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Three decades before BKS Iyengar, Bishnu Charan Ghosh from Kolkata popularised yoga in the Western World!

21 June, 2023 09:55:57
Three decades before BKS Iyengar, Bishnu Charan Ghosh from Kolkata popularised yoga in the Western World!

Imagine 1930s Europe and USA. This was also a time when India was under the British rule and when Bengal was the seat of revolutionary movements. A clan that is usually thought these days to be less physically fit than their North Indian counterparts, Bengal was then the seat of Yoga, Lathi Khela and even wrestling, that needed extreme physical fitness and finesse. We often quote the name of BKS Iyengar and have a perception that he made yoga popular across the globe, but around three decades before Iyengar, there was a yoga guru from Kolkata, who popularised yoga in the Western World. Bishnu Charan Ghosh, who along with his son-in-law Buddha Bose toured the world from Europe, to Japan to USA popularising yoga, that they primarily used for therapy. They are the ones who told the world almost a century back that yoga can be practised to cure illness and chronic diseases.


Indeed, yoga is not practised only for physical fitness these days, but for various kinds of health problems as this ancient practice born in India has been proved to aid the treatment of various ailments. Long back in 1930s, Ghosh was aware of this wisdom and could even show stunts, thanks to his impeccable artistic muscles that he developed through yoga. When his disciple Buddha Bose joined his team of young men and women who travelled the globe performing the yogic stunts, Ghosh received a big boost. Bose later started staying with his guru at his Garpar home and married his daughter. Buddha Bose is thought to have popularised Hatha Yoga in the Western world. But he was keen to return to India and unlike later Indian yoga teachers who started schools in various countries, Bose chose to return after India’s independence. Unfortunately, he met with a plane crash and was crippled later. Yet, yoga helped him heal. 

Thus Kolkata was the seat of modern yoga. Experts like Bishnu Ghosh And Buddha Bose, who even coached Mr Universe Monotosh Roy, should not disappear into oblivion this World Yoga Day.    

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