The History Of Yoga

07 March 2017 / By Bite Size Yoga Team
the history of yoga
The history of yoga has caused considerable debate about its exact origin and beginnings. Some believe that it originated in the ancient Indus-Sarasvati civilisation, whilst others think that it was Lord Shiva who first taught yoga. Yoga originated approximately 5000 years ago in India (although some researchers believe that it may have originated up to 10,000 years ago) and its exact history is quite obscure and uncertain due to the secretive nature of its teachings and predominantly oral transmission of its sacred texts, as most of the early writings on yoga were on fragile palm leaves which were easily damaged or lost. Yoga is arguably one of the oldest sciences that is still around today, some evidence of this 5000-year timeframe exists in ancient Hindu texts called the Vedas and can be split into four main periods of innovation, practice and development.
 Vedic Yoga
The Vedas were a collection of texts that contained songs, mantras and rituals to be used by the Vedic priests (Brahmans). Yoga was slowly refined and developed by the Brahmans and Rishis (mystic seers) who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads, a huge work containing over 200 scriptures. The most renowned of the Yogic scriptures is the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, composed around 500 B.C.E. The Upanishads took the idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas and Yoga was slowly refined and developed by the Brahmans and Rishis (mystic seers) who documented their practices and beliefs in the Upanishads, a huge work containing over 200 scriptures. The most renowned of the Yogic scriptures is the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, composed around 500 B.C.E. The Upanishads took the idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas and The most renowned of the Yogic scriptures is the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, composed around 500 B.C.E. The Upanishads took the idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas and The Upanishads took the idea of ritual sacrifice from the Vedas and internalised it, teaching the sacrifice of the ego through self-knowledge, action (karma yoga) and wisdom (jnana yoga).
Preclassical Yoga
In the pre-classical stage, yoga was a mixture of various ideas, beliefs and techniques that often conflicted and contradicted each other. The Classical period is defined by Patanjali’s Yoga-Sûtras, the first systematic presentation of yoga. Written around the second century, this text describes the path of Raja Yoga, often called "classical yoga". Patanjali organised the practice of yoga into an "eight-limbed path" containing the steps and stages towards obtaining Samadhi or enlightenment. Patanjali is often considered the father of yoga and his Yoga-Sûtras still strongly influence most styles of modern yoga. • Classical Yoga • Postclassical yoga      

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