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{{about|the umbrella term "yoga" which includes religion, philosophy, and practices|modern postural yoga|Yoga (postural)|other uses}}{{Redirect|Yog|other uses|Yog (disambiguation)}}{{pp-protected|small=yes}}{{Use dmy dates|date=June 2016}}{{Use Indian English|date=June 2016}}File:Shiva Bangalore .jpg|thumb|upright=1.25|Statue of Shiva performing yogic meditation in lotus positionlotus position{{Contains Indic text}}{{Hinduism |schools}}
{{multiple image
| footer = Male and female yogis from 17th- and 18th-century India
| image1 = A yogi seated in a garden.jpg
| width1 = 140
| alt1 = A male yogi
| image2 = Female Ascetics (Yoginis) LACMA M.2011.156.4 (1 of 2).jpg
| width2=160
| alt2 = Two female yoginis
Yoga ({{IPAc-en|ˈ|j|oʊ|g|ə}};WEB, yoga, n.,weblink Oxford English Dictionary, OED Online, Oxford University Press, 9 September 2015, September 2015, ; {{pronunciation|Yoga pronunciation.ogg|help=no}}) is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical traditions.BOOK, Georg Feuerstein, The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice,weblink 23 October 2012, Hohm Press, 978-1-935387-39-8, 37, BOOK, Jessica Frazier, The Bloomsbury Companion to Hindu Studies,weblink 16 January 2014, A&C Black, 978-1-4725-6716-1, 25–, There is a broad variety of yoga schools, practices, and goals{{sfn|White|2011}} in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.Denise Lardner Carmody, John Carmody (1996), Serene Compassion. Oxford University Press US. p. 68.Stuart Ray Sarbacker, Samādhi: The Numinous and Cessative in Indo-Tibetan Yoga. SUNY Press, 2005, pp. 1–2.Tattvarthasutra [6.1], see Manu Doshi (2007) Translation of Tattvarthasutra, Ahmedabad: Shrut Ratnakar p. 102 The term "yoga" in the Western world often denotes a modern form of Hatha yoga, which includes the physical practice of postures called asanas.The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions; it is mentioned in the Rigveda,{{refn|group=note|Karel Werner states that the existence of accomplished Yogis in Vedic times cannot be doubted, citing the Kesin hymn of the Rigveda as evidence of a yoga tradition in the Vedic era.}} but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE,Yoga isn't an all-Hindu tradition – it has Buddhist, even Sufi, influences in ancient India's ascetic and śramaṇa movements.{{sfn|Samuel|2008|p=8}}{{refn|group=note|Buddhists, Jainas and Ajivikas{{sfn|Samuel|2008|p=8}}}} The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Upanishads.Mark Singleton (2010), Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-19-539534-1}}, pages 25–34 The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st millennium CE,Whicher, pp. 1–4, chronology on pp. 41–42W. Y. Evans-Wentz (2000), Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines, 3rd Edition, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-19-513314-1}}, Chapters 7 and 8 but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century.{{sfn|White|2014|p=xvi–xvii}} Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra.James Mallinson, "Sāktism and Hathayoga," 28 June 2012. WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2014-06-04, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 16 June 2013, dmy-all, [accessed 19 September 2013] pg. 20, Quote: "The techniques of hatha yoga are not taught in Sanskrit texts until the 11th century or thereabouts."Burley, Mikel (2000). Hatha Yoga: Its Context, Theory and Practice. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. p. 16. "It is for this reason that hatha-yoga is sometimes referred to as a variety of 'Tantrism'."Yoga gurus from India later introduced yoga to the West,{{sfn|White|2011|p=2}} following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century.{{sfn|White|2011|p=2}} In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise; it has a meditative and spiritual core.* Marek Jantos (2012), in Oxford Textbook of Spirituality in Healthcare (Editors: Mark Cobb et al.), Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-19-957139-0}}, pages 362–363 One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.* Mikel Burley (2012), Classical Samkhya and Yoga: An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0-415-64887-5}}, See Introduction sectionMany studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of modern postural yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease. The results of these studies have been mixed and inconclusive.* JOURNAL, Smith, Kelly B., Caroline F., Pukall, An evidence-based review of yoga as a complementary intervention for patients with cancer, Psycho-Oncology, May 2009, 18, 5, 465–475, 10.1002/pon.1411, 18821529,
  • JOURNAL, Sharma, Manoj, Taj, Haider, Yoga as an Alternative and Complementary Treatment for Asthma: A Systematic Review, Journal of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, October 2012, 17, 3, 212–217, 10.1177/2156587212453727,
  • JOURNAL, Innes, Kim E., Cheryl, Bourguignon, Risk Indices Associated with the Insulin Resistance Syndrome, Cardiovascular Disease, and Possible Protection with Yoga: A Systematic Review, Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, November–December 2005, 18, 6, 491–519, 10.3122/jabfm.18.6.491, JOURNAL, Vancampfort, D., Vansteeland, K., Scheewe, T., Probst, M., Knapen, J., De Herdt, A., De Hert, M., Yoga in schizophrenia: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials, Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, July 2012, 126, 1, 12–20, 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2012.01865.x, On December 1, 2016, yoga was listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.NEWS, Yoga joins Unesco world heritage list, The Guardian, 2016-12-01,weblink
{{TOC limit|3}}


The Sanskrit noun योग {{IAST|yoga}} is derived from the root {{IAST|(:wiktionary:Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/yewg-|yuj)}} "to attach, join, harness, yoke".BOOK, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India, 1996, 978-81-86336-14-4, 1, The word yoga means 'unity' or 'oneness' and is derived from the Sanskrit word yuj which means 'to join'., The word yoga is cognate with English "yoke".BOOK, White, David Gordon, Yoga in Practice,weblink 2011, Princeton University Press, 0-691-14086-3, 3, The spiritual sense of the word yoga first arises in Epic Sanskrit, in the second half of the 1st millennium BCE, and is associated with the philosophical system presented in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, with the chief aim of "uniting" the human spirit with the Divine."application or concentration of the thoughts, abstract contemplation, meditation , (esp.) self-concentration, abstract meditation and mental abstraction practised as a system (as taught by Patañjali and called the yoga philosophy; it is the second of the two sāṃkhya systems, its chief aim being to teach the means by which the human spirit may attain complete union with īśvara or the Supreme Spirit; in the practice of self-concentration it is closely connected with Buddhism". Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit Dictionary (1899)The term kriyāyoga has a technical meaning in the Yoga Sutras (2.1), designating the "practical" aspects of the philosophy, i.e. the "union with the supreme" due to performance of duties in everyday life.Whicher, pp. 6–7.According to Pāṇini, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga (to yoke) or yuj samādhau ("to concentrate"). In the context of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the root yuj samādhau (to concentrate) is considered by traditional commentators as the correct etymology.Bryant 2009, p. 5. In accordance with Pāṇini, Vyasa who wrote the first commentary on the Yoga Sutras,Bryant 2009, p. xxxix. states that yoga means samādhi (concentration).BOOK, Aranya, Swami Hariharananda, Swami Hariharananda Aranya, Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati, 2000, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, India, 81-87594-00-4, 1, According to Dasgupta, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga ("to yoke") or yuj samādhau ("to concentrate").BOOK, Dasgupta, Surendranath, A History of Indian Philosophy, 1, 1975, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, India, 81-208-0412-0, 226, Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi (may be applied to a man or a woman) or yogini (a woman).American Heritage Dictionary: "Yogi, One who practices yoga." Websters: "Yogi, A follower of the yoga philosophy; an ascetic."

Definition in classic Indian texts

The term yoga has been defined in various ways in the many different Indian philosophical and religious traditions.{| class="wikitable"|+!Source Text!Definition of YogaMallinson, James; Singleton, Mark. Roots of Yoga, Penguin Classics, 2017, pp. 17-23.|Katha Upanishad|"When the five senses, along with the mind, remain still and the intellect is not active, that is known as the highest state. They consider yoga to be firm restraint of the senses. Then one becomes un-distracted for yoga is the arising and the passing away" (6.10-11)
|Bhagavad Gita|"Yoga is said to be equanimity" (2.48); "Yoga is skill in action" (2.50); "Know that which is called yoga to be separation from contact with suffering" (6.23).
Yogacarabhumi-sastra>Yogacarabhumi - Sravakabhumi|"Yoga is fourfold: faith, aspiration, perseverance and means" (2.152)
|Yoga Sutras of Patanjali |"Yoga is the suppression of the activities of the mind" ''(1.2)
Vaiśeṣika Sūtra>Vaisesika sutra|"Pleasure and suffering arise as a result of the drawing together of the sense organs, the mind and objects. When that does not happen because the mind is in the self, there is no pleasure or suffering for one who is embodied. That is yoga" (5.2.15-16)
Pancarthabhasya on the Pashupata Shaivism>Pasupatasutra|"In this system, yoga is the union of the self and the Lord" (I.I.43)
|Linga Purana|"By the word 'yoga' is meant nirvana, the condition of Siva." (I.8.5a)
|Brahmasutra-bhasya of Adi Shankara|"It is said in the treatises on yoga: 'Yoga is the means of perceiving reality." (2.1.3)
|Yogabija|"The union of apana and prana, one's own rajas and semen, the sun and moon, the individual soul and the supreme soul, and in the same way the union of all dualities, is called yoga. " (89)


The ultimate goal of Yoga is moksha (liberation), although the exact definition of what form this takes depends on the philosophical or theological system with which it is conjugated.According to Jacobsen, Yoga has five principal meanings:
  1. a disciplined method for attaining a goal;
  2. techniques of controlling the body and the mind;
  3. a name of a school or system of philosophy ({{IAST|darśana}});
  4. with prefixes such as "hatha-, mantra-, and laya-, traditions specialising in particular techniques of yoga;
  5. the goal of Yoga practice.Jacobsen, p. 4.
According to David Gordon White, from the 5th century CE onward, the core principles of "yoga" were more or less in place, and variations of these principles developed in various forms over time:{{sfn|White|2011|p=6}}
  1. a meditative means of discovering dysfunctional perception and cognition, as well as overcoming it for release from suffering, inner peace and salvation; illustration of this principle is found in Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and Yogasutras, in a number of Buddhist Mahāyāna works, as well as Jain texts;{{sfn|White|2011|pp=6–8}}
  2. the raising and expansion of consciousness from oneself to being coextensive with everyone and everything; these are discussed in sources such as in Hinduism Vedic literature and its Epic Mahābhārata, Jainism Praśamaratiprakarana, and Buddhist Nikaya texts;{{sfn|White|2011|pp=8–9}}
  3. a path to omniscience and enlightened consciousness enabling one to comprehend the impermanent (illusive, delusive) and permanent (true, transcendent) reality; examples are found in Hinduism Nyaya and Vaisesika school texts as well as Buddhism Mādhyamaka texts, but in different ways;{{sfn|White|2011|pp=9–10}}
  4. a technique for entering into other bodies, generating multiple bodies, and the attainment of other supernatural accomplishments; these are, states White, described in Tantric literature of Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as the Buddhist Sāmaññaphalasutta;{{sfn|White|2011|pp=10–12}} James Mallinson, however, disagrees and suggests that such fringe practices are far removed from the mainstream Yoga's goal as meditation-driven means to liberation in Indian religions.JOURNAL, Mallinson, James, The Yogīs' Latest Trick, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 24, 1, 2013, 165–180, 10.1017/s1356186313000734,
White clarifies that the last principle relates to legendary goals of "yogi practice", different from practical goals of "yoga practice," as they are viewed in South Asian thought and practice since the beginning of the Common Era, in the various Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosophical schools.{{sfn|White|2011|p=11}}


Yoga is practised with a variety of methods, including by Jains and Buddhists. In Hinduism, practices include Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga, Laya Yoga and Hatha Yoga.Raja yoga originally denoted the ultimate goal of yoga, samadhi,{{sfn|Mallinson|2011|p=770}} but was popularised by Vivekananda as the common name for Ashtanga Yoga, the eight limbs to be practised to attain samadhi, as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.{{sfn|Hari Dass|1978}}{{sfn|White|2014|p=xvi}}


