History of Yoga
Posted by Administrator on 2/25/2011
With Yoga becoming more and more popular each day one gets curious about the history of Yoga. Yoga originated in the Indus Valley Civilization, former India and dates back to 3000 B.C. It was there that the Yogis, those who practice Yoga strictly, followed this path of unification of the mind, body and the soul. They believed that Yoga is not just a physical exercise in any sense of the term but rather a way to enlightenment and a path that leads to God, the Eternal Being.
According to the Yogis God lies in everything and Yoga helps an individual to understand this point and therefore makes him enlightened. Yoga can not be considered simply as a form of exercise as it is intricately bonded with the spiritual matters and with meditation.
It was thought by historians that during the Stone Ages Yoga originated and later in the Vedic Ages the Yogis used to teach people as to how they can live a life full of harmony by practicing Yoga. In the second century Patanjali wrote the famous Yoga Sutra and in this one he brought together all the various Yoga exercises within one book. According to Patanjali there is eightfold path of Yoga and all of them play a very important role in the life of a human being when he is trying to unite his mind, body and his soul.
Yoga was introduced to the western world much later during the 19th century and even though at first Yoga was just studied as part of Eastern Philosophy it soon became part of a movement. Swami Sivananda plays an important role in popularizing Yoga in the West and it was he who gave the five principles of Yoga that includes Savasana which means proper relaxation, Pranayama which is proper breathing, Asanas which is proper exercise, proper diet and finally meditation or Dyana.
Today some consider Yoga to be a religion that helps one to be unified with God and some take it as a method to live a healthy and good life. There are many new variations of the original Yoga to be found like Zen Yoga which combines the beliefs of Tai Chi with original Hindu Yoga. Yoga appears to be as old as human existence itself and if it has made its way through such a long history there must be something about it that surely benefits human life in one way or the other.