Publisher's note: The following are but a few of the letters in praise of Indra Devi's popular and effective method of teaching Yoga, and in appreciation of her first book, Forever Young, Forever Healthy.1
Tel Aviv, Israel
Dear Indra Devi:
There are no words to tell you what Yoga has done for us. I simply do not know what would have happened to us without it, for it has brought not only happiness but an entirely new existence.
The Headstand and other exercises actually saved my husband's life when he was suffering a severe form of nervous depression and was on the verge of suicide.
I am unspeakably happy to have had the chance to study Yoga with you. My husband and I are able to teach it to other people and help them. Both of us and our students are eagerly awaiting the publication of your new book.
With all best wishes,
I am so deeply grateful for the exercises you taught me.
I wish that I were more faithful in doing them. I regularly do some of them, but alas, not all. Time seems always to plot against me. But the pain in my back has gone, and I feel so much better.
Devotedly, Ellen Carpenter
lEnglewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1953.
Tarrytown, New York
Dear Madam Devi:
This is just a line to let you know how much I have enjoyed your book Forever Young, Forever Healthy. It agrees in every respect with our own philosophy of life. I have studied Yoga before, but never realized the importance of the various headstands and exercises—being a barbell fan myself. However, I am adding your exercises to the barbell and must say they are tremendous.
As you say, they are not for the mollycoddled who are too lazy and have too much lead in their system to go to the trouble of doing them. They have only themselves to blame for a feeble, senile, foggy-brained old age and plenty of doctor's bills.
Robert G. Collier
New York City
Yoga does not need me to enhance its value, except for those who think that miracles do happen without effort and faith.
As you know, X-rays of my spine showed several calcium deposits. They were caused by two severe automobile accidents and a fall which aggravated my shocked condition, making an abdominal operation necessary.
Yoga exercises under you, plus my conscientious continuance of them at home, completely healed not only the spine but also all traces of scars. I recovered full use of the intestinal tract together with the natural functions of muscles atrophied by adhesions formed after operations.
Full coordination and use of movements in the dance have been restored naturally. With bodily health, my creative energies have been channeled into a new field—I started clay modeling for my own enjoyment and am already exhibiting now.
My own father-in-law, who is a doctor, was delighted at my finding a true teacher of Yoga who impressed me into never giving up its practice since it would keep me always in good health.
Dear Miss Devi:
It was a great pleasure to meet you and to have you lecture at the Brooklyn Lodge of the Theosophical Society.
After hearing your lecture and seeing you demonstrate some of the genuine Yoga exercises, I decided to join one of your classes. I am thankful that I did so. The benefits, in such a short time, have been many. I had been suffering for several years from constipation of a most stubborn nature, exaggerated perhaps by the menopause. After the first exercises on Monday, I had real relief. To my surprise, a headache which had been bothering me for some ten days disappeared immediately after the first set of exercises that same day.
That evening I fell asleep much more quickly than I had in many months. I slept well all that night and felt well and strong the next day. These benefits have continued with the extra good fortune of getting rid of seventy-five per cent of the hot flashes and profuse perspiration day and night which had been destroying my health and disposition for over four years! I have had four lessons to date, and each week after attending your classes the defects just mentioned disappear more and more. I intend to follow the course until I am one hundred per cent healed!
What I have accomplished with your assistance during these few weeks is nothing short of miraculous! My nights were nightmarish with so many flashes and dripping perspiration winter and summer. During the day, my work exhausted me. Now all this has changed. I am being transformed day by day, it seems, thanks to you.
With kindest wishes and greetings to you, I am,
Mrs. Maria F. Willis
Post Office, Entumeni Zululand,
My dear Madam Devi:
Not so long ago, I came across your article on deep breathing . . . whereupon I immediately ordered your book. Its clear, simple and intelligent approach to Yoga impressed me so much that it prompted me to write you. I decided to order a supply so that people could get their copy without too much delay. It may please you to know that you have already acquired many ardent followers here in South Africa.
I am so thankful to say that the dull pain at my left side, in the kidney region, has subsided, and I feel so much better for doing the rhythmic breathing exercises for a few minutes twice daily. I am timing them to my walking pace when going to my office (I am an engineer here and live within walking distance). I have found that my eyesight is better although I have been taking the exercises for only eleven weeks.
Let me congratulate you and thank you for writing such a splendid and useful book. It has become a textbook for most Yoga teachers here.
Cecil F. Wickes
After reading Smith's, Koussevitsky's, and St. Denis' letters in your book Forever Young, Forever Healthy, I felt like expressing my gratitude in writing, too. Your classes have changed my outlook on life so completely that I anxiously await each new glorious day with enthusiasm and optimism. I enjoy your classes so much because they have given me a sense of confidence, poise, peace, and contentment within my body, mind, and spirit which was unknown before or which was believed impossible of achieving. My meals taste better and digest better, my daily work goes more smoothly with fewer mistakes and frustrations, my ability in sports shows improvement, sickness rarely keeps me from my work or causes me expense, new opportunities for success seem to be opening up all around me, and successful people seem to be drawn into my acquaintance who are helping me and whom I am helping by bringing them to your wonderful classes. What I like most about your breathing exercises and postures is that: they are so simple and easily done once learned; they can be done at home or while traveling, either indoors or out, without complicated equipment, charts or expensive apparatus of any kind; they provide well-rounded daily exercise of the entire body as well as the mind and give you a feeling of determination and confidence in life.
