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Brief history of Yoga

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.

  1. Pre-vedic era - During this era Yoga was taught orally.

  2. Vedic era - The 4 Vedic texts of 'Rig, yajur, sama and atharva veda' were compiled and the knowledge of yoga spread through these texts.

  3. 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.

  4. Classical era - Patanjali’s yoga sutra played a significant role in spreading yoga which was focused on 'mastery of the mind'.

  5. Post-classical era - During this period, Jnana yoga (Adi Shankaracharya) , Bhakti yoga (Tulsidas, Meerabhai) and Hatha yoga (800-1700 AD) were prominent.

  6. Modern era - Prominent people who spread Raja yoga were Swami Vivekananda, Ramana Maharishi and Paramahansa Yogananda.

  7. 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.

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