A few centuries after the time of classical yoga, yoga masters created a system of practices designed to rejuvenate the body and prolong life while rejecting the teachings of the ancient Yoga which aim to use the physical body as the means to achieve enlightenment. The new form called Tantra Yoga, with radical techniques to cleanse the body and mind, explore the physical-spiritual connections, breaking the knots that bind us to our physical existence. This body centered practices also the inspiration to the creation of Hatha Yoga.
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, yoga became to exposing to the world as yoga masters began to travel to the West, attracting attention and followers. The very first journey of yoga in the west began at the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago, when Yoga master – Swami Vivekananda wowed the participants with his amusing lectures on yoga and the universality of the world’s religions.
In the 1920s and 30s, Hatha Yoga was strongly promoted in India thanks to T. Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda and other yogis who opened the first Hatha Yoga school in Mysore in 1924 and the Divine Life Society on the banks of the holy Ganges River in 1936. They are considered father of modern yoga as produced three students increasing the popularity of Hatha Yoga, writing over 200 books on yoga, and established nine ashrams and numerous yoga centers located around the world.
The importation of yoga to the West used to be at a trickle until Indra Devi opened her yoga studio in Hollywood in 1947, attracting many more western and Indian teachers to become pioneers, popularizing hatha yoga and gaining millions of followers. Hatha Yoga now has many different schools and styles, although all of them share the emphasis on the aspects of the practice mind and body connections.