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How Long Has Yoga Been Around

Shifting Definition Of Yoga Between 300 Bc And Ad 400

How Long Have You Been Doing Yoga? | Yoga | Gaiam

ancient cave painting of people picking grain looks sort of like yoga

For a long time yoga was a vague idea, whose meaning was difficult to pin down but was related more to meditation and religious practice than the exercises were associate it with today. Around the A.D. 5th century, yoga became a rigidly defined concept among Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains whose core values included: 1) uplifting or broadening consciousness; 2) using yoga as a path to transcendence; 3) analyzing ones own perception and cognitive state to understanding the root of suffering and using meditation to solve it ; 4) using mystical, even magical, yoga to enter other bodies and places and act supernaturally. Another idea that was addressed was the difference between yogi practice and yoga practice, which White said essentially denotes a program of mind-training and meditation issuing in the realization of enlightenment, liberation, or isolation from the world of suffering existence. Yogi practice, on the other hand, referred more the ability of yogis to enter other bodies to expand their consciousness.

Yoga sutra, dating back to maybe AD 1st century, Patanjali’s Yogabhasya, Sanskrit, Devanagari script

Another Yoga sutra, dating back to maybe AD 1st century, Patanjali’s bhasya, Sanskrit, Devanagari script


How Long Has Professional Basketball Been Around

The first professional basketball league started in 1898 called the NBL which stood for National Basketball League.

It consisted of 6 teams:

Three of those teams were in Philadelphia Called the Clover Wheelmen, Germantown Nationals, and Hancock Athletic Association. While the other three teams consisted of teams in New Jersey Called Millville Glass Blowers,;Camden Electrics, and;Trenton Nationals.

The league lasted until 1904 before folding due to investors backing out and legal issues.

Whats The Difference Between Raja Yoga And Hatha Yoga

Raja Yoga is known as the Yoga of the Mind and Emotions. Its focus is on introspection and contemplation more so than the physical aspect of asanas .;


The main text of Raja Yoga are the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali which outlines the 8-limbed Yogic Path.;

Raja Yoga has been around longer, so think of it as the grandparent of Hatha Yoga.;

Hatha Yoga is the Yoga of the Body. Its focus is on creating balance in the body and all its bio-energetic parts.;

The main text of Hatha Yoga is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.;

Asana practice is the main focal point here.;


Hatha Yoga is an integral part of the Raja Yoga because asana is the third limb in Patanjalis 8-fold path.;

  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Satchidananda
  • The Bhagavad Gita by Stephen Mitchell
  • Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Svatmarana
  • The Heart of Yoga by T.K.V. Desikachar
  • Light On Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar
  • Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar

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Mahabharata And Bhagavad Gita

Heralded as one of the worlds greatest stories, the Mahabharata tells the epic tale of a family divided by war, interwoven with a myriad of philosophical and spiritual lessons.

Its sometimes referred to as the longest poem ever written, at about 1.8 million words in total and 200,000 individual verse lines.

Its a bedrock of Indian culture and history. Some compare its influence with the likes of the Bible, the Quran, Shakespeare, and other great works.


According to the Mahabharata, the purpose of yoga is the experience of uniting the individual with the universal Brahman. It explores yoga in more depth in one of its most famous sections, the Bhagavad Gita .

The Gita details the conversations between warrior prince Arjuna and his charioteer Krishna. Arjuna is conflicted with despair and moral dilemmas about waging war, and Krishna calls upon him to uphold his Dharma, or duty.

In their rich dialogue, were introduced to three types of yoga:

  • Karma yoga: The yoga of action
  • Bhakti yoga: The yoga of devotion
  • Jnana yoga: The yoga of knowledge

One of the primary messages for Arjuna is to uphold one’s Dharma to achieve Moksha .

In modern times, The Gita has served as inspiration to many.


  • Gandhi, the leader of the nonviolent movement for Indias independence, leaned on The Gita in dark times for comfort and strength.
  • Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, praises The Gita as Indias biggest gift to the world.

