Yoga is considered to be a spiritual discipline which is meant to bring harmony between the body and mind.
History of How Yoga Developed
It is believed that practising yoga started at the wake of civilisation, even though the concept is known to have been in existence before the coming of organised religion.
The beginning of yoga can be traced back to more than 5000 years ago in Northern Indus. Shiva, one of the deities, is considered to be the first yogi or Adiyogi.
Legend has it that several years ago, Adiyogi gave the yogi knowledge to the Saptarashis, (also known as seven sages), at the banks of Lake Kantisarovar. The sages embraced the yoga knowledge and took it to different parts of the world.
Some of the areas where it gained popularity include Northern Africa, Asia, the Middle East and South America. It is in India where it earned the most demand, and many people who tried yoga made it a way of life.
In pre-classical stages, there was no solid definition of what yoga was. It was a mix of different techniques, ideas and beliefs. The classical period is known by the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, which is the first systematic yoga presentation. Patanjali put practising yoga into an eight-limbed path that leads towards enlightenment. He is considered the father of yoga.
Modern Day Yoga
Yoga masters started moving to Western countries from the late 1800s, and they attracted people who interacted with them. In 1893, Swami Vivekananda delivered a powerful lecture about yoga at the Parliament of religion in Chicago. Yoga schools started springing up in different parts of the world. Since then, a lot of teachers and yoga enthusiasts have been taking up the practice and using yoga not just as a way of relaxation, but for holistic care.