Classical yoga

Yoga is considered as a philosophical school in Hinduism.Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Indian Philosophy, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1971, Volume II, pp. 19–20. Yoga, in this context, is one of the six āstika schools of Hinduism (those which accept the Vedas as source of knowledge).{{Harvnb|Flood|1996|pp=82, 224–49}}BOOK,weblink Changing World Religions, Cults & Occult, Due to the influence of Vivekananda, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali have since the 20th century been considered the foundational scripture of classical yoga.{{sfn|White|2014|p=xvi}} Before then, other works such as the Bhagavad Gita and the Yoga Vasistha were considered the most central,{{sfn|White|2014|p=xvi}} while Tantric Yoga and Hatha Yoga prevailed over Ashtanga Yoga.{{sfn|White|2014|p=xvi}}

Ashtanga yoga

File:Swami Vivekananda 1896.jpg|thumb|upright|978-1500746940}}Yoga as described in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali refers to Ashtanga yoga.{{sfn|White|2014|p=xvi}} The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is considered as a central text of the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy,Whicher, pp. 41–43 It is often called "Rāja yoga", "yoga of the kings," a term which originally referred to the ultimate, royal goal of yoga, which is usually samadhi,{{sfn|Mallinson|2011|p=770}} but was popularised by Vivekananda as the common name for Ashtanga Yoga.{{sfn|White|2014|p=xvi}}Ashtanga yoga incorporates epistemology, metaphysics, ethical practices, systematic exercises and self-development techniques for body, mind and spirit. Its epistemology (pramanas) is same as the Samkhya school. Both accept three reliable means to knowledge – perception (pratyākṣa, direct sensory observations), inference (anumāna) and testimony of trustworthy experts (sabda, agama). Both these orthodox schools are also strongly dualistic. Unlike the Sāṃkhya school of Hinduism, which pursues a non-theistic/atheistic rationalist approach,Lloyd Pflueger, Person Purity and Power in Yogasutra, in Theory and Practice of Yoga (Editor: Knut Jacobsen), Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120832329}}, pages 38–39Mike Burley (2012), Classical Samkhya and Yoga – An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0-415-64887-5}}, pages 43–46 the Yoga school of Hinduism accepts the concept of a "personal, yet essentially inactive, deity" or "personal god".Kovoor T. Behanan (2002), Yoga: Its Scientific Basis, Dover, {{ISBN|978-0-486-41792-9}}, pages 56–58Mike Burley (2012), Classical Samkhya and Yoga – An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0-415-64887-5}}, page 39, 41 Along with its epistemology and metaphysical foundations, the Yoga school of Hindu philosophy incorporates ethical precepts (yamas and niyamas) and an introspective way of life focused on perfecting one's self physically, mentally and spiritually, with the ultimate goal being kaivalya (liberated, unified, content state of existence).Mike Burley (2012), Classical Samkhya and Yoga – An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0-415-64887-5}}, pages 38–46Wade Dazey (2008) on pages 421–423, and Lloyd Pflueger on pages 46–52, in Theory and Practice of Yoga : 'Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, Editor: Knut A. Jacobsen, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120832329}}

Hatha yoga

File:Gorakshanath.jpg|thumb|180px| A sculpture of GorakshanathGorakshanathHatha yoga, also called hatha vidyā, is a kind of yoga focusing on physical and mental strength building exercises and postures described primarily in three texts of Hinduism:See Kriyananada, page 112.See Burley, page 73.See Introduction by Rosen, pp 1–2.
  1. Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Svātmārāma (15th century)
  2. Shiva Samhita, author unknown (1500See translation by Mallinson. or late 17th century)
  3. Gheranda Samhita by Gheranda (late 17th century)
Many scholars also include the Goraksha Samhita by Gorakshanath of the 11th century in the above list. Gorakshanath is widely considered to have been responsible for popularizing hatha yoga as we know it today.On page 140, David Gordon White says of Gorakshanath: "... hatha yoga, in which field he was India's major systematizer and innovator."Bajpai writes on page 524: "Nobody can dispute about the top ranking position of Sage Gorakshanath in the philosophy of Yoga."Eliade writes of Gorakshanath on page 303: "...he accomplished a new synthesis among certain Shaivist traditions (Pashupata), tantrism, and the doctrines (unfortunately, so imperfectly known) of the siddhas â€“ that is, of the perfect yogis."Vajrayana Buddhism, founded by the Indian Mahasiddhas,Davidson, Ronald. Indian Esoteric Buddhism. Columbia University Press. 2002, pg.169–235. has a series of asanas and pranayamas, such as tummo (Sanskrit caṇḍālÄ«) and trul khor which parallel hatha yoga.


In Shaivism, yoga is used to unite kundalini with Shiva.Larson, p. 142. See also 'tantra' below.


(File:'Bodhisattva Manjusri and Prajnaparamita', Nepal, c. 1575, Norton Simon Museum.JPG|thumb|180px|16th century Buddhist artwork in Yoga posture.)Buddhist meditation encompasses a variety of meditation techniques that aim to develop mindfulness, concentration, supramundane powers, tranquility, and insight.Core techniques have been preserved in ancient Buddhist texts and have proliferated and diversified through teacher-student transmissions. Buddhists pursue meditation as part of the path toward Enlightenment and Nirvana.{{refn|group=note|For instance, Kamalashila (2003), p. 4, states that Buddhist meditation "includes any method of meditation that has Enlightenment as its ultimate aim." Likewise, Bodhi (1999) writes: "To arrive at the experiential realization of the truths it is necessary to take up the practice of meditation.... At the climax of such contemplation the mental eye … shifts its focus to the unconditioned state, Nibbana...." A similar although in some ways slightly broader definition is provided by Fischer-Schreiber et al. (1991), p. 142: "Meditation – general term for a multitude of religious practices, often quite different in method, but all having the same goal: to bring the consciousness of the practitioner to a state in which he can come to an experience of 'awakening,' 'liberation,' 'enlightenment.'" Kamalashila (2003) further allows that some Buddhist meditations are "of a more preparatory nature" (p. 4).}} The closest words for meditation in the classical languages of Buddhism are bhāvanā{{refn|group=note|The Pāli and Sanskrit word bhāvanā literally means "development" as in "mental development." For the association of this term with "meditation," see Epstein (1995), p. 105; and, Fischer-Schreiber et al. (1991), p. 20. As an example from a well-known discourse of the Pali Canon, in "The Greater Exhortation to Rahula" (Maha-Rahulovada Sutta, MN 62), Ven. Sariputta tells Ven. Rahula (in Pali, based on VRI, n.d.): {{IAST|ānāpānassatiṃ, rāhula, bhāvanaṃ bhāvehi.}} Thanissaro (2006) translates this as: "Rahula, develop the meditation [{{IAST|bhāvana}}] of mindfulness of in-&-out breathing." (Square-bracketed Pali word included based on Thanissaro, 2006, end note.)}} and jhāna/dhyāna.{{refn|group=note|See, for example, Rhys Davids & Stede (1921–25), entry for "jhāna1"; Thanissaro (1997); as well as, Kapleau (1989), p. 385, for the derivation of the word "zen" from Sanskrit "dhyāna." PTS Secretary Dr. Rupert Gethin, in describing the activities of wandering ascetics contemporaneous with the Buddha, wrote:
"...[T]here is the cultivation of meditative and contemplative techniques aimed at producing what might, for the lack of a suitable technical term in English, be referred to as 'altered states of consciousness'. In the technical vocabulary of Indian religious texts such states come to be termed 'meditations' ([Skt.:] dhyāna / [Pali:] jhāna) or 'concentrations' (samādhi); the attainment of such states of consciousness was generally regarded as bringing the practitioner to deeper knowledge and experience of the nature of the world." (Gethin, 1998, p. 10.)}}


Jain meditation has been the central practice of spirituality in Jainism along with the Three Jewels.BOOK, Acharya, Mahapragya, Jain Yog, Aadarsh Saahitya Sangh, Foreword, 2004, Meditation in Jainism aims at realizing the self, attain salvation, take the soul to complete freedom.BOOK, Acharya, Tulsi, Sambodhi, Aadarsh Saahitya Sangh,weblink 39811791, blessings, 2004, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 5 March 2016, dmy-all, It aims to reach and to remain in the pure state of soul which is believed to be pure conscious, beyond any attachment or aversion. The practitioner strives to be just a knower-seer (Gyata-Drashta). Jain meditation can be broadly categorized to the auspicious Dharmya Dhyana and Shukla Dhyana and inauspicious Artta and Raudra Dhyana.{{citation needed|date=June 2016}}


Samuel states that Tantrism is a contested concept.{{sfn|Samuel|2008|p=9}} Tantra yoga may be described, according to Samuel, as practices in 9th to 10th century Buddhist and Hindu (Saiva, Shakti) texts, which included yogic practices with elaborate deity visualizations using geometrical arrays and drawings (mandala), fierce male and particularly female deities, transgressive life stage related rituals, extensive use of chakras and mantras, and sexual techniques, all aimed to help one's health, long life and liberation.{{sfn|Samuel|2008|p=9}}Mukunda Stiles, Tantra Yoga Secrets, Weiser, {{ISBN|978-1-57863-503-0}}, pages 3–7


The origins of yoga are a matter of debate.{{sfn|Flood|1996|p=87–90}} There is no consensus on its chronology or specific origin other than that yoga developed in ancient India. Suggested origins are the Indus Valley Civilization (3300–1900 BCE){{sfn|Crangle|1994|p=4–7}} and pre-Vedic Eastern states of India,{{sfn|Zimmer|1951|p=217, 314}} the Vedic period (1500–500 BCE), and the Å›ramaṇa movement.{{sfn|Samuel|2008}} According to Gavin Flood, continuities may exist between those various traditions:{{refn|group=note|Gavin Flood: "These renouncer traditions offered a new vision of the human condition which became incorporated, to some degree, into the worldview of the Brahman householder. The ideology of asceticism and renunciation seems, at first, discontinuous with the brahmanical ideology of the affirmation of social obligations and the performance of public and domestic rituals. Indeed, there has been some debate as to whether asceticism and its ideas of retributive action, reincarnation and spiritual liberation, might not have originated outside the orthodox vedic sphere, or even outside Aryan culture: that a divergent historical origin might account for the apparent contradiction within 'Hinduism' between the world affirmation of the householder and the world negation of the renouncer. However, this dichotomization is too simplistic, for continuities can undoubtedly be found between renunciation and vedic Brahmanism, while elements from non-Brahmanical, Sramana traditions also played an important part in the formation of the renunciate ideal. Indeed there are continuities between vedic Brahmanism and Buddhism, and it has been argued that the Buddha sought to return to the ideals of a vedic society which he saw as being eroded in his own day."{{sfn|Flood|1996|p=76–77}}}}}}Pre-philosophical speculations of yoga begin to emerge in the texts of {{circa|500|200 BCE}}. Between 200 BCE and 500 CE, philosophical schools of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical system of yoga began to emerge.Larson, p. 36. The Middle Ages saw the development of many satellite traditions of yoga. Yoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid 19th century along with other topics of Indian philosophy.

