What is Yoga?
- ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Yuj’
- Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice
- It has several health benefits
Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice, deeply rooted in Indian philosophy. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit term ‘Yuj’, which refers to the process of combination. Yoga, as a discipline, aims to create a balance between an individual’s mind, body, and soul.
According to historical texts, Yoga is an art that unites an individual’s soul with the universe, helping the person lead a life in harmony with the world around them.
Yoga has several health benefits, such as relieving stress and anxiety, improving mobility and flexibility, boosting digestion, alleviating pain, and enhancing one’s quality of life.
The practice has several forms and types, including Vinyasa Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Power Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Anusara Yoga, Yin Yoga, Jivamukti Yoga, Sivananda Yoga, Iyengar Yoga, Viniyoga and Kundalini Yoga.
Yoga, which is said to have originated thousands of years ago during the onset of human civilization, is divided into four historical periods. These are pre-classical, classical, post-classical, and modern yoga.
The pre-classical period was the beginning of the discipline, which started during the Indus-Sarasvati civilization over 5,000 years ago. Yoga has been mentioned in several old texts, including the Rig Veda.
In its classical era, the practice became popular and gained complexity due to differing beliefs, ideas, and techniques.
The post-classical period was mainly about analyzing yogic texts and debunking incorrect beliefs. This was also the time when Tantra Yoga was created.
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Yoga's modern period began in the late 1800s and early 1900s when the practice spread to the West. This happened when Swami Vivekananda presented a lecture on the discipline at the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893.
Today, Yoga continues to grow and develop, offering rejuvenation, vitality, and ultimately, supreme enlightenment to people.