Updated: Apr 24, 2022
Lord Shiva is recognised as the first yogi, who passed the knowledge of yoga to the 7 sages. They spread the knowledge of yoga across different continents around the world. The timeline when yoga flourished can be split widely into 7 different eras as mentioned below.
Pre-vedic era - During this era Yoga was taught orally.
Vedic era - The 4 Vedic texts of 'Rig, yajur, sama and atharva veda' were compiled and the knowledge of yoga spread through these texts.
Pre-classical era - The important Vedic texts were upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. During this time, Lord Krishna played an important role in spreading the importance of Jnana, Bhakti and Karma yoga.
Classical era - Patanjali’s yoga sutra played a significant role in spreading yoga which was focused on 'mastery of the mind'.
Post-classical era - During this period, Jnana yoga (Adi Shankaracharya) , Bhakti yoga (Tulsidas, Meerabhai) and Hatha yoga (800-1700 AD) were prominent.
Modern era - Prominent people who spread Raja yoga were Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharishi and Paramahansa Yogananda.
Contemporary era (current time) - We have many well established yoga centres such as 'Sri Sri school of yoga' by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, 'Isha yoga centre' by Sadhguru.