Pre-Vedic India

Yoga may have pre-Vedic elements.{{sfn|Crangle|1994|p=4–7}}{{sfn|Zimmer|1951|p=217, 314}} Some state yoga originated in the Indus Valley Civilization.{{sfn|Samuel|2008|p=2–3}} Marshall,Possehl (2003), pp. 144–145 Eliade and other scholars note that the Pashupati seal discovered in an Indus Valley Civilization site depicts a figure in a position resembling an asana used for meditation, Mulabandhasana. This interpretation is considered speculative and uncertain by more recent analysis of Srinivasan and may be a case of projecting "later practices into archeological findings".{{sfn|Samuel|2008|p=2–10}}

Vedic period (1700–500 BCE)

According to Crangle, some researchers have favoured a linear theory, which attempts "to interpret the origin and early development of Indian contemplative practices as a sequential growth from an Aryan genesis",{{sfn|Crangle|1994|p=4}}{{refn|group=note|See also Gavin Flood (1996), Hinduism, p.87–90, on "The orthogenetic theory" and "Non-Vedic origins of renunciation".{{sfn|Flood|1996|p=87–90}}}} just like traditional Hinduism regards the Vedas to be the ultimate source of all spiritual knowledge.{{sfn|Crangle|1994|p=5}}{{refn|group=note|Post-classical traditions consider Hiranyagarbha as the originator of yoga.BOOK, Feuerstein, Georg, The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy and Practice, 2001, Hohm Press, Arizona, USA, 978-1-890772-18-5, Kindle Locations 7299–7300, BOOK, Aranya, Swami Hariharananda, Swami Hariharananda Aranya, Yoga Philosophy of Patanjali with Bhasvati, 2000, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, India, 81-87594-00-4, xxiv, Introduction, }} Thomas McEvilley favors a composite model where pre-Aryan yoga prototype existed in the pre-Vedic period and its refinement began in the Vedic period.JOURNAL, McEvilley, Thomas, 1981, An Archaeology of Yoga,weblink Anthropology and aesthetics, 1 (spring), 51, 10.1086/RESv1n1ms20166655, 0277-1322, Ascetic practices, concentration and bodily postures described in the Vedas may have been precursors to yoga.Whicher, p. 12. According to Geoffrey Samuel, "Our best evidence to date suggests that [yogic] practices developed in the same ascetic circles as the early sramana movements (Buddhists, Jainas and Ajivikas), probably in around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE."{{sfn|Samuel|2008|p=8}}According to Zimmer, Yoga philosophy is reckoned to be part of the non-Vedic system, which also includes the Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy, Jainism and Buddhism:{{sfn|Zimmer|1951|p=217, 314}} "[Jainism] does not derive from Brahman-Aryan sources, but reflects the cosmology and anthropology of a much older pre-Aryan upper class of northeastern India [Bihar] – being rooted in the same subsoil of archaic metaphysical speculation as Yoga, Sankhya, and Buddhism, the other non-Vedic Indian systems."{{sfn|Zimmer|1951|p=217}}{{refn|group=note|Zimmer's point of view is supported by other scholars, such as Niniam Smart, in Doctrine and argument in Indian Philosophy, 1964, p.27–32 & p.76,{{sfn|Crangle|1994|p=7}} and S.K. Belvakar & Inchegeri Sampradaya in History of Indian philosophy, 1974 (1927), p.81 & p.303–409.{{sfn|Crangle|1994|p=7}} See Crangle 1994 page 5–7.{{sfn|Crangle|1994|p=5–7}}}}

Textual references

The first use of the root of word "yoga" is in hymn 5.81.1 of the Rig Veda, a dedication to rising Sun-god in the morning (Savitri), where it has been interpreted as "yoke" or "yogically control".{{refn|Original Sanskrit: युञ्जते मन उत युञ्जते धियो विप्रा विप्रस्य बृहतो विपश्चितः। वि होत्रा दधे वयुनाविदेक इन्मही देवस्य सवितुः परिष्टुतिः॥१॥Sanskrit: Source: Rigveda Book 5, Chapter 81 WikisourceTranslation 1: Seers of the vast illumined seer yogically [युञ्जते, yunjante] control their minds and their intelligence... (…)BOOK, Burley, Mikel, Hatha Yoga: Its Context, Theory and Practice, 2000, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 978-8120817067, 25,weblink Translation 2: The illumined yoke their mind and they yoke their thoughts to the illuminating godhead, to the vast, to the luminous in consciousness;the one knower of all manifestation of knowledge, he alone orders the things of the sacrifice. Great is the praise of Savitri, the creating godhead.Sri Aurobindo (1916, Reprinted 1995), A Hymn to Savitri V.81, in The Secret of Veda, {{ISBN|978-0-914955-19-1}}, page 529|group=note}}The earliest evidence of Yogis and Yoga tradition is found in the Keśin hymn 10.136 of the Rigveda, states Karel Werner.Karel Werner (1977), Yoga and the Ṛg Veda: An Interpretation of the Keśin Hymn (RV 10, 136), Religious Studies, Vol. 13, No. 3, page 289–302Rigveda, however, does not describe yoga and there is little evidence as to what the practices were. Early references to practices that later became part of yoga, are made in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, the earliest Hindu Upanishad.{{refn|group=note|Flood: "...which states that, having become calm and concentrated, one perceives the self (atman), within oneself."{{sfn|Flood|1996|p=94–95}}}} For example, the practice of pranayama (consciously regulating breath) is mentioned in hymn 1.5.23 of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad (c. 900 BCE), and the practice of pratyahara (concentrating all of one's senses on self) is mentioned in hymn 8.15 of Chandogya Upanishad (c. 800–700 BCE).Mircea Eliade (2009), Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, Princeton University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-691-14203-6}}, pages 117–118{{refn|Original Sanskrit: स्वाध्यायमधीयानो धर्मिकान्विदधदात्मनि सर्वैन्द्रियाणि संप्रतिष्ठाप्याहिँसन्सर्व भूतान्यन्यत्र तीर्थेभ्यः स खल्वेवं वर्तयन्यावदायुषं ब्रह्मलोकमभिसंपद्यते न च पुनरावर्तते न च पुनरावर्तते॥ १॥ – Chandogya Upanishad, VIII.15wikisource, Chandogya Upanishad, अष्टमोऽध्यायः॥ पञ्चदशः खण्डः॥Translation 1 by Max Muller, The Upanishads, The Sacred Books of the East – Part 1, Oxford University Press: (He who engages in) self study, concentrates all his senses on the Self, never giving pain to any creature, except at the tîrthas, he who behaves thus all his life, reaches the world of Brahman, and does not return, yea, he does not return.Translation 2 by GN Jha: Chandogya Upanishad VIII.15, page 488|group=note}}

Vedic ascetic practices

Ascetic practices (tapas), concentration and bodily postures used by Vedic priests to conduct yajna (sacrifice), might have been precursors to yoga.{{refn|group=note|
  • Jacobsen writes that "Bodily postures are closely related to the tradition of tapas, ascetic practices in the Vedic tradition. The use by Vedic priests of ascetic practices in their preparations for the performance of the sacrifice might be precursor to Yoga."Jacobsen, p. 6.
  • Whicher believes that "the proto-Yoga of the Vedic rishis is an early form of sacrificial mysticism and contains many elements characteristic of later Yoga that include: concentration, meditative observation, ascetic forms of practice (tapas), breath control..."}} Vratya, a group of ascetics mentioned in the Atharvaveda, emphasized on bodily postures which may have evolved into yogic asanas. Early Samhitas also contain references to other group ascetics such as munis, the keÅ›in, and vratyas.Flood, p. 94–95. Techniques for controlling breath and vital energies are mentioned in the Brahmanas (texts of the Vedic corpus, c. 1000–800 BCE) and the Atharvaveda.Whicher, p. 13. Nasadiya Sukta of the Rig Veda suggests the presence of an early contemplative tradition.{{refn|group=note| Wynne states that "The Nasadiyasukta, one of the earliest and most important cosmogonic tracts in the early Brahminic literature, contains evidence suggesting it was closely related to a tradition of early Brahminic contemplation. A close reading of this text suggests that it was closely related to a tradition of early Brahminic contemplation. The poem may have been composed by contemplatives, but even if not, an argument can be made that it marks the beginning of the contemplative/meditative trend in Indian thought."Wynne, p. 50.
  • Miller suggests that the composition of Nasadiya Sukta and Purusha Sukta arises from "the subtlest meditative stage, called absorption in mind and heart" which "involves enheightened experiences" through which seer "explores the mysterious psychic and cosmic forces...".Whicher, p. 11.
  • Jacobsen writes that dhyana (meditation) is derived from Vedic term dhih which refers to "visionary insight", "thought provoking vision".}}

Preclassical era (500–200 BCE)

Yoga concepts begin to emerge in the texts of c. 500–200 BCE such as the Pali Canon, the middle Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata.Larson, p. 34–35, 53.{{refn|group=note|Ancient Indian literature was transmitted and preserved through an oral tradition.JOURNAL, Wynne, Alexander, The Oral Transmission of the Early Buddhist Literature, Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies, 2004, 27, 1, 97–128,weblink For example, the earliest written Pali Canon text is dated to the later part of 1st century BCE, many centuries after the Buddha's death.Donald Lopez (2004). Buddhist Scriptures. Penguin Books. pp. xi–xv. {{ISBN|978-0-14-190937-0}}}}


The first known appearance of the word "yoga", with the same meaning as the modern term, is in the Katha Upanishad,{{sfn|Flood|1996|p=95}} probably composed between the fifth and third century BCE,BOOK, Stephen Phillips, Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy,weblink 2009, Columbia University Press, 978-0-231-14485-8, 28–30, BOOK, Patrick Olivelle, The Early Upanishads: Annotated Text and Translation,weblink 1998, Oxford University Press, 978-0-19-512435-4, 12–13, where it is defined as the steady control of the senses, which along with cessation of mental activity, leading to a supreme state.{{refn|For the date of this Upanishad see also Helmuth von Glasenapp, from the 1950 Proceedings of the "Akademie der Wissenschaften und Literatur"WEB,weblink Vedanta and Buddhism, A Comparative Study, 29 August 2012, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 4 February 2013, |group=note}} Katha Upanishad integrates the monism of early Upanishads with concepts of samkhya and yoga. It defines various levels of existence according to their proximity to the innermost being Ātman. Yoga is therefore seen as a process of interiorization or ascent of consciousness.Whicher, p. 18–19.Jacobsen, p. 8. It is the earliest literary work that highlights the fundamentals of yoga. White states:}}The hymns in Book 2 of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, another late first millennium BCE text, states a procedure in which the body is held in upright posture, the breath is restrained and mind is meditatively focussed, preferably inside a cave or a place that is simple, plain, of silence or gently flowing water, with no noises nor harsh winds.See: Original Sanskrit: Shvetashvatara Upanishad Book 2, Hymns 8–14; English Translation: Paul Deussen (German: 1897; English Translated by Bedekar & Palsule, Reprint: 2010), Sixty Upanishads of the Veda, Vol 1, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120814677}}, pages 309–310 Secondary Source Review: Mark Singleton (2010), Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-19-539534-1}}, page 26The Maitrayaniya Upanishad, likely composed in a later century than Katha and Shvetashvatara Upanishads but before Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, mentions sixfold yoga method – breath control (pranayama), introspective withdrawal of senses (pratyahara), meditation (dhyana), mind concentration (dharana), philosophical inquiry/creative reasoning (tarka), and absorption/intense spiritual union (samadhi).JOURNAL, Introducing Yoga's Great Literary Heritage, Feuerstein, Georg, Yoga Journal, January–February 1988, 78, Georg Feuerstein, 70–5, In addition to the Yoga discussion in above Principal Upanishads, twenty Yoga Upanishads as well as related texts such as Yoga Vasistha, composed in 1st and 2nd millennium CE, discuss Yoga methods.TRS Ayyangar (1938), The Yoga Upanishads The Adyar Library, MadrasDavid Gordon White (2011), Yoga in Practice, Princeton University Press, {{ISBN|978-0691140865}}, pages 97–112

Sutras of Hindu philosophies

Yoga is discussed in the ancient foundational Sutras of Hindu philosophy. The Vaiśeṣika Sūtra of the Vaisheshika school of Hinduism, dated to have been composed sometime between 6th and 2nd century BCE discusses Yoga.{{Sfn|Bimal Krishna Matilal|1977|pp=56-59}}{{Sfn|Jeaneane D. Fowler|2002|pp=98-99}}{{refn|group=note|The currently existing version of Vaiśeṣika Sūtra manuscript was likely finalized sometime between 2nd century BCE and the start of the common era.{{Sfn|Bimal Krishna Matilal|1977|p=54}} Wezler has proposed that the Yoga related text may have been inserted into this Sutra later, among other things; however, Bronkhorst finds much to disagree on with Wezler.}} According to Johannes Bronkhorst, an Indologist known for his studies on early Buddhism and Hinduism and a professor at the University of Lausanne, Vaiśeṣika Sūtra describes Yoga as "a state where the mind resides only in the soul and therefore not in the senses". This is equivalent to pratyahara or withdrawal of the senses, and the ancient Sutra asserts that this leads to an absence of sukha (happiness) and dukkha (suffering), then describes additional yogic meditation steps in the journey towards the state of spiritual liberation.BOOK, Johannes Bronkhorst, The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India,weblink 1993, Motilal Banarsidass, 978-81-208-1114-0, 64, Similarly, Brahma sutras – the foundational text of the Vedanta school of Hinduism, discusses yoga in its sutra 2.1.3, 2.1.223 and others. Brahma sutras are estimated to have been complete in the surviving form sometime between 450 BCE to 200 CE,BOOK, Andrew J. Nicholson, Unifying Hinduism: Philosophy and Identity in Indian Intellectual History,weblink 2013, Columbia University Press, 978-0-231-14987-7, 26, , Quote: "From a historical perspective, the Brahmasutras are best understood as a group of sutras composed by multiple authors over the course of hundreds of years, most likely composed in its current form between 400 and 450 BCE."NV Isaeva (1992), Shankara and Indian Philosophy, State University of New York Press, {{ISBN|978-0-7914-1281-7}}, page 36, Quote: ""on the whole, scholars are rather unanimous, considering the most probable date for Brahmasutra sometime between the 2nd-century BCE and the 2nd-century CE" and its sutras assert that yoga is a means to gain "subtlety of body" and other powers.BOOK, Stephen Phillips, Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy,weblink 2009, Columbia University Press, 978-0-231-14485-8, 281 footnote 36, The Nyaya sutras – the foundational text of the Nyaya school, variously estimated to have been composed between the 6th-century BCE and 2nd-century CE,Jeaneane Fowler (2002), Perspectives of Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Hinduism, Sussex Academic Press, {{ISBN|978-1898723943}}, page 129B. K. Matilal (1986), "Perception. An Essay on Classical Indian Theories of Knowledge", Oxford University Press, p. xiv. discusses yoga in sutras 4.2.38–50. This ancient text of the Nyaya school includes a discussion of yogic ethics, dhyana (meditation), samadhi, and among other things remarks that debate and philosophy is a form of yoga.BOOK, Stephen Phillips, Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy,weblink 2009, Columbia University Press, 978-0-231-14485-8, 281 footnote 40, 297, SC Vidyabhushana (1913, Translator), The Nyâya Sutras, The Sacred Book of the Hindus, Volume VIII, Bhuvaneshvar Asrama Press, pages 137–139Karl Potter (2004), The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Indian metaphysics and epistemology, Volume 2, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120803091}}, page 237

