The History of Yoga - Where Did Yoga Come From?
No one knows exactly how old yoga is. It originated as long as 10,000 to 5000 years ago. It was passed down orally and has gone through much evolution. The earliest reference to Yoga was found when archeological excavations were made in the Indus valley - an amazing powerful and influential civilization in the early antique period. This sophisticated culture developed around the Indus river and the long gone Sarasvati river in northern India, on the border towards Pakistan and had sewage systems, baths as early as 2,600 BC.
While many religions continue to want to make yoga their own creation, it belongs to all of us. It has many facets that can be found in the Hindu and Buddhist faith, but the basic principals are universal and based on "the eight limbs of yoga", which can be found in all religions.
The History of Yoga is defined as four periods:
Vedic Period, Pre-Classical Period, Classical Period, Post Classical Period and the Modern Period
History of Yoga
Yoga is said to be as old as civilization itself but the oral transmission of the practice, has left several gaps in its history. Earliest archeological evidence relating to yoga's existence is found in Mohenjodaro seals excavated from the Indus valley, depicting a figure seated in a traditional yoga pose. The stone seals place Yoga's existence around 3000 B.C.
The Vedic Period
The next reference to yoga is found in the Rig Veda, the oldest sacred text in the world. The Vedas, dating back to 1500 and 1200 BC, are a collection of hymns, mantras and brahmanical rituals that praised a greater being. Yoga is referred to in the book as yoking or discipline without any mention of a practice or a method to achieve this discipline. The Atharva Veda too mentions yoga with a reference to controlling the breath.