A novice’s help guide to the real history of Yoga


Where it all began—learn about the annals of yoga, the roots for this ancient practice.

Find out about the real history of yoga, the roots of the ancient practice and tradition.

  • Sanskrit, the Indo-European language for the Vedas, India’s ancient religious texts, gave birth to both the literature and also the means of yoga. One concept of the term Sanskrit, “well-formed, refined, perfect or polished,” connotes substance and clarity, qualities exemplified into the practice of yoga.
  • The Sanskrit word yoga has several translations and certainly will be interpreted in many ways. It comes from the root yug and originally meant “to hitch up,” as with attaching horses to a car. Another definition was “to put to active and purposeful use.” Still other translations are “yoke, join, or concentrate.” Essentially, yoga has arrived to spell it out a way of uniting, or a method of discipline. A male who practices this discipline is called a yogi or yogin; a lady practitioner, a yogini.
  • Yoga comes out of an oral tradition where the teaching was transmitted directly from teacher to student. The Indian sage Patanjali has been credited because of the collation of the oral tradition into his classical work, the Yoga Sutra, a 2,000-year-old treatise on yogic philosophy. An accumulation 195 statements, the Sutra provides some sort of philosophical guidebook for coping with the challenges of being human.
  • Giving assistance with just how to gain mastery over the mind and emotions and suggestions about spiritual growth, the Yoga Sutra gives the framework upon which all yoga practiced today is based. Literally meaning “thread,” sutra has additionally been translated as “aphorism,” which means a tersely phrased statement of truth. Another definition of sutra is “the condensation of the greatest level of knowledge to the most concise description possible.” Keeping these meanings within the mind, we may think of the art and science of yoga as a kind of magnificent tapestry this is certainly woven together because of the threads of universal truths.
  • Initially, the discipline of hatha yoga—the physical aspect of yoga—was developed as a vehicle for meditation. The repertoire of hatha yoga prepared the human body, and especially the nervous system, for stillness, creating the mandatory physical strength and stamina that allowed your head to keep calm.
  • Your message hatha also has several translations. With ha meaning “sun” and tha meaning “moon,” we possess the common interpretation of hatha yoga as “a union for the pairs of opposites.” A more technical translation of hatha yoga is “force or determined effort.” Thus hatha yoga, the “yoga of activity,” may be the yoga that addresses the human body and mind and requires discipline and energy. This is the yoga that people can feel, that we can experience, the following and at this time. Hatha yoga is a powerful method of self-transformation. It will be the most practical associated with the yogas, and sages have recommended its practice in certain form for millennia as preparation for all the other yogas.