Since the word “yoga” was first referenced in the world’s oldest sacred document, the Rig Veda, there is a long and illustrious history behind the study of yoga, as well as educational and cultural traditions associated with it.
Let us delve deeper into the history of yoga in order to gain a better understanding of this practise.
A Concise Overview of the Past Decades Regarding the Development of Yoga.
a connection between one’s mind and body (a quiet mind leads to a calm body).
Yoga is both an art and a science, and both are intricately connected to the process of bringing one’s particular consciousness into alignment with that of the universe.
The Sanskrit word “Yuj,” which literally translates to “union,” is where the term “yoga” got its start.
This partnership of the intellect and the body illustrates the connection that humans have with the natural world. Due to the hectic pace of our life, we have lost connection with other living beings and, as a result, with nature.
We are able to comprehend and reestablish a connection with the natural world and the universal consciousness if we pause for a moment and focus on our breathing in the appropriate manner. Pranayama, which refers to yogic breathing that is controlled, revs up the body’s vital energy.
The practise of yoga brings a person closer to nature as well as to a more elevated version of their own natural condition (for example, think about how you feel when you are hiking in the mountains or swimming in the ocean). It brings one into harmony so that they become one with everything. Numerous yoga positions, such as the cat pose, the snake stance, the eagle pose, the lion pose, and the mountain pose, are named after elements of nature and animals. These yoga positions, which help us connect via movement, breath, and meditation, are called “asanas.”
Those who have participated in yoga and have seen its benefits often emphasise the significance of the mind in the yoga practise. Is it even possible for our mind, which is always cluttered with distractions from the outside world, to ever acquire the detachment that yoga requires?
This time-honored custom, on the other hand, may trace its roots all the way back to the holy realm. A thought like that could never come into existence outside of the head of an immortal.
A Divine Origin (definitely not scarred by human distractions)
When tracing the origins of yoga, we find ourselves in the northern India region some several thousand years ago. The word “yoga” is first mentioned in the Rig Veda, which is considered to be one of the four most sacred books in Hinduism. Yoga was practised during this time period, as evidenced by the period’s unique old paintings and carvings, which shed information on the practise. Figures that resemble Lord Shiva (Pashupati) and his consort Parvati show various meditation positions and yogic asanas.
The story goes that Lord Shiva introduced his wife Parvati to yoga in order to enlighten her and help her remember who she truly was. His goal was to help her reconnect with who she truly was. Nandi, the mount of Lord Shiva and his most devoted pupil, overheard some of the teachings that Shiva was imparting to his other disciples at the time and later shared them with humanity. It is said that Lord Shiva was the very first yogi, or adiyogi, and that Parvati was the very first shakti (the first energy).
The Origins of Yoga
After That, the Saptarishis Appear (Seven Sages)
The story continues by saying that Parvati, who also found it impossible to keep this hidden art to herself, gave it to Lord Brahma, who is considered to be the ultimate creator. Brahma, in turn, taught yoga to his sons Narada and Sanat Kumaras (the five sages who were cursed to become kids for the rest of their lives). And finally, this information made its way to the seven wise men, also known as saptarishis, who lived in ancient India.
The ancient Indian traditions praise the seven sages as being the most wise and well-respected individuals ever to have lived. And after that, it was the rishis who eventually recorded this once-secret wisdom in the Upanishads, which are a set of over 2,000 Hindu philosophical-religious sacred books.
Sage Patanjali is regarded as the originator of modern yoga.
Patanjali, an ancient Indian sage, is credited with developing a methodical approach to yoga and making the practise more approachable to common folk. The Patanjali Yoga Sutras are recognised as the first collection of yoga teachings to be organised. This particular style of yoga was developed by Sage Patanjali between the years 500 BCE and 400 CE. This text was so widely read in ancient India that it eventually became the one that was translated into the most languages. As is the case with all amazing things, yoga fell out of favour for a considerable amount of time but was brought back into fashion in the late 19th century by revivalists such as Swami Vivekananda. The Patanjali Yoga Sutras is the sacred text that should be read by everybody who has an interest in learning more about the origins of the yoga philosophy.
The Bhagavad Gita and the Practice of Yoga
The Bhagavad Gita is not only the most well-known holy text associated with Hinduism, but it is also the most well-known Yogic text in the history of the world. The lessons of the Gita have been a source of inspiration for many notable Western philosophers, including Einstein, Eliot, Emerson, Will Smith, and Steve Jobs, amongst others. People from all across the world look to the Gita for solutions to questions about life and its meaning. The Hindu values of dharma (duty), bhakti (worship), karma (actions), and moksha (liberation) are all contained within the Gita (liberation of the soul). The Gita sheds light on the way for many people and helps us make sense of the world’s complexities by instructing us on how to live our lives.
The Bhagavad Gita and the Incredible Ascendance of Ashtanga Yoga
The ancient texts were written in Sanskrit, which is known as the language of the educated, and only people who had left the world in pursuit of a higher cause were allowed to practise. It was also impossible for common people and housewives to develop the amount of concentration and commitment necessary to reach the highest stage of trance, known as samadhi. This factor made it impossible for them to become proficient yogis. They likewise were unable to remove themselves from the things and people of this world.
