Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice originating thousands of years ago in India, which has been discovered in the ancient sacred spiritual texts, called “Vedas”.
Yoga translates as “union”, which means that by practicing yogic techniques one is able to achieve that union and oneness among the mind, body and soul, as well as oneself and the whole universe.
Years ago Vedas were only accessed by Vedic Priests, Rishis and Brahmans. They were the ones, who refined this written knowledge and re-wrote it in Upanishads, making it accessible for public.
Although yoga originated in India, throughout the history it spread to other regions too (China, Tibet, Indonesia), where different yoga schools emerged, still containing the real essence of yoga but with slightly different methods, which have been refined to fit local cultures.
Nowadays, new yoga styles have been created, which greatly differ from the real concept of yoga. In western world yoga is mostly known as a physical practice for one’s body to improve health, strength and flexibility, while originally yoga was created as a spiritual practice for one’s body, mind and soul, to achieve oneness among them. Therefore, ancient yoga contained various other techniques, which brought awareness onto the whole bodily system of a human, rather than solely onto the physical body alone.
The main yoga practices include physical exercise of asanas, various pranayama (breath work) techniques, meditation and chanting.
Yoga practice brings tremendous health benefits on a human’s physical body, keeping it young, supple and strong, increases one’s vitality and energetic reservoir, calms one’s mind, improves concentration, memory, brings inner peace and emotional stability. However, those benefits are only little steps in a path towards the most important goal – a discovery of one’s true inner self through reaching enlightenment.