01 February 2011

History of Yoga

Yoga is the traditional physical and psychological discipline that originated in India. It has gained tremendous popularity both in the East and the West. People of the present generation are health-conscious and are practicing yogic exercises for remaining healthy and fresh. But in spite of practicing Yoga, people are hardly aware of the history of Yoga. Here under is a brief history of Yoga.

Origin of Yoga

The history of Yoga can be traced back to the time called 'Sat Yuga' or Golden Age. This era was a period of everlasting tranquility and benediction, full of the questers of Eternal Truth. This possibly the reason why yoga is still associated with hermits. We also get to know about yoga in the holy texts of Bhagavadgita and Upanishads. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras also acquaint us with the various steps ad positions of Yoga. In fact, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali offers the fundamentals of yoga practiced today.

Yoga in Indus Valley Civilization

Excavations demonstrate evidence of Yoga's popularity among the Indus Valley people. The practice of Yoga were also common among the Aryans who came to India from Central Asia. Various seals dug out from Indus Valley excavations portray figures in yogic postures. Greagory Possehl, the famous archaeologist, show 16 "yogi glyptics" in the mass of Mature Harappan artifacts. All these artifacts and images exhibit that the yoga postures may have been used by gods, sages and men alike.

Yoga and Upanishads

We find various terminology associated with Yoga in the Upanishads. Maitrayaniya-Upanishad expounds Shadanga-Yoga.

Yoga and Patanjali's 'Yoga Sutras'

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is one of the basic texts of Yoga. It happens to be an important part of the Sutra literature that belong to the Mauryan era. Each and every sutras have been describe with utmost detail. All the sutras are based on Sankhya philosophy, and reflect Upanisadic thoughts.

Yoga in Modern Age

Modern yoga is basically hatha yoga. No only in India, yoga has gained immense popularity in the western countries. People of the western countries are benefiting a lot by performing yogic exercises.

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