Where does yoga come from?
Nowadays, yoga has become fashionable for its physical exercises and for the benefits it brings. But where does it come from?
Yoga is part of a spiritual tradition that comes from India and that goes far beyond mere exercises to get in shape.
One of the oldest references to yoga is found in the archaeological remains of the Indo-Saraswati civilization, dated between 2800 and 1400 BC. and where they find engravings and images of people in classic hatha yoga postures, as well as the well-known engraving in the form of Pashupati, a form of Siva, in yogic meditation posture.
The yogic tradition, however, already appeared in the sacred Hindu texts, The Vedas, which date from 3000 to 1200 BC. and that they contained material with instructions for practice. In the Bhagavad Gita, an epic story found within the Mahabharata, Krishna explains the secrets of yoga to young Arjuna.
“For those who are committed to the practice of all types of yoga, hatha supports them like the mythological turtle supports the world”
Hatha Pradipika I.1
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika is one of the most important texts, since in it you can find the origin and the final goal of yoga.
Hatha Yoga is the Yoga of strength and purification, through which the body, mind and prana, the vital energy, are harmonized. It is one of the many paths of Yoga and one of the best known in the West.
Hatha Yoga allows the union of these two aspects by working on the two cerebral hemispheres: the right hemisphere, related to imagination, intuition, creativity; the left hemisphere related to reason, logic, evaluation and language.
This work is carried out through a series of exercises called: asanas (physical postures) and pranayamas (breathing). The joint work of these exercises, together with others, allows the body to gradually strengthen, open, relax and purify, leaving the mind in a calm state, promoting a more conscious breathing.
This path allows for a comprehensive exercise, where the body and mind are worked on, working on mental clarity, discernment, the ability to make decisions, the management of our emotions, all the while improving the way we relate to the world and to the who surrounds us
Symbology of Hatha Yoga
It refers to the union of the energies ida (ha, moon) and pingala (tha, sun), male energy and female energy. Which when united, heat the prana (vital energy), through the central channel (Sushuma), awakening the Kundalini energy, the snake that sleeps at the base of the spine. This awakening allows the complete purification of the body and mind and in its path balances the Chakras until reaching Sahasrara, the last Chakra, where the individual Consciousness merges with the Supreme Reality, becoming what it is, what it has always been and what will always be: a whole.