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|File name||2100 Yoga Poses with Pictures PDF|
|No. of Pages||1132|
|File size||11.3 MB|
|Date Added||Jun 21, 2022|
|Category||Health & Fitness|
2100 Yoga Poses with Pictures
Most of us know yoga as a set of poses performed in a gym or yoga studio setting. The majority of yoga styles practiced today were invented in the last quarter of the 20th century and are either a far cry from yoga’s roots or have no authentic lineage.
If we really want to examine the roots of yoga, we need to go back to the Harrapan culture, datingback 3,500 years, when yoga was a meditative practice. According to some, around 1500 BCE, Harrapan culture was diminished due to Aryan invasion. Barbarians from Normandy introduced the caste system and enforced a set of religious rituals that involved blood sacrifice practices. Along with these religious practices came sacred scriptures called the Vedas, a large body of spiritual texts originating in India. The word “yoga” was first mentioned in the oldest of the Vedas, Rig Veda. It referred to the concept of discipline.
Fast forward to 800 BCE. The Upanishads, a collection of texts that contain some of the earliest concepts of Hinduism, prescribed the method of achieving enlightenment by studying under a teacher and dedicating one’s life to a yoga practice. The Upanishads outlined two paths to enlightenment: Karma Yoga (selfless dedication to the service of others) and Jnana Yoga (intense study of spiritual writings). Around the 3rd century BCE, the Maitrayaniya Upanishad prescribed a six-step process to enlightenment, which included mastering pranayama (breath control), pratyaharia (sense withdrawal), dhyana (meditation), dharana (one-pointed concentration), tarka (self-reflection), and samadhi (absolute absorption) in order to unite the Atman (individual’s spirit) and Brahman (universal spirit or source of creation). The sacred syllable om appeared in this particular Upanishad as a symbol of union between mind and breath.
At around the same time that Maitrayaniya Upanishad was introduced, Bhagavad Gita gained prominence. This scripture combined and mythological tales that later made their way into a celebrated collection of tales, Mahabharata. Three methods of devotion were outlined in Bhagavad Gita: Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Bhakti Yoga (devotion).
Compiled around 400 CE by Patanjali, The Yoga Sutras introduced the eight-fold path to yoga practice, which is considered to be the classical yoga manual and the foundation of many of today’s yoga practices, particularly Ashtanga Yoga. We will hear more about this eight-fold path in The Eight Limbs of Yoga (here), which include yama (self-restraint) niyama (self-purification by self-restraint and discipline), asana (seat or posture), pranayama (control of breath), pratyahara (sense withdrawal), dharana (one-pointed concentration), dhyana (meditation), and samadhi (total absorption).