This #ChillOutSunday we’re educating you on the peaceful and fascinating origins of yoga.
Yoga is a concept that has and does fascinate many people from all over the world. Many people think that yoga is simply meditation and a spiritual sport which both keeps you fit and relaxes the mind; when in fact, it is so much more! The term yoga encompasses religion, philosophy and practices and originated over 5,000 years ago in India, although now is regularly practiced all throughout Asia, attracting more and more holiday-makers to get more in touch with the mind, spirit and soul every year.
The word ‘yoga’ derives from the Sanskrit term for ‘listen’ which is extremely fitting of the practice. Anyone who practices yoga attempts to guide themselves into a physically, mentally and spiritually disciplined state. The ancient form of exercise aims to improve both your physical and mental wellbeing by building your strength and flexibility and through breathing practice and techniques.
Pre-Classical Yoga began in Northern India and was first spoken about in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda which was used by Brahmans (Vedic priests) containing rituals, mantras and songs. Together with Rishis (mystic seers), the Brahmans slowly developed what we now know as yoga by teaching it as the sacrifice of one’s ego through knowledge of yourself, action (karma yoga) and wisdom (jnana yoga). As yoga developed over time, it gained more structure and told stories of development along an ‘eight limbed path’ on your route to enlightenment. This concept was created by Patanjali in Patanjali’s Yoga-Sutras which was the first systematic illustration of yoga and he is still considered the father of yoga as many of his practices heavily influence modern yoga styles today. From here, styles developed to attempt to revitalise the body and prolong life by embracing the physical being in order to achieve enlightenment. This is where Tantra Yoga came from whereby people would attempt to cleanse their soul and mind that would bind them to their physical existence. This type of yoga has been the primary influence in the West which expanded into the understanding and exploration of a more spiritual connection with your body and being through what is known as Hatha Yoga. Through the 1900s, Hatha Yoga was heavily promoted throughout India and the 1920s witnessed the opening of the first Hatha Yoga School in Mysore followed by the launch of the Divine Life Society located on the Holy River Ganges in 1936. Starting with just 3 students, yoga has developed into a commonly practiced exercise – inspiring people all over the world whether it is for fitness, spirituality or anything else!
To experience a luxury or authentic Indian yoga retreat, contact a Just Love Travel specialist today to tailor-make your perfect holiday!0