History of Yoga

History of Yoga

As human consciousness began to develop, people started thinking about their health, ease, and comfort. They began to concentrate on peace of mind and good health. They kept exploring the inner aspects of human life and began to think about how to achieve peace of mind. In pursuit of it, they went on to learn about peace of mind and its power. In course of time, people concentrated deeper and deeper and they explored more about the peace of mind and its power.

This immense enthusiasm ultimately led us to meditation. The literal meaning of ‘Yoga’ is ‘union.’ The word has originated from its Sanskrit root ‘Yuj’ which means ‘to unite.’ Yoga has two-word meanings, ‘union’ and ‘samadhi, i.e. the meditative state of consciousness’. To attain Samadhi’s connection to the self is necessary. And, yoga further means the unison to the divine soul. Yoga has been mentioned in the most ancient Hindu scripture Rig Veda The Yajna of a learned man remains incomplete bereft of Yoga. Yoga is the control of the mind, that duty involved in Karma.

Rigveda 1-18-7 Another verse n the same book says “May the same God be oriented towards our Samadhi, by his mercy, we may we benefit Samadhi, repute, and static wisdom.” Rig Veda 1-5-3 Authentic depiction of yoga practice can be seen in the statues found during the Indus Valley Civilization circa 3000 BC. The authentic book of yoga is ‘Yoga Sutra’, which was composed by Patanjali in 200 BC. This is the first book written on yoga. In Hindu, Jain, and Buddhism, different types of yogas are classified. Upanishads are considered to be its major sources. In Vedic times yajna and yoga were of great importance, wherein four types of the ashram were arranged. At the Brahmacharya Ashram, the teachings of the Vedas, along with the teaching of weapons and yoga, were also provided. Rig Veda, which is considered to be written between 1500 BC From 1000 BC, mentions this for the first time. Before that yogic practices were preserved on the basis of memory for thousands of years. According to Indian philosophy, the Vedas are the words of God and are believed to be nearly two billion years old. Other differences about its antiquity are also found. Osho, Rajneesh opines the Rig Veda almost 90 thousand years old. From 563 to 200 BC, the three organs of yoga were the penance, self-education, and God holding. This is called Kriya Yoga.

During the Jaina and Buddhist awakening, it is found to transform into Yama and Niyama. The practice of Yamas and Niyamas ie. non-violence, truth, celibacy, non-stealing, destitute of possession, purity, contentment, penance, and self-restraint are very prevalent, yet yoga is not given a proper form. Earlier in 200 BC, Patanjali categorized the Yoga Vidya as mentioned in Vedas. After Patanjali the practice of yoga became common and many yogic institutes, ashrams, and monasteries were established. Those institutes were providing education on RajaYoga. Yoga is believed to have originated from Lord Shiva, who is also known as Adi Yog. Later, Lord Krishna, Mahavira, and Buddha explained in their own way. After this, Patanjali gave it a systematic shape. Later the Siddhapatha, Shaivapatha, Nathpatha, Vaishnavapatha, and Shaktapatha extended it in their own way.  

 Yoga for Health 
At present yoga is found in all countries of the world. Body and mind develop through yoga practice. Yoga exercises help to make the body feel agile, stress-free, and fear-free. Since yoga causes stress on all the body muscles, it helps to make the body flexible and develop intelligence. Enhancing immunity helps to create the condition that a person should never have the disease. Yoga practice should be done daily. Maintaining the balance of mind and body through yoga creates a positive and positive view of people.

Yoga is an indispensable topic in a person’s daily life, which will keep people healthy for a long time. There are some precautions to be taken in yoga. If a person has been ill for a long time or a person has to be cautious with diabetes or high or low blood pressure and other illnesses, care needs are taken. Similarly, pregnant women should take special precautions and take expert advice before doing any of the asanas. But most of the asanas of yoga are suitable for the elderly or the sick, but they also need a skilled tutor. A person who practices daily yoga has to eat nutritious foods and many fresh vegetables and fruits. In order to make the body flexible, it is necessary to perform sun salutations daily.At the end of yoga practice, one should practice Shavasana.

