The Background of Yoga
Have you heard all the hype about Yoga yet? If you are interested in get fit, reduce stress or reach into your deeper, spiritual side, Yoga could be just right for you. Where did Yoga come from? What are all those strange words and chanting? Let's look into the history of Yoga and why people practice it. You don't need to know all the words or their meanings to practice Yoga. It does help to have a little knowledge about the subject. Yoga can give you the sense of satisfaction that only meditation and physical exercise combined can give you. The beauty of that is it can be carried out all in one exercise program!
Yoga is a discipline. It offers a chance to have true union between your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is right in the middle between physical exercise and meditation. In hard physical exercise, the body is physically taxed and is tuned up. It doesn't take much thinking to go through an exercise routine.
Meditation on the other hand, the body does nothing; it is all with stilling your mind and reaching in for your inner spirit. In today's stressful society, people are looking for a way to become physically as well as spiritually fit. It's becoming popular because it ties the two, physical and mental, together into a comfortable package in the middle.
Yes, it does take physical discipline to sit in one position for long periods. The mental discipline used in quieting your mind and shutting out the world quiets the mind and brings you a serenity that regular physical exercise can't give you. A good session of Yoga can give you a spirit of calm and serenity that physical exercise can't. It also brings you a sense of well since meditation on its own can't give you. It's in the middle and maybe the practice of Yoga is what you have been looking for to enhance your physical well being and bring serenity to your world.
So where did this practice come from? It originated in India over 5,000 years ago. The strange words come from the Sanskrit language. No one knows who invented Yoga; it's one of those mysteries like who invented the wheel. The facts we do know are that it became a tradition and was practiced regularly around 500 B.C.
Hatha Yoga is the style of Yoga that westerners practice today. The slim, serene young lady, leading a class of students through poses is what we think of when we think of Yoga today. When it originated, all students were searching for the divine inside of them. They were all looking for God and the Divine meaning for their life.
It's the same today with students of yoga searching for their spiritual inner self and guidance from the Divine. Most modern forms of Yoga are traced back to the Yoga Sutras. Patanjali wrote them somewhere between 300 B.C. and 100 A.D. No one is certain exactly when they were created, but the practices and philosophy are explained and they are just as valid today as they were then.
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