The development of yoga can be traced back to over 5,000 years ago, but some researchers think that yoga may be up to 10,000 years old. Basically Yoga’s long rich history can be divided into four main periods of innovation, practice and development.
Pre-Classical Period (800 B.C.- 200 B.C.)
The beginnings of Yoga were developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. The word yoga was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda. However Yoga is only a small part of it and it was slowly refined and developed by the Brahmans and Rishis (mystic seers). The most renowned of the Yogic scriptures is the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, composed around 500 B.C.E. Yoga was more of lifestyle rather than breathing or a posture-related practice.
Classical Period (184 B.C.- 148 B.C.)
It is defined by Patanjali’s Yoga-Sûtras, the first systematic presentation of yoga. Written some time in the second century, this text describes the path of Raja Yoga, often called “classical yoga”.
Post-Classical Period (800 A.D. -1700 A.D.)
During this age, followers of Patanjaliyoga gave yoga a new outlook by giving greater importance to the asanas, kriyas and pranayama, for cleansing of the body and mind. The purification of body and mind helped practitioners reach higher levels of practice, like Samadhi. This form of yoga is called hatha yoga.
Modern Period (From 1860’s onwards)
In the late 1800s and early 1900s, yoga masters began to travel to the West, attracting attention and followers. It was since 1893 when Swami Vivekananda introduced Yoga in Chicago,US.
By Baobei- 200hrYTT / 5 March 2018