Learn how and when to remove this template message Atkinson was a prolific writer, and his many books achieved wide circulation among New Thought devotees and occult practitioners. According to this group, Atkinson has been identified as the author or co-author with individuals such as Edward E. Beals and Lauron William de Laurence of separate titles. One such title, for which Atkinson is credited as the author, with the copyright internally assigned to Towne, is The Psychology of Salesmanship, published in They were written in such a way as to form a course of practical instruction.

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And in the home of the novelist There is a satin-like bow on an harp. Sub-titled The Yogi Philosophy of Physical Well-Being, it was first published, remarkably enough, in , one of the first—if not the first—books written about Hatha Yoga in English for a popular audience.

His publisher, the Yogi Publication Society YPS , which in the early s was headquartered in Chicago, tells the following story about him. Born in India around , YR like several of the seekers in this book ventured out early in life to hunt for the Truth. We next hear about the wanderers almost 30 years later, in Now 94, and sensing that he would soon shuffle off his mortal coil, YR deputized Baba to spread his teaching near and far.

Baba realized that such a gathering would make the perfect bully pulpit, so off he went to the US. Many wished him to start a new religion—but he felt only the urge to write about YR and his teaching. So if these two gentlemen were fictitious, who wrote those 14 books? But why the YPS called him English is a mystery—maybe what they meant is that he wrote in English—because Atkinson was born and raised in Baltimore.

In those far-off days before the ready availability of sympathetic though pricey therapists and mood-altering drugs, Atkinson decided to take the proverbial bull by the horns. He pulled himself out of his funk with the help of techniques he learned from a popular self-help movement known variously as New Thought, Mental Science, Mind Cure, the Boston Craze, and Practical Christianity.

Eager to join and help promote the vehicle of his miraculously restored physical, psychic, and financial health, Atkinson moved to the ground zero of NT activity, Chicago, sometime in the late s. Technically Atkinson was responsible for nearly 40 books he also co-wrote another 20 , which nowadays would be shelved in the self-help, New Age or occult, or business sections of the bigger national chain stores, probably with a packaged CD or video.

He wrote about a dozen books, for example, as the renowned master of the art and science of Personal Magnetism, Parisian Theron Q. We then might wonder: Why go through all the trouble to pretend to be writing for a non-existent person?

One possible reason is that Atkinson felt books ostensibly about Indian philosophy and yoga would gain credence with his readers if they thought they were written by a yogi. The strange thing is that several of his later books had almost nothing to do with yoga. It appears that Atkinson acquired a taste for Indian philosophy around the time he moved to Chicago, undoubtedly through his association with New Thought, which was heavily influenced by what today is called Neo-Vedanta.

Some YR aficionados believe Atkinson was tutored in the finer points of Indian philosophy by Baba Bharati, or that he traveled to India and studied with YR, neither of which seems likely. Manil N. By he could draw on several scholarly and a host of popular books for background material, though much of what was found in the latter was either ill-informed or misinformed about India and Indians. Neither, oddly enough, wrote about Indian philosophy or yoga. According to reports none of these books sold very well.

Try the exercise for yourself: 1 Stand or sit erect. Breathing through the nostrils, inhale steadily, first filling the lower part of the lungs, which is accomplished by bringing into play the diaphragm The fill the middle part of the lungs, pushing out the lower ribs, breast-bone and chest. Then fill the higher portion of the lungs, protruding the upper chest In the final movement, the lower part of the abdomen will be slightly drawn in, which movement gives the lungs a support and also helps fill the highest part of the lungs.

When the air is entirely exhaled, relax the chest and abdomen. Not much like we find it today. The arms should be swung with a rapid movement, and with animation and life. Do not go to sleep over the work, or rather play. This exercise is most useful in the developing the chest, muscles of the shoulders, etc. The repeated movements should be rhythmical, backward and forward, like the swinging of a quick pendulum. Study its shape, its color, its size, and the thousand and one little peculiarities about it that present themselves to your attention.

The more simple and small the part to be considered, the more clearly will the impression be received, and the more vividly will it be recalled. Then, when you have exhausted the object, take a pencil and paper and put down as nearly as possible all the things or details of the object examined.

When you have done this, compare the written description with the object itself, and see how many things you have failed to note.


William Walker Atkinson



Hatha Yoga


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