THE ORIGINS OF YOGA March 23 2023
By Hinda Lahmar
What is Yoga
Yoga is a practice from India thousands of years ago (5 000). The word yoga means "to yoke" which means to unite and is meant to unify the body, mind, and spirit in order to know ourselves fully and find peace. Yoga practice leads to a true connection to the universal energy (MedicalNewsToday)
How it all started
Yoga has been used for thousands of years and has a very long and rich history and can be divided into four historical periods.
- 5 000 years ago, the Indu-Saravasti civilization from North India just started practicing yoga. At first, it was an oral practice, passed down from teacher to students individually. It was then mentioned in the ancient sacred texts, the Rig Veda, which contained songs, mantras and rituals to be used by the Vedic priest. The Brahmans and Rishis started later to refine and develop a book containing over 200 scriptures. We call this era, pre-classical yoga.
- The classical era (the era that came right after the pre-classical era) is known to be a disorganized and chaotic phase mixing various ideas, beliefs, and practices that contradicted one another. During that period, Patanjali (an Indian sage) wrote a text organizing the practice of yoga into an "eight-limbed path", which are the steps to follow to find enlightenment.
- The third era, also known as the Post-classical yoga era, was focused mostly on the physical aspect of yoga, to rejuvenate and extend life. Yoga masters rejected the teaching of ancient yoga masters to develop Tantra Yoga, a yoga practice used to cleanse the body and mind and to explore the connection between the body and the spirit.
- The modern era refers to the 1900s, a period when yoga gurus traveled the world to spread the knowledge and benefits of yoga, sharing it as a health and spiritual practice. During that period, yoga schools were opening and more people could learn and practice yoga with professionals.
The modern era pushed people to try this practice. Yoga is now practiced by billions of people all over the world, enjoying the benefits of this sacred practice, and you can start too.
In the coming blog posts, you will find tips and advice on how to start yoga and its benefits. Do you have any concerns about starting yoga? Let us know in the comment.