A Short History of Yoga
Yoga is said to have first appeared in India and other parts of the world around 5,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations made in the Indus Valley, in Harapa and Mahanjedaro uncovered images of Lord Shiva, said to be the founder of Yoga, and Paravati, his first student, in various postures and meditations.
Some traditions say that Yoga was a divine gift, received by the ancient sages and offered to humanity as a means of discovering its real nature. Others have suggested that Yoga emerged as a direct result of observing nature and the natural laws and attempting to achieve the same perfect balance.
Originally, Yoga was kept completely secret, passed on by word of mouth from teacher to disciple. The great sage Patanjali is believed to be the first person to put the knowledge into a condensed form which was later recorded in written form known as the Sutras. He developed the ‘Eight limbs of Yoga”, which have served as an ideal and undisputed guide ever since and which highlight the need to control the mind and desires. Another leading light on Yoga was Swatmarama, who wrote the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. His emphasis was on body control as the ultimate means to control the mind.
Today, Yoga continues to be a unique and powerful means of enhancing and developing the body, mind and emotions, just as it was all those years ago. Yoga has stood the test of time and will continue to prove itself as an aid to self-development for generations to come. Why? Because it works!