Intro to Yoga

Intro to Yoga

The Yoga Traditions, Developments; an Overview

The Vedas are believed to be over 5000 years old. The term “Hatha-Yoga” originated from the Vedas

  1. Rg-Veda
  2. Sama-Veda
  3. Yahur-Veda
  4. Atharva-Veda

The Upanishaden are a collection of 108 writings dealing with the Vedas and other scriptural writings. 108 is a mystical number. A Yogi’s prayer necklace has 108 beads.

3 of the Upanishads are particularly interesting for us interested in Yoga, they are the                     

  • Isha Upanishad
  • Manduka Upanishad
  • Katha Upanishad

Bhagavad Gita could be compared to the Bible for Hinus and explains the 4 types of Yoga

  1. Karma Yoga is basically cause and effect. Our actions have a reaction. Ideally our actions
    should help all beings without expectation of reward.
  2. Bhakti Yoga is The Yoga of Love and Dedication. This was hundreds of years ago, the only Yoga women were allowed to practice. This Love and Dedication can be focused on Family, God, Vocation, your children.
  3. Jnana Yoga, the Theoretical side of Yoga, studies the holy scriptures and is also Self-Study.
  4. Raja Yoga is where all the Yoga Paths lead to. “Raja” means “King”, so to say the royal path.

Hatha Yoga and Tantra

Gheranda Samhita was an oral tradition. “Gheranda” was the teacher’s name. I don’t recommend buying this book because it won’t make much sense without a Yogi or teacher to explain it.

Vijnana Bhairava

Serpent Power, by Sir John Woodroffe explains the chakras and has excellent images.

Teachers, Schools, and Emphasises of the Yoga Tradition

Patthabi Jois
  1. Arjuna and Krishna – is written as a conversation between a ruler and his chariot driver on a historical battlefield.
  2. Gheranda is an oral tradition that has been recorded. It is a dialog between Student and Yogi.
  3. Swatmarama is known for his practical execution of Yoga asanas, also in connection with the Gheranda Samhita.
  4. Pattabhi Jois was portraited in the film, “The Breathing God” and was an important Ashtanga Yoga teacher who past away 2009. Many of his videos are on YouTube.the serpent power by Sir John Woodroffe.
  5. Iyengar is known for his precise execution, for use of diverse training props as well as being an award-winning
    author. Light On Yoga is without a doubt my all-time favorite Yoga book.
  6. Sri Aurobindo created Interal Yoga and was the founder of Auroville, a universal city in the making in south-India dedicated to the ideal of human unity based on the vision of Sri Aurobindo and The Mother.
  7. Swami Sivananda spread Yoga through East and West and through his many students that went on to become teachers. You could say Swami means “Monk”.
  8. Swami Satyananda is the Author of many books. One of my favorites is Asana Bandha Pranayama
    Mudra
    . As a student of Sivananda, he continued in Satyananda’s tradition and contributed to Yoga’s development and spreading.

Traditions that are important to the Yoga Tradition

Buddhism has no description of a God, no Cast system, and no Sanskrit, the language of the scholars.

Sufisum is a mystial branch that developed out of Islam. Sufisum has a practice that is similar to Yoga. Some of our Yoga practices come from Sufisum, like Sufi Circles.

Shivaimus is a Yoga practice that focuses on uniting Shiva and Shakti.

Jainismus central point is Ahimsa, Yama and Niyama and follows the 8 Fold Path with 16 Commandments, rather than 10.

Yogananda was a Yogi and well-known speaker as well as an authority in Kriya Yoga.

Ramana Maharshi was one could say, the biggest Yogi in India. He believe that both the mystial Christian and Islamic paths were good and led to the same goal.

Krishnamurti was a great thinker and free spirit who inspired others to get beyond dogmatic thoughts and actions.

Theosophy contributers include Rudolf Steiner, and C.W. Leadbeater, who “discovered” Krishnamurti and Annie Besant to name just a few.

Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga Yoga is the 8 fold path to self and God. Click on the link above to read more…

This Intro to Yoga is by no means complete.
From your personal experience, what would you add? What do you think is important to mention?

I’d love to hear from you! Any comments are appreciated.


Namaste, Kim

    ByKim Beinke

    I am a certified Yoga teacher with over 500 hours of Yoga training with my certification from the Paracelsus Heilpraktiker Schule in Gießen, Germany. My additional certification from the German Red Cross with 84 Yoga hours of training specializes in Yoga for seniors.

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