Macedonian historical texts

Alexander the Great reached India in the 4th century BCE. Along with his army, he took Greek academics with him who later wrote memoirs about geography, people and customs they saw. One of Alexander's companion was Onesicritus, quoted in Book 15, Sections 63–65 by Strabo, who describes yogins of India.Charles R Lanman, The Hindu Yoga System, Harvard Theological Review, Volume XI, Number 4, Harvard University Press, pages 355–359 Onesicritus claims those Indian yogins (Mandanis ) practiced aloofness and "different postures – standing or sitting or lying naked – and motionless".Strabo, Geography Book XV, Chapter 1, see Sections 63–65, Loeb Classical Library edition, Harvard University Press, Translator: HL Jones, Archived by: University of ChicagoOnesicritus also mentions his colleague Calanus trying to meet them, who is initially denied audience, but later invited because he was sent by a "king curious of wisdom and philosophy". Onesicritus and Calanus learn that the yogins consider the best doctrine of life as "rid the spirit of not only pain, but also pleasure", that "man trains the body for toil in order that his opinions may be strengthened", that "there is no shame in life on frugal fare", and that "the best place to inhabit is one with scantiest equipment or outfit". These principles are significant to the history of spiritual side of yoga. These may reflect the ancient roots of "undisturbed calmness" and "mindfulness through balance" in later works of Hindu Patanjali and Buddhist Buddhaghosa respectively, states Charles Rockwell Lanman; as well as the principle of Aparigraha (non-possessiveness, non-craving, simple living) and asceticism discussed in later Hinduism and Jainism.{{citation needed|date=June 2016}}

Early Buddhist texts

Werner states, "The Buddha was the founder of his [Yoga] system, even though, admittedly, he made use of some of the experiences he had previously gained under various Yoga teachers of his time."Karel Werner (1998), Yoga and the Indian Philosophy, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120816091}}, page 131 He notes:The chronology of completion of these yoga-related Pali Canons, however, is unclear, just like ancient Hindu texts.{{sfn|Samuel|2008|pp=31–32}}Mark Singleton (2010), Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-19-539534-1}}, Chapter 1 Early known Buddhist sources like the Majjhima Nikāya mention meditation, while the Anguttara Nikāya describes Jhāyins (meditators) that resemble early Hindu descriptions of Muni, Kesins and meditating ascetics,Bronkhorst, Johannes (1993), The Two Traditions of Meditation in Ancient India, Motilal Banarsidass, {{ISBN|978-8120816435}}, pages 1–24 but these meditation-practices are not called yoga in these texts.{{sfn|White|2011|pp=5–6}} The earliest known specific discussion of yoga in the Buddhist literature, as understood in modern context, is from the third- to fourth-century CE scriptures of the Buddhist Yogācāra school and fourth- to fifth-century Visuddhimagga of Buddhaghosa.{{sfn|White|2011|pp=5–6}}A yoga system that predated the Buddhist school is Jain yoga. But since Jain sources postdate Buddhist ones, it is difficult to distinguish between the nature of the early Jain school and elements derived from other schools. Most of the other contemporary yoga systems alluded in the Upanishads and some Pali canons are lost to time.JOURNAL, Douglass, Laura, Thinking Through The Body: The Conceptualization Of Yoga As Therapy For Individuals With Eating Disorders, Academic Search Premier, 2011, 83,weblink 19 February 2013, BOOK, Datta, Amaresh, Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature: devraj to jyoti,weblink 1988, Sahitya Akademi, 978-81-260-1194-0, 1809, {{refn|On the dates of the Pali canon, Gregory Schopen writes, "We know, and have known for some time, that the Pali canon as we have it — and it is generally conceded to be our oldest source — cannot be taken back further than the last quarter of the first century BCE, the date of the Alu-vihara redaction, the earliest redaction we can have some knowledge of, and that — for a critical history — it can serve, at the very most, only as a source for the Buddhism of this period. But we also know that even this is problematic... In fact, it is not until the time of the commentaries of Buddhaghosa, Dhammapala, and others — that is to say, the fifth to sixth centuries CE — that we can know anything definite about the actual contents of [the Pali] canon."Wynne, pp. 3–4.|group=note}}The early Buddhist texts describe meditative practices and states, some of which the Buddha borrowed from the śramaṇa tradition.Richard Gombrich, "Theravada Buddhism: A Social History from Ancient Benares to Modern Colombo." Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1988, p. 44.Barbara Stoler Miller, "Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: the Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali; a Translation of the Text, with Commentary, Introduction, and Glossary of Keywords." University of California Press, 1996, p. 8. The Pali canon contains three passages in which the Buddha describes pressing the tongue against the palate for the purposes of controlling hunger or the mind, depending on the passage.Mallinson, James. 2007. The Khecarīvidyā of Adinathā. London: Routledge. pg.17–19. However, there is no mention of the tongue being inserted into the nasopharynx as in true khecarī mudrā. The Buddha used a posture where pressure is put on the perineum with the heel, similar to even modern postures used to stimulate Kundalini.James Mallinson, "Sāktism and Hathayoga," 6 March 2012. PDF file {{webarchive|url= |date=16 June 2013 }} [accessed 10 June 2012] pgs. 20–21 "The Buddha himself is said to have tried both pressing his tongue to the back of his mouth, in a manner similar to that of the hathayogic khecarīmudrā, and ukkutikappadhāna, a squatting posture which may be related to hathayogic techniques such as mahāmudrā, mahābandha, mahāvedha, mūlabandha, and vajrāsana in which pressure is put on the perineum with the heel, in order to force upwards the breath or Kundalinī."

Uncertainty with chronology

Alexander Wynne, author of The Origin of Buddhist Meditation, observes that formless meditation and elemental meditation might have originated in the Upanishadic tradition.Wynne, pp. 44–45,58. The earliest reference to meditation is in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, one of the oldest Upanishads. Chandogya Upanishad describes the five kinds of vital energies (prana). Concepts used later in many yoga traditions such as internal sound and veins (nadis) are also described in the Upanishad. Taittiriya Upanishad defines yoga as the mastery of body and senses.Whicher, p. 17.

Bhagavad Gita

File:Bhagavata Gita Bishnupur Arnab Dutta 2011.JPG|thumb|Krishna narrating the Gita to ArjunaArjunaThe Bhagavad Gita ('Song of the Lord'), uses the term "yoga" extensively in a variety of ways. In addition to an entire chapter (ch. 6) dedicated to traditional yoga practice, including meditation,Jacobsen, p. 10. it introduces three prominent types of yoga:Flood, p. 96.
  • Karma yoga: The yoga of action.Jacobsen, p. 10–11.
  • Bhakti yoga: The yoga of devotion.
  • Jnana yoga: The yoga of knowledge.E. Easwaran, Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, Nilgiri Press, {{ISBN|978-1-58638-068-7}}, pages 117–118Jack Hawley (2011), The Bhagavad Gita, {{ISBN|978-1-60868-014-6}}, pages 50, 130; Arvind Sharma (2000), Classical Hindu Thought: An Introduction, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-19-564441-8}}, pages 114–122
The Gita consists of 18 chapters and 700 shlokas (verses), with each chapter named as a different yoga, thus delineating eighteen different yogas.Jacobsen, p. 46.; Georg Feuerstein (2011), The Bhagavad Gita – A New Translation, Shambhala, {{ISBN|978-1-59030-893-6}} Some scholars divide the Gita into three sections, with the first six chapters with 280 shlokas dealing with Karma yoga, the middle six containing 209 shlokas with Bhakti yoga, and the last six chapters with 211 shlokas as Jnana yoga; however, this is rough because elements of karma, bhakti and jnana are found in all chapters.Bibek Debroy (2005), The Bhagavad Gita, Penguin Books, {{ISBN|978-0-14-400068-5}}, Introduction, pages x–xi


Description of an early form of yoga called nirodhayoga (yoga of cessation) is contained in the Mokshadharma section of the 12th chapter (Shanti Parva) of the Mahabharata. The verses of the section are dated to c. 300–200 BCE{{Citation needed|date=February 2017}}. Nirodhayoga emphasizes progressive withdrawal from the contents of empirical consciousness such as thoughts, sensations etc. until purusha (Self) is realized. Terms like vichara (subtle reflection), viveka (discrimination) and others which are similar to Patanjali's terminology are mentioned, but not described.Whicher, p. 25–26. There is no uniform goal of yoga mentioned in the Mahabharata. Separation of self from matter, perceiving Brahman everywhere, entering into Brahman etc. are all described as goals of yoga. Samkhya and yoga are conflated together and some verses describe them as being identical. Mokshadharma also describes an early practice of elemental meditation.Wynne, p. 33.Mahabharata defines the purpose of yoga as the experience of uniting the individual ātman with the universal Brahman that pervades all things.Jacobsen, p. 9.

Classical era (200 BCE – 500 CE)

This period witnessed many texts of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism discussing and systematically compiling yoga methods and practices. Of these, Patanjali's Yoga Sutras are considered as a key work.

Classical yoga

During the period between the Mauryan and the Gupta eras (c. 200 BCE–500 CE) philosophical schools of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism were taking form and a coherent philosophical system of yoga began to emerge.Yoga as a philosophy is mentioned in Sanskrit texts dated to be completed between 200 BCE–200 CE. Kauṭilya's Arthashastra in verse 1.2.10, for example, states that there are three categories of anviksikis (philosophies) – Samkhya (nontheistic), Yoga (theistic) and Cārvāka (atheistic materialism).Original Sanskrit: साङ्ख्यं योगो लोकायतं च इत्यान्वीक्षिकी |English Translation: Arthasastra Book 1, Chapter 2 Kautiliya, R Shamasastry (Translator), page 9Olivelle, Patrick (2013), King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya's Arthasastra, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-19-989182-5}}, see Introduction


{{further|Samkhya}}Many traditions in India began to adopt systematic methodology by about first century CE. Of these, Samkhya was probably one of the oldest philosophies to begin taking a systematic form.Larson, p. 38. Patanjali systematized Yoga, building them on the foundational metaphysics of Samkhya. In the early works, the Yoga principles appear together with the Samkhya ideas. Vyasa's commentary on the Yoga Sutras, also called the Samkhyapravacanabhasya (Commentary on the Exposition of the Sankhya Philosophy), describes the relation between the two systems.Radhankrishnan, Indian Philosophy, London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1971 edition, Volume II, p. 342. The two schools have some differences as well. Yoga accepted the conception of "personal god", while Samkhya developed as a rationalist, non-theistic/atheistic system of Hindu philosophy.Mike Burley (2012), Classical Samkhya and Yoga – An Indian Metaphysics of Experience, Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0-415-64887-5}}, pages 31–46For yoga acceptance of samkhya concepts, but with addition of a category for God, see: Radhakrishnan and Moore, p. 453. Sometimes Patanjali's system is referred to as Seshvara Samkhya in contradistinction to Kapila's Nirivara Samkhya.Radhankrishnan, Indian Philosophy, London, George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1971 edition, Volume II, p. 344.The parallels between Yoga and Samkhya were so close that Max Müller says that "the two philosophies were in popular parlance distinguished from each other as Samkhya with and Samkhya without a Lord."Müller (1899), Chapter 7, "Yoga Philosophy," p. 104.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

