The History Of Yoga

Yoga, the well-know form of exercise and mediation, is certainly getting more and more popular when it comes to staying healthy and fit. Many people prefer yoga over any other form of work out because of its physical and spiritual benefits.

Different schools of yoga are practiced worldwide nowadays, but they have common roots that can be traced back to about 5000 years ago. As a matter of fact it is the oldest form of exercise known to man. Some researchers even claim it to have roots dating back to 10000 years ago.

The earliest yoga writings were said to be transcribed on fragile palm leaves. So unfortunately they have been lost. Even though the art of yoga is said to be old and varied, it is seen as the most popular form of relaxation of both the body and mind. Most people look up to yoga as a true lifestyle.

Yoga and the pre-classical era

Pre-classical yoga has its root back to the Indus-Saraswati civilization of the Northern part of India, making India the birthplace of yoga. The word ‘yoga’ was first mentioned in the oldest and most sacred text, the Rig Veda.

The development of yoga took place as brahmanas documented it in the Upanishad, marking the beginning of the pre-classical era of yoga. Yoga began to be practiced and preached from that time, progressively increasing in popularity.

The most renowned yogic scripture, the Bhagavad Gita is said to have been written in 500 BCE. The rules of origination of yoga can be traced back to both Hinduism and Buddhism. The Bhagavad Gita brought various disciplines in Yoga called-Bhakti yoga, Karma Yoga and Jana yoga.

Classical yoga

In this Yoga period, Patanjali composed the yoga sutras. These Yoga sutras were meant to be memorized, not written. The earliest writings about the yoga sutras can be found in the Yog Bhasha, written by Ved Vyas. Patanjali’s idea of yoga emphasized restoring the spirit of each individual to its absolute truthfulness.

The yoga sutras were the first systematic representation of yoga and are said to have been written in the second century. Patanjali is often said to be the father of yoga and his design of the yoga sutras still influences modern yoga styles to this day.

Post classical yoga

Centuries after Patanjali, some yoga gurus designed a system to practice yoga, rejuvenate the body and prolong life. They rejected the prior teachings of the Vedas. The idea of the physical body as the main means of enlightenment came to light and started to be followed.

A new discipline of yoga, tantra yoga was born. This form of yoga was more spiritual than physical and was designed for the health of the mind and body. The idea of tantra yoga is to weave many yoga styles together to connect with the universe.

Tantra yoga was designed to break the boundaries in our minds and cleanse the soul to gain enlightenment. This discipline of spiritual exploration led to the birth of modern yoga or yoga in the west-“hatha yoga”

Modern yoga

Modern yoga came to being in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Swami Vivekananda, a disciple of saint Ramakrishna, addressed the audience in a conference in Chicago as “Brothers and sisters of America”, hereby attracting many American students to India and yoga. This marked the beginning of the modern yoga period!

The next famous yogic guru was Paramahansa who wrote the “autobiography of a yogi”. His teachings called “Yogodo teachings” continue to influence modern yoga today. In the mid 1960’s, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced techniques of meditation to the West. These teachings continue to be an important pillar on which the art of modern yoga stands.

Shrita Prapbhupada founded the “International Society for Krishna Consciousness” or “ISKON” in 1965 and spread a movement based on a discipline of yoga-” Bhakti Yoga”. Another prominent yogic guru was “Swami Sivananda”. He wrote more than 200 books about yoga and served in many yogic centres as a doctor, across the world. Bhagwan Rajneesh, popularly known as Osho was still another famous yoga guru, renowned across the world!

We all know about Sathya Sai Baba! He is a guru, who is looked up to by people of all races across the globe. He is said to be “the man of miracles” by his disciples and people follow him religiously!

Now that we know the birth of yoga and its journey over the last few centuries. It is easy to say, it’s an ancient method of stress release and also of strengthening the immune system, that has been practiced for years and will continue to be practiced.

Can Yoga Help With Weight Loss

Let’s talk about yoga.

Yoga is not a sport like any other. Famous for its Zen discipline, it is recognized for its relaxing and soothing virtues, for both the body and the mind. Its practice is therefore particularly recommended for women whose weight gain is partly related to stress. In short, with yoga one can possibly promote some weight loss!

However in the collective imagination, yoga is a sport more spiritual than physical. Is it so? The lotus flower, the water lily and the grasshopper do not work only the mind, far from it. So overcome any preconceived ideas, and do not lose sight that to practice regular yoga also allows you to:

  1. muscle and tonify all the body, in a harmonious way because it solicits the whole muscles.
  2. improve our flexibility and sustainability. Ideal for those who want a slender silhouette and who feel packed
  3. breathe better, which will promote the elimination of toxins fixed in the tissues.

Moreover, the majority of women who practice yoga for the purpose of weight loss agree that the more you progress and the better the poses are performed, the more comfortable you feel in your bodies. We feel a great sense of control and self-control, which really helps us fight food temptations, as well as acquire new nutritional habits.

Some of you will ask: why is yoga more effective as a weight loss exercise program than other forms of exercise – like aerobics for example?

Many people do not know that the benefits of yoga are not just for the body, but also the soul and the mind, because yoga is one of the most gentle and relaxing ways to exercise in order to lose weight.

Is yoga for weight loss a reality?

This is undoubtedly why more and more people are turning to the practice of yoga for weight loss and achieving a peace of mind. Also, if you are confused and if you are wondering if yoga can help you lose weight, why not try and decide for yourself?

Let’s discover together below the different ways in which yoga can not only help you stay in shape but also make you lose weight and burn calories.

Yoga postures to lose weight

To get rid of this unsightly surplus of fats on your body, nothing better than yoga postures, because this is simply one of the best ways to lose weight. You’ve probably already heard of power yoga, one of the most common and most effective forms of yoga to lose weight.

There are yet other forms of yoga that can be practiced in order to burn fat and chisel a perfect body. By assimilating and practicing yoga postures – also called asanas, you will have the answer to the question that is tapping you: can I lose weight with yoga?

Ardha Sarvangasana

Ardha sarvanagasana is also known as the posture of the candle. This integral body posture, or asana, is very effective in losing weight around the belly. In addition, it regenerates the entire body and improves the functioning of the thyroid gland. Let’s see now step by step how to practice ardha sarvanagasana.

Lie on your back by placing your hands on your lower back, so that they support you when you raise your legs in the air; keep the forearms and elbows on the floor.

If this posture is properly performed, you will feel the weight of your body resting on your shoulders and on the middle and lower back parts. Note also that you will have to feel pressure on the neck, otherwise it means that the posture is badly performed.

Once in position, breathe slowly for 5 to 10 minutes without moving. When you return to the starting position, your legs should remain straight; bring them back slowly.

As your practice progresses, gradually increase the length of time you are holding a candle. Although ardha sarvangasana is a very effective yoga posture to lose weight, it should not be undertaken by people with heavy hips because the whole weight of the body rests on the shoulders. Similarly, this posture is not recommended for people with low back problems, blocked sinuses, throat inflammation or hypertension.