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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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    Saminu Abass

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    Last Updated on December 13, 2019

    7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

    7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

    Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

    Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

    Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

    Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

    1. Just Pick One Thing

    If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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    Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

    Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

    2. Plan Ahead

    To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

    Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

    Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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    3. Anticipate Problems

    There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

    4. Pick a Start Date

    You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

    Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

    5. Go for It

    On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

    Your commitment card will say something like:

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    • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
    • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
    • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
    • I meditate daily.

    6. Accept Failure

    If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

    If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

    Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

    7. Plan Rewards

    Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

    Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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    Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

    Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

    Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new? Why not pick one from this list: 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them

    Featured photo credit: Ian Schneider via unsplash.com

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