What is Yoga? Origin, Principle and growth

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Yoga“? Let me guess, a fitness regime? or a spiritual practice? A religion? An ideology? India? etc etc! Right?

Well, the word “Yoga” came from a Sanskrit word “Yog“, meaning an addition. It actually refers to a union, not ideology, spirituality, religion or physical fitness.

Yoga - Meditation

It is a union of physicality, mentality, and spirituality. It’s not only about twisting or bending your body or holding your breath. It’s a system and technology to reach the state of mind where you tend to realize the nuances of life. A tool to explore the inner energy required to enhance your capabilities.

Origin and Growth of Yoga

The earliest presence of Yoga found in Rigveda.  Although one can not pinpoint its origin, it is a subject of debate. Some scholars even credit it to Upanishad.

However, the first organized book “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” was written by Sage Patanjali. It is a collection of 196 sutras on the theory and practice of Yog. You can find the Translated version of it by Swami Vivekanand here –

the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali (Click above to download your copy)

It became popularized in the 19th-century following the success of Swami Vivekanand. In the late 1900’s it also spread across western countries.

Based on the philosophy of Patanjali, Ashtanga is fundamental to Yoga. In Sanskrit Ashtanga means Eight Limbs. Here is a chart view of Eight Limbs.

Astanga Yoga classification as per "The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali".
Astanga Yoga classification as per “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”.

Types of Yoga

The varieties of Yog are based on these eight limbs only. Out of many, the two most famous forms of it are- Hatha Yog and Raja Yog.

Raja yoga

It includes all the Eight Limbs. It is a path to discover yourself, to explore the inner energy inside you, more importantly- a path to enhance your capabilities in order to act more independently.

This is a huge subject itself, would require a separate blog for it. Stay tuned for more knowledge. Subscribe yourself as Raja Yoga is coming soon.

Hatha yoga

Hatha literally means” force“. It is a way to reach the state of mind through force. However, there is another definition to it- Ha represents the Sun while Tha represents the Moon, meaning- a combination of both energies together. It signifies the balance of both mind and body.

The below chart will make you understand about it.

hatha yoga-viayam

We will cover details about it as well in our coming blogs, stay tuned and subscribe yourself..

Want to start with Yoga, right away? Here’s your first pose, to begin with, every morning – The Sun Salutation or the Surya Namaskar

Interested in western form of fitness? Here are some of the blogs from our archive –

Pilates- Key to your core strength, flexibility, and balance

Parkour- an art of movement

Disclaimer - This is only to promote fitness. No youtuber or any channel. We just share the videos which we found good and with all the courtesy to the makers.

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