Importance of Yoga

Through yoga, the body, mind, and brain can be completely healed. Yoga has been done to achieve a long life, the achievement of Siddhi, and Samadhi. Yoga is an important part of all religions.

Types of Yoga

There are many types of yoga in Hindu scriptures like Vedas, Puranas, etc. Lord Krishna has mentioned three types of yoga. They are. Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga. Apart from this, there is also Dharma Yoga, Tantra Yoga, and Naad Yoga. Indian philosophy is divided into six philosophies. They are

1. Nyaya

2. Vaisheshik

3. Mimansa

4. Sankhya

5. Vedanta and

6. Yoga.

Similarly, ten types of yoga are mentioned in Yoga Pradipika. They are

1. Raj Yoga,

2. Ashtanga Yoga,

3. Hatha Yoga,

4. Laya Yoga,

5. Dhyana Yoga,

6. Bhakti Yoga,

7. Kriya Yoga,

8. Mantra Yoga,

9. Karma Yoga and

10. Jnana Yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga Ashtanga Yoga has great importance and popularity. Ashtanga Yoga, the eight limbs of yoga that combine to sum up all religions. They are

1. Yama, 2. Niyama, 3. Asana, 4. Pranayama, 5. Pratyahara, 6. Dharana, 7. Dhyana, 8. Samadhi.

The eight limbs of Yoga are as below: 

1. Yama:- In Yama there are Truth, Non-violence, chastity, non possessiveness and non-stealing 

2. Niyama:- in Niyama there are Purity, Content, austerity, self-reflection and attunement to the supreme consciousness 

3. Asana:- There are different types of asanas. Different asanas are mentioned in the scriptures like Hath Yoga Pradeepika, Gharonda Samhita and Yogashikhopanishad. 

4. Pranayama: It is the practice of breath control in yoga. In modern yoga as exercise, it consists of synchronising the breath with movements between asanas. 

5. Pratyahara:- it is the control of the self. It is restraining the senses and focusing on the self. 

6. Dharana:- Dharana is the concentration of the mind on the specific point. 

7. Dhyana:- Dhyana is meditation. It is an art of living in the present being free from the worries of the future and past.

8. Samadhi:- Samadhi is the salvation. It has two aspects; 1. Sampragyata and 2. Asampragyata 

The eight limbs of Yoga are as below: 

1. Yama:- In Yama there are Truth, Non-violence, chastity, non possessiveness and non-stealing 

2. Niyama:- in Niyama there are Purity, Content, austerity, self-reflection and attunement to the supreme consciousness 

3. Asana:- There are different types of asanas. Different asanas are mentioned in the scriptures like Hath Yoga Pradeepika, Gharonda Samhita and Yogashikhopanishad. 

4. Pranayama: It is the practice of breath control in yoga. In modern yoga as exercise, it consists of synchronising the breath with movements between asanas. 

5. Pratyahara:- it is the control of the self. It is restraining the senses and focusing on the self. 

6. Dharana:- Dharana is the concentration of the mind on the specific point. 

7. Dhyana:- Dhyana is meditation. It is an art of living in the present being free from the worries of the future and past.

8. Samadhi:- Samadhi is the salvation. It has two aspects; 1. Sampragyata and 2. Asampragyata 

Yoga and Yoga Philosophy 

Yoga and Hindu Yoga philosophy

Yoga is one of the six Hindu philosophies, Vedanta, Mimansa, Vaisheshik, Nyaya, Yoga, and Samkhya. It is believed to have been transmitted orally from teacher to disciple in ancient times. During the time of ancient scriptures and samadhi, this knowledge was compiled by sages and widely disseminated

Samkhya Darshana (Samkhhya Philosophy) This philosophy is closely associated to Yoga, the single main difference between both of the philosophies is the later one is more theoretical and the former one is more empirical. But the ultimate goal of both of the philosophies is to attain Samadhi. Samkhya consists of 25 elements:

The first five are:- Soul, Nature, Ego, Intellect, and Mind

Other than these, there are Five gross elements: fire, water, air, Earth and Ether; five subtle elements: Sight, Smell, Taste, Touch, and Sound; five active organs: Hands, Legs, Mouth, Anus, and Genitals; five sense organs: eyes, nose, tongue, nose and skin.

