How and when was Yoga born?

In reality its origins are very ancient: the first traces of this discipline date back between 3000 and 1800 BC in the Indus Valley at the peasant civilisation of Quetta and later in the towns of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro.

In the archaeological excavations carried out in these areas statues and depictions sessions in yogic positions have been found, demonstrating probably how yoga was then already known and practiced.

But the first real traces on yoga come from a later period, the one called the Vedic literature. The Veda are ancient texts that were handed down from generation to generation through oral tradition and only later written. In the Veda there is not yet a precise processing of yoga, but some concepts that are universally recognized as yogic already appear.

In the final part of the Vedas, Upanishad, drafted in Sanskrit between 800 and 300 B.C. we find more detailed topics such as the prana, vital energy, the Nadi and the energy paths that form the fundamental parts of hatha yoga.

In the so-called EPIC period (dating back to the VI century B.C. roughly) one of the richest sources to understand yoga is the Mahabharata poem, whose most important part is the famous Bhagavad Gita.

The Bhagavad Gita  is a treaty of seven hundred verses that synthesizes various ideas and practices of yoga, defining three of the most important “paths”:

  • Karma yoga, the path of action,
  • Bhakti yoga, the path of devotion
  • Jnana Yoga, the path of knowledge.


The next period is that of Sutra that goes from the II to the IV century B.C.

The Sutra is a very concise form of writting, short phrases that expose essential concepts easily storable. Amongst the most known sutras there are the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, famous philosopher of the II century B.C. defined as one of the fathers of yoga.

 Later on in the medieval period, we will find yoga in the literature of Tantra.
Some of the most important texts of Hatha Yoga are the Hathayogapradipika, Gheranda Samhita and the Siva

Arriving than to nowadays or better in the modern era, we find the masters who have continued the work of the knowledge of yoga or actual coding of Yoga and find Swami Vivekananda, Yogananda Paramahansa, Sri Aurobindo, Ramana Maharshi, Swami Sivananda

If you want to deepen and to start with the basics of yoga take a look at our ebook yoga for everyone.

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