The very second edition of International Yoga Day is here and the celebrations are going to be on full swing worldwide. June 21 Marks Annual Worldwide Celebration of Physical, Mental and Spiritual Practice. The UN Headquarters building in New York is already lit up with a yoga pose.
Even though yoga and Hinduism are closely related, it should not be confused as a religion. Yoga is rightly and more often considered a type of spirituality that is part of a serene lifestyle. Studies show that yoga reduces risks of medical issues like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and asthma. Several other benefitting things surround the practice which you probably did not know.
Here are 15 amazing facts about Yoga you must know –
1. The word “yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root yuj meaning to yoke or join together. The actual meaning of Yoga is to join together. Thus, the purpose of yoga is to unite body, mind and spirit.
2. Yoga is defined as having eight branches or limbs– Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyhara, Dharana, Dhyana & Samadhi. The third limb, “Asana,” refers to postures and poses that most people think of when they hear the word “yoga.”
3. There are over 100 different schools of yoga, including Hatha yoga, Raja yoga (“royal yoga”), Jnana yoga (“path of knowledge”), Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, (“discipline of action”), and Bikram yoga. Although each school of yoga has different practices, they have the same goal: to achieve the state of bliss and oneness with the universe.
4. Scholars believe that yoga integrated elements of Stone Age shamanism, which dates back to at least 25,000 B.C. Yoga assimilated such elements as shamanic poses, transcendence, asceticism, and illumination.
5. Rig-Veda (“praise of knowledge”) is one of the oldest known texts in the world. Containing elements of yoga, its earliest hymns are believed to be over 4,000 years old.
6. Patanjali (150 B.C.) is considered the father of yoga. Though yoga was around long before Patanjali, who only made it more accessible through Yoga Sutras. Sounding similar? Yes, Patanjali by Baba Ramdev!
8. The lotus pose is a sitting pose meant to resemble the perfect symmetry and beauty of a lotus flower. Siddhartha Gautama, the founder of Buddhism, and Shiva, the God of Gods in Hinduism, are typically shown in this pose.