My father, Bernarr Macfadden, who has studied exercise, diet, meditation, and fasting for fifty years . . . praises very highly the knowledge of body, mind, and spirit that you are teaching.
Most respectfully yours,
Dear Madame Indra Devi:
I am pleased to know of the plan for continuance of your classes which will beyond doubt prove beneficial to all participants as it has done for me.
It is with deep humility and gratitude that I take this opportunity to personally acknowledge the valuable effects of your high consciousness and splendid instruction of Yoga exercises.
Just a little more than three years ago it became necessary for me to undergo an operation for the removal of a tumor on the colon and intestinal tract. In the course of the operation the nerves in that region had to be severed, depriving me of natural elimination.
About two weeks after joining your classes and following the exercising instructions, I began to enjoy natural elimination again and I am happy to report that this condition has steadily improved.
I am indeed thankful beyond expression for the Divine guidance and wisdom which led me to you.
Dear Miss Devi:
I am a Methodist minister, seventy-two years of age. I suffered from sciatic rheumatism several years ago, and it left a stiffness in my limbs, particularly my knees. I did not realize how great the stiffness was until I began your exercises. But, best of all, I never knew what complete relief was until I learned to relax the bones of the spine and pelvis through your Yoga exercises.
I began attempting to practice some of the simpler ones and to my amazement just a few minutes spent at them seemed to give me a wonderful "lift" both physically and mentally.
I am really convinced of the merits of this system, and intend to do the exercises more regularly.
My elimination is so much better, also the terrible bloating after meals, dizziness, etc. My general feeling of well-being has greatly improved thanks to you.
It is my sincere belief that if I had known and practiced the principles of Yoga many years ago, I could have enjoyed not only a higher degree of good health, but could have given better service to God and man. I should say that Yoga is proving that Occidentals have much to learn from the Orientals who have steadfastly practiced these health-building principles for hundreds of years.
With kindest regards to you and sincere appreciation of the service you are rendering to suffering people.
I am gratefully yours,
Roy A. Langston
Pastor, First Methodist Church
P.S. I have a friend who had the same troubles as I. He bought your book a week later and reports similar favorable results.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Dear Miss Devi:
I became afflicted with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of seventeen and in a matter of months was helpless in bed with every joint of my body ankylosed. After 6 years the doctors gave me up and my parents brought me to Florida.
Recently our neighbors introduced me to Yoga and in particular to your wonderful book, Forever Young, Forever Healthy.
On August 1st of this year I started on the sixty-day lemon juice plan and also the lemon and orange leaves tea (it is delicious) as outlined in your book. I am unable to do the Yoga postures but another son of the same neighbor works with me every day, practicing the movements I can make. The results have been remarkable. I am developing muscles and strength, have increased mobility, particularly in the hips and spine which have been so tight. The shoulders, arms, and ankles are also looser. I am now able to take full steps forward (with assistance), and since last week also backward. With the help of my friends or my parents I go swimming every other day in the Gulf where I also exercise. I can walk, although stiff-kneed, swim and float alone. I am doing the deep breathing and following your diet-suggestion and have faith in recovering fully.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this letter, and I thank you from my heart and soul.
New York City
Dear Madam Devi:
I was one of your students in your New York classes, and want to wish you every happiness.
I cannot thank you enough for helping me to get rid of the constipation from which I have suffered for 30 years.
Thanks to you, I am reborn.
God bless you always,
Belle Glade, Florida
Dear Indra Devi:
Many of my friends here were amazed at the recovery I made and some of them immediately became very interested in Yoga.
They knew that I had a bad case of bronchitis and arthritis and they are surprised to see me free of these troubles.
I have also suffered from a fallen womb for 15 years and, since taking your Yoga exercises, this condition has been completely adjusted.
With everlasting gratitude for your help,
Frances C. Leifer
Dear Shrimatí Indra Devi,
You, no doubt, already know the good news that the Sindhi translation of your book has received an award from our Government—we all are very happy and proud of you.
Your book has made even us Indians more keenly aware of the great benefits of the Yoga Asanas—you have rendered a great service to humanity by writing it. You would be surprised to know how many people here have benefited by following your instructions. One of our close friends, for example, the wife of a University professor, suffered for many years from nervous stomach troubles, arthritis, and female disorders. After a few months of Yoga practice and following your diet, she has completely recovered from all her troubles and feels a different person now.
Books are my hobby: you know that I am the first man to have published in pictures our sacred Bhagavat Gita. Allow me to congratulate and thank you for having written such a precious and useful book.
