Yoga For Beginners – A Brief History Of Yoga
Hugs and Blessings gentle reader and welcome to another Yoga Inspires blog post. If this is your first visit here, thank you for taking the time to visit and I wish you an enjoyable read. Feel free to browse around other blogs which take your fancy.
Today’s post, the second in this six-part Yoga For Beginners mini-series, takes an introductory look at the history and roots of yoga as a way to wet your appetite to delve further into this subject.
What Are The Origins Of Yoga?
Like most of you, when I first heard about “”yoga” I knew it was something that had been around for years. I knew it had something to do with “stretching”, “relaxation”, “ inner peace and being happy and calm” As my understanding and practice grew, I began to take an interest in the more spiritual side of yoga and also became curious about the history and origins of this practice.
As I read around the subject, it became clear that yoga was definitely old.
How Old Is Yoga?
There is lot of mystery surrounding the exact history and origins of yoga.
Like many of you, I originally thought yoga originated in India.
Several seals discovered at the Indus Valley Civilisation (c.3300-1700 BC) sites in what is now Pakistan show figures in common yoga meditative poses, which suggest yoga was practiced as early as 3000 BC. As I grew in my appreciation of yoga, it became clear that yoga’s history goes even deeper than this.
Researchers and scholars can now trace the roots of yoga to Ancient
Yogi Babacar Khane and Dr Muata Ashby, researchers and practitioners of yoga can trace the roots of yoga to Ancient Africa (Kemet) where early Africans travelled and settled in India and became known as the Dravidians Indians. The Dravidians passed on their spiritual practices and teachings that influenced the roots of Hindu beliefs and yoga practices.
The relationship between the ancient roots of yoga and modern day teachings today is an on-going discussion within the wider yoga and historical communities.
What Does “Yoga” Mean?
The traditional meaning of the word ‘yoga’ originates from Sanskrit yuj meaning to yoke, unite, union, join together. Traditionally, the purpose of yoga is to achieve union, connection with the Divine. In more general terms, yoga is seen as a practical way to release stress and help you achieve a state of balance, harmony and union into your life.
For students and practitioners of yoga, it is not essential to know the history and meaning of your practice however as you open up to yoga, your desire and interest organically grows.
Final Thoughts And What Next?…
When you have time, I encourage you to deepen your understanding of yoga history. It is a fascinating subject and I’m learning more about it myself as we speak. That why I love yoga. It encourages and inspires you to enquire within and be open to all possibilities.
For starters, if you are interested in discovering more about the ancient roots and history of yoga, check out Dr Paul Jerad’s Yoga Teacher Training blog and Yoga Teacher Pablo Imani’s blog Both blogs are well worth reading as an introduction in the link between African spirituality and yoga traditions
In the next post in this 6-part Yoga For Beginners series we delve more into the different styles of yoga and look at what style is best for you. To make sure you receive your copy of future posts as soon as I publish them, sign up to my FREE 7-Day ecourse Marvellous You. Your free 7-day self-care, yoga and meditation ecourse designed to help you improve your health and have more Me-Time moments of calm weaved throughout your busy day. Visit Marvellous You for re details about this life affirming and harmonising course