WARMLY INSCRIBED BY INDRA DEVI, "THE MOTHER OF WESTERN YOGA"
(YOGA) STRAKATY, Eugenie (Indira Devi) [i.e., Indra Devi]. Yoga. The Technique of Health and Happiness. Allahabad: Kitabistan, (1948). Octavo, original blue cloth. $1850.
First edition of this photographically illustrated guide by the woman sometimes described as "the mother of western yoga," with photographic frontispiece portrait and 17 photographic illustrations of yoga poses and two line drawings, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: "To Bruce Lansbury with all good wishes & thanks for the kind help with the classes. Sincerely Indra Devi, 27-VII-52, Hollywood."
Born in Riga in 1899, Eugenie Peterson sailed to India in 1927 and adopted a Hindu-sounding stage name to act in Indian films: Indra Devi. The Yoga guru Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya accepted her as a student, and by 1938 she became the first foreign woman among dedicated yogis. While in India she studied alongside renowned yogis B.K.S Iyengar and K. Pattabhi Jois as well. After the sudden death of her husband in 1946, she left for the United States and by 1948 had opened a yoga studio in Hollywood. This is Devi's first book, and appears to be inscribed to someone involved with her Hollywood studio, as a fellow teacher or perhaps in an administrative capacity. Devi—often referred to as Mataji, or "mother"—died in Buenos Aires in 2002, at the age of 102.
Toning to first and last few leaves, expert repair to text block and inner hinges, some soiling and wear to cloth. A very good inscribed copy.