The West’s First Yoga Master Of India

Paramahansa Yogananda was the first yoga master of India to take up permanent residence in the West. Born and raised in 1893 in Gorakhpur, he arrived in America in 1920, and proceeded to travel throughout the United States, filling large halls, on what he coined his “spiritual campaigns.”

He founded Self-Realization Fellowship (the first center was located in Boston, MA) to disseminate worldwide his teachings on India’s ancient science and philosophy of Yoga and its time-honored tradition of meditation.

Yogananda’s spiritual legacy has had a lasting impact on Western culture. His Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946, helped launch a spiritual revolution in the West. It has since been translated into multiple languages, and remains one of the best-selling spiritual classics to date.

Yogananda continued to lecture and write until to his passing in 1952. To read more about Paramahansa Yogananda’s biography, visit the site here.

My First Introduction to Yoga

My first introduction to yoga was through my mother, in the early ’90s.  My family and I were living in Brunei, South East Asia, at the time and lived in the same housing complex as K. R. I. Jagadish – an Ayurveda master from India.


Jagadish, or ‘Jag’ as he is affectionately known as, offered Ayurveda therapy in his home to locals and ex-pats. My mother would sing his praises – Jag could heal holistically, without pharmaceutical drugs. Nutrition, yoga and massage were the main components of his practice, along with herbology and aromatherapy.  Holistic health, nowadays being quite mainstream, was a new experience for many western ex-pats living in Brunei. How fortunate they were to learn from such an amazing practitioner!

During my early teens, now back in Victoria BC, my mother once again attempted to show me the benefits of yoga, but I was resistant.  Perhaps I was too young to understand yoga’s benefits or had too much energy and not enough focus. Now, being in my mid-twenties, I have started practicing yoga as often as I can.  Yoga is truly about being in the moment and listening to your body.  I have listened to my body, and my moment to dedicate myself to practicing yoga is now.

For more information about Jag Therapy, visit the website:

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