What is Yoga ?

Yoga means union or to add. For example, say 1 + 2 = 2. In Ayurveda, it is said that yoga is a combination of more than one herb. In astrology, it is found that the collection of planets is Yoga. Below are some excerpts to make it easier to understand.

A) Yoga is an addition of Ida and Pingala

Yoga science says that the nose balances the temperature of the body. The left hole is a symbol of the moon or it associates with the moon. It helps keep the head cool. Similarly, the right nostril is the sun that will provide heat or warmth to the head. It maintains the temperature in the body as does the sun in the atmosphere. Nostrils are sometimes active and rather inactive other times. This cycle changes automatically 60 to 90 minutes. Yoga Science has identified 3different types of pulses in our body which are known as Nadi.

1. Ida Nadi – Ida Nadi regulates our thoughts, emotions, parasympathetic nervous system and inner organs of our body.

2. Pingala Nadi – This Nadi regulates energy, vitality, functions, Adrenal glands, and sympathetic nervous system.

3. Sushumna Nadi – When both nasal passages are activated Shushumna Nadi of the body is activated. It is activated occasionally but can be prolonged with spiritual and Yogic exercises. When this pulse is activated, the inner and outer parts of our body are balanced, so the brain becomes very active. It is very useful for meditation, concentration and study of the self.

B) Yoga is the summation of Prana and Apana

Prana refers to ‘life.’ It is one of the five Prana Shaktis (Life energies). It lies at the center of our body. It tends to go upward and supply the body with necessary oxygen. Similarly, there is another energy in the body that is called ‘Apana.’ It tends to move downwards in the body. Yoga connects both of these energies and increases the organizational power of the body. In this procedure bringing Prana downwards and Apana upwards to connect them is known as Yoga.

C) Yoga is the summation of Shiva and Shakti

Shiva refers to the masculine power and Shakti to feminine. According to Yogic philosophy, both of these powers reside in a body. But the quantity of both of these powers is different in men and women. By instinct men have excessive Shiva power and women have excessive Shakti power. Yoga brings both of the powers in the equation. In this state physical and emotional powers remain at balance.

D) Yoga is the unison of Body, Mind and Soul

Our body, mind, and soul desire all these different things. The mind is like a pendulum of a clock. It always oscillates around. It always wants to stimulate the senses like eating delicious food, sleeping a lot, desiring good things to happen, and so on. Also, the same mind runs behind things acquired by higher desires such as deep study and deep communication. The body always strives to stay healthy, seeks to live a comfortable life, eating well, trying to get deep sleep, whereas the soul desires to meditate while trying to stay calm. When these three yoga exercises unite, the body attaches itself completely to the body, and the level of consciousness increases.

E) Yoga is unison of the Individual Soul and Super Soul

From spiritual perspectives Yoga is the union of the soul (the personal soul and the divine soul), we are all the supreme souls that come from the Super Soul, when yoga is practiced, it unites the individual soul with the super soul or divine soul. This is Yoga.

How Yoga is defined in the ancient scriptures?

Great sage Patanjali is also called Maharishi. He is the founder of Ashtanga Yoga, which suggests practical ways of removing all Karmic layers. For this he has suggested Yoga Sutras, literally yogic rules. 

1. Yogas chitta-vritti-nirodhaha or Yoga is the restraining of the fluctuations of the mind. (Yoga Sutra, 1.2) 

2. Tam yogamiti manyante sthiramindriya dharanam or Controlling of sense organs is yoga. (Kathopanishada) 

3. Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam or Excellence in Action is Yoga. (Bhagvat Gita) 

4. Samatvam Yoga Uchyate or Yoga is equilibrium or equanimity of mind. (Bhagvat Gita) 5. Yogassamadhih or Samadhi is Yoga. (Veda Vyasa)  

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