A Brief History Of Yoga

Yoga is buzzing! It is everywhere. On billboards, in research papers and lecture halls. But where did it all start? How did this ancient wisdom come to be?

What is it that it has to offer? Is it a magic solution to all ailments? Answers to all that and much more, find out, in the following brief history of yoga.

The History Of Yoga

Yoga is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which loosely means ‘union.’ It is a path through which an individual unites with the entire existence. Sounds heavy, right? It basically means how you are not a separate entity but part of a greater energy. It increases your consciousness and makes you realize your true self-clearing the clutter of all that you imbibed as part of your culture, family, and education. It makes you realize that there is something more than what you see around. It is a deeply spiritual practice that is part philosophy, religion, science, and exercise.

Yoga goes back to the age of the Vedas or even before. The earliest Rig Veda mentions about yoga, and there are pictographic proofs found in the seals of the Indus Valley Civilization. Bhagavad Gita and the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata elaborately talk about it. Later, Patanjali had compiled the ‘Yoga Sutras’ which became the go-to book for yoga and made him the ‘Father Of Yoga.’ He had spoken at length about the intricacies and details of the practice. Let’s take a look at one important aspect of it called the ‘Eight Limbs Of Yoga’.

 

‘Eight Limbs Of Yoga’

Patanjali in his book ‘Yoga Sutras’ talks about the ‘Eight Limbs Of Yoga’ called the Ashtanga explained briefly in the following text.

  1. Yama
  2. Niyama
  3. Asana
  4. Pranayama
  5. Pratyahara
  6. Dharana
  7. Dhyana
  8. Samadhi
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