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The History of Yoga, Almost As Old As Time

Jun 9, 2008
The beginning of the ancient history of yoga is not written down, most was transmitted first orally and later with the help of sacred texts on palm leaves. That is how long Yoga is been around... It is difficult to tell exactly by date how long the history of yoga extends and how old this practice actually is because many of the first written history is lost, damaged and destroyed by time. Some say that it is 8,000 years old others think it can't be that old and it should be closer to 4,000 years. We know the first record are from 3000 BC but there were four main periods of practice, development and innovation.

There where hints that people were doing yoga as early as 3,000 BC in the Indus Vally Civilization and also in the Vedic civilization in circa 1500 BC. In many different Hindu texts yoga was elaborately mentioned and it was incorporated in many philosophies like the Buddhist and Jain philosophy. It was and is popular in many different cultures and over the last fifty years it only became more popular.

It depends on what historian you would like to believe, but there are records that the history of yoga may run back to eight thousand years or five thousand years ago (historians do not agree on the exact time) because of the Mohenjo-daro seals (Mohenjo-daro one of the largest city-settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization). The seals were old carvings that show a figure of which a lot of people believe to be a a young yogi sitting in the traditional cross legged meditation posture, with the hands resting on the knees. They called this figure Shiva Pashupati named by the archaeologist who did discovered the Mohenjo-daro seal.

Much clearer where the Hindu religious texts the Vedic shastras. Some are convinced that the Mohenjo-daro seal is just a coincidence and they believe yoga is "just" four thousand years old. The oldest Hindu text is the Rig Veda, and yoga can be traced back to this texts later versions of this texts talkes about uniting the soul, mind, and body into a cosmic "one".

The Upanishadic (ca. 800-100 BC)

We can see in the Upanishadic (The Upanishads are a relatively new part of the Vedas. They form the core spiritual thought of Vedantawe) the first examples whet we now see as traditional concepts and terminology.

There are writing's about:

- breathing control
- uniting of the six limbs
- medication
- sensory inhibition
- concentration
- ecstasy
- examination

Hatha Yoga in Modern Times

When we talk about yoga in the West far away from the Hindu culture we generally refer to Hatha Yoga. But Hatha Yoga, is in fact just a particular yoga system that Swami Swatamarama developed in the 15th century in India. Hatha yoga has become very popular over the last 50 years, but as a physical exercise, in America we almost add no spiritual component. By "loosing the spiritual component we lost an essential part of the yoga as it was meant in historical times.
About the Author
Yoga, Homeopathy and other old wisdom's is what Carol Haily is looking for. Subjects ranging from yoga mat royal to yoga mastery of the elements , she addresses it all at here website.
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