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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 October 22, 2018

    What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

    What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

    Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences?

    Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait.

    Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth!

    So what is creativity?

    Everyone Can Be Creative!

    The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so?

    You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems.

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    So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.

    Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

    How Creativity Really Works

    Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original.

    Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.

    From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song.

    All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

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    Creativity Needs an Intention

    Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state.

    Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question:

    “What problem am I trying to solve?”

    Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles.

    Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity.

    But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too.

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    This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison.

    For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus.

    And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

    Creativity is a Skill

    At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.

    A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test.

    A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative!

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    If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things.

    Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

    Start Connecting the Dots!

    Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.

    So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, simply subscribe to our newsletter today. In it, you’ll find out how to make use of crucial skills that will push you towards a total life transformation– one that you never thought possible. Your personal growth is our commitment. So don’t hold back, unleash your creativity today!

    Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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