History of Yoga
history of yoga can be traced back to over 2500 BC. In
Indus Valley, ancient stone tablets were found with engravings of yoga
postures from that time. Although these are the first
examples of yoga, it is likely that the teaching of yoga pre-dates
these as well.
Achieving Harmony with the
is thought that ancient yogi's sought to achieve a "oneness" with the
natural world. To do so, they observed the natural world
them, in particularly the animals, birds, and other forms of
life. From these, they developed a series of exercises and
postures called asanas, as well as breathing practices.
to the same Goal
the ancient yoga teachers were all striving for the same goal, they
often took paths to achieve it. Some of the branches of yoga
Yoga - believes that the mind is the king of the
psycho-physical structure and it therefore needs to be cultivated via
Yoga - focuses on adherence to duty and unselfish acts as
the way to inner peace
Yoga - believes that enlightenment is found through
gaining knowledge and wisdom
Yoga - focuses on achieving enlightenment through selfish
acts of devotion
- this is the kind of yoga that is most often practiced in North
America. It focuses on physical postures to achieve peak
spiritual and physical being.
North America, yoga was a small movement in the 1960's. The
practice was considered "soft", in that it emphasized mediation,
relaxation, and separate, distinct postures. It was not the
energy, physical workout that is popular today.
This began to change in the 1980's as a harder form of yoga called
ashtanga started gaining popularity.
emphasizes physical postures first and foremost in order to build
strength and muscle tone, as well as vitality and endurance.
is much more of a workout than the softer variety, as it increases the
circulation, raises body heat, and gets the heart and lungs working.
When most people think of Yoga today, they are thinking of a form of
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