Yoga can be traced back to the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. The word “yoga” was first seen in various sacred texts, including the Rig Veda. It took a while for yoga to become refined and developed by the Brahmans and Rishis, who documented their practices and beliefs in a massive work containing over 200 different scriptures. One of the most famous scriptures depicting yoga is the Bhagavad-Gita, which was written in 500 B.C.E.
In the pre-classical stage, yoga was a combination of many different ideas, techniques and beliefs, which often contradicted each other. The very first systematic presentation of yoga was developed in the Classical period. Patanjali’s Yoga-Sutras was the first document to define systematic yoga, organizing it into an “eight limbed path”, which contained various steps and stages that one could follow to reach enlightenment. Yoga masters started travelling to the western part of the world in the late 1800s and 1900s. The very first Hatha Yoga school was established in 1924.
In present day, yoga education is taught by a number of different institutions, including colleges, universities, naturopathy colleges and various other places. Yoga is still an extremely popular way to exercise the body and mind for people in the eastern and western parts of the world. Over the years yoga has been refined quite a bit into what we know it as today. There are of course many different techniques and concepts within yoga that are used by different people. Not everyone does yoga in the same way, and there is no single defined way that one should do it.
Many community centers and educational institutions offer yoga classes for those who wish to improve their bodies and minds. If you are interested in improving your overall health, it is highly recommended that you take the time to look into what yoga has to offer as a whole. Ancient people did yoga in one form or another many years ago, and it has endured and even increased in popularity over these many years since. Yoga is an incredibly effective way to go about gaining spiritual enlightenment, mental clarity and physical strength. It is something that almost anyone can do, and there many different movements. Some yoga movements are more difficult than others, but there are certainly a lot of great ones for those who are just starting out.