Patanjali, who is also regarded as the father of yoga, is credited for developing a method that anybody may practise. This information can be found in the history of yoga. It guides the practitioner toward the ultimate objective of self-realization in a methodical manner, sometimes referred to as “limb by limb.” Ashtanga, also known as eight-limbed yoga, was standardised by Sage Patanjali, who is credited with popularising this ancient and sacred practise and making it available to the general populace. And Shavsa has delivered it to you in its most unadulterated and applicable form, right there in your living room.
The eight limbs of yoga are as follows: ethics (yama), discipline (niyama), yoga postures (asana), breath control (pranayama), withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara), concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana), and absorption or trance or nirvana (samadhi).
The Practice of Yoga as We Know It
The ancient Indian scholar Patanjali is credited with being the originator of Ashtanga Yoga, which is practised today. The practise of asanas is considered to be the essence of this ideology. That’s right, the very same asanas that are readily accessible to us in the modern era. Sage Patanjali’s “eight-limbed path” led students to these same asanas, which paved the way to samadhi, the highest possible state of insight. The majority of the yoga techniques that are done now are derived from this route. Sage Patanjali is often referred to as the “father” of modern yoga for this reason.
Take some deep breaths and try to relax.
In yoga, the practise of controlling and regulating one’s breath, known as pranayama, opens up channels for the energy to flow freely. Prana, which translates to “life energy,” is where the term originates from in Sanskrit, while Ayama is where the term is used (to draw out). According to the history of yoga, Pranayama is the fourth limb of Patanjali’s eight-limb path of yoga and a crucial component within the framework of the route.
In order to reach the highest possible level of awareness, the most traditional yoga practises concentrated solely on pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation rather than Hatha Yoga and its postures (asanas). However, most modern yoga practises centre their attention on Hatha Yoga and its postures. So take a deep breath and exhale all of your anxieties!
The Messages That Your Body Is Sending You
Your gestures convey what your body is saying. Asanas are just physical postures, to put it in the simplest terms possible. The most fundamental type of asana is the seated meditation pose that most people think of when they hear the word. It is nothing more than an extended form of asanas, and in more recent times, workout positions where one can recline, balance, twist, stand, and invert. Hatha Yoga is the new type of yoga that is taking over the world of yoga. Asanas, or yoga positions, should feel natural to you and be within your comfort zone in order for you to reach your ultimate goal through yoga. Certainly not the intricate network of positions that they give the impression of being! There are 840,000,000 different asanas, but only 84 are used in the practise of Hatha yoga. We teach over 500 different asanas at Shvasa, along with the benefits of each one and how to perform them properly. Yoga masters such as Yogendra, Kuvalayananda, and Krishnamacharya, Pattabhi Jois, and B.K.S. Iyengar, among others, have developed many new asanas over the course of yoga’s history to better accommodate modern practitioners. These authorities were the ones who popularised yoga and brought it to the western world about a hundred years ago.
Asanas for Chakras
It is surprising how asanas have been able to maintain their relevance in today’s environment. The asanas have a direct effect on our feelings. Our postures frequently reflect the mental condition that we are currently in. Working on our asanas in this way allows us to modify not just our feelings but also our thinking and our understanding. Asanas and chakras are two types of bodily positions that can be used to stimulate the body’s energy centres and provide it the ability to function more effectively. The way that it is meant to work! The activation of the kundalini points through the proper performance of yoga asanas and kriyas clears the path for the unimpeded circulation of energy throughout the body. The mind and the body are brought into harmony through the practise of yoga. It does this by activating a variety of different elements of the nervous system, including the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems.
Although this technique is employed in a very casual manner in the present era, in order to stimulate the chakras and raise the kundalini it is necessary to devote a significant amount of concentration and time.
When the Sun and the Moon Merge Together This Is Called Hatha Yoga
The origins of all of the yoga practises that are most well-known in western cultures may be traced back to Hatha Yoga. At its most fundamental level, Hatha Yoga entails striking a harmonious equilibrium between the opposing forces that make up existence. The word “ha” refers to the sun, while the word “tha” refers to the moon. Pingala, which represents solar energy, and Ida, which represents lunar energy, are brought into harmony within ourselves so that we might develop awareness of a higher consciousness. Ida is located on the left side of the spine and ascends to stop at the left nostril. Pingala is a reflection of Ida, and it reaches its conclusion in the right nostril. Ida represents the lunar energy, which is chilly, feminine, and comforting. In contrast, Pingala represents the solar energy, which is warm and outgoing like a man.
Working the body via various asanas was the beginning of the Hatha Yoga practise, which dates back to the beginning of yoga. This is then followed by pranayama, which is then followed by meditation, and finally, you reach the ideal condition of higher awareness (proving that yoga lives up to all the hype around it!).
The miraculous act of giving yoga to the world can be traced back to the wish of a divine being to bestow upon his partner the most effective method available for realising one’s full potential and maximising one’s abilities. Because of the efforts of great sages and yogis who have moved mountains to bring it to us mortal humans, it is now easily available. This was not always the case. It is a powerful instrument that possesses capabilities that extend well beyond the confines of the mortal realm.
Indeed, the sacred universe has bestowed this gift of yoga upon us. The foundation for all of Shvasa’s yoga plans and classes is Patanjali’s original eight-limbed yoga. Make the most of this exceptional gift that is made available to you through our one-of-a-kind live workshops taught by our masters who were trained in the ashrams of the Himalayas. Why bother chasing your ambitions when Shvasa yoga may provide you with a genuine piece of ‘paradise on earth’ in the western world only a century ago?