History of Yoga

The yoga we know today was developed as a part of the tantric civilization which existed in India and all parts of the world more than ten thousand years ago. In archaeological excavations made in the Indus Valley at Harappa and Mohenjodaro, now in modem Pakistan, many statues have been found depicting deities resembling Lord Shiva and Shakti (in the form of Parvati) performing various asanas and practising meditation. These ruins were once the dwelling place of people who lived in the pre-vedic age before the Aryan civilization started to flourish in the Indus subcontinent. According to mythical tradition, Shiva is said to be the founder of yoga and Parvati, his first disciple.

Lord Shiva is considered to be the symbol or embodiment of supreme consciousness. Parvati represents supreme knowledge, will and action, and is responsible for all creation. This force or energy is also known as kundalini shakti, the cosmic force which lies dormant in all beings. Parvati is regarded as the mother of the whole universe. The individual soul is embodied and bound to the world of name and form, and also liberated from the bondage of the world and united with supreme consciousness through her grace. Out of love and compassion for her children, she imparted her secret knowledge of liberation in the form of

Tantra The techniques of yoga have their source in tantra and the two cannot be separated, just as consciousness, Shiva, cannot be separated from energy, Shakti. Tantra is a combination of two words, tanoti and trayati, which mean 'expansion' and 'liberation' respectively. Therefore, it is the science of expanding the consciousness and liberating the energy. Tantra is the way to attain freedom from. The bondage of the world while still living in it. The first step in tantra is to know the limitations and capacities of the body and mind. Next it prescribes techniques for the expansion of consciousness and the liberation of energy whereby individual limitations are transcended and a higher reality experienced.

Yoga arose at the beginning of human civilization when humankind first realized their spiritual potential and began to evolve techniques to develop it. The yogic science was slowly developed by ancient sages all over the world. The essence of yoga has often been shrouded in or explained by different symbols, analogies and languages. Some traditions believe that yoga was a divine gift revealed to the ancient sages so that humankind could have the opportunity to realize its divine nature.

In ancient times, yoga techniques were kept secret and were never written down or exposed to public view. They were passed on from teacher or guru to disciple by word of mouth. In this way there was a clear understanding of their meaning and aim. Through personal experience, realized yogis and sages were able to guide sincere aspirants along the correct path, removing any confusion, misunderstanding and excessive intellectual contemplation.

The first books to refer to yoga were the ancient Tantras and later the Vedas, which were written about the time the Indus Valley culture was flourishing. Although they do not give specific practices, they allude to yoga symbolically. In fact, the verses of the Vedas were heard by the rishis, seers, in states of deep yogic meditation or samadhi, and are regarded as revealed scriptures. It is, however, in the Upanishads that yoga begins to take a more definable shape. These scriptures collectively form Vedanta, the culmination of the Vedas, and are said to contain the essence of the Vedas.

Sage Patanjali's treatise on raja yoga, the Yoga Sutras, codified the first definitive, unified and comprehensive system of yoga. Often called the eight-fold path, it is comprised of yama, self-restraints, niyama, self-observances, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, and disassociation of consciousness from the outside environment, dharana, concentration, dhyana, meditation, and samadhi, identification with pure consciousness.

In the 6th century BC, Buddha's influence brought the ideals of meditation, ethics and morality to the fore and the preparatory practices of yoga were ignored. However, Indian thinkers soon realized the limitations of this view.

The yogi Matsyendranath taught that before taking to the practices of meditation, the body and its elements need purifying. He founded the Nath cult and the yogic pose matsyendrasana was named after him. His chief disciple, Gorakhnath, wrote books on hatha yoga in the local dialect and in Hindi. Indian tradition previously required that original texts be written in Sanskrit. In some cases they clothed their writings in symbolism so that only those qualified to receive a teaching would be able to understand it. One of the most outstanding authorities on hatha yoga, Swami Swatmarama, wrote the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, or 'Light on Yoga', in Sanskrit, collating all extant material on the subject. In doing so, he reduced the emphasis on yama and niyama, thereby eliminating a great obstacle experienced by many beginners. In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Swatmarama starts with the body and only later, when the mind has become stable and balanced, are the yamas and niyamas (self-control and self-discipline) introduced.

Yoga is eternal science and art of living, merging self-consciousness into the universal consciousness, way to liberation, experiencing bliss within, perfection and self-transformation. Yoga means Union and it is happening every movement. There is nothing exists in this universe without the Yoga.

When you we take food, there is yoga. Perception through the senses and perceived by the mind.
Couple enjoying the sex, conception of baby, everything in this universe is made up of:
Five elements (Space, Air, Fire, Water, earth) + consciousness.

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