Yoga, the new Starbucks. It seems like there’s a studio on every block. Hot yoga. Hatha Yoga. So many kinds of yoga. You might be surprised to find out then, that yoga has really only been around stateside since the 1940s.
And we have a woman to thank. Born in Russia as Eugenie Peterson, the mother of yoga eventually escaped to Berlin with her mother as a result of the Bolshevik rule in 1917. Revolution and escape to a new homeland? No wonder she needed yoga.
At 15 Eugenie developed initial interest in Yoga and India. In 1927 she arrived in India, changed her name to Indra Devi, studied yoga with a guru, and met her first husband, Jan Strakaty. Ya know, the usual.
She opened studios first in China, then Hollywood, Mexico and Argentina. So basically this girl travelled and took over the world.
In 1987 while living in Argentina, she was elected president of honor of the International Yoga Federation and Latin American Union of Yoga. NBD. Muy bien.
So the next time you’re sweating it out/ want to kick over the dude in the front who can do a perfect headstand and is more flexible than spaghetti , remember to thank Indra Devi, the one who made that opportunity possible. And remember that he may have perfect form, but you have the cutest yoga pants.