This paper explores the relationship between yoga and Los Angeles by focusing on the stories of Paramhansa Yogananda, Indra Devi, and Bikram Choudhury, immigrant yogis who arrived in Los Angeles at different points in the twentieth century to build and sell their own brands of yoga in a diverse, complex, and contested city. We offer a contextualized snapshot of yoga’s history in Los Angeles by interweaving brief biographies of each yogi with specific particularities characterizing Los Angeles at the time of their work and influence. Arguing that yoga has long been an important part of Los Angeles’ creative and cultural production, we engage with Allen J. Scott’s contention that the city functions as a “creative field” generating significant cultural and technological innovations. Themes of creativity, immigration, and globalization emerge when considering the impacts of Yogananda, Devi, and Choudhury on the evolution of yoga and the city of Los Angeles.


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pp. 82-97
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