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Book: Yoga in Britain

Chapter: Charismatic Gurus in Adult Education

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.33788


In addition to the efforts of the yoga enthusiasts detailed in the previous chapter, two highly popular Indian teachers changed the face of yoga by teaching in adult education venues, Yogini Sunita (1932-1970) and B.K.S. Iyengar (1918-2011). Both of these teachers attracted thousands of students to their classes. Yogini Sunita was based at the Birmingham Athletics Institute during the 1960s. While B.K.S. Iyengar’s was championed under the Inner London Educational Authority, gaining a monopoly on yoga classes in these publicly-funded inner London venues from 1969 to around 1980. This chapter focuses on the secular interests and pressures of that the structures of the educational institutes placed upon the yoga being taught and how these systematized and transformed the nature of yoga teaching and ‘teacher training.’

Chapter Contributors

  • Suzanne Newcombe ( - shn44) 'Open University and Inform, LSE'