Today is the first International Day of Yoga to be celebrated all over the world.
For those of you who know about yoga, I'm sure it has touched you in some way for the better; even if it was a class taken on a whim at your local gym club and finding a mere moment of bliss in shavasana pose at the end of class. For me, I have been a follower since the early 80's when yoga asana practices and meditation classes were becoming more available in Tucson, AZ. Fortunately for me and everyone else in the US, the momentum of yoga that began here in the 60's and 70's kept moving forward and is now widely practiced.
Do you like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, The Beatles? Then you're going to love this book. I highly recommend "American Veda: From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation—How Indian Spirituality Changed the West." Author Philip Goldberg explains how and why yoga seems so familiar to us and why many of us call ourselves "spiritual but not religious" all because of yoga's influence. I had the pleasure of meeting him in person, listening to him lecture and attended his workshop here in Phoenix at Desert Song Yoga. Here is an excellent review of his book by Trycicle Magazine.
This book has inspired me to create a new series of illustrations. In 1893 Swami Vivekananda was the first of many from India to come to the US to bring the yogic philosophy called "Vedanta" to the American people. I was able to create my first animated gif too! Nothing fancy, but it was a first and fun-to-make!
If you too are a fan of yoga, I hope you get a chance to read this book; it will only inspire and confirm the path you have been drawn to. If you are new to yoga, you'll find out what all the excitement is about and why so many are on this path. Nameste.