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Digital Subscriptions > OM Yoga Magazine > Sep-18 > A BRIEF HISTORY OF YOGA IN THE WEST


Part two: the rise and rise of postural yoga – the story up until 1960.

Part 2 of 5

Hatha yoga, the foundation of the postural yoga we practice today, began gaining in popularity from the beginning of the 20th century onwards. By the 1930s, it was on the rise.

Although it was presented to the West as exotic and part of an ancient Indian tradition, Hatha was strangely familiar. This is because it incorporated poses and techniques familiar to Western eyes from gymnastics and calisthenics. Advocates of Hatha tapped into the growing obsession with health and theories of mind-body connection becoming popular with both men and women.

Women, specifically middle-class women with time on their hands, were the ideal target audience for Hatha. The practice could be comfortably aligned with the popular systems of stretching and moving decorously that already existed for women.

Hatha also offered ideal content for the growing print media. It looked weird and wonderful and provided a great opportunity to show off beautiful, well -toned bodies.

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About OM Yoga Magazine

Welcome to our super September issue. Inside we’ve got a whole bunch of yoga goodies lined up for you. That includes a bumper 38-page special report looking at all things yoga for pregnancy and children. Whatever stage you’re at in your pregnancy journey, or even if you’re already snuggled up with your newborn on the sofa, then yoga’s got your back. And what a great thing to introduce to your new little cherub as they start to grow! Keeping up your practice (or starting one) during transitional times like this can be the difference between thriving and just surviving. Get your yoga glow on with OM. We’ve got plenty of other great yoga content packed with ideas, inspiration and incredible things. Have a fantastic month, folks.