by Gordon Anderson
Sandow came from Prussia, he started as a circus and music-hall performer. But then in the late 1890s he invented something he called "body-building”. It caused a sensation throughout Europe and America - and he became a massive celebrity because he was seen as the leader of a crusade of Physical Culture that was going to stop the degeneracy that was plaguing Britain........In 1905 Sandow set up "The Empire and Muscle Competition", and then went off on a tour of the world. When he arrived in British India he became a sensation - thousands came to see him in his giant tent. He had arrived in India at a time of rising tension. There were growing protests against Britain's rule, and Sandow's gospel of strength now began to get mixed up with another ideology - Indian nationalism. In the next twenty years, as Britain's hold over India weakened, the culture of physical fitness that Sandow had brought to the country would re-emerge in a strange mutated form as a way of fighting against British rule. And in a further mutation this would lead to what we now know as modern “Power Yoga”.
The following quote is from an article about Sandow that was published in an Indian Newspaper
‘The essence of his system is to concentrate the mind upon the physical effort, so that mind and body may both work together to produce muscular development,’ commented an approving editorial in the Bengali newspaper. ‘It is the cooperation of the mind with the body that makes the system so unique and explains the great results that have been attaine
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