Indra Devi- A Learned Yoga Teacher
Indra Devi is a huge figure who helped to popularise yoga in the West, but now this is more of a history of this new age spirituality. She was born at Eugenia Peterson in the Riga, Latvia in the year1899 on May 12. She was the daughter of an aristocrat, a Russian and a Swedish banker. Indra Devi was married to Jan Strakaty and Siegrid Knauer.
At first, she came across the term “yoga” right in her early age teens. This happened back in Moscow, in the year 1914 that is when the elites of Russia’s silver age entertained the fascination with an esoteric. Aristocrats as well attended theosophical lectures and also learned to chant the term “Om” from the Georges Ivanovich Gurdjieff, a Greek-Armenian mystic who used to dress a silk bathrobe and the turban and gives classes in “sacred movement”.
Indra Devi began doing yoga after a few years, first in the Kuvalayananda’s ashram in the Bombay and then later with Krishnamacharya in the Mysore, who considered her as his only student, a female. After several months-long apprenticeship, she was encouraged to spread teachings to the world.
Her very first stop was in the city of Shanghai, where Devi’s husband was posted in 1939, where she taught yoga to foreigners and assorted diplomats for the duration of Japanese occupation. But her real calling came in California, as the very first yoga teacher in LA, teaching the Hollywood elites.
Best Indra Devi Quotations
“Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.”
“We must keep both our femininity and our strength.”
“Yoga is a way to freedom. By its constant practice, we can free ourselves from fear, anguish and loneliness.”
“Laughter drives shouting away.”
“Freedom is living without chains.”
“Yoga is an art and science of living.”
“Yoga means union, in all its significances and dimensions.”
“Men have to descend from their pedestal and learn how to be more broadminded and spiritual.”
“We women must listen to our inner voice. It is easier for women to do this as they are not afraid to say what they feel.”
“Women must not shout back when their husbands come home and shout at them for any reason.”
“Tell your husbands any bad news when everything is calm, not just as they come through the door.”
“I do not belong to any religion. Everything is between God and myself.”
“We’ve got our own daylight to get bad thoughts away, and we talk with that light – our star in our heart. We take away what’s unimportant.”