File:Patanjali.jpg|thumb|Traditional Hindu depiction of Patanjali as an avatar of the divine serpent SheshaShesha{{Yoga Sutras of Patanjali}}In Hindu philosophy, yoga is the name of one of the six orthodox (which accept the testimony of Vedas) philosophical schools.For an overview of the six orthodox schools, with detail on the grouping of schools, see: Radhakrishnan and Moore, "Contents," and pp. 453–487.For a brief overview of the yoga school of philosophy see: Chatterjee and Datta, p. 43. Karel Werner, author of Yoga And Indian Philosophy, believes that the process of systematization of yoga which began in the middle and Yoga Upanishads culminated with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.{{refn|Werner writes, "The word Yoga appears here for the first time in its fully technical meaning, namely as a systematic training, and it already received a more or less clear formulation in some other middle Upanishads....Further process of the systematization of Yoga as a path to the ultimate mystic goal is obvious in subsequent Yoga Upanishads and the culmination of this endeavour is represented by Patanjali's codification of this path into a system of the eightfold Yoga."Werner, p. 24.|group=note}}There are numerous parallels in the concepts in ancient Samkhya, Yoga and Abhidharma Buddhist schools of thought, particularly from 2nd century BCE to 1st century AD, notes Larson.Larson, pp. 43–45 Patanjali's Yoga Sutras is a synthesis of these three traditions. From Samkhya, Yoga Sutras adopt the "reflective discernment" (adhyavasaya) of prakrti and purusa (dualism), its metaphysical rationalism, as well its three epistemic methods to gaining reliable knowledge. From Abhidharma Buddhism's idea of nirodhasamadhi, suggests Larson, Yoga Sutras adopt the pursuit of altered state of awareness, but unlike Buddhist's concept of no self nor soul, Yoga is physicalist and realist like Samkhya in believing that each individual has a self and soul. The third concept Yoga Sutras synthesize into its philosophy is the ancient ascetic traditions of meditation and introspection, as well as the yoga ideas from middle Upanishads such as Katha, Shvetashvatara and Maitri.Patanjali's Yoga Sutras are widely regarded as the first compilation of the formal yoga philosophy.For Patanjali as the founder of the philosophical system called yoga see: Chatterjee and Datta, p. 42. The verses of Yoga Sutras are terse. Many later Indian scholars studied them and published their commentaries, such as the Vyasa Bhashya (c. 350–450 CE).Larson, p. 21–22. Patanjali's yoga is also referred to as Raja yoga.For "raja yoga" as a system for control of the mind and connection to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras as a key work, see: Flood (1996), pp. 96–98. Patanjali defines the word "yoga" in his second sutra:({{IAST|yogaś citta-vṛtti-nirodhaḥ}})- Yoga Sutras 1.2This terse definition hinges on the meaning of three Sanskrit terms. I. K. Taimni translates it as "Yoga is the inhibition ({{IAST|nirodhaḥ}}) of the modifications ({{IAST|vṛtti}}) of the mind ({{IAST|citta}})".For text and word-by-word translation as "Yoga is the inhibition of the modifications of the mind." See: Taimni, p. 6. Swami Vivekananda translates the sutra as "Yoga is restraining the mind-stuff (Citta) from taking various forms (Vrittis)."Vivekanada, p. 115. Edwin Bryant explains that, to Patanjali, "Yoga essentially consists of meditative practices culminating in attaining a state of consciousness free from all modes of active or discursive thought, and of eventually attaining a state where consciousness is unaware of any object external to itself, that is, is only aware of its own nature as consciousness unmixed with any other object."Edwin Bryant (2011, Rutgers University), The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali IEPBryant 2009, p. 10.Bryant 2009, p. 457.If the meaning of yoga is understood as the practice of nirodha (mental control), then its goal is "the unqualified state of niruddha (the perfection of that process)",BOOK, The Yoga Sytras of Patanjali, A Study Guide for Book I, Samadhi Pada; Translation and Commentary, Dass, Baba Hari, Sri Rama Publishing, 1999, 0-918100-20-8, Santa Cruz, California, 5, according to Baba Hari Dass. In that context, "yoga (union) implies duality (as in joining of two things or principles); the result of yoga is the nondual state", and "as the union of the lower self and higher Self. The nondual state is characterized by the absence of individuality; it can be described as eternal peace, pure love, Self-realization, or liberation."Baba Hari Dass (1999)Patanjali's writing also became the basis for a system referred to as "Ashtanga Yoga" ("Eight-Limbed Yoga"). This eight-limbed concept is derived from the 29th Sutra of the Book 2 of Yoga Sutras. They are:
  1. Yama (The five "abstentions"): Ahimsa (Non-violence, non-harming other living beings),James Lochtefeld, "Yama (2)", The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 2: N–Z, Rosen Publishing. {{ISBN|978-0-8239-3179-8}}, page 777 Satya (truthfulness, non-falsehood),Arti Dhand (2002), The dharma of ethics, the ethics of dharma: Quizzing the ideals of Hinduism, Journal of Religious Ethics, 30(3), pages 347–372 Asteya (non-stealing), Brahmacharya (celibacy, fidelity to one's partner),MN Gulati (2008), Comparative Religions And Philosophies : Anthropomorphism And Divinity, {{ISBN|978-8126909025}}, page 168 and Aparigraha (non-avarice, non-possessiveness).
  2. Niyama (The five "observances"): Śauca (purity, clearness of mind, speech and body),Sharma and Sharma, Indian Political Thought, Atlantic Publishers, {{ISBN|978-8171566785}}, page 19 Santosha (contentment, acceptance of others and of one's circumstances),N Tummers (2009), Teaching Yoga for Life, {{ISBN|978-0-7360-7016-4}}, pages 16–17 Tapas (persistent meditation, perseverance, austerity),Kaelber, W. O. (1976). "Tapas", Birth, and Spiritual Rebirth in the Veda, History of Religions, 15(4): 343–386 Svādhyāya (study of self, self-reflection, study of Vedas),SA Bhagwat (2008), Yoga and Sustainability. Journal of Yoga, Fall/Winter 2008, 7(1): 1–14 and Ishvara-Pranidhana (contemplation of God/Supreme Being/True Self).
  3. Asana: Literally means "seat", and in Patanjali's Sutras refers to the seated position used for meditation.
  4. Pranayama ("Breath exercises"): Prāna, breath, "āyāma", to "stretch, extend, restrain, stop".
  5. Pratyahara ("Abstraction"): Withdrawal of the sense organs from external objects.
  6. Dharana ("Concentration"): Fixing the attention on a single object.
  7. Dhyana ("Meditation"): Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.
  8. Samadhi ("Liberation"): merging consciousness with the object of meditation.

Yoga and Vedanta

Yoga and Vedanta are the two largest surviving schools of Hindu traditions. They share many thematic principles, concepts and belief in self/soul, but diverge in degree, style and some of their methods. Epistemologically, Yoga school accepts three means to reliable knowledge, while Advaita Vedanta accepts six ways.John A. Grimes, A Concise Dictionary of Indian Philosophy: Sanskrit Terms Defined in English, State University of New York Press, {{ISBN|978-0-7914-3067-5}}, page 238 Yoga disputes the monism of Advaita Vedanta. Yoga school believes that in the state of moksha, each individual discovers the blissful, liberating sense of himself or herself as an independent identity; Advaita Vedanta, in contrast, believes that in the state of moksha, each individual discovers the blissful, liberating sense of himself or herself as part of Oneness with everything, everyone and the Universal Self. They both hold that the free conscience is aloof yet transcendent, liberated and self-aware. Further, Advaita Vedanta school enjoins the use of Patanjali's yoga practices and the reading of Upanishads for those seeking the supreme good, ultimate freedom and jivanmukti.BOOK, Stephen H., Phillips, Classical Indian Metaphysics: Refutations of Realism and the Emergence of "New Logic", Open Court Publishing, 1995, 12–13,

Yoga Yajnavalkya

The Yoga Yajnavalkya is a classical treatise on yoga attributed to the Vedic sage Yajnavalkya. It takes the form of a dialogue between Yajnavalkya and Gargi, a renowned philosopher.{{citation|title=Yoga Journal|url=|year=2006|publisher=Active Interest Media, Inc.|page=121|issn=0191-0965}} The text contains 12 chapters and its origin has been traced to the period between the second century BCE and fourth century CE.BOOK, Prahlad, Divanji, Yoga Yajnavalkya: A Treatise on Yoga as Taught by Yogi Yajnavalkya, B.B.R.A. Society's Monograph No. 3, 1954, Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society., Bombay, India, 105, Many yoga texts like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the Yoga Kundalini and the Yoga Tattva Upanishads have borrowed verses from or make frequent references to the Yoga Yajnavalkya.BOOK, Mohan, A.G., Krishnamacharya: His Life and Teachings,weblink 2010, Shambhala Publications, 978-1-59030-800-4, 127, The Yoga Yajnavalkya discusses eight yoga Asanas – Swastika, Gomukha, Padma, Vira, Simha, Bhadra, Mukta and Mayura,Larson (2008), p. 479. numerous breathing exercises for body cleansing,Larson (2008), pp. 481–484 and meditation.Larson (2008), pp. 485–486


File:Parsva Shatrunjay.jpg|thumb|upright|right|Tirthankara Parsva in Yogic meditation in the KayotsargaKayotsargaAccording to Tattvarthasutra, 2nd century CE Jain text, yoga is the sum of all the activities of mind, speech and body. Umasvati calls yoga the cause of "asrava" or karmic influxTattvarthasutra [6.2] as well as one of the essentials—samyak caritra—in the path to liberation. In his Niyamasara, Acarya Kundakunda, describes yoga bhakti—devotion to the path to liberation—as the highest form of devotion.Niyamasara [134–40] Acarya Haribhadra and Acarya Hemacandra mention the five major vows of ascetics and 12 minor vows of laity under yoga. This has led certain Indologists like Prof. Robert J. Zydenbos to call Jainism, essentially, a system of yogic thinking that grew into a full-fledged religion.Zydenbos, Robert. "Jainism Today and Its Future." München: Manya Verlag, 2006. p.66 The five yamas or the constraints of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali bear a resemblance to the five major vows of Jainism, indicating a history of strong cross-fertilization between these traditions.Zydenbos (2006) p.66{{refn|Worthington writes, "Yoga fully acknowledges its debt to Jainism, and Jainism reciprocates by making the practice of yoga part and parcel of life."Worthington, p. 35.|group=note}}Mainstream Hinduism's influence on Jain yoga can be see in Haribhadra's Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya which outlines an eightfold yoga influenced by Patanjali's eightfold yoga.P. 313 The Integrity of the Yoga Darsana: A Reconsideration of the Classical Yoga By Ian Whicher

Yogacara school

In the late phase of Indian antiquity, on the eve of the development of Classical Hinduism, theYogacara movement arises during the Gupta period (4th to 5th centuries).Yogacara received the name as it provided a "yoga," a framework for engaging in the practices that lead to the path of the bodhisattva.Dan Lusthaus. Buddhist Phenomenology: A Philosophical Investigation of Yogacara Buddhism and the Ch'eng Wei-shih Lun. Published 2002 (Routledge). {{ISBN|0-7007-1186-4}}. pg 533 The yogacara sect teaches "yoga" as a way to reach enlightenment.Simple Tibetan Buddhism: A Guide to Tantric Living By C. Alexander Simpkins, Annellen M. Simpkins. Published 2001. Tuttle Publishing. {{ISBN|0-8048-3199-8}}

Middle Ages (500–1500 CE)

Middle Ages saw the development of many satellite traditions of yoga. Hatha yoga emerged in this period.Larson, pp. 136–139.

Bhakti movement

The Bhakti movement was a development in medieval Hinduism which advocated the concept of a personal God (or "Supreme Personality of Godhead"). The movement was initiated by the Alvars of South India in the 6th to 9th centuries, and it started gaining influence throughout India by the 12th to 15th centuries.BOOK, Cutler, Norman, Songs of Experience, Indiana University Press, 1987, 1, 978-0-253-35334-4,weblink Shaiva and Vaishnava bhakti traditions integrated aspects of Yoga Sutras, such as the practical meditative exercises, with devotion.Larson, p. 137. Bhagavata Purana elucidates the practice of a form of yoga called viraha (separation) bhakti. Viraha bhakti emphasizes one pointed concentration on Krishna.Jacobsen, p. 22.


