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The History of Yoga

The History of Yoga

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Published by nicvidbis
To find out more about Krishnamacharya and Yoga teachings, please visit http://tinyurl.com/8yzn6aq
To find out more about Krishnamacharya and Yoga teachings, please visit http://tinyurl.com/8yzn6aq

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Published by: nicvidbis on Feb 17, 2012
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 ==== ====To Learn More About Krishnamacharya and Yoga Check This Out:http://tinyurl.com/8yzn6aq ==== ====No one knows exactly how old yoga is. It originated as long as 10,000 to 5000 years ago. It waspassed down orally and has gone through much evolution. The earliest reference to Yoga wasfound when archeological excavations were made in the Indus valley - an amazing powerful andinfluential civilization in the early antique period. This sophisticated culture developed around theIndus river and the long gone Sarasvati river in northern India, on the border towards Pakistan andhad sewage systems, baths as early as 2,600 BC. While many religions continue to want to make yoga their own creation, it belongs to all of us. Ithas many facets that can be found in the Hindu and Buddhist faith, but the basic principals areuniversal and based on "the eight limbs of yoga", which can be found in all religions. The History of Yoga is defined as four periods: Vedic Period, Pre-Classical Period, Classical Period, Post Classical Period and the Modern Period History of Yoga Yoga is said to be as old as civilization itself but the oral transmission of the practice, has leftseveral gaps in its history. Earliest archeological evidence relating to yoga's existence is found inMohenjodaro seals excavated from the Indus valley, depicting a figure seated in a traditional yogapose. The stone seals place Yoga's existence around 3000 B.C. The Vedic Period The next reference to yoga is found in the Rig Veda, the oldest sacred text in the world. TheVedas, dating back to 1500 and 1200 BC, are a collection of hymns, mantras and brahmanicalrituals that praised a greater being. Yoga is referred to in the book as yoking or discipline withoutany mention of a practice or a method to achieve this discipline. The Atharva Veda too mentionsyoga with a reference to controlling the breath. Pre-Classical Period The creation of the Upanishads, between 800 to 500 BC, marks the period called Pre-ClassicalYoga. The word Upanishad means to sit near and implies that the only way a student could learnthe truths inscribed in the texts was by sitting close to a guru. The Maitrayaniya Upanishad outlined a six-fold path to liberation. This six-fold yoga path includedcontrolling the breath (pranayama), withdrawing the senses (pratyahara), meditation (dhyana),concentration (dharana), contemplation (tarka), and absorption (samadhi). Patanjali's Yoga Sutra
 
was later to mirror these paths with greater elucidation and a few additions. Two yoga disciplines gained prominence at this time: karma yoga (path of action or ritual) and jnana yoga (path of knowledge or study of the scriptures). Both paths led to liberation orenlightenment. The Bhagavad-Gita, composed around 500 BC later added the bhakti yoga (thepath of devotion) to this path. It was at the time of the Upanishads that the idea of ritual sacrifice was internalized and becamethe idea of sacrifice of the ego through self-knowledge, action and wisdom. This remains animportant part of yoga's philosophy today. As with the Vedas, the Upanishads contained nothing ofwhat we would term as yoga asana practice today. The first and probably most importantpresentation of yoga came in the next period. Classical Period Written some time in the second century, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras created a milestone in thehistory of yoga, defining what is now known as the Classical Period. This set of 195 sutras(aphorisms) is considered to be the first systematic presentation of yoga, and Patanjali is reveredas the father of yoga. Patanjali defined the eight-limbed path of yoga (ashtanga yoga), which described a practicaltreatise on living and laid out a path for attaining harmony of the mind, body and soul. Strictadherence to which would lead one to enlightenment. The sutras still serve as a guideline for livingin the world, although modern yoga no longer sees the need to master the eight limbs insuccession. Post-Classical Period It was in this period that the belief of the body as a temple was rekindled and yogis designed apractice to rejuvenate the body and to prolong life. It was no longer necessary to escape fromreality; instead the focus was more living in the moment and on the correct path. The explorationof the spiritual and the physical halves and the need to harmonize the mind, body and spirit led tothe creation of Tantra yoga, to cleanse the body and mind, and to Hatha yoga in the ninth or tenthcentury. Modern Period Yoga in its present avatar owes a lot to learned gurus who traveled west to spread the benefits ofyoga, or researched and created different schools of yoga. In 1893 Swami Vivekanada addressedthe Parliament of World Religions in Chicago and spoke about Raja yoga. Swami Sivanada wroteseveral books on yoga and philosophy and introduced the five principles of yoga. J.Krishnamurti,the prolific Indian philosopher, influenced thousands with his writings and teachings on Jnanayoga. The defining epicenter of modern day yoga, as practiced in the west, began withKrishnamacharya, Mysore India in 1931. T Krishnamacharya opened the first Hatha yoga school in the 1920s. Three of Krishnamacharya's

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