Yoga is a way of living and a popular source of availing overall fitness. Yoga is buzzing. It is everywhere. So before you step onto the yoga mat, go back and know its roots. Explore the blog to take a glimpse into the history of yoga. Yoga is about the practice of physical, mental, and spiritual discipline that aims at the unification of the Self with the universal consciousness. Yoga helps us attain a healthy being, peaceful soul, calm mind, and attain enlightenment. Originated thousands of years ago, today the ancient science of life witnesses immense popularity across the globe. Yoga is a mystical art can be performed everywhere. Know the roots of this ancient wisdom by unfolding the history of yoga in its traditional form.
Term Yoga is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ which means ‘union’. Yoga is the path that helps a practitioner connect with the entire existence. Yoga brings a sense of consciousness, makes us aware of the true self, and raises us above the materialistic desires. It is believed that yoga was developed over 5000 years ago at the Indus Sarasvati Civilization in Northern India and was mentioned earliest in the Rig Veda- the oldest sacred text. Even in the Bhagavad Gita and Shanti Parva of Mahabharata, Yoga has been discussed quite elaborately. Later Sage Patanjali known as the ‘father of modern yoga’ compiled ‘Yoga Sutras’ for the better and easier understanding of the yogic wisdom. He mentioned the details and intricacy of the yoga practice.
Four Main Paths of Yoga
Karma Yoga – Karma yoga is the path of action that deals with the law of cause and effect. On this path, every action has a corresponding reaction on your body, mind, and soul.
Bhakti Yoga – Bhakti yoga is the path of devotion, love for God, its creation, and nature.
Gyan Yoga – Gyan yoga is a philosophical path, the path that focuses on distinguishing between the real and the unreal. This can be attained through study, experience, self-knowledge, and practice.
Raja Yoga – It is known as the loyal path of yoga or the Eightfold Path for reaching the ultimate goal of Yoga, i.e., the samadhi. Most of us follow this path of yoga for the practice.
About the Eight Limbs of Yoga
Patanjali in his Yoga Sutra talks about the eight limbs or folds of yoga practice that is called Ashtanga.
1) Yama (Morality)
- Ahimsa- Non Violence
- Satya- Truthfulness
- Asteya- Non-Stealing
- Brahmacharya- Non-Excess
- Aparigraha- Non-Greed
2) Niyama (Discipline)
- Saucha- Purification
- Santosha- Contentment
- Tapas- Self-Discipline
- Svadhyaya- Self-Study
- Ishvara Pranidhana- Devotion
3) Asana (Postures)
4) Pranayama (Breath Control)
5) Pratyahara (Detachment)
6) Dharana (Concentration)
7) Shyana (Meditation)
8) Samadhi (Self-Realisation)
Attaining the eightfold path of yoga practices makes you reach the ultimate goal of Yoga and that is Self-Realization, Enlightenment, and Salvation. To begin with, practice the three major aspects of yoga- asana, pranayama, and meditation. Asana being the beginning point is branched out into many forms and types.
Core Types of Yoga – Ashtanga Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Power Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Jivamukti Yoga, Restorative Yoga
Types of Pranayama – Nadi Sodhana, Shitali Pranayama, Ujjayi Pranayama, Kapalbhati Pranayama, Digra Pranayama, Bhastrika Pranayama, Bahya Pranayama, Bhramari Pranayama, Udgit Pranayama, Anulom- Vilom Pranayama, Agnisar Kriya
The Om Yoga
Om Yoga is also known as Pranava Yoga and is considered one of the best meditation forms. Practicing this awakens the self-consciousness and brings self-realization. It also relieves stress, calms the mind, and brings inner tranquility. Yoga aims at the unification of the yogi with the Supreme Being.