A brief History of Yoga

What Is Yoga ?

Yoga is an ancient practice focusing on breathing, flexibility and strength to boost mental and wellbeing. It is composed of a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines. The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root “Yuj”, meaning “to join” or “to unite”. The practice of Yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, man & nature.

What Are The Eight Limbs Of Yoga In Nepal? (the 8 aspects of the yoga practice):

• Yamas: abstinences / attitudes toward our environment

• Niyama: observances / attitudes toward ourselves

• Asana: physical postures

• Pranayama: breathing practice

• Pratyahara: withdrawal / sense restraint

• Dharana: concentration

• Dhyana: meditation

• Samadhi: absorption / complete integration

Where Yoga Comes From?

The word yoga was first mentioned in ancient sacred texts called the Rig Veda. The Rig Veda is one of the oldest and most sacred books in human history, having been written 8-10 thousand years ago. Classical yoga is a part of this Vedic literature and was propounded by Maharishi Patanjali nearly 5.000 years ago in northern India.

In the yogic lore, Shiva is seen as the first yogi or Adiyogi, and the first Guru or Adi Guru.

The language of yoga is actually Sanskrit, the root of many Indian languages and one of the oldest of in the world.

When Did Yoga Arrive In The West?

Yoga, as it is known in the West, took off in the late 1890s, when Indian monks began spreading their knowledge to the Western world for the first time. People who traveled to India were also able to rub shoulders with the yogis and observe their practice firsthand.

The introduction of yoga to the West is often credited to Swami Vivekananda (1863–1902). He first came to the United States of America in 1883 and was soon organizing world conferences on the subject, by describing yoga as a “science of the mind”, and he translated Yogic texts from Sanskrit into English.