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Yoga: Topics in Chronicling America

Yoga has reached America in the early 20th century but it wasn't widely well received at first. This guide provides access to materials related to "Yoga” in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"How young girls study the Hindoo method of rest and relaxation" April 11, 1909. The San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA), Image 12. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

Although sometimes praised for its inclusivity and calming abilities, the practice of yoga became more widely known as a controversial practice encouraged by fraudulent individuals. Marred by scandal, yoga became demonized in newspapers as a “cult.” Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


1905 Tantrik Order in America and the Tantrik Press are founded in by Pierre Arnold Bernard (the Great Oom) and assocates.
1910 Bernard founds the Sanskrit College in New York City.
May 1910 Two teenage girls accuse Bernard of "Sexual misconduct", causing a nationwide scandal.
1918 Bernard establishes Clarkstown Country Club in South Nyack, New York.