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Documentary Educates Us On ‘The Uncommon Yogi: A History of Blacks And Yoga In The U.S.’

in YD News, Yoga Origins
Eartha Kitt, 1970s.

Eartha Kitt, 1970s.

The history of yoga is a fascinating and oft revered topic. How many times do you hear about the “ancient” and sacred practice that’s thousands of years old? And how this Eastern practice and philosophy made its way West to eventually evolve into what we’ve come to know as modern yoga? But what we know about western yoga is mostly white. What’s missing from the yoga conversation then, and many would say still now, is how the practice was experienced and elevated by black communities. This short documentary, The Uncommon Yogi: A History of Blacks and Yoga in the U.S. aims to uncover the history that has been buried through time but not lost.

The documentary is full of interesting and unknown facts like, did you know Paramahansa Yogananda set up a special study group for African Americans back in the 20s because segregation kept them from attending his talks? Or that Eartha Kitt was big into yoga? Or that jazz legend John Coltrane and his wife Alice explored meditation and Alice went on to become a guru?


And there’s so much more. We invite you to take 30 minutes out of your day to educate yourself.

From executive producer and executive director of the Black Yoga Teachers Alliance, Jana Long, The Uncommon Yogi: A History of Blacks and Yoga in the U.S.



6 comments… add one
  • asian

    1 Yoga Tip For a Tiny Belly
    is a natural way to help that process to take place.

  • Very worth watching! Thank you for helping to round out the American Yoga perspective.

  • Having listened to Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” while doing many hours of yoga practice, this documentary ties it all together. Many blessings for sharing this.

  • Wow this article was pretty cool. It’s nice to know how black people also participated in yoga. Love how inclusive this article is. We want to let you guys interested in yoga that I am starting an online marketplace called SportsWatcherss for all sports and fitness activities including yoga. You can sign-up today and receive $5 free for store credit. The site is http://www.sportswatcherss.com

  • Sounds like an interesting historical documentary

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