History of Yoga
Yoga is an ancient practice and has been in existence for millennia. The word yoga comes from the Sanskirt work yuj. Yuj is often interpreted to mean union or a method of practice.
It is believed that an Indian Sage named Patanjali created one of the first comprehensive guides on yogi. The book, called Yoga Sutra, was created approximately 2,000 years ago. This collection still serves as the basis for most forms of yoga practiced today.
The Yoga Sutra outlined the eight limbs of yoga as follows: the yamas (restraints), niyamas (observances), asana (postures), pranayama (breathing), pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), dharana (concentration), dhyani (meditation), and samadhi (absorption).
There are many branches of yoga. In Raja yoga the focus is on meditation. Karma yoga states that what we experience today is a result of past actions. In Bhakti yoga the focus is on channeling emotions in a positive manner. The various branches of yoga offer something for every taste and style.
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