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When was Yoga Invented?
The word Yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred Book, the Rig Veda. The Vedas were a collection of texts containing rituals, Mantras & songs, written by the Brahmans who were Vedic Priests. The Vedic people inhabited the Indus Valley as early as 1800 BC TO 1000 BC. They believed in the concept of altering one’s consciousness.
Yoga was slowly developed by the Brahmans and Rishis, who were mystic seers. They documented their beliefs and practises in the Upanishads, a huge work containing over 200 scriptures. The word “Upanishads” is roughly translated into “To sit next to” so we can see, that the teachings of Yoga was already passed down orally, one to one from Teacher to Student.
Yoga was really a network of ideas and it wasn’t until the late 1800’s & early 1900s that Yoga started to become popular. Yoga teachers started travelling to the west, and Swami Vivekananda lectured on Yoga In Chicago 1893, wowing attendees with his knowledge and craft of Yoga!
Hatha Yoga was the first popular Yoga. And the first Hatha Yoga school was opened in Mysore in 1924.
In the 1980’s Yoga became popular in the West as a means of physical exercise, but not necessarily, the Meditive & spiritual core that India had previously adopted with the practice. It is only in the last decade that Yoga has really captured the West’s imagination with Meditation and spiritual practices become ever more popular.
Yoga has 5 principle meanings:-
- A disciplined method for attaining a goal
- A technique of controlling the body and mind
- As a name of one of the systems or schools of philosophy
- In connection with other words such as Hatha, Layer & Mantra, referring to techniques of Yoga
- As the goal of Yoga practice
International Day Of Yoga
On 11th December 2014 the United Nations General Assembly approved the 21st June as “International Day Of Yoga”. This is particularly significant for many people in the Northern Hemisphere as it is the longest day of the year. The first “International Day Of Yoga, was on 21st June 2015 and was observed by millions across the world.
Two Guinness World records were even broken. One for the largest ever Yoga class of 36,000 people at Rajpath & the record for most nationalities participating in it-84
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You may wish to read our other post “What types of yoga are there?“