Yoga-what we know is a modern form of Hatha yoga, consisting of asanas. Yoga has a deeper meaning. It is a group of physical, mental and spiritual practices and a part of Hindu Philosophical traditions. Yoga originated in India in the pre-vedic period, with references made to it in the Rigveda. Katha Upanishad, which was probably composed between the fifth and third century BCE, has the word “yoga” with the same meaning as the modern term. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical traditions, the other five being SankhyaNyayaVaisheshikaMimamsa and Vedanta.

The modern form of yoga, the one which we are familiar with is a physical activity consisting of asanas or postures. It is accompanied with breathing exercises, known as pranayama. It is interesting to know that modern yoga was created by blending Western styles of gymnastics with postures from Hatha yoga, in India in the 20th century. It was pioneered by Shri Yogendra and Swami Kuvalayananda.

Yoga has developed into a worldwide multi-billion dollar business, involving classes, certification of teachers, clothing, books, videos, equipment, and holidays. The United Nations General Assembly established 21 June as “International Day of Yoga“,celebrated annually in India and around the world from 2015.