Further reading:

If You Read This Book You Are Unique In Yoga History

Unlike traditional yoga which has been around for ...

No one has had such broad access to the diversity of traditions as we have now. We used to be given disciplines. Now we are given choices.

So this is just a few drops in a whole lot of ocean. Its a vast and perhaps scary territory. Guppies, after all, can easily get lost, or swallowed by bigger fish. But thenso was old Matsyendranath, the orphan boy who, legend says, founded haha yoga. He was abandoned at the shore by his parents and gobbled up whole by a whale, which then took a deep dive. By luck or karma, this gave him the chance to listen in on Siva and Parvati as they sat on the ocean floor, whispering about the mysteries of yoga. He listened for 12 years, which is about how long it will take this reviewer to fully absorb Roots of Yoga. And, perhapsfor it to become the top book on every yoga teacher training reading list in the English-speaking world.

See alsoPreviously Untold Yoga History Sheds New Light

About Our WriterMatthew Remski is a yoga and ayurveda teacher living in Toronto. Hes the curator of the WAWADIA? project. His latest book is Shadow Pose: A Secret History of Abuse and Healing in Modern Yoga. Learn more at matthewremski.com.


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Vivekananda’s Appearance In Chicago

Swami Vivekananda was born in 1863 in a well-to-do Calcutta family. As a young man, he became a disciple of the mystic Ramakrishna and took monastic vows shortly before his teachers passing. After traveling in India for five years, Vivekananda left India to travel to the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions in Chicago, an interfaith conference held during the massive;World’s Columbian Exposition.

According to the legend that has grown around Vivekanandas appearance at the Parliament, despite travel difficulties and nervousness, the swami addressed the crowd as sisters and brothers of America to thunderous applause. Vivekananda then rode the wave of success and lectured, wrote books, and opened branches of the Ramakrishna Mission known as Vedanta Societies during two separate U.S. tours.

The approval given to Vivekananda at the Parliament in Chicago was not unique to him, however. In the account of the Parliament published by its president John Henry Barrows, applause was also freely given to the other speakers as part of the self-congratulatory spirit of the Parliament. And Vivekananda did not just receive praise at the Parliament. Barrows also noted that very little approval was shown to some of the sentiments expressed by Vivekananda in his closing address.

Vivekananda sitting center among a group of men.


Jim Navy/Flickr Creative Commons

Ready To Learn More About The Origin And History Of Yoga

There is so much more to learn about the origin and history of yoga!

If youre interested in diving deeper, I developed this Yoga History course which is an accessible, informative and comprehensive breakdown of the history of yoga.

You will learn how yoga began and who started it, study the most influential masters throughout yogic history, unpack the ancient scriptures and their teachings, and gain an understanding of the spiritual aspects of yoga, along with how this all ties into your modern lifestyle.

If you are interested in this Yoga History course, YogiApproved readers get a special 10% discount using code: Yogiapproved at checkout.;

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The Modern Era Of Yoga

As yoga continued to develop and evolve in the east, the Mind and Body yoga practice evolved into a form of;Hatha Yoga. It was this style of yoga that eventually made its way to the western shores. T. Krishnamacharya is strongly responsible for bringing Hatha Yoga to the United States some time in the 1930s. He had formed the first Hatha Yoga School in Mysore, India in the early 1920s; it featured medicinal practices that coincided with the philosophy of yoga. He had several students who became highly influential in the continual teaching and modernization of yoga: B.K.S. Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois to name a few.

B.K.S Iyengar is known for customizing Hatha Yoga into a collection of 200 yoga poses accompanied by various styles of breath work to enhance healing in an individual. These components were designed to develop a strong, healthy mind, body, and spirit.

