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Milestone of Yoga Facts: Past to Present

Milestone of Yoga Facts: Past to Present

Yoga has emerged over the years as invaluable, ancient knowledge, and has merged with modern practices today. Early writings about it are traced to over 5,000 years ago.The knowledge has lived on, passed from one generation of practitioners to another generation.

Shamanism And Yoga

It is believed that yoga is an eight-limb structure and has its origin in Shamanism from the Stone Age. The shaman is considered a precursor to the yogi. Related to the yogic culture, the shamanistic culture adored the sacred art of altering one’s awareness or consciousness.

Both these practices hold spiritual ideals and were focused on the well-being of humans.Like yoga, shamanism was executed to heal and alleviate human suffering. The biggest difference between Shamanism and Yoga is that yoga is perceived as an individual-focused practice, while shamanism was more of a community-focused practice where practitioners also acted as religious mediators.

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Om

‘Om’ is a sacred sound and spiritual icon in Hinduism. It is the yoga symbol, which is connected to the Ajna chakra (the conscience). Shiva, one of the supreme gods in Hinduism, used to practice it in lotus pose chanting ‘Om’.

Yoga From Its Origin

Yoga was developed during the Indus civilization in northern India over 2,500 years ago. However, the first mention of it is in the classical Rig Veda, over 5,000 years ago. Yoga derives from the word “yuj”, meaning “to unite.” This practice was developed by sages and seers. Yoga has also been documented in the Upanishads, a huge treatise comprising over two hundred scriptures. From Karma yoga to Bhakti, Jnana and Raja yoga, various forms evolved as human wisdom grew. Yogis teach expansion of the consciousness through the practice of asanas, dhyana or meditation and eventually the super conscious state of samadhi.

Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga, And Buddhism

Yoga sutras by Patanjali was the first systematic presentation of yoga, advocating the eight-limbed path for the avid practitioner. Hatha yoga followed with radical methods to rid the body of toxins and cleanse the spirit and mind.

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Tracing back to yoga’s roots, yoga is believed to be closely related to Buddhism and Hinduism. Buddhism includes some specific yogic postures and meditation while the “Bhagavad Gita”, one of the oldest scriptures, found around 500 B.C, mentioned yoga’s existence even before it was written.

Bhakti And Tantra Yoga

Bhakti yoga was a spiritual pathway of deep faith and belief that gained popularity during the time period 500-1500 AD.

Around the fifth century, Tantra yoga emerged with mentions in Jain, Buddhist, and Hindu treatises.

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During this time, yoga’s primary focus was to teach yogis not to pull away from the reality of the world, but to instead accept the real world and include yoga in it. .

Yoga Today

Yoga has emerged in recent times as a means of combating disease, improving health and removing the stress and tension of modern life. From hot yoga to Lyengar Yoga, Ashtanga yoga, and Power Yoga, many different forms abound, depending on the needs, requirements and motivations of the yoga practitioner.

The traces of it in the west were found during 1800 BCE when yoga practitioners had begun travelling to the west. In 1930, it began spreading more in the west due to its healthy, Satvic beliefs. It has always been characterized as an eastern philosophy.

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It has emerged as an ancient art that uses scientific principles to create balance in the body and energy in the mind. This is the essence of yoga practice. It is the path to light (truth) and the evolution of the soul in its journey towards the Divine.

The infographic below illustrates the evolution of yoga, through the efforts of various prominent yoga gurus, from the years of its origin to the present time.

Yoga

    Image credit: http://yogawithsapna.com/history-of-yoga-infographic/

    Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/search/yoga?photo=w5SgojGZooI via unsplash.com

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    Last Updated on June 3, 2020

    How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

    How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

    We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

    However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

    Let’s take a closer look.

    Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

    A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

    Builds Workers’ Skills

    Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

    Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

    Boosts Employee Loyalty

    Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

    If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

    Strengthens Team Bonds

    Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

    However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

    Promotes Mentorship

    There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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    Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

    Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

    How to Give Constructive Feedback

    Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

    Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

    1. Listen First

    Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

    Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

    You could say:

    • “Help me understand your thought process.”
    • “What led you to take that step?”
    • “What’s your perspective?”

    2. Lead With a Compliment

    In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

    You could say:

    • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
    • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

    3. Address the Wider Team

    Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

    You could say:

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    • “Let’s think through this together.”
    • “I want everyone to see . . .”

    4. Ask How You Can Help

    When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

    You could say:

    • “What can I do to support you?”
    • “How can I make your life easier?
    • “Is there something I could do better?”

    5. Give Examples

    To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

    What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

    You could say:

    • “I wanted to show you . . .”
    • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
    • “This is a perfect example.”
    • “My ideal is . . .”

    6. Be Empathetic

    Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

    You could say:

    • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
    • “I understand.”
    • “I’m sorry.”

    7. Smile

    Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

    8. Be Grateful

    When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

    You could say:

    • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
    • “We all learned an important lesson.”
    • “I love improving as a team.”

    9. Avoid Accusations

    Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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    You could say:

    • “We all make mistakes.”
    • “I know you did your best.”
    • “I don’t hold it against you.”

    10. Take Responsibility

    More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

    Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

    You could say:

    • “I should have . . .”
    • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

    11. Time it Right

    Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

    If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

    12. Use Their Name

    When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

    You could say:

    • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
    • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

    13. Suggest, Don’t Order

    When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

    You could say:

    • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
    • “Try it this way.”
    • “Are you on board with that?”

    14. Be Brief

    Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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    One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

    15. Follow Up

    Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

    You could say:

    • “I wanted to recap . . .”
    • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
    • “Did that make sense?”

    16. Expect Improvement

    Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

    By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

    You could say:

    • “I’d like to see you . . .”
    • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
    • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
    • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

    17. Give Second Chances

    Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

    You could say:

    • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
    • “I’d love to see you try again.”
    • “Let’s give it another go.”

    Final Thoughts

    Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

    More on Constructive Feedback

    Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

    Reference

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