The existence of the Vedas marks this period. The Vedas is the sacred scripture of Brahmanism that is the basis of modern-day Hinduism. It is a collection of hymns which praise a divine power. The Vedas contains the oldest known Yogic teachings and as such, teachings found in the Vedas are called Vedic Yoga. This is characterised by rituals and ceremonies that strive to surpass the limitations of the mind.
During this time, the Vedic people relied on rishis or dedicated Vedic Yogis to teach them how to live in divine harmony. Rishis were also gifted with the ability to see the ultimate reality through their intensive spiritual practice. It was also during this time that Yogis living in seclusion (in forests) were recorded.
The creation of the Upanishads marks the Pre-Classical Yoga. The 200 scriptures of the Upanishads (the conclusion of the revealed literature) describe the inner vision of reality resulting from devotion to Brahman. These explain three subjects: the ultimate reality (Brahman), the transcendental self (atman), and the relationship between the two. The Upanishads further explain the teachings of the Vedas.
Yoga shares some characteristics not only with Hinduism but also with Buddhism that we can trace in its history. During the sixth century B.C., Buddha started teaching Buddhism, which stresses the importance of Meditation and the practice of physical postures.
Later, around 500″ class=”related_products_container” B.C., the Bhagavad-Gita or Lord’s Song was created and this is currently the oldest known Yoga scripture. It is devoted entirely to YOGA and has confirmed that it has been an old practice for some time. However, it doesn’t point to a specific time wherein Yoga could have started. The main point to the YOGA is that – to be alive means to be active and in order to avoid difficulties in our lives and in others, our actions have to benign and have to exceed our egos.
- Yama, which means social restraints or ethical values;
- Niyama, which is personal observance of purity, tolerance, and study;
- Asanas or physical exercises;
- Pranayama, which means breath control or regulation;
- Pratyahara or sense withdrawal in preparation for Meditation
- Dharana, which is about concentration;
- Dhyana, which means Meditation; and
- Samadhi, which means ecstasy.