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Book: Yoga in Britain

Chapter: Yoga in Popular Music and 'Counter Culture' (the 60s and 70s)

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.33790


At the same time that yoga was expanding in the adult education sector, Indian spirituality was also becoming popular amongst counter cultural milieus of the late 1960s and 70s. Press coverage of music celebrity interest in Indian spirituality and yoga was initially scornful. Yet during this period, yoga and Indian religiosity became an increasingly acceptable way of looking outside British culture for inspiration. This chapter identifies The Beatles’ search for musical inspiration, the popularization of yoga via the Asian Music Circle, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) as being key influences in the increasingly mainstream attention to yogic practices. This chapter covers experiential centres such as Centre House, Muz Murry’s Gandolf’s Garden, the first Sivananda Yoga Centre and the Happy Healthy Holy Organization (3HO or Kundalini Yoga) becoming established in London.

Chapter Contributors

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