Yoga is one of the oldest art forms, rituals and spiritual practices. Its roots date back to 3000 BC, and its evolved into a modern art form that both follows and channels its ancient roots. Below are some of the most important moments in that history.
During this timespan, the first poses were recorded on stone tablets.
Tantra philosophy is the philosophy that the body is a temple and a spiritual vessel. The spiritual way of life that emerges from Tantra philosophies includes women and other members of society that previously had been barred from spiritual ritual. Tantra way of life was the first example of equality in spirituality, and it is the roots for the modern yogi.
In the Indus Valley Civilization, the first records of yoga existing are found.
The ancient texts of the Vedas are the oldest scriptures in the world. They tell of Vedic culture and Vedic yoga as a ritualistic way of life.
A definition of yoga emerges at this time. It is defined as the restraint of the senses, and some of its practices are explained at this time as well.
One of the most important yoga scriptures, the Bhagavad- Gita outlines the ancient principals of yoga, including six of the now eight sutras. The central teaching: do one's duty and expect nothing in return.
The eight yoga sutras are written by Patanjali at this time, and exist today as the core of yoga. These eight sutras are:
Yama: Universal morality
Niyama: Personal observances
Asanas: Body postures
Pranayama: Breathing exercises, and control of prana
Pratyahara: Control of the senses
Dharana: Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
Dhyana: Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
Samadhi: Union with the Divine
The birth of Hatha yoga is the birth of root chakras we relate to today.
"Light on Hatha Yoga" serves as the most complete books on yoga poses to date.
Charles Wilkins, a known English typographer and Orientalist, translates the Bhagvad-Gita into English for the first time, allowing yogic ideals and Indian culture to spread to Europe and America. The Bhagvad-Gita came to influence the transcendentalist movement in the 1800s.
A book of yoga poses shows an anonymous figure demonstrating 121 poses is published, becoming one of the most complete collections of asana illustrations to date.
Swami Vivekenanda visits Parliament of Religions in Chicago, bringing with him yogic ideals. Soon yoga will spread in the United States.