There are many different theories as to where Yoga originated. Until recently, many scholars believed that Yoga was invented around 500 B. C. However, we now know that it originated in India over 5, 000 years ago. Yoga started out as a spiritual, religious practice that was meant for meditation. The word "Yoga" was found in India's earliest known scripts, the Vedas. They date all the way back to 1500 BCE. They are the oldest writings of Hinduism and Sanskrit literature. Many cultures use yoga for different purposes, all revolving around meditation.
The word "yoga" originates from the Sanskrit root yuj, which is generally translated as "union of the individual atma (loosely translated to mean soul) with Paramatma, the universal soul." Those who have made progress along the path toward yoga are re-referred to as yogin (masculine) or yogini (feminine). It is common to discuss yoga as a track to enlightenment.
There are many different branches of yoga, and each culture uses yoga for a variety of reasons. For example, in Hinduism, yoga is seen as a practice meant to bring people closer to God and achieve union with God. However, if you look at the Buddhist approach to yoga, they believe yoga can help people develop wisdom, compassion, and insight. In Western civilizations, there is a strong focus on individualism. In those nations, yoga is used as part of the search for meaning within yourself. In each culture, yoga is expressed differently through traditions. However, the ultimate goal throughout all yoga is the attainment of liberation from worldly suffering and the ice of birth and death. Yoga is said to lead to the knowledge of the true nature of reality.
Each culture has interpreted these original goals in its own way and altered them to fit into its religion or culture.
The most popu...