The Yoga Teacher in New York

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The Yoga Teacher in New York

Last Free Dates: 29th May 18 to 2nd Jun 18
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...A short story on yoga and life in New York.which fails to truly engage...

Neelakantha, a Yoga teacher for a small community, a is newly arrived in America, with grand ideas of being able to teach the west understanding of yoga and its principles and to make his life there. Sponsored by a local businessman, Dr Bannerjee, he sets up a temple and workshop and begins classes for those around him in an attempt to improve their lives, to varying degrees of success. As he becomes more famous, Sudheshna, Dr Bannerjee’s daughter falls in love with him and their marriage is arranged as he now struggles to relate his ideals and religion with the more modern day New York and the expectations of his family.

This is an curious tale and I am not sure how much of it is biographical and how is is fictional. The writing style takes a little time to get used to, being fairly dry which can be difficult to follow. This is very much a first person story, and you get to see and understand all the ups and downs of his life, as well as flashbacks to earlier times as well as explanations of the social pressures he feels. In some ways this is a shame because there are many other characters in there but are used far more as ciphers for our protagonist and you learn so very little about them. The plot is fairly simple following the guru’s life from the time he reaches America and onwards for several years. The precis says that it gives insights into yogi practices, but in such a short story what little there is becomes a taster for readers to go and look up more on yoga and its history.

In the end, I came away more confused than anything about the book. In trying to tell both a story and provide insight, it has not managed to do either well leaving me a little flat after reading it.

Rating: 2
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