Tantra is a genre of yoga that arose in India no later than the 5th century CE.BOOK, Einoo, Shingo (ed.), 2009, 45, Genesis and Development of Tantrism, University of Tokyo, {{refn|group=note|The earliest documented use of the word "Tantra" is in the Rigveda (X.71.9).Banerjee, S.C., 1988. The context of use suggests the word tantra in Rigveda means "technique".}} George Samuel states, "Tantra" is a contested term, but may be considered as a school whose practices appeared in mostly complete form in Buddhist and Hindu texts by about 10th century CE.{{sfn|Samuel|2008|p=9}} Over its history, some ideas of Tantra school influenced the Hindu, Bon, Buddhist, and Jain traditions. Elements of Tantric yoga rituals were adopted by and influenced state functions in medieval Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in East and Southeast Asia.{{sfn|White|2000|p=7}}{{sfn|Samuel|2008|pp=324–333}}By the turn of the first millennium, hatha yoga emerged from tantra.

Vajrayana or Tibetan Buddhism

Vajrayana is also known as Tantric Buddhism and Tantrayāna. Its texts were compiled starting with 7th century and Tibetan translations were completed in 8th century CE. These tantra yoga texts were the main source of Buddhist knowledge that was imported into Tibet.John Powers (2004), in Encyclopedia of Buddhism (Editors: Damien Keown et al.), Routledge, {{ISBN|978-0-415-31414-5}}, pages 775–785 They were later translated into Chinese and other Asian languages, helping spread ideas of Tantric Buddhism. The Buddhist text Hevajra Tantra and Caryāgiti introduced hierarchies of chakras.White, David Gordon. Yoga in Practice. Princeton University Press 2012, page 14. Yoga is a significant practice in Tantric Buddhism.Lama Yeshe (1998). The Bliss of Inner Fire. Wisdom Publications. pp. 135–141.Chogyam Trungpa (2001) The Lion's Roar: An Introduction to Tantra. Shambhala. {{ISBN|1-57062-895-5}}Edmonton Patric 2007, Pali and Its Significance, p. 332The tantra yoga practices include asanas and breathing exercises. The Nyingma tradition practices Yantra yoga (Tib. "Trul khor"), a discipline that includes breath work (or pranayama), meditative contemplation and other exercises."Yantra Yoga: The Tibetan Yoga of Movement" by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. Snow Lion, 2008. {{ISBN|1-55939-308-4}} In the Nyingma tradition, the path of meditation practice is divided into further stages,The Lion's Roar: An Introduction to Tantra, by Chogyam Trungpa. Shambhala, 2001 {{ISBN|1-57062-895-5}} such as Kriya yoga, Upa yoga, Yoga yana, Mahā yoga, Anu yoga and Ati yoga."Secret of the Vajra World: The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet" by Ray, Reginald A. Shambhala: 2002. pp. 37–38 {{ISBN|1-57062-917-X}} The Sarma traditions also include Kriya, Upa (called "Charya"), and Yoga, with the Anuttara yoga class substituting for Mahayoga and Atiyoga."Secret of the Vajra World: The Tantric Buddhism of Tibet" by Ray, Reginald A. Shambhala: 2002. p. 57 {{ISBN|1-57062-917-X}}

Zen Buddhism

{{anchor|Yoga and Zen}}Zen, the name of which derives from the Sanskrit "dhyāna" via the Chinese "ch'an"{{refn|"The Meditation school, called 'Ch'an' in Chinese from the Sanskrit 'dhyāna,' is best known in the West by the Japanese pronunciation 'Zen'"The Buddhist Tradition in India, China, and Japan. Edited by William Theodore de Bary. pp. 207–208. {{ISBN|0-394-71696-5}}|group=note}} is a form of Mahayana Buddhism. Yoga practices integrally exist within the Zen Buddhist school.{{refn|Exact quote: "This phenomenon merits special attention since yogic roots are to be found in the Zen Buddhist school of meditation."Dumoulin, Heinrich & Knitter, p. 13.|group=note}} Certain essential elements of yoga are important both for Buddhism in general and for Zen in particular.

Hatha Yoga

The earliest references to hatha yoga are in Buddhist works dating from the eighth century.James Mallinson, "Sāktism and Hathayoga," 28 June 2012. {{webarchive|url= |date=16 June 2013 }} [accessed 19 September 2013] pgs. 2 "The earliest references to hathayoga are scattered mentions in Buddhist canonical works and their exegesis dating from the eighth century onwards, in which it is the soteriological method of last resort." The earliest definition of hatha yoga is found in the 11th century Buddhist text Vimalaprabha, which defines it in relation to the center channel, bindu etc.James Mallinson, "Sāktism and Hathayoga," 28 June 2012. {{webarchive|url= |date=16 June 2013 }} [accessed 19 September 2013] pgs. 2 "In its earliest definition,in Pundarīka's eleventh-century Vimalaprabhā commentary on the Kālacakratantra, hathayoga is said to bring about the "unchanging moment" (aksaraksana) "through the practice of nāda by forcefully making the breath enter the central channel and through restraining the bindu of the bodhicitta in the vajra of the lotus of wisdom". While the means employed are not specified, the ends, in particular restraining bindu, semen, and making the breath enter the central channel, are similar to those mentioned in the earliestdescriptions of the practices of hathayoga, to which I now turn." Hatha yoga synthesizes elements of Patanjali's Yoga Sutras with posture and breathing exercises.Larson, p. 140. It marks the development of asanas (plural) into the full body 'postures' now in popular usageBOOK, Burley, Mikel, Hatha Yoga: Its Context, Theory and Practice, 2000, Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi, 978-8120817067, 16,weblink and, along with its many modern variations, is the style that many people associate with the word yoga today.Feuerstein, Georg. (1996). "The Shambhala Guide to Yoga." Boston & London: Shambhala Publications, Inc.


Various yogic groups had become prominent in Punjab in the 15th and 16th century, when Sikhism was in its nascent stage. Compositions of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, describe many dialogues he had with Jogis, a Hindu community which practiced yoga.Dhillon, p. 249. Guru Nanak rejected the austerities, rites and rituals connected with Hatha Yoga.Dhillon, p. 255. He propounded the path of Sahaja yoga or Nama yoga (meditation on the name) instead.BOOK, Mansukhani, Gobind Singh, Introduction To Sikhism,weblink 2009, Hemkunt Press, 978-81-7010-181-9, 66, The Guru Granth Sahib states:}}

Modern history

Reception in the West

{{see|Yoga as exercise}}File:Ustrasana - Camel Pose.jpg|thumb|right|UstrasanaUstrasanaYoga came to the attention of an educated western public in the mid-19th century along with other topics of Indian philosophy. In the context of this budding interest, N. C. Paul published his Treatise on Yoga Philosophy in 1851.The first Hindu teacher to actively advocate and disseminate aspects of yoga, not including asanas, to a western audience, Swami Vivekananda, toured Europe and the United States in the 1890s.Shaw, Eric. "35 Moments", Yoga Journal, 2010-09. The reception which Swami Vivekananda received built on the active interest of intellectuals, in particular the New England Transcendentalists, among them Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), who drew on German Romanticism and the interest of philosophers and scholars like G. W. F. Hegel (1770–1831), the brothers August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767–1845) and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel (1772–1829), Max Mueller (1823–1900), Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), and others who had (to varying degrees) interests in things Indian.Goldberg, Philip, American Veda. From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation: How Indian Spirituality Changed the West. New York, 2010: Harmony Books, pp. 21ff.Von Glasenapp, Hellmuth. Die Philosophie der Inder. Stuttgart, 1974: A. Kroener Verlag, pp. 166f.Theosophists also had a large influence on the American public's view of Yoga.WEB,weblink Fear of Yoga,, 28 August 2013, Esoteric views current at the end of the 19th century provided a further basis for the reception of Vedanta and of Yoga with its theory and practice of correspondence between the spiritual and the physical.De Michelis, Elizabeth, A History Of Modern Yoga. Patanjali and Modern Esotericism. London, 2004: Continuum Books, pp. 19ff. The reception of Yoga and of Vedanta thus entwined with each other and with the (mostly Neoplatonism-based) currents of religious and philosophical reform and transformation throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. M. Eliade, himself rooted in the Romanian currents of these traditions,{{citation needed|date=November 2013}} brought a new element into the reception of Yoga with the strong emphasis on Tantric Yoga in his seminal book: Yoga: Immortality and Freedom.{{refn|Eliade, Mircea, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, Princeton, 1958: Princeton Univ. Pr. (original title: Le Yoga. Immortalité et Liberté, Paris, 1954: Libr. Payot)|group=note}} With the introduction of the Tantra traditions and philosophy of Yoga, the conception of the "transcendent" to be attained by Yogic practice shifted from experiencing the "transcendent" ("Atman-Brahman" in Advaitic theory) in the mind to the body itself.Flood, Gavin D., Body and Cosmology in Kashmir Saivism, San Francisco, 1993: Mellen Research University Press, pp.229ff.The American born yogi by the name of Pierre Arnold Bernard, after his travels through the lands of Kashmir and Bengal, founded the Tantrik Order of America in 1905. His teachings gave many westerners their first glimpse into the practices of yoga and tantra.BOOK, The Great Oom: The Mysterious Origins of America's First Yogi, Love, Robert, Penguin, 2011, 978-0-14-311917-3, The modern scientific study of yoga began with the works of N. C. Paul and Major D. Basu in the late 19th century, and then continued in the 20th century with Shri Yogendra (1897–1989) and Swami Kuvalayananda.Singleton, Mark (12 January 2010). Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice. Oxford University Press. p.32, 50. {{ISBN|978-0-19-974598-2}}. Retrieved 14 March 2014. Western medical researchers came to Swami Kuvalayananda's Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center, starting in 1928, to study Yoga as a science.Joseph S. Alter (30 August 2004). Yoga in Modern India: The Body between Science and Philosophy. Princeton University Press. p. 87. {{ISBN|978-0-691-11874-1}}. Retrieved 14 March 2014.Outside of Buddhist, Hindu and Jain traditions in Asia, the term "yoga" has been usually synonymous with its asanas (postures) or as a form of exercise.Title: A History of Modern Yoga. Author: Elizabeth De Michelis. Published: Continuum, 2005 This aspect of Yoga was adopted as a cultural trend in Europe and North America starting in the first half of the 20th century. There were periods of criticism and paranoia against yoga as well. By the 1960s, western interest in Hindu spirituality reached its peak, giving rise to a great number of Neo-Hindu schools specifically advocated to a western public. During this period, most of the influential Indian teachers of yoga came from two lineages, those of Sivananda Saraswati (1887–1963) and of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya (1888–1989).Bryant 2009, p. xviii. Teachers of Hatha yoga who were active in the west in this period included B.K.S. Iyengar (1918–2014) and K. Pattabhi Jois (1915–2009)—both pupils of Krishnamacharya; Swami Vishnu-devananda (1927–1993); and Swami Satchidananda (1914–2002).WEB,weblink The New Yoga, 5 February 2011, Ann, Cushman, January–February 2000, Yoga, 68, Silva, Mira, and Mehta, Shyam. (1995). Yoga the Iyengar Way, p. 9. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. {{ISBN|0-89381-731-7}}Desikachar, T. K. V. (2005). Health, healing and beyond: Yoga and the living tradition of Krishnamacharya, (cover jacket text). Aperture, USA. {{ISBN|978-0-89381-731-2}} Yogi Bhajan brought Kundalini Yoga to the United States in 1969.Congressional Honorary Resolution 521 US Library of Congress Comprehensive, classical teachings of Ashtanga Yoga, Samkhya, the subtle body theory, Fitness Asanas, and tantric elements were included in the yoga teachers training by Baba Hari Dass (1923–), in the United States and Canada.BOOK, Jones and Ryan, Constance and James, Encyclopedia of Hinduism, 2007, Infobase Publishing, New York, 978-0-8160-5458-9, Baba Hari Dass, A second "yoga boom" followed in the 1980s, as Dean Ornish, a follower of Swami Satchidananda, connected yoga to heart health, legitimizing yoga as a purely physical system of health exercises outside of counter-culture or esotericism circles, and unconnected to any religious denomination. Numerous asanas seemed modern in origin, and strongly overlapped with 19th and early-20th century Western exercise traditions.Singleton, Mark. (2010). Yoga Body: The Origins of Modern Posture Practice, p. 161. Oxford University Press, USA. {{ISBN|0-19-539534-4}}(File:Project Yoga Richmond 1.jpg|thumb|right|A group of people practicing yoga in 2012.)Since 2001, the popularity of yoga in the USA has expanded. The number of people who practiced some form of yoga has grown from 4 million (in 2001) to 20 million (in 2011). It has drawn support from world leaders such as Barack Obama who stated, "Yoga has become a universal language of spiritual exercise in the United States, crossing many lines of religion and cultures,... Every day, millions of people practice yoga to improve their health and overall well-being. That's why we're encouraging everyone to take part in PALA (Presidential Active Lifestyle Award), so show your support for yoga and answer the challenge".Weekly Highlights, July 1, 2011, The White House, United States, JULY 1, 2011 (MIYA SAIKA CHEN)The American College of Sports Medicine supports the integration of yoga into the exercise regimens of healthy individuals as long as properly-trained professionals deliver instruction. The College cites yoga's promotion of "profound mental, physical and spiritual awareness" and its benefits as a form of stretching, and as an enhancer of breath control and of core strength.WEB, Diversify Your Client's Workout With Yoga,weblink American College of Sports Medicine, 19 September 2013,

