Yoga has become a hot trend to stay fit and the clothes are cute to boot. However, a lot of people who practice this ancient art actually have no idea about the origin. The earliest yoga writings were scribed on fragile palm leaves that were easily damaged, destroyed or lost. The actual development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, however, some researchers actually believe that yoga could actually be up to 10,000 years old. Yoga is split up into four periods of innovation, practice, and development.
Yoga beginnings were developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. The word "yoga" was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda. The Vedas were a collection of texts that contained mantras, songs, and rituals that were used by the Brahmans who were the Vedic priests at the time. Yoga was then slowly developed and refined by Rishis and Brahmans who were mystic seers and they were in charge of documenting their beliefs and practices in a collection of works called the Upanishads, which contained over 200 scriptures. The Upanishads took the traditional idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas and internalized it, teaching people to sacrifice their own egos through self-knowledge, karma yoga and jnana yoga.
In the pre-classical yoga stage, it was a mismatch of different ideas, beliefs, and techniques that actually contradicted and conflicted with each other. This is the stage where Tantra yoga was conceived and used radical techniques to cleanse your body and mind to break the knots that bind us to our physical existence. The exploration of these spiritual-physical connections and body-centered practices lead to the yoga that we know today, otherwise known as Hatha yoga.
Yoga is used by millions of people all over the world to quiet their being, meditate and get in touch with their inner self. It is a great way to hone your body and mind and an even better way to enjoy the outdoors if the thought of going to a gym raises some negative feelings. If you have been curious about starting yoga, there is no better time than the present. Namaste.