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The Yoga of Abraham Lincoln
by Richard Salva

Posted: 18:30 February 4, 2006

Photo of Abraham Lincoln
Photo of Abraham Lincoln
Presidents' Day is coming, and I'll bet this author will tell you something you didn't know about Abraham Lincoln.

You may be thinking - is this about whether Lincoln had been gay, or had some unusual disease? No.

It's about the fact that Abraham Lincoln dubbed himself "a mystic," and behaved in a way that corresponds with the teachings of yoga and meditation. Lincoln shared many attitudes with millions today who embrace a spiritual way of life.

Yoga is so popular nowadays. Many think of yoga as physical postures, but the central teaching of yoga is a scientific, step-by-step pathway to spiritual growth.

This yoga and meditation expert, who has done an in-depth, eight-year study of the life of Lincoln, will give you an entirely new view of America's greatest president. Richard Salva has uncovered more than 200 connections between the life and words of Abraham Lincoln and the deeper teachings of yoga.

• Why Lincoln never joined a church. Abraham Lincoln's religious views were unorthodox. His law partner reported that Lincoln wrote a tract arguing against church doctrines as he heard them, and a friend threw it into a fire to save Lincoln's reputation. Lincoln's objections were in alignment with the deeper teachings of yoga, which offer marvelous, practical solutions to today's problems.

• The source of Lincoln's phenomenal physical strength. There are reports of advanced Hindu yogis doing amazing things like lifting boulders and heaving them, etc. Abraham Lincoln did the same thing as a young man-lifting and carrying a 600-pound chicken coop, tossing a heckler a dozen feet, and more. Lincoln had tapped into what yogis call pranayama, or energy control, and so can your viewers. Once we have mastered the energy in our bodies, we can achieve practically any great task-such as holding America together during a Civil War, or freeing the slaves. This teaching of energy control is a fundamental principle of success.

• A yogic tie to Lincoln's prophetic dreams. As quoted in the 1895 edition of Recollections of Abraham Lincoln by Lincoln's bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln reported recurring dreams that he would ascend to a high office, then fall to his doom. Later, as president, he dreamed of a funeral in the White House. This written history in American culture of Lincoln's prophetic dreams can be understood in yogic terms. Patanjali-a great yogi of ancient India-taught that when a yogi perfects the practice of self-study or introspection, then he or she will receive communication from "higher spheres". This prophetic information can come during meditation or in the sleep state.

• A hidden connection to Lincoln's interest in mediums. Abraham Lincoln was curious about psychics and mediums-starting with a visit to a fortuneteller in New Orleans, and continuing through his years as president, when after the death of Lincoln's son Willie, his wife brought mediums to the White House. Similarly, many people nowadays visit psychics online or watch them on television, just as Hindu yogis have visited astrologers and other fortunetellers for hundreds of years.

• Abraham Lincoln was a meditator. Ever since he was a boy, Lincoln used to spontaneously meditate. His wife once hit him with a piece of wood after he had gone so deep within he hadn't heard her speaking! His eyes (visible in many Lincoln photos) assumed a half-open look-a technique taught by modern meditation instructors-and which gave Lincoln a lazy appearance that made him unpopular with his employers!

Richard Salva is a yoga and meditation instructor, a 30-year expert on yoga philosophy and practice, and minister of Ananda Fellowship-whose teachings parallel the mystical thoughts and actions of Abraham Lincoln. He has studied Lincoln in depth for eight years, and has given hundreds of talks in the United States and in Europe. His book, Soul Journey from Lincoln to Lindbergh, has received Five Stars from Foreword Clarion Reviews and The Midwest Book Review, and he has appeared on NPR and 21st Century Radio. To order his book and receive a free past-life reading through numerology, visit

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