This blog corresponds to our "Traveling Through the Decades" series on the Yoga World Podcast. Available now on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
History is shaped by people and events. Over time, these moments accumulate and we recognize them as important and meaningful. Through the lens of Ghosh Yoga history, the first main character to bring attention to is none other than Bishnu Charan Ghosh. The events of his life paved the way for the Ghosh tradition of yoga.
When you walk around North Kolkata today, you will easily find people who remember Bishnu Ghosh. "Oh yes! He would always host events in the neighborhood," they might say. Or, "He was a very convincing character! Everyone wanted to be around him." Bishnu Ghosh was a showman, a teacher, a promoter, a performer and much more.
He was born into a family of yogis in 1903. Practices of Kriya yoga and bhakti (devotion) were common in the Ghosh family house. This had a great effect on the family, including Bishnu's older brother Mukunda Lal Ghosh, later known as Paramhansa Yogananda.
As a young man, somewhat skinny and unwell, Ghosh was transfixed by performances of muscle control and bodybuilding. Bayam (exercise) was quite popular at the time, and as a young man Ghosh developed a keen interest in it.
By the 1920s, Ghosh was involved in the All Bengal Physical Culture Association and started his own gymnasium: Ghosh's College of Physical Education.
While his interest was primarily on developing physical strength and control as a young man, as the years passed he grew interested in development beyond just musculature.
Ghosh published two books about physical practice, Muscle Control & Barbel Exercises (along with Keshub Sen Gupta) and Yoga Cure in 1961.
Known for his ability to spot talent and develop it, he trained many students who became great teachers in their own right.
Bishnu Ghosh passed away on July 9th, 1970 though Ghosh's College stands strong today.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are scholars as well as practitioners of yogic postures, breath control and meditation. They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga.
- The 113 Postures of Ghosh Yoga
- Make the Hamstrings Strong, Not Long
- Understanding Chair Posture
- Lock the Knee History
- It Doesn't Matter If Your Head Is On Your Knee
- Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
- 5 Reasons To Backbend
- Origins of Standing Bow
- The Traditional Yoga In Bikram's Class
- What About the Women?!
- Through Bishnu's Eyes
- Why Teaching Is Not a Personal Practice