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Roots Of Yoga

History 

The roots of Yoga reach back into the ancient past. 

Yoga has its origins in Vedic and Pre-Vedic times and developed into a highly sophisticated system by the Vedic Rishis. 

Since the earliest times, Yoga has been a practice for self-reflection and spiritual upliftment. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is one of the first comprehensive works that laid out the theory and practice of Yoga. 

Meaning

Hindu deities like Shiva and Krishna have always represented the essence of Yoga and its purpose for human beings. 

Lord Krishna defines Yoga in the Bhagavat Gita. 

yoga-sthah kuru karmani sangam tyaktva dhanalijaya/ siddhy-asiddhyoh samo bhutva samatvam yoga uchyate //

"Being steadfast in one's duties and abandoning attachment to success and failure. Such equanimity is called Yoga." 




Nature Of Yoga

Yoga is what is traditionally called a moksha-shastra (liberation teaching). It seeks to liberate us from our limited notion of who we are. 

From a yogic perspective, we are immortal, supra-conscious being. As that singular Being, we are unlimited and free. All of Yoga's teachings aim at helping us to realize this fundamental truth. 

Yoga is a continuum of theory and practice. Yoga is not mere armchair philosophy, nor is it merely a battery of practices. In order to engage Yoga properly and successfully, one must pay due attention to the ideas behind its practical disciplines and, vice versa, to the exercises and techniques embodying its theories. 




Development

Yoga has developed into many streams over the centuries through the introduction of new techniques and practices by various Yogis. 

The most popular yoga asanas (postures) practiced today are largely the result of great advancements made in the medieval centuries by Yogis belonging to various Indic traditions. 

What Yoga is not

Yoga is not merely stretching or  exercise. Mere physical activity devoid of the spiritual and personal outlook and  qualities cannot be termed as Yoga in any reasonable manner. 

Any serious attempt at Yoga requires a  level of knowledge of and commitment to the principles and practice of Yoga. 




Appropriation and Digestion 

Like many other indigenous practices and traditions, Yoga has been a prime target for cultural and scientific appropriation by the West. 

Scientific aspects of Yoga that have developed indigenously for thousands of years are being digested into western frameworks by completely erasing or negating the original sources. 

Culturally appropriating Yogic practices by removing those aspects that do not go well with a western audience like mantras and the metaphysical framework of Yoga is a common phenomenon. 

Article by : @Desiprism 


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