When the entire world was living by the notion that the Earth is flat, Indians used to worship the nine planets. Our ancestors had astounding knowledge about the physical and cosmic universe, and Yoga is a reflection of this. Yoga’s approach to holistic health focuses on overall well-being with breathing exercises, physical postures, mindfulness, and meditation. Today, millions of people worldwide incorporate Yoga into their routine lives; however, before you enroll for Yoga Classes in Gurgaon, let’s take a closer look at the history and evolution of yoga, from its origins in ancient India to its present-day popularity.
Origins of Yoga in Ancient India
Yogic principles draw their roots from Rigveda, a collection of ancient Hindu hymns. Etymologically, “Yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “Yuj,” meaning to yoke or unite. Originally, Yoga was a way to achieve a union between the mind, body, and spirit, and to connect with the divine.
Over time, the spiritual yogic forms evolved into a more structured practice, with different types to suit different needs and goals. Some of the earliest types of Yoga include Hatha Yoga, which focuses on physical postures, and Raja yoga- a more meditative practice.
Yoga in The Modern Era
Yoga began to gain popularity in the West in the early 20th century. In 1893, Swami Vivekananda, a Hindu monk, introduced Yoga to the United States at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. He spoke about the benefits of Yoga and meditation and demonstrated several yoga postures.
In the 1960s, Yoga became even more popular in the United States, with the rise of the counterculture movement. Many young people were drawn to Yogic practices as a way to explore alternative lifestyles and find a sense of inner peace. The Beatles, for example, famously traveled to India in 1968 to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a guru who taught transcendental meditation. Gradually, the ancient art of mindfulness continued to grow in popularity, with more and more people turning to the practice to improve their physical and mental health. Today, there are estimated to be more than 36 million people practicing yoga in the United States alone.
Different Types of Yoga
• Hatha Yoga: Focuses on physical postures and breathing exercises to promote flexibility, strength, and relaxation.
• Vinyasa Yoga: A more dynamic form of Yoga that involves flowing from one posture to the next in a continuous sequence.
• Bikram Yoga: Yoga is practiced in a heated room and involves a set sequence of 26 postures.
• Ashtanga Yoga: A more intense form of Yoga involving a set sequence of postures and focusing on building strength and stamina.
• Iyengar Yoga: Yogic form that emphasizes proper alignment and uses props such as blocks and straps to help students achieve the correct posture.