stars, having attracted the attention of the likes of the Beatles with his transcendental meditation technique, which is a form of mantra meditation that is practiced with your eyes closed.