Yoga Day 2022: Yoga’s origins can be traced back thousands of years to India. It is one of the bejewelled crowns of the Indian civilisation and its influence has spread widely. Yoga was used by the ancient Indians to explore the spiritual outside, and the inside worlds, and to gain experience and understanding.
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The ancient Indians developed yoga as a practical method for the full physical, mental, and spiritual development of a person. Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Yuj’ which means to unite. Thus Yoga is the road to union with higher selves, as well as with the universal consciousness or God.
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The history of Yoga exercise can be divided into four categories:
- Vedic Yoga exercises – Yoga originated in India during the Vedic period. Vedic yoga is the earliest yogic teaching, also known as ‘ Archaic Yoga , ‘ because people believed in a ritualised way of life. Yoga was viewed as a means of connecting with the world around us and so Vedic yoga is recognised as the roots of yoga.
- Pre-classical Yoga – This evolved after Vedic yoga and spans nearly 2, 000 years. The creation of Upanishads marked the beginning of pre-classical yoga. The Bhagavad Gita was written around 500 B. C., is one of the most incredible yoga scriptures. Pre-classical yoga includes numerous methods for deep meditation and connecting with the divine powers. Yoga of this period is connected both to Hinduism as well as Buddhism.
- Classical Yoga – Patanjali’s composition of the yoga exercise sutras in the second century C. E. marks the beginning of the classical period of yoga. Patanjali believed that each person is made up of matter (Prakriti) and spirit (Purusha). Yoga was considered to restore the spirit to its true reality.
- Post-classical Yoga – The post-classical period of yoga emphasized the present. This period in yoga confirms the teachings of Vedanta, which is a philosophical structure following the teachings of the Upanishads. During this time, a system of practices was developed to rejuvenate the body. And this resulted in the creation associated with ‘ Hatha Yoga exercise ’ and ‘ Tantra Yoga ’.
Yoga is an important part of Indian culture and has developed throughout the centuries. It helps to balance our body, mind, spirit and also our soul.
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