With Teacher Training 2009/2010 just around the corner, I thought perhaps you might all enjoy reading a what our teacher training students will be reading...a brief history of yoga. The full article can be found on my website by clicking the link below.
Yoga (yo-ga): Union, to yoke, to balance, to harmonize, India’s spirituality, any of a group of related Hindu disciplines that promote the unity of the individual with a supreme being through a system of postures and rituals
Once upon a time on the subcontinent of India, there existed wise, immortal beings called rishis (seers). They lived for thousands of years in various states of meditation while observing the dynamic interplay between nature, time, cosmos, and spirit (God). These divine beings, living near the Himalayan mountains and communicating in a sacred language called Sanskrit, are said to have released the jewels of yoga into the world.
The solitary aim of yoga at this time in history was to experience self-realization, or moksha (liberation) of the individual soul. Attaining the state of moksha is like reaching the pinnacle of one’s physical manifested life. Moksha is that stage when a human being is able to cut across all the shackles of the mind and gain liberation from the cycles of birth and death forever.
The secret, esoteric lessons of yoga were transmitted by the rishis to the revered teachers known as gurus (literally translated as “destroyer of darkness”). The gurus then passed along this divine insight to a few fortunate disciples throughout life-long relationships. To this day there are still traditional relationships where the guru transmits the wisdom of yoga to students who, in turn, become integrated into his family for life.