The History of Yoga
Yoga has become one of the most popular forms of exercise in recent years due to the many beneficial attributes. People tend to really enjoy the discipline because it is particularly easy on the joints and has been proven to relieve stress in a variety of ways. Some people are drawn to the name and others the style. But for whatever reason, Yoga is simply intriguing. Many people are so attracted to the practice that they usually jump right in before ever learning the actual history of yoga . Without this insight, you might not be able to thoroughly experience everything Yoga has to offer. Besides focusing on the physical, Yoga is also centered around:
Spirituality- understanding your beliefs and connection with the soul
Pantheism- the notion that a supreme being coexists with all of reality
Ignorance- coming to the realization that problems arise through lack of knowledge
Enlightenment- the accomplishment of spiritual acceptance
Meditation- the practice of emptying all thoughts from the mind and concentrating on the internal self
The practice revolves around breathing exercises and positions originating all the way back from early India. The original objective of Yoga was documented within the Upanishads, which were ancient Hindu scriptures written some time between 1000 and 5000 BC. This sacred text is where the philosophy of Yoga began.
Yoga Encourages the Body and Mind to Flourish
“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; for it becomes your destiny.” – Upanishads
Despite what religious beliefs you might hold, the discipline of Yoga is quite uplifting. It provides motivation to grow spiritually and guides your path to sensuality. Individuals who have incorporated Yoga into their lives have been said to become more focused, calm, and patient. However, the benefits are experienced by everyone in entirely different ways. Yoga encourages the balance of the physical self with the eternal self. Also known as, the finite jiva and the infinite Brahman. For those unfamiliar, the word jiva represents an individual being-a solitary soul-where the Brahman is a term that suggests the concept of God. Yoga can be quite intimidating from this perspective. But with the help of an open mind, your beliefs don’t have to be compromised…only explored.
Don’t let the fear of conversion discourage you from practicing Yoga either. If you are aware of the philosophy behind Yoga, but still choose not to accept it, that’s fine too. Regardless, it can eventually lead to a more tranquil way of life. Since the practice derives from God being a spiritual substance rather than an actual being, Yoga helps find harmony in all things. However, to achieve the level of understanding necessary through Yoga, you can not simply just hope. The Upanishads teach that you must strive to unify body and soul. The reasoning behind this comes from the Hindu’s stance on ignorance. According to the Yogis (those who live by the standards of yoga) you can either realize that everyone and everything deserves the right to personal fulfillment, or you can live confined by a closed mind. The history of yoga dates back to the early IVC (Indus Valley civilization) where people where very much so in tune with their bodies and completely relied on nature. This could very well be why Yoga is practically impossible to ignore; because it is truly authentic and entirely enlivening.
Yoga’s Miraculous Techniques
As a human being, we tend to take advantage of every day things. Breathing for instance, plays a much bigger part in our mood, health, and well being than we might first assume. Yoga refers to this technique as Pranayama. In using these breathing exercises, it is said that you can achieve clarity of thought and better concentration. The main methods include, but are not limited to:
Sukha Pranayama- meaning, victorious breath
NadiShodhan- meaning, alternate nostril breath
Sheetali- meaning, cooling breath
Bhastrika- meaning, bellows breath
Kapalbhati- meaning, cleansing breath
Each one has a unique way of inhaling and exhaling, targeting different areas of the body. Initially it sounds doubtful that simply breathing could be used as a healing tactic. Yet, you can never be completely uncertain of something unless you have tried it yourself. So don’t hesitate to give it a shot! Yoga is for everyone. There are beginners classes, intermediate, and different levels of advanced. And definitely don’t miss out on the chance to get some free Yoga equipment.