International Day of Yoga 2020: Yoga is a buzzing term these days and almost everyone wants to go this ancient way to be healthy and away from all sorts of ailments. This body-mind practice has more than what you think, to offer. To understand its importance and reliability you firstly need to know about its brief history. So, here it is. Also Read - International Day of Yoga: Health Experts Tell us The Yoga Asanas They Swear by
Yoga is derived from a Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’ which means unite or union. It is primarily a deeply spiritual way to improve your consciousness and understand that you are a part of a greater entity. Also Read - International Day of Yoga: Easy Yoga Asanas For a Flat Belly
As far as the origin of yoga is concerned, it is difficult to tell. All we know is that it was developed during the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. This information is based on seals and fossil remains of this civilization that have Yogic motives and figures performing Yoga Sadhana. The word ‘yoga’ was first mentioned or documented in the Rig Veda, one of the four sacred canonical texts. Later, it was trickled-down in other sacred Hindu books like Upnishads and the Bhagavad Gita in 500 B.C.E. Also Read - International Day of Yoga Day: 8 Common Misconceptions Associated With Yoga
Some researchers believe that yoga was originated around 10000 years ago but there is no valid proof of that. For the better understanding of people, the evolution of yoga has been segregated into 4 periods namely Vedic yoga, pre-classical yoga, classical yoga, and post-classical yoga. Let’s know about them in detail.
Vedic Yoga: Vedic yoga dates back to ancient India when it was mostly associated with the rituals and idea of sacrifice (Yajna).
Pre-classical Yoga: The period between ca. 2500 to 100 BCE is considered as the pre-classical age of yoga. During this time, various important Hindu texts were written like Upanishads (a collection of texts that talks about meditation, philosophy, and spiritual knowledge) and Bhagavad Gita (an important religious texts that contains a comprehensive description of yoga).
Classical Yoga: During this period, Patanjali Yoga Sutras, the first book containing a systematic representation of yoga, was written.
Post-classical Yoga: During this period, Tantra yoga or the Hatha Yoga were introduced. It talks about the use of body and mind to attain enlightenment.