According to wikipedia
Yoga (/ˈjoʊɡə/; Sanskrit, योग Listen) is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. There is a broad variety of Yoga schools, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.Among the most well-known types of yoga are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga.
The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, it is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India's ascetic and śramaṇa movements.The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Hindu Upanishads. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st millennium CE, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra.
Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the west, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise; it has a meditative and spiritual core. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.Read More
Moreover, Yoga comes out of an oral tradition in which the teaching was transmitted directly from teacher to student. The Indian sage Patanjali has been credited with the collation of this oral tradition into his classical work, the Yoga Sutra, a 2,000-year-old treatise on yogic philosophy. A collection of 195 statements, the Sutra provides a kind of philosophical guidebook for dealing with the challenges of being human.
Giving guidance on how to gain mastery over the mind and emotions and advice on spiritual growth, the Yoga Sutra provides the framework upon which all yoga practiced today is based. Literally meaning "thread," sutra has also been translated as "aphorism," which means a tersely phrased statement of truth. Another definition of sutra is "the condensation of the greatest amount of knowledge into the most concise description possible." Keeping these meanings in the mind, we might think of the art and science of yoga as a kind of magnificent tapestry that is woven together by the threads of universal truths.
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In the Bhagavad Gita it has been said that “Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam”, or ‘Yoga is skill in action and expression’. Yoga was a part of one of the oldest and most sacred books to have ever been written- The Rigveda, which was written around 8-10 thousand years ago. Yoga was a part of this Vedic literature which was propounded by Maharishi Patanjali nearly 5000 years ago.
History of yoga are of different schools of philosophy, for e.g. Gyan yoga, Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, Hatha yoga, Raj yoga, Mantra yoga, Shiva yoga, Naad yoga, Laya yoga and many more. Of these, asanas are a part of the Hatha yoga tradition, which has gained a lot of popularity in recent years because of the direct fitness benefits that one can attribute to it.
In more recent times Yoga has captured the imagination of people around the world. Yoga Guru’s started travelling to the west, in order to spread the message of Yoga. Perhaps the most significant contribution was first made by Swami Vivekananda in 1893, when he amazed the attendees with his lectures on Yoga and the universality of the world’s religions. With Guru’s such as T. Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda and other yogis practicing Hatha Yoga, the practice was strongly promoted in the country as well.
The importation of yoga to the West was still slow, until Indra Devi opened her yoga studio in Hollywood in 1947. Since then, many more western and Indian teachers have become pioneers, popularizing hatha yoga and gaining millions of followers. Hatha Yoga now has many different schools or styles, all emphasizing the many different aspects of the practice.
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