The Goddess Pose

The Goddess Pose

The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West

Book - 2015
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"The incredible story of the woman--actress, dancer, yogi, globetrotter--who brought yoga to America and to much of the rest of the western world. Born Eugenia Peterson in early 20th century Russia, Indra Devi was a rebel from earliest childhood. In the 1930s she fled to Berlin, and then--driven by her passion for yoga and a fascination with yogic philosophy (and Theosophy)--she journeyed to India, at a time when unaccompanied young European women were unheard of. In India she performed perhaps her greatest feat--convincing even the most recalcitrant yogis, from Krishnamurti to Krishnamacharya, to reveal to her the secrets of their art. She would go on to share what she learned with men and women around the world--teaching Gloria Swanson and Greta Garbo in Hollywood, then moving to Mexico and later to Buenos Aires--helping to usher in the craze for yoga that continues unabated in the U.S. and throughout the world today. Written with vivid clarity, and describing the extraordinary spread and popularization of a philosophical movement, The Goddess Posebrings Indra Devi's little known but wholly remarkable story to life"-- Provided by publisher.
"Biography of Indra Devi, a European woman who, over the course of her century-long life, helped introduce yoga to the U.S"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2015
ISBN: 9780307593511
Branch Call Number: 613.7046 DEVI GOLDBER
Characteristics: 322 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

When the woman who would become Indra Devi was born in Russia in 1899, yoga was virtually unknown outside of India. By the time of her death, in 2002, it was being practiced everywhere, from Brooklyn to Berlin to Ulaanbaatar. InThe Goddess Pose, New York Times best-selling author Michelle Goldber... Read More »

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May 19, 2019

Indra Devi was the person responsible for making yoga popular. Born in 1899, she was a feminist from the get go. Well researched, the story was interesting.

SPL_Brittany Feb 26, 2018

What a life this woman has had! A well written biography by journalist Michelle Goldberg that follows the life of Eugenia Peterson and her transformation into Indra Devi - the woman who famously brought modern yoga to the west. You get a detailed look into her life as we follow her in her spiritual journey through the practice of Yoga. Devi also happened to live at the epicenter of many major historical events and movements in the 20th century and we get a brief history of the major players and context of the role that she played in each. Additionally it was fascinating to learn about yoga and how it was practiced and viewed within India, and how it became the yoga many know and practice today.

Sep 27, 2015

"The Goddess Pose," is billed as the story of Indra Devi,who helped bring Yoga to the West. Indra Devi however turns out to be much more. She is an "activator," who activates and quickens things wherever she goes. Either as a result of her presence or by coincidence, she is in the middle of historic events for almost a century (she lived to be over a 100) and the author has described these events in a very interesting manner. All this makes for great reading - even I who grew up in India learned a lot about Yoga Masters and "God-men" of that country from this book.

PimaLib_SusannahC Sep 02, 2015

The Goddess Pose is an interesting look at Indra Devi, a woman credited with popularizing yoga in the United States. Devi's desire to continually evolve and reinvent herself led to a very peripatetic life. Devi lived a spectacular life, coming into contact with many important figures throughout the 20th century. She appeared at almost every troubled hot spot - the Russian Revolution, pre-WWII Shanghai, post-WWII partition of India, Sri Lankan civil war...the list could go on. I thought it was fascinating how yoga how has evolved over time. What I often think of as "traditional" yoga incorporates all sorts of gymnastics and isn't nearly as ancient as people perceive. Yoga has continually adapted over time, losing its 'authenticity' and yet becoming more authentic. A nice combination of biography and social history.

Jun 28, 2015

NPR rec


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