After several years of very slow progress, the Women of Yoga project is taking a few big steps forward! There are currently two parts to this project.
The first is a biography of Reba Rakshit. Reba was a Bengali circus performer and yogi with a truly miraculous life story. She moved from Comilla (in present day Bangladesh) to Kolkata around the time of the partition of India. She trained with Bishnu Charan Ghosh and became a sought after circus performer, doing stunts like taking motorcycles and elephants on her chest. She became incredibly famous during her time, and was wooed by celebrities and royalty.
A publisher has just signed on to release Strong Woman, a book about her life. It is scheduled to be released in 2023! In the coming months I (Ida) will finish researching and writing this book.
It's amazing how history will keep surfacing if you keep looking for it. Just recently, I was able to find record of Reba Rakshit attending school in North Kolkata. (Thanks to the current principal of Peary Charan Girls school who sifted through years of records!)
The second part of the project is a formal research project into women in yoga. I'll be heading to Cambridge University shortly to start this project.
This project will look at how women were not included in the practices of hathayoga prior to the twentieth century. Then in the last 100 years, women began both practicing and teaching yoga.
This project will aim to shed light on this transition and illuminate the cultural forces that initiated this shift. I also hope to bring awareness to early female yoga teachers and the roles they played in charting this new territory.
More to come.
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