Your sincere friend,
Parmanand S. Mehra
Dear Miss Devi:
May I extend my heart-felt and deepest good thoughts for you and your work?
I am thirty years old, and a professional musician. I have also been an alcoholic for eleven years.
Since practicing the Yoga postures diligently for the past few months, following the diet you outlined in your book, and sleeping on a hard surface, I have achieved the following results:
(1) I have given up liquor and no longer have any desire for it.
(2) I have also lost interest in smoking, soft drinks, and spicy foods something I never dreamed possible.
(3) I have lost much of my excess weight, am less nervous and depressed.
(4) There have been remarkable improvements in my health; my liver condition and my ulcerative colitis are much better.
My friends are amazed at the changes Yoga has brought about in me. I want to continue progress in this wonderful gift to mankind, and would like to help others some day.
Thank you, and may the Higher Self smile on you forever.
Dear Miss Devi:
I have your book Forever Young, Forever Healthy, translated into Japanese, and am very pleased with it.
I am thirty-eight years old and have suffered great pains due to a nervous heart condition. Since I started on the Yoga postures, my pains have decreased greatly. My wife, thirty-two years old, has found the exercises of much help in losing weight, and my five-year-old son has no more asthma trouble since the day he began exercising. I also have a daughter, ten, and both children have had a lot of trouble with tonsilitis, but, thanks to the Lion Posture, their sore throats are much better. Our family has found the Yoga exercises very useful for promoting better elimination.
You, through your book, have given us a new way of life. We sincerely hope to join your class when you come to Osaka.
Yours very truly,
Bad Homburg, Germany
Much esteemed Miss Indra Devi:
Your kind letter arrived on Christmas day and I must tell you that it was my best Christmas present.
I am so glad that you have decided to write another book and to include in it suggestions for concentration and meditation.
You are such a good teacher that it is almost impossible to make a mistake when following your instructions.
Personally, I am of the opinion that your book is the best one on Yoga. I have read a number of them but none is as clear and applicable as yours.
I want to report to you that we all are working diligently and I am making steady progress with the Lotus Pose and other postures, but I am not 100% good as yet. The Headstand is priceless and the results thereof most outstanding. The Yoga exercises are remarkable: The fat ones get slimmer and the thin ones gain weight and get stronger; constipation disappears, the body becomes elastic and the spirits brighten up.
I am a seeker and you have given me so much.
Wishing you every thing good,
I am always at your service,
Miss Indra Devi:
I have one of your books, Forever Young, Forever Healthy.
I think it is the most wonderful book ever printed. I have suffered for twenty-five years and I am getting better. If I can do as you say I will be well again soon. I have wanted to write you and tell you about it.
I hope you will write more books, I would like to see one in every home.
Dear Miss Devi:
For one week I have had in my possession your wonderful book, Forever Young, Forever Healthy. I have enjoyed every bit of it.
Now I am writing to let you know how much, in this short time, the exercises have done for me. I feel happier, I am sure my waist is smaller and my eating habits are changed.
Yoga has always appealed to me and I was surprised that there was such a wonderful book.
It will be very interesting for me to see how I come out after about six months of your exercises.
I am forty-six and don't refute my years and I was happy to see that you don't wish for your youth again, either.
(Mrs.) K. S.
Dearest Indra Devi:
What did I do before Yoga! As you know I spent thirteen months in bed. During this time I gained weight and my muscles became soft and lost their tone. Yoga was the answer for me. I lost my excess weight gradually, at the same time firming my flabby muscles. The deep breathing seemed to help appease my appetite so that I was satisfied with less food.
But the greatest benefit of all, I believe, is the sense of peace and poise which developed within me. I no longer feel overwhelmed by hectic situations, nor pressed for time.
My husband too has experienced wonderful results. Some years ago he suffered a brain concussion. This left him with a certain dizziness whenever he turned his head or made a sudden movement. The doctors told him that this was the result of a permanent damage to that part of the brain which controls balance. However, this has completely disappeared since he has been practicing Yoga.
Also, his back was quite painful and he required a pillow to support it for the past twenty years. Now, no more trouble!
As a "bonus," my husband who was losing his hair, discovered that he no longer finds any hair in his brush or comb. We both feel that the Headstand is responsible for this.
I can't tell you what it has meant to have such an excellent teacher. Bless you!
Dear Miss Devi:
Thank you for your most interesting book, Forever Young, Forever Healthy, which you sent me with your autograph.
Also, I take this opportunity to express anew my gratitude for the wonderful help I derived years ago, in China, when I was ready to be operated on for sinus trouble. You suggested, then, to try the Headstand. After four months, the sinus condition had cleared up, to the great surprise of my doctor. It never recurred.
With my heartfelt thanks,
Dear Indra Devi:
After the first day of doing the exercises from your interesting book, Forever Young, Forever Healthy, I was convinced that this series of exercises was out of this world.
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