Health effects

Postural yoga has been studied and may be recommended to promote relaxation, reduce stress and improve some medical conditions such as premenstrual syndrome. This form of yoga is considered to be a low-impact activity that can provide the same benefits as "any well-designed exercise program, increasing general health and stamina, reducing stress, and improving those conditions brought about by sedentary lifestyles". It is particularly promoted as a physical therapy routine, and as a regimen to strengthen and balance all parts of the body.Dupler, Douglas; Frey, Rebecca (2006) Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine, 3rd ed, {{ISBN|978-0787618681}}; Retrieved 30 August 2012.The practice of asanas may improve psychological health during cancer treatment, although more evidence is needed to confirm this possible benefit. Other research indicated that postural yoga could be useful in addition to other treatments in schizophrenia, and may have positive effects on mental health, although the quality of research to define these effects is low.JOURNAL, Front Psychiatry, 2013, 3, 117, 10.3389/fpsyt.2012.00117, Yoga on our minds: a systematic review of yoga for neuropsychiatric disorders, Balasubramaniam M, Telles S, Doraiswamy PM, 23355825, 3555015, In 2015 the Australian Government's Department of Health published the results of a review of alternative therapies that sought to determine if any were suitable for being covered by health insurance. Postural yoga was one of 17 practices evaluated for which no clear evidence of effectiveness was found.WEB,weblink$File/Natural%20Therapies%20Overview%20Report%20Final%20with%20copyright%2011%20March.pdf, Australian Government – Department of Health, Baggoley C, Review of the Australian Government Rebate on Natural Therapies for Private Health Insurance, 2015,weblink Gavura, S. Australian review finds no benefit to 17 natural therapies. Science-Based Medicine., 19 November 2015, Accordingly, In 2017 postural yoga ceased to qualify for insurance subsidy.WEB, Homeopathy, naturopathy struck off private insurance list, Paola S, 17 October 2017, Australian Journal of Pharmacy,weblink


While some of the medical community regards the results of yoga research as significant, others point to many flaws which undermine results. Much of the research on postural yoga has taken the form of preliminary studies or clinical trials of low methodological quality, including small sample sizes, inadequate blinding, lack of randomization, and high risk of bias.JOURNAL, Krisanaprakornkit, T., Ngamjarus, C., Witoonchart, C., Piyavhatkul, N., Meditation therapies for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 6, CD006507, 2010, 20556767, 10.1002/14651858.CD006507.pub2, JOURNAL, Ospina, M. B., Bond, K., Karkhaneh, M., Clinical trials of meditation practices in health care: characteristics and quality, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2008, 14, 10, 199–213, etal, JOURNAL, Uebelacker, L. A., Epstein-Lubow, G., Gaudiano, B. A., Tremont, G., Battle, C. L., Miller, I. W., Hatha yoga for depression: critical review of the evidence for efficacy, plausible mechanisms of action, and directions for future research, Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 2010, 16, 1, 22–33, 10.1097/01.pra.0000367775.88388.96, 20098228, A 2013 review described the effectiveness of postural yoga for low back pain in the short-term, and moderate evidence that it was effective in the long-term.JOURNAL, Cramer, Holger, Lauche, Romy, Haller, Heidemarie, Dobos, Gustav, A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Yoga for Low Back Pain, The Clinical Journal of Pain, May 2013, 29, 5, 450–460, 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31825e1492, Another study found an incidence of back injuries from yoga.JOURNAL, Swain, T. A., G., McGwin, Yoga-Related Injuries in the United States From 2001 to 2014, Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine, 2016, 4, 11, 2325967116671703, 10.1177/2325967116671703, 27896293, 5117171, Some clinicians have reported studies investigating yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer patients to decrease depression, insomnia, pain, and fatigue and to increase anxiety control.JOURNAL, 18258582, 2008, Distasio, S. A., Integrating yoga into cancer care, Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing, 12, 1, 125–30, 10.1188/08.CJON.125-130, Others have questioned the quality of research and uncertainty in proving this effect.JOURNAL, 3781173, 2013, Sadja, J., Effects of Yoga Interventions on Fatigue in Cancer Patients and Survivors: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials, EXPLORE: the Journal of Science and Healing, 9, 4, 232–243, Mills, P. J., 10.1016/j.explore.2013.04.005, 23906102, A 2016 systematic review and meta-analysis found no evidence that yoga was effective for metabolic syndrome.JOURNAL, Cramer, H., Langhorst, J., Dobos, G., Lauche, R., Yoga for metabolic syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis, European journal of preventive cardiology, 22 August 2016, 27550905, 10.1177/2047487316665729, 23, 18, 1982–1993,

Physical injuries

{{See also|Sports injury}}Some postural yoga practitioners suffer physical injuries analogous to sports injuries.NEWS, How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body,weblink 29 August 2012, The New York Times Magazine, 5 January 2012, William J., Broad, William Broad, BOOK, The Science of Yoga The Risks and the Rewards, Simon & Schuster, 978-1-4516-4142-4, 336, William J., Broad, 1st, hardcover, 7 February 2012, NEWS, 'Yoga can damage your body' article throws exponents off-balance: A $5bn industry is outraged over a New York Times article saying that the keep fit regime is bad for your body,weblink 29 August 2012, The Guardian, The Observer, 14 January 2012, Joanna, Walters, A survey of yoga practitioners in Australia showed that about 20% had suffered some physical injury while practicing yoga.JOURNAL, Penman, Stephen, Marc, Cohen, Philip, Stevens, Sue, Jackson, Yoga in Australia: Results of a national survey, IJOY, International Journal of Yoga, 2012, 5, 2, 92–101, 10.4103/0973-6131.98217, 22869991, 3410203, In the previous 12 months 4.6% of the respondents had suffered an injury producing prolonged pain or requiring medical treatment. Headstands, shoulder stands, lotus and half lotus (seated cross-legged position), forward bends, backward bends, and handstands produced the greatest number of injuries.Among the main reasons that experts cite for causing negative effects from yoga are beginners' competitiveness and instructors' lack of qualification. As the demand for yoga classes grows, many people get certified to become yoga instructors, often with relatively little training. Not every newly certified instructor can evaluate the condition of every new trainee in their class and recommend refraining from doing certain poses or using appropriate props to avoid injuries. In turn, a beginning yoga student can overestimate the abilities of their body and strive to do advanced poses before their body is flexible or strong enough to perform them.Vertebral artery dissection, a tear in the arteries in the neck which provide blood to the brain can result from rotation of the neck while the neck is extended. This can occur in a variety of contexts, but is an event which could occur in some postural yoga practices. This is a very serious condition which can result in a stroke.JOURNAL, Biffl, Walter L., Ernest E., Moore, J. Paul, Elliott, Charles, Ray, Patrick J., Offner, Reginald J., Franciose, Kerry E., Brega, Jon M., Burch, The Devastating Potential of Blunt Vertebral Arterial Injuries, Annals of Surgery, May 2000, 231, 5, 672–681, 1421054, 10.1097/00000658-200005000-00007, 10767788, JOURNAL, Non-atheromatous causes of cerebral infarction, Postgraduate Medical Journal, June 1984, 60, 704, 386–390,weblink E. M., Critchley, 2417905, 10.1136/pgmj.60.704.386, 6379628, Acetabular labral tears, damage to the structure joining the femur and the hip, have been reported to have resulted from yoga practice.JOURNAL, Kang, Chan, Deuk-Soo, Hwang, Soo-Min, Cha, Acetabular Labral Tears in Patients with Sports Injury, Clinics in Sports Injury, December 2009, 1, 4, 230–235, 10.4055/cios.2009.1.4.230, 2784964, 19956481,


It is claimed that yoga "as physical exercise" can be an excellent training for children and adolescents, both as a form of physical exercise and for breathing, focus, mindfulness, and stress relief: many school districts have considered incorporating yoga into their Physical Education programs. The Encinitas, California school district gained a San Diego Superior Court Judge's approval to use yoga in Physical Education, holding against the parents who claimed the practice was intrinsically religious and hence should not be part of a state funded program.WEB,weblink California Judge Says Yoga is Secular, Approves its Use in Schools, Daniel June, 2 July 2013, JD Journal,

Reception in other religions


Some Christians integrate yoga and other aspects of Eastern spirituality with prayer and meditation. This has been attributed to a desire to experience God in a more complete way.NEWS,weblink Trying to Reconcile the Ways of the Vatican and the East, Steinfels, Peter, 7 January 1990, New York Times, 5 December 2008, In 2013, Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli, servicing Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, having worked for over 23 years with Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI),WEB,weblink Archived copy, 2014-06-09, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 22 August 2011, dmy-all, Bishop Raffaello Martinelli presentation said that for his Meditation, a Christian can learn from other religious traditions (zen, yoga, controlled respiration, Mantra), quoting Aspects of Christian meditation: "Just as "the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions," neither should these ways be rejected out of hand simply because they are not Christian. On the contrary, one can take from them what is useful so long as the Christian conception of prayer, its logic and requirements are never obscured. It is within the context of all of this that these bits and pieces should be taken up and expressed anew." Argomenti di Attualità mons. Raffaello Martinelli ed. gennaio 2013 Page 135 Previously, the Roman Catholic Church, and some other Christian organizations have expressed concerns and disapproval with respect to some eastern and New Age practices that include yoga and meditation.NEWS,weblink Vatican sounds New Age alert, BBC, 4 February 2003, 27 August 2013, BOOK, Wayne, Teasdale, Catholicism in dialogue: conversations across traditions, Rowman & Littlefield, 2004, 74, 0-7425-3178-3, WEB,weblink R. Albert Jr., Mohler, The Subtle Body – Should Christians Practice Yoga?, 14 January 2011, In 1989 and 2003, the Vatican issued two documents: Aspects of Christian meditation and "A Christian reflection on the New Age," that were mostly critical of eastern and New Age practices. The 2003 document was published as a 90-page handbook detailing the Vatican's position.Handbook of vocational psychology by W. Bruce Walsh, Mark Savickas 2005 {{ISBN|0-8058-4517-8}} page 358 The Vatican warned that concentration on the physical aspects of meditation "can degenerate into a cult of the body" and that equating bodily states with mysticism "could also lead to psychic disturbance and, at times, to moral deviations." Such has been compared to the early days of Christianity, when the church opposed the gnostics' belief that salvation came not through faith but through a mystical inner knowledge. The letter also says, "one can see if and how [prayer] might be enriched by meditation methods developed in other religions and cultures"WEB,weblink 1989 Letter from Vatican to Bishops on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation,, 28 November 2012, but maintains the idea that "there must be some fit between the nature of [other approaches to] prayer and Christian beliefs about ultimate reality." Some{{Which|date=January 2018}} fundamentalist Christian organizations consider yoga to be incompatible with their religious background, considering it a part of the New Age movement inconsistent with Christianity.Dr Ankerberg, John & Dr Weldon, John, Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, Harvest House Publishers, 1996Another view holds that Christian meditation can lead to religious pluralism. This is held by an interdenominational association of Christians that practice it. "The ritual simultaneously operates as an anchor that maintains, enhances, and promotes denominational activity and a sail that allows institutional boundaries to be crossed." JOURNAL, An Anchor and a Sail: Christian Meditation as the Mechanism for a Pluralist Religious Identity, Sociology of Religion, 2009, Jonathan, Mermis–Cava,


