“Stretching to Bliss” The Great Oom’s Nyack Retreat and Birth of Yoga in America in 1924

Today on World Possibilities, we feature a segment from the series Action Speaks on underappreciated dates that changed America. This week’s underappreciated date is the creation of the first large scale yoga retreat and birth of yoga in America by ‘The Great Oom.’
We’ll discuss the creation of the first large scale yoga retreat in the United States, on the banks of the Hudson River township of Nyack, NY. Pierre Bernard was a Hatha Yoga instructor, a disciple of Tantric Yoga, a teacher and counselor to some of the wealthiest people in the United States as well as an aficionada of baseball and circuses. This everyday boy from the Midwest became the quintessential self-inventor and America s first home-grown leader of Yoga. Today the utopian world of yoga has evolved itself into mainstream American physical and consumer culture, but that is not without a darker dystopian history.

Featured speakers/guests:

Carol Horton (“Yoga Ph.D.: Integrating the Life of the Mind and the Wisdom of the Body”), Devarshi Steven Hartman (The Pranotthan School of Yoga), Swami Tyagananda (Ramakrishna Order).


Host & Co-Executive Producer: Marc Levitt; AS220 Artistic Director & Co-Executive Producer: Umberto Crenca; Managing Producer: Jacqueline Frole; Audio Engineer: Jim Moses; Media Partners: RIPBS and Providence Phoenix; Funders: Rhode Island Council of the Humanities and Robinson & Cole.

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