Yoga or Yog has a history of more than thousands of years. Yog is an Indian tradition; whereas, western practice is confined to physical training only. Yoga is more than physical exercise; it has physical as well as spiritual dimension as well. In a broader sense, it is a way of life. Incorporating it in daily life can make the practitioner physically as well as mentally strong. The various kinds of yoga are Hatha, kriya, jnana, karma, bhakti, and raja. Hatha form is the most popular.
Rigveda is the literature where we can find the first reference of yoga. It is also believed that the existence of it is even before Rigveda. The Sutra Of Patanjali is the classical period yoga, but it became famous only recently. The emergence of Hatha Yog texts dates back to 11th century BCE. Indus-valley Civilization is 5000 years old. While excavating Indus-valley civilization, the archeologists found the stone-carved figures of poses. These figures depict the original poses and practices during that time.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, the masters started traveling towards the west. They grabbed the attention of followers. Swami Vivekanand, Swami Sivananda, and Swami Krishnamacharya made it world-famous. They mostly spread the Hatha form of it, and it has many schools and styles in western countries.
Classical And Post-Classical Yoga
Before the classical period, it was somewhat unorganized. It was a mismatch of various ideas, techniques, and beliefs. All these ideas and opinions conflicted and contradicted each other. Patanjali’s Yog Sutra defines the classical period in a systematic way. Its text describes the path of Raja Yog. It is classical art. A few centuries after Patanjali, new practices of it were designed. This practice embraced the physical body and was designed to rejuvenate it. They rejected the teaching of ancient Vedas and texts and developed Tantra Yog. This form is called Post-Classical one. It marked the origin of Hatha Yog.
Few Facts Of Yoga
- Everyone does not universally accept sutras. Some consider the teachings of it as nonsense and do not agree.
- Historical texts mention nothing about women practicing yog. They have made them invisible or objectified for sex only.
- Every religion, Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, and even Muslims practice various forms of yoga for ages.
- The yogis of the medieval era knew that the asanas and pranayama could be dangerous.
- Vinyasa form of yoga didn’t always mean a sequence of poses.
It is a perfect way to heal the mind, soul, and body. No exercise can benefit the body as it does. Trainers have designed various classes that impart knowledge and grooms the practitioner. The modern form of it, like Bikram yoga, power yoga, and hot yoga, is training people to reduce weight and stay fit. Bhakti shows the path of divine power to the practitioner. So everyone should take some time from a busy life and indulge themselves in this.