Yoga is one of the most popular forms of exercise in the world, but where exactly did it come from? This form of exercise can be traced back centuries and centuries, but it has not always been what we have come to know as yoga today. In fact, it didn’t originate as a form of physical exercise at all. It was a form of personal growth and an exploration of spirituality.
Even though yoga is a physical challenge, it is more than just a workout for your body. For some people, yoga is a deeply spiritual experience and the physical strength is just an added bonus. It originated in ancient India around 3000 B.C. and was more of a religious practice that went along with meditation as part of a quest to reach enlightenment. You can find stone carvings of old yogic poses and teachings in the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) located in northwestern South Asia. Even today yoga plays a big part in Eastern religions like Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.
Up until the late 19th to early 20th centuries, yoga was mainly practiced in Eastern countries of the world where these religions were widely practiced. This was when yoga started to really evolve. By the time the 1980s reached us, yoga had become widely known across the Western world as the popular form of physical exercise that it is today.
Regardless of the Western evolution of yoga, the practice has proven to be useful for all physical, mental, and spiritual health for centuries. Yoga helps people connect to their bodies and their minds as they grow stronger in both. It has even evolved further over the years into passive treatments for many different physical and mental ailments. One of these treatments is called yoga therapy.
This form of treatment was originally thought of and practiced in India by Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who is now known as the father of modern yoga. He taught many well known yoga gurus how to teach yoga for healing and his practice was eventually introduced into the United States during a study about heart disease.
This study was in the 1980s and led by Dr. Dean Ornish. The study indicated that heart disease could be reversed using yoga for healing, as well as frequent meditation and a change in diet. Thanks to this study, yoga for healing was an acceptable medical practice as of the 1990s.
Yoga has been proven to improve many health concerns, and not just physical ones. Yoga can aid in overcoming depression, anxiety, grief, insomnia and other mental health concerns. Some of the physical ailments yoga has helped cure are: carpal tunnel, muscle tension, fibromyalgia, back pain, and many more.
You can find more resources on Yoga Therapy at almacommunity.com. Alma Community is a lifestyle company built to support you in creating your own version of well-being, offering opportunities and events for yoga and meditation training. We also offer yoga art therapy and many more resources to help you live your healthiest life while creating your own definition of wellness.