Comprehensive Overview of Yoga History

By Andrea Avery

NordicTrack

Yoga has a rich and lengthy history, dating back thousands of years to ancient eras. The melding of mind and body together is the principle behind this discipline. Participants focus on breathing, exercise, and meditation with a variety of different poses. Explore the history behind this system of wellness to learn more about it.

Ancient History

Yoga existed before written history in many cultures. The Indus Valley, located in what is now Pakistan and northwest India, is the site where archeologists found stone carvings of figures dating back at least 5,000 years.

A common misconception exists regarding yoga's roots. Many people mistakenly believe that it originated within the religious structures of Hinduism. Actually, the connection between the two practices occurred much later in time.

Classical

This form of the discipline originated with an ancient scholar called "Patanjali." Patanjali recorded theories and practices in a book dated sometime between 100 B.C. and 500 A.D. Patanjali believed that every person is a combination of matter and spirit. For optimal spiritual cleansing, people must keep matter and spirit separate. People practicing the classical form of the system generally use variations created originally by Patanjali.

Important Steps

Specific steps practiced in classical yoga include self-restraint from violence, stealing, lying, casual sex, and hoarding, while simultaneously striving for purity, tolerance, contentment, and remembrance. Participants also practice physical exercises, breathing techniques, meditation, concentration, and absorption.

Post-Classical Changes

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7 Surprising Health Benefits Of Yoga (5 Are Backed by Studies!)

By Ricky P O' Shea

Nike, Gear, Footwear, Clothing at Paragon Sports

Did you know that our ancestors practiced yoga over 5,000 years ago?

Well, according to ancient texts it was, and while many modern-day thinkers see yoga as another form of exercise, our ancestors have long referenced yoga as a powerful tool for nurturing the mind, body and soul.

Admittedly, the idea of bending, stretching, twisting and manipulating your body to improve wellbeing may seem counter-intuitive, but modern science confirms that the health benefits of yoga are far-reaching.

Still not convinced that yoga is good for you?

Let's dig a little deeper into the health benefits of yoga:

#1 Yoga Improves Strength and Flexibility

Yoga helps you build a stronger, more flexible body with its unique approach to manipulating the body's various muscle groups. Power yoga is one form of yoga that can really strengthen and increase the bodies’ flexibility as it combines sun salutations (poses) with cardio and strength training exercises.

One study carried out by the WebMD group concluded that individuals can improve their flexibility by up to 35% after practicing yoga a few minutes a day for 8 just weeks.

#2 Yoga Improves Posture

Yoga strengthens core muscles, which help support proper posture. Whilst this may not seem a major issue, having poor posture can lead to unrelated health conditions such as cramps, headaches and even gastrointestinal discomfort! Yoga can help prevent this and you will walk tall and proud.

Researchers at the School of Pediatric Medicine in Philadelphia undertook a study; this study involved 24 middle-aged females who enrolled in a 9-week program of Iygengar yoga. The study concluded that the subjects improved their posture, flexibility and balance through Iygengar yoga.

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