Yoga is one of the best forms of exercise. It is a low impact, high benefit exercise and is useful for people of all ages and fitness levels. That’s not the only reason it’s one of the best though. Many people look at yoga as a fun or relaxing way to stretch but don’t really look at it beyond that. However, the health benefits of yoga are vast and even surprising! Here we’ll discuss the incredible benefits of yoga including weight loss, heart health, and reduced stress.
The Origins of Yoga
Yoga was first developed in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. It’s been mentioned in some of the oldest and most sacred texts in the world. Classic yoga was defined by Patanjali’s Yoga-Sûtras and focused on the eight steps needed to achieve enlightenment. Many consider Patanjali to be the father of yoga.
Post-classical yoga was defined by Tantra Yoga. This type of yoga focused on fundamental techniques to cleanse the body and mind and break the ties that bind us to our bodies. This is the first type of yoga that began to forge the physical and spiritual connection. The evolution of this led is to hatha yoga.
What is hatha yoga? It is the modern period of yoga or how we know it now. T. Krishnamacharya opened the first hatha yoga school in Mysuru, India in 1924. The popularity of yoga eventually caused it to cross into the West when Indra Devi opened up the first U.S. yoga studio in Hollywood, California in 1947.
Since then, yoga has been widely studied and praised for its many physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health benefits. Next week we'll get further into some of the science behind what yoga can offer.