In early 11th century, the Persian scholar Al Biruni visited India, lived with Hindus for 16 years, and with their help translated several significant Sanskrit works into Arabic and Persian languages. One of these was Patanjali's Yogasutras.S Pines and T Gelblum (Translators from Arabic to English, 1966), Al-Bīrūni (Translator from Sanskrit to Arabic, ~ 1035 AD), and Patañjali, Al-Bīrūnī's Arabic Version of Patañjali's "Yogasūtra", Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. 29, No. 2 (1966), pages 302–325David White (2014), The "Yoga Sutra of Patanjali" – A Biography, Princeton University Press, {{ISBN|978-1-4008-5005-1}} Al Biruni's translation preserved many of the core themes of Patañjali 's Yoga philosophy, but certain sutras and analytical commentaries were restated making it more consistent with Islamic monotheistic theology.Philipp Maas (2013), A Concise Historiography of Classical Yoga Philosophy, in Periodization and Historiography of Indian Philosophy (Editor: Eli Franco), Sammlung de Nobili, Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde der Universität Wien, {{ISBN|978-3-900271-43-5}}, pages 53–90, {{oclc|858797956}} Al Biruni's version of Yoga Sutras reached Persia and Arabian peninsula by about 1050 AD. Later, in the 16th century, the hath yoga text Amritakunda was translated into Arabic and then Persian.Satish Chandra (2007), Historiography, Religion, and State in Medieval India, {{ISBN|978-8124100356}}, pages 135–136 Yoga was, however, not accepted by mainstream Sunni and Shia Islam. Minority Islamic sects such as the mystic Sufi movement, particularly in South Asia, adopted Indian yoga practises, including postures and breath control.JOURNAL, 10.1017/S1356186304004675, Situating Sufism and Yoga, 2005, Ernst, C. W., Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 15, 15–43, WEB,weblink Situating Sufism and Yoga, PDF, 5 September 2010, Muhammad Ghawth, a Shattari Sufi and one of the translators of yoga text in 16th century, drew controversy for his interest in yoga and was persecuted for his Sufi beliefs.Carl W. Ernst, Persecution and Circumspection in Shattari Sufism, in Islamic Mysticism Contested: Thirteen Centuries of Debate and Conflict (Editors: Fred De Jong and Berndt Radtke), Brill, 1999Malaysia's top Islamic body in 2008 passed a fatwa, prohibiting Muslims from practicing yoga, saying it had elements of Hinduism and that its practice was blasphemy, therefore haraam.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink 6 January 2009, Sidang Media – Fatwa Yoga,, 5 September 2010, Quote: The Fatwas of Religious Council in Islamic affairs on Yoga. After carefully studied various reports and factual data, the Council unanimously agreed that this ancient India religious teachings, which involves physical and mental exercises, are Hinduism in nature known as wahdat al-wujud philosophy (oneness of existence; the realization of identity between the Self in man, Atman; and the Divine, BRAHMAN: ‘Brahman is all, and Atman is Brahman'). It is prohibited (haram) for Muslims to practice it., Some Muslims in Malaysia who had been practicing yoga for years, criticized the decision as "insulting."Top Islamic body: Yoga is not for Muslims – MSNBC Sisters in Islam, a women's rights group in Malaysia, also expressed disappointment and said yoga was just a form of exercise.WEB,weblink Mixed reactions to yoga ban,, 23 November 2008, 5 September 2010, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 22 June 2011, dmy-all, This fatwa is legally enforceable.Paul Babie and Neville Rochow (2012), Freedom of Religion Under Bills of Rights, University of Adelaide Press, {{ISBN|978-0-9871718-0-1}}, page 98 However, Malaysia's prime minister clarified that yoga as physical exercise is permissible, but the chanting of religious mantras is prohibited."Malaysia leader: Yoga for Muslims OK without chant {{webarchive|url= |date=31 July 2013 }}," Saudi GazetteIn 2009, the Council of Ulemas, an Islamic body in Indonesia, passed a fatwa banning yoga on the grounds that it contains Hindu elements.NEWS,weblink BBC News, Indonesian clerics issue yoga ban, 25 January 2009, 6 April 2010, These fatwas have, in turn, been criticized by Darul Uloom Deoband, a Deobandi Islamic seminary in India.WEB,weblink Why give yoga religious connotation: Deoband,, 29 January 2009, 5 September 2010, Similar fatwas banning yoga, for its link to Hinduism, were issued by the Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa in Egypt in 2004, and by Islamic clerics in Singapore earlier.Andrea R. Jain (2014), Selling Yoga: From Counterculture to Pop Culture, Oxford University Press, {{ISBN|978-0-19-939024-3}}, page 195; Archive: Find alternative to yoga, urges Jakim {{webarchive|url= |date=8 February 2015 }} New Strait Times, MalaysiaIn Iran, as of May 2014, according to its Yoga Association, there were approximately 200 yoga centres in the country, a quarter of them in the capital Tehran, where groups can often be seen practising in parks. This has been met by opposition among conservatives.WEB,weblink The perils of yoga: Conservative clerics are wary of a popular pastime,, In May 2009, Turkey's head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, Ali Bardakoğlu, discounted personal development techniques such as reiki and yoga as commercial ventures that could lead to extremism. His comments were made in the context of reiki and yoga possibly being a form of proselytization at the expense of Islam.WEB,weblink It's OK to stretch, just don’t believe,, 5 September 2010,

International Day of Yoga

On 11 December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly approved a resolution establishing 21 June as "International Day of Yoga",UN Declared 21 June as International Day of Yoga {{webarchive|url= |date=9 July 2016 }} following the call for its adoption by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his address to UN General Assembly on 27 September 2014.UN should adopt an International Yoga Day: ModiIndia leader proposes International Yoga Day {{webarchive|url= |date=7 August 2015 }}PM Modi asks world leaders to adopt International Yoga DayNarendra Modi asks world leaders to adopt International Yoga DayUN-declares-June-21-as-International-Day-of-Yoga/articleshow/45480636.cms UN Adopts 21 June as International Yoga Day] In suggesting one of the two solstices, Modi noted that it is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and that it has special significance in many parts of the world.UN declares 21 June as 'International Day of Yoga'The first International Day of Yoga was observed worldwide on 21 June 2015. About 35,000 people, including Modi and many dignitaries, performed 21 yoga asanas for 35 minutes at Rajpath in New Delhi. The day devoted to yoga was observed by millions across the world.Massive turnout The event at Rajpath established two Guinness records – largest Yoga Class with 35,985 people and the record for the most nationalities participating in it—84.NEWS, PM Modi Leads Yoga Session, India Sets Guinness Records: 10 Developments,weblink 21 June 2015, NDTV,

See also






  • BOOK, The Yoga Sutras of Patañjali: A New Edition, Translation, and Commentary, Bryant, Edwin, North Point Press, 2009, 978-0-86547-736-0, New York, USA, Edwin Bryant (author),
  • {{Citation|last =Crangle|first =Edward Fitzpatrick|title =The Origin and Development of Early Indian Contemplative Practices|year =1994|publisher =Otto Harrassowitz Verlag}}
  • BOOK,weblink Sikhism, Origin and Development, Dhillon, Dalbir Singh, Atlantic Publishers, 1988, GGKEY:BYKZE4QTGJH,
  • BOOK, A History of Modern Yoga, De Michelis, Elizabeth, Continuum, 2004, 0-8264-8772-6, London,
  • BOOK,weblink Zen Buddhism: a History: India and China, Heisig, James W., Knitter, Paul F., World Wisdom, Inc, 2005, 978-0-941532-89-1, Dumoulin, Heinrich,
  • BOOK, Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, Eliade, Mircea, Princeton University Press, 1958, 978-0-691-14203-6, Princeton, Mircea Eliade,
  • BOOK, The Shambhala Guide to Yoga. 1st ed., Feuerstein, Georg, Shambhala Publications, 1996, Boston & London, Georg Feuerstein,
  • {{Citation|last =Flood|first =Gavin D.|title =An Introduction to Hinduism|year =1996|publisher =Cambridge University Press}}
  • BOOK,weblink The Bhagavad Gita: A Text and Commentary for Students, Fowler, Jeaneane D., Sussex Academic Press, 2012, 978-1-84519-346-1,
  • BOOK, American Veda. From Emerson and the Beatles to Yoga and Meditation. How Indian Spirituality Changed the West, Goldberg, Philip, Harmony Books, 2010, 978-0-385-52134-5, New York,
  • BOOK, Madhusudana Sarasvati Bhagavad_Gita: With the annotation Gūḍhārtha DÄ«pikā, Gambhirananda, Swami, Advaita Ashrama Publication Department, 1998, 81-7505-194-9, Calcutta,
  • {{Citation|last = Hari Dass|first = Baba|title = Ashtanga Yoga Primer|year = 1978|pages = bk. cover|location = Santa Cruz|publisher = Sri Ram Publishing|isbn = 978-0-918100-04-7}}
  • BOOK,weblink Theory And Practice of Yoga: Essays in Honour of Gerald James Larson, Larson, Gerald James, BRILL, 2005, 978-90-04-14757-7, Jacobsen, Knut A.,
  • BOOK,weblink The Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Yoga: India's philosophy of meditation, Larson, Gerald James, Motilal Banarsidass, 2008, 978-81-208-3349-4,
  • BOOK,weblink The Sivananda Companion to Yoga, Lidell, Lucy, Gaia Books Limited, 1983, 0-684-87000-2, London, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 22 July 2014, dmy-all,
  • {{Citation|last =Mallinson|first =James|title =Brill's Encyclopedia of Hinduism. Volume Three|year =2011|chapter =Haá¹­ha Yoga|publisher =BRILL|editor-last1 =Jacobsen|editor-first1 =Knut A.|editor-last2 =Basu|editor-first2 =Helene}}
  • BOOK,weblink The shape of ancient thought, McEvilley, Thomas, Allworth Communications, 2002, 978-1-58115-203-6,
  • BOOK,weblink Six Systems of Indian Philosophy; Samkhya and Yoga, Naya and Vaiseshika, Müller, Max, Susil Gupta (India) Ltd., 1899, 0-7661-4296-5, Calcutta, Max Müller, Reprint edition; Originally published under the title of "The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy."
  • BOOK,weblink The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, Possehl, Gregory, AltaMira Press, 2003, 978-0-7591-0172-2, Gregory Possehl,
  • BOOK, A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy, Radhakrishnan, S., Moore, CA, Princeton, 1967, 0-691-01958-4, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan,
  • {{Citation|last=Samuel|first=Geoffrey|title=The Origins of Yoga and Tantra|url=|year=2008|publisher=Cambridge University Press|isbn=978-0-521-69534-3}}
  • BOOK,weblink Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, Satyananda, Swami, Yoga Publications Trust, 2008, 978-81-86336-14-4, Munger, Swami Satyananda,
  • BOOK, The Science of Yoga, Taimni, I. K., The Theosophical Publishing House, 1961, 81-7059-212-7, Adyar, India,
  • BOOK, Yoga And Indian Philosophy (1977, Reprinted in 1998), Werner, Karel, Motilal Banarsidass Publ, 1998, 81-208-1609-9,
  • BOOK,weblink The Integrity of the Yoga DarÅ›ana: A Reconsideration of Classical Yoga, Whicher, Ian, SUNY Press, 1998, 978-0-7914-3815-2,
  • {{Citation|last =White|first =David Gordon|title =Yoga, Brief History of an Idea (Chapter 1 of "Yoga in practice")|url =|year =2011|publisher =Princeton University Press}}
  • {{Citation|last =White|first =David Gordon|title =The "Yoga Sutra of Patanjali": A Biography|year =2014|publisher =Princeton University Press}}
  • Worthington, Vivian (1982). A History of Yoga. Routledge. {{ISBN|0-7100-9258-X}}.
  • Wynne, Alexander "The Origin of Buddhist Meditation." Routledge, 2007, {{ISBN|1-134-09741-7}}.
  • {{Citation|last=Zimmer|first=Heinrich|title=Philosophies of India|url=|year=1951|authorlink=Heinrich Zimmer|location=New York, New York|publisher=Princeton University Press|isbn=0-691-01758-1}} Bollingen Series XXVI; Edited by Joseph Cambell.
  • Zydenbos, Robert. Jainism Today and Its Future. München: Manya Verlag, 2006. p. 66

Further reading

  • BOOK, De Michelis, Elizabeth, 2005, A History of Modern Yoga, Continuum,
  • BOOK, Kenny, Molly, 2001, Integrated Movement Therapy, Continuum,

External links

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