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The Four periods of The History of Yoga.


4 periods of History of Yoga

1- Pre- classical period.

2- Classical period.


3- Post- classical.


4- Modern period.

1- Pre- classical period.

This period is the period of vedas may be 8000 years back and includes indus valley civilization. The saraswati river dried up and the inhabitants moved east towards the ganges and south towards central and southern india.

In this period we have the ramayan. which includes the relationship between the lord rama and his devotee hanuman. The devotion exemplified is an example of bhakti yoga- The yoga of devotion. This is also that at this time many techniques were being used for deep meditation to help uncover the ultimate reality. Jyana yoga also being practiced.

2- Classical period.

This period is the period of patanjali’s yoga sutras which were written around 3000 years ago. In a collection of only 190 sutras or threads, patanjali expounds on a path or system that is Know as raja yoga- The royal yoga or ‘ashtanga yoga’.

Ashtanga is the eight limbs or disciplines of yoga. Raja yoga in its eight parts, includes practices of morality and ethics,
Attitude, asanas and parnayama. But it is primarily a meditative path. The majority of patanjali sutras deal with mental cultivation and meditation practice.

The contemporary of patanjali’s in this period was guatama the buddha.
Mahavira swami of jainism and bhagavad gita.

3-Post classical period.

It is a period strongly influenced by patanjali yet with a marked difference. ( 1000 years to 200 years back) Patanjali’s view was dualistic which distinguish the three purusha or spirit, prakriti or matter and brahman. But in this period non dualistic views being followed which is based on vadanta philosphy and that is based on the
upanshads. With the upanisads and their teachings we see find a perfect example of jnana yoga.
According to this view brahman, purusha and prakriti are not different but one and manifestation of brahman.

4-Modern period.

People began to focus much more on the body itself. Thus a slightly different view was taken. With the focus on the body and understanding of the connection between prana and the mind, yogis used asanas, pranayama and kryas and bandhas to balance the two channels of ‘ha’ and ‘tha’ or ‘ida’ and pingala thus preparing the yogi for meditation and samadhi.
This is period of hatha yoga. It is clear to see that hatha yoga is a simplified form of raja yoga, Thus hatha yoga is viewed as a way to achieve raja yoga.

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A national yoga organization of india offers yoga courses and retreat in Rishikesh

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