If you’ve ever been to a candlelight service, you know how the magic works: A glow starts small and gets passed, from person to person, until the whole room is shining. The people we’ve profiled in this special section are remarkable because they are not only the source of a glow—a flame of creativity, knowledge, and wisdom—but they are also conduits, making sure that the flame gets passed along to others.
It can’t always have been easy. For as popular as yoga is now, just a few decades ago it was largely unknown on the global stage. Yoga is now a global phenomenon, making its way into the hearts and minds of millions—across cultures, continents, and religious beliefs. With so many people attuned to yoga’s transformative powers, there is ample reason to hope that the serenity and insights instilled by yoga practice could in fact bring about a more peaceable world.
Yoga’s soaring popularity has generated interest not just in the basic breathing techniques and asanas (physical poses) of the practice, but also in the philosophical and spiritual underpinnings of the ancient practice. It has spawned a growing regard for the principles of Ayurveda, affectionately known as “yoga’s sister medicine.” Today, about 20 million Americans practice yoga, and Ayurveda is one of the fastest growing medical traditions.
We salute the pioneers whose work has contributed so much to our awareness of yoga and Ayurveda. Through dedication, creativity, and innovation, they are together affecting a sea change in our modern habits of mind and body, and in our collective consciousness.