Yogis In Early Tantric Yoga

How to do Lizard Pose

White wrote: In many Tantras, such as the eighth-century CE Matangapramevargama of the Hindu aivasiddhnta school, this visionary ascent became actualized in the practitioners rise through the levels of the universe until, arriving at the highest void, the supreme deity Sadiva conferred his own divine rank upon him . It is in such a contextof a graded hierarchy of stages or states of consciousness, with corresponding deities, mantras, and cosmological levelsthat the Tantras innovated the construct known as the subtle body or yogic body. Here, the practitioners body became identified with the entire universe, such that all of the processes and transformations occurring to his body in the world were now described as occurring to a world inside his body.

Given the wide range of applications of the term yoga in the Tantras, the semantic field of the term yogi is relatively circumscribed. Yogis who forcefully take over the bodies of other creatures are the villains of countless medieval accounts, including the tenth- to eleventh-century Kashmirian Kathsaritsgara and the Yogavsistha. <*>

yogis under a Banyan tree, from a European explorer in 1688

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The Chakras Are As Much A Spiritual Dream As A Felt Reality

Different yoga sects speak of four, five, six, or twelve chakras. So whos right? One says that if you cant locate the chakras within you, thats okaydoing a fire ceremony is just as good. The chakras are not a result of the yogis empirical observation, write the authors, but rather parts of a visualized installation on the body of tradition-specific metaphysics and ritual schemata. In other words: they are ways of dressing the body in spiritual imagery proprietary to different practice groups. This holds a crucial message for practitioners who know that language continues to influence bodily experience. The goals of a particular system, write our authors, determine the way the body is imagined and used within its yoga practices. The yogic body wasand continues to be in traditional practitioner circlesone that is constructed or written on and in the body of the practitioner by the tradition itself.

See also A Beginners Guide to the Chakras

Yoga In Advaita Vedanta

Adi Shankara with DisciplesRaja Ravi Varma

Vedanta is a varied tradition with numerous sub-schools and philosophical views. Vedanta focuses on the study of the Upanishads, and one of its early texts, the Brahma sutras. Regarding yoga or meditation, the Brahma sutras focuses on gaining spiritual knowledge of Brahman, the unchanging absolute reality or Self.

One of the earliest and most influential sub-traditions of Vedanta, is Advaita Vedanta, which posits non-dualisticmonism. This tradition emphasizes JñÄna yoga , which is aimed at realizing the identity of one’s atman with Brahman . The most influential thinker of this school is Adi Shankara , who wrote various commentaries and original works which teach JñÄna yoga. In Advaita Vedanta, JñÄna is attained on the basis of scripture and one’s guru and through a process of listening to teachings, thinking and reflecting on them and finally meditating on these teachings in order to realize their truth. It is also important to develop qualities such as discrimination , renunciation , tranquility, temperance, dispassion, endurance, faith, attention and a longing for knowledge and freedom .’ Yoga in Advaita is ultimately a “meditative exercise of withdrawal from the particular and identification with the universal, leading to contemplation of oneself as the most universal, namely, Consciousness”.

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List Of Kriya Yoga Gurus

    There are eight Kriya yoga gurus who are considered to be the modern masters of the practice. Their lineage was created by one master anointing a worthy disciple as his successor. Each master has picked up the torch to disseminate the teachings of Kriya yoga to an even wider audience. The first guru in this lineage, Mahavatar Babaji Maharaj, is considered to be “a perfect divine incarnation in human form,” according to the Angel Fire website. However, subsequent masters are decidedly human.

    Yoga Has Been Around For Thousands Of Years

    Yoga enthusiasts long to touch their toes more than Gods ...

    More than 5,000 years ago, yoga started its journey as an ancient Indian science of exercise and healing, passed along from teacher to student through oral tradition and physical practice.

    Yoga is also known as one of the oldest holistic health care systems, not just because of its fundamental healing approach, but also because of its many benefits for physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.

    Translated from Sanskrit, the classical language of India, the word yoga means union, or to yoke or join. This union is about the individual consciousness joining with something greatersome may call that God, the divine, or universal consciousness. We also refer to yoga as the union of body, mind and spirita union we can reach through the yoga practices of specific postures , breathing exercises , relaxation techniques and meditation .

