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What is the History of Yoga?

Yoga History

The ancient sage Patanjali is credited with developing and codifying yoga as a systematic practice. It is thought that Patanjali compiled the Yoga Sutras somewhere in the second century BCE. The eight limbs of yoga, known as Ashtanga or Raja Yoga, are one of the many practical and philosophical tenets of yoga that are outlined in the Yoga Sutras. These limbs are absorption or enlightenment (samadhi), concentration (dharana), withdrawal of the senses (pratyahara), physical postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), and ethical principles (yamas and niyamas). Numerous schools of yoga have developed over time, each focusing on unique facets of theory and practice. The following are a few of the main branches of yoga:
  1. Hatha Yoga:

  2. In order to balance the body and mind, Hatha yoga emphasizes physical postures, or asanas, and breathing exercises, or pranayama. It is the most popular type of yoga done in the West and is the basis of many contemporary yoga systems.

  3. Bhakti Yoga:

  4. The emphasis of bhakti yoga is on love and devotion to the holy. In order to develop a close relationship with the divine, bhakti yoga practitioners show their devotion via rituals, chanting, and prayer.

  5. Karma Yoga:

  6. The path of selfless activity and service is known as karma yoga. Karma yoga practitioners carry out their tasks and obligations without regard for the outcome, with the goal of purifying the mind and developing selflessness.

  7. Jnana Yoga:

  8. The path of wisdom and understanding is known as Jnana yoga. Jnana yoga practitioners study sacred books and conduct introspection on themselves in order to understand the nature of reality and the self.

  9. Raja Yoga:

  10. According to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, raja yoga is the way of meditation and mental discipline. It entails techniques that lead to spiritual freedom, including self-realization, meditation, and concentration.

Thanks to the efforts of Indian yogis like Swami Vivekananda and Paramahansa Yogananda, who brought yoga philosophy and practices to Western audiences, yoga acquired popularity in the West in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since then, millions of individuals have practiced various forms of yoga for their physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, as the practice has grown in popularity throughout the globe. Yoga is still evolving and adapting to modern lifestyles today, with many schools, styles, and methods of practice available to practitioners worldwide.


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