East Meets West

Nineteenth-century America was largely unfamiliar with Eastern thought. Then, in 1893, Swami Vivekananda addressed the Parliament of Religions, causing quite a sensation. He quickly became a popular figure and was followed by a number of other

Kundalini is energy that lies curled like a snake at the base of the spine and can be awakened through various techniques and movements, after which it travels up the spine, activating the chakras. Kundalini Yoga is specifically designed to release this energy and channel it.

Know Your Sanskrit

Kundalini is energy that lies curled like a snake at the base of the spine and can be awakened through various techniques and movements, after which it travels up the spine, activating the chakras. Kundalini Yoga is specifically designed to release this energy and channel it.

swamis who came to the United States to teach and guide Westerners along the Eastern path of yoga. Swami Vivekananda was followed by many other gurus who came to the West and profoundly influenced their followers, such as Swami Para-mahansa Yogananda, Swami Sivananda, and many more.

The 1960s rock group The Beatles became interested in Eastern thought and even visited India, befriending Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. George Harrison in particular was fascinated with Indian culture. He became enamored with the sitar (a Hindu stringed instrument that looks a little bit like a mandolin), and was one of the first to bring sitar music into rock and roll. The Beatles, through songs such as "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and "Within You, Without You," introduced Hindu melodies to modern music and opened Westerners' minds to different sounds and new experiences.

The Maharishi came to the West in 1959. America's "hippie generation" took to yoga in the 1960s, perhaps because traditional values were being questioned and yoga offered an alternative set of values attractive to spiritual seekers. After a few decades of excessive materialism and a world of violence, drug abuse, broken families, and the notable absence of any firmly held spiritual beliefs, yoga is more popular than ever before. We are seeking the spiritual with new vigor as an answer to a world we can't control.

The Chakra Checklist

The Chakra Checklist

The chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the base of the back to the top of the head. New Age practices frequently associate each chakra with a particular color.

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