    The history of yoga can be grouped into four periods. The earliest period ofVedic Yoga focused on the Vedas, the sacred scripture of Brahmanism that is the basis of modern-day Hinduism. The Vedas contain the oldest known Yogic teachings. This period was characterized by rituals and ceremonies that allowed one to surpass the limitations of the mind and live in divine harmony.

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    Yoga Sutras The Eightfold Path To Enlightenmentyoga One Path Many Styles

    In this and other articles on this site, we have introduced you to many styles of yoga, and to masters and their teachings. It is widely accepted that these and almost all other yoga styles were influenced by the Yoga Sutras. The text is still very applicable today, offering us guidance to lead a more peaceful and balanced life. If you would like to delve a little deeper into what is behind your physical practice of yoga, we suggest looking at the Yoga Sutras. You might even think about joining or creating a group for book study.

    Whatever your goals, they are all good! If it is simply dedicating an hour now and then to move your body on the mat, that would be wonderful. If you are also practicing the breathing exercises and meditation, that would be awesome. Your yoga practice will evolve and may deepen. Even in the beginning we experience the benefits, in our body and in how we handle stress. Hang in there, and you might be on your way to spiritual enlightenment!

    Risks And Side Effects

    Many types of yoga are relatively mild and therefore safe for people when a well-trained instructor is guiding the practice.

    It is rare to incur a serious injury when doing yoga. The most common injuries among people practicing yoga are sprains and strains.

    However, people may wish to consider a few risk factors before starting a yoga practice.

    A person who is pregnant or has an ongoing medical condition, such as bone loss, glaucoma, or sciatica, should consult a healthcare professional, if possible, before taking up yoga.

    Some people may need to modify or avoid some yoga poses that could be risky given their specific condition.

    Beginners should avoid advanced poses and difficult techniques, such as Headstand, Lotus Pose, and forceful breathing.

    When managing a condition, people should not replace conventional medical care with yoga or postpone seeing a healthcare professional about pain or any other medical problem.

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    Sufism And Meditation Practice

    Sufism is an ancient Islamic tradition that dates back as far as 1400 years. It is a practice in which Muslims seek to connect with Allah through self-reflection and contemplation, and through shunning material goods. It is thought that through some Indian influence, Sufism developed its particular practice of meditation that includes a focus on breathing and the use of mantras.

    Shock Horror The Yoga Sutras Are Not Universally Accepted

    Maya has been around Amouranth too long (mizkif)

    or even respected amongst yoga adepts. Writing in his 18th century Hasavilsa, Hasamihu tells his wife and fellow traveller Hasi: Dear lady, Patañjalis teaching is nonsense, because there is nothing agreeable in anything achieved by force.

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    Yoga Masters A Teachers Calling

    Throughout history, yoga masters have brought deep devotion to their teaching, passing on their knowledge to students with passion and humility. We would like to acknowledge a few of these masters with gratitude. Their dedication and creativity gives us the ability to experience yoga as we know it today. Patanjali, one of the ancient sages of India, was a physician and philosopher, as well as a grammarian. He penned the Yoga Sutras about 2,000 years ago. His writings, which explain and instruct on all aspects of yoga practice , are written in the form of many aphorisms. Patanjalis Yoga Sutras is one of the most foundational pieces of yoga literature. It is still taught today, and is a part of almost every aspiring yoga teachers curriculum.

    Sri. T. Krishnamacharya is a descendant of the legendary yogi Nathamuni, who lived in the 9th century. Krishnamacharyas teachings were based on his lifetime studies of Patanjalis Yoga Sutras. He created and began teaching Viniyoga in the 1970s. Though steeped in the ancient teachings of yoga, he was able to combine them with the evolving needs of yoga students in the modern world. T.K.V. Desikachar, Sri. T. Krishnamacharya son, continues to teach and evolve his fathers work.

    Sri Swami Satchidananda, the late founder of Integral Yoga, believed that true and lasting happiness is our very own nature: what we seek is already found within. Integral yoga is a sweet and gentle style that, today, is taught throughout the world.

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