Yoga in ancient times and how the tradition has been carried forward

The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘Yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. As per Yogic scriptures the practice of Yoga dates back 5000 years ago and was developed by the Indus Saraswati civilization in Northern India. The practice of Yoga started as a union of Individual Consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness, indicating a perfect harmony between the mind and body, man & nature. One who experiences this union is termed as a yogi – one who has attained a state of freedom referred to as mukti, nirvana or moksha. Thus the role of Yoga in ancient period was that of self-realization; a practice to overcome all kinds of sufferings leading to ‘the state of liberation’ (Moksha) or ‘freedom’ (Kaivalya).

The pre-classical period of yoga

Yoga can be broadly classified into pre-classical yoga, classical yoga, post-classical and then the modern yoga. The beginnings of Yoga were developed during Indus-Sarasvati civilization and was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts -The Rig Veda. It was slowly refined and developed by the Brahmans and Rishis who documented their practices and beliefs. There are many renowned scriptures that has this holistic practice documented, with Bhagavat Gita being the most renowned of the yogic scriptures, composed around 500 B.C.E.

Source: Slideshare

The classical period of Eight limbed path

The next phase of its origin is the classical period, defined by Patanjali’s Yoga-Sûtras – the first systematic presentation of yoga. One of the most important section of the book describes the popular ‘Eight limbs of Yoga’ or ‘Ashtanga Yoga’. The sutras are divided into four chapters – Samadhi Pada, Sadhana Pada, Vibhuti Pada, Kaivalya Pada and these together deliver the very essence of Yoga philosophy in the most systematic approach. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are also referred to as ‘Raja Yoga’ or ‘Royal Yoga’. 

Image: Yoga with Sapna

Origin of Tantra yoga during post-classical period

A few centuries after the classical period, yogis created a system of practices designed for rejuvenation of mind and body. During this period was when the Tantra yoga was developed with radical techniques for cleansing the body and mind and to break free from all kinds of knots of negativity and physical ailments. During this period was when the exploration of physical-spiritual connections and fitness oriented practices led to the creation of Hatha Yoga, which is now being practiced all over the world. Post this period, yoga has been developed branching out to new techniques and modern yoga forms.

Evolution of Hatha Yoga

It is in the modern period of yoga, that innovative and modern forms of yoga techniques have been developed to maintain a healthy body prepare the mind for meditation. In the 1920s and 30s, Hatha Yoga was strongly promoted in India with the work of legends like T. Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda, and other yogis. The first Hatha Yoga school in Mysore was opened by Krishnamacharya in the year 1924 and in the year 1936 Sivananda founded the Divine Life Society on the banks of the holy Ganges River. These legendary yogis have disciplines to continue with their legacy and increase the popularity of Hatha Yoga.

“Hatha Yoga teaches us to use the body as the bow, asana as the arrow, and the soul the target” – B.K.S Iyengar

How the ancient practice has been carried on

During ancient times, the holistic practice has often been considered as a practice for spiritual awakening, rejuvenation and a union between the mind and the elements of nature. Yogis those days practiced yoga in contact with the elements of nature like the sun, water, air, and earth. With modern techniques and yoga forms like aerial yoga, aqua yoga, paddleboard yoga and even outdoor yoga retreats on the rise, the tradition of practicing yoga with nature has been carried out by yoga teachers from around the world. There are innumerable styles that have evolved from the ingredients of different paths of yoga.  

In keeping with the changing times but at the same time finding its root in the deep-rooted yoga philosophy of harmony with nature, JURU mats and props are designed keeping the needs and comfort of the modern yogi in mind. These mats are made of biodegradable materials and give the same benefits as when practiced with nature. The texture of the mat is designed in such a way as to give the exact feel and benefits of practicing with the nature, giving you unmatched grip, a sturdy and self-cleaning surface to practice on that does not wither with sweaty practice and also repels dust, thus helping you breathe easy in deep inhalations and exhalations. JURU mats are not made of any poly-vinyl substances and thus does not emit odor and pose bad effects like other PVC mats.

While most of the mats in the market are made of PVC substances, JURU mats stand as a tradition of carrying on the ancient practice with same benefits and zero side effects.

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