Author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau, who famously took to the woods around Walden Pond (pictured), was very likely the U.S.'s first yoga practitioner.

Yoga’s U.S. history begins with Thoreau and an inspirational story about commitment

If you're a sucker for inspirational stories about service, duty, dedication and success, then you're in luck. A quick internet search can pull up thousands of yoga-based stories that can make you laugh, cry or jump for joy. The mind-body regimen is practically a magnet for inspirational stories about commitment.

Just consider a recent article published by the Huffington Post. In it, yoga enthusiast and author Meryl Davids Landau explained that author and philosopher Henry David Thoreau was very likely the U.S.'s first yoga practitioner.

That's right – according to her, the great American thinker is the first person known to have adopted yoga in the New World.

In fact, in 1849, shortly after he concluded his two years, two months and two days of solitude at Walden Pond, Thoreau wrote a letter to a friend about the delight he took in practicing the holistic routine.

"Free in this world, as the birds in the air, disengaged from every kind of chains, those who have practiced the yoga,'" he wrote, quoting an ancient Eastern text. Then Thoreau described his commitment to the regimen: "Depend upon it that rude and careless as I am, I would fain practice the yoga faithfully."

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